What makes a currency global? The Spanish peso that started circulating internationally in the 16th century offers a case study. The opening of new trade routes and security innovations made it the world's most widely demanded currency. It facilitated the integration of China, the Americas, and Europe into a world economy, creating a status quo that lasted until the 19th century.
The continents-spanning Belt and Road Initiative may appear to be a leviathan, but a closer look at both it and China’s global quest for resources tells a more nuanced story. Even for the most authoritative of actors, situations don’t always work out as they do on paper.
The popularization of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) has led universities to rethink their missions. “Hong Kong Cinema Through a Global Lens,” a prize-winning MOOC at The University of Hong Kong, combines classroom and online learning to enhance students' exposure to the world. Far from taking teachers out of the learning experience, the MOOC enriches the value of the student-teacher relationship beyond the classroom.
Disaster-prone Asian countries are well aware of the urgent need to set up disaster management strategies. Siloed bureaucratic processes only hinder these efforts, as resilience comes from better engagement of local communities and the exploration of multiple sources of knowledge.
Sometimes, the smallest change creates the biggest impact. This is the guiding ethos of Micro Galleries, a global arts initiative that recently completed a community-based project in a Jakarta kampung. Micro Galleries director Kat Roma Greer details her experience with a powerful form of intervention of which funding bodies should take note.
With their focus on economic development through innovation, the countries of East Asia are rising quickly through the ranks of the Global Innovation Index. These countries are not merely growing individually—they are growing with one another.
Global economies seem to be doing reasonably well in the face of an array of potentially destabilizing political issues. But this may not last if we do not tackle a non-inclusive pattern of growth and do more to address the needs of people and societies.
Among the many unacknowledged examples of “Asia the global” is the inspiration Western second-wave feminism derived from revolutionary China. Though not wholly influenced by Chinese ideas, second-wave feminism found in aspects of revolutionary China an ideological and practical model.
Professor Peter Mathieson, president and vice-chancellor of The University of Hong Kong, shares his thoughts on the nature of leadership, with lessons both universal and particular to different contexts.