Human Wellbeing in the 21st Century

About 4 years ago I won a memorable hand of poker at Las Vegas’ Bellagio Casino (the one with the musical fountain display out the front, and which George and Brad robbed in Ocean’s Eleven).  Two red aces and $200 better off, and I’ve not since then allowed myself the chance of losing these winnings by making a return visit.

If I was a gambling man, I would put money on the fact that next time round I’d almost certainly come away empty-handed…

The Bellagio Initiative, a much newer institution than the casino, caught my eye last year not just because of the euphoric memories its name stirred within me, but because of the organisations who had established it, and the mission they had set themselves – namely, the collective pursuit of answers to some of the world’s most pressing and current questions. Continue reading

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Shared agendas: the Rio+20 Conference

I enjoy the street banter in Saigon.  Cyclo drivers can be particularly fun.  They’ll spot you on the pavement, with family entourage in tow, and beckon you over to their rickety mobile contraption.

Jump on board, there’s room for all the family

Seemingly oblivious to your own counter gestures – where you shake your head and point incredulously to your two children, their buggies and the assortment of other luggage that you seem to have accumulated walking down the street – they will be undeterred, remaining all smiles and nods and encouraging hand gestures.

What I love is that you know, one way or another, that the guy would get you all on his cyclo if you gave him half the chance.  He’d make it work, despite the ludicrous sight that would unfold, and aside from the rather precarious health and safety minefield you’d be stepping into in the proceedings. Continue reading