Club of Amsterdam Journal, January 2023, Issue 250

Journals Archive
Journals – Main Topics
The Future Now Shows



Lead Article

Are European welfare systems accessible to foreigners?
by Jean-Michel Lafleur and Daniela Vintila, Université de Liège

Article 01

Why Diversity Matters | Katherine Phillips
y Talks@Columbia

The Future Now Show

and our rapidly evolving multicultural world

with Ram Gidoomal & Miss Metaverse

Article 02

Anti-Discrimination and Diversity
Text drafted by Barbara Giovanna Bello for the Partnership between the European Commission and the Council of Europe in the field of youth

News about the Future

> Ark2030
> Swiss Future Farm

Article 03

Warka Village, Cameroon

Recommended Book

The Loudest Duck:
Moving Beyond Diversity While Embracing Differences to Achieve Success at Work

by Laura Liswood

Article 04

How to teach children about climate change, inspire hope and take action to change the future
by Maya K. Gislason and Angel M. Kennedy, Simon Fraser University, Canada

Climate Change Success Story

Grassroots Responses to Climate Change

Grassroots Organisations
Children and Climate Change

Futurist Portrait

Oshoke Abalu
Nigerian-American architect and futurist

Biodiversity, Cameroon, Children, Climate Change,
Diversity, EU, Grassroots, Immigration, India, Kenya,
Pygmies, UK, Water

Club of Amsterdam Search
Submit your article


Felix B Bopp

Website statistics for
January 2021 - December 2022:
Visits: 954,000
Visitors: 204


Ram Gidoomal: "Over the course of my life, there were some roads I did not choose, some I did. But whether or not we have chosen the path we're on, we can always choose how we walk it. As for me, I chose to simplify my lifestyle, to find a different road, one which ironically led me to riches of greater worth than I could have imagined.
"A road where the obstacles were many but never insurmountable. A road of compassion that left me with a peaceful heart. A road that led me far and wide but took me right where I belonged. My chosen path, "My silk road".

Laura Liswood: “Companies are ultimately looking for increased creativity, better ideas, and multiple perspectives, so they will in fact benefit from diversity. However, we will see that achieving this takes much more effort than merely assembling a workplace that looks like Noah’s ark.”

Lead Article

Are European welfare systems accessible to foreigners?
by Jean-Michel Lafleur and Daniela Vintila, Université de Liège



Jean-Michel Lafleur

Daniela Vintila


Since the “refugee crisis” in 2015 precipitated the rise of the far right in Europe, debates on the impact of migration on welfare states have raged across the continent. It is hardly surprising, therefore, that EU- and non-EU migrants alike still struggle to access welfare benefits in their European countries of residence. This is despite the fact that immigrants are more exposed to vulnerability. In 2019, 45% of non-EU citizens and 26% of citizens of other EU member states were at risk of poverty or social exclusion, compared to 20% of national citizens, according to Eurostat.

As social scientists of the Centre for Ethnic and Migration Studies (CEDEM at the University of Liège, we were curious to see how immigrants’ access to benefits might vary between EU member states. Backed by the European Research Council, our project has spawned a database and three books that identify the conditions that immigrants – Europeans and non-Europeans alike – must meet to access benefits in areas such as healthcare, employment, old-age, family, and social assistance.

Throughout the project we were in touch with dozens of Senegalese, Tunisian and Romanian migrants and their relatives in different European cities, as well as with civil servants and NGOs involved in helping them secure benefits. Our research draws three big lessons.

Welfare policies in the EU are “transnationalising”

Looking at the welfare policies in 40 European and non-European countries, we found significant similarities in the way states deal with migrants. As a rule of thumb, the principle of habitual residence – whereby one has to officially live in the member state where s/he seeks welfare support – remains widely adopted. This means that individuals moving abroad are likely to lose access to the benefits in their home countries.

However, our research also found that this principle has undergone two significant changes. First, certain types of benefits continue to be accessible after individuals emigrate. In the area of pensions, for instance, all EU member states allow retirees to continue receiving their contributory pensions abroad if they decide to emigrate and only eight countries (Bulgaria, Czechia, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Poland, Spain) limit the number of destination states in which the pension can continue to be received.

Recent EU legislation on social security coordination and a batch of bilateral social security agreements between European and non-European states have accelerated this process. We found that Tunisia, for instance, has signed 13 bilateral social security agreements with European and North African states (Algeria, Austria, Belgium, Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Libya, Luxembourg, Morocco, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain) that aim to guarantee the equal treatment of their citizens in these destination countries’ welfare systems. For Tunisian immigrants working in Belgium or France, this means that periods of activity in the home country can be taken into consideration for the calculation of benefits paid by their country of residence. Similarly, immigrants can also — in cases of emergency mostly — have medical expenses incurred during short trips in their homeland covered by the social security system of their country of residence.

Second, European countries are developing innovative programmes – so-called diaspora policies – in which institutions such as consulates that are traditionally not in charge of social protection help nationals abroad deal with social risks. For example, Romanian and Spanish consulates tend to have social attachés that inform and assist citizens abroad in claiming social benefits in their country of residence and in their home country.

This is also the case for certain non-EU nations, whose consulates can serve as gateways for their citizens to receive the support of European welfare states. In our research, we observed the administrative process through which widows of Senegalese migrant workers can access a survivors’ pension from the Spanish welfare state. From these developments, we argue that European welfare states are undergoing – in different ways – a process of transnationalisation that is characterised by a series of adjustments of their social protection policies to adapt to both incoming and outgoing migration flows.

Weaponising welfare policies for migration control

A second lesson is that welfare policies are increasingly used to control migration, even in a context of intra-EU mobility where EU citizens are easily able to settle in other member states. For instance, it is not uncommon for European countries to deny nationality or residence permits extension for foreigners who are perceived to represent a “burden” on the welfare system. Our database shows that in the vast majority of member states, the take-up of social assistance by non-EU immigrants can negatively affect the renewal of their residence permits, their applications to citizenship or their right to reunite with their families.

In most European states, claiming benefits can diminish migrants’ chances of being able to settle down in their host country. Daniela Vintila, Jean-Michel Lafleur (2021). MiTSoPro Policy Survey on Migration, Transnationalism and Social Protection

Belgium was one of the countries where this practice has been observed. Over the past decade, the government has withdrawn the residence permits of 15,000 EU migrants on the grounds of representing a “burden” on public finances. In our fieldwork with EU citizens affected by such practices, we noted the gap between the perceptions of EU citizens who believe that their right to free movement is unconditional and the behaviour of welfare authorities who increasingly view immigrants as “undeserving” of support. Overall, these practices indicate the increasing intersection between migration and social policies in different parts of Europe.

No migrant is an island

In our interviews with immigrants across different European cities, we observed a difference between rights “on paper” and rights “in practice”. Although migrants may be eligible for social benefits in their host country, barriers often remain – for example, a lack of understanding of the welfare system, limited knowledge of the language of the country, lack of documentation about prior social contributions, or even discrimination by civil servants. All can make it challenging for migrants to take up their rights.

This is particularly true for transient and more precarious immigrants who are unfamiliar with the specificities of the welfare system of their country of residence. For instance, we show in a forthcoming paper that Romanian migrants in Germany are confronted with a vast industry – so-called “welfare brokers” – enabling them to access their welfare rights. These range from lawyers, consulting firms to trade unions or migrant community organisations.

Overall, we found that welfare states in countries of residence and origin still treat immigrants and emigrants differently than they do their own citizens. Despite the good intentions of many administrations, individuals’ legal status, nationality, financial and educational resources still determining uptake. The Conversation

Jean-Michel Lafleur
, Associate Director, Centre for Ethnic and Migration Studies / Coordinator of IMISCOE, Université de Liège and Daniela Vintila, Associate coordinator and senior network officer of IMISCOE (International Migration Research Network) , Université de Liège


This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license.


Article 01

Why Diversity Matters | Katherine Phillips
by Talks@Columbia

We can learn and innovate more effectively — and understand the value of diversity — by making small changes in ourselves, says Katherine Phillips, Paul Calello Professor of Leadership and Ethics and Senior Vice Dean, Columbia Business School.

Talks @ Columbia draw speakers from among the thousands of thought leaders and researchers that make up the diverse faculty community at Columbia University. Through brief, engaging multimedia presentations, these experts show how the idea that matters most to them can resonate with us all. Talks @ Columbia provide fresh perspectives on the most important global topics today, persuasion to change how we think and act, and inspiration for us to help others and improve the world.







The Future Now Show

and our rapidly evolving multicultural world

with Ram Gidoomal & Miss Metaverse


Aiming to encourage those who are struggling to move forward in life, Ram Gidoomal shares stories that demonstrate the difference made by a can–do attitude, by a spirit of generosity and by prioritizing relationships. Through all these, he shares the secrets of living a life that marries deep compassion with success, a generous life that reaps unexpected rewards.






MY SILK ROAD – The Adventures and Struggles of a British Asian Refugee
by Ram Gidoomal

A rich boy turned refugee tells the story of coming full circle to succeed in ways beyond his imagination.

Born into a family that had recently fled British India during the partition of India and Pakistan, Ram’s early life in Mombasa seemed charmed with wealth and success. However, losing all of this overnight through a second deportation, this time from Kenya to the UK, he saw the course of his life change beyond recognition.

Despite having had his dreams and plans ripped away from him, Ram worked tirelessly, fighting to overcome every obstacle, and finally succeeded in gaining back wealth and reputation. However, on reaching his late thirties, an unusual day trip in Mumbai changed his life forever, transforming him from someone enriching himself and his shareholders to someone enriching the world. And this time, the change was his choice.

Aiming to encourage those who are struggling to move forward in life, Ram shares stories that demonstrate the difference made by a can–do attitude, by a spirit of generosity and by prioritizing relationships. Through all these, he shares the secrets of living a life that marries deep compassion with success, a generous life that reaps unexpected rewards.


Ram Gidoomal
London, United Kingdom
Chairman, Cotton Connect Ltd
Chairman of South Asian Development Partnership and Allia and Future Business Ltd

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
Board Member, Member Audit and Risk Committee and Remuneration Committee
London & Manchester

Thank you Prabhu Guptara!


Katie (Miss Metaverse™) King
Futurist and Content Creator
Cary, North Carolina, USA

Felix B Bopp
Producer of The Future Now Show

The Future Now Show

You can find The Future Now Show also at

LinkedIn: The Future Now Show Group
YouTube: The Future Now Show Channel


Article 02

Anti-Discrimination and Diversity

Text drafted by Barbara Giovanna Bello for the Partnership between the European Commission and the Council of Europe in the field of youth

Barbara Giovanna Bello

Equality, diversity and non discrimination are fundamental ingredients of the European idea, but have been mixed up in different ways along the years. Concerning equality, the original recipe prescribed the Aristotelian principle of formal equality, according to which "things that are alike should be treated alike" and differences among people should be deemed irrelevant. This approach proved inadequate to tackle all forms discriminations and did not take into account the fact that the equal application of rules to different groups or individuals can produce unequal results. In the last fifteen years a shift towards substantive equality has taken place in Europe, which seeks to remove the obstacles to the achievement of equal opportunity and equal outcomes. Therefore, the recipe has been enriched with bigger quantities of a tasty spice, diversity, which can be defined as the range of human differences, consisting of numerous visible and non visible grounds such as gender, race, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexual orientation, political opinion, citizenship and many others (Travelling Cultural Diversity, Salto-Youth Cultural Diversity). The increased recognition of diversity as a European value emphasizes the benefits of having multifaceted experiences in shaping a democratic society and the integrity of each and all individuals. Ultimately, it brings about individuals' "right to be different" and not to be discriminated against because of this difference, by going beyond stereotypes, prejudices and stigmatization of what is conceived as "Other".

Within the European Union, the motto "United in Diversity" enshrines the idea that Europeans are united in building together peace and democracy, and that the many different cultures, traditions and languages existing in Europe are a plus value for the continent. However, till 1997, the main focus of the anti-discrimination protection was limited to the nationality of Member States' citizens and to gender. Later on, new powers for combating discrimination on the grounds of race, ethnic origin, religion or beliefs, disability, age or sexual orientation were conferred under the substantive amendments to the Treaty of Amsterdam in 1997, together with the reinforcement of those regarding discrimination based on gender. As result of this process, the EU institutions passed a set of anti-discrimination Directives in 2000, the so called Equality Directives, providing everyone in the EU (citizens and Third Country nationals) with a common minimum level of legal protection against discrimination. The protection from these discriminations has been reiterated by the Lisbon Treaty, which entered into force on 1 December 2009. In fact, it confers the same legal value as the European Treaties to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of The European Union, signed on 7 December 2000 in Nice, whose chapter III, titled "Equality", promotes the non discrimination principle on the base of a wide range of grounds, while, at the same time, calls for respect for cultural, religious and linguistic diversity. Attention has been given also to multiple discriminations suffered by individuals (women in particular) because of the overlap or intersection of more grounds of discrimination. On the other hand, this set of law does not cover differences of treatment based on nationality or on the legal status of the third-country nationals, even if the Directive 2003/109 for long term residents breaches the wall of the Fortress Europe. A major impetus to anti-discrimination and diversity has been given by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), that was enforced on the 1st of March 2007 as a body of the European Union, built on the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC). It issues many studies and reports concerning the EU anti-discrimination strategy, focusing as well on particularly vulnerable groups, such as asylum-seekers, the Roma minority, Muslim people.

Besides, the EU has been supporting and financing several activities concerning diversity and non discrimination, such as the five-year pan-European information campaign on combating discrimination on the grounds of racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, age, disability and sexual orientation, under the slogan "For Diversity. Against Discrimination", in which youth issues were very stressed.

In order to raise awareness on the need to enhance the principle of non-discrimination in practice, to foster intercultural dialogue and to promote social inclusion, the EU named 2007 to be the Year of "Equal Opportunities for All"; 2008 to be the Year of Year of Intercultural Dialogue ; and 2010 to be the Year Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion.

Concerning the Council of Europe, its commitment to combating discrimination and in valuing diversity can be traced back to decades ago. Art. 14 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, signed in Rome in 1950 and strengthened by Protocol No. 12 reads: "The enjoyment of the rights and freedoms set forth in this Convention shall be secured without discrimination on any ground such as sex, race, colour, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, association with a national minority, property, birth or other status". The Convention will arguably increase its significance also within the EU, because the Lisbon Treaty provides that the European Union "shall accede to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms", becoming a party to the convention in the same way each of its member states is. Many other documents complement the fight against discrimination within the Council of Europe, like the revised European Social Charter, whose art. 20 fosters "the right to equal opportunities and equal treatment in matters of employment and occupation without discrimination on the grounds of sex" and the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, signed in 1995. Within the Council of Europe, the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) issued a number of Recommendations to promote the anti-discrimination principle, to fight against racism and racial discrimination, to harmonize the post 11/9 anti-terrorism legislations and practices with the anti-discrimination protection on grounds of nationality, national or ethnic origin and religion and, more often, in discriminatory practices by public authorities. In particular The Ecri General Policy Reccomandation N. 8 on Combatting racism while fighting terrorism, adopted on 17 March 2004, has a particular impact on Youth as well, because many practices (as racial profiling) concern Muslim young men. In the last four years, the Council of Europe and the European Union have been cooperating in running the awareness raising Campaign "Dosta!", to break down stereotypes and prejudices on the Roma minority.

The EU and CoE policy in the Youth Sector have been dramatically impacted by the aforesaid general legislation and activities. In 2001 the European Commission launched the White Paper on Youth Policy, in which the fight against racism and xenophobia plays a prominent role together with the "mainstreaming of youth" in other policy areas, predominantly, concerning the fight against racism, xenophobia and other forms of discrimination as well as health and well-being.

The European Commission gave a new impetus to youth education, employment and inclusion policies with the Communication "Promoting young people's full participation in education, employment and society", adopted by in September 2007, setting as key issue the achievement of social inclusion and equal opportunities of minorities' young people. Also the Youth in Action Programme for the period 2007 to 2013, has among its objectives the promotion of the fundamental values of the EU among young people, in particular respect for human dignity, equality, respect for human rights, tolerance and non discrimination. In 2008, following a consultation involving national governments, the European Youth Forum, youth organisations and other stakeholders, the European Commission launched the new strategy "Youth – Investing and Empowering", that suggests to mainstream youth in all anti-discrimination policies.

The European Spring Council of March 2005 adopted the Youth Pact in 2005, as part of the revised Lisbon Strategy, aiming at improving all young people's education, employment, vocational integration, mobility and social inclusion. In 2009, the European Youth Forum suggested that, in occasion of the revision of the Lisbon Strategy in 2010, a renewed and updated European Youth Pact should be integrated in the Europe 2020 strategy, in order to draft "special measures addressing the needs of specific groups of young people facing discrimination and social exclusion: young women, young migrants, young people with disability, young LGBT people, young people from ethnic and religious minorities, as well as young people with fewer financial means". Consequently, the Europe 2020 strategy launched Youth on the Move, which enucleates 28 key actions aimed at increasing young people's employability and access to the labour market, encouraging above all those young people from disadvantaged backgrounds that have difficult access to EU grants to study or train in another country.

Besides, the Council of the European Union issued the Resolution on a renewed framework for European cooperation in the youth field (2010-2018) on 27 November 2009, that seeks to anchor the European Youth Policy in the international system of human rights. It reads: "A number of guiding principles should be observed in all policies and activities concerning young people, namely the importance of (a) promoting gender equality and combating all forms of discrimination, respecting the rights and observing the principles recognised inter alia in Articles 21 and 23 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union".

Within the Council of Europe, the so called "AGENDA 2020" was signed in Kyiv (Ukraine) on 11 October 2008 by the Ministers responsible for Youth from the 49 States party to the European Cultural Convention of the Council of Europe, in order to refresh the youth agenda of the Council of Europe, as suggested by the Parliamentary Assembly's Recommendation 1844 (2008). The "Agenda 2020" sets a number of priorities for the Council of Europe youth policy and action, among which empowering young people to promote, in their daily life, cultural diversity as well as intercultural dialogue and co-operation; preventing and counteracting all forms of racism and discrimination on any ground; supporting initiatives of young people in conflict prevention and management as well as post-conflict reconciliation by means of intercultural dialogue, including its religious dimension; supporting youth work with young refugees, asylum-seekers and displaced persons.
In the same year, a Resolution on the youth policy of the Council of Europe, adopted on 25 November 2008, aims to follow up the Action Plan agreed in Warsaw in 2005, particularly the youth campaign for diversity, human rights and participation "All different - All equal" (see below) and, therefore, sets up many ambitious goals, among which: to promote equal opportunities for the participation of all young people in all aspects of their everyday lives; to effectively implement gender equality and prevent all forms of gender-based violence; to live together in diverse societies.

The European Union and the Council of Europe launched several joined Campaigns to promote the principles of Equality and of Non Discrimination. For example, from June 2006 to September 2007 the Council of Europe, in partnership with the European Commission and the European Youth Forum, ran the aforesaid Campaign for Diversity, Human Rights and Participation, entitled "All Different – All Equal", in order to strengthen the fight against racism, anti-Semitism, Xenophobia and Intolerance. The title of the Campaign was inspired by the namesake one ran in 1995 by the Member States of the Council of Europe.

In the framework of the Partnership in the youth field set up by the European Commission and the Council of Europe, the focus around the themes anti-discrimination, social cohesion, inclusion and diversity has increased since 2005 and has been reflected in the organization of thematic research seminars on social inclusion (2005), on diversity, human rights and participation (2006) and non equal opportunities for all (2007). Collection of the seminars' presentations has been produced for disseminating the outcomes of the events.







News about the Future

> Ark2030
> Swiss Future Farm


Ark2030 is on a mission to reverse the climate crisis and end the destruction of Planet Earth.

We will achieve this through:

> The restoration of the 500m Hectares of Planet Earth destroyed by mankind since the beginning of the industrial revolution

> Investing in the companies that will turn back the dial on the climate crisis

Ark2030 has developed the roadmap to restore the world’s greatest ecosystems across every continent and every ocean; working to create a unique global collaboration of science, academia, landowners, NGOs and ‘on the ground’ implementation partners.

Swiss Future Farm

The wave of global digitalization has also affected agriculture and is causing a major change in the perception and management of agricultural enterprises. Innovative technologies are at the heart of this new era, offering new ways of linking and optimizing different areas of agricultural work. Against this background, the three project partners AGCO Corporation, GVS Agrar AG and the Arenenberg Education and Consulting Center are taking up the new opportunities created by digital change and highlighting their benefits for the agriculture of the future.

The joint concept offers great potential in the areas of education, knowledge transfer and development for agriculture and opens up new synergies between research, consulting and innovative technology. The project takes up the new opportunities created by digital change and offers complete and practical solutions for the farmer; experts will experience the state-of-the-art machines live and in real-life conditions, gain insight into the collection of data that can be continuously evaluated and integrated into the development of new technologies and farming methods.

The "Swiss Future Farm" will create an ideal basis for agricultural technology research and development in conjunction with a professional exchange at eye level with farmers. The "Swiss Future Farm" as a place of encounter and exchange sets an example in the productive interaction of diverse competencies: bundled knowledge leads to innovation.






Article 03

Warka Village, Cameroon


The Warka Village is an integrated community designed to host up to 100 people, from Pygmies and other local ethnic, in need to live with dignity. An example of collaboration with the local community, on how to construct using indigenous techniques and local natural materials that respect the cultural identity of the place. An architecture handmade by local artisans, heroic and surprising. A cultural center of social aggregation with qualities spaces. An example of how we can live in harmony with nature.

With disappearing cultures, we also face the disappearance of languages, wisdom and knowledge systems which, if gone, will be an immense loss for humanity as a whole. It is also a severe environmental threat. Indigenous peoples worldwide have been the custodians of forests and other ecosystems for hundreds and thousands of generations, living in relative harmony with what nature, taking no more than what they need, thereby leaving enough for the ecological systems to regenerate, and for other species to continue to thrive.

No rights for the indigenous peoples and eradicating their traditional modes of living, we are lousing entire cultures and socio-environmental structures that have co-developed over millennia.

Today, however, due to unsustainable paths of development, we are faced with ever more pressing environmental problems, manifested through complex and interconnected phenomena, such as the diminishing availability of clean water, rapid decline of fertile soil on which to grow food, a continuous loss of biodiversity, and concerning signs of climate change, amongst many others.

The Warka Village aspires to transform the landscape of comprehensive human development, utilizing low-cost, sustainable, community-driven, high-impact multisector development interventions that are tailored to the village’s specific needs. This will address the needs of villagers in terms of essential services that impact their daily standard of living and overall quality of life. Rural infrastructure, Agriculture, Health, Water & Sanitation, and the Preservation.

An integrated village designed to host 100 people, local ethnic groups of Cameroon in need to live with dignity. It will become a cultural center as well, of social aggregation with quality spaces.

An architecture handmade by local artisans, heroic and surprising.

An example of how to collaborate with rural communities, how to construct using indigenous techniques and local natural materials that respect the cultural identity of the place. An example of how to live in harmony with nature.

The Warka Village will operate as a platform to run social, cultural, and economical activities with the inhabitants and the children. This is an important part of our community empowerment strategy, and it is part of the Stage 2 project program. We aim to organize activities such as Artcraft, Agroecology, Animal husbandry, Health, and Hygiene self-care education, Reforestation, Training, Infrastructure Monitoring, Ecotourism, Traditional Medicine, Water, and Waste Management.

Warka Water - Dab Pumps for sustainability - The Warka Village
by Dab Pumps



Recommended Book

The Loudest Duck:
Moving Beyond Diversity While Embracing Differences to Achieve Success at Work

by Laura Liswood


Diversity in the workplace is a wonderful thing -- but it also challenges many of today's business leaders. For managers and team-members alike, it can be difficult to navigate in a truly diverse workplace made up of people of different cultures, races, creeds, body types, hobbies, genders, religions, styles, and sexual orientations. But understanding our cultural and social differences is a major key to a high-performing, merit-based work environment.

The Loudest Duck is a business guide that explores workplace diversity and presents new ideas for getting the most business and organizational benefit from it. In the Chinese children's parable, the loudest duck is the one that gets shot. In America, we like to say that the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Comparing the two, it's easy to see that our different cultures teach us different sets of values, and those values often translate into different ways of doing business that may subtly advantage one culture at work and disadvantage another.

In the global marketplace, it's more important than ever that we understand and are conscious of our differences to work together effectively. It is not enough to create Noah's Ark, bringing in two of each kind. We all bring our unconscious beliefs and personal narratives about who we are and who others are with us to work and, with diversity in place, we can no longer ignore them. Truly effective leaders can't pretend that we're all the same or that our preferences and preconceptions don't exist. The Loudest Duck offers a way to move beyond traditional diversity efforts that ignore our differences and toward modern diversity practices that embrace those differences -- and profit from them.

Diverse organizations require more sophisticated leadership, conscious awareness of diversity issues, new behavioral patterns, and effective tools for reaping the benefits of true diversity. This book will help you develop the skills you need and the tools you can use to go beyond what Grandma taught you to make diversity work in your business.

More than just an enlightening tale about diversity, The Loudest Duck is a powerful resource for any manager, business owner, team leader, or employee who wants to meet the challenges of the modern heterogeneous workplace. It's not simply about accepting others -- it's about ensuring a level playing field for everyone and building an organization that gets the best from all its people.


Laura A. Liswood

Secretary General, Council of Women World Leaders 
Former Managing Director and Senior Advisor, Goldman Sachs 

Laura Liswood is an international, award-winning speaker who conveys her insights regarding leadership, diversity, women in politics, and business to both large and small audiences. In her speeches, she explores the questions surrounding myths of leadership and lessons of leaders. She looks at best practices of excellent leaders drawing upon the interviews she has conducted with women heads of state and heads of government. She shares insights on how to enhance opportunities to lead and shape one's career successfully. Liswood is an expert on diversity and unconscious bias and why they matter.

Liswood is the Secretary General of the Council of Women World Leaders, located in Washington, DC, which is composed of women presidents, prime ministers, and heads of government. The work of the Council expands the understanding of leadership, establishes a network of resources for high-level women leaders, and provides a forum for the group to contribute input and shape the international issues important to all people. Liswood co-founded the Council with President Vigdís Finnbogadóttir of Iceland. It is the only organization in the world dedicated to women heads of state and government.

From 2002 to 2015, Liswood held the position of Senior Advisor at Goldman Sachs, a global investment bank. She was previously Managing Director, Global Leadership and Diversity for Goldman Sachs.

Liswood holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and a B.A. from California State University, San Diego. She holds a J.D. degree from the University of California, Davis, School of Law, and is admitted to practice law in California and Massachusetts.


Article 04

How to teach children about climate change, inspire hope and take action to change the future 
by Maya K. Gislason and Angel M. Kennedy, Simon Fraser University, Canada



Maya K. Gislason

Angel M. Kennedy


Children need information that both acknowledges the troubling realities we’re facing and that also equips them to take action. (Roy/Flickr), CC BY-NC
Maya K. Gislason, Simon Fraser University and Angel M. Kennedy, Simon Fraser University


Children and youth know that climate change is altering lives, environmental patterns and futures.

Human-caused climate change is altering the intensity of the likelihood of extreme weather, and has contributed to an abrupt rise in disasters over the past 20 years, creating significant personal and economic costs. In 2021, many people across Canada experienced the impacts of weather-related events linked to climate change, including devastating flooding, landslides, heat domes, wildfires, thawing permafrost and hurricanes.

We have examined existing research about understanding climate change related to youth and children and their mental health. Our focus is learning how to best equip young people to navigate climate change and to envision their futures amid multiple social challenges.

While the effects of climate change are undeniable across global communities, these effects also disproportionately impact people who experience social, structural and systemic inequities and marginalization.

Our early research findings have identified the importance of moving beyond traditional curricular approaches in schools.

We hope to help develop innovative ways to teach children and youth about climate change in a way that is trauma-informed and seeks to build resilience in children and youth. This includes linking scientific approaches with arts-based methods.

We have also begun a process of interviewing British Columbia educators and reviewing the province’s curriculum to assess how B.C. is doing with regards to best practices in climate change education, and what might be improved.

Intergenerational justice issue

Climate change is a social and intergenerational justice issue that disproportionately impacts children and youth, who have have inherited the problem.

Youth and children also have unique needs in climate adaptation, mitigation and recovery processes, given the effects climate disasters can have on their lives. Children also want to be actively and meaningfully engaged in responses to climate change, but are often not given the opportunity — and when they do act, their efforts can go unnoticed.

When young people perceive that adults are not taking substantial action on climate change and when their voices go unheard, these experiences can contribute to youth losing hope for their futures. This is particularly the case in a media-saturated world where reminders of climate disasters, as well as misinformation, are permeating the news, social media and the social environment around them.

The impacts of climate change, as well as youth and children’s reaction to them, serve as continuous reminders for educators, parents or guardians, regional planners and health providers that climate change is an urgent issue requiring immediate attention. How we communicate about climate change and imagine possible social responses to this shared crisis has a lasting effect on children and youth today.

Need for ‘grounded hope’

For their development and well-being, children need information that both acknowledges the very troubling realities we are facing but also equips them to take action to change that future.

Building on the thinking of psychologist Lee Daniel Kravetz, we think this could be called offering “grounded hope” — a way of seeing based in a realistic understanding of circumstances, while cultivating hope by building confidence in our ability to have a role in shaping outcomes. With respect to climate change, this approach would encourage young people to learn how to identify and connect with the strengths and assets of their communities and to develop tools for envisioning and building sustainable solutions.

This agency can counter the despair that comes from the climate crisis. An important way to foster this agency is through linking scientific approaches with arts-based methods. For children and youth, art is not only a powerful and accessible way to communicate about how climate change is affecting their lives and sense of future, but also a creative way to develop new metaphors, narratives and design principles for building a more hopeful future.

Responses to climate change

Youth have varied reactions to the effects of the climate crisis on their future. These reactions include having stress or anxiety-related responses that negatively affect sleep, ability to focus and relationships; feeling like the future is out of their hands, leading to reduced priority of planning for the future (such as considering further education) or expressing commitments to taking action to address climate change.

Educators play an important role in helping youth and children manage their stress about the future and stay connected to each other in a kind and compassionate way. Paying attention to both is critical when the going gets tough.

A woman rustles a child's hair as she holds a child-made sign that says 'systems change, not climate change.'
Learning to stay connected through relationships in a compassionate way is critical in navigating climate change. (AP Photo/David Cliff)

Trauma-informed approaches

Beyond stress, some children and youth find the effects of climate change are traumatic. The Manitoba Trauma Information Centre defines trauma as “a single experience, or enduring repeated or multiple experiences, that completely overwhelm the individual’s ability to cope or integrate the ideas and emotions involved in that experience.” Research shows that when talking to young people about climate change, a trauma-informed practice that builds resilience is helpful.

A B.C. Ministry of Education document offering key principles and strategies promoting mental health in schools notes that taking a trauma-informed lens means “integrating an understanding of past and current experiences of trauma into all aspects of school life.”

From curriculum guidelines to teaching approaches, schools must seek to operate out of an awareness of the historically and culturally specific ways that students are vulnerable to both climate trauma and other forms of trauma resulting from intersecting forms of injustice and marginalization.

Life chances

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the ways in which severe and sustained changes to children’s social world via, prolonged periods of social distancing and school closures, for example, may alter children’s development, prospects for educational attainment and life chances — chances people have for “sharing in the socially created economic or cultural ‘goods’ … in any given society,” as explained by sociologist Anthony Giddens.

Extreme-weather events create the possibility for similar personal and social upheaval, along with significant impacts to the natural environment, communities and built infrastructure. However, involving children meaningfully (in age- and stage-appropriate ways) in making change can promote feelings of agency and resilience in the age of the climate crisis.

We look forward to continuing to understand specific ways educators, parents and role models are teaching about climate change in resilience-building ways, and what insights this may yield for future directions for climate change education. The Conversation

Maya K. Gislason, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University and Angel M. Kennedy, PhD Student, Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University



This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license.




Climate Change Success Story

Grassroots Responses to Climate Change

.... a random small selection ....

Climate Justice Alliance (CJA)
formed in 2013 to create a new center of gravity in the climate movement by uniting frontline communities and organizations into a formidable force. Our translocal organizing strategy and mobilizing capacity is building a Just Transition away from extractive systems of production, consumption and political oppression, and towards resilient, regenerative and equitable economies. We believe that the process of transition must place race, gender and class at the center of the solutions equation in order to make it a truly Just Transition.

is an international environmental organization addressing the climate crisis. Its stated goal is to end the use of fossil fuels and transition to renewable energy by building a global, grassroots movement.
We're an international movement of ordinary people working to end the age of fossil fuels and build a world of community-led renewable energy for all.

Grassroots International
Established in 1983, Grassroots International is a global grantmaking and social action organization that partners with social movements in the Global South and progressive funders in the US. We partner, fund, and work in solidarity with movements and organizations around the world in order to nurture sustainable and equitable relationships between people, with the earth, and all its living systems.

Mikoko Pamoja
is creating a holistic model of development for the future. The community group has created the first mangrove carbon credit market in the world — meaning people or organizations pay for credits that are then used for mangrove restoration. So far, 117 hectares of mangroves have been protected. Mangroves are some of the most powerful natural mitigators of climate change in the world. Not only do mangroves absorb higher amounts of carbon than regular forests, they also clean local water and soil sources and protect against floods.

Mikoko Pamoja doesn’t stop there, either. With the funds raised through the carbon market, water access has been improved for 3,500 people and 700 school children have received school supplies.

The Mali Elephant Project
Mali’s elephant population is at a perilous low. Poaching, which has driven elephant populations to historic lows around the world, is exacerbated by ethnic strife and fights over natural resources.

The Mali Elephant Project seeks to address all of the tangled issues that make poaching in Mali so bad.

First, it offers sustainable economic opportunities to people in the region. Youth are trained to be “eco-guardians” and women are encouraged to collect non-timber natural resources, giving people greater economic independence.

Plus, all programs involve people from different ethnic groups in order to promote tolerance and community cohesion.

Since forming in 2003, the group has “created rules for local use of natural resources, set aside forests for elephant use, formed pasture reserves, and designated seasonal water sources to be shared by people, livestock, and elephants.”

Alianza Internacional de Reforestación Guatemala, AIR
After legal and illegal deforestation threatened the collapse of ecosystems in Guatemala, the government turned to local communities to protect forests.

For AIRES, this expectation was nothing new. They had been protecting local forests and communities for more than two decades.

AIRES believes that effective land management begins with strong communities. So far, it has helped more than 130 communities improve farming methods, protect against erosion and mudslides, build efficient stoves, plant trees, and more. Through its efforts, more than 5 million trees have been planted, 3,000 farmers have been trained, 200 nurseries created, and 860 cook stoves built.

Associação Ashaninka do Rio Amônia Apiwtxa (Apiwtxa), Brazil
The rights of indigenous people in Brazil are often ignored, according to National Geographic. For many groups who live in the Amazon rainforest and experience deforestation and resource exploitation, that often means their ways of life are threatened.

The Ashaninka people of Northwestern Brazil have taken an innovative approach to defending their land and culture. To protect their 87.205-hectare of land, Apiwtxa uses 3D-mapping technology to understand what areas are at risk and where resources should be deployed. The group also uses more old-fashioned methods of conservation. Educational centers throughout the region help to promote respect for indigenous culture and the land and instill a sense of activism into the youth. The group has also developed a robust trading network for non-timber forest products to sustainably harvest the Amazon.

The Raja Ampat Homestay Association, Indonesia
The overlapping threats of climate change, overfishing, and marine pollution have caused coastal communities around the world to reconsider their relationships to the sea. For AUHLKRA, that meant promoting ecosystem. More than 84 community-owned businesses have emerged through this collective and more than 600 jobs have been created. No-take fishery zones, community forest patrols, and smarter agricultural and restoration practices have empowered people in the region.

Stay Raja Ampat is the website of PT Bahari Perjampat Sejahtera (PERJAMPAT).
PERJAMPAT is a Papuan social enterprise that is fully owned and operated by members of the Raja Ampat Homestay Association. 100% of payments made on PERJAMPAT’s Stay Raja Ampat website directly benefit Homestay Association member families and their communities.
The Raja Ampat Homestay Association is a community organisation dedicated to improving the wellbeing of Raja Ampat’s indigenous communities on their own land, while restoring and sustaining the island’s unique ecosystems for future generations.
All of PT Bahari Perjampat Sejahtera’s profits are either reinvested in the business, or are used to support community development and environmental projects implemented by the Homestay Association.
PT Bahari Perjampat Sejahtera’s operations are supported through a technical and management services agreement with the social enterprise Seventy Three Pte Ltd with the aim of delivering excellent customer service while building the capacity of Raja Ampat’s communities to run the business for themselves.

is a youth-led and -organised movement that began in August 2018, after 15-year-old Greta Thunberg and other young activists sat in front of the Swedish parliament every schoolday for three weeks, to protest against the lack of action on the climate crisis. She posted what she was doing on Instagram and Twitter and it soon went viral.

Sources: Google, Global Citizen



Children and Climate Change


Greta and eight young activists reveal how the climate crisis is shaping their lives
by Unicef



Climate change - from one kid to another | Bandi Guan
by TEDxYouth@GrandviewHeights



What does climate change mean to children from around the world?
by Unicef UK





Futurist Portrait

Oshoke Abalu
Nigerian-American architect and futurist


Oshoke is an architect and futurist who has been credited by TIME Magazine with “breaking down walls” for rejuvenating and transforming MetLife’s global work culture through the delivery of human-centered spaces.

Oshoke pioneers innovative design solutions that infuse consciousness and humanity into global workplace transformations.

Co-founder of The Love and Magic Company, creator of “Superpowers & Symphony”, faculty at The Inner MBA, and a Crain’s 40 Under 40 honoree; Oshoke and her work have been featured in Smart Planet, Vogue, Domino Magazine, Interior Design Magazine, ABC, NBC, Fast Company, TED, BOLD TV and more.


A New Perspective – Superpowers & Symphony: The Future of Inclusion
by Linkage Inc.

Presented in partnership with architect and futurist Oshoke Abalu, Superpowers & Symphony is an invitation to belong, where we recognize and cultivate each individual’s uniqueness as “Superpowers,” thereby unlocking Symphony, our greatest resource to achieve true inclusion in the workplace.

This solution can enhance your existing diversity, equity and inclusion programming or serve as a framework for a new diversity and inclusion strategy at your organization.

Learn more:





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