What is altruism? Put simply, it's the wish that other people may be happy. And, says Matthieu Ricard, a happiness researcher and a Buddhist monk, altruism is also a great lens for making decisions, both for the short and long term, in work and in life.
The past decade has seen slow and steady economic growth across the continent of Africa. But economist Charles Robertson has a bold thesis: Africa's about to boom. He talks through a few of the indicators — from rising education levels to expanded global investment (and not just from China) — that lead him to predict rapid growth for a billion people, sooner than you may think.
Dr. Seyi Oyesola takes a searing look at health care in underdeveloped countries. His photo tour of a Nigerian teaching hospital — all low-tech hacks and donated supplies — drives home the challenge of doing basic health care there.
Some of the world's most baffling social problems, says Peter Eigen, can be traced to systematic, pervasive government corruption, hand-in-glove with global companies. In his talk, Eigen describes the thrilling counter-attack led by his organization, Transparency International.
Co-creator of the philanthropic FEED bags, Ellen Gustafson says hunger and obesity are two sides of the same coin. In her talk, she launches The 30 Project — a way to change how we farm and eat in the next 30 years, and solve the global food inequalities behind both epidemics.
A billion people in the world lack access to all-season roads. Could the structure of the internet provide a model for how to reach them? Andreas Raptopoulos of Matternet thinks so. He introduces a new type of transportation system that uses electric autonomous flying machines to deliver medicine, food, goods and supplies wherever they are needed.
For the young and unemployed in the world's big cities, dreams of opportunity and wealth do come true — but too often because they're heavily recruited by terrorist groups and other violent organizations. Human rights advocate Mohamed Ali draws on stories from his native Mogadishu to make a powerful case for innovation incubators for our cities' young and ambitious.
Louise Fresco shows us why we should celebrate mass-produced, supermarket-style white bread. She says environmentally sound mass production will feed the world, yet leave a role for small bakeries and traditional methods.
In 2013, international migrants sent $413 billion home to families and friends — three times more than the total of global foreign aid (about $135 billion). This money, known as remittances, makes a significant difference in the lives of those receiving it and plays a major role in the economies of many countries. Economist Dilip Ratha describes the promise of these “dollars wrapped with love” and analyzes how they are stifled by practical and regulatory obstacles.
Technology is advancing in leaps and bounds — and so is economic inequality, says writer Chrystia Freeland. In an impassioned talk, she charts the rise of a new class of plutocrats (those who are extremely powerful because they are extremely wealthy), and suggests that globalization and new technology are actually fueling, rather than closing, the global income gap. Freeland lays out three problems with plutocracy … and one glimmer of hope.