People Fixing the World

A weekly News podcast
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Episodes of People Fixing the World

What would happen if the government of a country decided to try to find everyone who was homeless and living on the streets and offer them a place to live? That is exactly what happened in England as the coronavirus pandemic hit. The governme
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
Two sources of greenhouse gas could be lurking in your kitchen: rice and fridges. We meet a biologist breeding climate-friendly rice, and a team of detectives whose job is to stop fearsomely potent fridge gases escaping into the atmosphere.
Wood is strong enough to build skyscrapers, and bamboo - the fastest growing plant in the world - can also be used for building. Both suck up large amounts of greenhouse gas. We find out what would happen if we used these materials instead of c
Seaweed - we have been using it for centuries in food and toiletries. It can help to keep toothpaste and ice cream soft, as well as being a tasty snack. It is a billion-dollar industry. But in some parts of the world, supply of the crop has dec
People in Kenya have been paid to catch swarms of locusts eating farmers’ crops. The insects are full of protein and the captured ones are ground up and put into animal feed. The BBC’s Nick Holland and Claire Bates find out what tricks these 'l
The LGBT community in Mombasa, Kenya has suffered from violent mob attacks in recent years - often fuelled by influential preachers spreading messages of hate. But one group decided to tackle this in a remarkable way: they have directly engage
Sleek blue machines have been popping up in convenience stores across Nairobi over the past two years. These “Koko points” look like cash machines but instead of giving out money they dispense bioethanol, a fuel made from plants which can be us
How animals make us smarter – we thought you might like to hear our brand new episode. It’s about a robotic arm inspired by an elephant’s trunk. For more, search for 30 Animals That Made Us Smarter wherever you get your podcasts. #30Animals
Recent years have seen remarkable successes against some of the most unpleasant illnesses on the planet. While much of the world’s focus has been on the fight against Covid-19, the battle against other diseases rages on. From the battle
Dutch friends Evelien and Roel are part of a group sharing their social networks and local knowledge with Laila, a Syrian refugee, and her family. They’re taking part in a pilot project in the Netherlands called Samen Hier, which matches locals
A large study published in June showed how a peculiar intervention could help prevent the spread of dengue fever. Instead of vaccinating people, the World Mosquito Program has found a way to breed mosquitoes carrying bacteria that prevent them
Former criminals are being employed to run part of the probation system in one of America’s deeply troubled, gang-ridden communities. It’s a bold new approach to crime prevention, and it seems to be working - young lives are being transformed a
Scientists have hatched an incredible plan to save the northern white rhino from extinction. The team is using IVF techniques to produce a calf because the only two females left alive are infertile. Nick Holland reports on how close they are to
A young Zimbabwean, Farai Munjoma, has set up a network of mentors to help Africa’s youth achieve their dreams. The idea is to link young people up with someone who can inspire and guide them as they apply to university and jobs. Reporter:
This week we hear from Colombia, where a helpline with a difference recently opened. Its aim is to stop domestic violence, but instead of targeting victims, it targets the perpetrators. The idea is to get men in particular, who are struggling
The Sinai desert in Egypt is a dry, barren place where not much grows. But Ties van der Hoeven has come up with a scheme to turn it into a green and fertile land. It’s a plan on a huge scale which involves dredging a lake, restoring ecosystems
Are stickers still saving lives? Was a coral reef repaired? Did the volcano erupt? In this episode we check back in with three projects that have featured on our programme over the past four years and find out if everything went to plan. W
It has taken him 40 years, but Omar Tello has turned a patch of exhausted farmland in Ecuador back into rainforest. One of his biggest challenges was repairing the soil. His land was so degraded he had to make enough new soil - from unwanted w
There are thousands of oil and gas platforms in the world’s oceans and in the coming decades many will become obsolete. Some people think that instead of treating them as industrial waste, we should embrace the ecosystems they’ve created and le
Scientists are checking up on the health of forests by analysing the sounds in them. They test their vital signs by measuring the croaks, tweets and hums of resident creatures. If they can hear a full range of animals they can be confident an
Marlo the labrador is learning how to sniff out Covid-19 in the UK. In Tanzania, Polish hound Thor is on the track of wildlife poachers. We explore how their extraordinary noses are tackling these issues and more around the globe. Produced an
This is the story of how one man is trying to transform lives through the power of the humble bicycle. Many rural communities in rural Africa don’t have access to cars or good roads, which can make it hard to take fresh produce to market or
Machines to shred, melt and mould waste plastic are popping up in workshops around the world - from the UK to Malaysia, Kenya to Mexico. The project is being led by an organisation called Precious Plastic. They put designs for the devices on
Irrigation pipes have been designed to double as mid-air walkways to help slow lorises cross open farmland in Indonesia; and a footbridge has been built for a rare breed of monkey in Brazil - the golden lion tamarin. These are just two examples
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