Author: Paul Robertson

Paul lives in New Orleans, LA. His academic interests include mathematics, economics, and law, and he has a keen interest in accountability and transparency in government. Paul is an 18-year veteran of the Army National Guard.

SEATTLE — Colombia is well known for its agricultural exports, both legitimate and extralegal. Coffee and coca are the two best-known products for any foreigner asked to identify the South American nation’s leading crops. Despite this reputation as a provider of bulk commodities and controlled substances, Colombia’s agricultural sector is developing innovative methods to address modern challenges. Below are examples of three current projects that are leading sustainable agriculture in Colombia into the 21st century. Promoting Organic Products for Colombian Farmers In 2011, the Colombian government announced an initiative to promote organic agriculture in the country. This program, dubbed the…

Read More

SEATTLE — 2017 may one day be remembered as the year blockchain went mainstream. Bitcoin, the standard-bearer and common touchstone for blockchain technology, muscled its way onto front pages this year by virtue of its unignorable growth in value. As more people learn about Bitcoin, they are also becoming more aware of other wide-ranging applications for blockchain, Bitcoin’s underlying technology. Many of these new applications are enhancing development efforts worldwide, demonstrating how blockchain can help the poor access economic opportunities that were previously out of reach. Blockchain’s power and utility come from its ability to provide secure, remote and verifiable…

Read More

BAGHDAD — In 2004, the 330-mile trip by car from Baghdad south to Basra, Iraq could take sixteen hours or more, often spanning two days of travel. At that time, the road had several stretches of broken pavement in terrible condition that could go on for miles. In some areas it was little more than a poorly marked path in the desert. This road, Highway 1, is Iraq’s most important transportation artery. It links Iraq’s third largest city, a port the Persian Gulf, with the large population centers in central Iraq. The road was originally constructed in the mid-20th century…

Read More