Monday, September 8, 2008

Solving all the World's Problems...or at Least Some of Them

If you yearn to waste more time on the internet, you can't do much better than pay a visit to www.ted.com. Here's some info on TED...

TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from those three worlds. Since then its scope has become ever broader.

The annual conference now brings together the world's most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes).

This site makes the best talks and performances from TED available to the public, for free. More than 200 talks from our archive are now available, with more added each week.


There's a veritable cornucopia of lectures to choose from at TED. In about an hour, you can learn about poverty in Africa, urbanization, mind control, and how to listen to music.

Recently, I've been mulling over a lecture by Danish political scientist Bjorn Lomberg (his handsome visage is pictured above). Lomberg asks how we should prioritize solutions to the world's biggest problems. What problems confronting the world are actually solvable? Which problems can be dealt with most efficiently/effectively? Where can the most good be done? After extensive research with the Copenhagen Concensus, Lomberg concludes that these are the 4 most profitable areas we can focus on (1 being the most profitable);

4. Malaria - decreasing its incidence
3. Free Trade - removing barriers within the market
2. Malnutrition - providing more micronutrients (esp. for people in the developing world)
1. HIV/AIDS - focusing more on prevention than treatment

I appreciate Lomberg's realism. Since we can't solve every problem, it makes sense to focus on the most promising solutions. So here's my question; should this influence how the church uses its resources? Are we stewarding our money wisely? Are we contributing to workable solutions, or are we giving simply to assuage our consciences? I wholeheartedly believe that each Christian is obligated to help anyone who comes in his/her path (Lk. 10:25-37). However, we have gobs of resources in this country, and perhaps this Danish economist might offers some great ideas on how to expand the reign of Christ.

1 comment:

Jeremy Fremont said...

Hello my name is Jeremy Fremont. I have just finished reading some of your blog entries and love what you have to share. I recently visited the Bay area and some more churches would be a great thing to spring up in the area. I hold many of the same values and just wanted to share with you about an organization that I learned about call HUB (Humanity Unites Brilliance), which also is trying to uplift people who share core values in their life. If you would like to learn a little about the organization I would suggest you go to their website at http://challenge.hubhub.org/index.php If you spend a few minutes on the site I would suggest you go to the Impact tab first and than the Opportunity tab. Well have a great day and if you do want to ask me any specific questions about the company feel free to call me at (303) 960-1107 or email me at jfremont@shawmiller.com, Jeremy Fremont.