autumn leaves

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, 
  Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless 
  With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees, 
  And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core; 
    To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells 
  With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees, 
Until they think warm days will never cease,
    For summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.

John Keats, To Autumn
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Euro Counterfeiters in Oradea: All that Glitters Is Not Gold Nor Garbage

Should you happen to visit Western Romania, do stop in Oradea for a walk. This is a city worth visiting simply because it has so many hidden treasures. Forget multiculturalism and architecture. Take garbage for instance: you’ll soon find out that in this city, garbage is simply a stinky metaphor.


Born in Oradea. Read André Gide’s The Counterfeiters in Cluj. And still, last week my hometown pretty much made the headlines in global news with the fabulous fake Euro factory from Oradea producing millions of Euros for the Italian mob.

The Romanian police seized as much as 13 million fake Euros from a factory on the outskirts of Oradea and about 55,000 euros which were previously dumped by the mobsters in the city’s garbage heap. They also helped the Italian police seize about 19 million Euros heading for Italy the same day.

Now the thing is: when mobsters heard that they had been tracked, they started to burn the fake bills and dump it in the garbage. The media covered the big news early in the morning and throughout the day which easily stirred the imagination of some citizens and also of the garbage workmen.

The fake and filthy Euro bills were not only dumped in one place, they were probably scattered across a wide perimeter. And there were plenty of folks who – on hearing the news – headed straight to the garbage dump and found their fortune…

This week there is already evidence that fake Euros did enter Oradea and probably went further into the EU. I always thought Oradea had a head start when it comes to European affairs.

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Social Innovation and Global Ethics Forum (SIGEF) 2014

The first edition of the Social Innovation and Global Ethics Forum (SIGEF 2014) will take place in Geneva, Switzerland from October 22nd to October 24th, 2014 at the International Conference Centre Geneva (CICG). This event aims to gather a diverse and universal audience of international Organizations (NGOs, Foundations, and Associations) and Personalities that promote and support solidarity, humanism, constructive technologies, as well as ethics in all disciplines and fields. along with a large number of socially involved corporations, students, and individuals. The goal is to explore, define, and share new ideas that simultaneously meet social needs more effectively and create social collaborations. It feels like an interesting and exciting networking opportunity, plus the list of speakers is appealing. Let’s see…

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Low Carbon Economy Depends on 2 Degrees of Separation

Between ambition and reality. This is what the latest PwC Low Carbon Economy report is talking about: current trends indicate a 40 C global economy warming while key actors talk about 20 C.

Source: PwC

Source: PwC

According to the report, the global average temperature will hit an increase of 3.4 to 4.8 degrees Celsius by the end of the century unless carbon emissions are cut five times faster… than they are right now. Is it doable?

That’s what the 2015 Climate Change conference (COP15) will be all about: negotiating the negotiated.

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Europe Dependency on Russian Energy

And who has more reasons to fear Russian energy bans.

Gazprom has just reduced its energy exports to Romania as of today. The figure pretty much explains Western silence or slow motion in dealing with what we may call the Eastern European crisis since this goes well beyond Ukraine.

europe dependency on russian energy

Source: Eurostat as published by Global Trade Information Services

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Haiti: innovating to help the most vulnerable

Originally posted on UNICEF Connect - UNICEF BLOG:

(c) UNICEF Haiti/2014/Nybo

“Kore Fanmi” means “family support” in Haitian Creole. (c) UNICEF Haiti/2014/Nybo

Bertha Pierre is a 49-year-old grandmother living high atop a mountain in a one-room shack with five family members. Their hut is a three-hour hike from the nearest town, and the family has called it home since a flood destroyed their house a year ago.

“Life has just been very difficult since last year, May 23rd,” she says. “That’s when we were hit with a flood that washed away all the topsoil, and killed all our farm animals. Since then, it has been very difficult to make ends meet. We have nothing. We have no land and we have no animals.”

But – a pilot programme is being launched with the aim of improving the lives of people just like her: the most-vulnerable Haitians, living in the hardest-to-reach areas. It’s called “Kore Fanmi” — which means “family support” in…

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Big Spenders

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