David Goggins
Former Navy Seal
Career Development
Bryan Cranston
Critical Thinking
Liv Boeree
International Poker Champion
Emotional Intelligence
Amaryllis Fox
Former CIA Clandestine Operative
Chris Hadfield
Retired Canadian Astronaut & Author
from the world's big
Start Learning

Tom Arnold on Development Success Stories

Question: What countries stand out as models for sustainable development?

Arnold:    You have a number of success stories in Africa in the last 15 to 20 years.  A country like Ghana has achieved substantial growth rates.  There’s some countries in Southern Africa who are also doing quite well.  In Asia, I was in Bangladesh a couple of weeks ago, and that’s a country facing enormous challenges, but there’s 150 million people living the country, something twice the size of Ireland.  I don't know what the appropriate level of state in United States it is, but it’s a small piece of land.  And, you know, they’ve been growing against all the odds and surviving the [IB] with poverty, but they’re still making some progress, and obviously there are some other cases, particularly in Asia, places like Cambodia, who, you know, have came out with dreadful internal conflict 30-odd years ago and have made a lot of progress.  So, I think the foundation stones have to be good governance.  I think countries have to invest in education.  Obviously, set and get, find some way of partnership between governments and civil society, and governments, I think, have to be willing to give the space to civil society to enable them to make a contribution and enable at, over time, institutional development, both at governmental and at non-governmental level to development.  And that is ultimately, I think, what needs to be done in a country, and obviously, good, well grounded policy, policy is important.  I mean, policy that will put a… in a country, for example, that has a big proportion of its economy dealing in agriculture, that has to be a, you know, a due focus on that, and I think the food crisis earlier this year brought at home to people that for the last 20 to 30 years agriculture and rural development, as a sector, has largely been neglected, and there is a dawning on the leaders, both at national and international level, that has to change.

The CEO mentions Ghana and Bangladesh as two positive cases in international development.

LIVE ON MONDAY | "Lights, camera, activism!" with Judith Light

Join multiple Tony and Emmy Award-winning actress Judith Light live on Big Think at 2 pm ET on Monday.

Big Think LIVE

Add event to calendar

AppleGoogleOffice 365OutlookOutlook.comYahoo

Keep reading Show less

The mind-blowing science of black holes

What we know about black holes is both fascinating and scary.

  • When it comes to black holes, science simultaneously knows so much and so little, which is why they are so fascinating. Focusing on what we do know, this group of astronomers, educators, and physicists share some of the most incredible facts about the powerful and mysterious objects.
  • A black hole is so massive that light (and anything else it swallows) can't escape, says Bill Nye. You can't see a black hole, theoretical physicists Michio Kaku and Christophe Galfard explain, because it is too dark. What you can see, however, is the distortion of light around it caused by its extreme gravity.
  • Explaining one unsettling concept from astrophysics called spaghettification, astronomer Michelle Thaller says that "If you got close to a black hole there would be tides over your body that small that would rip you apart into basically a strand of spaghetti that would fall down the black hole."

Space travel could create language unintelligible to people on Earth

A new study looks at what would happen to human language on a long journey to other star systems.

Credit: NASA Ames Research Center.
Surprising Science
  • A new study proposes that language could change dramatically on long space voyages.
  • Spacefaring people might lose the ability to understand the people of Earth.
  • This scenario is of particular concern for potential "generation ships".
Keep reading Show less

Scientists see 'rarest event ever recorded' in search for dark matter

The team caught a glimpse of a process that takes 18,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 years.

Image source: Pixabay
Surprising Science
  • In Italy, a team of scientists is using a highly sophisticated detector to hunt for dark matter.
  • The team observed an ultra-rare particle interaction that reveals the half-life of a xenon-124 atom to be 18 sextillion years.
  • The half-life of a process is how long it takes for half of the radioactive nuclei present in a sample to decay.
Keep reading Show less

Your emotions are the new hot commodity — and there’s an app for that

Many of the most popular apps are about self-improvement.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Personal Growth

Emotions are the newest hot commodity, and we can't get enough.

Keep reading Show less