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Learning to Leap – Educational Advancement in the Digital Age

By: Ulrike Hoessle

Rebecca Winthrop

Rebecca Winthrop, senior fellow and director of the Center for Universal Education at Brookings. Photo: Ulrike Hoessle.

If you visit one of the poor communities around Lucknow in the Indian State of Uttar Pradesh, you might be amazed to see a school with a dirt floor, where teacher and students are discussing and applying the lessons from an educational video in the local language.  That is how the non-profit Digital Study Hall, with support from Global Washington member Mona Foundation, mitigates the lack of highly trained teachers and provides high quality education to the poorest.

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A Conversation with Robert Reich on Globalization and The Common Good

Robert Reich speaks with Meena Rishi, PhD.

Robert Reich speaks with Meena Rishi, PhD. Photo: Nathan Sharpe/WACSeattle

Supporters of Global Washington and World Affairs Council met on Monday, March 5, with Robert Reich, the former Secretary of Labor under President Clinton. A political commentator, professor, and author, Reich previously served in the administrations of Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter.

In town to promote his new book, The Common Good, Reich was scheduled to address a sold out Town Hall event that evening. At the invite-only gathering at Global Washington, Reich answered wide-ranging questions posed by the audience, and moderated by Seattle University economics professor, Meena Rishi, PhD.

Rishi kicked off the conversation with a provocative question. While Reich’s new book mourns the erosion of the common good, she asked whether the rules of the game were ever really fair. Read More

Voices from the Field: David Masomo, Co-Founder of Mavuno

By Andie Long, Communications & Marketing Director for Global Washington

David Masomo, Mavuno

On a recent Thursday morning, David Masomo, the co-founder of Mavuno, met with members of the Global Washington community to discuss his organization and the challenges it faces empowering local leaders with the goal of ending extreme poverty in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Congo mapHaving titled his presentation, “Congo: The Forgotten Heart of Africa,” Masomo said his country really is a place forgotten by the Western world. As one example, he noted that when he went to set up an iPhone recently, he was asked to select his country. Countries bordering the Congo – Uganda, Rwanda, Zambia, and Tanzania, among others – are listed but the DRC is nowhere to be found, despite the fact that it’s the second largest country in Africa, and the 11th largest in the world.

In fact, being forgotten by Apple in this context is more than a little ironic, considering the DRC is by far the world’s leading producer of cobalt, a critical component in the rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that smartphones and laptops depend on. It also supplies more than 50 percent of the coltan used in tech gadgets worldwide. Read More