BSG Alumni

BSG Alumni, Security and conflict

Men praying at the Blue Mosque (or Shrine of Hazrat Ali) in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Will moderate Muslims please stand up?

Each time a terror attack carried out by Muslim militants wrecks a Western country, Muslims from across the world take to electronic and social media to condemn the horrific act, dissociate themselves from the perpetrators and defend Islam as a religion of peace. Despite these condemnations, moderate Muslims have neither […]

by × 23 November 2015 ×

BSG Alumni, Security and conflict

Air strike in Sana'a, September 2015. Source: Wikimedia commons.

Yemen is shattered and peace seems a long way off. The world can’t just watch on

“For us, the future is lost. There is no hope.” That’s what Ali Ahmad told BBC interviewers who were trying to find out what life was like under the current war in Yemen. Ali comes from Taiz, a governorate that has for months been under siege by the militias of […]

by × 22 October 2015 ×

BSG Alumni, Governance, cooperation and law

Marian Schreier (first from right) at the BSG graduation ceremony

BSG alumni: three questions to Marian Schreier, newly elected mayor

Earlier this month we received amazing news from our alumnus Marian Schreier – he had just been elected mayor of Tengen, a 4,500-strong community in southern Germany, near the Swiss border. Having just turned 25, Marian is also the country’s youngest mayor. A member of the first class of BSG […]

by × 30 March 2015 ×

BSG Alumni, Governance, cooperation and law

BSG alumni Fiona Smith (left), Enrique Zapata and Emma Truswell

Open data: connecting people – just like BSG

It should not have surprised me that my first unplanned BSG connection happened at an international leaders’ event. This week, my team at the Open Data Institute has brought together outstanding open data leaders from governments around the world as the inaugural cohort of the Open Data Leaders Network, starting […]

by × 20 February 2015 ×

BSG Alumni, Governance, cooperation and law

Peshawar school attack: Will it be a turning point in the war against terrorism?

Peshawar school attack: Will it be a turning point in the war against terrorism?

Welcome to Denialistan and Contradictionistan. Yes, all this has happened in the “land of the pure” and there are no signs of it coming to an end in the near future. Will this prove to be the turning point in the war against extremism and terrorism? At least, I am not optimistic. Here are my reasons.

by × 17 December 2014 ×

BSG Alumni, Governance, cooperation and law

Image source Flickr: Jordi Bernabeu Farrús

Hong Kong: Above and Beyond in Students’ Idealism

Like the typhoon that lashed Hong Kong last month, the Occupying Central Movement and student-led strike are in full swing.

Metaphorically, “One Country, Two Systems” is a “symbiosis” – like that of a crown fish and an anemone. While the symbiotic union between the two is usually mutualistic, it can turn antagonistic if inherent contradictions are ill-managed.

by × 13 October 2014 ×

BSG Alumni, Governance, cooperation and law

Image source: Flickr Pasu Au Yeung

Do you hear the people sing? A fight to define who we are

In the 2012 film adaptation of Les Miserables, there was this scene towards the end where the students realised none of the local Paris citizens have joined them in their protests and they were effectively deserted to fight on their own. For all the songs that were sung, speeches that were given, none of the citizens were stirred enough or believed in the cause enough to “join in their crusade”.
As the protests in Hong Kong continue, there is a worry that we face a similar parallel to Les Miserables if the current protests do not get enough popular support from the local public.

by × 03 October 2014 ×

BSG Alumni, Economic growth and resilience

Why are financial systems prone to crisis?

Why are financial systems prone to crisis?

At the peak of the Netherlands’ “tulip mania” in 1637, one tulip bulb sold for 5,500 guilders per bulb—roughly the cost of luxurious house in Amsterdam, or $25,000 today. More than three and a half centuries later, economists continue to debate why tulip prices skyrocketed to stratospheric levels in the 1630s, much in the same way that the 2008 Global Financial Crisis remains a source of contention. Why have financial systems been so vulnerable to crises, and what role has regulation played?

by × 10 June 2014 ×