Category Archives: Ideas for a better world….

July 01

10 Uplifting Things To Do If The World Is Making You Depressed

There’s no doubt about it: the world is seriously messed up. If you’re not feeling a little bit sad right now, you’re probably either already taking an assortment of pills to deal with the pain or you live off-grid in a forest somewhere, blissfully ignorant of ISIS vs Western Imperialism, Monsanto, Ecocide, TTIP, and, of […]

January 02

How The Love Shown By Muslims And Bikers Saved My Flooded Town

On Boxing Day morning at 7 am, after months of heavy rain, we were woken by the sound of flood sirens as the river Calder burst its banks. Within an hour, the valley where I live in West Yorkshire, England, was six feet underwater. Hebden Bridge resident Helen Baron posted this image of the town on Facebook […]

November 15

After Paris, Is Peace Too Much To Ask For?

Human emotion isn’t as complex as we like to believe. When someone hurts us, we want revenge. We feel anger and hatred. We want to make those who have humiliated and scorned us suffer. We might think we’re over all that. We might, as individuals, make a conscious decision to avoid conflict in our lives, […]

October 05

Recipe For Reducing Violent Crime: Compassion, With A Sprinkling Of Bribery

Richmond in California has consistently ranked in the USA’s top ten cities for violent crime. Back in 2006, the city was desperate for a solution.  A new police chief was brought in to sort out the mess, but rather than the usual heavy-handed tactics, he decided to do something fresh, radical…and controversial. The new chief […]

May 14

This Is How Psychedelic Drugs Could Radically Change Society For The Better

Terence McKenna, self-styled ‘psychonaut’, ethnobotanist, writer, lecturer, freedom fighter and culture-doubting intellectual, was arguably one of the greatest minds who ever lived. He believed passionately in a basic human right to explore one’s own consciousness, and he advocated the use of psilocybin (the psychoactive compound in magic mushrooms) and other natural psychedelic drugs to do so. Controversial […]

Child Brides and FGM: How Crowdfunding Can Change Lives

Why feminism is needed more than ever, and how one woman´s dream is empowering others around the world The F-word: divisive, controversial, and frequently misunderstood. But what does feminism actually mean, and why does a concept so crucial to girls and women often cause such negative reactions? To find out, I interviewed Maz Kessler, founder […]

Incredible Edible Free Food Project Replicated Worldwide

  In the small town of Todmorden in the north of England, fresh organic produce is growing everywhere. There are sweet-smelling herbs at the railway station, vegetables sprouting in the public car park, and an apothecary garden next to the local Health Centre. This is the Incredible Edible movement, a grassroots campaign to provide healthy […]

Romanian Farmers Tell Chevron To ‘Frack off’

In the sleepy rural village of Pungesti, Romania, life has changed very little in generations. There is not a car in sight: birdsong is broken only by the clip-clop of horses’ hooves and the trundle of cart wheels, as farmers with weather-beaten faces drive their animals over rolling green pastures. Old women in headscarves and […]

Organic Urban Gardening For Beginners

Being self sufficient in a small space is much easier (and enjoyable) than you might think! A few years ago, I knew nothing about gardening. It seemed like a useful but time-consuming hobby: too much hard work and too much information to take in. Then I moved to a small farming community in the mountains […]

Everything You Think You Know About Animals Is Wrong

How science is forcing us to reconsider the twin myths of human superiority and dumb creatures Human beings are the most intelligent, and therefore important, of all the world´s species, right? We deserve our superior status over other animals because of the following scientific truths: that only humans are self-aware and feel empathy, that we […]

Waking the giant: Examining the legacy of a global uprising

In December 2010, a desperate Tunisian man set himself on fire after he was denied the right to sell fruit and vegetables in the street.  This hopeless, tragic act sparked nationwide protests against the government that were to send president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali fleeing in exile from Tunisia. The people´s uprising gathered momentum […]

In memory of little Rawan, let´s end child marriage for good

This week, an eight-year-old Yemeni girl called Rawan died from severe internal injuries after being brutally raped by her 40-year-old husband on their wedding night. It´s impossible to imagine the terror and pain this small child suffered as she was so horrifically abused, but we must not let her tragic ordeal be in vain. In […]

10 ways you can save the world

How can I make a positive difference in the world? Where do I start? Which of the overwhelming number of urgent global issues should I focus my attention on first? These are questions most of us have asked ourselves at some point. But although being an active citizen can sometimes feel hopeless, just remember: you […]

Land of the real-life Robin Hood: proof that direct democracy works for all

This was first published in Salon and an edited version with hyperlinks can be read on their website here. EDIT: This was later ripped off by a writer calling herself Jade Small. Just pointing out I wrote it first. With virtually no police, crime, or unemployment, the Spanish town of Marinaleda has gained celebrity status […]

“La Matanza”, Spain: is killing our own food the only way to eat ethically?

Just 40 kilometres inland from the hotels and souvenir shops of the Costa del Sol lies the Genal Valley, where tiny white villages forgotten by the march of time cling to pine-fringed mountains. These picturesque pueblos blancos, their crumbling houses brightened by red geraniums, are a quaint reminder of a rustic bygone age. Here, self-sufficiency […]

5 reasons to be globally cheerful on ´Blue Monday´

According to a rather dubious equation, today is Blue Monday: the most depressing day of the year. The glitter baubles are back in the attic, the new years resolutions are out of the window, it´s dark when you go to work and darker when you return, and while the waistline may have increased, the bank […]

Social media and social movements: a positive sign for the future?

It’s 1am and there is a stranger asleep on my sofa, rucksack at his side, snoring gently. Six hours earlier I’d been standing in Manchester bus station, scanning the crowd for a face I’d only seen in a few blurred photographs. Until now, Ashley Drew and I hadn’t even spoken on the phone. All I […]

Change-a-lujah people! Joining Rev Billy on his Shopocalypse Tour

It’s a perfectly ordinary day in a Liverpool city centre branch of Tesco. Customers clutching lunchtime snacks queue patiently in silence. Bored-looking cashiers scan sandwiches and salads on autopilot, daydreaming of clocking off and enjoying the sunshine outside. Suddenly, the store fills up with men and women wearing long green robes, making low humming noises […]

Consumed by doubt: why don´t we buy fair trade?

You’d have to be living under a rock to have never heard of Starbucks, McDonalds, Gap or Nestle, but it’s less common to hear about how and where their products are made. To mark World Fair Trade Day, Sophie McAdam looks at the effects of globalisation on workers in developing countries, and asks ultimately: Does […]

The Shopocalypse is coming!!! Introducing Reverend Billy

He was brought up by religious conservatives before running away in his teens and going on to set up the anti-corporate Church of Stop Shopping. He is hated by America’s biggest multinationals, and Starbucks had him jailed after he ‘exorcised’ one too many of their cash registers. Sophie McAdam finds out what drives the man […]