Category: Global

Richer city, better government: Part 2, civic engagement

9 October, 2008 (11:22) | Cities, Global, Policy, Speculation |

Yesterday’s post, taking as its source text a lengthy and thoughtful essay by Alan Ehrenhalt in The New Republic, followed the enrichment of cities as the world urbanizes in this century of cities. With wealth come other benefits.  Wealthy cities are cleaner.  They are also safer:   Nor, in general, does the scourge of urban […]

Richer city, better government: Part 1, moving back in

8 October, 2008 (08:12) | Cities, Global, Policy, Speculation |

As the world urbanizes, in the century of cities, cities are becoming richer – and as they do, other beneficial things are happening, as explained in a lengthy and thoughtful essay by Alan Ehrenhalt in The New Republic:  Thirty years ago, the mayor of Chicago was unseated by a snowstorm. A blizzard in January of […]

Microfinance and the housing value chain: Part 2, tweak what you do now

12 September, 2008 (08:29) | Education, Global, Housing, Innovations, Microfinance, Primer Posts |

Yesterday’s post on my experience teaching a brand-new course, Mortgages for the Poor; An Overview of Products and Supporting Infrastructure at the world-famous Boulder Microfinance Training Program (MFT), brought us to the point of wanting to follow the customer.  Whoever gets the customer first, wins!   The MFI customer needs and wants a housing-finance product, […]

Microfinance and the housing value chain: Part 1, follow your customer

11 September, 2008 (08:35) | Education, Global, Housing, Innovations, Microfinance, Primer Posts |

Somewhere in The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Heinlein describes his intellectual hero Professor Bernardo de la Paz working as an itinerant teacher on the Moon, teaching anything to anybody, by reading up furiously and staying a few weeks ahead of his syllabus.  It was with something not entirely dissimilar that I put together, and […]

Zondi on developing-world poverty

27 June, 2008 (08:10) | Global, Slums, South Africa |

  “Lieutenant,” said Zondi, “with respect, there is white man’s rubbish, and there is black man’s rubbish – and the poorer the black man, the bigger is the difference.  A boiler boy, boss, is a very poor man indeed.” – James McClure, The Song Dog, 1991, page 211   Few countries show greater contrasts than […]