Ashraf Ghani: How to rebuild a broken state

ashraf ghani

 

 

Ashraf Ghani (pictured above) believes there is something fundamentally wrong with our world today: he believes the world’s current aid system is not working and highly ineffective, that our world’s education system, in a 7-billion-strong population dominated by young people, is still based on that of 19th century, that capitalism and democracy are malfunctioning in many aspects in most developing countries, and that there is a great absence of a strong, international leadership to solve our world’s ages-old problems.

Afghanistan even suffers worse. It is beset by corruption, terrorism (by-products of Cold War, with thousands of combatants trained by both Russia and United States), and an economy largely domineered by illegal drug trading. Despite gigantic potential revenues from mining sector (the country’s mineral reserves are estimated to be worth nearly 3 trillion US$), all these problems, using current problem-solving approach, will take more than decades to solve. And, we must acquiesce, Ghani, having served as the country’s finance minister from 2002 to 2004, will not be able to solve these problems alone. However, at least, throughout his tenure, the country has seen some major improvements: currency stabilization, budget reforms, and long-term public investment schemes.

He once competed for 2009 presidential election, but didn’t manage to secure enough votes to win. For the second time, for the 2014 election, he will compete once again for the seat. Let’s hope he can bring more positive changes to this new, uneasy, and fledgling nation.

 

Listen to his TED talk to know more how he helped rebuilding a once broken state.

 

Louie Schwartzberg: Hidden miracles of the natural world

mysteries of the unseen world

 

We go on with our lives, constrained to our Euclidean boxes one day to another. Either we go to schools to study, or to offices to do our daily jobs, we oftentimes get a strong tedium about our boring, mundane world (sometimes I’ve got that feeling as well). Piles of jobs to complete, homework to finish, without even a single bit of time spent to observe our world.

Louie Schwartzberg, however, having persevered for years to capture photographs of daily glimpses of the nature in full details, wants us to break our mainstream perception; through his latest documentary, Mysteries of The Unseen World, the award-winning filmmaker wants us to realize that the universe itself, in essence, is not that mundane as we can imagine: in fact, it is composed of multitudinous, and even numberless, forms of dynamism, big or small, seen or unseen, visible or invisible. We hardly realize the daily, infinitesimal wonders surrounding us: of tiny creatures hiding in our hair, of birds flying around us, of trees and plants growing around our neighborhoods, of how insects fly, etc.

The world, indeed, has countless mysteries, with wonders and mind-shaking discoveries waiting to be unveiled, layer by layer.

Watch this 7-minute TED talk below, and get ready for some little surprises to our lives.