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World Day of Social Justice

Yesterday, 20 Feb 2022, was the World Day of Social Justice, a day fixed in the UN calendar since 2008. It is an interesting day which focuses on understanding and trying to balance the inequalities in development which can derive from unchecked globalization. We have understood for a long time that completely free markets and unchecked, purely economic capitalism inherently lead to the concentration of wealth to fewer and fewer beneficiaries. The day and its ideas are founded in the Declaration on Social Justice from the International Labour Organization and its history of supporting the social dimension of the outcomes of work since its inception back in 1919. The 2022 theme is Achieving Social Justice through Formal Employment which address the fact that not only are very high percentages of people informally employed in developing economies but the trend in developed economies is to reduce formal employment and increase informal employment – think the “gig economy&r . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading


Navigating the school application process in Hong Kong can be an arduous task and the confuse the situation even more, a word parents hear repeatedly is “debenture” – and this is usually followed by a mind-blowing figure. School debentures are a one-off, upfront payment towards financing a school’s community. The money is used by the school for building improvements, campus facilities and other capital costs. Most schools offer both corporate and individual debentures and, in most cases, the debenture is refunded when the student leaves the school. For Hong Kong schools, parents need to be aware of the following names (an explanation of each type is outlined below):  Capital Note:  A capital note is non-interest bearing, non-refundable and fully transferable.  Corporate Debenture:A holder of a corporate debenture is entitled to nominate one child to a school at any one time. Nomination accelerates a child’s place on the wait list - . . .

By Anne Murphy | Comments Continue Reading

Sustainability round-up - interesting articles from around the web

UNGA President Updates Advisors on Gender Efforts (IISD) NFTs: WWF tried raising money with digital art but backtracked – environmental charities should follow suit (The Conversation) Natural gas is a fossil fuel, but the EU will count it as a green investment (The Conversation) The price of polluting is soaring: report (Eco-Business) 24 hours with… Global Wind Energy Council Asia head Liming Qiao (Eco-Business) Great Barrier Reef: cooler weather reduces threat of mass bleaching outbreak this summer (The Guardian) Nuclear fusion heat record a ‘huge step’ in quest for new energy source (The Guardian) . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Risk takers as drivers of change

Risk taking isn’t always advised as a desired course of action, but in many ways, it is the only way in which humanity has ever progressed and can ever hope to progress. This is as true in the sustainability field as any other. Risk taking includes a wide variety of attitudes and actions. Many of the barriers to shifting to sustainable living are in fact arbitrary “barriers of fear”. The politician unwilling to drive regulation as they listen to scaremongering about job losses; the boss unwilling to invest in new technologies based on shareholder sentiment; the educators unwilling to adapt and adjust the curriculum to a more fit-for-purpose learning environment for those who will inherit our mess; the individuals unwilling to change engrained habits. And the complexity of our interactions means that the unwillingness of one actor to change forces an inability to change on other actors. How can I buy plastic free drinks of only plastic bottled drinks are available t . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Community dialogue and data

Late 2021, we took the first group of students through the UNITAR Youth Ambassador Asia-Pacific Programme. Part of the learning framework was based on the Systems Work of Social Change (Rayner & Bonicci). This emphasized, among other things, the crucial nature of primary actors in successful alleviation of social issues. Essentially, this means that those living the experience are the ones who need to be empowered and equipped to determine and implement the solutions they see fit. I was struck by the sheer number of case studies in the book and now see further examples in many places. Here is a great case study from the Leave No One Behind Initiative in India, published in IISD. It shows several examples of women from marginalized communities being empowered to at least seed the beginnings of potential remedies to the hardships they face, with a specific focus on healthcare access and all its ramifications. . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Sustainability round-up - interesting articles from around the web

Five Urgent Needs for Global Governance: UN Secretary-General Sets Priorities for 2022 (IISD) Safe havens for coral reefs will be almost non-existent at 1.5°C of global warming – new study (The Conversation) How a humble mushroom could save forests and fight climate change (The Conversation) Three reasons why climate change models are our best hope for understanding the future (The Conversation) 22 ways to live better in 2022 (Eco-Business) ‘A deranged pyroscape’: how fires across the world have grown weirder (The Guardian) Extreme weather has cost Europe about €500bn over 40 years (The Guardian) . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Women and girls in science

The coming Friday is International Day of Women and Girls in Science. Science and gender equality are both vital for the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Yet women and girls continue to be excluded from participating fully in science. Addressing this contributes not only directly to SDGs 5 and 10 but to all the SDGs as all solutions will include some form of scientific input and to diminish the contribution of half the population can only be a negative impact. . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Heritage is part of sustainability too

The headline areas of sustainability and the SDGs are quite rightly those that present an existential threat to the future of humanity, but to paraphrase many a perspective, will what we have left be worth living in? To this purpose we must not neglect the lesser elements of sustainability which include preserving enough of our heritage to maintain understanding of the cultures we have evolved through in space and time. Our heritage provides both value in its own right as well as the potential for us to learn. The Conversation has a good piece on climate impacts on heritage artifacts here. . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading
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