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  • May 15, 2019
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Weekly Briefing: Are you ready for the future of government?

Our weekly rundown of global policy

Top Stories

Are you ready for the future of government? Find out with our Future Skills Tracker. Designed for busy public servants, this 10-minute assessment tool tells you what your strengths are — and which skills you should invest in to take your career to the next level. (Apolitical)

Here’s the real reason for the US vaccination crisis. The zealous anti-vaxx movement sucks up media attention, but Americans’ failure to vaccinate is driven largely by simpler forces: lack of access to vaccines, and pure complacency. (Apolitical)

How to build a feminist city — and improve the lives of millions at little cost. City planning for women means baking equality into everything: street lighting, transport design, surveillance, and more, down to the gender balance of statues in public spaces. (Apolitical)

How to talk about migration: Five tips for better storytelling in a polarised time. It isn’t easy to refute populist narratives, which tap into people’s fear of the unknown. From recognising the limits of facts to engaging different audiences, here’s how to counter bias against immigration. (Apolitical)

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Evolving Cities

New York cities are using Facebook campaigns and WhatsApp groups to lure refugees. Facing dwindling populations, Ithaca, Buffalo and Syracuse hope to ply migrants from other parts of the country by promising access to public services, jobs and safe neighbourhoods. (The New York Times)

Boston is offering cash prizes to safe drivers. An app tracks drivers’ performance, assessing their speed, braking and how often they check their phone. Users compete for prizes from a pool of over $25,000, provided by a local bank. (Cities Today)

Health and Ageing

A Canadian doctor prescribes money to low-income patients. Gary Bloch suggests government benefits that they qualify for, like welfare or disability support, and helps them fill out tax forms. Studies show that higher income leads to better health outcomes. (Vox)

The city of Denver, Colorado will be the first place in the US to decriminalise magic mushrooms. Voters approved the change in policy by a 2,000-vote margin. Studies suggest that the psychedelic can help treat depression, alcoholism and smoking addiction. (CNN)

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

“It’s about diversity of thought: who’s on stage, who’s in the cabinet, who’s represented in statues. As women are increasingly given the opportunity to lead, I think we’re on the cusp of something very exciting” — Katrina Johnston-Zimmerman, urban anthropologist

Education and Changing Jobs

The nature of work is changing, and governments need to prepare citizens. Here’s how four countries are doing it — from India’s plan to teach tech workers about blockchain and IoT, to an Australian university’s shift from academia to soft skills. (GovInsider)

Energy, Environment and Economic Opportunity

New Zealand unveiled an ambitious plan to go carbon-neutral by 2050. However, the proposed bills sets targets without outlining exactly how the country will achieve them, and critics decried the lack of penalties for noncompliance. (New Zealand Herald)

And finally

A Danish politician took out ads on Pornhub. “Half the internet is porn and you need to be where the voters are,” explained Joachim B. Olsen of Denmark’s Liberal Alliance, who hopes the campaign will get him reelected to parliament on June 5. (Politico)

(Picture credit: Unsplash)

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