Category Archives: Worth reading

The wealthiest politicians in Italy

Silvio Berlusconi remains the richest politician in the italian parliament. For 2011 he declared an income of 35,439.981 millions of Euro. Mario Monti, ex Prime Minister of Italy and life senator, is the third richest leader in italian politics, who has declared an income of  1,092.068 Euro.

To read more about the topic in italian please click here.

Here is an infographic that shows four wealthiest politicians in Italy. Are you jealous yet?Wealthiest politicians in Italy

On being a global nomad

They feel at home whether they live in Paris or Beirut, they celebrate Oktoberfest with German friends in Munich and New Year’s Eve on Times Square, they are masters of new technologies and they easily converse in different languages with their friends and family. For them to relate to people in Moscow or Milan, with managers or engineers, does not make much difference. They are ready to understand different cultures, be it African or Russian. They have an open mind and they are always ready to live out of the box. They are the global nomads.

A Global nomad has got the world in his hands

To leave a nomadic life is not a new phenomenon. The history of man is full of people who lead wandering lifestyles, moving from one place to another in search for food and water. Nomads traditionally travelled in a group, on foot or by animals. They moved according to the seasons and lived in tents. They were never attached to one territory.

Today the term global nomad refers to people who lead highly mobile lives, grow up, study or work among different cultures and countries. Due to fast-growing technologies, globalization process and change of values in our society global nomads are continuously on the rise. Various life-long learning initiatives as Erasmus, Leonardo da Vinci, Grundtvig also facilitate the process of becoming a global nomad.

Global nomads feel no strong attachments to one particular country. Usually elements of different cultures are blended and coexist side by side. They feel they belong everywhere and nowhere at the same time. They are different from immigrants or expatriates: they have less social ties with the country where they were born. They are more adaptable, open, dynamic, mobile, multicultural and cosmopolitan.

Global nomads, however, might struggle to respond to such a simple question as “Where do you come from?”  You will probably hear in reply: “well, I was born in a country X, but at the age of five I moved with my parents to a country Y and then I studied my Master’s in a country Z and now I live here.”

Global nomads stand out from the crowd

Italian writer Adrianna Dagnino in her book “Nuovi nomadi” (New nomads) writes that today’s nomadism is a state of mind, a metaphor that the reality is always in a state of flux and that life will constantly require adaptation. She defines global nomads of the third millennium as a new tribe without a territory, that makes an extensive use of mobile phones, computers, digital cameras to keep in touch with the rest of the world and to have a fixed reference point even within their highly transient lives. It is a new and yet old approach to existence that resembles borderless life of our ancestors.

illustrations by Jakub Krechowicz and Sanja Gjenero
Related stories
Born to be a global nomad (Alex Cotoranu shares his experience living in different countries)
Normal person vs Global nomad
How many students study abroad?

Famous Global nomads


How many students study abroad?

According to UNESCO’s Institute for Statistics the number of international students has risen dramatically from 0.6 million worldwide in 1975 to more than three million in 2009. The number of international students is estimated to grow to eight million in 2025.

International student flows impact different countries in different ways. Some countries are the usual host destinations, while others see international students rarely, often only as a part of their studies. The United States remains the biggest destination for international students, followed by the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia and New Zealand. The largest numbers of international students are from China, India and Korea, followed by the students from the European Union. Asian students represent 52 % of foreign students enrolled worldwide. However, since 2000 the fastest growing regions of destinations for international students are Latin America, Caribbean and Asia.

Growth in international students enrolled outside of their home country (1975 – 2025, in million, source OECD and UNESCO)


Further information:


AIDA Camp & The WALL in pictures

I have just returned home from a wonderful holiday in Israel & Palestine & Jordan. I know this post has nothing really to do with media or research or infographics or whatsoever, but I thought to share some pictures of THE WALL without adding a lot of comments…..the pictures are self-explanatory…

Palestinian refugee camp 2 kilometers north of Bethlehem

There is a nice restaurant in front of this Wall where we had lunch with the locals. The owner of the restaurant was projecting Football matches on the  Wall every night during the UEFA 2012. Brilliant Idea! There is a nice article about that here.

A Palestinian house circulated by the wall….

Manifesto from the Russian Opposition in English

A few days ago Boris Nemtzov in his blog published a document called “Manifest of Free Russia” where he discussed how to get rid of Vladimir Putin and, in particular, Putinism system and what could be done after Putin era. The Manifesto will be presented and discussed during another oppositional protest on 12 June – a national holiday of the Russian Federation, celebrated since 1992.

Putin has just signed a severe anti-protests law that could easily weaken the opposition movement. People participating in protests where public order is violated, will be fined up to 300.000 rubles (about 9.000 $) and the organizers of such protests could end up with a fine of 600.000 up to 1 million rubles. Before the new law, the maximum fine was 5.000 rubles.


“Protests in Russia on June 12 will be an important event in anti-crime peaceful revolution started in December 2011.

The current supreme power in Russia is illegal. Putin and his team have usurped it on false and fraudulent elections. Being cynical usurpers, they are not able to solve any social or economic problems of the country: the extinction of the nation continues, there is no security of citizens, the gap between the rich and the  poor grows, as grows the difference in living standards between Moscow and Russia. Keeping in the power Putin’s group is fatal for the country. Degradation of the state, merging of business and government, illicit enrichment close to the ruling group of persons, the transformation of the country’s raw materials  as appendage of the West and China is a fact. Continuation of Putin’s policies threaten civil confrontation, the collapse of the state  and  chaos.

According to the Constitution, the source of power in Russia lies in the people. The people have a legitimate right to peaceful mass protest to put pressure on the government and its shifts.

Our actions

Protection of political freedom is, without doubt, linked with the fight  for social and economic rights. The election fraud helps Putin’s dictatorship to implement policies that are aimed against the interests of the majority. Therefore, we seek to change it at all levels – political, cultural, social, economic – changes in the interest of all citizens.

All forms of peaceful civil protest should be used: marches, rallies, strikes, civil disobedience campaign and peaceful pressure on the authorities. Building a peaceful protest, its mass will lead to permanent loss of confidence in the government and many people, now loyal to the regime of social groups, representatives of law enforcement, deputies, businessmen, experts and intellectuals will take sides with the people.

The responsibility for preparing and carrying out protest actions will be on the Coordinating Council, composed of representatives of various political forces and civil society, and elected by a transparent procedure of open voting. We call on all responsible citizens to take part in the vote.

The presence of our allies in elected bodies is important. And although, we can not change the power during Putin’s election, elective procedures can play a significant role in the dismantling of the current flawed system.

Dialogue between the most important part of the ruling class and the masses must ensure a bloodless nature of the transition from dictatorship of thieves to democracy (including, as well, the mechanism of the Round Table). The current government and  its elite must realize that the responsibility for another, inevitably catastrophic scenario for the country will fall on them.

After Putin

Necessary reconstruction of the destroyed state institutions, the mechanisms of democracy, including the real parliament, controlled by the community executive power, which only obeys to the laws of courts, prosecutors and law enforcement agencies. We strive to make the transition to a new state power smoothly and to avoid social upheaval. We believe it is necessary to dismantle the political system within the Constitution.

The following are the main measures to be taken to create the basic, fundamental political, legal and moral foundations of society and the state:

1. Resignation of Vladimir Putin as a symbol of the current system.

2. Draft of a new law on elections to Parliament, ensuring the election of the parliament in a fair, transparent, competitive elections. These projects must take into account the demands, made during the mass protests.

3. The adoption of this law by the Parliament. This will be its last and only function.

4. Under new legislation, new elections to Parliament.

5. The newly elected Parliament shall consider and submit to a referendum a draft of the new Russian Constitution, substantially limiting the powers and stay in the power of the President (one term of six years or two to four years) and broaden Parliament’s powers in the formation of the government and the parliamentary investigations.

6. The newly elected Parliament passes new presidential election law and fixes the date of the elections. Laws passed to ensure local government and direct elections of governors.

7. The newly elected Parliament shall consider and adopt the law on the transformation of the court, prosecution, investigation and the police, involving purification of them from persons who committed crimes. It also adopts a new law on the referendum, significantly facilitating its procedure.

We hundreds of thousands of people, going to streets, turn to you, millions of people who are still silent. We – one nation, we are 99% – against  1 % of usurped power and property. We can only change our lives together.

For an honest government! For a free Russia!”

You can check the original text of the Manifesto here.

Freedom of expression in Russia

The film “Freedom of Expression” by Sergei Melnikof during one of the recent anti-Putin protests in Moscow. The film is in Russian, but no translation is really necessary.

Open Source Tools 2

BlogBooker is a nice free tool that creates a PDF book out of your personal blog. It is compatible with  Blogger, WordPress and LiveJournal. All you have to do is submit an export file provided by your blog to BlogBooker and wait 3-5 minutes until all the files are checked and all the images are fetched and your Blog Book is ready!

Ahead is a web-based application that helps you to create cool, zooming presentations like Prezi and to publish and share it with anyone online.  I thought Prezi was the best ever, but now since I have discovered Ahead…..mmmm I do not really know. There are both free and paid versions of Ahead. It is a very easy to use tool with a friendly interface. Check it out!

Circos is an amazing visualization free software that visualizes your data (plain text) in a circular layout. I have just started to explore this software…so far so good! Here is a nice intro to the tool.

2 cool mind maps online applications that I use when I need to brainstorm an idea or a home work are Cacoo and WiseMapping. Both are free once you create an account. However, Cacoo charges 4,95$ a month if you wish to get additional functionality like editing history or export in various formats.

Corruption in Russia since 1996

According to Transparency International, corruption in Russia has become much worse since Vladimir Putin became the president of Russia. According to their Report in 2010, Russia took 154 place out of 178 countries. The myth that Putin has done a lot to fight the corruption in the country remains a myth and the situation is deteriorating every year. Putin and his government often speak of corruption as a syndrome of the 90ies but the Transparency International Reports show the opposite.

Below is a graph that shows Russia’s place according to the Corruption Index of Transparency International starting from 1996 (second presidential term of Eltsin).


#OccupyArbat, #OccupyBarrikadnaya

Honestly speaking, I have no more idea what hashtag # to use on Twitter when I want to follow the Russian Opposition Occupy Movement from Germany. I am a bit tired and bored from all this. Aren’t you? #OccupyAbai – results: arrests, protesters dispersed by police; #OccupyBarrikadnaya – results: arrests, protesters dispersed by police; #OccupyArbat – results: arrests, protesters dispersed by police…. What’s next? Hashtag #This, hashtag #That and then results: arrests, protesters dispersed by police? Is there actually a strategy behind all the protests?

I understand great efforts in trying to make this Russian variant of Occupy Movement go on until Navalny and al. get out of prison, but people are leaving, people are tired, bored, many are arrested, some are scared, scared to be beaten by the police, scared to be arrested…..actually, people who voted for Putin in March are becoming even more supportive of our newly elected president and  turning their backs to the opposition. We are walking on the razor’s edge and we might create an opposite effect and make V. Putin as stronger as never before.

Take, for example, my grandmother,  born in 1942 and had been working for the almighty INDUSTRY in a city a few hundreds km from Moscow almost all her entire life. When she speaks about her “Zavod”, she simply worships it like a God. She watches only State Television, hardly reads any newspapers, a part from a few free local ones and has only heard about the Internet from me. After having watched a short news piece on the opposition movement in Moscow these days on the First Channel, she is scared, she feels this movement is a threat and she said to me “I hope Putin will soon stop all that violence and those violent young men who do not want to work” Violence? Grandma what violence??? How do I explain to her that this movement is not a threat and people are trying to fight peacefully for their rights, for democracy and for a brighter future without corruption and Putin? ………. Where do I even start?

Well….just to be there for “the SHOW MUST GO ON” does not do that good to the opposition and will, probably, not help to make Putin go.


#Occupyabai is a Russian variant of Occupy Wall Street to fight for democracy, basic human rights, fair elections and to ask for liberation of several opposition leaders including Sergei Udaltsov and Alexei Navaln from Moscow prisons. On May 10 the opposition protesters have gathered to occupy Chistye Prudy Square under the statue of a famous Kazakh poet and philosopher Abai Qunabaiuli who is considered to be a cultural reformer toward European and Russian cultures.Inspired by the movement Occupy Wall Street, Russian opposition protesters are planning to demonstrate 24 hours a day.

According to tweets of Ilya Yashin, Russian opposition leader:  “Occupy Abai is happening. It is a sort of a joke of course, we have nothing against Abai, so Occupy Abai is a hashtag on the internet.” 

Following #Occupyabai on Twitter: people show absolutely no violence, no alcohol, some protesters are sleeping, playing table games, singing, some famous Russians showed up like Ksenya Sobchak, Vladimir Solovyev, many journalists and citizen journalists mainly from Russia. #Occupyabai on Twitter check some statistics here.