Articles

The Decline of US Military Innovation

NEW YORK – The United States is at risk of losing its military edge. America’s armed forces may still be the most advanced in the world; after all, the US spends more than twice as much on military research and development as major powers like France and Russia, and nine times more than China and Germany. But America’s continued technological leadership is far from assured.

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Emergency Education Now

DAVOS – In an ideal world, whenever children needed help, they would get it. When girls and boys were forced from their homes or classrooms because of war, natural disaster, or other crises, the international community would, within days, formulate a plan to ensure their immediate wellbeing. And such plans would include not only life-saving interventions, but also havens of psychological support and learning that protect opportunity and hope. Such places exist. They are called schools.

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The Social Science of Medicine

DAVOS – When I was a medical student in the mid-1980s, I contracted malaria in Papua New Guinea. It was a miserable experience. My head ached. My temperature soared. I became anemic. But I took my medicine, and I got better. The experience wasn’t pleasant, but thanks to cheap, effective malaria drugs I was never in very much danger.

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Hacking for Humanity

CAMBRIDGE – “Life,” Oscar Wilde famously said, “imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life.” In the case of Sony Pictures’ movie The Interview, the world found itself confronted with a further iteration: life imitating art imitating life. The movie’s release sparked international intrigue, drama, and shadowy geopolitical power struggles. It even prompted a grave US Presidential address – all for a simple case of hacking.

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Aid in a World of Crisis

DAVOS – Never in the 64-year history of the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has it had to address so much human misery. At the beginning of 2014, more than 51 million people were displaced from their homes, uprooted by conflict and persecution. Many more have had to flee in the past twelve months.

Protracted wars, environmental disasters, and state failure have stretched the international humanitarian-aid system passed its breaking point. If the UNHCR and other relief agencies are to address the unprecedented amount of human need, they will have to broaden their base of support. Without a massive scaling up of private-sector involvement, both in terms of shared expertise and funding support, we will fail to provide for millions of people who have lost almost everything.

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