Human development has many components: from satisfying basic human needs, such as shelter, health, food and water, to more complex ones, including education, equality, fair working conditions, and peace. It is important to recognize that all of these are interconnected. Children cannot learn if they are hungry or sick; there cannot be equality if women and minorities do not receive quality education; and lack of equality generates social unrest. Furthermore, given that human development has a direct impact on the planet as we cut down forests to make room for agriculture and pollute lakes and rivers with our industry, we need to think of how we can achieve human development while preserving the planet at the same time.
In this page you will find articles that discuss the interconnected societal system, including topics on poverty and economic development, social equality and inclusion, public health, migration, governance and diplomacy.

 

Sustainability: That Ain’t Country?

Written by Ashford King In the US, the fight against climate change often looks more like a fight to achieve the public recognition that climate change is real. Flat out denial of science by the dominant strain of conservative politics and the reticence to take bold action on the part of moderates, combined with the…

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It’s Past Time for Princeton to Divest from Fossil Fuels

Written by Ryan Warsing of Divest Princeton If you’re reading this, you probably don’t need to be persuaded that the planet is on fire, and we need to do something to put it out fast.  We see evidence all around us:  California is again in the throes of a record wildfire season, glaciers the size of Manhattan are sliding into…

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Inside a Solar Energy Company

Written by Molly Chaney Finding an internship as a Ph.D. student is hard. Finding one at a company you have legitimate interest in is even harder. In search of a more refined answer to the dreaded question, “so what do you want to do after you get your Ph.D.?” I started looking for opportunities in…

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Sowing the Seeds of Environmental Justice in Trenton

Written by Laurel Mei-Singh Magnificent, a hairdresser who lives and works in downtown Trenton, New Jersey, is one of ten adults gathered together in a community space. Meanwhile, an equal number of children paint pots outside, fill them with soil, and plant seeds to grow. On the topic of the lead-contaminated water flowing from the…

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The Case for Historic Buildings: Lessons on balancing human development and sustainability

Written by Isabel Morris We need quality buildings to safely house our schools, hospitals, offices, and our homes. We also live in a world with limited resources for constructing and operating new buildings, which means we need buildings that are sustainable and resilient in addition to being safe and functional. Most cities facing this challenge…

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An Apple a Day: Easier said than done

Written by Prof. Fernanda Márquez-Padilla A few months ago, I pulled a muscle doing yoga and started going to physical therapy on a weekly basis soon after. I was supposed to do a 5-minute routine every day, and my discipline at doing so was mediocre at best. It wasn’t particularly hard, or painful, but still:…

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A Healthy Mind in a Healthy Body: Towards universal healthcare

Written By Arvind Ravikumar The third Sustainable Development Goal (SDG3), as adopted in the 2015 UN General Assembly meeting, strives to “ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages” by 2030. There are nine targets specified under this goal that can be broadly classified into four categories: (1) decreasing maternal and child…

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Beyond the Olympics: The role of sports in social development

Written by Julio Herrera Estrada “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to unite in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than governments in breaking down racial…

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A World Without Hunger

Written by Matt Grobis Safe, nutritious, and sufficient food, all year, for all people: the United Nation’s second Sustainable Development Goal aims to transform the world’s agriculture and distribution of food by 2030. With 800 million people suffering from hunger – more than 10% of the world’s population – food and agriculture are key to…

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Empowering Communities and Building Resilience: The United Nations’ strategy to eradicate poverty

Written by Julio Herrera Estrada The beginning of 2016 marked the start of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that were agreed upon by the United Nations last September. These 17 goals, broken into 169 specific targets, are set to last through 2030 and address a wide range of interrelated issues such as poverty alleviation, improved…

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Americans Are Paying Too Much for Mass Incarceration: Prison education programs provide a way out

Written by Kaia Tombak Some names in this blog post have been changed to protect the privacy of those mentioned. Jack greeted me cheerfully as he strolled into class, asking me how things are going. “I’m fine, thanks,” I replied. “How are you?” “Oh, I’m good,” he chuckled. “You know, given the circumstances!” We were…

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