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Sustain Saskatchewan

"Trees make the prairies tolerable." 

Pro-Poor Foresight

Since joining IFTF I have spent a fair amount of time thinking about how forecasting can be used in development work. I have a lot of faith in the power of foresight, scenario planning, and forecasting methodologies to help us make a better, more resilient, and more just world. 

Africa, The Final Business Frontier

The BBC World News, as of August 22nd, is hosting the weekly Africa Business Report. The show plans to look at the businesses and products coming out of Africa, the challenges and opportunities for companies trading there, as well as the business people themselves. 

De-Colonizing Social Innovation

Microsoft and Ghana Ministry of Education sign a Memorandum of Understanding

Microsoft is investing in building ICT capabilities in Ghana. The MoU is an extension of the 2004 relationship between Microsoft and Ghana in which three IT academies were established and 300 teachers within all levels of education were trained.

The future of aid and Africa

It isn’t long since Dambisa Moyo's book Dead Aid was published. For the most part, people without experience in either development work or Africa thought she was being too extreme and taking her stance (all large multilateral aid to Africa should stop within 5 years) as a way to get attention and become famous. While I understand this reaction, I find it both sad and insulting as it undermines anything Moyo states as being simply sensational.

Dead Aid

Dambisa Moyo, a native Zambian , with a PhD in economics from Oxford University has published a very exciting book, Dead Aid. Dambisa is the first female economist who has published a book about development I have the opportunity to read. The development economics field seems to be almost 100% dominated by white Western males. Not only is Moyo female, but she is a native African. How refreshing to have an African weigh in on African issues.

Energy grid limitation on the growth of alternative energy

The New York Times recently had an article on how the U.S. electric grid is turning out to hinder the development of wind power:

When the builders of the Maple Ridge Wind farm spent $320 million to put nearly 200 wind turbines in upstate New York, the idea was to get paid for producing electricity. But at times, regional electric lines have been so congested that Maple Ridge has been forced to shut down even with a brisk wind blowing.

That is a symptom of a broad national problem. Expansive dreams about renewable energy, like Al Gore’s hope of replacing all fossil fuels in a decade, are bumping up against the reality of a power grid that cannot handle the new demands.

The dirty secret of clean energy is that while generating it is getting easier, moving it to market is not.

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