How do we encourage people to take action on supposedly intractable global problems?

Book Aid International, a charity that supports literacy by increasing access to books, is returning to Sierra Leone. The charity, which ships around a million books each year to libraries in sub-Saharan Africa, sent a shipment of 38,000 brand new, carefully-selected books to Freetown to help the country rebuild after the Ebola crisis. 

March 2015, an Australian researcher published a statistic that drew both laughs and gasps in the business community there: Fewer large Australian companies were run by women than by men named Peter. The damning statistic prompted some introspection in the Australian film industry in particular, where women represent 17% of directors, a number that hasn’t budged since 1970.

Image Nation Abu Dhabi has partnered with FilmAid International to roll out a screenings program for "He Named Me Malala" in Syrian refugee camps in Jordan. The two month outreach campaign and screening series, which commenced in April, aims to leverage the power of Malala’s story to inspire and empower girls and parents to value and champion education in their homes and communities.

Rather than encouraging people to tear up the dance floor or smoke weed, the singer-songwriter hopes his new tune, “Begin Again,” will inspire peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Lawrence’s song is one of 30 original compositions on the benefit album “2 Unite All,” which was released last month. The album enlists legendary talents like Roger Waters and Peter Gabriel to deliver music with themes of unity, forgiveness, and starting over.

An international forum held in Barcelona this week provided representatives of civil society and local government a chance to tell their uplifting stories of effort [...] to receive and integrate refugees into their communities. Organised by the Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia, the one-day event saw a series of experts, officials and activists give their accounts of schemes and initiatives to care for new arrivals and, in the process, cast a much more favourable light on Europe.

The bold digital diplomacy campaign marked last year’s International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO), celebrated annually around the world on May 17. The decision to fly the rainbow flag was significant in that Canada was the first country to fly the LGBT flag at one of its embassies in the Arab world. And it provided great material for a social media advocacy campaign.

President Obama says protecting LGBT rights worldwide remains an essential goal during his remaining tenure in office. “In too many places, LGBT individuals grow up forced to conceal or deny who they truly are for fear of persecution, discrimination and violence,” he said Tuesday in a statement. "All nations and all communities can, and must, do better.