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Nov 12, 2020

Universities Post COVID-19: Quo Vadis?

While many universities used technology as a stopgap measure to continue the delivery of education during the pandemic, few are reassessing what long-term measures are necessary to make their institutions more resilient in the face of future crises
Nov 12, 2020

Energy Storm: head-winds for most and tail-winds for few!

The oil & gas (O&G) sector has been hit by a perfect storm. It has witnessed a steep fall in commodity prices, a drastic reduction in demand and, to add to its woes, a growing negative public perception, especially in Western countries, against the use of fossil fuels.
Jul 30, 2018

Sharing the climate burden that falls on small island nations

Climate change is very much a product of wealthy industrialised nations - but the worst impact of more frequent and more extreme weather events will be felt far from their shores and borders.
Jul 30, 2018

Funding the future: is university education worth the investment?

Raising $30 million in just three months is a fundraising effort any charity would be proud of. ​ Brown University, one of the leading Ivy League universities in the US, did just that after announcing that it wanted to end student loans and offer scholarships instead.
Jul 30, 2018

Climate change is forcing millions of people from their homes

A report by the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) says an average of 21.7 million people have been forced from their homes by extreme weather-related events every year since 2008. That equates to 41 people every minute.
Jul 30, 2018

Three ways tech can help deliver the SDGs

The forces driving the Fourth Industrial Revolution – mobile devices, artificial intelligence, data analysis and young people’s love of tech – can also help deliver the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
Jul 30, 2018

How small ideas can provide global solutions

Small ideas might be more effective than grand policy plans when it comes to creating new jobs and delivering the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. This was the view of experts discussing ways to implement the SDGs at the 2018 World Government Summit in Dubai.
Jul 30, 2018

The scientific link between happiness and food

Comfort eating – the notion that certain foods will cheer us up when we are unhappy or make us better when we are ill – is familiar the world over. Popular favorites that stock our fridges and cupboards range from chicken soup to boiled eggs, and from chocolate to sweet desserts.
Jul 11, 2018

What have governments learnt from the Great Recession?

Wounds leave scars and the Great Recession is no exception. It was the longest and deepest global economic crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s. It is now just over a decade since the Great Recession began in the US, officially lasting from December 2007 to June 2009. During this period, much of Europe also fell into recession, while China and India both saw a slowdown in economic growth.
Jul 11, 2018

What needs to be done to protect the world’s oceans?

The oceans of the world are awash with thousands – and perhaps millions – of tonnes of plastics. This pollution poisons marine life, disrupts breeding and is harmful to the ocean’s natural rhythms, on which the earth is hugely dependent.
Jul 11, 2018

These books will help you understand the future

As the fourth industrial revolution gathers pace, we find ourselves living in an age where the latest innovations are consigned to the history books more quickly than ever. Take the iPod for example. It’s just 17 years since it revolutionised the way we listen to music, but Apple’s breakthrough is now close to being obsolete as digital streaming services replace music stored on devices.
Jul 11, 2018

How not to smother progress

Autonomous delivery robots could soon be a common sight in the US. Walnut Creek and Redwood City are both allowing companies to pilot the robots on their sidewalks. The states of Florida, Virginia, Idaho and Wisconsin have all passed a state laws that permit the use of unmanned delivery robots on sidewalks and in crosswalks. But one city, San Francisco is bucking the trend.
Jul 11, 2018

How to build societies to be inclusive of ageing populations

On an individual level, the ageing process can be a cause of pain and despair that forces many people to radically alter how they live. ​ The same is also true for countries. Increasingly, they are having to cope with populations in which the old outnumber the young.
Jul 11, 2018

Supervolcanoes are real, and governments are not prepared

An erupting volcano is one of the most awe-inspiring and fear-inducing forces on our planet. Our continuing fascination with the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79AD that destroyed the ancient Italian city of Pompeii, shows the grip that volcanoes have on the human psyche. They leave humans feeling helpless and vulnerable to their immense destructive power.
Jul 11, 2018

Why happiness has to start at the top

For years government involvement in citizen’s happiness has been largely limited to the extent it correlates with wealth: increasing GDP is often seen as the main factor determining contentment. ​
Jul 11, 2018

AI can solve problems – when will it tell us which ones need solving most?

Artificial intelligence still often seems like a far-distant, science-fiction like dream that will be delivered at some uncertain point in the future. ​ Yet organizations and governments are already using AI in ways many of us do not fully appreciate or understand. Some of these may seem relatively benign, such as social media platforms that use facial recognition to connect you to friends or shopping sites that look at your past purchases to make recommendations.
Jul 11, 2018

How to ensure that biotechnology is used for the good of humankind

We are living in an age where scientific advances seem almost miraculous. Living organisms can be modified for our own purpose. Biotechnology can edit DNA, opening the door to possibilities as enormous as changing the course of human disease or ending world hunger.
Jul 11, 2018

Could an AI ever replace a judge in court?

Xiaofa stands in Beijing No 1 Intermediate People’s Court, offering legal advice and helping the public get to grips with legal terminology. She knows the answer to more than 40,000 litigation questions and can deal with 30,000 legal issues. Xiaofa is a robot.
Apr 08, 2018

Elon Musk: AI will be like being visited by super-intelligent aliens

Artificial intelligence will be both an aid and a threat to humanity, according to tech and space entrepreneur Elon Musk, who says that in the near future having a discussion with an artificial intelligent machine would be like “being visited by super-intelligent aliens”.
Apr 08, 2018

How bad is Bitcoin crime?

As its value has skyrocketed, cryptocurrency Bitcoin has emerged from tech nerd obscurity to become a topic of mainstream conversation.
Apr 08, 2018

Who owns the water on Mars and the resources in Space?

A new gold rush is set to take place beyond earth’s atmosphere as commercial adventurers seek to strip asteroids of their rare minerals and precious metals.
Apr 08, 2018

How do we ensure the happiness of the next generation through education?

Young people are struggling with the pressures of life and between 10%-20% of them are likely to experience mental health problems as a result. Half of all mental illnesses begin by the age of 14, and three-quarters by mid-20s, according to a World Health Organization report.
Apr 08, 2018

How AI is transforming governments

The workplace transformation being shaped by developing technologies such as artificial intelligence will apply to governments as much to the private sector.
Apr 08, 2018

This app is providing digital therapy to fight depression

The biggest problem with our addiction to smart devices is that we cannot avoid using them. One consequence of that is that our ability to pay attention, connect with others and remember things is decreasing as the amount of time we spend online increases, says Professor Saki Santorelli, former head of the University of Massachusetts’s Center for Mindfulness
Mar 25, 2018

Could the Facebook data scandal change the way we regulate tech firms?

Are we witnessing a fundamental shift in power between the world’s tech giants and governments? It may well be that when we look back at the evolution of companies such as Facebook, Google and Twitter, 2018 stands out as a turning point. The tech sector, often characterized as the new ‘Wild West’, unburdened by regulation and largely left to police itself, finds itself under unprecedented scrutiny. And the scandal surrounding Facebook and the Cambridge Analytica data breach could end up hastening moves to rein in the industry.
Mar 21, 2018

Why data is a blessing and a curse for companies

Data is used for everything, from working out which films a streaming service recommends you watch, to whether or not you are eligible for a loan. ​ The growth of data has created a huge opportunity to increase understanding of consumers. As former Hewlett-Packard chief executive Carly Fiorina puts it, “The goal is to turn data into information and information into insight.”
Mar 21, 2018

This is the subject Elon Musk says young people need to study to be successful in the future

What advice would billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk give to young people who want to be successful? Simple: study physics. ​ The SpaceX and Tesla co-founder was speaking at the World Government Summit in Dubai.
Mar 14, 2018

What are 5 Steps to Happier Citizens

A few years ago, the idea that government was responsible for the “happiness” of its citizens would elicit raised eyebrows. Happiness, after all, was too delicate a topic to arise from the dispassionate halls of government bureaucracies.
Mar 12, 2018

Why do driverless cars crash?

Long predicted by science fiction visionaries including Philip K Dick and Isaac Asimov, autonomous vehicles are finally becoming a reality. Their arrival is only possible thanks to computers, which can crunch massive amounts of data quickly, and the internet, which allows that information to be transferred from data centre to moving car faster than human thought.
Mar 12, 2018

Elon Musk on why the world needs a universal basic income

High-tech mechanisation will make it necessary for states to provide citizens with a basic income to ease social inequality, according to serial tech entrepreneur Elon Musk. During a live session at the World Government Summit in Dubai in February 2017, SpaceX founder and Tesla CEO Musk said that the knock-on effects of robots and artificial intelligence taking away employment was something policy makers should watch.
Mar 12, 2018

This is the future of passports

Every day, millions of people use data generated by their bodies – their voices, faces, irises and fingerprints – to gain access to offices, secure government sites and financial services. But biometric data has the power to produce even more sweeping changes: digital identities could soon be used to allow us to cross national borders without needing paper passports – documents that can be tampered with, forged, lost or simply taken away.
Mar 12, 2018

Quick and cost-effective new weapons are needed to fight malaria

Malaria – a life-threatening disease that blights the lives of million in mostly developing economies – affected 216 million people in 91 countries in 2016, killing 445,000. The illness, caused by parasites spread by infected female Anopheles mosquitoes, most frequently occurs in countries with poor infrastructure, sparse health facilities and far-flung communities.
Mar 12, 2018

Will governments ever fully accept bitcoin? ​

There is no shortage of hype and speculation surrounding the value of bitcoin. The virtual currency is either the next big thing or simply the latest in a long line of tech bubbles soon to burst, depending on your point of view.
Mar 12, 2018

How one individual can influence your opinion

How easy is it to spot people who are telling the truth in a world where disinformation has become a tool of statecraft? How do you discern what’s really going on when “fake news” is a criticism levelled against anyone who expresses an opposing view?
Mar 12, 2018

Here are this year’s top emerging technologies

As tech innovation continues to race ahead, we hear more and more about the growth of artificial intelligence and automation, and the different world they will create – with everything from driverless cars to deliveries by drone. But behind the headlines and the hype, what will this year bring us in terms of new useable tech? What will really change, and what promises to make a genuine difference?
Mar 12, 2018

Money for nothing: the world's biggest universal income experiment ​

How will people earn a living when machines do everything? Human work that has long been threatened – and in some cases already taken over – includes assembly line and low-skilled manual labour. But middle-class careers such as journalism, marketing, law and even medicine may be going the same way. So it is no surprise that there has been a rise in interest in the idea that everyone should be paid a basic living, whether or not they work.
Mar 12, 2018

Terrorism in the worst affected countries is on the decline ​

While headlines around the world might suggest that the risk of terrorism is forever on the rise, the reality is that fewer people are dying in terror-related incidents.
Mar 12, 2018

What’s so controversial about referendums?

Anyone in any doubt about the disruptive power of the referendum need only look to Europe’s recent experience. Just over a year after the UK voted to leave the European Union at the end of a hard fought and controversial referendum, Spain was dealing with the fallout from its own bitterly contested vote.
Mar 12, 2018

Just how secure is bitcoin?

Bitcoin has enjoyed a startling rise in value since it first appeared in 2009. Then it was valued at $0.5cents. It hit a high of just above $18,000 per coin in December 2017, but it is highly volatile and fell by more than $4,000 in one week.
Mar 12, 2018

What will AI mean for small cities?

The extent to which a person’s job is impacted by new technology may depend on the size of the town or city they live in. While past studies considered how tech innovations such as deep machine learning and automation will affect different job types and skills, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s report is the first to look at how automation will vary for different population centres.
Mar 05, 2018

Your sense of smell changes throughout the day

Smell sensitivity varies over the course of a day, new research suggests. The pattern, according to the data collected by studying 37 teens, tracks with the body’s internal day-night cycle, or circadian rhythm.
Mar 05, 2018

AI-Assisted Detection Identifies Colon Cancer Automatically and in Real-Time

Advances in medical research are growing side-by-side the development of artificial intelligence. Cancer diagnostic tests are now employing AI to be more effective in spotting the growth of tumors, and a new study shows how effective these could be.
Mar 05, 2018

Why we can’t rely on corporations to save us from climate change

While businesses have been principal agents in increasing greenhouse gas emissions, they are also seen by many as crucial to tackling climate change. However, research shows how corporations’ ambitious pro-climate proposals are systematically degraded by criticism from shareholders, media, governments, other corporations and managers.
Mar 05, 2018

Financial literacy is a public policy problem

The global financial crisis showed us how rapidly financial contagion can spread - one person’s debt is another person’s asset, so when the debt is written off so is the asset. However, there has been little improvement in financial literacy in the wake of the financial crisis, the lack of which was one of the underlying causes.
Mar 05, 2018

An Artificial Intelligence Has Officially Been Granted Residency

Tokyo, Japan may have just become the first city to officially grant residence to an artificial intelligence (AI). The intelligence’s name is Shibuya Mirai and exists only as a chatbot on the popular Line messaging app. Mirai, which translates to ‘future’ from Japanese, joins Hanson Robotic’s “Sophia” as pioneering AI gaining statuses previously reserved for living, biological entities. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia granted Sophia citizenship last month.
Mar 05, 2018

Food security looks very different depending on where you are sitting

In 1974, the World Food Conference declared that: “Every man, woman and child has the inalienable right to be free from hunger and malnutrition in order to develop their physical and mental faculties.” The conference set as its goal the eradication of hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition within a decade.
Mar 05, 2018

A beacon of urban renewal: how post-industrial Dundee transformed itself

Cities have woken up to the fact that a vibrant cultural offering makes people want to live there, and the numbers back this up. New York is home to nearly 14,000 arts-related businesses employing nearly 300,000 people and generating revenues of $230 billion each year. London’s creative industry sector is worth £35 billon and employs around 800,000 people.
Mar 05, 2018

The more air pollution, the more mental distress

The higher the level of particulates in the air, a new study shows, the greater the indications of psychological distress.
Mar 05, 2018

Humans Are the “Dominant Cause” of Global Warming, According to the Latest U.S. Government Study

The largest government report on climate science clearly indicates that human activity has contributed to climate change and higher global temperatures. The national climate assessment has been prepared by experts from 13 institutions.
Mar 05, 2018

Wise Happiness

What makes a good life? Three answers stand out – happiness and pleasure (feeling good), meaning and purpose (doing good) and wisdom and virtue (being good). Positive Psychology, the science of well-being, has so far focussed mostly on happiness. A number of pioneering nations like the UAE, Bhutan and, to a lesser extent, the UK are beginning to promote happiness as a public policy objective.
Feb 18, 2018

Where to find the world's cleanest air

The demand for cleaner air is being forced up national agendas as a spate of scientific studies warn that pollution could become a global health risk comparable with smoking and obesity.
Feb 18, 2018

A beacon of urban renewal: how post-industrial Dundee transformed itself

Creativity and culture have always contributed enormously to the evolution of our societies, but in recent years there has been a growing realisation of the value of the arts as an economic driver.
Feb 10, 2018

An Artificial Intelligence Has Officially Been Granted Residency

Tokyo, Japan may have just become the first city to officially grant residence to an artificial intelligence (AI). The intelligence’s name is Shibuya Mirai and exists only as a chatbot on the popular Line messaging app. Mirai, which translates to ‘future’ from Japanese, joins Hanson Robotic’s “Sophia” as pioneering AI gaining statuses previously reserved for living, biological entities. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia granted Sophia citizenship last month.
Feb 10, 2018

Why do People Believe Fake News?

The disinformation epidemic sweeping the world these days reflects the (economic) logic of supply and demand.
Dec 08, 2017

Access to family planning cut child poverty

Children born after the introduction of family planning programs in the US from 1964 through 1973 had household incomes 2.8 percent higher than those born before, researchers report.
Dec 08, 2017

Politics in schools? Yes, if we want children to be active citizens

The rights of children have come under the spotlight in South Africa recently. Corporal punishment, which has been banned in the country’s schools since 1996, is now also illegal in the home.
Dec 08, 2017

The UK’s Biggest Solar Farm Could Be Built Sans Government Help

Developers have submitted a proposal for the largest solar farm in the U.K., and they plan to build it without the help of government subsidies. The 900-acre site would provide enough power for about 110,000 homes and could be online as soon as 2020.
Dec 08, 2017

Americans are working longer but aren’t as healthy

Americans born in 1960 will be able to start collecting their full Social Security retirement check at the age of 67—two years later than their parents—because of a change in the federal retirement age enacted in 1983.
Dec 08, 2017

Finland’s brain drain: what happens to small countries when the talent leaves?

Young Finnish professionals are attracted to major European capitals. They move to Stockholm, Berlin and Amsterdam, as well as farther away. The sun shines in Dubai; the world’s top organisations and institutes are in New York and Washington. The occupations of these migrants are manifold: bankers, graphic designers, computer engineers, photographers and researchers, to name only a few.
Dec 08, 2017

Survey reveals young people more likely to support universal basic income, but it’s not a left-right thing

Preliminary analysis of a European-wide survey has found young people are more in favour of introducing a universal income than their older peers. Support for such a scheme also varies considerably across Europe, with Russians the most supportive and many Scandinavians the least.
Dec 08, 2017

US health care system: A patchwork that no one likes

Almost all parties agree that the health care system in the U.S., which is responsible for about 17 percent of our GDP, is badly broken. Soaring costs, low quality, insurance reimbursements and co-payments confusing even to experts, and an ever-growing gap between rich and poor are just some of the problems.
Dec 08, 2017

Colombia: how universities can help to build lasting peace

After more than 50 years of conflict, the recent peace agreement in Colombia marks a historic ceasefire between the government and rebel groups. It also poses great challenges, as the various parts of Colombian society learn to adjust.
Dec 08, 2017

European Nation Set to Be 100% Renewable in Two Years

All over the world, countries are minimizing their reliance on fossil fuels. In Scotland, authorities have confirmed that by 2020, all electricity will come from renewable sources.
Dec 08, 2017

Cities are gaining power in global politics – can the UN keep up?

Over the past two years, urban issues – from sustainability in the built environment, to inequality in cities – have become an international priority. Cities, in turn, are taking on a more important role in global politics; the growth of city diplomacy has forged hundreds of city networks and thousands of transnational initiatives.
Dec 08, 2017

Historical poverty reductions: more than a story about ‘free-market capitalism’

The share of people living in extreme poverty around the world has fallen continuously over the last two centuries.
Dec 07, 2017

Designing suburbs to cut car use closes gaps in health and wealth

Having to own multiple cars comes at a cost to the finances and health of residents in the sprawling outer suburbs
Dec 07, 2017

Are emerging economies deindustrializing too quickly?

The patterns of structural transformation in developing countries are different to those of advanced, post-industrial economies. Specifically, emerging economies have been deindustrializing more quickly.
Dec 07, 2017

This is a hearing app that can screen people in rural areas

Hearing loss is a major contributor to the global burden of disease, affecting over 360 million people, but the greatest burden of hearing loss is in developing world regions such as sub-Saharan Africa, South-east Asia, and the Asia Pacific – home to more than 80% of people with hearing loss.
Dec 07, 2017

Our eyes are drawn to meaning, not shiny objects

Our visual attention homes in on the parts of a scene that have meaning, not those that “stick out” most, new research suggests.
Dec 07, 2017

Outdated regulations halt Uber in its tracks, but innovation must prevail

When regulations are out of date, or can be circumvented by new technologies or new ways of doing things, new entrants can disrupt incumbents by innovating outside of the reach of regulators.
Dec 07, 2017

Scientists Have a Plan to Stop Climate Change — Dim the Sun

Researchers are using computer modeling to test the effects of solar geoengineering on rates of coral bleaching. The practice could reduce or eliminate the rate of climate change but the side effects are still unknown.
Dec 07, 2017

Machine Learning Is Making it Difficult to Tell Humans and Computers Apart

"For common sense to be effective it needs to be amenable to answer a variety of hypotheticals — a faculty that we call imagination."
Dec 07, 2017

Singapore Will Stop Adding New Cars to Its Roads in 2018

Singapore will stop issuing new vehicle permits starting February of 2018. The government points to limited space available in the city-state as the reason for the halt in vehicle growth.
Dec 07, 2017

Youth engagement with politics can help them progress later in life

Social action and engagement may help marginalized teens in their careers later in life, particularly if teachers help them discuss and engage with social issues, new research suggests.
Dec 07, 2017

Mexico City has 79 governments responding to two massive earthquakes – the results are patchy, at best

Governing Greater Mexico City – the largest and most populated city in North America – is a great challenge. Its 22m inhabitants are spread out unevenly over an area roughly ten times larger than New York City. It is governed by one federal, two state and 76 municipal governments, each with overlapping responsibilities.
Dec 07, 2017

Are we hardwired to pick up crying babies?

Newborn babies have a remarkable amount of power. Though there are few things they can do for themselves, they can manipulate the world around them by summoning help with a simple wail. Caregivers, especially parents, are particularly sensitive to infants’ cries, which we’d expect because caregivers have an interest in looking after their babies’ needs – they want them to survive.
Dec 07, 2017

Could we soon have a host of habitable alien worlds?

Researchers from NASA's Goddard Institute have proposed a new way of looking at the habitability of exoplanets. Instead of relying on the usual one-dimensional approach, they considered observing a candidate planet using three dimensions.
Dec 07, 2017

Daydreaming is a sign you’re intelligent and creative

Daydreaming may indicate intelligence and creativity, according to new research.
Dec 07, 2017

The Next Most Powerful Supercomputer in the U.S. Is Almost Complete

At the Oak Ridge National Labs, experts are building what's expected to be the most powerful supercomputer in the world — or at least, in the U.S. Built together with IBM and powered by NVIDIA, the Summit supercomputer will be operational in 2018.
Dec 06, 2017

Deepest sleep may be vital for visual learning

Certain visual learning takes hold in the brain during sleep, new research suggests.
Dec 06, 2017

China Has Shut Down Up to 40% of Its Factories in an Unprecedented Stand Against Pollution

China has begun to severely crack down on factories that have been flouting their emissions regulations. The country has shut down 40 percent of its factories to battle the immense pollution levels in the nation.
Dec 06, 2017

China bans foreign waste – but what will happen to the world’s recycling?

The dominant position that China holds in global manufacturing means that for many years China has also been the largest global importer of many types of recyclable materials. Last year, Chinese manufacturers imported 7.3m metric tonnes of waste plastics from developed countries including the UK, the EU, the US and Japan.
Dec 06, 2017

Magnetic Particles Could Lead to an Entirely New Form of Data Storage

New research has shown that an exotic kind of magnetic behavior discovered just a few years ago holds great promise as a way of storing data — one that could overcome fundamental limits that might otherwise be signaling the end of “Moore’s Law,” which describes the ongoing improvements in computation and data storage over recent decades.
Dec 05, 2017

How your commute time could be cut by 90%

After you sit down, the doors close silently and the pod slides into a large, round metal tube. Suddenly, you become aware of a sensation of movement, as if you’re in an elevator travelling forward or an aircraft that’s just taking off. It’s not unpleasant.
Dec 05, 2017

Is mindfulness made up?

When Siddhartha Gautama spoke these words around 1500 years ago, it’s fair to assume he wasn’t really thinking ahead. But the man who most of us know better as Buddha was talking about a technique which has since become wildly popular around the world.
Dec 05, 2017

Why we need to develop the world’s cyber resilience

Thousands of computer terminals throughout the National Health Service went blank for a moment before displaying a simple note, “Your files have been encrypted”.
Dec 05, 2017

This is why ash could be critical to securing your next phone upgrade

When the last mine in the small town of Cinovic in the Czech Republic closed in 1993, not only did the workers lose their jobs, the region lost an major economic lifeline.
Dec 05, 2017

A wind farm the size of India could power the world

Wind power swept into the headlines recently when Germany’s wind turbines created so much electricity that customers were effectively paid to use it
Dec 05, 2017

France is experimenting with a radically different approach to education

It used to be said that a French education minister could open the national curriculum - the programme d'enseignement obligatoire - and know exactly what every pupil in the country was learning that day.
Dec 05, 2017

Why aren't young people engaged with governments?

Today’s young adults have grown up online, connected in ways that their older counterparts are unlikely to ever fully understand. In the developed world in particular, the so-called “digital natives” have had access to an effectively limitless source of news, information and entertainment their entire lives.