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

Ready for anything: Preparing children for the future

What will your child be when they grow up? Maybe a quantum automotive programmer, or a multi-phasic data sculptor. Ok, we made those jobs up. But consider this: just ten years ago, ‘social media manager’ or ‘mobile app developer’ would have seemed like imaginary job titles to most. With the accelerating pace of social and technological c...

May 13th, 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

Inside a Canadian hate group

Sarah* knew her fiancé was a racist. But she was just 17 and madly in love, so she tried to ignore it. In the early 1990s, white supremacist groups like the Heritage Front and the Aryan Nation were active across Canada. Sarah watched, heartbroken as her boyfriend Nick was drawn deeper into the Ottawa branches of the alt-right. One day, a neo...

March 4th, 2017 read more

Empower a girl, educate a boy

Hundreds looked on as proud young men, decked out in crisp uniforms, led their parents onto the campus that will help unlock their future. This January, the Kisaruni group of girls’ schools in Kenya’s Maasai Mara unveiled its first all-boys high school. After the opening ceremony, village elders christened it with a name. They chose Ngulot, ...

February 25th, 2017 read more

How Internet algorithms are dividing us

Search engines can seem like magic. You have a question; the Internet has the answer. But not all search results are equal. Everything from your location to previous searches and your social media habits builds a little content bubble. A personalized corner of the World Wide Web has been curated just for you. A travel writer from Vancouver ma...

February 11th, 2017 read more

The power of letters in the digital age

Growing up, there was an unspoken absence in Zainib Abdullah’s life. In Richmond Hill, Ontario, far from the home her family left in Iraq, she pieced together the story of her uncle. He had been unjustly arrested and disappeared years earlier by Saddam Hussein’s government, without a trial or a chance to say goodbye to his loved ones. Now...

January 30th, 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