In terms of welfare, the human capabilities approach was developed as a means of measuring the opportunities open to an individual and through that, the welfare of a society. Two of the major authors in the capabilities approach are Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum. Popular metrics which gets conflated with the status of a nation’s welfare is that of Gross National Product (GNP) or Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Read more
This is a podcast of Peter Shukie sharing his philosophy of what lies behind the Community Open Online Courses vision. Community Open Online Courses is a vision which takes the MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) and flips the model making the community the creator of the content. This innovation in education and learning is important in that it values the inherent knowledge of individuals wherever they are situated.
“The challenges of ensuring that we pass on a world fit to live in (from an environmental perspective) will require, arguably, significant transformations in the ways in which we live. To what extent can government facilitate those changes through its current systems/structures?” Susan Brown, University of Manchester
Change is ubiquitous and relentless, forcing itself on us at each turn. The secret of growth and development is learning how to contend with forces of change using methodologies which turn positive forces to our advantage, while blunting negative ones. The future of the world is a learning future; one were learning is synonymous with adaptation and evolution. Read more
What the concept of social capital has brought to the debate is, at bottom, an interest in the pay offs that arise from our relationships. The idea that social capital returns tangible benefits to its holders is obviously open to testing against evidence.
Social capital has had a wide range of application, and inevitably the level of research evidence is variable. To summarise the findings of a wide variety of research, it seems that in general, social capital broadly does what the theorists have claimed: to put it crudely, people who are able to draw on others for support are healthier than those who cannot; they are also happier and wealthier; their children do better at school, and their communities suffer less from anti-social behaviour.