GLOBAL VOICES COLUMN ARCHIVE

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

Young carers face family burden with few resources

Kendra* grew up too fast. At 12, she’d do her homework while caring for her twin with non-verbal autism as he watched the same Disney film over and over. She’d cook dinner while helping her older brother, living with a severe learning disability, make sense of his school work. At fourteen, her father died from cancer suddenly, and she assume...

May 27th, 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

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

Bringing creativity to senior care

Recently, we visited our Aunt Pat at her nursing home to celebrate her 80th birthday. Marc’s five-year-old Lily-Rose had seen the tiny rooms and lonely seniors there before, and this time insisted we bring a box of teddy bears. Residents were thrilled—it was just what the doctor ordered. Too often, the elderly live forgotten in depressing c...

November 19th, 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

Failure to launch, or a smarter way of living?

A twenty-something slacker lounges in his parents’ basement, beer in one hand and TV remote in the other. We’ve lost track of how many times we’ve seen this cliché character in television shows and movies. The media loves to heap scorn on prodigal youth who return home to live with their parents. An avalanche of articles offer up tips for...

May 21st, 2016 read more

Why the world needs you to let your kids fail

Silicon Valley has an unofficial motto: “Fail.” Whenever we visit the California tech hub, we see evidence of pro-failure leanings. Facebook’s office features posters that read “Fail Fast.” Failing “often” and “early” are also encouraged. There’s even a global conference for tech entrepreneurs, called FailCon, to learn from w...

May 14th, 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

Software to build better health in Tanzania

Row after row of mothers wait patiently, babies fussing in their laps. A nurse in this small clinic in rural Arusha, Tanzania, calls them forward, one by one, and gives the squirming infants a shot that will protect them from killer diseases, like measles and polio. Over the past 15 years, Tanzania has made a concerted effort to immunize its chi...

January 16th, 2016 read more

The fight to eradicate vaccine-preventable diseases

It’s a bittersweet victory. Just last month, the world achieved the lowest rate of polio infections in history, UNICEF announced. It’s all thanks to global vaccination programs. Sounds epic—except 2015 should have been the year humanity wiped polio off the planet. “Unfortunately, over last few years vaccination rates have stagnated,” sa...

November 14th, 2015 read more