Category: Reflections on Development

The Distant Spring: Philosophy and Social Innovation

The Distant Spring: Philosophy and Social Innovation a wooden door with a window. on the window is taped a rainbow drawn in crayon

Eight variations for thinking about social innovation and sustainability transitions during the coronavirus crisis In response to the harm done to birds by the widespread use of pesticides, Rachel Carson wrote Silent Spring (1962). Her account of the “silencing of the birds” helped motivate a flock of social innovation via the emerging environmental movement. Spring 2020 has […]

What American Cops can learn from the end of South Africa’s Apartheid Policing: From Force to Service

What American Cops can learn from the end of South Africa’s Apartheid Policing: From Force to Service a line of parallel-parked police cars on the street

During South Africa’s transition from apartheid to democracy, I was directly involved in the transformation of the police force to a police service. Today, as the United States is confronted with the need for changes in police culture and behavior, perhaps some of the lessons learned in those tumultuous times may prove useful.   After Nelson Mandela was released from […]

Madness

Madness black & white image of Don Quixote on a horse with his sidekick behind

Long before the pandemic, I took my daughter Audrey to a Washington DC production by the Shakespeare Theatre Company of the play Man of La Mancha. It’s one of my favorite plays, and I first saw it when I was her age. It’s based on the famous novel by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, in which an elderly […]

Catastrophe

Catastrophe green image of viruses

Some tears were not meant to be repressed. In describing the email messages she’d been receiving, she may not have wanted her loss of composure to become the video image being broadcast to the small and scattered universe of our local Quaker community, each at their respective homes behind their Zoom monitors, atomized but oddly […]

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