turner4D | Carpe Colloquium

 

The refugee crisis in Europe continues. An estimated of 700,000 refugees and migrants have arrived in Europe this year from Syria, Eritrea, Afghanistan, Iraq, North Africa and beyond. Most of them have spent thousands of dollars to take their families on this dangerous and unsafe journey. Despite the tragedy of the situation, a new development that has made it easier for refugees to move is surprising many veteran aid workers. Many of these refugees have been using technology, especially platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Viber and Google Maps to find their way to a “new home.” When they arrive, they know exactly where they are, where to go, and who to contact. They have already found the phone numbers of host country coast guards and even call them to come take them in safely. Through social media, refugees stay in touch with their families who live in Europe and other places. They are able to provide information to others on the best routes to take and to avoid the dangerous ones. Social media helps them also avoid the police, find “safe” people smugglers, as well as accommodations for their families. It is also the best way for these refugees…

Posted by Violet Tsagka in Seize the Conversation, Social Media Read More

No wonder Americans are skeptical about foreign aid. They think we spend 25 times more than we actually do, they don’t know what it has accomplished, and they are fed a steady diet of reports about waste, fraud and corruption. This puts members of Congress in an awkward position. Most of them know that diplomacy and development help create jobs here at home by opening new markets abroad. They understand that we can’t keep Americans safe without helping other countries to counter terrorism, prevent nuclear proliferation and resolve conflicts peacefully. And they recognize that without U.S. assistance, poor countries will be less able to combat hunger and malnutrition, control the spread of pandemic diseases, and preserve natural resources. The problem is, members haven’t been given much in the way of data and evidence to prove it. Click here to read the rest of the article, originally posted on The Hill. _ Diana Ohlbaum is an independent consultant, co-chair of the Accountability Working Group of theModernizing Foreign Assistance Network and a principal of Turner4D, a strategic communications firm.  She is also a contributor at The Hill, where this article originally appeared. Photo from Pixabay.com.

Posted by Violet Tsagka in Seize the Conversation Read More

I’m a big fan of horror movies. The scarier the better as far as I’m concerned. One of the lessons of just about every horror movie is that you don’t turn your back on Jason/Freddy/Michael Myers just because you’ve knocked him down. He WILL get back up and he WILL come after you again. That’s a lesson the LGBT community needs to learn. The June Supreme Court decision that made marriage equality the law of the land was the biggest LGBT civil rights victory to date. And it certainly did knock the opponents of LGBT equality down. But they’re already back up. And they’re coming after the LGBT community again. Just this week in Houston, opponents of that city’s non-discrimination ordinance waged a dishonest and hateful repeal campaign focused on accommodations for the transgender community with the message of “no men in women’s restrooms.” The repeal was successful, passing by a nearly two-to-one margin. In the wake of the Supreme Court decision, Indiana passed a so-called “Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA)” that would allow denial of services to LGBT people on religious beliefs. After an enormous backlash, the law was significantly amended. But that hasn’t stopped other states from taking…

Posted by adminaj in Seize the Conversation Read More

The third quarter presidential campaign fundraising reports were released this past week sparking the standard spate of analyses from political pundits and reporters about who is up and who is doomed. But buried in these analyses was a gem from Mark Halperin on CBS’s Face the Nation: The fight over who has got $12 million versus $10 million versus $20 million even does not matter.  Presidential politics is about — Donald Trump is showing that, getting on the news, driving your message personally, being a good candidate matters so much more than raising money for television ads. So I think it’s all a bit silly and the focus on it is a bit silly. Jeb Bush said the ads are going to save him; that’s what’s going to bring him back. No. No candidate can be revived with ads. It’s got to be speaking to the aspirations of the American people. Halperin says it is about driving media coverage, but implicit in his comment is that it is really about social media (not just online, but also offline). What matters is the candidate being able to deliver his or her message directly to the voters so they can evaluate it…

Posted by Alan Rosenblatt in Campaigns Read More

Last week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel declared Europe’s ongoing refugee crisis a bigger challenge to European unity than Greece’s financial woes. She reminded her own country that Germans should be proud of a post-war heritage based on the principles of dignity, human rights and the right to political asylum. Spurred on by the increasingly dire human and political costs of inadequate response, European leaders gathered in mid-September to address the refugee crisis. They should look to the environmental conservation movement to find innovative policy ideas. Debt for nature swaps were invented in the 1980s by the World Wildlife Fund. This financial instrument came about in the context of developing country debt — driven by oil shocks — and exacerbated by lender austerity requirements. Countries rich with natural resources had no capacity to protect them. Debt for Nature — a successful financing model for global security Debt for nature swaps were conceived when the human security value of conservation was becoming more apparent. Issues like atmospheric change, climate disruption and the benefits of genetic diversity have consequences for all life on Earth. The concept is simple: debt forgiveness for implementing conservation measures. The initial motivation of the debt for nature swap…

Posted by adminaj in Seize the Conversation Read More