Youseff Mahmoud et al’s “Entrepreneurship for sustaining peace” is the curtain raiser for one of the International Peace Institute conversation series on prevention and sustaining peace. Mahmoud is argues that the UN refocus on prevention be accompanied by a shift away from deterring conflict towards sustaining peace. Conceptually this means moving away from a highly politicized and securitized approach to prevention. Operationally this means moving away from crisis management tools only. Adopting the sustaining peace approach, this article looks at how economic opportunities contribute to peaceful societies by offering more dignified lives and countering sentiments of marginalization for entrepreneurs, their families, and their communities. It uses two examples to illustrate how that works: Colombia and Tunisia. It highlights the unique potential of youth entrepreneurship by pointing to the correlation between positive peace and the Youth Development Index and arguing that the demographic dividend could also contribute to sustaining peace. And it provides 3 operational recommendations for UN field operations and country teams: map existing entrepreneurial initiatives that have explicit peacebuilding benefits; develop an integrated entrepreneurship development strategy; and encourage host countries to create environment supportive of youth-led social entrepreneurship as part of peace operations.
Several people shared the IOM’s “UN-biased” video with me this week. It speaks of decision biases in the work place and how they affect hiring decisions, in the United Nations. Some numbers. Where equally qualified candidates are considered, mothers are 79% less likely to be hired. Women take 5.4 years to be promoted to a P4 level whereas men take 4.6 years. In performance reviews, women receive 2.5 times more feedback about aggressive communication styles than men. Overall 62% men work in hardship duty stations, and while 30% of applicants are women, they are not selected. At senior level, 16% of males versus 40% of females are more likely to be divorced, separated or single. The video also suggests 5 very practical recommendations to counter biases in recruitment. Just take 5 minutes and watch it. Go IOM!
My graph this week is from CBInsights’ “Google is ramping up pharma activity” and shows that google has made as many pharma deals (6) in the first half of 2017 as it did during the 2010-14 period. While all eyes are on Amazon investing in the food industry, google is moving in the healthcare space with expectations of transforming the sector. What strikes me is tech giants strengthening their monopolies with one hand while growing their philanthropic arms with the other: over the same week Amazon Bezos bought Whole Foods, he also crowdsourced ideas for how to spend his billions.
My quote is from Mark Zuckerberg’s opening speech at the Facebook’s first Communities Summit because, as flagged earlier, it marks another step in how the social media platform is being transformed into a new type of global governance entity: “The idea behind our new mission is to bring the world closer together. Ending poverty, curing diseases, stopping climate change, spreading freedom and tolerance, stopping violence: there is no single group or even country that can take these things on alone. So we have to build a world where people come together to take on these big meaningful efforts. This is not going to happen top down […] We want to help one billion people join [Facebook] meaningful communities and bring the world closer together.”