The Youth Effect Book

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An excellent book about engaging youth and ensuring that children and youth play an integral role in making decisions that will impact their future, was written by Jennifer Corriero.

I wrote a chapter in the book as follows:

Embracing the Imagination: Adrian Cheok Focuses on understanding today’s children who are born in a world of unlimited communication due to the proliferation of new media and digital technologies. These tools provide children with new opportunities to be creative, connect with an audience and have outlets for their expressions. The Internet has provided children with spaces for creative innovation and group interactions that can be further enhanced through specific initiatives that Cheok discusses.

Jennifer Corriero’s foreward to the book is as follows:

In response to the recent global financial crisis, in 2009 the World Economic Forum convened leaders across industry, government, academia, media and civil society as part of the Global Redesign Initiative. The Young Global Leaders (YGL’s), a unique, multistakeholder community of exceptional young leaders who share a commitment to shaping the global future, were also called upon to submit ideas, proposals and recommendations for action to contribute to solutions with a longer-term future outlook. As a response to the invitation for involvement, a group of 30 YGL’s decided that a broader and more diverse network of youth from around the world needed to be included in the discussions. A series of online consultations and Town Hall meetings were facilitated with over 3,000 youth in over 30 countries and at the 2010 Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, a report was presented highlighting the ideas and contributions of youth under the age of 25 that garnered an acknowledgement and response from over 14 Global Agenda Councils. To view the report and response, go to:

The Youth Effect was created to inspire leaders of organizations across sectors to believe in the capability of youth and to develop the skills of established leaders in being able to engage and collaborate more effectively with youth. It is part of an effort to ensure that children and youth are an integral part of designing, shaping and creating a more sustainable future. We live in a world with increasing threats and risks such as rising rates in unemployment, crime, terrorism, and spread of diseases including HIV/ AIDS. It is important that youth do not see themselves as victims but as active agents of change. It is essential for established leaders to view youth not as part of the problem, but as part of the solution. Offering young people meaningful platforms to express their concerns while also articulating their hopes for the future is an essential part of cultivating the next generation of leadership. It is also essential to addressing disillusionment and apathy of a generation who has a strong need for social ties and a desire to have an impact. We hope to create positive ripple effects by engaging with all generations to solve problems together. Each chapter of this book offers practical insights and suggestions on working with youth.

The book can be viewed and downloaded at this link:

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Christianity: n. a religion encompassing forgiveness for all, but stopping short at Judas

‪Derek Abbott posted in Wickedictionary.

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Crime: n. a logical extension of the sort of behavior that is often considered perfectly reasonable in legitimate business.
(Ambrose Bierce)

‪Derek Abbott posted in Wickedictionary.

PHD Movie: Finally, a film about the weird and wacky world of Academia.

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I have been following PhD comics for many years, and I was pleasantly surprised to see a movie is also coming out called “The PHD Movie”. It looks like the comic to be a wickedly funny movie about the life of academics. I am sure it will not appeal to 98% of the population who are not academics, but I can’t wait to see it 🙂

THE SOCIAL INDEX: A brilliant analysis of social relationships in the Facebook age in New Yorker.

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Human relationships used to be easy: you had friends, boy- or girlfriends, parents, children, and landlords. Now, thanks to social media, it’s all gone sideways. I decided to try to index these new entities—to draft a sort of Social Media Bestiary. Here it is, so far:


    1. The friend you know well, have encountered frequently in the flesh, perhaps even hugged, have visited domestically, and would invite to your child’s wedding, and with whom, coincidentally, you might occasionally communicate via social media in addition to more traditional friend channels such as lunch dates, telephone calls, et cetera (formerly known simply as “a friend”)
    1. The friend you sort of know, because you have friends in common and have maybe attended the same events—not together, but you’ve both ended up there because you know a lot of the same people. You perhaps would not have thought to invite this person to a small party, and yet you do include him in your wider sense of your social circle—and you now communicate with him via social media more than you ever did before such a thing existed, and you now have a surprising intimacy after years of static, unenergetic just-sort-of-knowing one another (formerly known as “an acquaintance”)
    1. The friend, or friend-like entity, whom you met initially via Facebook or Twitter or Goodreads or, heaven help us, MySpace. You met—online, that is—because… well, who remembers now, anyway? Maybe through some friend of a friend of a friend, or because some algorithm on Facebook “suggested” that you should be friends. In any case, you now interact with this person/stranger frequently—in fact, maybe many times a day—and, as a result, she enters your conversation the way anyone would with whom you exchange chitchat several times a day. When a real flesh-based friend asks you who this person is, you describe her as a friend, for lack of a better word. It’s an awkward description because you have a) never met in real life b) might not actually know this person’s full name or profession or background. Yet you look forward to interacting with this person, and if/when she mentions experiencing a sad event, a birthday, a job loss, a cute baby experience, or a car accident, you have a strong, actual reaction (this sort of friendship formerly had no name at all, since the only kind of liaison that even comes close to this in the history of human relations is that of pen pals)
  1. The friend-like entity mentioned in No. 3—that is, someone whom you know only virtually—but in this instance you and this person have actually met. The meeting was probably brief and a one-off encounter, and it probably occurred because one of you happened to be passing through the other’s hometown. When you finally meet, you spend most of your time chuckling over how much smaller/taller you look in your profile picture.

Read more

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I actually worked on a whole bunch of patents in my career over the years and I have to say that every single patent is nothing but crap.

A software engineer explains to This American Life that even he didn’t understand the patents he was granted. It was part of a seminal story about patent trolls and the way that a system designed to foster innovation can crush it.

From New Yorker:

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