Welcome to the One Seventeen.

So here's the good news: Global inequality appears to be falling.

The global Gini coefficient went from 69% in 2003 to 65% in 2013. Whoopee.

But who's this Gini, what on Earth is the Gini coefficient, and what does it mean? (Is there a bottle, do I get wishes???)

It's used the world over as a measure of income inequality. But it's pretty abstract -- ethereal, you might even say.

That's because it starts with the question: What would total income equality look like?

It goes from 0% (total equality) to 100% (everything is owned by one person).

So our Gini coefficient actually just answers the question: How off are we from perfect equality?

0%: You're there!

100%: Wow, really not even close.

65%: Closer to 'not even close', but keep trying!

So we're getting there, slowly but surely. One thing is clear: It will take more than just wishes. ;)


👩‍💼 476 women running for US House of Reps.

That's a big surge. But with tight races, this doesn't necessarily mean that there will be more women in Congress as a result.

🙌 Kofi Annan got the UN to stand up for human rights.

The legendary UN diplomat died yesterday, prompting reflections on his long career as "peacekeeper in chief".

👇 Budget crisis in the UK has fingers pointing at austerity.

Ten years ago, it was cool to cut government programs and "tighten belts" to balance public accounts. Now, local governments are running out of money, public libraries are shutting down, and former supporters of austerity programs are turning coat.

🍛 Food as memory, migration, livelihood.

Communities of Somali immigrants in Cape Town depend on the informal food economy to stay alive and stay connected to communities back home.

🔌 Europe's last stand for solar.

The Italian energy company Enel is making one last bid to compete with China to produce solar panels.


😴 For humans, downtime is a feature, not a bug.

Arianna "Please Go To Sleep" Huffington wrote an open letter accusing Elon Musk of demonstrating a "wildly outdated, anti-scientific and horribly outdated way of using human energy." Burn.


🏥 Robin Berzin, making holistic healthcare more affordable.

Parsley Health makes holistic primary healthcare available to more people.


🏖 Long summer breaks are bad for inequality.

"Summer learning loss" is more severe for low-income kids.


🧐 Companies should be accountable to employees and communities, too.

Not just shareholders, says Elizabeth Warren writing in the WSJ (paywall)

I love you. Thanks for reading. :)

Please send all potentially Gini-containing bottles, Somali food, open letters and parsley to me at

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The One Seventeen is a weekly email that presents the latest in how the world is doing on ending poverty, reducing inequality and protecting the planet, delivered in plain English. Each email has 5 parts: Recent developments; a resource; someone to watch; recent research; and commentary from around the web. It's called the One Seventeen in reference to each one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). PS: Use your career to save the humans.
Copyright © 2018 Christian Petroske, All rights reserved.

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