Education systems are failing our kids

How can we prepare them for the jobs of the future?

Source:       Author: Andrea Willige

The world’s education systems are failing our children by not preparing them for the workplace of the future. This is the key finding of a new report by the World Economic Forum, Realizing Human Potential in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which puts forward a series of practical measures for aligning education and training with future job requirements.

Training for jobs that don’t yet exist

Technology and globalization continue to reshape business models across all sectors and geographies, creating new types of jobs and disposing of old ones at great pace. However, monolithic, underfunded education and training systems around the world have fallen short of responding to this trend. This means that by the time they leave education, as many as two-thirds of children entering primary school today will not have the skills required to get a job. The impact will be worse for women who already have less than two-thirds of the economic opportunity that men have.

The report was put together by a panel of business leaders, policy-makers, unions, educational institutions and academics. It recommends that governments and the private sector work together in eight core areas to ensure the world’s children are equipped for the future.

Reinventing education for a new age

Image: REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun

1. Focus on the early years: Reinventing education starts in early childhood, where the focus should be on literacy and reading. Adequate childcare provision for working parents will be critical in both developed and developing economies.

2. Keeping it dynamic: Training curricula must be aligned with market demand for skills – both job-specific and generic, such as problem-solving and project management. The challenge will be to keep these curricula dynamic and responsive to evolving business needs. In Finland, one of the world’s top-performing nations in education, the curriculum is updated regularly to provide an overall framework, with room for local adaptation by the schools themselves.

3. Open-sourcing education: The report advocates adopting training innovations more quickly, opening up to alternative learning routes (such as Hackathons) and allowing for experimentation with new techniques. For example, the New York City Department of Education has created “Lab” schools and tasked them with reinventing teaching and learning. In Ghana, the US and France, schools are pioneering short courses in coding based on peer-to-peer teaching, project-based learning and gamification.

4. Taking teachers out of the ivory tower: To bring education and business closer together, the report recommends initiatives such as teacher “externships” in businesses, workplace mentoring and involving the private sector in teacher training.

5. Giving students a sense of the real world of work: Similarly, students should experience the world of work from early on – for example through internships and ongoing career coaching – to help them see a variety of career options and the skills required.

6. Addressing the vocational stigma: Vocational and technical education is critical to the world economy but has been neglected and often looked down on as second best. The World Economic Forum advocates promoting vocational and technical career paths more proactively and raising the quality of vocational training on offer. For example, Germany’s vocational training system sees apprentices divide their days between classroom instruction and on-the-job training at a company. Apprentices are paid and their training typically extends to between two and three years. Not only does this approach create an excellent talent pool, it also smooths the – often difficult – transition from education to the world of work.

Image: REUTERS/Ina Fassbender

7. Digital fluency: Digital skills will be fundamental to a wide range of careers, but “digital fluency” is not a given. The report highlights the need for a greater focus on ICT in teacher training and students’ work placements to address the growing digital skills crisis. One successful example comes from India, where the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) has partnered with NGOs and the Government of India to build National Digital Literacy Centres across the country to enable digital literacy.

8. Education, education, education: Given the rapid evolution of the job market, workers can no longer rely on just one skillset or narrow expertise to sustain long-term careers. The report advocates incentivizing employees to commit to lifelong learning so they continue to develop their skills or even retrain for new roles. For example, in Singapore, individuals receive an annual training allowance they can spend on a range of training courses all geared towards developing future-oriented skills.

The fourth industrial revolution will turn the world of work as we know it on its head as it continues to unfold. The report suggests that, unless the world’s monolithic education systems can be reformed and rendered more nimble, their failings will come back to haunt future generations’ ability to prosper.

60 YouTube channels that will make you smarter

Time is finite. Social media and Netflix can all too easily swallow our precious hours. So why not put them to better use on YouTube? Beyond the music, virals and gaming videos, YouTube has many great channels that can teach anyone practically anything.

Here are the sharpest brains. Press play and become smarter!

Spark your curiosity

Vsauce — Amazing answers to questions about our world

In a Nutshell — Animations that make learning beautiful

C. G. P. Grey — Entertaining explanations of politics, geography and culture

Crash Course — Bite-sized science and learning across many subjects

Scishow— Indispensable science news, history and concepts

HowStuffWorks — Your daily curiosity dose that explains the world

Brit Lab — Smart-ass ammunition that’s guaranteed to astound

THNKR — People, stories and ideas that change perspectives

Experiment with the sciences

MinutePhysics— Simple explanations of physics and other sciences

MinuteEarth — Science and stories about our awesome planet

Veritasium — Science and engineering videos by Derek Muller

Numberphile — Maths Mecca that sums up all things numerical

SmarterEveryDay — Exploring the world of science with Destin Sandlin

Periodic Videos — Videos of each element and other chemistry stuff

Sixty Symbols — A physics and astronomy cornucopia of cool

AsapSCIENCE — Weekly doses of fun and intriguing science clips

It’s Okay To Be Smart — We agree!

PatrickJMT — Straight-to-the-point maths know-how

Bozeman Science — A popular high school teacher explains science

Connect with technology

Computerphile — An array of computing and tech videos

The Game Theorists — Over-analysing video games

Extra Credits — Video game design to start your developer career

The New Boston — Tons of great web development tutorials

Expand your mind

The School of Life — Ideas for life through many lenses

BrainCraft — Weekly videos on psychology and neuroscience

Wisecrack — Learn your ass off with witty sketches

PBS Idea Channel — A cultural critique of pop, technology and art

Philosophy Tube — Oliver Lennard “gives away a philosophy degree”

Inspire your creativity

Mark Crilley— How-to-draw videos on almost every topic you can imagine

Draw With Jazza— Tutorials on all forms of visual expression

JustinGuitar— Guitar courses for various styles, techniques and abilities

HDpiano — Learn to play the piano with easy to follow tutorials

Every Frame a Painting — Top-notch and truly fascinating analysis of film

Photo Exposed — Photography tips, techniques and tutorials

The Art Assignment— Artist talks and challenging assignments for yourself

Film Riot— A how-to trip through all aspects of film making

Avoid burning your house down

Grant Thompson — Caution advised with these experiments and life hacks

Crazy Russian Hacker — The daddy of all science experiment channels

Get closer to nature

Earth Unplugged— BBC-produced channel about the natural world

BBC Earth— Jump in and meet your planet

The Brain Scoop — A private tour of The Field Museum in Chicago

Roll with the big boys

ouLearn — The Open University’s rich and engaging learning channel

The RSA — The Royal Society of Arts sets new standards in its field

TED Talks— No list would be complete without TED’s main collection

TED-Ed — Carefully curated and crafted educational videos and animations

Smithsonian — The mighty institution explores the grand questions

Big Think — Exploring big ideas that define knowledge in the 21st century

The Royal Institution — Films and lectures about the natural world

Gresham College — Liberally delivering knowledge through top lectures

Access the archives

British Pathé — Famous newsreels shown within carefully chosen topics

ITN Source— One of the largest historic collections of news footage

AP Archive— The Associated Press, the world’s largest and oldest agency

Nurture the youngsters

Crash Course Kids —For 5th grade scientists, engineers and astronomers

SciShow Kids— Experiments, experts and answers for kids aged 8 to 88

HooplaKidz— Arts and crafts for little ’uns

Dose up on medicine

Sexplanations — Honest answers about sexuality by Lindsey Doe

Healthcare Triage — Answering questions about medicine and healthcare

Kenhub — An engaging and different way to learn human anatomy

Enjoy the unusual

Vi Hart — A “recreational mathemusician” like no other

ElectroBOOM — Successfully discovering the craziness in engineering

Closing words

These channels have been chosen based on a range of factors, such as production value, impact, quality, variety and quantity. In many categories, great channels and incredible niches have been left out, but such is the burden of any editor. See the entire list of 134 nominees here.

If you find this list helpful, please recommend it so that others can benefit!


The 43 best websites for learning something new

Reach for the stars. The advice that failed a generation?

Clouds are reflected in the Midi Tower, the headquarters of the National Pensions Office, in downtown Brussels in Belgium June 21, 2015. Picture taken June 21. REUTERS/Charles Platiau TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RTX1HLJY

What does the future of work look like for Gen Y?

When the Brexit referendum result came in, many celebrated, while millions despaired. The disappointed supporters of British membership of the European Union tended to be younger and better educated.

Many young people felt let down by older Brexit voters. After all, they are the ones who will have to forge careers in less certain circumstances.

Among 18 to 24-year-olds, 72% favoured continued membership of the EU. As one young Briton explained via Twitter: “Today an older generation has voted to ruin the future for the younger generation. I’m scared.” Another millennial complained: “The fact older generations have reaped the benefits & pulled the EU from my generation? Furious.”

With or without a “hard” Brexit, millennials or Gen Y – those born between 1980 and 1995 – are deeply concerned about their futures, all over the world. Whether it’s housing shortages, job prospects or general political insecurity, Gen Y is worried. This has to be of concern for everyone.

The challenges facing American Millennials

Gen Y will soon become the largest living generation and will comprise 75% of the workforce by 2025. The median age of employees of Google, Alibaba, and Tesla is 30 or below. They have a mix of interests and challenges, unprecedented new skills, different insights, and often a flair for entrepreneurship.

Take Rajeeb Dey, for example, named as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. Rajeeb wanted to make a difference to the opportunities of other young people and became an entrepreneur aged 17, while still at school. Rajeeb, like all Gen Y-ers, is one of the first generation of digital natives. Many are well educated, well travelled, digitally literate, ambitious and impatient to pursue activities that interest them.

They embrace casual work environments, co-working spaces, flexible working hours, online learning and flat company hierarchies. Their career values and use of technology is beginning to determine what the future of work might look like.

A business man rides an escalator in the financial district of Pudong in Shanghai September 21, 2011. REUTERS/Aly Song (CHINA - Tags: CITYSPACE SOCIETY) - RTR2RVU1
‘Their career values and use of technology is beginning to determine what the future of work might look like.’


But this is not a simple tale of technological progress and utopian views of employment. Other Gen Y-ers are fearful of the future: half of young Spaniards are unemployed. They live in challenging economic circumstances, where automation and artificial intelligence threaten the future of jobs.

Gen Y’s attitudes towards work were shaped by the global financial crisis, which occurred while they were in high school, university or at the beginning of their career. They watched opportunities for graduate careers shrink and many saw their student debts rise sharply at the same time.

These challenges, and the realization that they will struggle in housing markets, are all the greater as they spent their childhoods during an economic boom. The conventional financial and career limitations they face sit alongside the way their parents raised them to “reach for the stars” and “do what makes you happy”. Rajeeb Dey formed his start-up,, in the depths of the recession.

Many Gen Y-ers are not too concerned about the impact of technology on their work – but they should be. While they are largely fluent in using technology, many are ignorant as to how it works, especially compared to Gen Z, the generation below, who learn digital skills, such as coding and programming, from primary school age. This suggests that Gen Y could be left behind by the next generation of digital technology.

Despite recent rapid changes, younger workers are slightly more likely than older workers to expect that their current jobs will exist 50 years in the future: 84% of workers aged 18 to 29 expect that this will be the case, compared with 76% of workers aged 50 and older. While Gen Y is aware of the challenges of technologies such as automation and artificial intelligence (AI), and confident they can live and work alongside them, it is up to them to create the jobs that allow them to do so. It is also up to them to be active learners and continue to improve their skills so that they do not get left behind.

Evidence that Gen Y is conscious of this is their keen use of online education providers such as Coursera, EdX and Udacity, which offer short, industry-specific courses on the use of new technologies. Udacity – university by industry – is an online provider of nanodegrees, supported by Google, Facebook, GitHub, IBM and other tech giants. It offers courses for self-driving car engineers, iOS developers, and machine learning engineers. Another provider, General Assembly, promotes itself as “the solution to the skills gap”, teaching courses in fields such as coding, UX design and digital marketing. offers more than 4,000 online courses in business, technology and creative skills. But the question remains as to whether learning to code, to work in companies like Salesforce is going to lead to a fulfilling career? Or is coding “the next blue collar job”?

Accessing these courses can be valuable, but there’s a risk that young people will favour them and skip traditional tertiary education, such as going to university. This risks them missing out on developing soft skills, learning the politics, history and cultural components behind their topics, and entering the workforce unprepared to deal with its complexities and uncertainties. They may learn about some of the technical issues of the day, but not how to thrive in the complex and confusing world of tomorrow. Gen Y needs to see these courses as supplementary and not as sufficient in themselves.

Have you read?

With some justification, Gen Y complains government legislation favours older generations in areas such as tax allowances for pensions. Labour laws make it harder to lay off current employees who may be poor performers, which means there are fewer jobs available for young qualified graduates. At the same time, many Gen Y-ers have a strong sense of entitlement and expect to receive appreciation for their contributions. They demand flexibility with their work and lifestyle and change jobs far more often than older generations. This is sometimes seen as being flighty or unreliable.

Matching these high expectations in such unfavourable circumstances requires Gen Y to create its own future. But to achieve its goals, this generation needs to be more involved politically. In the 2012 US Presidential election, 46% of Gen Y voted as opposed to 61% of Gen X-ers, and 69% of Baby Boomers. The expectations of Gen Y-ers have to be matched by their taking more responsibility: they shouldn’t complain about political outcomes they did not involve themselves in.

As technology encroaches further into working lives, Gen Y-ers – the future of the workplace – must ensure they remain necessary and relevant. If they want to continue pursuing their progressive career values they must continue to improve their skills in order to work alongside automation and AI, rather than be made redundant by it. Gen Y needs to rise to the technological, political and social challenges that confront us all and get more involved in shaping the future of work.

Special thanks to Kate Dodgson, a Gen Y-er, who helped research this article.


Written by:

Mark Dodgson, Director, Technology and Innovation Management Centre, University of Queensland Business School

David Gann, Vice President, Imperial College

Women Need to Date Carpenters Like Men Date Yoga Instructors

Heidi K. Isern


Every woman I know in San Francisco says the same thing.

“He has to be this much taller and make this much more money. I mean, I’m tall and successful, so he should be MORE tall and successful. I’m WORTH IT, right?”

Worth what? Someone ‘better’ than you?

Men never say things like that. They don’t want “more” and in many cases they prefer “less.”

(less success = less complications…)

My friend Charles was frustrated after being ‘let down easy’ with the excuse “I think we want different lifestyles.”

He said, “Why do women have such a narrow band for dating and then complain there is no one out there?! Men date a wide spectrum of ages, incomes and heights. No date is dinged for being 5’5” or pursuing a career as a yogini.”

Charles was right. As long as a woman is kind, cute and brushes her teeth, she is considered eligible. This gives men a much wider pool of romantic candidates.

Mark, divorced and dating also complained to me, “Women are their own worst enemy when it comes to equality. You know, most men are expected to financially support a woman. Yet most women, even the successful ones, tremble at the thought of even buying a man a beer.”

Not convinced you should change your “entitled” tune?

Let’s do some rough math. (*caveat: math is rougher than my hands in Tahoe wintertime. All calculations based on high level census data split evenly across the genders and back of the envelope division, and don’t take into account important nuances like men who only date up or the number of heterosexual women I know that are done with men and now experiment with other women. But you’ll get the gist…)

Number of men in SF : 410,000

Number of women in SF: 400,000

Looks good as a start right? Not so fast…

Number of heterosexual men in SF vs women: 385,000 men vs. 375,000 women

Number of heterosexual men between 18–64 vs. women: 280,000 men vs. 274,000 women

Number of heterosexual men 18–64 in professional occupation (i.e. not Lyft drivers, fisherman or construction workers) 140,000 men vs. 137,000 women

Number of heterosexual men 18–64 in professional occupation with a graduate degree: 28,000 men vs. 27,000 women

So we have 1.04 educated professional heterosexual man for 1 heterosexual educated professional woman. Not too bad.

Yet educated professional men don’t view things this way.

They have 9.8 women for everyone of them. (274,000 heterosexual women between 18–64 for 28,000 heterosexual educated professional men in the same age range)

Girl, you got steep competition. Especially as men can date 15 years younger than you without raising eyebrows.

This bothers many women.

“My ex left me for Susie Pilates saying it was “easier.” Of course it’s easier. She is an embryo,” said Vickie who is recently divorced, runs 2 companies, and only wants to date men more successful than her ex husband to “teach him a lesson.”

“It’s not fair…all the good men are either happily married or happily dating down. There is no one left for us,” said Charlie, perpetually single. She only dates ivy leaguers, even though she went to Chico State.

But the dating sea is actually full if only Charlie and Vickie would swim out a little further. Why can’t successful women ditch the monetary and education requirements? After all, we no longer live in the 1950s and need someone to provide for us. I can buy my own champagne and my own bikini wax, thank you very much. So can you.

I’d challenge every female to ask themselves the following hard questions about what matters in a partnership.

1. Is a professional career what makes someone successful? Is not a man dedicated to a craft (from forestry to car service driving to teaching yoga) a man worth celebrating as long as he loves you? Passion for a pursuit can manifest itself in a variety of forms. Rich tech executives rarely have any time for craft, yoga or you. A pool boy might though…

2. Does someone need a pedigreed education to be considered smart? Some of the most successful entrepreneurs like Yvon Chouinard (Patagonia) and Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) never went or finished college. If they wouldn’t have achieved such phenomenal success, which is a combination of hard work and luck, would that make them dumb and undateable? Would you prefer book smarts or street smarts?

3. Is a bank account level more important than how he makes you feel? If you consider the likes of Elon Musk and Travis Kalanick, I would argue there is an inverse relationship between monetary success and kindness. And if you make a decent income to support your lifestyle, why does your partner need to bankroll you? Perhaps it is time for women to start bankrolling men.

4. What is the hangup with height? Admittedly I used to only date men that were 6’1. My argument was that I liked to wear 4 inch heels. Since the male average height is 5’10” think how many amazing men I passed up all because of a meaningless physical attribute. I started wearing flats 3 years ago and man, did my dating life get better. It’s not about how tall he is but how tall he makes me feel, even in flats.

5. Why do you balk at the idea of supporting a male partner when you have no problem if they support you? If women truly wanted equality they would be open to all types of partnerships where two people create and contribute….yet perhaps not both financially. If a man makes a gourmet meal for you after you had a hard day in the office, isn’t that worth sacrificing a part of your paycheck for?

After dating men of all heights, incomes, and careers, I’ve decided to prioritize a man’s ability to communicate and have adventures with me over his pursuit of a powerful career to pay for my Dom Perignon. But this runs in my blood.

When my mother met my father she was a prestigious graduate bent on medical school. My father was a carpenter who had dropped out of college. Yet this was a turn on. You see, my mother had previously dated a pedigreed investment banker who departed for New York City to dive into 18 hour work days. She returned to her home state Montana looking for a man who valued Windy Paths more than Wall Street.

My parent’s first date? A bicycle trip across the state. I asked my mother why she fell for my father.

“I just wanted a real man that loved me and Montana.”

My father eventually returned to school to get an engineering degree (and then a masters) but that was after my parents were married and I was born. My favorite memories of my father are not the things he bought for me but the things he made with his own hands. My first rocking horse at age 3 and the carved wine stoppers I got at age 30.

My parents built a partnership not looking for the other to be “more” or “less” but to build something together as equal contributors. I think if we stop thinking about what we can GET in a relationship (young arm candy or financial security) and start focusing on what we can GIVE we’ll be much happier. We’ll also open up our dating pool.

























“我的前男友为了Susie Pilate离开我,说这是“放松”。当然很放松。她还只是一个胚胎,”维基最近离婚了,拥有2家公司,而只想约会比她的前夫更成功的人,“要给他一个教训”。















A Guide to Infidelity in an Open Relationship

Christian and Magda have been married for ten years, for six they’ve been having affairs with other people. It works — but it doesn’t mean they can’t cheat on each other.

Kati Krause


This is a translated and slightly altered version of a text I wrote for the German magazine Krautreporter. Photos by Studio Kleinod.

A few months ago, my friends Christian and Magda suffered their first bad relationship crisis to date. Magda had a lover (“only sex,” she emphasises) and when she went to see him one night, Christian went out alone and met another woman. With him, too, it was “only sex” at first, but then things changed.

Usually affairs serve to improve their marital love life — they turn them on. However, this time the trick didn’t work. Christian was swept off his feet by the erotic tension with his new lover, the whole thing went out of control. “I felt intoxicated.” In hindsight, Magda even empathises: “That feeling that there’s a fire inside you, it’s amazing. I can totally understand that.”

Back then, however, she’d reached the limits of her understanding. Magda felt how Christian drifted away from her and, for the first time in their relationship, gave him a choice: Break this off immediately or I’m gone. It was a drastic measure, and it jolted Christian awake. He complied. Ever since then, they have been slowly rebuilding the damaged trust between them as I’ve been watching from the sidelines, in awe. Turns out you can cheat on your partner in an open relationship, too.

On this they agree: No matter how much you love each other — passion fades. That shouldn’t stand in the way of a happy marriage.

Christian, 37, and Magda, 39, have been together for 12 years and married for 10. And for about six years they’ve been having sex, affairs and little love stories with others. For a while that was fairly easy: She was in Berlin, he in Barcelona. But even now that they’ve been living together again for three years, they have kept it that way. Because on this they agree: No matter how much you love each other — passion fades. That shouldn’t stand in the way of a happy marriage.

“When you love somebody, there’s a difference between the relationship and the fleeting intoxication of sex,” Christian says. Neither of them can understand how a union that has been going well for years could end after one act of infidelity. “I’ve often asked myself: What kind of relationship is that? You’ve cheated once! Is there no empathy?” And Magda adds: “If I can’t be the way I am, I don’t want to be in a relationship. After all, many relationships fail because people aren’t being honest.”

We’re sitting in their kitchen, drinking wine and smoking. We do that regularly, Magda and Christian are my friends. That’s why they are letting me tell their story and even publish their pictures. Because we’re friends — and because they want to pass on some things they’ve learnt. They aren’t narcissists or social media junkies, both value their privacy. But this is a welcome opportunity to address a few prejudices. Because when they hear “open relationship,” many people still respond with a skeptical look. Isn’t that just an excuse for cheating? And is that really love, or a marriage of convenience?

These are questions I’ve been asking myself, too. But even more so, I’ve been wanting to find out the rules of engagement in an open relationship for very selfish reasons. I love sex. And I have yet to survive the blows that dying passion strikes against a relationship that has settled into comfortable routines.

Of course, I’m far from alone with this predicament. A large-scale study by the Psychological Institute at Göttingen University shows that only about a fourth of all German couples have sex twice a week. 57 percent sleep with each other once a week, 17 percent of all contestants hadn’t had any sex in four weeks. Another study by the same institute concluded that 97 percent of all men and women who start a relationship in Germany expect their partner to be faithful. And a very anecdotal survey among my friends leads me to conclude that this schism is something many of us strive to overcome, yet we have no idea how.

Because what if you aren’t ready for a life without the intoxicating effect of passion, of desire and its fulfilment? What if you’re attracted to other people even though you love your partner? The safety and stability of a stable relationship, coupled with the surprise and adventure that comes with sex with strangers — it sounds very much like having it all. But of several couples I know who’ve tried “the open relationship thing,” there are only two where it wasn’t the beginning of the end. Because it turns out that having an open relationship is just as hard as having a sexually monogamous one. It’s just that the hard bits have a different shape.

“It was an experiment. We didn’t know what would happen. There are no rules.”

Magda and Christian believe that for them it works because they’ve never regarded it as a model. “It was an experiment. We didn’t know what would happen,” Magda explains. “There are no rules. Every couple makes their own rules.” If you’d like an outside opinion, I believe that their recipe for success is no-frills pragmatism based on deep love and caring. And a near-total absence of jealousy, of course.

The path they’ve chosen was particularly challenging for Magda, who grew up in the Catholic culture of Colombia. She had to learn not only to have casual sex, but also to deal with other people judging her relationship. And she had to find out what love actually means to her, an issue she believes many people face today. “People want to redefine what love is,” she says. “They want freedom, but they don’t want to give back. They want to be loved but they don’t want to reveal anything. Maybe we have to expand our ideas of happiness and love. I don’t want love if it means doing something only because society expects it.”

“Maybe we have to expand our ideas of happiness and love. I don’t want love if it means doing something only because society expects it.”

In Christian and Magda’s relationship, things always just sort of happened. They met at Sónar Festival in Barcelona where he, the Austrian graphic designer, worked as a VJ and spontaneously used her, the Colombian who’d overstayed her tourist visa, as a model. Their one-night stand slowly turned into an ever more serious relationship, and Magda’s inability to travel became a nuisance. She needed a residence permit. Suddenly, they were talking about marriage. “It was a pragmatic decision. It had nothing to do with love,” Magda asserts, matter-of-factly. She had never even wanted to get married, she’d seen too much sanctimoniousness and double standards back in Colombia. Christian, on the other hand, simply felt too young. “I wasn’t at an age where I could say: I’m marrying the woman I want to spend the rest of my life with.”

But marry they did, in summer 2005, and two years later Magda was awarded Spanish citizenship. They could have gotten divorced now, yet didn’t. However, while Christian’s design studio flourished, Magda had trouble settling in Barcelona. She decided to move to Berlin. They both needed the break.

Looking back to those days, they say: We were like brother and sister. Their relationship had changed, desire was gone. “And that’s still an issue,” Magda says. “Being happy is never a permanent state. Passion fades. Always, in my experience. But many people can turn me on. Love goes deeper. And love I only know with Christian.”

This is something of a fashionable topic among sexual therapists. Both the German Ulrich Clement and the Belgian Esther Perel are stars of their trade who advocate more openness and honesty in relationships (for some entertainment, watch Perel’s TED talk on the subject). They believe that our standards in modern relationships are simply too high — that we expect one person to fulfil the roles traditionally covered by an entire village. “We want everything from one person: Great conversation and great sex, security and adventure. These are hopelessly excessive demands for any normal relationship,” Clement said in an interview.

These “delusions of grandeur that one love has to provide for everything,” as he calls it — Magda and Christian have simply turned their backs on that. And even though they have no rules, they instinctively act according to principles that Perel and Clement suggest: They are respectful, loyal, relaxed and very much aware of their boundaries.

Sexual therapists believe that our standards in modern relationships are simply too high — that we expect one person to fulfil the roles traditionally covered by an entire village.

One question that often arises when discussing open relationships is that of balance and fairness. Isn’t one person exploiting the other? When I ask Christian and Magda whether they feel one is profiting more than the other, they both say: Yes, me.

They’re saying this as they are sitting together, correcting and finishing each other’s sentences. At first glance, they are cultural clichés: She’s emotional, talks about big feelings and existential learnings and true love, while he focusses on facts and details, acts rationally and interrupts her when she strays from the chronological sequence of events. Yet he is the one who blossoms when he’s among people, who travels constantly and parties all night while she, the yoga teacher, goes to bed at 11pm, gets up at 6 and generally likes things quiet. He has more affairs, her’s may last a bit longer. There are no clear power structures. Certainly neither lacks willpower.

The feeling of benefitting more than the other goes back to the first time they cheated on each other — because their open relationship didn’t begin with rules, but with two acts of infidelity. Christian in Barcelona, Magda in Berlin. They told each other at their Christmas reunion, first her, than him. The cat was out of the bag, both were relieved and decided, more implicitly than explicitly, to continue this way. Christian recalls it as a grey zone: “We simply accepted it tacitly.”

That leads us to transparency. How much does the other person have to know? He’s always found it more difficult to come clean than her, and they rarely tell each other immediately. Details aren’t required, either. “We’ve never had an interrogative situation,” Christian says. “Sometimes things surface after a couple of glasses of wine.”

All in all, they have few rules. “Nobody from our circle of friends” is one, but Christian is by now good friends with one of Magda’s former lovers and often forgets that they ever had an affair. “It’s like knowing Magda’s ex. I couldn’t care less about her ex,” he says and laughs.

So does sex matter less or more to them than to others? It’s hard to say. Clearly sex is very important to them in general, but it plays a secondary role in their relationship. There are much more important things. That Christian inspires Magda to strive to be a better person, for example. Or that Christian feels incapable of being angry with Magda, no matter what she does.

There is one rule, however, and it was Magda who spelled it out. “I’m the queen. There may be ladies of the court, but I always have to be number one.” In other words: They can share their bodies freely, but their hearts belong to each other. Even their relationship is exclusive. Christian puts it this way: “It’s essentially a monogamous relationship. Only that we give each other space.”

But even though they emphasise the difference between love and passion, the boundaries are unclear. Magda says she can’t have any superficial relationships at all, whether they’re friendships or affairs, and Christian agrees: “It’s never just about a quick fuck. There’s always attraction that goes beyond the purely physical.” Where attraction ends and love begins is something only the two of them know.

The betrayal wasn’t the other woman. It was Christian’s doubt in his life with Magda. And that could have just as easily happened if they didn’t have an open relationship.

So it is possible to be unfaithful in an open relationship, only that adultery doesn’t take place in bed. It’s not an act, it’s a feeling — the feeling that Magda had a few months ago when Christian was swept off his feet by his lover. For the first time in their relationship, she thought they’d be better off going separate ways. However, the betrayal wasn’t the other woman; it was Christian’s doubt in his life with Magda. And that, both agree, could have happened just as easily if they didn’t have an open relationship.

So they had to make a very conscious decision to be with each other again. They gave themselves a few months, talked a lot, fought, made up again, travelled to Colombia and said: Let’s see how things go afterwards. Things are going fine. They’re thinking about having a baby. I continue standing by the sidelines, in awe.

It’s not that, having written this article, I’m much wiser about how one leads an open relationship. I still have no master plan for my own love life and no idea whether I could deal with the emotional stress of my partner having sex with others. Like Christian and Magda, I’ll have to experiment, I guess.

But there’s one thing I’ve taken away from their story: perseverance. “We have a lot of stamina,” Christian says. “Others would act much more quickly. We simply wait a bit and often things just work themselves out.” Or to say it in the words of celebrity sex therapist Ulrich Clement: “Innocence is lost. But hanging on provides the opportunity for something new. And that can be very exciting.”

克里斯蒂安和玛格达结婚十年了,他们各自和别人有过六年的外遇。这样可行 - 但这并不意味着他们不能互相背板。


通常外遇用来改善他们的婚姻爱情生活 。然而,这一次的把戏没有凑效。克里斯蒂安与他的新情人的紧张刺激让他神魂颠倒,失控失控。“我感到陶醉。”事后,玛格达甚至对此强调:“觉得有一团火在你里面,让人惊讶。我完全理解。”


在这一点上他们同意:无论你多么爱对方 - 激情褪去。那不应该妨碍幸福的婚姻。

克里斯蒂安,37岁,和玛格达,39岁,已经在一起12年,结婚10。大约六年来,他们有性爱,外遇和与他人的小爱情故事。有一段时间很容易:她在柏林,他在巴塞罗那。但即使现在他们已经在一起生活了三年,他们一直这样。因为在这一点上他们同意:无论你多么爱对方 - 激情褪去。那不应该妨碍幸福的婚姻。






因为,要是你没有准备好去过一种没有激情、欲望和满足的陶醉感的生活呢?要是你即使爱你的伴侣但是却吸引了其他人呢?安全和稳定的伴侣关系,再加上和陌生人做爱的刺激和冒险 -这听起来非常像拥有一切。但我认识的几对尝试过“开放式关系”的夫妇中,只有两个不是结束的开始。因为,开放的关系一样具有一夫一妻的本质特点,只是具有不同的形式。










性治疗师是一个时髦的话题。无论是德国的乌尔里希克莱门特,还是比利时埃丝特佩莱尔都是这方面的明星。他们主张更开放且更诚实的关系(作为娱乐,可以看佩莱尔关于这个话题的TED演讲)。他们认为,我们现代的两性关系的标准太高了 - 我们期待一个人来完成传统上由一整个村庄来扮演的角色。“我们想从一个人身上得到一切:极好的交流,超棒的性,安全且刺激。这些是任何正常的两性关系没不可能完全满足的条件”克莱门特在接受采访时说。

这些他称之为“爱必须提供的一切的夸大妄想。”  -玛格达和克里斯蒂安都背弃了。虽然他们没有规则,他们本能地按佩莱尔和克莱门特建议的原则办事:他们彼此尊重、忠诚,放松且非常了解自己的界限。

我们现代的两性关系的标准太高了 - 我们期待一个人来完成传统上由一整个村庄来扮演的角色。






那么和其他人相比,性对他们来说是否更重要? 这很难说。显然,性对他们来说很重要,但在他们的关系中起着次要的作用,还有更重要的事情。比如,克里斯蒂安激励玛格达努力成为一个更好的人。或者克里斯蒂安觉得不能对玛格达生气,不管她做什么。




所以有可能在一个开放的关系不忠,只要奸淫不是发生在床上。这不是一种行为,它是一种感觉 -。在几个月前得知克里斯蒂安与情人交欢后,玛格达也有这种感觉。。在他们的关系中,第一次,她认为他们分道扬镳更好。然而,背叛不是因为另一个女人,而是克里斯蒂安对与玛格达生活的怀疑。而且,双方都认为如果他们没有一个开放的关系,可能会很容易发生。



但我已从他们的故事中获得的一种东西:毅力。“我们有很多耐力,”克里斯蒂安说。“其他人会行动得更快。我们只是等待一下,然后事情往往自己找到解决办法了。”明星性治疗师Ulrich Clement说:“纯真是失去了。但搁置会提供一些新事物出现的机会。这会非常令人兴奋。”


世界人权宣言-Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Universal Declaration of Human Rights
1948年12月10日, 联合国大会采认世界人权宣言, 请求它的会员国公布该宣言, 并 “在无政治的考量下, 在各级学校及教育机构里, 传播、张贴、研读及解说其内容。”
On December 10, 1948 the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights the full text of which appears in the following pages. Following this historic act the Assembly called upon all Member countries to publicize the text of the Declaration and “to cause it to be disseminated, displayed, read and expounded principally in schools and other educational institutions, without distinction based on the political status of countries or territories.”
鉴於对人类家庭所有成员的固有尊严及其平等的和不移的权利的承认, 乃是世界自由、正义及和平的基础,
Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,
鉴於对人权的忽视及侮蔑已发展为野蛮暴行, 这些暴行玷污了人类的良心, 而一个人人享有言论和信仰自由并免於恐惧和匮乏的世界的来临, 已被宣布为普通人民的最高愿望,
Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the commonpeople,
鉴於为使人类不致迫不得已铤而走险, 对暴政和压迫进行反抗, 有必要使人权受法治的保护,
Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,
Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,
鉴於联合国国家的人民已在联合国宪章中重申他们对基本人权、人格尊严和价值以及男女平等权利的信心, 并决心促成较大自由中的社会进步和生活水平的改善,
Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,
鉴於各会员国都已誓愿同联合国合作, 以促进对人权和基本自由的普遍尊重和遵行,
Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in co-operation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,
鉴於对这些权利和自由的普遍了解, 对於这个誓愿的充分实现, 有很大的重要性,
Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge,

因此, 现在,
Now, Therefore,
这一世界人权宣言, 作为所有人民和所有国家努力实现的共同标准, 以期每一个人和社会机构经常铭念本宣言, 努力通过教诲和教育, 促进对权利和自由的尊重, 并通过国家的和国际的渐进措施, 使这些权利和自由在各会员国本身人民及在其管辖下领土的人民中, 得到普遍和有效的承认和遵行。
THIS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.
人人生而自由, 在尊严及权利上一律平等。他们赋有理性和良心, 并应以兄弟关系的精神相对待。
Article 1.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
人人有资格享受本宣言所载的一切权利与自由, 不分种族、肤色、性别、语言、宗教、政治或其他见解、国籍或社会出身、财产、出生或其他身份等任何区别。 并且不得因一人所属的国家或领土的政治的、行政的或者国际的地位之不同而有所区别, 无论该领土是独立、托管领土、非自治领土或者处於其他任何主权受限的情况下。
Article 2.
Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.
Article 3.
Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
任何人不得使为奴隶或奴役; 一怍形式的奴隶制度和奴隶现实, 均应予以禁止。
Article 4.
No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.
任何人不得加以酷刑, 或施以残忍的、不人道的或侮辱性的待遇或刑罚。
Article 5.
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
Article 6.
Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.
法律之前人人平等, 并有权享受法律的平等保护, 不受任何歧视。人人有权享受平等保护, 以免受违反本宣言的任何歧视行为以及煽动这种歧视行为之害。
Article 7.
All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

任何人当宪法或法律所赋予他的基本权利遭受侵害时, 有权由合格的国家法庭对这种侵害行作有效的补救。
Article 8.
Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.

Article 9.
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.
人人完全平等地有权由一个独立而无偏倚的法庭进行公正的和公开的审讯, 以确定他的权利和义, 并判定对他提出的任何刑事指控。
Article 10.
Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.
(一)凡受刑事控告者, 在未经获得辩护上所需的一切保证的公开审判而依法证实有罪以前, 有权被视为无罪。
(二)任何人的任何行为或不行为, 在其发生时依国家法或国际法均不构成刑事罪者, 不得被判为犯有刑事罪。刑罚不得重於犯罪时适用的法律规定。
Article 11.
(1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.
(2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.
任何人的私生活、家庭、住宅或通讯不得任意干涉, 他的荣誉和名誉不得加以攻击。人人有权享受法律保护, 以免受这种干涉或攻击。
Article 12.
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.
(二)人人有权离开任何国家, 包括其本国在内, 并有权返回他的国家。
Article 13.
(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.
(2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.
(二)在真正由於非政治性的罪行或违背联合国的宗旨和原则的行为而被起的情况, 不得援用此权利。
Article 14.
(1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.
(2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
(二)任何人的国籍不得任意剥夺, 亦不得否认其改变国籍的权利。
Article 15.
(1) Everyone has the right to a nationality.
(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.
(一)成年男女, 不受种族、国籍或宗教的任何限制, 有权婚嫁和成立家庭。他们在婚姻方面, 在结婚期间和在解除婚约时, 应有平等的权利。
(二)祗有经男女双方的自由的和完全的同意, 才能结婚。
(三)家庭是天然的和基本的社会单元, 并应受社会和国家的保护。
Article 16.
(1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at
Article 17.
(1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.
(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

人人有思想、良心与宗教自由的权利; 此项权利包括改变他的宗教或信仰的自由, 以及其单独或团体、公开或秘密地教义、实践、礼拜及戒律表示他的宗教或信仰的自由。
Article 18.
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.
人人有权享有主张和发表意见的自由; 此项权利包括持有主张而不受干涉的自由, 和通过任何媒介和不论国界寻求、接受和传播消息和思想的自由。
Article 19.
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
Article 20.
(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
(2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.

(三)人民的意志是政府权力的基础; 这一意志应以定期和真正的选举予以表现, 而选举应依据普遍和平等的投票权, 并以不记名投票或相当的自由投票程序进行。
Article 21.
(1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
(2) Everyone has the right to equal access to public service in his country.
(3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.
每个人, 做为社会的一员, 有权享受社会保障, 并有权享受他的个人尊严和人格的自由发展所必需的经济、社会和文化方面, 各种权利的实现, 这种实现是通过国家努力和国际合作并依照各国的组织和资源情况。
Article 22.
Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.
(一)人人有权工作, 自由选择职业, 享受公正和合适的工作条件并享受免於失业的保障。
(二)人人有同工同酬的权利, 不受任何歧视。
(三)每一个工作的人, 有权享受公正和合适的报酬, 保证使他本人和家属有一个符合人的尊严的生活条件, 必要时并辅以其他方式的社会保障。
Article 23.
(1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
(2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
(3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
(4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.
人人有享受休息和闲暇的权利, 包括工作时间有合理限制和定期给薪休假的权利。
Article 24.
Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.
(一)人人有权享受为维持他本人和家属的健康和福利所需的生活水准, 包括食物、衣著、住房、医疗和必要的社会服务; 在遭到失业、疾病、残废、守寡、衰老或在其他不能控制的情况下, 丧失谋生能力时, 有权享受保障。
(二)母亲和儿童有权享受特别照顾和协助。一切儿童, 无论婚生或非婚生, 都应享受同样的社会保护。
Article 25.
(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.
(一)人人都有受教育的权利, 教育应当免费, 至少在初级和基本阶段应如此。初级教育应属义务性质。技术与职业教育应普遍设立。高等教育应根据成绩而对一切人平等开放。
(二)教育的目的在於充分发展人的个性并加强对人权和基本自由的尊重。教育应谋促进各国、各种族或各宗教集团体间的了解, 容忍和友谊, 并应促进联合国维护和平的各项活动。
(三)父母对其子女所应受的教育的种类, 有优先选择的权利。
Article 26.
(1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
(2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
(3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.
(一)人人有权自由参加社会的文化生活, 享受艺术, 并分享科学进步及其产生的福利。
(二)人人对由於他所创作的任何科学、文学或美术作品而产生的精神和物质的利益, 有享受保护的权利。
Article 27.
(1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
(2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.
人人有权享受一种社会的和国际的秩序, 在这种秩序中, 本宣言所载的权利和自由能获得允份实现。
Article 28.
Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.
(一)人人对社会负有义务, 因为只有在社会中, 他的个性才可能得到自由和充份的发展。
(二)人人在行使他的权利和自由时, 祗受法律所确定的限制, 确定此种限制的唯一目的在於保证对旁人的权利和自由给予应有的承认和尊重, 并在一个合民主的社会中适应道德、公共秩序和普遍福利的正当需要。
(三)这些权利和自由的行使, 无论在任何情形下, 均不得违背联合国的宗旨和原则。
Article 29.
(1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.
(2) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and

freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.
(3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
本宣言的任何条文, 不得解释为默许任何国家、团体或个人有权进行任何旨在破坏本宣言所载的任何权利和自由的活动或行为。
Article 30.
Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.