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being an immigrant or living in a "slum" is a feature not a bug
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Five steps for a high well-being society

Five steps for a high well-being society | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it
It’s now eight years since David Cameron first declared that “it's time we focused not just on GDP, but on GWB - general well-being” and in that time the UK has become a global leader by measuring national well-being – but we have yet to make the leap from measurement to action.

. . . 

A new report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Wellbeing Economics, for which NEF acts as the secretariat, explodes both of these myths. The group, which includes parliamentarians from across the political spectrum, argues that well-being matters more, not less, in difficult economic times:  we care about recessions because we care about unemployment, and we care about unemployment because we care about people’s well-being. And they show that well-being offers a real alternative to business-as-usual policy making, from the way we run the economy to the way we run our schools.

 

The report is based on a nine-month inquiry which explored well-being in relation to four diverse policy areas. In each of these, the evidence threw up both some distinctive policy priorities and some fresh approaches to old problems. The report makes five key recommendations for building a high well-being society:

 

1) Focus on stable jobs, not growth

2) Promote shorter, more flexible working hours

3) More green spaces in our cities

4) Mindfulness training for doctors and teachers

5) Invest in arts and culture


Via Flora Moon
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Koru: Let's build a world your heart tells you is possible!

Koru: Let's build a world your heart tells you is possible! | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it
Help build a global community network for people to connect, share, and experiment with alternative ways of living! Resilience beyond current crises!
ddrrnt's insight:

Kuru is a grassroots initiative that is focused on the "radical reinterpretation of what it means to be 'human' by changing those stories and systems that no longer serve us, specifically those involving food, education, money, and community.


The 11 social activists and cultural visionaries who are spreading this vision come from around the world to resist the currents of the mainstream in favor of "community and smallness".  


They are aiming to crowdfund the development of a social network where local experiments, transitions stories, and indigenous wisdom can be cross-fertilized around the world.  


Please donate to Kuru's Indigogo.

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Towards a social change enlightenment

Towards a social change enlightenment | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

As David Bornstein claims, we are riding the verge of a social change enlightenment.


Successful social change programs are targeting the heart as well as the head, effecting change by appealing to ‘non-rational’ factors such as emotion, group identity, and relationships. (...)


At the heart of the social change enlightenment, there is a new emphasis on data and facts to evaluate the impact of social change programs. Where the historical exponents of Enlightenment used scientific experiments and logical arguments to explain the world, we are drawing on the infinite capacities of online data clouds and innovative data visualization tools to make social change challenges and solutions apparent to all. This is radically reducing costs and exponentially boosting the effectiveness of social change programs. (...)


Smart data can feed into social change in three main ways:


1. Data visualization. Visualizing problems makes it easier to respond to them. We see this in the world of crisis mapping. In the 2010 Haitian earthquake, Ushahidi’s crisis mapping tools were hailed as a breakthrough innovation.


2. ‘Socialize’ the process of systems change with smart interactive campaigns. Smart data doesn’t just enable us to visualize problems, it opens up new ways of mobilizing crowds to engage with them too. We can take inspiration here from flashmob culture and groups like ImprovEverywhere, who seek to create ‘scenes of chaos and joy in public places’.


3. Empower entrepreneurs to engage with social change initiatives. The most talented people in the world are not necessarily working for social change organizations. This doesn’t mean that they are not willing to pitch in and get involved. (...)


Our collective capacity today is truly miraculous. All that we need are tools to transform this capacity into millions of enlightened actions.


read more here.


OCTOBER 31, 2012

BY TIMRAYNER

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The Internet Is the New Town Hall and Soon Cities Will Be Listening

The Internet Is the New Town Hall and Soon Cities Will Be Listening | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

"Sentiment analysis" of social media could change the way you report potholes forever.


The challenge for cities is how they might parse social media sentiment about not just one dish detergent (or one frequently Googled query during flu season), but about numerous interlocking indexes of civic life. Are parents in Chicago supportive of the teachers’ strike? What are New York subway riders saying about that new trash program? Or Los Angelenos about the crackdown on pot dispensaries? Is there a flare-up of graffiti concern on the west side of the city? Or a collision on the east side about to erupt into an all-out traffic jam?

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Jeffrey Sachs on Immigration

Jeffrey Sachs on Immigration | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

"Continued immigration, across cultural and economic divides, is not only inevitable but also broadly beneficial. Immigrants deepen the ties that hold our world together. Today's migrants don't abandon their homelands, but bridge their homelands with their adopted countries. They make links, economic, cultural, and social. Immigration needs to be steady and sure, neither a floodgate nor a trickle. A floodgate would disrupt the long-term processes of social trust and institution building in the host and source countries. A trickle would allow a build-up of global pressures and illegal population movements to an intolerable degree." ~ Jeffery Sachs at Columbia University, New York in 2007.


highlights from his speech.

Arrival Cities on FB.

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Gamification, civic rewards and crowd sourcing strategies for connected and savvy cities

Gamification, civic rewards and crowd sourcing strategies for connected and savvy cities | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

Cities are the ground zero for digital innovation. The urbanization of the world now takes place in the digital era, where connectivity is a core feature of urban functions. Smart Cities are supposed to be networked cities where ICTs are a vehicle for community intelligence, for sustainable ecologic and social growth, as well as participatory actions and civic engagement. Technologies must be adaptable to urban environments, and the city must be hackable, changeable and suitable for digital/real participation, loosing –in quite reasonable terms – the the top-down schemes for urban planning and city management.


Via Beatrice Benne, David Hodgson
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Why Millennials Don't Want To Buy Stuff

Why Millennials Don't Want To Buy Stuff | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

Compared to previous generations, Millennials seem to have some very different habits that have taken both established companies and small businesses by surprise. One of these is that Generation Y doesn't seem to enjoy purchasing things.


The Atlantic's article "Why Don't Young Americans Buy Cars?" mused recently about Millennials' tendency to not care about owning a vehicle. The subtitle: "Is this a generational shift, or just a lousy economy at work?"


What if it's not an "age thing" at all? What's really causing this strange new behavior (or rather, lack of behavior)? Generational segments have profound impacts on perception and behavior, but an "ownership shift" isn't isolated within the Millennial camp. A writer for USA Today shows that all ages are in on this trend, but instead of an age group, he blames the change on the cloud, the heavenly home our entertainment goes to when current media models die. As all forms of media make their journey into a digital, de-corporeal space, research shows that people are beginning to actually prefer this disconnected reality to owning a physical product.

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Food sovereignty

Food sovereignty | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

Health is the base of a happily functioning society.

 

Next to mental well-being nutrition plays an important role in this to raise energy levels and concentration, as medicine, and most important for prevention.

 

Read on for Campesina’s seven principles of food sovereignty.  http://bit.ly/MHasUr

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Mariana Soffer's comment, July 1, 2012 1:16 PM
This is great dan
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The environment is the space in which we live, work, and play.

I tend to employ a definition more often used by those in the environmental justice movement–that the environment is the space in which we live, work, and play. It includes our parks and schools,  shops and workplaces, our homes and backyards.  Environmentalism includes the health effects of children living by freeways, the planning of a new sub-division in a city, the vegetables grown in the yard of a rural or urban home. Without understanding our environment as something in which we are a part, the chasm between “people” and “place,” “society” and “environment,” will continue to loom large.

 

I would like to argue that such a dichotomy is not, and must not be true; and that privileging the land over people, or vice versa, is not a “sustainable” behaviour. Yet all too often, it appears that one side of the equation is left out, depending on what sphere of influence one happens to travel within.  Social justice is often a forgotten cast-off in the environmental sphere, while environmental impacts become minimized by those privileging a social lens. Each side believes they are justified.

 

By: Darlene Seto
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A new kinder, open collaborative justice system is possible

Our justice system is problematic, people get sent to prison and get traumatized for life, family members get ripped from their family as they spend time in prison, innocent people languish in jail, and many poor people end up in jail more because they don’t have proper representation. Its a punitive system, where we feel like it is ok to treat people terribly because they are now ‘bad’. Its a system based on power and control of elements of criminal members of society, when what is considered criminal may not be widely agreed on within the society, e.g. usage of drugs


Via David Hodgson
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Diaspora giving: Young generation keen to make a change - FT.com

Diaspora giving: Young generation keen to make a change - FT.com | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it
Back in 2006, Give to Colombia (G2C), a US-based non-profit group that creates, promotes and facilitates alliances between international donors and grassroots organisations in Colombia, hosted a forum in Miami targeted at the US diaspora.
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The Social Responsibility of Business is Natural Resource Protection

The Social Responsibility of Business is Natural Resource Protection | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

Business today has a responsibility towards society and the environment - it cannot keep endlessly extracting resources without burning itself out.


Today business has a responsibility towards its stakeholders – customers and society at large are more aware of the negative impacts of business as usual. They want cleaner and more ethical products and services. Business today also has a responsibility towards the environment – it cannot keep endlessly extracting resources without consequence.


Resources like air, water, biodiversity, fossil fuels are the very building blocks upon which a successful business is built. With the rapid depletion of these essentials, business needs to learn to deal with the ominous constraint of environmental degradation. Even big business today needs to adapt towards a social entrepreneurship model in order to survive.



Via Flora Moon, David Hodgson
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What the Economic Crisis Really Means - and what we can do about it

Doing It Ourselves aims to broaden understanding of the debt crisis and peak resources and encourage action for the sake of personal preparedness, happiness and ethical living. This animation sums up the key challenges facing our global society of credit crisis and resource scarcity and describes a path we can take to a happier life, now and in the future! Find out more at http://www.doingitourselves.org

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America’s Deficit Attention Disorder

America’s Deficit Attention Disorder | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

Joblessness can easily be eliminated by putting the unemployed and underemployed to work meeting a vast range of unmet human needs from rebuilding and greening our physical infrastructure to providing essential human services, eliminating dependence on fossil fuels, and converting to systems of local organic food production. If the primary constraint is money, the Federal Reserve can be directed to create it and channel it to priority projects through a national infrastructure bank—a move that avoids enriching the bankers and does not create more debt.

 

In addition, we must:

 

1. Break up concentrations of unaccountable power.
2. Shift the economic priority from making money to serving life by replacing financial indicators with living wealth indicators as the basis for evaluating economic performance.
3. Eliminate extremes of wealth and poverty to create a true middle-class society.
4. Build a culture of mutual trust and caring.
5. Create a system of economic incentives that reward those who do productive work and penalize predatory financial speculation.
6. Restructure the global economy into a planetary system of networked bioregional economies that share information and technology and organize to live within their respective environmental means.

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El Salvador’s Historic Gang Truce May Show Pathway to Peace in the U.S. - COLORLINES

El Salvador’s Historic Gang Truce May Show Pathway to Peace in the U.S. - COLORLINES | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it
Activists in the United States are watching closely as El Salvador works to address the root causes of gang violence.

 

In mid-June members of rival gangs Mara Salvatrucha, also known as MS-13, and Barrio 18 in El Salvador marked 100 days of an historic gang truce. 

 

[...]

 

Rodriguez, the longtime writer, adds that restorative justice is about asking perpetrators and victims to restore what was taken away.

 

“You can’t restore lives or property damage, but you can restore trust,” Rodriguez says. “One of the ways you can do that is by getting gang members themselves to commit to community and to change. We’re not just talking about the least violent. It’s a very important concept. It has worked when we’ve done it in different parts of the US with people who were once some of the most violent. It works to restore trust within civil society and those that are on the margins of society. We want to get them back in. It’s another way to go, rather than just punishing people.”

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