Capital matters. Social capital matters more.

As I've shared about life in the slum, I've focused on material things: homes, electricity, water, etc. With that stuff it's relatively simple to measure the differences between life here and in the West. But as you may have discerned from the incident with Alia as well as the boys on the train, there are …

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what is a slum slum definition majority world

What is a slum?

Most folk don't want to hear me talk about slums. I once thought that slum life would make this blog unique. The internet is saturated with almost everything, but there aren't many English-speaking slum bloggers. Maybe people wouldn't want to hear what I had to say about money, power, or nonviolence, but at least they'd …

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The slum recycles the city, but…

When my young friend Hamza built his electric cars, he procured the material from local recycling shops. This network of recyclers is a remarkable process quite unlike anything we see in the West. In America we took our recyclable material to large depots in industrial zones. Here in the majority world those depots tend to …

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A mela in the mountains of Himachal Pradesh, India. No billiard balls here, just unpredictable interactions on an endlessly variegated surface.

Unravelling Complexity.

In desiring to include more success stories about charities doing the right thing, I solicited a guest post from Jeph Mathias. Jeph works with a variety of NGOs across Asia (and beyond), specializing in the idea of complexity in development. This story was originally posted at Jeph's blog, unpredictable. It's Jeph from here: A small project …

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Immigrants arriving at Ellis Island in 1913. Photo courtesy National Library of France.

Who is worthy to live here?

On May 31, 1912, nineteen-year-old Frank Zebrauskas and his brother Anthony stepped off a ship onto Ellis Island. Though originating from Lithuania they had used the Russian spelling of their name, Zabrowski, on the ship’s manifest. As with all Ellis Island arrivals, that spelling became their official identification. No pre-approval was necessary and 98% of …

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