This week I have enjoyed participating in several livestreamed sessions of the 50th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) under the theme “Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World.” One of the 7 diverse topic areas being addressed during the Meeting is “Healthy Futures”, which I found to be not only highly relevant to the overall theme of the 2020 meeting, but highly evocative of Thomas Mann’s masterpiece “The Magic Mountain” which takes place before World War I in a tuberculosis sanat
Is the Growing Attachment to Smartphones and Digital Media Bad for Our Health? An initial exploration
Technological innovation is fueling momentous change in our daily lives. Indeed, as Professor Klaus Schwab, the chairman of the World Economic Forum (WEF) describes, the physical, digital and biological trends underpinning what he calls 'the fourth industrial revolution', are unleashing changes “unlike anything humankind has experienced before" (WEF 2015). At the center of it all is the Internet, anchoring digital media.
This blog was originally posted at the WBG Investing in Health site on July 25, 2019, days before I retired from the World Bank Group on August 1, 2019.
The moment has arrived. In a couple of days, I will be retiring from the World Bank after 32 great years, serving in one capacity or another, in about 85 countries across the globe.
On Public Health and Medical Care Systems : Challenges and Options – Collected Blogs and Briefs (2011-2019)
This volume represents a compendium of selected blogs that were posted over the 2011-2019 period at World Bank Group sites, mostly in the Health, Nutrition and Population Global Practice (HNP GP) Investing in Health site. The opinion article that is included was published in 2005, and the briefs over the 2000-2011 period.
People of my generation remember well the 1967 coming of age film, “The Graduate.” In the opening scene, a confused, wide-eyed young man, just returning home after finishing his university studies, is offered advice about his future by a middle-aged friend of his parents in a much-quoted exchange:
MR. MCGUIRE: I want to say one word to you. Just one word.
BENJAMIN: Yes, sir.
In the latter part of February 1535, a caravel carrying Fray Tomas de Berlanga, bishop of Panama, enroute to Peru, drifted off course in the Pacific Ocean amid the equatorial doldrums, disappearing wind, and strong currents to an unknown and strange land. In his report to Charles V, King of Spain, who had mandated him to journey to settle disputes in his new empire, he described the nature of the shore in vivid detail:
With the arrival of Halloween, a celebration observed in several countries on October 31st, I am celebrating my birthday and moving well into my early sixties. Birthdays are usually the time of the year when I tend to pause and look back to all that happened in the prior months while looking ahead with new ideas, commitments, and resolutions. In a true sense, this is my real “new year” rather than at the beginning of the year in January.
The recent social unrest in Ecuador brought to world attention the often ignored and marginalized indigenous peoples that led the opposition to economic reform proposals advanced by the Government. While the unrest ended after some of the proposals were rescinded following a public dialogue between the Government and the leaders of the indigenous movement, deep-seated grievances remain that need to be addressed to improve the social conditions of indigenous peoples.