NDN Blog

NDN President Simon Rosenberg on FOX- 6/29

NDN President Simon Rosenberg was on FOX News this morning regarding President Obama's re-election chances in the current economic climate:

Robert Greenstein on MSNBC re: the Debt Ceiling

Robert Greenstein, founder and President of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, spoke on MSNBC this morning regarding Washington's impending decision on the debt ceiling:

President Obama's Weekly Address- June 25, 2011

Speaking from Carnegie Mellon University, President Obama discusses the vital role advanced manufacturing will have in strengthening our economy and creating good, middle-class jobs:

"Global Mobile" Weekly Roundup- June 24, 2011

President Obama visited Carnegie Mellon University's National Robotics Engineering Center today to speak on technology, innovation, and a renaissance of American manufacturing.  The full text of the speech can be found here.

On mobile technology and health:

A post by Marissa Glauberman on ONE blog details the accomplishments of the partnership between the United Nations Foundation (UNF) and the Vodafone Foundation in their efforts to use mobile technology to improve health care in developing countries.

Below is an interview with Awa Dieng of DataDyne.org, a Kenya-based companythat invented a data compilation and sharing software called EpiSurveyor that is greatly increasing efficiency in developing countries' healthcare providers in responding to health threats:

This post was part of a series within another ONE blog that is definitely worth keeping track of it you're interested in mobile technology's role in development: "Digital Africa"

Another article on mobile technology's uses in global health initiatives (which is very much worth reading for examples of other organizations and other innovations) reported the statistic:

Of the 114 countries surveyed by the World Health Organization, only 19 did not use some form of mobile health technology

On wireless technology and Asia:

According to an article for ZD Net Asia by Liau Yun Qing, Long Term Evolution (LTE) rollouts in the Asia-Pacific region are ongoing and the 4G technology is fast becoming mainstream.  Alan Hadden, president of GSA (Global mobile Suppliers Association) is quoted as saying:

...the Asia region is "consistently in the forefront of mobile communications industry developments and this will continue"

On the rise of "SoLoMo" (Social, Location, Mobile) startups and what more traditional businesses should do in response:

According to Bruce LeSourd writing for iMedia Connection in association with Apple:

A new industry of SoLoMo startups has appeared in the last two years, built from the ground up to exploit the convergence of people, information, services, things, and places on modern mobile platforms.

LeSourd goes on to explain the impact this will have on the way traditional "brick-and mortar" companies do business and then lays out a list of recommendations for remaining competitive, all of which can be found in the full article here.

And finally, on mobile mobile technology:

An article by Jonathan Oosting for mLive.com on mobile technology inside vehicles and why it's a high-risk, high-reward game to be playing.


Globalization- Weekly Roundup, June 21, 2011

The G20 Summit for Agricultural Ministers is meeting in Paris today.  Luckily, on the East coast of the U.S. we are six hours behind Paris so there is already plenty of news.  Below are some highlights and key issues:

  • FOOD SECURITY.  The main reason for this meeting is to discuss ways to combat volatile food prices and rising levels of hunger.  According to recent U.N. statistics:
    • "...although the world would need to produce 70 per cent more food by 2050 to feed its population, agricultural production was expected to slow to 1.7 per cent a year in the decade to 2020."
  • The continued debate over using farmland for biofuels or crops; is it exacerbating rising food prices and thereby world hunger?  Or is it a necessary component of combating global warming that will actually stimulate food production by boosting agricultural investment?  This blog by Caroline Henshaw for the Wall Street Journal details the arguments on both sides.

 Some U.S. Industries on the 3FTAs:

The three free trade agreements with South Korea, Panama and Colombia are being vigorously opposed by the United Steelworkers.  Their letter to Congress can be found here.  Their position is:

"These three FTA’s will undermine our economic recovery, further decimate American manufacturing and jobs and deepen the economic insecurity and devastation faced by workers across the country."

On the other hand, major dairy groups support the measures.  The CEO of the National Corn Growers Association, Mr. Rick Tolman also spoke out in support of the FTAs, saying:

"Developing new markets for our country’s agricultural products will help our sector lead the nation in economic growth and international competitiveness.”

On globalization and health:

  • Yanzhong Huang recently published an article for the Council on Foreign Relations on the globalization of food safety issues, especially as it relates to China.  Continuing on the theme, the FDA fears that spending cuts will threaten its ability to ensure food safety.

Globalization, human rights, and business:

  • Ulrike Mast-Kirschning with Deutsche Welle interviewed John Ruggie, professor of international affairs at Harvard Law School and the UN secretary general’s special representative for business and human rights on his "guiding principles" for protecting human rights in a globalized economy, which the UN Human Rights Council recently endorsed.  The interview can be found here and the full text of Ruggie's guiding principles here.

According to Edward Glaeser's Bloomberg article, even in today's globalized internet age spatial proximity still matters, as evidenced by many companies moving back to the big cities despite all their electronic innovations that allow them to do so much remotely.  Glaeser's article explains why.

And finally, even baseball, long considered to be America's pastime is becoming more globalized as well.

Latin America-Weekly Roundup, June 21, 2011

In international politics: 

Uruguay will occupy the rotating presidency of the United Nations Human Rights Council for the next year. The MercoPress article can be found here.  Ambassador Laura Dupuy, who will actually hold the office has quite a bit on her agenda:

Among the issues in Ambassador Laura Dupuy’s agenda are the special investigation commission for Libya, accused of war crimes, and Sri Lanka where two years ago 30.000 civilians were massacred, allegedly by the Colombo government at the end of a prolonged civil war.

The latest on Latin American drug trafficking:

According to a recent article by Nils Elzenga for The Associated Press, submarines are the new mode of transportation used by Latin American cartels.  In order to meet European demand without having to deal with European airport and maritime controls, the submarines travel from Latin America to West Africa where the drugs are then parceled out and carried North.  Although cocaine seizures in West Africa have gone down recently, Alexandre Schmidt, the head of the West African branch of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime cautions against complaceny:

What that shows, he said, is that the actual trade is likely increasing and that the cartels are simply becoming more sophisticated at hiding their operation.

And in another link between Latin America and Africa:

According to an article by Anne Herrbereg on the German website Deutsche Welle, African emigrants have lately been turning to Latin America over Europe.  With the European Union sealing off its external borders, more and more refugees from African countries are seeking shelter in other parts of the world. In Latin America, figures have doubled.  The article focuses mostly on Argentina, which is already taking measures to combat the flow of illegal African immigrants into the country via Brazil.

And finally, indications that Cuba's private sector is starting to flourish under looser economic restrictions:

According to an Associated Press article, Cuba's recent licensing of a broad spectrum of private sector activity has given rise to a nascent and growing class of self-employed people.  This is manifesting through urban marketplaces springing up for the first time and flourishing all across Havana.  Though, despite this development, it's still Cuba:

President Raul Castro insists that the new private-sector activity is meant to “update” Cuba’s socialist model, not replace it with the free market.

Baby steps.

21st Century America-Weekly Roundup June 20, 2011

On America's changing demographics:

According to an article by Ronald J. Hansen for The Arizona Republic, the 2010 census data shows that Arizona's rapid growth in population is due largely to a huge increase in the number of children under 10.  Furthermore, ccording to William Schooling, Arizona's state demographer:

Arizona's greatest growth appears to be among relatively young Hispanics, who have higher birth rates than the population as a whole

The implications of all this? Continued or increased demand for services such as child care, teachers and school construction, a possible increase in healthcare costs, and more of a focus on the fastest-growing counties.  The full article has the details.

On the Millennial Generation:

A recent study carried out by the Public Religion Research Institute on abortion and the influence of religion and moral values found that while the millennial generation is slightly more supportive of abortion than the public as a whole (60% compared to 56%), they are significantly more supportive of same sex marriage -- by 15 points -- than any other age group in the population.  A Huffington Post article by James Wagoner analyzes the impact that this and other conclusions from the study will likely have on the 2012 elections.  Some excerpts:

Millennial youth have, as the pollsters state, "a unique, nuanced approach to the issue of abortion, combining strong support for the availability of abortion services and access to birth control with moral reservations."

Millennial youth are major supporters of a broad array of sexual health and rights issues. They not only support same sex marriage and access to abortion, but they also support comprehensive sex education (82%), access to contraception for women who can't afford it (82%), the morality of same sex relationships (57%), and the morality of sex between an unmarried man and woman (70%).

An article by Diane Stafford in the Kansas City Star talks of a new study to be released this month on marketing to the millennial generation.  The study, called “American Millennials: Deciphering the Enigma Generation,” compares the results of 4,000 surveyed millennials with the results from 1,400 baby boomers and analyzes the trends and differences.  According to Barkley (a Kansas City-based advertising and public relations agency that is co-sponsoring the study) Senior Vice President Jeff Fomm, due to the use of Twitter, blog posts and web-based consumer ratings, Millennials:

...communicate on networks nobody owns. We have to learn how to market with them, not to them. We used to be in control of our brand and communicate that to our audience. Now we don’t have as much control.

Women and Minority News:

According to a Bloomberg article by Jonathan D. Salant, Democrats and allied groups are framing Republican moves to cut federal spending through measures such as an end to traditional Medicare and cutting off funding for Planned Parenthood as a war on women, arguing that these and other measures have a disproportionately negative effect on women.  The goal is ultimately to influence the 2012 elections by using these arguments to sway female voters in Obama's favor.  For example,

“The Republicans have handed the Democrats a gift,” said Leonie Huddy, a political science professor at Stony Brook University in New York. “If they play it right, they have exactly the issue that will attract women voters to them.”

In a recent New York Times op-ed, Aziz Huq criticizes Oklahoma's "Sharia ban" and the legislators of six other states who have been debating laws explicitly prohibiting courts from considering or using Sharia law.  He says such laws, in addition to being discriminatory, pointless, and a threat to national security are also largely baseless.  He says:

To begin with, the bans’ justifications are thin. Despite the worries voiced by candidates in the recent Republican candidates’ debate in New Hampshire, no state, county or municipality is about to realign its laws with religious doctrine, Islamic or otherwise. Nor does any state or federal court today in Oklahoma, or anywhere else, need to enforce a foreign rule repugnant to public policy. Under the legal system’s well-established “choice of law” doctrines, the courts are already unlikely to help out someone who claims their religion allows, say, the subordination or mistreatment of women.



"Global Mobile" Weekly Roundup- June 17, 2011

Sam duPont, former director of NDN's Global Mobile program wrote an interesting post on the New York Times on interenet freedom. The link to his blog (with the post and all his beautiful pictures of the Phillippines) is here

According to a New York Times article last week, the preeminent position Nokia has enjoyed in emerging marketes is now being threatened by companies like ZTE of China and Micromax of India.  Even small, no-name firms from China are getting a large share of the market.  According to Geoff Blaber, an analyst with CSS Insight (a mobile communications research firm in London):

Three years ago Nokia’s position in emerging markets looked impenetrable, but low-cost chip sets and growing scale has helped a number of Asian manufacturers to price aggressively and seize market share

Yesterday the World Bank, in partnership with mobile handset maker, Nokia, the Finnish Government and iHub Consortium,  opened a new incubation facility for entrepreneurs and innovators in the field of mobile technology in Nairobi, Kenya called m-Lab East Africa.  According to World Bank Director, Johannes Zutt:

"In Kenya, it's clear is a lot of potential in ICT...We are working with Kenya to promote areas where we think it will flourish - tourism and ICT."

Finnish Ambassador, Heli Sirve, agrees, saying:

I hope that m-Lab will succeed in generating new mobile applications and improve people's lives in Kenya and East Africa"

In another article by Ronald Njorge, Zutt adds:

"Other developing countries such as India have developed a world class Information Technology (IT) industry and there is no reason Kenya should not develop if entrepreneurs are provided with the right environment."

CNN is planning to air a fascinating-looking program called "iRevolution: Online Warriors of the Arab Spring," this Sunday at 8pm Eastern Standard Time.  Looks like it might be worth tuning in to.  The CNN article by Gabe LaMonica and Taryn Fixel on the program and on the topic of the role of technology in revolutions in general can be found here.

A story on allafrica.com by Julie Frederikse calls for the assessment of the role mobile teechnology can play in health.  The story is definitely worth checking out and can be found here.

Finally, a nice little blog post by Jonas Landgren on one of the main benefits that the spread of mobile technology across the globe has to offer: improving emergency and disaster responses.


NDN in the Press-June 17, 2011

Alicia Menendez, a Senior Advisor at NDN, appeared on MSNBC this morning regarding "Obama & the End of Southern Strategy".


Simon Rosenberg, President of the NDN was cited in a Washington Post, Post Politics article by Perry Bacon Jr. on President Obama's visit to Puerto Rico.  He has advised the administration that:

“The large and growing Puerto Rican population in Central Florida will be key to winning the state in 2012,”

Michael Hais, an NDN Fellow on the 21st Century America Project was cited in an APP article on the challenges faced by this year's 2011 high school graduation class. He was quoted as saying:

Today’s 18-year-olds feel like they’ve been dealt a bad hand...But they don’t hate older generations of Americans.  They will kind of roll up their sleeves and figure out a way to do it.

Kristian Ramos, a Policy Analyst on immigration reform with NDN attended the Latino Leaders Luncheon on the Hill on Wednesday.  The article in The Washington Scene is above.

21st Century Border-Weekly Roundup June 16, 2011

On U.S. immigration policy:

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg had some harsh words to say about current U.S. immigration policy, calling it "national suicide."  He says:

“We will not remain a global superpower if we continue to close our doors to people who want to come here to work hard, start businesses and pursue the American dream,”

An article from Huffington Post here details the reforms that Mayor Bloomberg supports, such as a startup visa provision, a policy that would graduates with advanced degrees in essential fields to obtain green cards, more H1B visas, and immigration reform for agriculture and tourism.  The full text of the speech is here.

It's impossible to talk about immigration issues this past week without mentioning the House Committee on the Judiciary hearing on “E-Verify- Preserving Jobs for American Workers”.  The debate on whether to make it mandatory for all employers, a move that some said would cause about 1 million Americans to lose their jobs and others believe will be a huge step forward in ensuring that job openings only go to legal citizens, was extremely heated.  Video footage of the hearing can be found here.

On the U.S.-Mexico Border:

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce presented a report today outlining recommendations for a 21st century U.S.-Mexico border; namely: focusing on security, facilitating the flow of trade at the border, significantly investing in infrastructure, and pursuing immigration reform.  Some excerpts are below:

...trade facilitation and security should be viewed as mutually conducive. No factor is more fundamental to future investment, economic growth and job creation than security and the rule of law.

Immigration reform could help substantially alleviate the strain on our border, while adding to the economic vitality of our country. History shows an increase in the number of legal immigrants and temporary guest workers means a decrease in illegal immigration.

At a time when tempers are already strained over the flow of weapons and drugs across the border comes the new discovery of over 150 tunnels strewn along the U.S.-Mexico border used to smuggle people and drugs into America.  According to the AFP article some had been operating for as long as two decades and were sophisticated enough to even have internal rail and ventilation systems. According to James Dinkens, a US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) official, this discovery is symptomatic of a larger trend:

"Over the past several years, law enforcement has seen a marked increase in the number and sophistication of tunnels," he told a Senate hearing.

California Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein is looking to pass legislation that would elevate the offense of illegal tunnel-making to the level of "conspiracy", calling tunnel-making: "a real serious penetration into the US."

According to a new report from the Department of Homeland Security dozens of U.S. Customs agents have been complicit with Mexican drug cartels, receiving gifts of money or sexual favors in exchange for looking the other way as drugs and people entered the country. The CNN video coverage and article can be found here.

And finally, one thing that you may not have thought about illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border: nearly 200lbs of iguana meat.  Not kidding.  The LA Times story is here.

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