The Epic Boom and Bust of the Ostrich Feather Market

by Kelly Jensen Kelly Jensen Digital Collections Specialist, California Academy of Sciences, gives one of five Shift Ignite talks earlier this year at the Shift Forum. A fascinating tale of tulip-mania (but with feathers!), this five-minute Ignite talk reminds us all what happens when social behaviors rapidly change. Kelly Jensen: Hi, I’m Kelly Jensen. I’m …

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How Africa can prepare against the next El Niño

By Esther Ngumbi Governments and other key actors in food security need to prepare against the next El Niño, writes Esther Ngumbi. After a long dry spell coupled with drought, the rains have finally arrived in many African countries, including Kenya and South Africa, and the 2017 planting season is underway. But this joy may …

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Why African fans love European football – a Senegalese perspective

Mark Hann, University of Amsterdam Casillas throws the ball to Thuram, standing on the edge of his penalty area. The big defender passes to Zidane, who turns and dribbles past two opponents before playing a precise through-ball for Iniesta, who lays it on for Alves on the right wing. Alves curls in an accurate cross, …

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Western leaders take their eyes off Africa at wrong moment

Stephen Chan, SOAS, University of London Almost none of the Western world’s leaders have paid much attention to Africa in recent months. One exception was France’s newly-elected president, Emmanuel Macron, who visited Mali shortly after his inauguration. His trip was partly a show of solidarity with his country’s military effort there, and partly a gesture …

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France & Africa: don’t confuse Macron’s rhetoric with reality

Meera Venkatachalam, University of Mumbai and Amy Niang, University of the Witwatersrand The 2017 French election was watched with great nervousness by millions across Francophone Africa. That’s because the French president remains a pivotal figure in about 20 former French colonies on the continent. Over the past 60 years France has maintained disproportionate influence over …

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