Getting to know Europe a bit better

In eight weeks time, we have elections for the European Parliament, the most democratic EU institution. But, how much do we know about this institution? And the candidates and parties we are voting for? Well, I believe a free and independent media landscape, focused on the European level (and not on the national level) is critical for this. That’s why I’m building a list of websites that report on, or create debates and discussions about the EU, how it works, who the players are etcetera. This list was originally started in a forum thread of the excellent MOOC Understanding Europe. If HEC and professor Alemanno decide to run it again, please enroll. It’s definitely worth your time, especially if you are an EU citizen.

Anyway, now for the list (and if you have suggestions, please let me know!):



  • EUROPP – blog from the London School of Economics on European politics and policy

Useful websites

  • VoteWatch – how have MEPs voted in the European Parliament
  • FactcheckEU – statements from politicians and more about Europe examined on their factual basis. Very useful.
  • Debating Europe – debates about Europe and the EU
  • Venture Village – anything about startups in Europe

10 things you can do to be happy

Pure happiness: Homemade cookies

Pure happiness: Homemade cookies

Today is International Day of Happiness, to celebrate the fact that happiness is a fundamental human goal. Here are ten things you can do to be happy. Today, tomorrow, anytime. Have a great #HappinessDay!

1: Give people compliments
Start with the ones closest to you: partners, children, parents, siblings. Then move in to neighbours, friends, colleagues. Seeing the people in your circles be happy, will make you happy.
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Want to change the world? Here’s how to start

Playing with a Soccket, a ball that generates energy. Buying one means giving a child the opportunity to join a Soccket team and learn.

In the last six weeks, I was studying at Wesleyan University. Through Coursera, that is. I was enrolled in the course How to change the world, in which we have been looking at a broad range of issues facing our planet, and on ways how we can change the world for the better. In those six weeks, we have seen many great examples of how people are working to tackle issues like extreme poverty, epidemic diseases, gender equality and climate change. And in the final lectures, we saw some Wesleyan students share their thoughts and experiences on how to change the world. But with all these important topics, and big efforts to tackle them, it might become overwhelming for those who want to start making a change themselves. So, in this post, I wanted to share my views on how you can start making a difference, some learnings I took from the course and also some tips from change makers in my ‘crowd’ (I asked my social networks for a golden tip to start making a change).
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