Archive for May, 2007

TED Talks | Ashraf Ghani: How to fix broken states


Amazingly thought-provoking talk at TED2005 by the brilliant Dr. Ashraf Ghani

Very insightful approach to developmental issues…

“The aid system is broken,” says Ashraf Ghani in this powerful, reform-oriented talk. He discusses how to mobilize capital for state-building; why technical assistance fails; and why classic economic theory proved useless in Afghanistan, which is “dominated by the drug economy and a mafia.” He emphasizes the necessity of investment (“A dollar in private investment is equal to 20 dollars of aid”) and design ingenuity to rebuild broken states. And he offers a blueprint: the 10 key functions that a state should perform, from providing infrastructure to enforcing the rule of law.

Leveraging Google Maps to control epidemics


Came across this neat idea of laying disease location data over google maps. ArsTechnica covers it in its article titled, “The wisdom of unhealthy crowds: Web 2.0 takes on the flu

Gardens: The solution to all the world’s problems


That’s what the narrator says at the end of a short video feature about greening the desert sustainably using permaculture. The video and a short write-up is posted here on

Microfinance eBay-style


WRI’s blog reports here that eBay is acquiring MicroPlace. Is microfinance the new Web 2.0?

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