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Jurriaan Kamp
Jurriaan Kamp is President and Editor-in-Chief of The Intelligent Optimist

Entries by Jurriaan Kamp

Midterm Elections and the Promise of a Non-Functioning Democracy

(0) Comments | Posted November 4, 2014 | 7:49 AM

America proudly sees herself as the leader of the democratic world. Democracy is on the rise around the globe. Forty years ago, think tank Freedom House published its first annual report ranking the world based on democratic freedoms. A mere 40 countries had free elections. Back then, Spain and Portugal...

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Optimistic Beggars

(2) Comments | Posted December 9, 2013 | 12:43 PM

Photo: flickr

Many years ago, while I lived in India, I discovered that misery -- and the difference between an optimist and a pessimist is quite often a relative issue. It pained me to see the poor women with babies begging at...

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Do You Persevere?

(2) Comments | Posted November 25, 2013 | 4:04 PM

Photo: flickr

There's a beautiful word that lies at the root of the lifestyle of the optimist: Resilience.
"The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties," says one definition.

The point is that shit happens. We live to overcome challenges. That's how...

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Do You Belong?

(1) Comments | Posted November 20, 2013 | 12:41 PM

Photo: flickr

An important driver for a lifestyle of optimism is a sense of purpose. There's much truth in Nietzche's "If you know the why, you can live any how."

Ultimately, what creates purpose is the experience that one is able to...

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The World Is a Better Place Than You Think

(6) Comments | Posted November 11, 2013 | 1:40 PM

Photo Source: Flickr

I worked for many years in the newsroom of a newspaper. I had a great and exciting time. Newsrooms are pretty much the places you see in movies or television shows. There's always action, and it's a...

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Are You an Optimist? The Test

(4) Comments | Posted November 7, 2013 | 4:22 PM


Psychologists have been using a simple test -- the Life Orientation Test -- for years to find out. The same test has been featured in most of the research done on the relationship between optimism and pessimism and (mental) health....

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The Art of Optimism: Why Did This Happen?

(0) Comments | Posted November 3, 2013 | 5:54 PM


The life of an optimist begins with the answer to a very common question: Why did this happen to me?

Sometimes the answer to that question is pretty simple and straightforward: "I lost my job because the company went out...

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Pollyanna Was Not an Optimist and Why Optimism Is the Best Strategy

(3) Comments | Posted October 21, 2013 | 9:39 AM

All that most people know about Pollyanna is that calling someone that name is not a good thing. It is an effective way to discourage someone from undertaking something overly optimistic. The reference dismisses optimism as a way to support health and happiness and build success. But few people know...

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Better Banking

(2) Comments | Posted January 23, 2012 | 2:18 PM

"Unless banks can better demonstrate their usefulness to society, they face a debilitating battle against new regulation," John Gapper wrote in the Financial Times last week. His analysis of "capitalism in crisis" presented some shocking numbers. Since 1977 trading in foreign exchange went up by 23,000 percent. And...

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Do You Really Believe in Change?

(0) Comments | Posted January 5, 2012 | 6:45 PM

Do you really believe in change? Do you really think that you can transform your life?

These are important questions, especially at the beginning of a new year when most of us have, once again, made "New Year's resolutions." We are going to go to the gym regularly. We are...

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Choosing hope over fear drives a recession away

(1) Comments | Posted October 4, 2011 | 4:00 PM

Ever since I was in charge of the economics desk of a newspaper in The Netherlands almost 20 years ago, I have been convinced that recessions are substantially a product of fear. There are always objective factors like supply and demand. It is a fact that Greece has borrowed too...

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A Case for Animal Respect and Political Rights After the SeaWorld Tragedy

(3) Comments | Posted March 10, 2010 | 11:30 AM

Should animals be kept in zoos? That's a hot question after the SeaWorld tragedy. I think I may share in the debate for two good reasons: (1) We have a rabbit that freely lives in our home and (2) I come from the only country in the world - The...

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There Is Plenty Renewable Energy to Fight Global Warming

(28) Comments | Posted December 30, 2009 | 2:17 PM

The shift from our current fossil fuel based economies to sustainable renewable energy economies is usually presented as a great challenge. That is also the message coming from the UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen. Oil companies tell us that it can be done but that we need decades...

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Global Warming was not Created by Developing Countries

(4) Comments | Posted December 17, 2009 | 2:12 PM

Leaders of developing countries walked out of the UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen yesterday to protest what they called an attempt to kill the Kyoto Protocol.

Rich nations are trying to reach a new climate agreement that includes emissions targets for the developing world. Developing countries are...

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Climate Anger

(0) Comments | Posted December 15, 2009 | 11:34 AM

For the past week a team of Ode volunteers has been handing out free copies of our special "Solutions We Need Now" issue that presents a series of inspiring and innovative solutions to the challenge of global warming (you can get you free digital copy here). Our volunteers...

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Invictus and Global Warming

(3) Comments | Posted December 13, 2009 | 4:27 PM

Last night I went to see the new movie Invictus and I learned an important lesson about the challenge of global warming. That may seem an unexpected experience as the movie is about rugby in South Africa. The film tells the true story of the world championships rugby in...

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A Climate That Copenhagen Cannot Change

(18) Comments | Posted December 11, 2009 | 1:04 PM

After four days the picture already becomes clear: it is going to be very hard for the world community as assembled at the UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen to reach the desired consensus necessary to halt global warming. African countries cannot even agree amongst themselves, Brazil, India,...

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Global Warming: An Inspiring Opportunity

(6) Comments | Posted December 9, 2009 | 8:01 PM

The well-timed news is out: the 2000-2009 decade is likely to become the warmest since records began in 1850. The U.N. weather agency, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), presented fresh statistics on the second day of climate conference in Copenhagen.

The decade 2000-2009 "is very likely to be the warmest...

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