If you only read one thing this week…

Everything you wanted to know about greening travel through buying offsets by ifyouonlyreadonethingthisweek
March 29, 2007, 9:14 pm
Filed under: Articles, Development theory, Environment, If you have 30 mins

I picked up this paper from Tufts Climate Initiative planning to just read the executive summary and got sucked into the whole document. The team does a really good job of comparing the different carbon offsetting organizations in relation to travel and also picks apart the different types of carbon calculator and helps you understand why there isn’t a simple, one-answer solution. Read more… Continue reading


Culture clash – or not? Where do you fit in? by ifyouonlyreadonethingthisweek
March 29, 2007, 9:13 pm
Filed under: If you have 30 mins, Management, organizational learning

I was just directed to this site by a colleague from CHF – www.cultureactive.com. It is a site that provides you with a couple of simple quizes to assess your cultural characteristics (e.g. Do you multi-task or do you prefer to do one activity at a time? Are you usually patient or impatient? How do you prioritize your work-life balance? etc). It then maps your personnality against typical traits for your nationality and gives you pointers for how to be more effective in different cultural contexts. You can do all this with the free trial version (I haven’t quite figured out how to sign up for the full version yet!). In the full version you can download guidelines for multiple countries and compare your profile against typical behaviors in the context. It clearly plays to generalities and I am still trying to figure out how accurate I think it is. But it is potentially a useful tool for those of us who travel a lot.

Sneak preview of big climate report: Change is ‘already showing up’ by ifyouonlyreadonethingthisweek
March 29, 2007, 9:12 pm
Filed under: Articles, Environment, If you only have 15 mins, Megatrend

Thanks to our own Ruth Allen, who writes that the Associated Press got a sneak preview of the second report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change this week. The news is not good – Brad Knickerbocker has a good commentary here. The bottom line is that the world’s top scientists are saying that “the harmful effects of global warming on daily life are already showing up, and within a couple of decades hundreds of millions of people won’t have enough water.”

The Associate Press article is here. It mentions that numerous humanitarian issues are expected to be highlighted including water security and the faster than expected rate at which sea level is rising, both of which will affect millions in some of the world’s poorest places.  The articles also profiles strides taken this month by European governments that go well beyond Kyoto-agreed targets to address global warming, which British Prime Minister Tony Blair recently called “the biggest long-term threat facing our world.

It’s a sobering report, and a call to action that reminds us that, while global warming soon will “affect everyone’s life … it’s the poor sectors that will be most affected.

Putting Assessments in their Place by ifyouonlyreadonethingthisweek

The Assessment Tools Resource Base, put together by Mercy Corps, is a web page that pulls assessment tools from numerous organizations together into a convenient, searchable location and is available to practitioners anywhere. The tools are grouped into categories of: food security; market analysis; agricultural livelihoods; conflict; health and general tip sheets. Some can be downloaded directly from the site, others link to the sites of other organizations. All are open source. This is a quick, easy to search site that could save a lot of time and resources as we seek to avoid reinventing the wheel. Take a look and then let other people know that it exists.

Reducing urban violence through participatory methodologies by ifyouonlyreadonethingthisweek
March 14, 2007, 11:15 pm
Filed under: conflict, Development theory, If you have 30 mins

Caroline Moser, Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution writes a fascinating paper on how participatory methodologies typically used for poverty reduction are being used to try to reduce urban violence in developing countries. The paper can be found as a pdf here, and a summary is posted below. Continue reading

A Nation of Religious Illiterates? by ifyouonlyreadonethingthisweek
March 14, 2007, 11:06 pm
Filed under: Articles, Book reviews, If you only have 15 mins, Megatrend

Continue reading

Are the ‘Supertexts’ in the Contrarian’s Guide to Leadership relevant? by ifyouonlyreadonethingthisweek
March 14, 2007, 11:06 pm
Filed under: Articles, Book reviews, If you have time for longer reading!

In ‘The Contrarian’s Guide to Leadership‘, Steven Sample makes the case that effective leaders should be reading the things that others are not – the books that have been continually read for at least 400 years, and have influenced society and thinking to an extraordinary degree. Sample calls these ‘the supertexts’. Is he right, or is this simply a pretentious way to raise eyebrows by carrying around a copy of The Agamemnon of Aeschylus? Continue reading