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People Fixing the World


tories about clever or big new ideas to solve global problems – and probing if these solutions actually work. A podcast from the BBC World Hacks team.

tories about clever or big new ideas to solve global problems – and probing if these solutions actually work. A podcast from the BBC World Hacks team.
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World News


tories about clever or big new ideas to solve global problems – and probing if these solutions actually work. A podcast from the BBC World Hacks team.




When Local Currencies Go Digital

Local currencies – money you can only spend at small local businesses – aim to keep money in their neighbourhood and out of the hands of big corporations and their shareholders. Now they are going digital, with local currencies that live only on smartphone money apps. Could it make them a financial force to be reckoned with? Presenter: India Rakusen Reporter: Dougal Shaw Image: A local digital currency working on a smartphone / Credit: BBC

Duration: 00:23:09

Condom Lifesavers and Voices for the Voiceless

Each year around 100,000 women die due to heavy bleeding after giving birth. But help is at hand from an unexpected source: condoms. World Hacks goes to a maternity hospital in Kenya to speak to the medical staff using this super-cheap kit that is saving lives. Also on the programme, the US start-up that is asking volunteers to donate their voices, then transforming them into personalised, digital voices for people with degenerative diseases. Reporters: Harriet Noble and Amelia...

Duration: 00:23:29

New Podcast: In The Studio

Hear all about our new podcast and discover how the most creative people make their work. In The Studio starts on 11 September 2017. You will meet famous artists, writers, sports stars, musicians, DJs, film-makers, designers and more. Explore the creative process like never before. Subscribe to In The Studio now and listen to our preview.

Duration: 00:02:39

The Dutch Antibiotic Revolution

Antibiotic resistant superbugs are a huge problem both in humans and in animals. Many animals reared for food are routinely fed antibiotics to prevent infections. Farmers across the world do it to protect their livestock and to safeguard their incomes. But some bugs are becoming resistant to these drugs because of their overuse – fuelling the rise of animal “superbugs” like MRSA that could potentially spread to humans. This means that animals and people can die from common infections because...

Duration: 00:23:24

How to Get Blood Where it is Needed

The availability of blood for transfusions saves lives after difficult births and operations. But in much of the developing world, hospitals have a blood shortage. One entrepreneur in Nigeria is working on a solution. She has developed an app that connects blood banks to hospitals, and has built a network of moped drivers to ferry blood around Lagos, the largest city in the country. World Hacks investigates whether her solution can save lives. Also on the programme, the designers of a new...

Duration: 00:23:32

Pakistan’s Laptop Female Doctors

How do you help female doctors get back to work when they've given up medicine to look after their families? It's a particular problem in Pakistan where the majority of medical graduates are women who stop working after they get married. Now a scheme has been set up employing them to hold video clinics with patients over the internet, enabling them to work flexibly from home. What's more they're aiming to improve access to health care in Pakistan by targeting their 'computer screen clinics'...

Duration: 00:23:31

Urban Cable Cars

Is a new urban cable car in Mexico more than just a means of public transport? As well as ferrying thousands of people a day, it's been strategically located to link up the poorest neighbourhoods to more affluent parts of the city. It's hoped it will bring growth to a forgotten district, reduce crime and become a means of bridging the social divide. World Hacks travels to Mexico City to see if it can achieve those goals and understand why cities are opting for this usual form of transport....

Duration: 00:22:58

Does Universal Basic Income Work?

Around the world, governments and researchers are experimenting with the introduction of universal basic income. From Finland and Spain to India, the idea of giving every citizen – whether working or not – a set amount of money per month is gaining momentum. It’s claimed to be a fairer and more efficient way of running a welfare system, but we’re only just starting to understand what actually happens when you introduce a basic income for everyone. We look at the evidence and try to establish...

Duration: 00:23:19

The Teachable Moment

Darius has been shot three separate occasions, but the third time was the last. He was met at his bedside by a stranger, who changed his life forever. Victims of violence are, far more likely to be shot, stabbed or violently assaulted a second or third time - as the perpetrators of violence try to silence the victim. In San Francisco, where Darius lived, specially trained case managers visit victims of violence at their bedsides in hospital and work with them to break that cycle of...

Duration: 00:23:24

Saving Lives with Text Messages

What do you do in a medical emergency when the equivalent of 999 or 911 simply doesn’t exist? After spending time in countries that lack public ambulance services, US paramedic Jason Friesen realised the problem wasn’t a lack of sophisticated ambulances, or the hi-tech medical equipment inside them, but the communication system necessary to get an injured person from A to B in time to save their life. In the Dominican Republic there are no public ambulances but now, in two rural areas, first...

Duration: 00:22:58

Greener In Death

This is a story about what happens to your body after you die. In many countries, the current options are burial and cremation, but, both methods come with significant environmental impacts. We’re running out of space for burial in many places, and cremation carries the risk of toxins and greenhouse gases being released. For World Hacks, Sahar Zand travels to the US, where they’re using a new process to deal with the dead. It’s been called “green cremation,” “water cremation” or “resomation”...

Duration: 00:23:22

Helping Disabled People With Sex

How do you fulfil your sexual needs if you have a disability? How do you masturbate if you have limited use of your hands? These are problems that most able-bodied people have probably never considered. But if you’re in this position it’s something you probably think about a lot. And it’s a problem which Vincent, the founder of a small NGO called Hand Angels, is trying to help with. His group matches volunteers with disabled people to provide a sexual service. Mukul Devichand and Alvaro...

Duration: 00:23:19

The Data Donators

The Data Donators Meet Becky. She suffers from arthritis and is in constant pain. Like lots of people – patients and doctors alike – she has a hunch that bad weather could be exacerbating the problem. It’s a question that has been asked for at least 2000 years, but we have never had the tools or resources to answer it. That is, perhaps, until now. Dr Will Dixon has set up a mass participation study that takes advantage of smartphone technology. More than 13,000 people have downloaded an app...

Duration: 00:23:06

Postmen Delivering Kindness to the Elderly

On the island of Jersey, postal workers don’t just deliver the mail. They also check up on elderly people during their routes. In a five minute chat, they check they’ve taken their medication and if there’s anything else they need. It’s popular with older people and their relatives, and the project has caught the attention of post offices - and health professionals - around the world. Could a chat on the doorstep help solve the social care crisis? We travel to Jersey to meet the man behind...

Duration: 00:18:49

The Parent Hack For Cheaper Childcare

Parents struggling with childcare costs in London are banding together to care for each other’s kids. They run a super-cheap nursery where mums and dads take on half of the childcare. It’s a throwback to the childcare movement of the 1970s but can it work in the modern age? Presented by Sahar Zand. Produced by William Kremer. Image: Drawing of a family / Credit: BBC

Duration: 00:22:41

Toilets in Haiti and Circular Runways

There are no sewers in Haiti. 26% of Haitians have access to a toilet, so a lot of the sewage ends up in the water supply. Currently, Haiti is battling the biggest cholera epidemic in recent history and thousands are dying. We travel there to meet a team of women who are trying to solve this massive problem. They have set up an NGO called Soil which delivers dry, compost toilets to peoples’ homes. Alternatives to water guzzling flushing toilets - which need infrastructure such as sewers -...

Duration: 00:23:11

Checking out the solar hotel

Could we build cities using solar panels instead of walls? That’s the dream that Huang Ming, a wealthy entrepreneur in China’s Shandong province, has had since the 1980s. He’s become known as the ‘Sun King’ after building a vast solar park, including a showcase hotel, to prove a new kind of solar architecture is possible. So why hasn’t it caught on? We check into a room in the solar hotel and examine the vision and sometimes unfulfilled dreams of solar architecture in China. Plus, why do...

Duration: 00:23:14

Moving In With Refugees

An innovative housing project in Amsterdam is attempting a new way of integrating refugees into the local population. In prefab flats, refugees from the Syrian war live next door to young people in need of cheap rent. They eat together, learn language together, and develop the networks that researchers say are critical to successful integration. Presenter: Charlotte Pritchard Reporter: Jo Mathys Image: Young people living in the Startblok / Credit: BBC

Duration: 00:22:57

How China is Cleaning its Air

Air pollution is a huge problem for China, but did you know it’s actually getting better? The Air Quality Index in several cities is improving, because of a variety of experimental projects that are being rolled out. In this special edition of World Hacks as part of the #SoICanBreathe season, we are in Beijing to gather together some of the thinkers and entrepreneurs leading China’s efforts to clean its air. We work through their ideas with an audience of students and entrepreneurs, as well...

Duration: 00:48:03

The Voter Lottery

Voter turnout is a problem around the world, particularly in local elections. But a small group of academics and activists in the US are experimenting with a new way of getting people to turn up and put their cross in a box – a lottery. Every voter is entered and one lucky winner gets a big cash prize. World Hacks investigates whether it works. Presenter: Kathleen Hawkins Reporter: Gemma Newby Producer: Tom Colls Image caption: Lottery balls about to be drawn, Image credit: Thomas Samson /...

Duration: 00:18:35

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