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People Fixing the World

A weekly News podcast featuring Nick Holland
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Episodes of People Fixing the World

At least a third of food grown around the world fails to be eaten, with the resulting food waste causing 10 per cent of global carbon emissions. However, there are pioneers trying to tackle different issues along the chain. We visit a proje
Farming animals for meat has a massive environmental impact, both in terms of land use and carbon emissions. But in order for people to eat less meat, they need to be excited about the alternatives. Around the world, people are coming up wit
Police forces in the US are turning to futuristic technology to tackle a rise in violent crime and murder across the country. In one area of California, they are even using robots to patrol the streets. There, the police are claiming it's led
We look at two new pieces of health technology which allow medics to treat people without touching them. Breast cancer fatality rates in India are higher than in other countries because women are often reluctant to go for screening. A start up
The ability to print objects in three dimensions has been heralded as the solutions to many problems. We check out some of the latest innovations. In Jordan we hear from the doctors who are printing prosthetic arms for people injured in conflic
Our desire for new clothes creates a lot of waste and much of it ends up in landfill. But a lot of that discarded material can be turned into something useful. We hear from the people in Ghana who are taking old clothes that are sent from Europ
Politics in the age of social media can often be angry and divisive. And many people feel their voices aren’t being heard by those in power. But Polis is an online platform that’s trying to make democracy work better. It helps people to reach a
More than 100 million people have been forcibly displaced from their home around the world – fleeing conflict, natural disasters or persecution. Millions end up in refugee camps, living in tents. Around the world, designers and architects are
Bank accounts and clever investment schemes are being used to help improve the lives of homeless people. In the UK, a number of banks have started offering accounts to homeless people - which until recently were only available to people with
If your child develops cancer and you live in a wealthy country there’s a really good chance they will survive - more than 80%. If you live elsewhere, the chances are much lower - less than 30%. Over a decade ago, Dr Mae Dolendo set up a centr
Therapy has been helping Boko Haram survivors and street youth in Liberia turn their lives around. In northern Nigeria, a programme called Counselling on Wheels is offering mobile mental health services in remote and dangerous areas. They’v
How enzymes and earthen pots could help keep medicines safe. Access to life-saving medicines often relies on a complex system known as the cold-chain – the refrigerated lorries, store rooms and fridges, which keeps them at the right temperatu
Could floating wind turbines and kites that generate electricity help fight climate change? There are lots of innovative new ways people are harnessing the power of the wind. We visit a floating wind farm off the coast of Scotland, check ou
More than five million children live in orphanages or other institutions - the vast majority in low or middle income countries. Staff are often overstretched, poorly paid and don’t last long in the job, which leaves children deprived of one o
How a race to write books and a gadget that counts words are helping child literacy. In South Africa 8 out of 10 children struggle to read by the age of 10. But a charity called Book Dash has come up with an innovative way of getting more ki
At the human library you borrow a person you wouldn’t usually meet for a half-hour frank conversation. The volunteers have various book titles from polyamorous to former prisoner. The aim of these face-to-face chats is to break down our assumpt
Street harassment and violence against women in public spaces is a global issue. According to one survey, 84% of women in cities around the world reported being harassed on the street before the age of 17; half of respondents said they had been
Being a teenage mum is not easy. But innovative projects around the world are trying to help. We hear from Sierra Leone, where the 2 Young Lives project supports teenagers who've been rejected by their families for getting pregnant. They link
A young scientist has developed a white powder which gives waste soil concrete-like properties. Gnanli Landrou grew up in Togo, helping his neighbours dry out soil to make bricks, and his big dream is to help people like them build stronger,
Robots that navigate sewer pipes are being used to find leaks and blockages in an ancient water system. They’re being put to work in Pune, India, to access dangerous and noxious spots that otherwise would be checked by people. The sewage sy
Lotteries aren’t just about winning money. They’re also being used to nudge people to change their behaviour. In the UK we try out a mobile app that enters users in to a £25,000 lottery every time they pick up a piece of litter. We see how h
La Casa de Carlota isn’t like most workplaces. The design studio, based in Barcelona, Spain, employs creatives who have intellectual disabilities, autism and schizophrenia. Working together with non-disabled colleagues, they produce striking
Sponge cities use natural features to slow down, soak up and reuse flood water. Yu Kongjian nearly drowned as a boy when his village flooded, but it inspired him to come up with the sponge city concept. It’s now being rolled out across China. I
Meet the entrepreneurs using scrap rubber to fuel cars and make new tyres. Each year, over a billion car tyres reach the end of their life. They’re notoriously hard to recycle and present an environmental hazard if left to disintegrate out in
In California, butterflies such as the monarch are critically endangered as a result of habitat erosion, pesticides, and climate change. But many people are trying to save these beautiful insects. We meet the scientists who are painstakingly r
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