Month: November 2016

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Six Superb STEMinists You Need to Meet

When I think of famous women in STEM, Marie Curie immediately comes to mind, but I can’t think of too many after that. For a girl to succeed in STEM fields, she needs support and she needs role models. These six women are currently working in STEM fields ranging from outer-space to the science lab and even into the White House. “Environmental challenges have the power to deny equality of opportunity and hold back the progress of communities.”– Lisa P. Jackson Lisa P. Jackson is a chemical engineer who has devoted her life to protecting the environment as both a woman in STEM and politics. She worked at the EPA for sixteen years before joining the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, and worked on land management rights. She became the Commissioner of Environmental Protection for New Jersey and focused on making sure generally ignored and disenfranchised communities had access to pollutant free air. And she reached out to multicultural communities to educate, inform and involve them in her environmental efforts. She was the head …

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The Forgotten Development Goal: Personal Reflections

Sustainable Development Goal 18: Engagement and Interest for Development Within All People. How does that sound? Why is this goal needed when we already have 17 of them? But I know that if it actually was an SDG it would already be achieved. I can confidently say so after having the honor of attending this year’s United Nation’s General Assembly (UNGA) Week in New York City. If we take a look at the Millennium Development Goals I think that – to be honest – it was a thing created by force. The world was falling apart and our world leaders just had to figure out a solution. The result of that were a few great, optimistic, goals that we were all supposed to work on together. Where did it go wrong? How come we did not achieve the Millennium Development Goals? Of course, there were plenty of reasons. For example the lack of detailed targets and goals, the unrealistic part of achieving them and the missing piece of partnership. But the one thing I see in the …

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Linking with Those at Standing Rock

I stand in solidarity with the water protectors. Native Americans from nearly 300 tribes united to protect the water by protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline. This pipeline would transport 450,000 barrels of crude oil per day across sacred burial grounds and Lake Oahe on the Missouri River, the main source of drinking water for Standing Rock. According to the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1851, Standing Rock Reservation is a sovereign native nation, meaning that Energy Transfer Partners has no right to construct this pipeline on their land without their permission. The US Government, per their own treaty, has no right to let them. I stand with the water protectors because I oppose a $3.7 billion project that supports a corporation at the expense of human beings. I stand with them as a white American who is interwoven in a system that exploits Natives for my gain – and I want that exploitation to stop. I stand with them because I am crying out for my government to honor the treaties and begin to right its …

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The Fine Art of Learning to Love Yourself

A couple of weeks ago, I stumbled upon an interesting picture while scrolling through my Facebook page. The words ”You have to love yourself before anyone else can take the role of loving you” were written in large letters. The quote really got to me and for a moment I actually felt an ounce of despair. Is it really not possible for anyone else to love me if I do not completely love myself first? The first thing that came to my mind was the definition of the words ”loving yourself”. Does it mean that you should put yourself first or is it more about self-confidence? In Sweden we sometimes talk about putting ourselves in “the first room”, but in English I guess you would refer to it as putting yourself first. Often when talked about, the first room is something good and an absolutely necessary thing to do to improve your personal welfare. When applying Cognitive Egoism to your life, you allow yourself to do things that bring happiness to your daily life. ”By making yourself the first priority, especially by doing things that makes …

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Potato Salad or Global Public Health: Invest in Something that Matters

I sat with Derek Fetzer, Co-Founder and Team Leader of Caring Crowd in a quaint café in the Johnson & Johnson headquarters during their Global Citizen Summit. He told me about the significance of this new crowdfunding platform and the various ways young leaders in the health sector can become involved. After explaining the purpose of Caring Crowd, he pointed out that Johnson & Johnson is genuinely invested as a sponsor and truly values the needs and wellbeing of those they serve. During his thirty second shark-tank-style pitch, he – the multimillion dollar investor – explained to me why I should donate to a Caring Crowd project. Among some of those reasons were: We are sponsored by Johnson & Johnson Health workers are passionate about their involvement The sole focus is global public health  All projects are registered 501 © 3 The projects on the Caring Crowd platform highlight the power of people working together to ensure the wellbeing of others. In his interview he talked about the easy process for individuals to apply as well …

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Women in Leadership – Tällberg Foundation’s 2016 Global Leaders

Blog post by The Tällberg Foundation “By honoring these amazing leaders, the Tällberg Foundation seeks to draw attention to their work and to provoke a global conversation about leadership…they demonstrate that effective, courageous, and innovative leadership can overcome even the most seemingly intractable issues.” – Alan Stoga, Tällberg Foundation’s Chairman At a time of growing doubts about the quality of leadership in many countries, five extraordinary women leaders spur us to question what kind of leadership is required to counter the challenges of the 21st century. This year, the Tällberg Foundation has the incredible opportunity to honor their work through the Global Leaders and Prize process. Celina de Sola, a Salvadorian humanitarian and co-founder of Glasswing International; Christiana Figueres, former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Eleni Antoniadou, a Greek scientist, Sunitha Krishnan, an Indian social activist; and Thuli Madonsela, former South African Public Protector all demonstrate that individual leadership through innovation, ethics, determination and willingness to take great risks still exists. Despite their diverse backgrounds, they all have …

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Getting the Story Right About Violence Against Women

The need for data-driven storytelling is bigger than ever. With the growth of social media, where stories can go viral any second, it is crucial that we tell the stories right – to change perspectives, challenge the roots of patriarchy, create movements of positive change around the world, and ultimately to end violence against women. Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women – a day to highlight the importance to fight violence and discrimination that so many women are subjected to on a daily basis around the world. The United Nations defines violence against women as, any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or mental harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life. When a President is elected, despite the fact that he has said that powerful men can “grab women by the pussy” or when a Swedish male politician calls a female minister “whore” in …

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Refugees Are Welcome

A couple of weeks ago, on a grey, rainy Sunday, I walked up to my front door to find a little crowd gathered outside. There was music coming from speakers on the pavement and two young men stood on ladders, painting on the wall beside the Indian restaurant below my apartment. A few hours later they were finished. People stopped and looked up as they walked past and pointed it out to children who tilted little heads back to take in its scale. People stood and talked and took photos with their phones. The painting shows a mass of people and faces, in orange, yellow, black and brown. Around the people there are outlines of houses, or maybe they could be tents, and on those in thick black capital letters it says “Refugees Are Welcome”, “Support Calais Jungle”, and “Homes for Humans”. That last one is repeated several times. I Instagrammed it, hashtagged StreetArtLondon, and felt a pride that I knew was unjustifiable. I ignored that bit. I basked in the easy, cosy warmth of …

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(re)THINKING Youth Development

By Bhongolwethu Sonti “My life has been a great challenge and opportunity as it’s made me flexible to what is constant in the world – change. Change is something that we young people know a lot about – when we reach a certain age our bodies experience many turns and turbulences, some which we can’t explain and at most times no one wants to explain to us.” This was the opening line to my TEDxYouth@CapeTown talk on youth development and meaningful engagement. When we think about development we think of the re-imaging or rejuvenating of a place or situation for the better through a certain process. When it comes to youth development, per Eastern Kentucky University, it is “the process by which young people acquire competencies and positive connections to self, others and the larger community and all the people, places, supports, opportunities and services they need to be healthy, happy and successful.” These definitions, although accurate in describing the process, also outline the crippling problem that hinders this work. Youth development is seen and conducted …

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Community Heroes Drive Progress to End Violence Against Women

Blog Post written by Global Fund for Women and Rifka Annisa Global Fund for Women grantee partner, Rifka Annisa, a domestic violence shelter in Indonesia supported by Johnson & Johnson, works to empower women and communities to eliminate gender-based violence. Rifka Annisa works at all levels, providing counseling to male perpetrators, educating the community and training groups of women to address gender-based violence locally, and advocating for new laws and pushing for legal enforcement. Rini Iswandari leads the of Forum for Handling Victims of Violence in Bleberan Village, Gunungkidul, Yogyakarta. Johnson & Johnson partners with the Global Fund for Women to support 5 grassroots organizations like Rifka Annisa in Indonesia and the Philippines to provide services to victims of gender-based violence. This is the last of 3 blog posts spotlighting how collective, community-oriented action is needed to end violence against women around the world.  How are you working to end violence against women or care for survivors of violence in your community? What do your programs to end violence against women in your community look like? Every human …