Anatomy 101: Balance Mobility + Stability in Your Hip Joints

Anatomy 101: Balance Mobility + Stability in Your Hip Joints

While studying in India with B.K.S. Iyengar years ago, 
I heard that he was traveling to Bangalore to teach, and 
I asked if I could join him. He responded that there was nothing for me to do in Bangalore. As I walked away that day, it occurred to me that he hadn’t said no—and I had a burning question I wanted to ask. So, I booked the seat next to him 
on the plane (you could do that back then).

When I got to the airport, I found Mr. Iyengar sitting at the gate. I walked over, sat next to him, and said jokingly, “Mr. Iyengar! Are you going to Bangalore, too?” He laughed at my bold maneuver, and we chatted while waiting to board. Finally, after the plane took off, I turned to him and asked 
the question I so wanted him to answer: “Mr. Iyengar, what’s the key to mastering yoga?”

He didn’t respond by dismissing me, nor did he give 
me a standard answer like “Just practice.” Instead, he said, 
“To master yoga, you must balance the energies and forces throughout the body.” To demonstrate, he held up one hand and, with his other pointer finger, indicated the outside of his index finger and then the inside, and so on through all 
of his fingers and the front and back of his wrist, explaining that the energy should be balanced on both sides. “You have to do this throughout the body in each pose, on each side of each joint, according to the forces needed for each position,” he told me.

See also Anatomy 101: How to Tap the Real Power of Your Breath

Mr. Iyengar’s words contained great 
wisdom, and as I dedicated my study to this concept over the following years, 
I learned that balancing forces is particularly crucial when it comes to addressing the feeling of “tightness” many of 
us have in our hips. Because so many 
of us sit for a living—or for far too many hours when we get home from work each night—our hips are subject to a lot of imbalanced forces. To wit: 
Sitting leads to shortened hip flexors (including the psoas, iliacus, and rectus femoris) and weak hip extensors (especially the gluteus maximus), which prompts the hamstrings to work harder. The combination of all of this leads to 
a common set of muscle imbalances that can produce, among other things, abnormal pressures within the hip joint itself and that dreaded tightness.

Stretching the muscles that surround your hip can help to maintain healthy mobility of the joints, to improve circulation of the synovial 
fluid (which reduces friction in the 
joint cartilage during movement), and to counteract some of the imbalances created by our chronically sedentary lives. However, while maintaining range of motion in your hips is very important, it’s not all about flexibility. Based on firsthand experience, both from my perspective as a doctor who treats patients with hip-joint pain and as someone with occasional hip pain myself, I’m confident stating that balancing flexibility with strength in the muscles around the hip joint is the key 
to mobility and stability.

Mobility and Stability in the Hip Joints

To better understand, let’s look at what determines mobility and stability in your hip joints. First, there is the joint shape: a ball fitted into a socket. Surrounding the bone are a capsule and tough ligaments (which connect bone to bone at the joints). Finally, there are the “dynamic” stabilizers of the joint—your muscles. Bones do not change shape, and in general, the ligaments do not stretch very much. So, 
if you can’t change your bone shape, and your ligaments and cartilage are fixed in shape and length, what can you adjust so that you can more easily get into hip-opening poses? The answer: your muscles and tendons.

See also Anatomy 101: Understand Your Hips to Build Stability

bound angle pose

Find Your Own Imbalances in the Hip Joints

To activate the muscles in your hips—and learn where your weaknesses and imbalances are so you can ultimately find more openness—try this exercise: Come into Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose). Your knees should be flexed, while your hips will be abducted and externally rotated. Now, squeeze your calves against your thighs and notice that your hamstrings contract. Next, squeeze the outsides of your hips and buttocks to draw your knees down, then notice that you’ll go deeper into 
the pose. This exercise engages many 
of the muscles that create the form of 
the pose—including the tensor fascia latae, gluteus medius, and hamstrings—and you will likely experience more “open” hips in the pose as a result.

Now, do this exercise again, and notice if there is a difference between your muscles on each side. Does your right knee melt toward the floor more easily than your left? Do your left hamstrings seem weaker? On the side 
that feels less strong, engage your muscles a little more strongly than on your other side (while still keeping your stronger side active) to find more balance. You can apply this same observation to your hips: Are the gluteals on one side stronger than the other? If so, practice engaging the weaker glute, without letting the stronger one go slack.

To work on activating the muscles 
of the hips to find more balance, try 
this sequence.

The Emotional Effects of Hip Openers

The beauty 
of finding more balance and openness 
in the hips is that not only will it lead you into your fullest expression of hip-opening poses, it will also help on an emotional level. That’s because stress causes our bodies to contract and curl inward—a natural action to protect 
the vital organs. But hip openers counter this energetic closing, which means there is a good chance they will affect your mental state and perception of well-being for the better.

See also Anatomy 101: Target the Right Muscles to Protect Knees

Teacher Ray Long, MD, is 
an orthopedic surgeon in Detroit and the founder of Bandha Yoga, a website and book series dedicated to the anatomy 
and biomechanics of yoga. He trained 
with B.K.S. Iyengar.



Prevent Injury With Balanced Strength in the Hips
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Leah Cullis in Extended Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose, utthita hasta padangusthasana

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Plug Into the Wall + Recharge: 4 Soothing Restorative Poses

Plug Into the Wall + Recharge: 4 Soothing Restorative Poses

  • When just gathering all the props for a restorative yoga sequence sounds too exhausting, Kathryn Budig suggests simply plugging yourself into a wall to recharge.

    Baby, it’s cold outside. If hibernating seems like a better plan than braving the elements to attend your favorite yoga class or you just don’t have the energy to open your front door, this soothing sequence might be just what you need. All it requires is some wide-open wall space. Try these restorative poses right before bed or anytime you need a dose of comfort. Cozy PJs and slippers are encouraged.

    Also see Two Fit Moms’ Sleep-Better Sequence

  • Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose

    Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose

    Viparita Karani

    Sit next to a wall with the side of your hip touching. Lie back and swing your legs up the wall, bringing your hips against the floorboard. Use your hands to slide in closer if you find yourself slipping away. Straighten your legs and keep them together. Relax your feet. Bend your elbows to a 90-degree angle with palms facing up, resembling the arms of a cactus. Close your eyes and hold here for 1–5 minutes.

    Also see Why You Need Restorative Yoga This Winter

  • Diamond Legs

    Diamond Legs

    Supta Baddha Konasana, Variation

    Externally rotate your legs and bend your knees. Drag your heels down the wall toward your hips with the pinky edges of your feet touching or close together. Let them drop to a level that is comfortable and not beyond your edge. Remember, the whole point is to open up and relax. Gently encourage your knees toward the wall without forcing or using pressure. Hold here for 1–5 minutes.

    See also Winter Slow Flow: 9 Warming Poses

  • Straddle Legs

    Straddle Legs

    Upavistha Konasana, Variation

    Extend your legs straight and wide into a broad V-shape. Don’t worry about opening them as wide as you can. Instead allow them to open naturally and just unwind. Let gravity do it’s job as you focus on deep, calm breathing. Keep your lower belly slightly engaged to protect your lower back from any pressure. Hold for 1–3 minutes. To transition, slide your hands behind your knees to manually bend and close your legs.

    See also 6 Yoga Poses for a Hangover

  • Thread-the-Needle


    Return to Legs-Up-the-Wall. Then cross your left ankle above your right knee so it rests on the beginning of your quad. Flex your left foot on the outside of the right thigh. Bend your right leg as you drag the foot down the wall. The goal is to open the left hip, not to bring your right heel to the ground. Start with a slight drag of the top heel down as you focus on externally rotating your left hip. Give your outer left thigh a dainty press toward the wall to stimulate release in your left glute. Hold here for 1–3 minutes, then switch sides.

    See also 15 Poses to Help You Sleep Better

  • About Kathryn Budig

    About Kathryn Budig

    Kathryn Budig is the yoga teacher behind AIM TRUE, a regular writer for Yoga Journal, and a presenter at Yoga Journal LIVE! Follow her on @YogaJournal #findyourinspiration), her website, and:

     Twitter: @kathrynbudig
     Instagram: @kathrynbudig
     Facebook: @kathrynbudigyoga

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What is the surest pathway out of poverty and into the middle class?

What is the surest pathway out of poverty and into the middle class?

Farmers carry saplings in a paddy field on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, India, February 1, 2017.

The ownership rights to an estimated 70% of property in emerging economies is not legally documented
Image: REUTERS/Amit Dave
Written by
Tim HanstadCo-Founder, Landesa
Wednesday 8 February 2017
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What is the surest pathway out of poverty and into the middle class?

The answer to this question depends on where in the world you live.

We in the Global North typically forget the central role that landownership played in helping people climb beyond their humble origins to achieve the “American Dream.”

In the United States, for example, the 19th-century Homestead Act and, later, post- WWII government policies to make housing affordable for first-time homebuyers, provided critical pathways to economic betterment and drove a more inclusive economy. Research finds that the gap between the African-American middle class and underclass is determined by whether their post-Civil War ancestors owned land.

Time and again, land ownership was the key milestone towards economic opportunity and mobility that has provided returns for generations – this effect fading only as the US economy developed beyond its agrarian roots.

Whenever and wherever the majority of people rely on land to feed their families and get ahead – land ownership is the single most powerful pathway to opportunity. Land ownership provides not only secure access to food and income; it is a source of wealth, power, and status, as well as a gateway to government services and an insurance and savings tool.

But government land policies in many emerging economies, from Cambodia to Cote d’Ivoire, undermine the power of land to lift people out of poverty. The lack of good land policies and land governance in many countries have prevented hundreds of millions of families from accessing land or getting ownership rights to the land they do use. This blocks their best potential pathway to the middle class and hampers broad-based economic growth.

Consider just one data point: the ownership rights to an estimated 70% of property in emerging economies is not legally documented. This lack of documentation makes the “owners” less secure and willing to invest, makes them more vulnerable to land grabs, reduces the land’s value, makes land harder to buy and sell, and harder to use as collateral for loans.

Imagine, for a moment, trying to sell your home without a title. You would not get many takers. And you would not get top dollar.

Without broadly distributed secure rights to land and functioning land markets, people and entire communities have limited economic opportunity.

We can and must do better to provide more equality around opportunity (distinct from equality on outcomes) for those at bottom.

But, providing real opportunity for people to move their families out of poverty into the middle class requires an understanding of the key role land rights plays in the world. And too often this lens is missing from government policy makers, international donors, and even organizations working on international development.

Consider the case in India, where my organization has found that more than half of farmers in some areas do not have proper documentation of their rights to land. In some cases their name is not reflected in the government’s land records, in others they never received a title to the land they farm. In either case they farm the land insecurely, and are therefore reluctant to invest in their land to improve harvests and their lives. In such cases, unwitting development projects that increase the agricultural potential of the land can lead to more powerful interests taking the land from those who were intended to benefit.

The situation is even darker for the tens of millions of Indian families who are landless. Many of the government’s largest poverty alleviation programs assume the ownership of land. The government, for example, gives small construction grants to rural homeless families to help them buy supplies to build their own home – assuming that they already have the land on which to build a home. The government also provides poor people with subsidized seeds and fertilizer so they can grow their own food – assuming that they already have land to farm.

Increasingly, countries are recognizing land ownership as a powerful lever they can use to create opportunity.

Most recently, several Indian states have unveiled a number of models to both document land rights and provide land to the landless, some with the support of international donors such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, IKEA Foundation,, and the World Bank. While living in India last year, I visited countless newly-titled landowners who talked about how their lives had been transformed by secure ownership over this precious asset. They include Shridevi, a beneficiary of one such program in Telangana, who, although illiterate, was able to put her son through graduate school thanks to the increased income and confidence she gained from her land.

Over the last decade, the Government of Rwanda launched a national land registration program with the support of the UK’s Department for International Development that titled 11 million parcels of land in the country and implemented policies to strengthen women’s rights to own and inherit land. A World Bank studyfound that these efforts improved women’s access to land, ensured girls’ rights to inherit land were recorded without bias and found a very large impact on investment in soil conservation measures when families, especially women, had more secure rights to land. With tenure security, families invested in the long-term health of their new asset – land.

Myanmar is currently launching a historic program with support from the U.S. Agency for International Development to provide landless families with secure rights to a small plot of land. This land program in Myanmar should help up to four million of the poorest families on earth take their first steps out of extreme poverty, support broad economic growth, and further the country’s remarkable democratic transformation.

Such programs should be supported and expanded to create a chance for upward mobility. Because when opportunity for success is not broadly distributed, both in the US and abroad, we all lose.

Written by

Tim Hanstad, Co-Founder, Landesa

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.


Slot House by AU Architects remodels a London end of-terrace house

Slot House by AU Architects remodels a London end of-terrace house

Architects: AU Architects
Location: London, England
Year: 2014
Photography: ©David Butler

“Slot House by AU Architects remodels a London end of-terrace house through the introduction of natural light, volume and the visual connection of new spaces with the existing.

AUA has remodelled an end of terraced house to provide a greater and more free flowing accommodation for a family. The design brief was one of simplicity and complete functionality while maintaining an underlining warmth a house should infuse. Visual connectivity both inside and out were also drivers in the building’s rear ground floor form.

The driving concept behind this design was for there to be a clear visual connection between the ground and new basement playroom. With open plan living now the norm in the modern era of residential space planning one has to balance this large volume of space with a scale that instils a feeling of warmth. By creating 3 distinct rooms of Basement play; Front ground living & Rear ground kitchen / dining on 3 different levels, we have achieved a sense of scale and intimacy whilst visually linking each through an open stairs design.

Furthermore, the use of large syklights and the positioning of new windows to the extension filter light where needed whilst providing glimpses of the outside that serve the new basement. The combination of distinct rooms, natural light and a visual connection between these spaces, both inside and out, makes for a warm and open living space.”

Thank you for reading this article!


Why do you live where you live? The factors pushing you – and everyone else

Why do you live where you live? The factors pushing you – and everyone else

This article is published in collaboration with VoxEU.
People walk across a street in Tokyo July 12, 2009.   REUTERS/Stringer (JAPAN BUSINESS SOCIETY) - RTR25VH9

Economists point to three factors to explain how population is distributed: geographical characteristics, agglomeration, and history.
Image: REUTERS/Stringer
Written by
Vernon HendersonProfessor of Economics and Urban Studies, Brown University
Tim SquiresEconomist,
Adam StoreygardAssistant Professor of Economics, Tufts University
David WellProfessor of Economics, Brown University
Wednesday 8 February 2017
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Why do people, in the world as a whole or within a given country, live where they do? Why are some places so densely populated and some so empty? In daily life, we take this variation in density as a matter of course, but in many ways it can be quite puzzling.

Economists point to three factors to explain how population is distributed. The first is that there are differences in geographical characteristics, often referred to as ‘first nature’, that make some places better disposed for habitation or producing output than others. This explains why mountainous regions, deserts, tundra and so on tend to have low population density, and why much of the world’s population is situated in places where it is relatively easy to produce food.

The second factor is agglomeration. Because of economies of scale and gains from trade, we humans often find it efficient to gather in small areas. Of course, many industries, most notably food production, don’t benefit from such concentration, and are instead spread out in accordance with the availability of first nature resources. Further, there are limits to the benefits of agglomeration: because of congestion and transport costs, the urban population is spread among many cities, which are, in turn, spatially dispersed.

The final factor affecting the distribution of population is history. Cities, once established, have a very strong tendency to stay put. This persistence results from many factors, often collectively described as ‘second nature’ (Cronon 1992). Among these factors are long-lived capital, political power, and the fact that once agglomeration has started in a particular place, it will be a natural focus for future equilibria. As discussed by Bleakley and Lin (2012) and Michaels and Rauch (forthcoming), this persistence can be important, even when the reasons that a city has been established in a particular place are no longer important.

The complete story of how nature, agglomeration, and history have interacted to give the world the distribution of population that we see today is far too complex to be captured in a single study. The goals in our recent paper are less ambitious (Henderson et al. 2017). We ask how economic and technological development have changed the ways in which first-nature characteristics impact population distribution. While these characteristics themselves haven’t changed too much over history (so far), the way in which they affect settlement has. Simple examples of such changes are the impacts of air conditioning, irrigation, and the discovery of new uses for particular mineral resources. We focus on the two natural characteristics where we think that changes associated with economic and technological change have been most important. These are, first, the suitability of a region for growing food, and second, the suitability of a region for engaging in national and international trade. Over the last several centuries, the importance of fertile land as a determinant of population density has declined, both because agricultural productivity has increased – so that a smaller fraction of the labour force works on farms – and because transport costs have fallen – so that people don’t need to live near where their food is produced. Lower transport costs, along with increased opportunities for gains from trade, have similarly raised the value of locations (such as those on coasts, navigable rivers, or natural harbours) that are accessible to trade, either within or between countries.

Our goal is to show how these changes are reflected in the distribution of population today. In pursuing this goal, the effect of persistence, as described above, turns out to be very important. We are interested in how technology in historical times affected agglomeration at those times, but the data on population density that we use (described below) is only available for the world today. However, if we know when (in a rough sense) agglomeration began in a country, then we can use the similarity of today’s distribution to the historical distribution to learn about how the technology available at that time affected agglomeration.

First-nature data and the distribution of population today

Before looking at the role of history, we start by simply examining the explanatory power of first-nature characteristics for population distribution in the world today, which is arguably an interesting issue in its own right.

Our starting point, in measuring the dispersion of population, is lights observed at night by weather satellites. Specifically, we use the 2010 Global Radiance Calibrated Nighttime Lights dataset (Ziskin et al. 2010). In previous work (Henderson et al. 2012), we showed that change over time in night-lights data is a useful proxy for the growth of GDP in countries with poor national income accounts data. The lights data are distributed as a grid of pixels of dimension 0.5 arc-minute resolution (1/120 of a degree of longitude/latitude). We aggregate into a grid of 1/4-degree squares, with each square covering approximately 770 square kilometres at the equator. At this resolution our sample is roughly 240,000 grid squares (excluding squares made up solely of water). Figure 1 shows this grid cell data for the world as a whole.

Figure 1 Demeaned lights

 Demeaned lights

Image: Vox EU

The first-nature variables we use in predicting lights come in three groups. The first, labelled ‘agriculture’, are factors that seem clearly related to producing food. These comprise six continuous variables (temperature, precipitation, length of growing period, land suitability for agriculture, elevation, and latitude) as well as a set of 14 indicators for biomes (mutually exclusive regions, encoding the dominant natural vegetation expected in an area, based on research by biologists.) The second group of variables, labelled ‘trade’, focus on access to water transport. These are dummy variables for whether the centre of a grid cell is within 25 kilometres of a coast, navigable river, major lake, or natural harbour, as well as a continuous measure of distance to the coast. Finally, we define a ‘base’ group of two variables – ruggedness and malaria ecology – which seemed to us to be roughly equally relevant for agriculture and trade.

Figure 2a Demeaned predicted lights without fixed effects

 Demeaned predicted lights

Image: Vox EU

Figure 2a shows the fitted values from regressing lights in a grid square on our three sets of first-nature variables. Together, these variables explain 47% of the variation in lights and, looking at the figure, there is clearly a strong resemblance between the fitted values and the world as we know it. However, there are two potential problems associated with jumping from this result to the conclusion that nature really does explain such a large fraction of variability in population density. The first is that variation in visible light is not solely determined by population density. The other big determinant is income per capita. It is for this reason that, in Figure 1, Japan is so much brighter than Bangladesh, even though the latter is more densely populated. The second problem is that a statistical correlation between geographical characteristics and either income or population density might not indicate a true effect of geography, but rather be proxying for the effect of something correlated with geography. For example, if European colonisers implanted good institutions in places where the climate was amenable to their settlement, and bad institutions in places where it was not (the story of Acemoglu et al. 2001), then a European-type climate will predict higher income, even though it may not directly affect income at all.

Figure 2b Demeaned predicted lights with fixed effects

 Figure 2b

Image: Vox EU

Both of these problems are addressed by looking at variation in lights and natural characteristics within countries. Formally, this amounts to including country-fixed effects in our analysis, which is done in all the work reported below. Figure 2b is an example of this: we estimate the effect of first-nature characteristics, using only within-country variation in lights, and then form fitted values for the world as a whole, omitting the estimated country fixed effects. As the figure shows, knowing only how geography affects population within countries, one would still do a pretty good job of predicting the variation in population density the world over. The agriculture and trade variables account for slightly more than one-third of within-country variation.

The changing importance of first-nature characteristics

We now turn to the question of how the importance of natural characteristics, as a determinant of the distribution of population, has changed over time. As mentioned above, a key to our approach is comparing countries where agglomeration took place early, thus reflecting the weights put on natural characteristics further back in time, with those that agglomerated later. Unfortunately, we don’t have a good, consistent measure of exactly when agglomeration took place, so instead we use data from 1950, on both urbanisation as well as two proxies: education and GDP per capita. Our assumption is that countries with higher values of these measures, as of that point in time, also started their urbanisation process earlier. We use several statistical approaches to parse the data. One is to estimate coefficients on our ‘agriculture’ and ‘trade’ variables separately for early and late agglomerators, while simultaneously letting the data determine where the cutoff is between these two groups of countries (essentially, looping through all possible division points to find the one that gives the best fit). Applying this method, using urbanisation in 1950, for example, we find that the cutoff between early and late agglomerators is an urbanisation rate of 36.2%, which puts 70 out of 189 countries (57.2% of our grid squares) in the ‘early’ category. Table 1 then shows the R-squareds from running regressions of visible lights on either the set of base variables (including country fixed effects), the base plus agriculture variables, or the base plus trade variables. The improvement in fit that comes from adding agricultural variables is much larger in the early than in the late agglomerating countries; correspondingly, the improvement in fit that comes from adding trade variables is much larger in the late agglomerating countries than in the early agglomerators. We find a similar pattern when we use education or GDP per capita in 1950 to split the data, and we find it also when we look solely within the New World or the Old World. We also find similar results when we look at other specifications, for example linearly interacting urbanisation or its proxies with agriculture and trade variables.

Table 1 R-squareds


Image: Vox EU

These results tell what, at first, seems to be a puzzling story: late agglomerators are generally poorer countries, and on average are more dependent on agriculture than early agglomerators. Yet it is in the latter group of countries that agricultural variables do a better job of predicting the location of population and economic activity. Our explanation of this apparent puzzle looks to the timing of when agricultural productivity rose and similarly when trade costs fell. In countries where agglomeration got going early, the rise in agricultural productivity preceded the decline in transport costs. That is, people began moving from farms to cities at a time when it was still relatively expensive to move food from place to place. As a result, cities were located close to areas conducive to food production. By contrast, in late agglomerators, the rise in agricultural productivity that allowed urbanisation came later, relative to declining transport costs, and so the latter was relatively more influential as a determinant of location. Figure 3 shows some of the data that supports this story: it plots the urban share of the population in groups of early and late agglomerators, as well as a global index of transport costs. The figure makes clear that transport costs were far lower when late agglomerators reached any particular level of urbanisation than when the same level was reached by early agglomerators.

Figure 3

 Figure 3

Image: Vox EU/Bairoch/Mohammed and Williamson

An interesting implication of this analysis is that countries that are only urbanising now have population distributions that are more appropriate to modern technology than do those that urbanised earlier. For example, even though, in Europe, coastal areas already have particularly high population densities, our estimates imply that, had Europe developed later, coastal density would be even greater. Similarly, had Africa developed earlier, interior areas such as the Ethiopian highlands and the Congo basin would have higher relative population densities than those actually observed today.

Another set of implications, drawn from the story in our paper, involves spatial inequality within countries. We expect that early agglomerators, with their activity focused around agriculturally suitable land, and a distribution of population inherited from a period when transport costs were high, should have a higher degree of spatial equality in lights overall than late agglomerators, with their heightened coastal focus and low transport costs. To assess this prediction, we calculate a spatial Gini coefficient for light across grid cells for each country. Table 2 shows the results from regressing the lights Gini on urbanisation in 1950. The coefficient is negative, as predicted. Further, controlling for the Gini of lights predicted using our geographic variables, as well as measures of country size and population (and thus population density), does not affect the result.

Table 2 Gini coefficient of lights

 Gini coefficient of lights

Image: Vox EU


The saying that “geography is destiny” is often attributed to Napoleon. Meanwhile, the American industrialist Henry Ford really did say that “history is bunk.” In our research, we have shown that, when it comes to thinking about how population is distributed within countries, there is reason to doubt both of these statements. Geography clearly matters quite a bit, when it comes to where people live. But the aspects of geography that matter change over time. Further, there is enormous persistence in location, so that the ways in which geography mattered in the past – that is, history – are still reflected in the spatial distribution of population today.

To many readers, sitting in cities founded hundreds of years ago, sipping coffee grown thousands of kilometres away, none of this will come as a great surprise. However, understanding the dynamic interplay of geography, technology, economic growth, and history – a project in which our paper is only a small step – is of great import in thinking about many issues facing the world today. Not only are the impacts of different geographic characteristics continuing to change with economic and technological development, but, in decades to come, geographic characteristics themselves will be changing at an ever increasing rate. At the same time, in much of the developing world, urbanisation is taking place at a rapid pace. The locational decisions made today will have impacts for centuries to come.


Acemoglu, D, S Johnson, and J A Robinson (2001), “The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation”, The American Economic Review 91.5 1369-1401.

Bairoch, P (1988), Cities and Economic Development, Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Bleakley, H, and J Lin (2012), “Portage and path dependence”, The Quarterly Journal of Economics 127.2: 587.

Cronon, W (1992), Nature’s metropolis: Chicago and the Great West, WW Norton & Company.

Henderson, J V, A Storeygard, and D N Weil (2012), “Measuring Economic Growth from Outer Space”, American Economic Review 102(2): 994-1028

Henderson J V, T Squires, A Storeygard and D Weil (2017), “The Global Spatial Distribution of Economic Activity: Nature, History, and the Role of Trade", Working Paper, Brown University.

Michaels, G, and F Rauch (forthcoming), “Resetting the urban network: 117-2012”, The Economic Journal.

Mohammed, S I. Shah, and J G Williamson (2004), “Freight rates and productivity gains in British tramp shipping 1869–1950”, Explorations in Economic History41.2: 172-203.

Ziskin, D, K Baugh, F C Hsu, T Ghosh and C Elvidge (2010), “Methods Used for the 2006 Radiance Lights”, Proceedings of the 30th AsiaPacific Advanced Network Meeting, pp. 131-142.

Written by

Vernon Henderson, Professor of Economics and Urban Studies, Brown University

Tim Squires, Economist,

Adam Storeygard, Assistant Professor of Economics, Tufts University

David Well, Professor of Economics, Brown University

This article is published in collaboration with VoxEU.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.


The ageing brain and body. Five myths debunked

The ageing brain and body. Five myths debunked

This article is published in collaboration with The Conversation.
A resident holds the hand of a nurse at the SenVital elderly home in Kleinmachnow outside Berlin May 28, 2013. Facing an acute shortage of skilled applicants among its own workforce, German institutions in the care sector increasingly turn to southern European countries to hire trained nursing staff who are willing to work abroad despite the language barrier in order to escape unemployment at home. The SenVital home for the elderly outside Berlin has accepted five qualified nurses from Spain as their staff, providing eight months of language training and additional care schooling needed to attain the German nursing concession.  Some 100 Spaniards applied for the ten vacancies SenVital had advertised across its various houses.  REUTERS/Thomas Peter (GERMANY  - Tags: HEALTH BUSINESS EMPLOYMENT) - RTX103ZD

This article dispels some common myths about ageing.
Image: REUTERS/Thomas Peter
Written by
Hannah KeageSenior Lecturer in Psychology, University of South Australia
Blossom Christa Maree StephanSenior Lecturer, Newcastle University
Friday 3 February 2017
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The world’s population, and Australia’s, is ageing. The number of adults aged 65 and over is increasing, as is the proportion of the population they represent. However, there are a number of myths associated with what happens to our brain and bodies as we age.

1. Dementia is an inevitable part of ageing

Dementia prevalence increases with age. That is, your chance of having a diagnosis of dementia is greater the older you are. But if you are lucky enough to reach old age, you won’t necessarily have dementia. Dementia is a clinical diagnosis that is characterised by impairments in cognition (the way we think) and functional abilities (that enable us to live independently).

The major type of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, although there are many other types, such as vascular dementia (related to vascular changes in the brain such as stroke), frontotemporal dementia (brain atrophy most pronounced in temporal and frontal cortical regions of the brain), Lewy body dementia (related to a particular protein deposit called a Lewy body) and mixed – where different types occur at the same time.

However, less than 2% of adults 65-69 years of age have a dementia diagnosis, and this rises to over 30% for those 90 years and over. The flip side of this is that nearly 70% of those aged 90 years and over don’t have dementia. In Australia in 2014, the median age at death was 79 years for males and 85 years for females; so, most of us won’t die with a dementia diagnosis.

2. Cognition declines from the 20s

Cognition refers to the way we think, but there are lots of types of thinking skills. For example, the speed at which we can respond (processing speed), our ability to remember objects (general memory), and our knowledge of words and their meaning (vocabulary knowledge). These cognitive domains show different patterns of change across adulthood.

Processing speed and general memory do appear to decline from the 20s, which means we are slower at responding to relevant cues and a bit more forgetful as we age. But this is not the case for vocabulary knowledge. On average, we will reach our peak word knowledge in our 60s, and our performance will not markedly decline after that. In fact, multiple studies show the older your age, the better your performance on the New York Times crossword.

3. I can’t change my risk of dementia

It has been estimated that up to 30% of worldwide dementia cases are preventable through lifestyle choices. Evidence shows mid-life heart factors, especially diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and physical inactivity, increase the risk of developing dementia in late-life, as does having depression, smoking and having low educational attainment.

So, one way to decrease your risk of dementia is to reduce your heart risk factors – for example, exercise more and reduce your weight if you are obese. Engaging with cognitively stimulating activities such as formal (such as university) and informal (such as short-courses) education, and social meetings, has been shown to reduce the risk of dementia.

This evidence ties in nicely with recent studies from Europe and the US, which have demonstrated an individual’s risk of dementia has actually decreased over the past two decades. Why? Well, it is appears that older adults are now more physically and cognitively healthy than their predecessors.

 Ageing population

Image: World Health Organization

4. I’ll get dementia if my parents did

Late-life dementia, which is diagnosed when you are 65 years and over, is only influenced slightly by the genetics your parents passed onto you. Nine genes have been identified that either increase or decrease your risk for dementia. There is one that carries some influence: apolipoprotein E. If you have one combination (E4E4 alleles), you are at 15 times more likely to get dementia as someone with the more typical combination (E3E3). However, all other identified genes have only a small effect, with each putting you at a 20% increased or decreased risk of developing the disease.

To put these genetic risks in perspective, they are smaller than each of the lifestyle factors mentioned above. That is, dementia is more likely to be caused by obesity (60% more likely) or being inactive (80% more likely). These comparisons are not perfect, as it may be that genes related to dementia also relate to these lifestyle factors, but it does show how powerful lifestyle factors are.

5. My weight will stay the same

Simple physics energy laws tell us that if the calories we are eating match the energy we are burning, our weight will essentially be stable. Most people believe in this simple and truthful nutritional dogma, but fail to take into account the significant effects of ageing on energy metabolism.

As we age, our body composition changes. In particular, we tend to have a reciprocal change in fat (increase) and muscle (decrease), and these changes appear to be different in men and women. Men appear to have a steeper decline in muscle tissue, which accounts for a decline in the total energy expenditure of about 3% per decade.

In women, the rate is slightly slower compared to men (about 2% per decade). This simply means if you continue to eat and exercise at the same level as you age, you will likely gain weight, and this will mostly consist of body fat.

Ageing is not a passive biological process. We need to better understand our body and its changes if we want to maintain health and prevent the onset of diseases such as dementia.

Written by

Hannah Keage, Senior Lecturer in Psychology, University of South Australia

Blossom Christa Maree Stephan, Senior Lecturer, Newcastle University

This article is published in collaboration with The Conversation.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.


Three predictions for the economy in 2017

Three predictions for the economy in 2017

This article is published in collaboration with Project Syndicate.
The September 17 and 18 curves are seen on the board at the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) in Sydney September 18, 2008. Australian shares extended their losses to 4 percent in afternoon trade on Thursday, as investors continued to dump financial stocks on concerns about who could be the next victim of the global credit crisis. REUTERS/Daniel Munoz (AUSTRALIA) - RTR220CR

Global traditions are precarious this year, meaning the economic situation could be too.
Image: REUTERS/Daniel Munoz
Written by
Anatole KaletskyChief Economist, Institute for New Economic Thinking
Friday 3 February 2017
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Economic pundits traditionally offer their (traditionally inaccurate) New Year predictions at the beginning of January. But global conditions this year are anything but traditional, so it seemed appropriate to wait until US President Donald Trump settled into the White House to weigh in on some of the main surprises that might shake up the world economy and financial markets on his watch. Judging by current market movements and conditions, the world could be caught off guard by three potentially transformative developments.

For starters, Trump’s economic policies are likely to produce much higher US interest rates and inflation than financial markets expect. Trump’s election has almost certainly ended the 35-year trend of disinflation and declining rates that began in 1981, and that has been the dominant influence on economic conditions and asset prices worldwide. But investors and policymakers don’t believe it yet. The US Federal Reserve Board’s published forecasts suggest only three quarter-point rate hikes this year, and futures markets have priced in just two such moves.

As Trump launches his policies, however, the Fed is likely to tighten its monetary policy more than it had planned before the inauguration, not less, as the markets still expect. More important, as Trump’s policies boost both real economic activity and inflation, long-term interest rates, which influence the world economy more than the overnight rates set by central banks, are likely to rise steeply.

The rationale for this scenario is straightforward. Trump’s tax and spending plans will sharply reverse the budget consolidation enforced by Congress on Barack Obama’s administration, and household borrowing will expand dramatically if Trump fulfills his promise to reverse the bank regulations imposed after the 2008 financial crisis. As all this extra stimulus fuels an economy already nearing full employment, inflation seems bound to accelerate, with protectionist trade tariffs and a possible “border tax” raising prices even more for imported goods.

The only uncertainty is how monetary policy will respond to this “Trumpflation.” But whether the Fed tries to counteract it by raising interest rates more aggressively than its current forecasts imply, or decides to move cautiously, keeping short-term interest rates well behind the rising curve of price growth, bond investors will suffer. As a result, yields on ten-year US bonds could jump from 2.5% to 3.5% or more in the year ahead – and ultimately much higher.

In Europe and Japan, by contrast, monetary conditions will remain loose, as central banks continue to support economic growth with zero interest rates and quantitative easing (QE). And this policy divergence suggests a second potential shock for which financial markets seem unprepared.

The US dollar could strengthen much further, especially against emerging-market currencies, despite Trump’s stated desire to boost US exports. The catalyst for exchange-rate appreciation would be not only higher US interest rates, but also a dollar squeeze in emerging markets, where foreign debts have increased by $3 trillion since 2010. A confluence of dollar strength and excessive foreign borrowing caused the debt crises in Latin America and Asia in the 1980s and 1990s. This time, Trump’s protectionism could make matters even worse, especially for countries such as Mexico and Turkey, which have based their development strategies on rapidly expanding exports and have financed domestic business activity with dollar debts.

So much for the bad news. Fortunately, a third major development that is not priced into financial markets could be more favorable for global economic conditions: the European Union – an even more important market than the US for almost every trading country apart from Mexico and Canada – could do much better than expected in 2017.

Economic indicators began to improve rapidly in most EU countries from early 2015, when the European Central Bank stopped the fragmentation of the eurozone by launching a bond-buying program even bigger than the QE pioneered by the Fed. But this economic recovery was overwhelmed last year by fears of political disintegration. With the Netherlands, France, Germany, and Italy all facing populist insurgencies – and at least the first three holding elections this year – the Brexit and Trump shocks have naturally provoked anxiety that the next domino to fall will be one of these EU founding members, followed perhaps by the entire EU.

These expectations create the possibility of the biggest surprise of 2017: instead of disintegrating, the EU stabilizes, facilitating an economic rebound and a period of strong financial performance similar to the US “Goldilocks period” from 2010 to 2014, when the economy recovered at a pace that was neither too hot nor too cold. The key event will be France’s presidential election, which will most likely be decided in a second-round runoff on May 7. If either François Fillon or Emmanuel Macron wins, France will embark on an economic reform process comparable to Germany’s in 2003, undertaken by then-Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.

Even a mild foretaste of such reforms would encourage a relaxation of the austerity terms demanded by the new German government that emerges from the general election there on September 24. A more cooperative and constructive Franco-German relationship would, in turn, erode support for the populist Five Star Movement in Italy.

The risk to this benign scenario is, of course, that Marine Le Pen wins in France. In that case, a breakup of the EU will become a realistic prospect, triggering panic in European financial markets and economies. Every opinion poll and serious analysis of French politics indicates that President Le Pen is an impossible fantasy. But isn’t that what every opinion poll and serious analysis of US politics indicated last year about President Trump?

Written by

Anatole Kaletsky, Chief Economist, Institute for New Economic Thinking

This article is published in collaboration with Project Syndicate.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.


What President Trump means for the future of the renminbi

What President Trump means for the future of the renminbi

This article is published in collaboration with Project Syndicate.
The White House is pictured shortly after sunrise in Washington, August 1, 2007.       REUTERS/Jason Reed      (UNITED STATES) - RTR1SFN2

Trump has accused China of intentionally devaluing the renminbi, in order to boost its export competitiveness.
Image: REUTERS/Jason Reed
Written by
Xiao GengProfessor, University of Hong Kong
Andrew ShengDistinguished Fellow, Fung Global Institute
Monday 6 February 2017
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At the recently concluded World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, Chinese President Xi Jinping mounted a robust defense of globalization, reaffirming his country’s “open door” policy and pledging never to seek to start a trade war or to benefit from devaluation of its currency. Soon after, US President Donald Trump, in his inaugural address, effectively made the opposite pledge: using the word “protect” seven times, he confirmed that his “America first” doctrine means protectionism.

Trump speaks of the United States as an economy in decline that must be revitalized. But the reality is that the US economy has been performing rather well in the last two years. Its recovery has outpaced that of other advanced economies; job creation has been impressive; and the dollar has been strong.

The dollar’s value has risen particularly high in the last few months, as Trump’s promises to increase government spending, lower business taxes, and cut regulation have inspired a flight to quality by investors. By contrast, the Chinese renminbi has weakened significantly – from CN¥6.2 per dollar at the end of 2014 to CN¥6.95 at the end of last year – owing largely to declining investment and exports.

Trump has accused China of intentionally devaluing the renminbi, in order to boost its export competitiveness. But the truth is quite the opposite: in the face of strong downward pressure on the renminbi, China has sought to keep the renminbi-dollar exchange rate relatively stable, – an effort that has contributed to a decline of more than $1 trillion in official foreign-currency reserves.

China does not want the renminbi to depreciate any more than Trump does. But no country has full control over its exchange rate. From technological developments to geopolitical rivalries to policy shifts among major trading partners, the causes of the renminbi’s decline – and, thus, the factors influencing China’s exchange-rate policy – are varied and complex.

One factor affecting exchange rates is a rapidly changing global supply chain. Evolving consumption patterns, regulatory regimes, and digital technologies have lately encouraged more domestic production. In the US, manufacturing has received a boost from technologies like robotics and 3D printing. That has supported economic recovery, without increasing its imports from Asia.

Meanwhile, China is already shifting from an export-driven growth model to one based on higher domestic consumption, so a stronger renminbi might serve its economy better. China’s current-account surplus fell to just 2.1% of GDP in 2016, and the International Monetary Fund projects it to narrow further, as exports continue to fall.

But the current account is not the only relevant factor. Given the role of capital flows in exchange rates, BIS economist Claudio Borio argues for looking at the financial account as well. Here, too, a depreciating renminbi doesn’t serve China.

According to the IMF, by 2021, the US net investment position will probably deteriorate – with net liabilities rising from of 41% of GDP to 63% – while China’s net investment position remains flat. This means that other surplus countries like Germany and Japan are likely to be financing the growing US deficit position, from both their current and financial accounts. (The expanding interest-rate differentials between the US and its advanced-country counterparts reinforce this expectation.)

But perhaps the biggest challenge for China today lies in its capital account. Since the renminbi began its downward slide in 2015, the incentive to reduce foreign debts and increase overseas assets has intensified.

China’s total foreign debts (public and private), already very low by international standards, have fallen from 9.4% of GDP ($975.2 billion) at the end of 2014 to 6.4% of GDP ($701.0 billion) by the end of last year. And this trend seems set to continue, as Chinese citizens continue to diversify their asset portfolios to suit their increasingly international lifestyles. A weaker renminbi will only bolster this trend.

Of course, Trump, who has repeatedly threatened to impose tariffs on China, could also influence China’s exchange-rate policy. But, in a sense, Trump’s irreverence makes him practically irrelevant. After all, judging by his past behavior, it seems likely that he will accuse China of currency manipulation, regardless of the policy path it chooses: a completely free float with full convertibility, the current managed float, or a pegged exchange rate.

So what is China’s best option? A free-floating exchange rate can be ruled out right away. In the current dollar-driven international monetary regime, such an approach would produce too much volatility.

But even the current regime is becoming difficult to manage. Considering the cost of recent efforts to maintain some semblance of exchange-rate stability, it seems that not even the equivalent of $3 trillion in foreign-exchange reserves is enough to manage a currency float.

To be sure, China can – and should – broaden and deepen its international investment position, in order to support currency stability. At the end of 2015, China’s gross foreign assets were relatively low, at 57.2% of GDP, compared to about 180% for Japan and many European countries and around 130% for the US. Meanwhile, China’s net foreign assets amounted to only 14.7% of GDP, compared to 67.5% for Japan and 48.3% for Germany (negative 41% of GDP for the US). Reforms in the real and financial sectors would enable this level to rise.

For now, however, the best option may be for China to peg the renminbi to the dollar, with an adjustment band of 5%, within which the central bank would intervene only lightly, to guide the market back to parity over the long term. Investors are, after all, focused almost exclusively on the renminbi-dollar exchange rate.

Whatever path it chooses, China will pay a heavy price for advocating globalization and pursuing currency stability. In a world in which announcing new policies – and thus moving markets –is as easy as sending a tweet, politics will trump rational economic discussion.

Written by

Xiao Geng, Professor, University of Hong Kong

Andrew Sheng, Distinguished Fellow, Fung Global Institute

This article is published in collaboration with Project Syndicate.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.
































A promise is a promise ~~~

“I’m sorry"
Is a statement.
“I won’t do it again"
Is a promise.
“How do I make it up to you?"
Is a responsibility.
A promise means
But once it’s broken,
Sorry means
People with good intentions make promises,
But people with good character keep them.

Good Morning World
Have a good promising weekend!


House in Nagoya by Atelier Tekuto

House in Nagoya by Atelier Tekuto

Architects: Atelier Tekuto
Location: Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, Japan
Year: 2015
Photo courtesy: Toshihiro Sobajima

The site is situated in the local location where around 30 minutes via auto from Nagoya Station. Claim to fame material in Central territory in Japan is SANSYU tile stile the rooftop and KISO cypress is impression of solid, It is an earth floor and external divider putting utilizing silica sand that not just timber, are delivered in Seto-city celebrated for its great quality soil.


I am attempting to combination of way of life and cutting edge materials and customary techniques.I have attempted that way of life and advanced innovation and conventional materials are intertwined. By superimposing the customer cooperation and dialog with nearby material and connection with the development organization and a specialist, “Lodging is just here,” which settled in the zone is finished.

House-in-Nagoya-by-Atelier-Tekuto-02By issuing 2.3m backlash in cantilevered volume of a polyhedron with a porch and patio on the site of levels shape, the picture of the customer, “there is an atelier, a house in which you have to envision a typical one of a kind, regardless of where you are” and, we reaction in conjunction with the material.


Thank you for reading this article!


《 John Mellencamp – Small Town 》

《 John Mellencamp – Small Town 》

Well I was born in a small town
And I live in a small town
Probably die in a small town
Oh, those small communities
All my friends are so small town
My parents live in the same small town
My job is so small town
Provides little opportunity
Educated in a small town
Taught the fear of Jesus in a small town
Used to daydream in that small town
Another boring romantic that’s me
But I’ve seen it all in a small town
Had myself a ball in a small town
Married an L.A. doll and brought her to this small town
Now she’s small town just like me
No I cannot forget where it is that I come from
I cannot forget the people who love me
Yeah, I can be myself here in this small town
And people let me be just what I want to be
Got nothing against a big town
Still hayseed enough to say
Look who’s in the big town
But my bed is in a small town
Oh, and that’s good enough for me
Well I was born in a small town
And I can breathe in a small town
Gonna die in this small town
And that’s probably where they’ll bury me
Mellencamp, John
Published by
Lyrics © EMI Music Publishing, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Song Discussions is protected by U.S. Patent 9401941. Other patents pending.

El Patio Courtyard House in La Esmeralda by Lucas Mc Lean

El Patio Courtyard House in La Esmeralda by Lucas Mc Lean

Architects: Lucas Mc Lean
Location: La Esmeralda, Argentina
Year: 2013
Area: 1,722 sqft / 160 sqm
Photo courtesy: Tomás Thibaud

The house was built in Costa Esmeralda, a private enterprise with 1000 ha and more than 3km of Atlantic coast, 390 km away from Buenos Aires.

outdoor stone fence

The house idea was to reinterpret the courtyard typology. The morphology of the plan is structured around a tight space, sheltered from strong winds and the low temperatures of the winter season.

rock fence

The client wanted a holiday residence for an all season use, both summer and winter with the main idea of “feeling inside being outside, and outside being inside.” Because this is a house to entertain not only the client, but also it’s guests, a clear independence between the common area and the private area was proposed.

outdoor garden

The courtyard is the protagonist on the side access and it acts as a functional, auditory and visual hinge between these two areas. The three bedrooms and the night rest area are located in the front, while the area for socialising is located in the back.

indoor garden

Privacy is another determining factor that the project addresses. With over 4000 lots, we decided to display a little of the facade, with a rectangular, modulated, sober and off the ground section. The four Araucaria pines are the only signs from the street of the situation projected inwardly.

wood paved indoor gardeninterior yard of the residenceentrance of the buildinginterior designinterior and exterior of the villaCourtyard by nightexterior of the houseentrance by nightEl Patio Courtyard House by nightEl Patio Courtyard House planEl Patio Courtyard House in La Esmeralda by Lucas Mc Lean-15El Patio Courtyard House in La Esmeralda by Lucas Mc Lean-16El Patio Courtyard House in La Esmeralda by Lucas Mc Lean-17

Thank you for reading this article!


《 John Mellencamp – Authority Song 》

《 John Mellencamp – Authority Song 》

They like to get you in a compromising position
They like to get you there and smile in your face
They think, they’re so cute when they got you in that condition
Well I think, it’s a total disgrace
I fight authority, authority always wins
I fight authority, authority always wins
I been doing it, since I was a young kid
I’ve come out grinnin’
I fight authority, authority always wins
So I call up my preacher
I say: “Gimme strength for Round 5″
He said: “You don’t need no strength, you need to grow up, son"
I said: “Growing up leads to growing old and then to dying,
And dying to me don’t sound like all that much fun"
I fight authority, authority always wins
I fight authority, authority always wins
I been doing it, since I was a young kid
I’ve come out grinnin’
I fight authority, authority always wins
I fight authority, authority always wins
I fight authority, authority always wins
I been doing it, since I was a young kid
I’ve come out grinnin’
I fight authority, authority always wins
Oh no
Oh no
I fight authority, authority always wins
I fight authority, authority always wins
I fight authority, authority always wins
I been doing it, since I was a young kid
I’ve come out grinnin’
I fight authority, authority always wins
I fight authority, authority always wins
I fight authority, authority always wins
I been doing it, since I was a young kid
I’ve come out grinnin’
I fight authority, authority always wins
Mellencamp, John
Published by
Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Song Discussions is protected by U.S. Patent 9401941. Other patents pending.

Brazil’s men helped to become better fathers to reduce gender violence

Brazil’s men helped to become better fathers to reduce gender violence

A project that promotes men’s involvement in childcare is changing attitudes with the aim of promoting equality and protecting women and girls

Promundo is one of the coordinators of MenCare+ in Brazil, an initiative of the global MenCare campaign.
Promundo is one of the coordinators of MenCare+ in Brazil, an initiative of the global MenCare campaign to engage men in maternal and child health. Photograph: MenCare

Getting men to be active fathers may not seem the most obvious way to tackle gender-based violence. But, according to Gary Barker, CEO and founder of Promundo, which engages men and boys in ending violence against women and girls, policies that encourage men to do more unpaid care work are a vital part of achieving gender equality.

“To us, it seemed obvious that we needed to figure out more constructive ways to engage men on this topic,” he says.

In fact, there can be consequences when men aren’t brought into initiatives to empower women.

According to Barker, while in the long-term, women who are better off financially are less likely to be involved in a violent relationship and more likely to leave a violent partner, in the short-term, the opposite can be true. Micro-credit programmes that target women, for example, can initially lead to an increase in violence.

“[Her partner] may be feeling economically disempowered, the power dynamic feels like it’s shifting … and in some settings and some relationships, men might not be ready for that,” Barker explains.

To tackle this in Brazil, Promundo runs a companion project to the government’s bolsa familia cash transfer programme, which for more than a decade has given cash to families living in poverty in return for enrolling their children in school and attending regular health checks.

Bolsa familia reaches nearly a quarter of the country’s population, and 93% of its beneficiaries are women. Promundo’s companion project trained public sector staff to discuss gender equality and the importance of sharing care work when administering bolsa familia grants.

Gary Barker, CEO and founder of Promundo
Gary Barker, CEO and founder of Promundo, which engages men and boys in ending violence against women and girls. Photograph: Brad Barket/ WireImage/Getty Images

“We worked with staff who implement that programme to say, let’s encourage him to be part of helping the child with homework, let’s encourage him to go to the meetings with teachers,” says Barker.

The project seems to be working. At the start, 75% of male participants said men’s responsibilities included childcare, by the end, 100% agreed.

Promundo, which works in more than 20 countries and receives funding from foundations and government sources, including the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Bank, also recently successfully campaigned for Brazil to increase entitlement to paternity leave – one of few policy examples promoting men’s involvement in care work. Men are now able to take 20 days of paid parental leave, as opposed to the previous five.

Barker had campaigned for more paternity leave in Brazil in 2007, but failed because too many employers did not want to provide this extra benefit to staff. He was also told by women’s rights organisations that mothers did not believe their partners were ready to care for their children.

Barker hopes the country becoming one of only a handful in the global south to offer paid leave for fathers will begin closing the huge gap between men and women in time spent on caregiving. Combined with better policies around education and psychosocial support, he hopes it will also reduce levels of gender-based violence.

According to the annual Map of Violence, in 2015 a woman was killed every two hours in Brazil.

Whereas Brazilian women spend 22 hours a week, on average, on care and domestic work, men only spend 10 hours and eight minutes, according to Promundo’s 2015 State of the World’s Fathers report.

The key, Barker says, will be scaling up work to engage men from small-scale projects at community level to become a more mainstream part of government policy and development programmes. “There’s a growing amount of evidence that if we can do this long enough and deep enough, and with enough key actors, we can see change. But they’ve been in limited areas – five schools, four provinces in a country,” he says.

His views are shared by a number of women’s and girls’ rights organisations. According to Kerry Smith, head of girls’ rights and youth at Plan International UK, which works with men and boys to prevent female genital mutilation and child marriage: “If you want to address stereotypes of what women and girls are, you absolutely need to address stereotypes that men have to operate under as well.

“In our minds, it isn’t the most important element, it isn’t the only element, but it is an essential ingredient of tackling and ending violence against women and girls. You need to look at it in a public health way. You need to treat and respond to the actual violence and you also need to take preventative measures, both of which need funding.”

Toral Pattni, Care International’s senior humanitarian adviser for gender, acknowledges that in the context of limited funds, the balance between work with men and boys and protecting women who have experienced violence is “something many organisations struggle with. But if we are simply responding to the need but not tackling, not preventing it, then we are only ever going to be responding to the need.”

Barker believes it’s time to assess how much it would cost to engage more men. “It’s a really key moment to now say how much would it cost to scale this up … and to build it in to other streams of funding. To say, what does it cost to [engage men] in what you’re already doing?”


《 John Mellencamp – Hurts So Good 》

《 John Mellencamp – Hurts So Good 》

When I was a young boy,
Said put away those young boy ways
Now that I’m getting’ older, so much older
I long for those young boy days
With a girl like you
With a girl like you
Lord knows there are things we can do, baby
Just me and you
Come on and make it a
Hurt so good
Come on baby make it hurt so good
Sometimes love don’t feel like it should
You make it, hurt so good
You don’t have to be so exciting
Just trying to give myself a little bit of fun, yeah
You always look so inviting
You ain’t as green as you are young
Hey baby it’s you
Come on girl now it’s you
Sink your teeth right through my bones, baby
Let’s see what we can do
Come on and make it a
Hurt so good
Come on baby make it hurt so good
Sometimes love don’t feel like it should
You make it hurt so good
I ain’t talking no big deals
I ain’t made no plans myself
I ain’t talking no high heels
Maybe we could walk around, all day long,
Walk around, all day long
Hurt so good
Come on baby make it hurt so good
Sometimes love don’t feel like it should
You make it hurt so good
Hurt so good, come baby now
Come on baby make it hurt so good
Sometimes love don’t feel like it should
You make it hurt so good

Hey, hey

Published by
Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Song Discussions is protected by U.S. Patent 9401941. Other patents pending.

Bougainvillea Villa in Sarasota, Florida designed by Traction Architecture

Bougainvillea Villa in Sarasota, Florida designed by Traction Architecture

Architects: Traction Architecture
Location: Sarasota, Florida, USA
Year: 2014
Photo courtesy: Greg Wilson

“The Bougainvillea House is situated on an infill lot in a residential neighborhood of Sarasota. We were interested in the changing character of the neighborhood and were inspired by the history of the lot, which originally housed a 1940s Art Moderne home that could not be saved. In addition, the lot contained a two-story detached studio, which we preserved and renovated as part of the project.


We wanted the home to contain traces of the demolished building’s character as a clue to the site’s past. The asymmetrical geometry of the original floor plan became a catalyst for generating a sequence of solids and voids through the interior and exterior spaces of the home and throughout the lot.


Openings in the front and rear facades enable unobstructed views of the backyard, where a lap pool separates the home from the detached studio. A dynamic interplay between the two structures carves the exterior space into distinct three-dimensional zones.


Inside the main house, the double height living area opens to a second story den where a dramatic glass corner filters northern light into the home and contains a window seat with treetop views.


Details were inspired by the Art Moderne style, with its streamlined forms, glass corners, smooth surfaces and porthole windows. Upstairs, a deeply inset window is positioned at eye level to serve as an oculus to focus the view. The exterior head, sill and jambs of the oculus are painted a vivid blue that casts a calming glow into the den, suggesting the sky and nearby sea.


Because the home was built for a developer, it was particularly important to create a functional and flexible layout that could accommodate a range of potential homeowners. Cost efficiencies were achieved by maintaining a simple material palette and paring down the design to its essentials.


Ultimately, this project was about crafting sustainable, thoughtful, livable spaces that could evoke the spirit of the site’s past while looking toward its future.”


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《 John Mellencamp – Lonely Ol’ Night 》

《 John Mellencamp – Lonely Ol’ Night 》

She calls me home
She says baby it’s a lonely ol’ night
I don’t know
I’m just so scared and lonely all at the same time
Nobody told me
She was gonna work out this way no no no no no no
I guess they knew
We’d work it out in our own way
It’s a lonely ol’ night
Can I put my arms around you?
It’s a lonely ol nigh
Custom made for two lonely people like me and you
Radio playin’ softly
Some singer’s sad sad song
He’s singing about
Standing in the shadows of love
I guess it feels awfully alone
She says I know
Exactly what he means yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah
And it’s a sad sad sad sad feeling
When you’re living on those in betweens
(But it’s OK)
It’s a lonely ol’ night
Can I put my arms around you?
It’s a lonely ol nigh
Custom made for two lonely people like me and you
She calls me baby
She calls everybody baby
It’s a lonely ol’ night
But ain’t they all?
It’s a lonely ol’ night
Can I put my arms around you?
It’s a lonely ol nigh
Custom made for two lonely people like me and you
Girl like me and you
Yeah like me and you
Mellencamp, John
Published by
Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Song Discussions is protected by U.S. Patent 9401941. Other patents pending.

Home with a welcoming atmosphere that carries the playful spirit of its location in São Paulo, Brazil

Home with a welcoming atmosphere that carries the playful spirit of its location in São Paulo, Brazil

Architects: Guilherme Torres
Location: Sao Paulo, Brazil
Year: 2015
Photography:©Denilson Machado-MCA Studio

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《 John Mellencamp – Crumblin’ Down 》

《 John Mellencamp – Crumblin’ Down 》

Advisory – the following lyrics contain explicit language:

Some people ain’t no damn good
You can’t trust ’em, you can’t love em
No good deed goes unpunished
And I don’t mind being their whipping boy
I’ve had that pleasure for years and years
No, no I never was a sinner-tell me what else can I do
Second best is what you get-till you learn to bend this rules
Time respects no person-what you lift up must fall
They’re waiting outside-to claim my crumblin’ walls
Saw my picture in the paper
Read the news around my face
And now some people
Don’t want to treat me the same
When the walls come tumblin’ down
When the walls come crumblin’ crumblin’
When the walls come tumblin’ tumblin’ down
Some people say I’m obnoxious and lazy
That I’m uneducated and my opinion means nothin’
But I know I’m a real good dancer
Don’t need to look over my shoulder to see what I’m after
Everybody’s got their problems-ain’t no new news here
I’m the same old trouble you’ve been having for years
Don’t confuse the problem with the issue, girl,
‘Cause it’s perfectly clear
Just a human desire to have you come near
Want to put my arms around you
Feel your breath in my ear
You can bend me, you can break me
But you better stand clear
When the walls come tumblin’ down
When the walls come crumblin’ crumblin’
When the walls come tumblin’ tumblin’ down
Mellencamp, John / Green, George Michael
Published by
Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Song Discussions is protected by U.S. Patent 9401941. Other patents pending.

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