SWEDOW: Why are we so obsessed with giving away our old stuff?

I’ve always wondered about our obsession with sending old clothes overseas. No matter how many times the idea is debunked by experts and people who rant a lot, the idea doesn’t die. Why? What about giving away our clothes –and other stuff – is so emotionally important to us that we can’t let go of… Read More »

Things I’ve been thinking about: May 1st, 2014

1. Can Elinor Ostrom’s work help us understand what to do about antibacterial resistance? I’ve been reading a lot of Ostrom in an attempt to develop an opinion, but it’s tough going for me.  Econ was never my strong suit. Anyone smarter than me want to chime in and explain it? 2. How do we… Read More »

Language, Power, and Global Health: the privilege of speaking English

  My first couple of overseas jobs were pretty much just being the native English speaker on staff. Right after undergrad, I was an intern with the American University in Cairo. I drafted or edited every piece of writing that came out of our office. Later on, after my master’s degree, I was an intern… Read More »

What we call home

Before I came to Kyrgyzstan, I spent three months in Central New York, within a hundred miles of where I was born.  It was the longest time I’d spent there since 1993 when I left for college, and I left with no intention of ever returning. Syracuse isn’t a bad place to be a kid,… Read More »

Humanitarian Response, Complexity, and UHC: My High Hopes for 2014

  These aren’t predictions, exactly, or New Year’s wishes. More like positive signs I am hoping will occur. Clues that we’re getting our act together as an international system.[1] The good omens I would like to see. 1. Better response to complex humanitarian emergencies. Every single year, complex humanitarian emergencies get worse. Refugee and displaced persons… Read More »

Predicting the Weather

A Russia DJ named Dima   Maybe ten years ago, the project I worked for had a driver named Dima. Dima was a rockstar. He was exceptional in every way. Sure, he could pilot you unscathed through bad traffic and worse roads, but that was the least of his talents. Dima could jumpstart a car… Read More »

Gratitude in a Time of Climate Change

Climate change is going to affect life on earth in ways we can’t even begin to understand yet, but the first impact is the one we’re seeing: extreme weather events. Hurricane Sandy last year, Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda this year, the ice storm that just hit the east coast of the US, famine in Somalia – that’s… Read More »