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Perspectives

An offbeat, refreshing look at solutions brought to you by the business leaders and academics, policy makers and designers who are in the field.

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Swift views of the Rift Valley carve a pathway through Kenya, offering dusty red and green vistas of the ancient lands of the Maasai people. Several hours west from the cluttered noise of Nairobi is a small village called Suswa, nestled amidst the hills and valleys of Narok County.

Here, the arid land is smudged with dusty soil from volcanic ash and spotted with clusters of the musky camphor bush. However, drought and overuse of the fragile land in this small corner of the Rift Valley has led to deforestation and depletion of the vegetation cover, which served to stabilize the top layer of hard pan soil and retain the nutrients in the soft clay soils underneath.

To survive in the new conditions that land degradation brought, the Maasai in Suswa have come to rely more...

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Wouldn't it be great if students arrived to class each day cheerful and eager to learn? Teachers could simply open their mouths to bestow wisdom and knowledge, and students would listen, absorb, and then dazzle everyone in earshot with their brilliance. Though teachers' lives would be easier if the good, old-fashioned direct instruction approach worked every time, this simple model of education does not suffice for one important reason: students are not simple. Sure, they want to learn, but about the Russian Revolution? Students can't see how it relates to them. What about the rich ecosystem just beyond the school walls? Are there power outlets out there? Students are hard-wired for learning, but they can fail to retain what they've been taught if they don’t see why it is important...

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Other Perspectives

Our urge to create graffiti has probably been around since the beginning of humankind. Certainly in Portugal, it has been around for tens of thousands of years. At the Prehistoric Rock Art Sites in the Côa Valley on the banks of a...
The newly minted UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were released with much fanfare at the United Nations at the end of September. Among its many aims, the 17 goals seek to improve the quality of global education, reduce inequality,...
This December, Saudi Arabia will have its third round of elections in the history of its Kingdom and the first where women will be allowed to participate. Hundreds of thousands of Saudis are expected to flock to the polls, along with...
You can hear the sounds of new construction from just about any point on Sterling College's bucolic Vermont campus. The whir of saws and the plink of hammers ricochet off the nearby Lowell Mountains as students—26 percent more than were...
Ala kachuu directly translates to "to take and run away" in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan, and is known to the world as the practice of bride kidnapping. It can occur both consensually, as a staged elopement, and non-consensually. In the non-...
Less than three percent of the planet's available water is suitable for most human uses.1 This fraction could, nonetheless, meet global demand. The problem is its uneven distribution and mismanagement, which leads to pollution and severe...