Thinking outside the box
One of the most powerful social engineering tools available in society is school curriculum. Curriculum is inevitably a selection of official and privileged knowledge, skills, values and attitudes, where what is included and, more importantly perhaps, what is excluded is the decision of the dominant group in society. The curriculum can therefore be viewed as a potential weapon in the so called ‘war on youth’. How then can educators challenge this discourse and fight back on behalf of young people?
Half the world’s population now live in cities – a dramatic change that is still relatively recent. At the start of the nineteenth century, London was the only city that housed one million people. In human history, there is no precedent for vast numbers of people to be housed in urban concentrations – is it any wonder that we are finding it difficult to plan and manage our cities?
Human beings are harvesting more fish than ever before, with serious consequences. Fishing fleets are using enormous amounts of fossil fuel, damaging ocean ecosystems and destroying many species that are not on the menu.
Cigarette sin taxes are favoured by economists and politicians, generating over $6 billion in revenue per year in Australia. With smoking rates remaining higher in lower socio-economic groups, sin taxes are affecting poor people disproportionately harder – a pack-a-day smoker is spending $4,380 a year on their habit, money that is usually diverted from other household necessities.
Refugees have a huge cultural distance to cover on arrival in Australia – a transition that generates a demand for knowledge of information that we take for granted. Offering peer support training and free call mobile phones to small groups of refugee women is lowering communication barriers and strengthening communities.
This month marked the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the USA. However, whilst the past ten years has witnessed lots of debate around issues of national security and foreign policy, the relationship between world trade, international accounting systems and peace has received comparatively little attention. The relationship between western accounting standards and the rise of terrorism asks whether the institution governing the development of global accounting standards needs to be transformed.
Pets are present in 63% of Australian homes and most Australians have lived with a pet at some point during their life. With a growing recognition that pets add something profoundly important and positive to human lives, there is the opportunity to improve the quality of life of many Australians, the aged, the unwell and socially disadvantaged.