The year 2014 will stand out to us for a multitude of reasons. For me, what resonates the most is the highs and lows we experienced in our efforts to create gender equality in education worldwide.
Today, millions of children in Pakistan and around the world will return to their schools and will continue this fight. I know that I will have a very specific message for my own child as she grows... that no one belief system is higher or more worthy than another.
Why are schools and universities the scenes of such violence? Is it because schools, with all their problems, remain for us places of hope and optimism?
We've been told that terrorism is hard to fight because while you can kill a person, it is hard to kill an idea. By the same token, terrorists can kill people, but also fail to destroy ideas.
Take a break from budget negotiations to try your hand at our latest Week to Week news quiz. Here are some random but real hints: Who knew the pope'...
When TIME ignores so many influential women in favor of less influential men, it increases the disparity of how women are viewed in society because when they put something on the cover (and choose to ignore other subjects), people talk about it (or don't), regardless of its importance or accuracy.
Why is this still such a problem? While there are regions of the world in which poverty may prevent people from going to school, why is the deficiency felt so much more powerfully in one gender -- why would it not be equal?
Recently, I was amazed to receive an invitation from a 13 year old boy to speak at his fundraiser. This brilliant young boy, Max Byrant, decided to organize a local event in his community to raise awareness on Girls Education globally.
It's been a particularly dark Advent. And so I give particular thanks today for the gift of "Malala's Magnificat" and the light she is kindling in the world.
As a campaigner for peace and pluralism, Ahmed is dismayed by the toxic lure of an Islamist doctrine that is supremacist, separatist, and hostile to secular Western values, and she calls for an urgent review of this ideology.
One could see it as archaic. Maybe we no longer need trendspotters, when everything is changing all the time, and when everything else -- branding, marketing, behavior and lifestyle -- can adapt in real time. Trendspotting can be frustrating.
As you yourself said, "The extremists are afraid of books and pens, the power of education frightens them. They are afraid of women." What you have shown with your perseverance, what others have shown too, is that women are not afraid of them.
According to the International Labour Organization, there are 168 million child laborers, forced to sacrifice their youth and their education. In Afghanistan, UNICEF estimates that as many as one in three school-age children are put to work, many of them weaving rugs for Western retailers.
If we are to reverse the trend of violence and environmental destruction on our planet, we need many, many more such people. It's time for a Manhattan Project focused on our most wasted resource: our capacity for good.
Passing the 13th Amendment helped to reconcile inconsistencies that were forged into our founding documents about: who we are as a nation, who we are as a people and how we wished to define ourselves as individuals.
Blair Christie is Cisco's Chief Marketing Officer, with responsibility for the company's Global Marketing, Corporate Communications, and Government an...