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Like a bridge over troubled waters..
                            --Paul Simon

Our Mission We work to see what's coming over the horizon and to bridge social and cultural divides. We try to provoke conversations about government policies and individual actions that could make Planet Earth more liveable for our grandchildren and their children.

​Urban Youth Unemployment: A Problem Getting BIGGER | December 2022

 

You may have seen a hint of the problem of urban youth unemployment before the Covid-19 pandemic in the growth of the “gig economy” in the USA and other high-income countries.

You may have seen a hint in the college choices your children and grandchildren are making as they understand that the security of long careers with a single employer that graduates enjoyed 50 years ago can no longer be readily available. Life-long jobs in government or manufacturing or services like banking seem to be increasingly scarce, especially jobs that include substantial benefits such as health insurance, pensions, and paid leave for vacations and illness and parenthood.

What you may have missed is how threatening the growth of urban youth unemployment is in other countries, especially in China and India and across Africa.

I started focusing on this problem in 2017. The context for this decision is described in a Note at the end of this piece.

 

Don’t take just my word about the problem. Here are recent reports about youth unemployment in China and India:

The Rieffel family name comes from my great grandmother, Marie Adelaide Rieffel, born in Rosheim, Alsace, France, around 1840. My grandfather was her only child and she could not give him his father’s name because my grandfather was a love child, born out of wedlock. My great grandfather, Alexis Dieudonné d’Origny, born in Lorraine, France, was working as a physician to the Sultan of Turkey when he fell in love with Marie Adelaide on a visit to Paris where she was working with her sister making hats for high society. There is just as much fascinating history on my mother’s side of the family.

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We Think the Peace Corps Needs to be Fixed

April 2024

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Kevin Quigley was the President of the National Peace Corps Association in 2003 when I started a policy research project at the

Brookings Institution on international volunteer service. Kevin had served as a volunteer in Thailand in the 1970s and I had served in India in the 1960s. In the decade following our collaboration in 2003 (that led to the creation of the Building Bridges Coalition in 2006), Kevin and I published several pieces aimed at making the Peace Corps bigger and better.

 

Following the Covid-19 evacuation in 2020, as the Peace Corps started sending volunteers back to countries of service in 2022, Kevin and I compared notes and quickly agreed that the Peace Corps is not worth funding in its current form...

What Happened to Our Sense of Community? | Feb

There is very little sense of community in my new residence. Does it matter? Is it related to the creation of the internet?

Myanmar Update | Dec

A surprising turn in the conflict in Burma gets priority in this Update; meanwhile all is going well at Parami University.

Apologizing for My Absence | Nov

No new posts for more than two months because of my crazy life of travel and writing. I’m working on some topics of above-average interest.

The Rieffel family name comes from my great grandmother, Marie Adelaide Rieffel, born in Rosheim, Alsace, France, around 1840. My grandfather was her only child and she could not give him his father’s name because my grandfather was a love child, born out of wedlock. My great grandfather, Alexis Dieudonné d’Origny, born in Lorraine, France, was working as a physician to the Sultan of Turkey when he fell in love with Marie Adelaide on a visit to Paris where she was working with her sister making hats for high society. There is just as much fascinating history on my mother’s side of the family.

Subscribers will get an email notification when new content is posted.  My plan is to post new content once a week and to create a monthly Newsletter with the new content of the month and some more in-depth material, including material from other sources.

Thanks for subscribing!

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I don’t know when I started trying to understand things coming over the horizon that would have an impact on my life and on the rest of the world. There is some evidence that I was doing this in the 1960s.  Since then I seem to have developed a

pretty good nose for what’s coming, and had some success in writing about it.

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