1. The richest 1% of people in the world own more than than the other 99%. Thinking about this literally kept me up at night. It’s buried on page 12 of a long report, but let it sink in for a moment: a group of 100 children, one having more toys than all the rest put together. That’s the world we live in.
Also notable: the bottom 50% of adults own less than 1% of the wealth.
2. What on earth do we do with this reality? Ford Foundation president Darren Walker recently addressed this issue, writing:
“My thinking on this issue has been shaped by the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who made a profound statement not long before his death: “Philanthropy is commendable,” he wrote, “but it must not cause the philanthropist to overlook the circumstances of economic injustice which make philanthropy necessary…Today, in this new period of rising inequality, it is timely that we reflect on the principles of philanthropy…to openly acknowledge and confront the tension inherent in a system that perpetuates vast differences in privilege and then tasks the privileged with improving the system…Our work is quite literally enabled by returns on capital…My conviction is no anathema to capitalism…Some might see this as a problem or as pressure. To me, however, it is inseparable from our privilege—because with privilege comes responsibility”.
Read the rest! It will take under 10 minutes and will change the way you think about charity.
4. Global Migration flows. One of the most significant consequences of global inequality is that moving to a different country has become the easiest way to escape poverty. Take a look at this beautiful visualization of global migration over the last 25 years:
3. Finally, something cheeky. The UN just decided on its “Global Goals”, a set of 17 goals that will replace the Millennium Development Goals. A group of Swedes decided to add one goal to the list (click to continue):