My hope is that the dialogue we have begun will help to re-connect us to an understanding of civil society as a deeply human construct, as a facilitator of empowering social relationships. In this, it will be crucial to reflect on the role of our own organisations. For only solutions that are at once pragmatic and radical will be sufficient to meet the challenges we face.
There is a tragic irony in leaders from across Africa discussing the progress of their countries with President Obama in Washington, D.C., last week even as the Ebola virus is brutally exposing the lack of capacity, antiquated health systems, and absence of governance in one corner of the continent.
It seems as if the days of manually doing routine tasks such as shopping and health care are slowly fizzling into obsolescence. People in both developed and developing countries are reshaping their daily lives and interactions as digital technology becomes intertwined with their everyday activities.
These days, a soccer World Cup is a multi-billion dollar project, with a number of financial "winners," such as FIFA, and many losers, given the development priorities that are sacrificed to build gleaming stadia. Does this also mean that one can explain a nation's success at the cup largely by money?