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Showing posts from March, 2012

Links & Contents I Liked 19

Welcome to my 101st blog post!
In addition to stories that have caught my attention elsewhere in the past week, there are two new posts available here. My reflections on the notorious Kony 2012 documentary and how it became a pop-cultural phenomenon venture more into a 'creative writing' space than usual. And my book review of Lynda Gratton's 'The Shift' about the future of work tries to link her main themes to the question of whether and how the 'development industry' is already representing the 'future of work' for many of us. This week also features a few links to posts that deal with 'writing' more generally-how to deal with rejections from publishers, reflections on (bad) book reviews and a few more thought on the 'how to' of blogging development. My featured 'long read of the week' is a fantastic essay by Arundhati Roy (HT: Andrea Cornwall) on capitalism in India and elsewhere featuring one of the most brilliant poetic t…

Book review of ‘The Shift-The future of work is already here’

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Is development the future of work? 
We are now facing a revolution in the way we work. A substantial schism in the past which is so great that the work we do will change - possibly so that in two decades our working lives will have been so REWORKED that they are unrecognisable. This is not just about the impact that a low carbon economy will have on the way we work. It is also about how the nexus of technology and globalisation will work together with demographic and societal changes to fundamentally transform much of what we take for granted about work.
Why will things change so quickly? What will these changes look like? Who will benefit and who will suffer? How do we navigate our career through these times?

Lynda Gratton, Professor at London Business School, is the perfect person to answer these questions. For the past three years she has worked with companies around the world to draw up a picture of the Future of Work.

I’m usually not a big business school book person and predictions a…

Forever Young: Kony 2012 and the quest for teenage belonging and community

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I participated in a great panel on Friday, discussing Invisible Children (IC) and the Kony 2012 documentary and campaign with students at Dalhousie University.

I had a real Aha moment when a representative from the local IC chapter spoke about his involvement with the organisation, how they showed a rough cut of the documentary at an event his high school attended a few years ago and how he hosted the IC Roadies and a teenager from Uganda who spoke about his experience as a child soldier. ‘After the event, I knew that I wanted to be part of this movement’. Wow...the moment every social, political or religious campaigner dreams about.

Maybe the screenshots from Jay-Z and Mr. Hudson’s ‘Young Forever’ video (only 50.6 million views...) make more sense now. At least, from the first time I watched Kony 2012 the aesthetics reminded me of this and other Jay-Z music videos.
Prior to launching the documentary IC did all the important grassroots work-and lots of it. They toured around North Ame…

Links & Contents I Liked 18

Hello all,

Some hopefully interesting reads this week, featuring the challenges of a single narrative vs. complex, incremental change (Nepal, poverty and 'Why Nations Fail'), interesting reflections on ICT4D and openess, a great three-generational essay on women and teaching and more on academic publishing and peer-reviewing!
Enjoy!

New on aidnography
Boycotting Elsevier – when are politicians, grant makers and search committees speaking out?
I do support most of the arguments of the petition, but I also believe that this should not be about a single company or business model. Elsevier has been cashing in on the ‘impact culture’, an academic culture that is supported by more than expensive peer-reviewed journals with impact factors. The drive to prove ‘impact’ that higher education politicians, grant-making organisations and search committees have been demanding led to a situation where journal publications have become status symbols and the publishing industry realised that they a…

Boycotting Elsevier – when are politicians, grant makers and search committees speaking out?

The debate around the boycott of Elsevier that more than 8,400 scientists have signed already is an important one. But the publisher-researcher relationship and the high cost of knowledge for university libraries should only be one aspect in this debate. Don’t get me wrong: I do support most of the arguments of the petition, but I also believe that this should not be about a single company or business model. Elsevier has been cashing in on the ‘impact culture’, an academic culture that is supported by more than expensive peer-reviewed journals with impact factors. The drive to prove ‘impact’ that higher education politicians, grant-making organisations and search committees have been demanding led to a situation where journal publications have become status symbols and the publishing industry realised that they are a key player in this discourse. The ‘evaluation culture’ that has been established for the neoliberal research and teaching industry focuses on measurable products – and jo…

Links & Contents I Liked 17

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Hello all,

The development blogosphere was dominated with Kony 2012 discussions. WhyDev's 'Reader's digest of Kony 2012' is still an excellent starting place to catch up with the debate. I presented and discussed '#Kony2012, social media & the ethics of DIY development' with University of King's College journalism students, focussing on the dilemmas of engaging with a single, powerful and unrefutable narrative, every campaigners dream, what happens once you start asking questions and what the implications may be for a new breed of DIY aid initiatives and philantropical endeavours.


Kony2012, social media & the ethics of DIY development


And before I'll turn to the more 'mundane' finds on development and academia, I would encourage you to watch 'The Governance Gap', a documentary that is part of my IDS colleague Marjoke Oosterom's doctoral research:
The Governance Gap (2011) is a documentary about the legacy of the LRA conflict …