GLOBAL VOICES COLUMN ARCHIVE

Giving a voice to the world's most fascinating untold global and social issues.

Lego for Social Entrepreneurs: An Ode to the Shipping Container

Visiting Ghana a few years ago, some unusual kiosks caught the eye of Kevin Lee. Local vendors had cut windows and doors into abandoned shipping containers, and turned them into storefronts. “Clothiers, butchers, hairdressers—each day families went into the container they rented to ply their trade,” recalls Lee, executive director of Scadd...

December 4th, 2017 read more

Rising tides and the world’s next refugee crisis

As the Brooklyn streets went dark and flooded with water, pummeled by the onslaught of Hurricane Sandy, Lizbeth Lucero watched her mother pace the apartment—and pray. In the weeks that followed, her family went without power or heat. Another 760,000 were forced from their homes. Churches provided blankets for cold nights while Lizbeth’s f...

April 29th, 2017 read more

Science needs a rebrand: Closing the gap

The data was collected, the numbers crunched and the results are in: science needs a rebrand. A recent Pew Research Centre poll found that while the vast majority of people—79 per cent—believe in the value of science, huge minorities have serious doubts about the scientific consensus on everything from vaccines to nuclear power. The gap b...

April 15th, 2017 read more

Building resilient cities in the face of natural disasters

As the early spring storm raged outside, the mayor of Toronto burst into the room where 90 community leaders and local government officials had convened. The deluge had caused major flooding throughout the city. They needed a game plan. You didn’t miss the news—there was no recent flood. This was “Resilientville,” a role-playing exercise...

April 1st, 2017 read more

How the world can do better in 2017

“Have you tried switching 2016 off and back on again?” says an IT guy in a meme sweeping Facebook. Also making rounds online is a 2016 dumpster fire ornament. Festive and topical. As 2016 draws to a close, social media is alight with jokes and posts lamenting a year that will not go down in history as one of humanity’s finest. Civil war ke...

December 17th, 2016 read more

Without packages, boxes or bags: Your zero waste grocer

What’s in your fridge? Perhaps there’s bacon. Or the fixings for an omelet with cheese and tomato. But how much is actually edible? How much of it is packaging? Bacon slices are peeled out of a disposable plastic packet, while the eggs stand sentinel in a Styrofoam carton. Tomatoes are locked in a clamshell box, those miniature plastic pr...

October 29th, 2016 read more

Call of the wild: Nature is the cure

As autumn paints the trees in glorious, vibrant colours, many Canadians are taking advantage of these final days to enjoy the great outdoors before old man winter chases us all inside. But a little saunter through the greenery (or red and orange-ery, as the case may be) offers more than a pleasant way to pass the time. Studies show that a walk i...

October 15th, 2016 read more

What’s old is new again

In university, Craig achieved infamy for the fashion crime of wearing far too many yellow shirts. His friends staged an intervention, removing all the offending garments from his closet and sending him on a shopping spree for trendier threads Recently, our staffers got together for what’s become an annual event—the office clothing swap. Ever...

June 18th, 2016 read more

The insect food trend: Changing palates and lives

Have you heard about the next big food trend? You won’t find it growing in your garden, but you might find it crawling there. On the shelves at Summerhill Market, a Toronto grocery store, there are mealworm protein balls and scrumptious cricket key lime pie. Last year, chef Meeru Dhalwala put delicacies like a flatbread made from cricket flour...

June 11th, 2016 read more

Water: One of the First Casualties of War

When the people of Aleppo, Syria, turned on their taps in early March, they saw clean, running water for the first time in months. In January, the Islamic State seized the sole water plant that serves the entire city of Aleppo and shut it down, depriving three million people of drinking water. Syrian government forces took back the facility last...

April 15th, 2016 read more