Wasafiri’s May Reading (and Listening) List!

2019 seems to be racing past us at lightning speed, and somehow it is already May! At Wasafiri though we thought we’d slow things down a little, and share with our community what we’ve been reading and listening to in the past couple of months:

  • Systems Leadership for Sustainable DevelopmentColleagues at Harvard Kennedy School have been asking how to tackle complex challenges through a systems change approach, especially as related to the SDGs. Wasafiri’s Systemcraft framework was reviewed as one of a select few models aiming to practically help leaders and their organisation’s deliver impact at scale. The full report will be released later in 2019, but a useful summary of their findings is available now. It states, “Systems Leadership seeks to address complex societal challenges by combining deep understanding of system dynamics, inclusive engagement and empowerment of all stakeholders, and new forms of collaborative leadership that enable widespread action for system change”.
  • Youth and the Field of Countering Violent Extremism: This article looks at the role of youth in C/VE, recognizing that youth comprise the majority of new recruits into violent extremist organisations, and therefore, are well placed to better support and engage in CVE activities. Marc Sommers reviews the existing literature on youth issues in fragile contexts and C/VE, and speaks with a wide range of experts in the field to make poignant recommendations for how to better engage with youth in CVE programming.
  • Ezra Klein Show with Ana Helen Petersen and Derek Thompson: “Work as identity, burnout as lifestyle”. It is an interesting discussion that challenges the societal norms and assumptions that much of the world has around Work; where work has become an identity, capitalism our religion and productivity becomes the way we measure human value. However, the younger generation is questioning those norms due to the changing livelihood environment and importantly, landscape of achieving adulthood. How can some of these ideas shape our view of the work environment we would like to encourage?
  • Making Sense Podcast – Conquering Hate: Sam Harris speaks with Deeyah Khan about her groundbreaking documentary films “Jihad” and “White Right.” They explore her life as a first-generation Pashtun immigrant in Norway, and the friction of identities and cultures she experienced that led her to want to understand more about extremist culture. They dive into the similarities and differences from her experiences interviewing and befriending Jihadists in Europe and Nazis in the US. It offers some provocative insights on the recruitment and also prevention of young people joining these groups.
  • Let’s talk about Extinction Rebellion: Here in the UK the Extinction Rebellion (XR) protests have been dominating the news. This article gives a longer and more thoughtful read and for those of us interested in generating systems level change. There is lots in here about both developing grassroots mass engagement and engaging with hierarchical structures of power politics; and apparently “non violent movements always succeed if you can mobilise 3.5% of the population”.