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We wanted to solve world hunger and all we got were a bunch of goats…

Tuesday, Jan 17, 2017
by Humanitarian Institute


The United Nations was founded in 1945 to end extreme poverty. While ambitious and aspirational, it reflected a post-war era to solving hard problems. There was an optimism that the future is forged, not given. What happened?

Fast-forward seven decades, 1 in 113 people worldwide are displaced. That’s averaging 24 persons every minute; 4 times the displacement rate just one decade ago.

This is not to dismiss the magnitude of progress in its entirety. We’ve eradicated polio, stemmed the flow of malaria, and uplifted hundreds of millions through school education. All notable achievements. All important developments.

Yet, the shadow of poverty continues to cast a pall over entire nations. Forced migration and asylum seeker rates are getting worse, not better. One in nine people are still chronically undernourished. These are the biggest issues of our time.

So why are the best minds of our generation working on optimising click-throughs?

Somewhere along the way, we lowered our sights. We became sceptical and pessimistic. Accepting of a future that may be worse than the past we inherited. Maybe it’s cyclical. Or maybe it’s a poverty of ambition.

Regardless, time unravels and so too do the problems left unresolved. While the arc of humanity may bend towards progress, it does not bend on its own. It needs smart, committed professionals, like you, to dedicate themselves to the issues at hand.

For the future does not belong to those who are apathetic with yesterday, content with today, and indifferent towards tomorrow. It belongs to those who can blend vision with enterprise, reason with courage, and those who can find that essential balance between practicality and idealism.

The future depends on what we do in the present.

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