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Welcome to the One Seventeen.

Women's Marches happened across the country (and around the world). The US government shut down (then started again). Laundry folding robots were displayed at CES. The World Economic Forum kicked off in Davos with a "connect the world" theme this week. And more.

The hard thing is often finding a way, through the mess, to see the trends. How does the government shutdown affect inequality? Does it matter? Keeping track of these day-by-day changes in the world shouldn't be done just for the sake of it. Instead, we should use the small, incoming bits of news to help construct and refine a bigger picture. It's part of why world leaders get together every now and then at chic ski resorts.

And it's the concentration of power at chic ski resorts that explains why the World Social Forum, happening in March in Brazil, is calling for an anti-Davos and democracy day.

On the one hand, it's good to know how events impact the things we care about. On the other, it's good to know what's contributing to the positive trends, so we can figure out where to place our efforts. And it's a road we can only take together. Where's your Davos?

See you at the Equality Lounge. ;)

DEVELOPMENTS
Image from Vox

The Women's Marches were some of the biggest demonstrations in US history.

They show that people are still protesting Trump in enormous numbers. The demonstrators this year are focused on concrete goals (i.e., putting butts in elected seats). And the signs were pretty awesome.

The World Economic Forum is all about gender equality and "inclusive development" this week.

The big, swanky conference is co-chaired by seven women, and a panel on "When Women Thrive" apparently got realer than usual about gender inequity. 

Inclusive development is a hot topic, too. What does it mean? It's all about figuring out how to measure how societies are doing without relying only on GDP. Overall, the theme of WEF this year is "creating a shared future in a fractured world". It's about as wishy-washy as you can get, but it seems intended to be asserting connectedness against the (Insert-Country-Here) First idea.

Image from Quartz

The world's biggest risks: Environmental disasters, not financial collapse.

A new report from the WEF asked a bunch of leaders what they think are the biggest risks to the world in 2018. The biggest was extreme weather, which cost the world $306 billion in 2017. That's double 2016.

The auto industry is going electric.

Ford just announced an $11 billion spend on electric cars by 2022, following big announcements by other major automakers late last year.

Investment firm Blackrock says businesses should have a long-term social purpose.

In a letter to shareholders, CEO of Blackrock told investors to focus on the long-term impact of their companies on society. He says that boards should be more diverse and that companies should be asking themselves: "What is my role in the community?" Nice letter, let's hope it works.

RESOURCE
Catchafire.org

Volunteering, with skill.

If you're looking for a way to get more connected with what moves you, volunteering can be a good place to start. Skills-based volunteering on a site like Catchafire lets you contribute your strengths to a cause.

SOMEONE TO WATCH
Image from GatesNotes

Dr. Segenet Kelemu, director general of the International Society for Insect Physiology and Ecology

She's leading a new generation of scientists dedicated to helping smallholder farmers grow more food and lift themselves out of poverty. She's one of Bill Gates's "heroes" -- check out all 5

RESEARCH

The chart that can make kids taller.

In 2016, 150 million children were "stunted" -- that is, too short for their age because of malnutrition. But researchers put up a chart in parents' homes so they could see whether their child was growing normally. The result? It's not perfect, but the chart helped reduce stunting. Yay charts.

COMMENTARY

The difference between unity and solidarity.

The Women's Marches, last year and this, were big events. They're about "women's rights as human rights," an idea that should be "relatively uncontroversial." Yet, people still understand this idea differently. Read this cogent exploration of how, why it matters, and what a more inclusive feminism might look like.

I love you. Thanks for reading. :)

Please send all swanky conference invites, Women's March signs, laundry folding robots, and cogent explanations to me at christianpetroske@gmail.com.

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The One Seventeen is a weekly email that presents the latest in how the world is doing on ending poverty, protecting the planet, and reducing inequality, delivered in plain English. Each email has 5 parts: Recent developments; a resource; a profile of someone to watch; a summary of 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).
Copyright © 2018 Christian Petroske, All rights reserved.