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Brexit Is Making Us Blind To The Real Jobs Crisis

With more twists than many a TV soap opera and implications that will live with us for generations, it’s not surprising our public discourse is fixated on Brexit. But is it making us ignorant of the macrotrends that will have far greater consequences in the long run?

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The Shameful Treatment Of Refugees Shows Why A Rethink Is Required

Like any other group of people, refugees are a resource, a basket of abilities and talents which, if harnessed and integrated appropriately, will be an asset wherever they settle

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Rwanda's foreign minister Louise Mushikiwabo, pictured here at the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, is one of the women making up 61 per cent of politicians in parliament / Bloomberg

Despite setbacks, women are closing the gender pay gap. But there’s still plenty to fight for

We need to see a much deeper cultural and social change before we can truly claim gender inequalities are a thing of the past, says professor Henrietta Moore

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The Democracy Deficit

In the age of political uncertainty and increasing mistrust of government, we need local, community-led projects to help redefine our ideas of effective citizen engagement now more than ever. It seems like everywhere we look right now we see democracy in crisis.

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Credit: Bloomberg
Pepper the humanoid robot on display at SoftBank Robot World in Tokyo, Japan, this week. The organisers envisage a future where one trillion devices are connected to the internet and technology is integrated into humans

Artificial intelligence will enhance us, not replace us

In his 1990 book The Age of Intelligent Machines, the American computer scientist and futurist Ray Kurzweil made an astonishing prediction. Working at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) throughout the 1970s and 1980s and having seen firsthand the remarkable advances in artificial intelligence pioneered there by Marvin Minsky and others, he forecast that a computer would pass the Turing test – the test of a machine’s ability to match or be indistinguishable from human intelligence – between 2020 and 2050.

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Democratising food: Why sustainable prosperity depends on a radical rethink in our approach to agriculture

Have we reached ‘peak democracy’?

Certainly, if we look at some global measures of democratic societies, it looks as though progress has stalled – and perhaps even gone into reverse.

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Credit: Prospect Magazine

Forget a basic income—here’s how Universal Basic Services could fund housing and transport for all

A state service provision could help our society cope with a changing job market. And best of all: it could be fiscally neutral

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Institute for Global Prosperity publish first report on Universal Basic Services

At a time of austerity, it is sometimes difficult to remember that the UK is one of the richest countries on the planet. Rising homelessness and the use of foodbanks are just a couple of indicators that a portion of our society is being left behind. In a move to rethink the country’s economic strategy, the Institute for Global Prosperity has published a paper that recommends an overhaul to conventional government policies.

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The Brexiteers’ ‘Bitter Medicine’ Will Widen Our Prosperity Gulf

If the Brexit vote tells us anything, it is surely this: that despite being ‘the fifth largest economy’ in raw GDP terms, many people do not feel prosperous. Britain has preferred to paper over the cracks of widening inequality and social unease in recent decades by hiding behind ostensibly high output-per-capita statistics inflated by City salaries. Last June, the simmering volcano of resentment exploded in the most spectacular fashion.

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To fight desertification we need to drive diversity on farms and plates

Farmland in Kenya’s north has deteriorated because of loss of soil nutrients and agro-biodiversity, putting livelihoods of 12 million people at risk.

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Philip Hammond poses for the cameras in Downing St ahead of the Budget

Here’s What ‘Spreadsheet Phil’ Should Have Done For A Truly Radical Budget

It’s true that the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, was able to produce a few headline-grabbing giveaways, especially around housing, an issue which the Prime Minister has pledged to take “personal charge” of solving. Cue an apparent injection of £44bn into housebuilding designed to see 300,000 new homes per year delivered by the middle of the next decade.

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Professor Henrietta Moore

Our Welfare System Needs A Radical Overhaul. It’s Time For Universal Basic Services

If the uproar created by the rollout of the Government’s new Universal Credit benefits system has shown us anything, it’s how fiendishly complex our current welfare system is.

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New York, NY USA - July 16, 2016: Donald Trump speaks during introduction Governor Mike Pence as running for vice president at Hilton hotel Midtown Manhattan

‘Making America Great Again’ Needs To Start With A Cold, Hard Look In The Mirror

The post-mortem of Donald Trump’s surprise victory in the US elections has focused on how the winner’s incendiary campaign rhetoric galvanised people eager for change.

But aside from the generalised kickback against ‘globalisation’ expressed at the ballot box, the key question remains: What is gnawing away at US prosperity?

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Cities must be reimagined for global demographic change

The world is in the midst of an unprecedented demographic change. According to the World Economic Forum, before 2020, over-65s will make up a greater proportion of the global population than under fives. Along with this, three million people move to cities each week, with current projections suggesting 2.5 billion people will be added to urban populations globally by 2050. These factors, along with the growing reality of climate change pose an unprecedented challenge to the current economic way of being.

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Populism’s Hatred Of Diversity Will Kill Prosperity

In the days since the US election result, much has been made of the ‘whitelash’ that appears to have propelled Donald Trump to the highest office in the land.

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Migration is a part of today’s world. We can’t just shut the borders, whatever the Leave campaign tells you

And so our membership of one of the world’s greatest multinational partnerships has been reduced to a single-issue protest over immigration. The dog whistle has been dispensed with. Now, with less than a week to go, those who wish us to leave the European Union have plugged their rhetoric into a speaker that emits a continuous low but all too audible hum.

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If we leave Europe, the price will be paid by the poor

Henrietta Moore comments on the Brexit campaign in the New Statesman

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What should the UK do about foreign aid?

The UK is about to pass legislation committing it to ringfencing 0.7% of gross national income for international development spending. Prof Henrietta Moore offers a personal perspective on the way forward.

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SDGs: We are all developing countries now

As the European refugee crisis worsens, the UN summit in New York to agree on the new sustainable development goals (SDGs) couldn’t come at a more pressing time. Mass movement from the so-called developing world into the EU is a reminder of the stark global inequalities the 17 proposed goals and 169 targets are designed to address.

What’s different – and crucial – this time is that the raft of new targets are being applied universally. Unlike their predecessors, the millennium development goals (MDGs), which only applied to those countries deemed to be “developing”, the SDGs will require all nations to work towards them.

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Can SDGs spark radical approaches to philanthropy?

Professor Henrietta Moore ponders the potential effects of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on philanthropy in a recent article in Alliance Magazine.

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Davos: how can an event that’s 82% male solve the digital gender divide?

Read Henrietta Moore’s take on Davos 2016 in The Guardian (19 January 2016)

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Beyond GDP: Henrietta Moore’s Development Predictions for 2016

“In 2016 we need to jettison our obsession with economic “growth” and instead focus on how we achieve genuine prosperity.” Henrietta Moore shares her thoughts on the trends and breakthroughs for 2016 on the Bond UK website.

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Antibiotic resistance shows how our growth-at-any-cost model is destroying itself

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) already accounts for roughly 700,000 deaths per year globally and has been forecast to rise to 10 million deaths by 2050. The scariest thing is that we’ve known about this possible outcome for decades and done nothing to prevent it, Henrietta Moore writes in The Independent.

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image source: Wikimedia

The Mediterranean migrant crisis, big business and climate change

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BE Kipkorir

Benjamin Kipkorir, 1940-2015

I was very saddened to learn of the passing of Dr Benjamin Kipkorir on 20 May 2015. Born in 1940 in Kapsowar, Elgeyo-Marakwet District in Kenya, Ben was the pre-eminent Marakwet intellectual. Through his work on the Marakwet, he made an enormous contribution to the history and anthropology of Kenya, championing oral historical techniques as well as ‘ethnography of the self’ in the days beforepostcolonial reflexivity had become established. Ben’s support and astute critique has been present from the very beginning of my academic career, when I arrived in Kenya as a PhD student. In fact, in 1981 he convened the conference at the University of Nairobi where I gave the very first paper on my Marakwet research, and his edited collection The Kerio Valley contained my first publication. It’s hard to believe that his kindly, wise, critical voice will no longer be heard.

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Should the Commonwealth go the same way as the British Empire?

You probably didn’t realise it, but today is Commonwealth Day. In fact, it’s likely that the vast majority of the 2.2 billion people around the world who call one of the 53 Commonwealth nations home didn’t know either. Fifty years ago – and earlier, as Empire Day – this would have been a day of celebration for people in Britain, India, Nigeria and many other places besides. But with every passing year, it seems, the ‘ties that bind’ Britain and its former colonies together are loosening.

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Tjuvholmen new district, Bryggegangen cafe and restaurant area, Oliva Pizzeria restaurant

Why Scandinavia is not the model for global prosperity we should all pursue

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Let’s be honest about immigration – it’s about work, not benefits

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ebola scientists

“Ebola is a product of a destructive and exploitative global economic system”

Like a sleepwalker roused from his dream, the world is slowly waking up to the full nightmare of the Ebola outbreak decimating west Africa. With small numbers of cases turning up in western countries, governments here are belatedly pledging action to fight the disease, which has already claimed almost 5,000 lives. Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea – all countries struggling to recover from wars still fresh in the memory – have buckled under the onslaught of this horrific virus.

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“We need a new model of economic growth”

Sitting here on a beautiful day in London with all the newspaper headlines saying the feel-good factor is coming back, it’s very easy to think that everything that’s happened since 2008 was just a terrible nightmare and now we can all relax. But I do not believe that is the case. This week the Sunday Times Rich List quoted the largest ever annual growth in wealth of the richest people in the UK and the recent OECD report put inequality at the highest rate for several decades. If you look at the American figures, from 1976 to 2007, 1% of the population in the USA took 40% of the income.

Read Henrietta L. Moore on her new UCL Institute in the NewStart online magazine, 21 May 2014

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Evil: what’s in a word?

What does it take to get someone to go into a shopping mall with an AK47 and mow down random strangers? A failure of those acts of imagination that connect us to people we have never known.

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Protest politics and the ethical imagination

Protest, like marriage, means re-imagining relations to self and other. The Taksim Square Book Club used reflection as a riposte to state brutality. The ethical imagination is at the root of this.

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Nikiforos Lytras, Antigone in front of the dead Polynices (1865)

LSE Review of Books: The books that inspired Henrietta Moore

In this new post for the LSE Review of Books, Henrietta Moore discusses the books that inspired her and awoke her interest in anthropology. It all started with stories, in particular Greek and Roman myths: “important for the not-yet-anthropologist was the idealisation of kinship, the hopeless question of family inheritance, the ties of loyalty and their relation to fealty. Can you know your true self and how much of the answer to that question is about origins?

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Thinking about politics and the internet: time to update our perspective

In this piece for Henrietta L. Moore and Sabine Selchow introduce their reconceptualisation of the Internet as a set of interactions in process, turning away from mainstream understandings of it as a ‘tool’ and / or ‘space’ that enables political action. This reconceptualisation means that questions about what is happening ‘on’ the Internet, and how the internet is used, by whom, and with what impact on the ‘actual’ world no longer have sufficient analytical purchase.

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FGM conference

The new bill outlawing FGM in Kenya

On 7th September 2011 the Kenyan Government passed a bill outlawing female circumcision or FGM. In what ways and to what extent Kenya’s prohibition of FGM will be enforced is still to emerge. In the Marakwet community, where Henrietta L. Moore has been researching female initiation and social change, she has already observed the ways in which initiation ceremonies are sensitive to wider national and international political pressures.

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Not a Hope, Nor a Prayer

When the LGBTI activist David Kato was murdered last month, newspapers carried worldwide condemnation of the act. Advocacy organisations issued statements, as did President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the Archbishop of Canterbury.

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Image: AP/BBC News

Ugandan LGBTI activist David Kato killed

We are deeply saddened to learn of the tragic death of David Kato, a courageous activist at the forefront of the LGBTI campaign in Uganda, and contributor to Henrietta Moore’s Modern Lives research project.

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Prospect 168

Moore, Henrietta L. (2010). ‘It’s Not All Hardwired’ Prospect, 24 February, Issue 168.

We often imagine the brain as a sort of high-powered, superbly engineered evolutionary computer. But it is actually a wonderfully baroque structure, made up of incompletely integrated units. Read Henrietta L. Moore’s Prospect-article on neuroscience’s bold claims about human culture.

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