“World?s Best Think Tanks

World?s Best Think Tanks (UPenn Rankings)

by Reflection Cafe
James G. McGann, Ph.D. / Director
University of Pennsylvania / January 25, 2010


from Global Guerrillas by John Robb

It’s a leaderless movement” former House majority leader Dick Armey

The Tea Party movement in the US is an open source political protest.  It emerged due to a substantial loss of government legitimacy (primarily from the mishandling of the global financial crisis) and continues to percolate as legitimacy continues to drain away from the government (health care, banking reform, unemployment, foreclosures, bankruptcy, deficit, etc.).  Here’s what open source means in this context:

A postsecular world society?: an interview with Jürgen Habermas

from The Immanent Frame by Eduardo Mendieta

Think-tanks going global, survey finds

from EurActiv.com by andrew

“While more think-tanks are appearing around the globe, individual think-tanks themselves are simultaneously globalising [by] executing global expansion strategies,” found the study, produced by James McGann, director of the ‘Think-Tanks and Civil Societies Program’ at the Philadelphia-based institution.

JOURNAL: Driving Resilience By Building Networks

from Global Guerrillas by John Robb

The idea of the resilient community clearly resonates.  It makes a great deal of sense to many people and there are lots of efforts underway at transition.  However, as always, the big question is: will these efforts be sufficient to make the transition before it becomes a necessity?

Results 9th Tabriz International Cartoon Contest – Iran:

from caricaturque by kozyurt

Section: Editorial Cartoons

First Prize: Ahmet Umit Akkoca / Turkey
Second Prize: Vladimir Kazanevsky / Ukraine
Third Prize: Jordan Pop-Iliev / Macedonia.

See prize-winning and selected cartoons at

Public finances and personal freedoms,

by openDemocracy
John Wooding
Public authorities must respect human rights irrespective of the state of their balance sheets, writes John Wooding

While human rights advocates have called for a ?full-spectrum? doctrine of fundamental freedoms encompassing economic and social liberties, pressure on public finances is beginning to threaten more basic civil and political rights already enshrined in law. As public authorities endeavour to reduce their expenditure, the principle that ?human rights must not become a political football? is more frequently put to the test.

2010 Environmental Performance Index (EPI)
Source: Yale University and Columbia University
From press release (Word):

Iceland leads the world in addressing pollution control and natural resource management challenges, according to the 2010 Environmental Performance Index (EPI) produced by a team of environmental experts at Yale University and Columbia University. This is the third edition of the EPI, which has been revisited biannually since 2006.


from Global Guerrillas by John Robb

The term “Byzantine strategy” immediately evokes thoughts of complexity, convolution, and duplicity.  But despite these disparagements (which most likely originated from the council room rants of the simpler foes it routinely defeated), it clearly worked.  No empire in history lasted as long as a contiguous entity, or maintained its societal complexity in as harsh an environment.  There’s obviously something that can be learned from that experience.

This Valentine?s Day, Couples Cut Back on Gifts to Each Other, According to NRF Survey
Source: National Retail Federation

As husbands and wives across America continue to focus on reining in their spending, it seems couples this year plan to spend less on each other but more on their family, friends, co-workers?even their pets. According to NRF?s 2010 Valentine?s Day Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, conducted by BIGresearch, couples will spend an average of $63.34 on gifts for their significant other or spouse, compared to $67.22 last year. The average person will shell out $103.00 on traditional Valentine?s Day merchandise this year, similar to last year?s $102.50. Total holiday spending is expected to reach $14.1 billion.

Data Collection Methods: Semi-Structured Interviews and Focus Groups
Source: RAND Corporation

The authors developed an introductory short course on qualitative research methods. This document provides an annotated version of the course material, which includes an overview of semi-structured interviews and focus groups, two techniques that are commonly used in policy research and applicable to many research questions.

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