1) Global Differences

Watch the video below - this guy basically disproves the idea that the world is worse off than it was long ago. 

Now go to the Gapminder website, where you can manipulate the data yourself. Play around and look for trends - are there any big drops or spikes? When did those occur? What was going on in the world at the point that may of caused things to drop or spike?

Ultimately, you will choose to research one of the richest and poorest countries in the world. Why is the rich country rich? Why is the poor country poor?

Please add your countries of research to the corresponding documents:

As you begin to research information about your countries here are some sites to help you. The first look at major events each year. You can use this to see what was going on in each country during a major fall or spike (from Gapminder). Diffen allows you to compare things side by side. Lastly, the CIA World Factbook gives a great rundown of really important data. Here are some important things to consider: 

What is the population of your country? Is the population mostly urban or rural?

Look at the geography: what is the land actually like? What is the climate like? Is it landlocked? Are there scarce resources? Who are their neighboring countries?

What is the style of government? Is that government corrupt?

How stable is the country? Have there been a lot of recent wars or armed conflicts? Have there been numerous revolutions & coups?

Look again at the neighboring countries - are those countries stable? Are they corrupt?

Erasing poverty might seem like a nice thing to do, but there are serious reasons to want to eliminate global poverty aside from simply "being nice." This article describes how extreme poverty is possibly connected to terrorism - therefore, eliminating it would be in our national self interest. 

Here are some links to articles about global poverty. Use these to understand the roots and generate ideas for solutions. Remember to keep googling things - for example, if you run into a word you don't know, instead of skipping it you need to google it and really try to understand what it means.
The Causes of Poverty

The Corruption Perceptions Index 2011.mp4

Here is an Anti-Corruption Tool Kit to help you get some ideas.