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People Fixing the World

Brilliant solutions to the world’s problems. We meet people with ideas to make the world a better place and investigate whether they work.

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  • 07.07.2020
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    How to get everyone online

    From balloons in the stratosphere to swarms of satellites in space, the race to get everyone online is heating up.

    The internet may never be more useful than during the coronavirus outbreak. It provides us with the latest health information, educates our kids and lets us communicate with our loved ones face to face.

    But only half of the world’s population is online.

    Tech evangelists around the world are trying to change that. Using balloons and satellites, soon even the most remote areas on Earth will be able to log on.

    But there is more to getting everyone online than the strength of the signal. People Fixing the World investigates.

    Produced and presented by Tom Colls

    Image: Loon

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  • 30.06.2020
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    A future without bees

    Tech companies have developed drones to drop pollen on orchards or shoot it at crops through pipes from tractors.

    They’re responding to a crisis in insect pollination as studies suggest numbers of both wild pollinators and farmed bees are declining. This could have a serious knock-on effect on how we grow our fruit and veg. But some experts argue high-tech alternatives are a short-term solution to a much bigger and long-term problem.

    Presented and produced by Claire Bates

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  • 23.06.2020
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    How tech is tackling wildlife trafficking

    New technology is helping in the fight against wildlife poaching. Computer scientists have created a programme that uses artificial intelligence to predict where poachers are going to strike; a new generation of smart cameras is catching the criminals red-handed; and the latest police forensic techniques are being adapted to investigate these crimes.
    The aim is to put a stop to the illegal trade of wildlife trafficking, which is worth billions of dollars and is threatening the survival of species such as elephants, rhinos and tigers. Each year 20,000 elephants are killed for their ivory, according to WWF estimates. Reporter and producer - Richard Kenny for BBC World Service

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  • 16.06.2020
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    Personality tests for loans

    A short online test that reveals attitudes, opinions and thought processes is being used to help decide whether to give people loans.

    The idea is to use psychometric tests to give people with little or no credit history a better chance of getting support and investment.

    New ways of providing financial services are needed because 1.7 billion people have no access to any kind of formal banking facilities, according to the World Bank. Known as the unbanked, they deal only in cash. This can make it harder to reduce poverty, save money or invest for the future.

    Cheap mobile phones and good network coverage in Nigeria are also transforming the lives of people who previously only dealt in cash.

    Presented and produced by Anisa Subedar

    Picture credit: Getty Images

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  • 09.06.2020
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    Kids fixing the world

    This week we look at four brilliant inventions by children: a phone app to stop drivers missing road signs; a robot that is activated when a vulnerable person falls over; a tool to help fire departments predict the likelihood of wildfires, and a way to make your fish tank double as a vegetable patch for microgreens.

    The future engineers and scientists behind these innovations are aged between 12 and 16 and were all entrants in the UK’s Big Bang Competition. Head judge Helena Dodd joins William Kremer to discuss what makes a winning design, and what grown-ups everywhere can do to unleash the problem-solving power of the next generation.

    Reported and produced by William Kremer.

    Picture: Freddie with Fallbot

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  • 02.06.2020
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    No more bosses

    Can companies operate better without managers? We hear from people who’ve got rid of managers and say it has helped them do a better job, made them happier and saved money.

    But there are pitfalls, too. Co-ordination and hiring talent for what are usually considered top management jobs can be a challenge when there’s no traditional hierarchy.

    Produced and presented by Dina Newman.

    Picture credit: Getty Images

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  • 26.05.2020
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    The ancient technology getting a second wind

    Old ships, powered by the wind, are sailing small amounts of cargo around the world again to help cut pollution. Some of them were built more than 100 years ago. The shipping industry moves 80% of traded goods around the planet. But the diesel engines that propel modern cargo ships through the oceans burn the dirtiest type of fuel.

    Nick Holland speaks to sailors and brokers who, for the sake of the environment, are breathing new life into these vintage vessels. And he hears how new types of sails could get monster-sized modern cargo ships using the wind as well.

    Producer / Reporter: Nick Holland

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  • 19.05.2020
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    Electricity that grows on trees

    Scientists in Italy have discovered that trees generate an electrical charge every time the wind blows strongly enough to make their leaves touch one another.

    The researchers, from the Italian Institute of Technology, have managed to harvest enough energy this way to power 150 LED lights from a single leaf.

    We meet them, and others, who are trying to make use of untapped, natural sources energy.

    We hear from a project trying to produce electricity from the interaction of fresh and salt water where rivers meet the sea.

    And we talk to a geologist in Iceland, who’s helped dig nearly 5km beneath the surface of the Earth. At that depth, the temperature can be about 600C - the idea is to mine the heat and turn it into energy.

    Producer/Reporter: Daniel Gordon Picture: Getty Images

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  • 12.05.2020
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    The breath of life

    A clever invention is saving the lives of hundreds of children.

    Pneumonia kills about 1.4 million children under five every year. Treatment with concentrated oxygen could save many of them, but the machines that make it need a reliable source of electricity. Some hospitals have frequent power cuts, though, which can be fatal.

    So scientists in Australia and Uganda came up with an innovative way to produce oxygen by separating it from the rest of the air, using a vacuum created by running water.

    Then they designed special bags that can store and deliver oxygen – even when the electricity cuts out. Their systems have provided oxygen for hundreds of sick children in Uganda.

    People Fixing the World hears the story of these remarkable inventions.

    Produced and presented by Ruth Evans

    Picture credit: Peter Casamento

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  • 05.05.2020
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    A Sporting Chance

    We all know that sport is great for our health - and if you’re talented it can bring you great riches. But this week we look at how sport is changing lives and giving hope to young people leading the toughest lives.

    In Cape Town, South Africa, a British surfer noticed how kids from poor townships hardly ever went to the beach. So he started giving them free surfing lessons. Now hundreds go along each week to get “surfing therapy”. Not only is surfing giving them a buzz, it's helping to improve their life chances.

    In Afghanistan we meet the people who have brought skateboarding to the streets. As well as being an exciting challenge, it’s giving girls in particular a safe place to do sport and changing their outlook on life.

    And in one of the more deprived parts of London we find out how horse riding - a sport normally associated with the elite - is now inspiring young people from all backgrounds.

    Reporter/Producer: Richard Kenny

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  • 28.04.2020
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    The great spreadsheet in the sky

    There’s a technology on the block which has the power to change all kinds of things for the better. If that power is harnessed, it has the potential to end corruption, protect your online identity and a whole lot more. Start-up companies and charities are using it in everything from tuna supply chains to medical records and ID documents and everything in between. The technology is blockchain and on this episode of People Fixing the World, we’ll explore whether its great potential can be realised.

    Produced and presented by Tom Colls

    Image: Blockchain illustration (Getty Images)

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  • 21.04.2020
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    The farmers moving their fields indoors

    We visit farmers growing lettuce, herbs and strawberries indoors in the middle of cities. The plants are stacked up on shelves in vertical farms that use hydroponics and aeroponics to cultivate them.

    The idea is to grow food closer to where it’s eaten. At the moment, cities get most of their produce delivered from far away, but transporting it uses energy, while fruit and veg can lose their freshness in transit.

    We visit two European companies hoping to change the supply chain. One makes indoor farming units for food retailers, restaurants and hotels, and the other grows strawberries in shipping containers on the outskirts of Paris.

    We find out if these pioneers of European urban farming are able to feed our growing cities.

    Produced and presented by Dina Newman.

    Picture credit: Getty Images

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  • 14.04.2020
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    Making the world a quieter place

    People around the world are coming up with ways to make the world a quieter place, from portable sound barriers to schemes to stop people honking their car horns.

    The trouble is that noise from traffic, railways, builders, even neighbours, can have a huge impact on our health and wellbeing, according to the World Health Organization.

    One of the solutions we look at reduces decibel levels around building sites and music festivals, while another collects acoustic data to help local councils enforce laws if people are being too noisy.
    Also, a woman in India is doing her bit to reduce noise levels on the streets of Mumbai.

    Presented and produced by Anisa Subedar Picture credit: Getty Images

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  • 07.04.2020
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    The big transport swap

    Robot shuttles and buses on demand are being tested to persuade more people to use public transport. Tallinn in Estonia and Luxembourg have even made travel free.

    The aim is to tackle the impact of one billion cars on the world's roads, which have brought some cities to a virtual standstill. But in order to tempt people away from their cars new incentives are needed.

    Claire Bates tries out schemes that are being developed across Europe.

    Presented and produced by Claire Bates

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  • 31.03.2020
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    Regrowing the rainforest

    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 wood shavings and chicken manure - to cover the entire plot. That alone took about 15 years. He also travelled deep into the Amazon for days at a time, looking for seeds and plants he could rescue. Now his forest is flourishing and the wildlife has returned - it is home to snakes, toucans, monkeys and many other animals. And he is sharing what he has learned to encourage others to protect the rainforests instead of cutting them down.

    Presented and produced by Jo Mathys.

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  • 24.03.2020
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    The treasure in our toilets

    Human sewage contains lots of valuable nutrients, so should we be recycling it?

    One of these nutrients is phosphorus, a key ingredient in fertiliser. We need fertilisers to meet the demands of the planet’s growing population, but there is a limited supply of phosphorus. Once it finds its way into the sea it becomes impossible to recover.

    And yet we all excrete about half a kilogram of the stuff a year, making cities a potentially rich source of the element. In the Netherlands human sludge is already being processed to recover phosphorus and recycle it into a high-tech fertiliser which will not leach into the environment.

    Reporter: William Kremer Photo: Getty images

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  • 17.03.2020
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    How to be a better dad

    This week we’re in Rwanda, where some men are getting lessons teaching them how to look after their babies. As well as promoting gender equality it's helping to reduce the high levels of violence women there experience at the hands of their husbands and partners. People Fixing the World meets the people taking part and finds out how it works and what difference it’s making.

    Reporter Lily Freeston Executive Producer Nick Holland

    (Photo Credit: BBC)

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  • 10.03.2020
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    How they’re saving the kakapo

    It’s a flightless bird on the edge of extinction, but a team in New Zealand is trying to stop it from going the way of the dodo.

    The kakapo is a large parrot that was once common in New Zealand. But its inability to fly, strong smell and habit of freezing when attacked made it easy to hunt for both human settlers and the animals they introduced. By the mid-1990s there were only 51 left.

    The remaining birds were moved to an island and a recovery operation began – looking at every aspect of the animals’ lives to try to boost the population. Twenty-five years on and the kakapo are at the centre of an elaborate breeding programme. There are monitors that measure the jiggle of mating birds, “smart eggs” to replace the ones removed for rearing and even a sperm-carrying drone.

    People Fixing the World looks at what it takes to bring a bird back from the brink.

    Presenter: Tom Colls Reporter: Alison Balance

    (Photo caption: A kakapo / Photo credit: Jake Osborne, New Zealand Department of Conservation)

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  • 03.03.2020
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    Audience takeover: Your feedback

    “Fabulous idea” or “waste of money”? Clever observations from our audience about solutions we’ve covered on People Fixing the World. Many are funny and offer fresh perspectives.

    Regular listeners will know that as well as podcasts, we also make videos that we post on social media. Our viewers love to comment and ask questions, and this episode is made up of these thoughts.

    Among the solutions coming under public scrutiny today are The Dog Poo Detectives, Electric Trucks and The Glasses Made From Coffee. Presenters Nick Holland and Kat Hawkins get through as many reviews as possible. There are some good ones, some bad ones and a few stinkers.

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  • 25.02.2020
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    A safe place to be gay

    An idea used in video games is helping LGBTQ people in the Middle East talk safely online. Coming out can be particularly hard, especially if there are no support groups to go to. As a result, the internet is sometimes the only place people feel they can be open about their sexuality, seek advice, and meet like-minded people.

    But in some countries, opening up on websites to people you’ve never met can expose you to blackmail, surveillance, even police entrapment and prosecution. So one woman has come up with a solution - she has built a website that uses gaming software to protect its users.

    We hear from her and users who say the site has transformed their lives.

    Produced by Jo Mathys

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  • 18.02.2020
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    Meet the neighbours

    People living in this block of flats sign a contract to socialise together for at least two hours a week.

    The new housing experiment in Sweden is aimed at the two age groups most likely to feel lonely: under-25s and pensioners. A former home for the elderly has been given a revamp, creating plenty of communal areas designed to encourage mingling between the different generations.

    While loneliness can happen wherever you live, it is a big talking point in Sweden where more than half of all households only have one occupant and it is common to rent an apartment by yourself as soon as you leave school.

    Maddy Savage meets tenants taking part in the shared living experiment and looks at other solutions designed to help young Swedes who are lonely.

    Reporter: Maddy Savage

    (Photo Credit: BBC)

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  • 11.02.2020
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    The good lads

    Men and boys are being taught how to tackle some of the uncomfortable truths about everyday sexism.

    Many don’t realise the extent of the problem - cat-calling, unwelcome comments and dominating behaviour are all things that women across the world put up with on a daily basis.

    This week’s solution looks at a project called the Good Lad Initiative in the UK, which is trying to help men understand why it happens and how they can help change things. It also helps them to improve their relationships with other men and challenge traditional values.

    Robbie Wojciechowski meets ambassadors for the group as they train and he finds out how positive masculinity workshops are creating communities of men who want to help in the fight for equality.

    Produced by Robbie Wojciechowski for BBC World Service.

    (Photo credit: Good Lad Initiative)

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  • 04.02.2020
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    The miracle cure: Exercise

    If exercise were a drug, almost every single person on Earth would be prescribed it in the later years of their lives. The health benefits for older people are massive – it can help reduce the risk of dementia, type 2 diabetes, some types of cancer, depression, heart disease and more.

    But not enough older people are getting the benefits of this “miracle cure” – as the UK and Ireland’s Academy of Medical Royal Colleges describe it. They are living out their retirements suffering from chronic illnesses, while health services struggle with the costs of looking after an aging population.

    Where there’s a problem, though, People Fixing the World finds a solution. Around the world, imaginative projects are springing up to try to get older people exercising. We hear from veteran cheerleaders in South Korea, walking footballers in the UK and the mayor giving out free gym vouchers in Finland.

    Reporters: Tom Colls, Olivia Lang and Erika Benke

    (Photo Caption: An older person exercising / Photo Credit: Getty Images)

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  • 28.01.2020
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    Fighting depression together

    Women in Uganda are learning how to treat their neighbours for depression. That’s because there aren’t enough resources for professional care, especially for people from poor backgrounds.

    An organisation called StrongMinds sets up group therapy sessions across the country, and when clients come out of depression, some are trained to run courses for other women.

    People Fixing the World visits a session in Kampala to see how it works and meet women whose lives have changed dramatically.

    Produced by Reha Kansara for the BBC World Service

    (Photo credit: Kwagala DeLovie)

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  • 21.01.2020
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    Running to do good

    What if all the energy used at the gym was directed towards helping others, rather than lifting useless weights and running nowhere on a treadmill? That thought struck Ivo Gormley 10 years ago. So instead of running on a treadmill, he started running to see an elderly person twice a week. A few friends liked his idea, and the Good Gym was born.

    Today, you can find the organisation in more than 50 areas across the UK. It combines fitness with volunteering. One of its activities involves younger members running to visit older people - both groups can be at risk of feeling lonely and isolated, particularly in big cities. People are also invited to work on community projects - a group runs to the job together, helps out, then runs back. It has been particularly successful at attracting women who tend to exercise less than men.

    Reporter Dina Newman

    (Photo credit: Good Gym)

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  • 14.01.2020
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    Forecasting volcanoes

    As thousands of people are moved in the evacuation of the area around the Taal volcano in the Philippines, Ecuador - which has more than 20 active volcanoes - is looking at how to protect people there.

    A scientist based in Quito has designed a system to forecast dangerous activity. The Red Cross is working closely with him, so they can now warn people of potential disaster further in advance - giving a bigger time window in which to move themselves and livestock, and get medical backup in place.

    It is part of a radical rethink in the way humanitarian aid is delivered, using forecasts to give people more warning and help them prepare before nature strikes. But funding a project like this means asking donors to donate cash to a disaster which may never happen.

    Reporter Jo Mathys

    (Photo credit: Red Cross)

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  • 07.01.2020
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    The pharmacists fighting high drug prices

    If you had a rare disease and the only drug that could help you suddenly shot up in price how would you feel? What if your health service or insurer decided it was too expensive and they wouldn’t fund it any more? This is the problem facing some patients in the Netherlands.

    In order to encourage pharmaceutical companies to invest in developing drugs for rare diseases, the EU allows them to have a 10-year monopoly. The number of these drugs has risen as a result, but the way the rules are written has created a problem. Pharma companies have been able to re-register old drugs that were used for other diseases and then, with their legal monopoly, raise the price significantly.

    While some countries might accept the price rise, the Netherlands hasn’t, and small-scale pharmacists there are stepping in. They’re making small quantities of some of the drugs themselves and giving them to patients, at a fraction of the cost.

    People Fixing the World hears from the patients, pharmacists and big pharma companies who are trying to find a way forward.

    Reporter: Charlotte Horn

    (Photo Credit: Marleen Kemper)

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  • 31.12.2019
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    How to move the Earth

    Using lasers or asteroids to move our planet away from the sun may sound extreme, but a few scientists have come up with plans to do just that.

    The sun’s power is slowly increasing. Over the next billion years or so, the extra energy is going to boil off the oceans and make the earth inhospitable.

    Given the timescales involved, you might think this is someone else’s problem. But such is the human enthusiasm for problem-solving, potential solutions have been found - from shooting asteroids past the Earth to creating a gigantic solar sail.

    We meet the scientists who are trying to figure out how to save the planet from the sun.

    Presenter: Kat Hawkins Reporter: Tom Colls

    Image: The Earth in space. Credit: Getty Images

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  • 24.12.2019
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    Checking in with the problem solvers

    Catch up with the goats fighting forest fires in Spain and discover where else in the world they’re being used. This programme looks at what happened next to some of the people and projects we have featured in past episodes. We also revisit a scheme in Greece that’s helping people give their leftover medicines to those who can’t afford to buy them. And we check in with Majd Mashharawi who had found a way of creating brand new concrete blocks using ash and the rubble from old buildings.

    Image credit: Getty Images

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  • 17.12.2019
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    Making your deliveries greener

    We look at four clever ways to reduce carbon emissions from deliveries. Shops, offices, restaurants and homes all get lots of them every day, and this so-called “last mile” in the logistics chain can be responsible for up to 50% of our goods’ shipping carbon footprint… so what can we do to reduce it? While technology may provide part of the answer, there are also ways to radically reorganise the flow of stuff into cities. William Kremer looks at four innovative projects which attempt to solve the problem by grouping parcels together more intelligently. There are things we can all do about this problem too - William also has some tips for you to reduce the carbon cost of your deliveries.

    Reporter: William Kremer

    Picture: Getty Images

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  • 10.12.2019
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    Convicting more rapists

    Rapists often avoid conviction and people they’ve attacked can face a traumatic journey through the legal system. But special reporting centres and courts in South Africa are improving things.

    The country has set up Thuthuzela Centres which are named after a Xhosa word meaning comfort. The centres aim to create a safe, empathetic and comfortable environment where people who have been raped can get all the medical and legal care they need in one place. Most of the centres are linked to specialised sexual offences courts, which are designed to reduce the trauma survivors often face in court. Staff there are trained to understand how sexual violence affects people.

    We meet rape survivors and legal experts to find out how this approach is helping.

    Reporter Lily Freeston

    Picture: Praise Kambula, South Africa Department of Justice.

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  • 03.12.2019
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    Turning kids into entrepreneurs

    Uganda has a very young population – the median age is 16 and young people find it hard to get a job. So now children are being taught how to run their own businesses before they leave school. They learn about profit and loss, how to get investment, leadership and practical skills, such as making bags and charcoal briquettes for the communities where they live.

    Uganda has a reputation as an entrepreneurial country but, as in most places, lots of its start-ups don’t last. The organisation behind these lessons, Educate!, hopes that its programme will give children everything they need to make their businesses a success when they leave school. Now the scheme has also spread to Kenya and Rwanda.

    Reporter: Reha Kansara

    Photo credit: BBC

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  • 26.11.2019
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    Saving the World’s Ice

    Global warming is melting the world's glaciers and sea ice. In Iceland the effects can already be seen - people there recently held a funeral to mark the death of the Okjokull glacier. So scientists and engineers around the world are trying to come up with ideas to cool the planet and stop the ice from melting. One wants to spray sea water into clouds to make them whiter so they reflect more of the sun’s rays back up. Another plan is to make sea ice more reflective by spreading layers of tiny silica beads on it. Others are devising massive geoengineering projects, such as building giant sun shades in the sky and walls around sea ice to stop warm water wearing it away. But sceptics warn that projects like these are too expensive and are a distraction from the cause of the problem - and we should be focusing on reducing greenhouse gas emissions instead. Producer Hannah McNeish

    Photo: Getty Images

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  • 19.11.2019
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    Stopping abuse with protection dogs

    Almost 30% of women experience violence from a partner at some point in their lives. If they manage to escape the immediate crisis, it can be hard to get long term support to rebuild their lives, and survivors often continue to be harassed and threatened for years after leaving their abusers. A security dog firm in Spain is giving these people the confidence to restart their lives by pairing them with special protection dogs. The women train the animals, which then act as a deterrent to keep former partners away. Some critics say this tackles a symptom rather than the cause of domestic abuse, while others argue it’s a practical solution where societies are slow to change. This podcast has been updated to correct a statistic that appeared in the original version.

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  • 12.11.2019
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    How to stop fires destroying whole neighbourhoods

    Fires are common in South Africa’s informal settlements - it’s estimated that there are about 5,000 every year. They’re often caused by faulty wiring or open flames used for cooking or heating. Because the shacks are crammed in so tightly the flames can spread with frightening speed and destroy hundreds of homes.
    So a group of entrepreneurs invented a smart fire alarm for just these sorts of places. It has a sensor that spots fast increases in heat and then sends alerts to all the neighbours so they can quickly take action. They also designed insurance to help people who are affected by these fires rebuild and replace what they’ve lost. We go to one of these settlements in Cape Town and find out what difference it has made to the lives of the people living there. Reporter: Richard Kenny

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  • 05.11.2019
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    How to save the banana

    Bananas are one of the most popular fruits on the planet - more than 100 million tonnes of them are eaten every year. But on banana plantations on four continents, a deadly fungus is creeping through the soil and destroying the plants.

    Some say the end is nigh for the banana. But from Australia to Colombia and from the Philippines to the Netherlands, work is going on to stop that happening.

    We meet the farmers, scientists and gene technologists trying to find a way to save the fruit.

    Reporter: Daniel Gordon

    (Photo Credit: BBC)

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  • 29.10.2019
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    The future of freight

    Billions of tonnes of goods are moved by lorry every year – everything from food and clothes to building materials, electronic gadgets and toys.

    Most heavy-duty vehicles run on diesel and they account for a quarter of the EU’s CO2 emissions from road transport. But making eco-friendly lorries and trucks is challenging. Big vehicles need big batteries, which currently take too long to charge and take up too much room.

    So Germany is trying out a few alternatives. The eHighway system enables lorries to connect to overhead electricity cables, just like trams and trains. And while lorries are connected, smaller on-board batteries could be charged up too to power the final leg of a journey.

    The country is also investing in another technology: hydrogen. Fuel cells convert the gas into electricity and the only emissions from these vehicles are water vapour and warm air. Seventy-five hydrogen fuel pumps have already opened across the country.

    Reporter: William Kremer

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  • 22.10.2019
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    Gaming for good

    Video games are often blamed for time-wasting and violence, but there’s a group of people proving this stereotype wrong.

    We meet the scientists behind a game designed to speed up finding a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, and we speak to a teenager who plays it because “it’s something I can do to help people in my spare time”.

    Citizen science projects like this have had some remarkable successes, and gamers have been credited with significant research such as figuring out the structure of a protein that shares similarities with HIV.

    Fans of this model believe gaming has a huge part to play in the future of problem solving.

    Produced by Kathleen Hawkins

    (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

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  • 15.10.2019
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    The town rethinking the future of energy

    The city of Vaasa in western Finland has built a reputation as a centre of innovation, where energy companies are working together to try to find solutions to some of the world’s biggest problems.

    Here, there’s a quiet conviction that climate change can be stopped and a belief that technology emerging from this area will help us make the shift to renewable forms of energy.

    We meet the people behind a giant engine that can run on a variety of non-fossil fuels, hear about a portable plant that turns waste into energy and speak to scientists developing man-made fuels to replace oil and gas.

    We also check out a company creating a new type of battery which it hopes will one day be able to store enough power to meet the needs of a whole city.

    Reporter and producer: Erika Benke

    (Photo credit: BBC)

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  • 08.10.2019
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    Shopping for a better life

    Imagine a grocery shop selling all your basic goods at a discounted price… and if you buy enough you also get free health insurance. It might seem too good to be true, but stores like this have been introduced at some factories in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

    Social entrepreneur Saif Rashid is trying to get better health care to some of the millions of garment factory workers who are on low wages. For them, to lose a day’s pay by taking time off sick can be disastrous and affording decent health care is almost impossible.

    Now, with this scheme, they can get health insurance at the same time as getting discounts on their shopping. We find out how it’s changed some workers’ lives and why some people don’t take up the opportunity.

    Reporter: Chhavi Sachdev Producer: Tom Colls

    (Photo Credit: BBC)

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  • 01.10.2019
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    Turning waste into energy

    Where there are humans, there’s waste. About two billion tonnes of garbage was produced in 2016, and the amount we generate is increasing. A lot of it ends up in unmanaged dumps or landfill sites. Much of it can’t be reused or recycled, but instead of seeing it go to “waste” some cement factories are using it to create energy.

    In this episode, People Fixing the World also looks at how tourists can help conservationists protect animals, such as lions, cheetahs and hyenas. All they have to do is share their holiday photos.

    Reporters: Nick Holland and Jamie Ryan

    (Photo Caption: Getty images)

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  • 24.09.2019
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    Spotting the sound of a cardiac arrest

    If you have a cardiac arrest you need help immediately to have any chance of surviving.

    That’s why emergency call operators ask questions specifically designed to identify the condition, ideally within 90 seconds.

    Panicked and emotional callers don't always give simple answers, though, and evidence suggests cardiac arrests go unidentified in at least a quarter of emergency calls.

    In Denmark, a team of computer engineers is using new technology to listen in on emergency phone calls and look for clues in the conversation that the operator may have missed.

    We visit an emergency call centre in the Danish capital to see the system in action and find out if a computer really can detect cardiac arrests faster than humans working alone.

    Producer / Reporter: Sam Judah Photo Credit: Getty Images

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  • 17.09.2019
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    The snakebite squad

    It's estimated that a person dies from a snakebite every five minutes. Many more people face life-changing injuries, losing limbs and consequently their livelihoods.

    Antivenoms are expensive to make and are in short supply, particularly in remote communities where they are needed the most. And what’s more, snakebites in different parts of the world need different types of antivenoms. Many of the current treatments available in sub-Saharan Africa have been developed from snakes in Asia, but antivenom made to treat Indian snakebites won’t work as well on people bitten by snakes in Africa.

    Now a new research facility in Kenya is trying to develop better antivenoms from African snakes.
    And they've launched a motorbike snakebite ambulance service too, to get people who have been bitten to hospital fast.

    (Photo Credit: BBC)

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  • 10.09.2019
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    Meeting Colombia’s ‘Violentologist’

    For the past 20 years, police chiefs and policy makers around the world have been fascinated by an idea: that violence spreads through cities like a disease, with patterns of clustering and transmission, and opportunities to inoculate communities against it.

    Violence-reduction programmes, influenced by epidemiology, have been implemented in Chicago, Glasgow and - most recently - London. But before these initiatives, a link between violence and disease was made by a Colombian doctor called Rodrigo Guerrero.

    When Guerrero became mayor of Cali in Colombia in 1992, the city was in crisis. It was the height of a war between the Cali and Medellin drug cartels with the homicide rate reaching a shocking 120 per 100,000 people.

    Guerrero’s approach was not to wage a war against the cartels, or to cave into corruption. Instead, he used his knowledge as a Harvard-trained epidemiologist to gather data about the exact causes of homicide, make hypotheses, and try interventions. “I was no longer an epidemiologist, but a violentologist,” he recalls.

    In this programme Dr Guerrero gives reporter William Kremer a tour of his city and explains his approach.

    Reporter: William Kremer

    (Photo Caption: Dr Rodrigo Guerrero / Photo Credit: BBC)

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  • 03.09.2019
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    A new way to detect an invisible poison in water

    In the 1970s hundreds of thousands of wells were dug across Bangladesh to give people access to cholera-free water. But this led to what the World Health Organization has called the largest mass poisoning of a population in history, worse than Chernobyl. That’s because the water in the wells wasn’t tested for arsenic. Decades on, it’s a major problem. The WHO says more than 35 million Bangladeshis have been chronically exposed to arsenic in their drinking water, and about 40,000 die of arsenicosis every year. The field test for it is inaccurate and prone to human error. Most Bangladeshis drink from wells in their back yards which haven’t been tested for years, if at all. But now a gadget is being developed which will allow anyone to test a well cheaply, instantly and accurately. The scientific key to it is a tiny enzyme, found inside a bacterium affectionately known as Mr Tickle, which was discovered in an Australian gold mine.

    Reporters: Chhavi Sachdev and Jo Mathys

    (Photo Credit: BBC)

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  • 27.08.2019
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    Oysters to the rescue

    Pollution, overfishing and oxygen depletion are damaging coastal waters across the world. Often fish and other marine life are the victims, but scientists are using one surprising creature to help solve the problem – the oyster.

    Oysters eat some chemical pollutants and fight algae blooms, which can have a damaging effect on biodiversity.

    A group of teachers and scientists in New York is trying to reintroduce a billion of them into the harbour to make it a healthier, cleaner environment and strengthen the shoreline.

    Another team based in France is strapping wires to oysters’ shells around oil rigs to monitor how often they open and close. That gives them vital information about how pollution levels are changing.

    Reporter/ producer Jamie Ryan

    (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

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  • 20.08.2019
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    The concrete cleaners

    Concrete is the most used man-made product in the world but it comes with a heavy environmental price. Between 5% and 7% of the world's annual carbon emissions come from producing the cement that glues concrete together. Most of these climate-changing gases are released when a vital ingredient, limestone, is melted down in the manufacturing process. But one company has devised a new type of cement that only solidifies when you pump carbon dioxide into it. The gas becomes locked in as it turns to concrete. This is similar to the way carbon dioxide has been stored in rocks by nature over millions of years. As Nick Holland reports, it's one of the solutions the industry could use to mitigate its impact on the environment.

    (Photo Credit: BBC)

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  • 13.08.2019
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    Bangladesh’s biker girls

    For the growing number of working women in Dhaka, commuting to work can be a challenge.

    The traffic is terrible and cars and taxis are expensive. Public transport is not only inconvenient, it is sometimes unsafe - many women face unwanted sexual attention on buses.

    So after his wife was harassed by a taxi driver, one young entrepreneur set up a motorbike ride-share service with a difference. Not only are the customers all women, the drivers are too.

    Reporter Chhavi Sachdev meets some brave women finding new ways to navigate Bangladeshi traffic and society.

    (Photo Caption: Kobita on her scooter / Photo Credit: BBC)

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  • 06.08.2019
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    Putting a price on carbon

    For most of human history, pumping carbon dioxide into the air has come free of charge. Burning fossil fuels powered the industrial revolution and powers most industries to this day.

    But all that carbon stays up in the atmosphere and dealing with the consequences won’t be free. The cost of climate change stretches beyond the lives lost in natural disasters. There will be a huge economic cost - to pay for sea defences, put out forest fires and care for millions of climate refugees.

    Around the world, governments and businesses are finding different ways of putting a price on the carbon that industries pump out. They’re trying to change how the global economy operates, by making industry pay for the harm their carbon emissions cause.

    Reporter: Tom Colls

    (Photo Caption: A cloud and money / Photo Credit: Getty Images)

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  • 30.07.2019
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    A simple way to help a relative if they’re arrested

    In the US most people who are charged with a crime can’t afford expensive lawyers and investigators to prepare their case. The public defenders who represent them usually have heavy workloads and limited resources. Family and friends would often like to help but don’t know how.

    So a group in California is trying to make things fairer by teaching them how the legal system works and explaining what they can do. It shows them how to dissect police reports, put together a social biography for the defendant and get crucial evidence for their lawyer.

    Started in San Jose, California, the model is now being used across the US and beyond.

    We hear from people whose lives have been transformed by this approach.

    Presenter: Nick Holland Producer: Claire Bates

    (Photo Credit: Silicon Valley De-Bug)

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  • 23.07.2019
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    Stopping child marriage with solar lanterns

    It’s estimated that more than 100 million girls under the age of 18 will be married in the next decade.

    One country that’s trying to end the practice of child marriage is Ethiopia. There, the Berhane Hewan programme, meaning ‘Light for Eve’ in Amharic, promises families a solar-powered light if their daughter remains unmarried and in school until she’s at least 18. This approach is known as a conditional asset transfer.

    The solar lanterns enable girls to study after dark and they can also be used to charge mobile phones, which is particularly useful in remote areas with no electricity. Girls are taught to make money from the lanterns by charging neighbours to power up their mobile phones too.

    People Fixing the World visits Dibate, a small village in western Ethiopia. More than 600 girls in this part of the country have received a solar lamp.

    Reported by Lily Freeston Produced by Ruth Evans and Hadra Ahmed

    (Photo Credit: BBC)

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  • 16.07.2019
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    Trieste’s mental health ‘revolution’

    Each year, mental health practitioners from around the world visit Trieste in Italy to see what they can learn from the city’s approach to mental illness.

    In 1978, Trieste led a ‘revolution’ in Italian mental health care by closing its asylums and ending the restraint of patients. Today the city is designated as a ‘collaboration centre’ by the World Health Organization in recognition of its pioneering work.

    Reporter Ammar Ebrahim visits Trieste to see how the system works - from the informal community centres where people can drop in and stay as long as they need, to the businesses that offer career opportunities for those who have been through the system.

    We hear about the city’s policy of ‘no locked doors’, and ask how Trieste deals with patients other societies may deem ‘dangerous’.

    Presenter: Tom Colls Producer: Sam Judah

    (Photo Caption: “Freedom is therapeutic” written on a wall in Trieste / Photo Credit: BBC)

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  • 09.07.2019
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    The school that puts wellbeing first

    On average, one in eight children in the UK has a mental health disorder – that’s about three children in every classroom. Yet there are just 4.5 psychiatrists for every 100,000 young people - that’s fewer than most other European countries. With the UK’s mental health provision for children so stretched, help often ends up coming from families and schools.

    One school in London has actively taken up this challenge. Highgate Primary School has developed a unique system in which dozens of children can get one-to-one sessions with trainee therapists, while some struggling parents are also offered support. The school has redesigned its playground so children can find areas that fit their mood, and it has given over more time to activities such as gardening, cooking and drama.

    Today’s programme features some of the children that have benefited from these ideas – but can other schools replicate them?

    Reporter: William Kremer

    (Photo Credit: BBC)

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  • 02.07.2019
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    Residents turn detective to fight crime

    Neighbours in the US are using cameras that read car number plates to record vehicles driving down their streets. When there’s a crime they check through the footage and pass any leads on to the police. But critics say the Flock Safety system, run by a private company, is open to abuse and warn of privacy concerns. Is it too risky to encourage residents to do police work, or a realistic response to under-resourced law enforcement?

    Presenter: Tom Colls Producer: Claire Bates

    (Photo Credit: BBC)

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  • 25.06.2019
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    Life-saving surgery, but not by a doctor

    More than five billion people around the world don’t have access to safe, affordable surgical care. It has been a big problem in Ethiopia where most specialist doctors are concentrated in the cities, contributing to high rates of maternal mortality.

    In 2009 the Ethiopian government began training Integrated Emergency Surgical Officers. Health workers, such as nurses and midwives, are taught to perform emergency operations in remote, rural clinics where there are no surgeons. It was the first programme of its kind and is seen as a model for other developing countries.

    More than 800 surgical officers have now completed the three-year Masters programme and are performing hundreds of caesareans and other emergency procedures each year.

    People Fixing The World follows one of them, Seida Guadu, as she operates to try to save the lives of a mother and her unborn child.

    Reporter: Ruth Evans Producers: Lily Freeston and Hadra Ahmed

    (Picture credit: BBC)

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  • 18.06.2019
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    Portugal, drugs and decriminalisation

    In the 1990s Portugal had a major heroin problem, and when it came to people injecting drugs it had one of the highest rates of HIV infection in the EU. It took a radical approach and decriminalised all personal drug use.

    The law introduced in 2001 means people carrying drugs for personal consumption aren’t prosecuted - instead they are referred to health and social services to receive treatment, and the focus is on harm reduction.

    And the strategy worked. The number of people using drugs fell dramatically, new HIV and Hepatitis C infections dropped and drug-related crime became much less of a problem.

    So why haven’t more countries followed their lead and adopted this model?

    Produced by Hannah McNeish for BBC World Service

    (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

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  • 11.06.2019
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    Can capturing carbon buy us time to tackle climate change?

    To prevent the worst effects of climate change, we need to massively cut how much carbon we pump into the atmosphere. But those carbon cuts might not happen in time, so another approach may be needed.

    Around the world, scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs are working on ways to give us more time to change our way of life. They’re developing technologies and techniques that effectively do climate change in reverse. Instead of pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, they suck it in and store it.

    These projects range from using rock dust for “enhanced weathering” to trap carbon in farmers’ fields, to the power station attempting to capture it on its way up the chimney.

    We go on a tour of these projects to see if they offer hope for the future.

    Producer and reporter: Tom Colls

    Photo Caption: Carbon dioxide illustration / Photo Credit: Getty Images

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  • 04.06.2019
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    Can sleep deprivation help treat bipolar disorder?

    People diagnosed with bipolar disorder are commonly treated with a variety of drugs. They aren’t always effective and can come with a range of side effects.

    For several decades, an Italian psychiatrist has been pioneering a different approach. By asking his patients to stay awake for 36 hours three times over the course of a week – and combining the counterintuitive idea with bright light therapy and lithium – he has found that some of them demonstrate a remarkable improvement in mood, which can last indefinitely.

    The therapy has caught the attention of researchers across the world, and new trials are being carried out, but the idea is not without its critics.

    Sam Judah spends a week with a cohort of patients as they undergo sleep deprivation treatment at the San Raffaele hospital in Milan, and tries to find out if it is effective.

    Producer: Sam Judah

    (Photo caption: Francesco Benedetti / Photo credit: BBC)

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  • 28.05.2019
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    Audience takeover: Your plastic solutions

    We hear what you, our listeners, are doing to tackle the problem of plastic waste. The idea came about when you started getting in touch after a previous episode asking why we don’t reuse and refill the plastic containers we’ve already got. (The Reuse and Refill Revolution: Tuesday 23 April.) Since then you’ve sent lots of alternative ideas and suggestions. Nick Holland and Kat Hawkins hear from shoppers cutting down on packaging by buying in bulk, people organising litter-picking trips to clean up plastic from the desert and an idea to create giant floating plastic pontoons as platforms for new housing. There are some surprising tips too, like from the woman who reuses empty pet food sachets to store her pre-cooked meals in the freezer and the man who melts down his own plastic waste and turns it into fence posts.

    Presenters Kat Hawkins / Nick Holland Producer Nick Holland

    (Photo credit: Getty Images)

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  • 21.05.2019
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    Reinventing the ranch

    It’s not a good time to be a meat eater. Pressure is growing to tackle climate change – and the livestock sector produces 15% of global greenhouse emissions, with cattle farming accounting for two thirds of that. Not only do cows produce damaging methane gas, but creating pasture for the animals has led to widespread deforestation.

    Nowhere is this more evident than in Colombia: 34 million hectares of land there is devoted to cattle ranching. The land that’s been cleared to graze cattle is often left without trees, meaning the soil quickly becomes arid and useless.

    Now an ambitious project aims to demonstrate that cattle ranching can be ecologically sound. An expert team is helping more than 4,000 farmers dramatically remodel their land. Instead of open fields, they are planting trees and shrubs, and allowing small plants to grow among the grass.

    This more intensive planting helps to store carbon and provides a healthier diet for cows, meaning they produce less methane and more milk and meat. But are other cattle farmers likely to follow suit and adopt this “silvopastoral” approach?

    Presenter: Kat Hawkins Reporter: William Kremer

    (Photo credit: BBC)

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  • 14.05.2019
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    Working Less For The Same Pay

    Matsuri Takahashi was 24 when she died. She took her own life after doing more than 100 hours overtime a month at a large advertising company in Japan.

    She was a victim of karoshi - dying as a result of overwork. It’s a phenomenon that’s well known in Japan where stories of employees working ridiculously long hours – sometimes until four or five in the morning - are common.

    The government has introduced a new law to limit overtime, although critics say it doesn’t go far enough and the whole working culture needs to change.

    Working long hours doesn’t necessarily mean more work gets done, so elsewhere, a company in New Zealand has reduced hours without cutting pay. Staff are given a day off each week if they can get five days’ work done in four. Should we all be doing this?

    Presenter: Nick Holland Reporters: Jamie Ryan and Mariko Oi

    (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

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  • 07.05.2019
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    Could a device invented in the 1930s help end period poverty?

    Period poverty affects girls and women across the world who can’t afford to buy sanitary pads or tampons each month. So what are the alternatives? We look at two very different solutions.

    In a refugee camp in Jordan, we follow one woman as she tries to get a sanitary pad micro-factory off the ground. While in Malawi, they’re handing out menstrual cups to teenagers - which last for 10 years and don’t produce any waste.

    Presenter: Vibeke Venema Producer: Tom Colls

    (Photo Caption: A menstrual cup / Photo Credit: Getty Images)

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  • 30.04.2019
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    The tree detectives tackling illegal logging

    If you examine the atoms in a piece of wood, you can tell to the nearest 10km where it has come from. Environmental factors, such as the climate, affect trees as they grow and that signature remains in the wood after it is processed.

    An international group of scientists is hoping to use this information to tackle illegal logging, which contributes to a loss of biodiversity and costs governments billions of dollars in lost revenues each year.

    It’s thought that up to 30% of timber on the global market comes from illegally-sourced wood, and ends up as all sorts of items in shops around the world.

    Now, stable isotope analysis is being used to identify the unique profile of these products. And when scientists find items don’t come from the place specified on the label, the information can be used to hold shops accountable.

    We visit the wood archive at Kew Gardens and speak to experts using this technology to help stem the flow of illegally-smuggled timber and protect the planet’s endangered forests.

    Presenter: Tom Colls Reporter and Producer: Nicola Kelly

    (Photo Caption: Logging in the Amazon / Photo Credit: Getty Images)

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  • 23.04.2019
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    The reuse and refill revolution

    Should we reuse and refill plastic packaging to limit the amount being thrown away? Nick Holland looks at different ways people are trying to make this happen. One idea is to take used containers back to the supermarkets where, in the future, giant vending machines could refill them. But the scale of the challenge is huge and getting consumers to change their shopping habits will be hard.

    Presenter: Tom Colls Producer and Reporter: Nick Holland

    (Photo Credit: BBC)

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  • 16.04.2019
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    DNA tests for dogs to tackle problem poo

    The average dog produces about 124kg of poo every year, but not all of that gets picked up and disposed of properly.

    So people living in many residential blocks in the US have had their dogs’ DNA registered on a database, in an attempt to tackle problem poo. If they don’t pick up after their dog, a sample of what’s left behind is sent off to a lab so the perpetrator can be identified.

    The company behind the tests says it works well in private, gated communities but what about public parks and pavements?

    Could other solutions, such as offering rewards for picking up poo, or posting dog mess backs to the owners, work in the long term?

    And we hear how Ontario in Canada is collecting dog poo to turn it into energy.

    Presenter: Kat Hawkins Reporters: Ros Tamblyn and Claire Bates

    (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

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  • 09.04.2019
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    The great mosquito swap

    Every year, it’s estimated that nearly 400 million people around the world are infected with dengue fever, a potentially fatal illness that’s passed on by mosquitoes.

    No vaccine is effective at preventing people catching the disease, but what if the mosquitoes themselves were treated to stop them spreading it?

    In one city that is severely affected – Medellin in Colombia — an ambitious project is underway to swap wild mosquitoes for a variety that is identical in every way, but with one crucial difference. These mosquitoes have been bred from specimens injected with bacteria that make it impossible to transmit not just dengue, but also the Zika and chikungunya viruses, and Yellow Fever.

    Buoyed by successful projects in Australia, the World Mosquito Program is releasing millions of newly-minted mosquitoes across Medellin, in the hope that they will replace the wild population.

    And to reassure the public, schoolchildren are being taught to love mosquitoes, and even to breed them — a message that contradicts what they’ve been brought up to believe.

    Presenter: Tom Colls Reporter / Producer: William Kremer

    (Photo Caption: The Aedes Aegyptii Mosquito / Photo Credit: Getty Images)

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  • 02.04.2019
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    The mums saving each other from a taboo condition

    "Get rid of the girl who smells" - this is the reaction thousands of traumatised new mothers face every year. A prolonged or obstructed childbirth can lead to a condition called obstetric fistula, where women are left incontinent, continually leaking urine and faeces. Without treatment they often become socially isolated.

    But in Madagascar, some women who have successfully been treated for fistula become patient ambassadors. They travel on foot to remote villages to find and help others with the same condition. They personally accompany them to clinics to get life-changing surgery and support. Afterwards, those women return to their villages and begin campaigning for other women to seek care.

    Many medical organisations around the world are waking up to the power of the patient's voice - patient ambassadors can resonate with vulnerable groups in a way that other kinds of outreach can't.

    Reporter/ Producer: Amelia Martyn-Hemphill

    (Photo Caption: Felicia - a patient ambassador in Madagascar / Photo Credit: BBC)

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  • 26.03.2019
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    Can phages save us as antibiotics stop working?

    Tens of thousands of people die every year because bacterial infections are becoming resistant to antibiotics. That number is expected to explode, as more antibiotics stop working, making antimicrobial resistance, or AMR, one of the gravest health threats facing humanity.

    But could viruses come to the rescue? Bacteriophages, or phages for short, are viruses that infect and kill bacteria. They were discovered 100 years ago and have been used to treat infections for decades in Georgia. But despite their abundance in nature and proven ability to kill infections, their potential has not yet been realised outside the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.

    Steffanie Strathdee, who stumbled across phages as she tried to save her husband’s life, is now leading a campaign to put phages on the map. But can their use be scaled up from individual and costly treatments to a fully-operational weapon in the war against AMR?

    Reporter: Tom Colls

    (Photo Caption: A phage under an electron microscope / Photo Credit: University of Leicester)

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  • 19.03.2019
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    The digital detectives tackling child sexual abuse

    Europol, the EU's law enforcement agency, is taking an innovative approach to solving disturbing crimes.

    It holds more than 40 million images of child sexual abuse. In many cases the perpetrators remain at large, and their victims unidentified.

    By posting parts of those photos online - with the abusers and their victims removed - they are hoping members of the public can help them find out where the crimes took place, and so trace the perpetrators.

    Around the world, ordinary people are combing over the photos, using online tools and local knowledge to uncover fresh clues - and the results can be remarkable.

    Sam Judah meets the digital detectives trying to geolocate the places where the photos were taken, and asks Europol how their work can lead to the prosecution of criminals.

    Presenter: Kat Hawkins Reporter: Sam Judah

    (Photo Caption: Europol is asking for help identifying this location / Photo Credit: Via Europol)

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  • 12.03.2019
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    Crossing divides in Cyprus

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, but a community centre is bringing Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots together in the buffer zone between the two sides.

    Cyprus has been a divided island since 1974, with Turkish Cypriots living in the north and Greek Cypriots in the south. The two communities have been able to cross the island at police checkpoints since 2003, but memories of past conflict have held many back.

    However, one unique community centre is bringing people together right in the buffer zone that divides the two sides. Staffed by both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, the Home for Co-operation encourages people to meet and form friendships through shared interests, from djembe drumming to salsa classes. It hosts projects and groups trying to stop old prejudices taking root in the younger generation. It also provides a base for businesses and social enterprises, all seeking to melt decades of distrust.

    But how big a difference can one centre make on an island of one million people, in the face of political problems and personal trauma?

    Presenter: Nick Holland Produced: Claire Bates

    (Photo Caption: Lefki Lambrou and Hayriye Rüzgar / Photo Credit: BBC)

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  • 05.03.2019
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    Last video messages to help children grieve

    Children who lose a parent may struggle to come to terms with this for the rest of their lives. In the UK about one in 20 children will lose a parent before the age of 16. In other countries, the figure is even higher. However, Gaby Eirew thinks she has a solution that can help. She works in counselling, often dealing with childhood trauma. Using that experience she has created a free app that has been downloaded in more than 30 countries around the world. It helps parents to create an archive of “selfie-style” videos on their phone, for their children to watch in the future. The app prompts parents to address the questions she has consistently found bereaved children want answered. Not all are what you might expect.

    Presenter: Kathleen Hawkins Reporter: Dougal Shaw Producer: Alison Gee

    (Photo Caption: Gaby Eirew / Photo Credit: BBC)

    Contains extracts from the song “Never Forget” by Sky, recorded by Indi B Productions

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  • 26.02.2019
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    Turning old clothes into new ones

    It’s estimated that 400 billion square metres of fabric are made every year – enough to cover Germany – for the fashion industry. The sector produces a similar amount of greenhouse gases to the international airline and shipping industries combined.

    The two most-used materials are cotton and polyester. Growing cotton requires a vast amount of land and water, and often chemicals too. Polyester is a by-product of the oil industry which has a massive environmental impact.

    But after clothing has been used, just 1% of it is recycled in a way that means it can be turned into other clothes. Much of what’s left ends up in landfill or is burned.

    What if that were to change and new clothes could easily be made out of old ones? Companies across the world are trying to “close the loop” in the fashion industry, developing chemical processes to turn used fabric back into materials that can be used again.

    Sweden’s Re:newcell is transforming old cotton into useable material, while the UK’s Worn Again has come up with a process to enable the re-use of blended textiles.

    But are these processes viable? Will turning old pants into new shirts save the planet – or is the solution something much deeper?

    Presenter: Nick Holland Producer: Jamie Ryan

    (Photo Caption: Clothes at a textile sorting depot / Photo Credit: BBC)

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  • 19.02.2019
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    Predicting suicide

    About 800,000 people take their own lives every year, that’s one person every 40 seconds, according to the World Health Organization.

    For decades, doctors and researchers have tried to establish the key risk factors that identify someone as being at risk of suicide - depression, drug addiction and low social support have all been proposed - but research shows that no one variable gives doctors a useful steer.

    This makes it very difficult for mental health professionals to predict who might try to kill themselves.

    Now the psychologist Joseph Franklin is trying a new approach: to utilise machine learning to spot patterns in how hundreds of variables come together to put an individual at higher risk of suicide. He has developed a computer algorithm that is able to spot the subtle interplay of factors and make much more accurate suicide predictions. At the same time, researchers in the US are developing programmes that scan social media posts for signs that a town may be about to experience a higher rate of suicide than normal.

    But how should these tools be used by doctors and public health bodies? And is there a risk that even as machines begin to understand suicide, doctors will remain in the dark about how to help their patients, and when?

    Presenter: Nick Holland Reporter: William Kremer

    (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

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  • 12.02.2019
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    ‘No Men Allowed’ – The Gym Getting Women Fit and into Work

    In 2006, Turkish entrepreneur Bedriye Hülya set up her first women-only gym, b-fit. It’s cheap to join and is now a successful chain.

    Many women in Turkey don’t feel comfortable exercising alongside men and their male relatives may not allow them to use mixed gyms, so b-fit is a place where they can go.

    Women in Turkey are more likely to be overweight than men, according to government statistics, and the World Health Organization says nearly two thirds don’t get enough exercise.

    All the gyms are staffed and run by women so the company says it’s creating jobs in a country where just 34% of women work.

    But some feminists feel that separating men and women is not the way forward, and women should be made to feel welcome everywhere.

    We went to Istanbul to see how the business works.

    Presenter: Kat Hawkins Reporter: Neyran Elden Producer: Vibeke Venema

    (Image Credit: BBC)

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  • 05.02.2019
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    How Nepal Doubled its Tiger Population

    Over the past 10 years, Nepal has almost doubled its population of Bengal tigers – it’s estimated the country now has 235 of the magnificent beasts. After years of decline, a combination of smart strategies has turned the tide.

    The army runs anti-poacher teams, using CCTV, data monitoring and elephant patrols. Income from tourism is channelled to communities bordering the park to build fences to protect them from wildlife and create business opportunities to make poaching less attractive. And the delicate forest ecosystem is managed and expanded, with jungle highways connecting the national parks.

    We go on a forest safari to see how it all works.

    Presenter: Amelia Martyn-Hemphill Reporter: Tom Colls

    (Image Caption: A tiger / Image Credit: Getty Images)

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  • 29.01.2019
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    The shopping mall where everything is recycled

    There are 14 specialist shops at the Retuna shopping mall in Eskilstuna, Sweden, but they all have one thing in common. Every item for sale in the shopping centre is second-hand. The clever thing about this mall is its location. It is right next to the city’s refuse and recycling centre. When people come to drop off mattresses and cardboard, they also pass by the mall’s basement to leave unwanted items that can be resold – or indeed items that can be ‘upcycled’, given a new lease of life as a different kind of object. Every shop is run as a money-making business, rather than a charity. The mall also hosts a college that offers a one-year certified course in upcycling, hoping to inspire a new generation of entrepreneurs who believe in sustainability. Presiding over the whole enterprise is Anna Bergstrom. Her mission is to make second-hand shopping a mainstream experience – even one that’s a little bit glamorous.

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  • 22.01.2019
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    The Turkish App to Help Autistic Children Learn

    There are an estimated 350,000 autistic children in Turkey, but only 20,000 to 30,000 of those children are thought to be in education.

    And because of stigma around the condition, many parents are reluctant to get a diagnosis.

    Zafer Elcik’s younger brother is autistic and was unable to read or write. But Zafer noticed that while his brother’s attention span was usually very short, he would happily spend an hour playing on his smartphone. So Zafer created Otsimo, an app with a range of games, to help his brother read and write. Now Otsimo has 100,000 users in Turkey, the US and Canada.

    Otsimo says it’s “democratising education” for people with special needs. But can an app really make much difference?

    Presenter: Nick Holland Reporter: Vibeke Venema

    Image Caption: Alper and Zafer Elcik Image Credit: BBC

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  • 15.01.2019
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    The Talent Show for Honest People

    In this talent show, it doesn’t matter if you can sing or dance, the winner just has to be honest and good at their job. It’s called Integrity Idol and the aim is to “name and fame” honest government workers - people who reject corruption and refuse to take bribes. The idea is that this creates positive role models to change society for the better.

    The competition is being run in seven countries around the world. Hundreds of candidates are found from each country, a panel of judges choses the five best, and the public votes on the winner.

    World Hacks visits the final of the competition in Nepal and asks what difference this approach can make.

    Reporter: Tom Colls

    Image Caption: The winner of Integrity Idol Image Credit: BBC

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  • 08.01.2019
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    Does the world need more babies?

    People in many parts of the world are having fewer babies than they were 60 years ago, and that’s worrying some countries.

    So in order to maintain the proportion of people of working age, governments have come up with campaigns to try to get people to have more children. Polish couples have been encouraged to “breed like bunnies” and speed dating events have been laid on for singles in Georgia.

    Nicola Kelly visits Norway, which has tackled the issue in a different way, ensuring gender equality, healthcare and education make it attractive to have more than one child.

    But as the global population grows, does the world really need more babies? We ask whether this just puts greater strain on the planet’s resources.

    Presenter: Nick Holland Reporter/producer: Nicola Kelly

    Image Credit: Getty Images

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  • 01.01.2019
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    Checking in with the Problem Solvers

    Do you ever wonder what happens to the people and projects we feature? This week we revisit innovators around the world to see how their schemes have developed. We catch up with the team catching junk in space, and the PODD disease detectives in Thailand tell us how they’ve successfully stopped the spread of infections. We also check in with the man who planned to give QR codes to homeless people so that passers-by can scan them with their mobile phones and donate money.

    Presenters: Nick Holland, Elizabeth Davies Producer: Daniel Gordon

    Image Caption: Satellite Image Credit: NASA

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  • 25.12.2018
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    The Little Libraries Bringing Books into People’s Homes

    In 2009, Todd Bol built a small box in the shape of a school, filled it with books and placed it on his front lawn in Wisconsin, in the US. The book exchange soon became a focal point for the community. Now there are more than 75,000 Little Free Libraries in 88 countries across the world, including Sudan, Russia and the UK. They are open to everyone, they never close and have no paperwork or overdue fines. With the motto “Take a book, leave a book”, the aim is to bring people together and get more books into people’s homes.

    Reporter: Susila Silva Presenter: Tom Colls

    Photo Caption: Little Free Library in Brighton Photo Credit: BBC

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  • 18.12.2018
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    Can US Entrepreneurs Help Fix Education in Africa?

    Many African countries face huge challenges in education. Millions of children completing primary school still struggle to read and teachers that should be in classrooms are routinely absent.

    Two US entrepreneurs think they have a solution: a network of profit-driven low-cost private schools, called Bridge Academies, that can be created and staffed at lightning speed. Lessons are scripted by ‘master educators’, and teachers read them aloud, word for word, from e-readers.

    Along with awards, the model has attracted a tidal wave of criticism from teaching unions, NGOs and governments too. World Hacks visits a Bridge Academy in Kenya to ask whether the controversial idea can work.

    Presenter: Kat Hawkins Reporter: Sam Judah

    Photo Credit: BBC

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  • 11.12.2018
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    Can This Smart Street Stop Drinkers Getting Violent?

    World Hacks visits a long, narrow street in the heart of the Dutch city of Eindhoven. A quarter of a mile long and lined with pubs and bars, Stratumseind is a drinking destination for the country’s young people and football fans. Unfortunately, the good times are frequently marred with violence. On any given Saturday night, police make about 20 arrests or detentions, many involving alcohol-related aggression.

    Now the city authorities are using sophisticated technology to monitor the activities of the street, including cameras that can count people and microphones that can tell the difference between someone squealing with laughter and screaming in fright.

    Stratumseind’s drinkers are also unwitting participants in a series of experiments to monitor whether subtle changes in their environment have an impact on their behaviour – whether that’s changing the colour of the street lights to calm people down or introducing a scent to help de-escalate tensions.

    Producer: William Kremer

    Photo Credit: City of Eindhoven, Living Lab Stratumseind

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  • 04.12.2018
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    How 'Buddy Benches' are Making Playtime Less Lonely

    The idea behind “Buddy Benches”, also known as “friendship benches”, is simple. If a child feels lonely at playtime at school, they can go to the bench as a signal that they need someone to play with. Another child will see them, go and talk to them and include them in their games. However, a social enterprise in Ireland wants to do something more with them. Buddy Bench Ireland builds a day of workshops around the introduction of the benches, led by a team of child psychiatrists. Pupils are taught about empathy, how to look after their emotions and spot when others need support. The benches are seen as an early intervention to remove the stigma around mental health in Irish society.

    Presenter: Tom Colls Reporter: Dougal Shaw

    Photo Caption: Buddy Bench Photo Credit: BBC

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  • 27.11.2018
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    Smart Boats That Sail on a Bed of Bubbles

    What’s being done to clean up the shipping industry and make it less polluting?

    Nick Holland looks at innovative ideas to make ships burn less fuel. The industry plays a critical role in the global economy. But it’s under pressure to decarbonise. Could giant rotating cylinders and millions of tiny bubbles be the answer?

    Presenter: Kat Hawkins Producer: Nick Holland

    Photo Credit: Getty Images

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  • 20.11.2018
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    The Banks That Run on Time Instead of Money

    Around the world, thousands of people are using a special kind of bank. Instead of using it to save and spend money, they’re using it to save and spend time.

    Based on the idea that everyone’s time is worth the same, time bankers exchange lawn mowing for childcare, and dog walking for graphic design.

    World Hacks reporter Tom Colls enters the time economy and looks at the projects trying to upgrade time banking for the digital age.

    Presenter: Nick Holland Reporter: Tom Colls

    Photo Caption: Clock and piggy bank. Photo Credit: Getty Images

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  • 13.11.2018
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    How to Build a City for an Ageing Population

    More than a quarter of Japan’s population is over 65 and the country has the highest rate of centenarians in the world. It’s a ticking demographic time bomb as the cost of caring for the elderly rises.

    But can the solution to this growing problem be found in Kashiwa City near Tokyo? A project there has been looking at how to redesign towns and cities to adapt to their residents as they reach old age.

    World Hacks asks whether the answers they have found could help ageing populations across the world.

    Producer: Harriet Noble (for BBC World Service)

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  • 06.11.2018
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    The Country That Can Jail You For Using Plastic Bags

    Just over a year ago, Kenya introduced the world’s most draconian rules on single-use plastic bags. People can be fined up to $40,000 or even thrown in jail for producing, selling or using them.

    World Hacks travels to Nairobi to find out what impact the ban has had, and asks why Kenya has taken such a seemingly progressive stance on plastic. We also speak to experts in the UK to find out why many governments prefer to ‘nudge’ their citizens into cutting back on plastic bags, instead of banning them.

    Presenter: Amelia Martyn-Hemphill

    Reporter: Sam Judah

    Photo Credit: Getty Images

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  • 30.10.2018
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    Time to Update the Stranger Danger Message?

    Child abduction by strangers is extremely rare, but the danger looms large in the minds of many parents. One reason is that for the past 50 years or so, governments have created public information campaigns around the message of “Stranger Danger”. In the UK, the US, Canada and many other countries too, these videos were played in the media and in schools.

    The videos portrayed in stark terms the risk of talking to adults you did not know who appeared to be friendly. But a new generation of childcare experts believe this is not the most effective message to protect children. Most abductions are by people children already know. And there is a worry that a general fear of strangers is not good for a child’s social development - or for society in general. World Hacks meets the charity Action Against Abduction as they teach a new message: Clever Never Goes.

    Presenter: Harriet Noble

    Reporter and Producer: Dougal Shaw

    Photo Caption: Stranger Danger

    Photo Credit: BBC

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  • 23.10.2018
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    Tech That Tricks the Brain

    Our brains are the control centre of the human body. They allow us to think, to learn and to dream - but if you know how the brain works, it can also be fooled. Two start-up companies are making a business from these brain hacks, using wearable technology to trick the brain to improve people’s lives.

    The first is a wristband that uses a fake heartbeat to trick users’ brains into feeling calmer in stressful situations. The Doppel device also allows users to increase the rate of the fake heartbeat to make them feel more focused.

    The second wearable device allows people to fit lasers to their shoes. They are designed to help Parkinson’s patients who suffer from freezing episodes. These episodes affect up to 70% of Parkinson’s patients and come on suddenly, halting a sufferer mid-stride as they walk. The laser shoes provide visual cues to trick the brain into moving again.

    Presenter: Sofia Bettiza

    Reporter: Ammar Ebrahim

    Photo Credit: Getty Images

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  • 16.10.2018
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    ‘Rental sisters’ for Japan’s Reclusive Young Men

    In Japan, to become a 'hikikomori' means to withdraw from the world and social life. Many of those who suffer from the condition shut themselves in their bedrooms for years on end, refusing to work, study or interact with anyone around them. More than half a million people are thought to be hikikomori, most of them young men.

    One organisation, New Start, has come up with an unusual solution: rental sisters. The sisters-for-hire visit regularly, helping to coax the hikikomori out of their bedrooms and back into society. That could mean just talking through the door, going out for lunch or even moving into a hikikomori boarding house and starting some part time work. Reporter Amelia Martyn-Hemphill finds out about the increasingly popular rental sister phenomenon for BBC World Hacks in Tokyo.

    Presenter: Harriet Noble

    Reporter: Amelia Martyn-Hemphill

    Photo Caption: A Former Hikikomori

    Photo Credit: BBC

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  • 09.10.2018
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    Fighting the ‘Water Mafia’ with Pipes in the Sky

    In Kibera, the largest slum in Kenya’s capital Nairobi, access to water is a minefield. The marketplace is dominated by water cartels, or mafias - water is often syphoned off from the mains supply and pumped in through dirty hosepipes.

    But Kennedy Odede is trying to change that. Dubbed the ‘president of the poor’, he set up a scheme to pump water up from a borehole deep underground, and deliver it through a new network of pipes with a difference. To avoid contamination, and keep them safe from the cartels, Kennedy’s pipes are suspended 15m in the air on a series of poles that carry them around the slum.

    In this episode of World Hacks we travel to Kibera to meet Kennedy, see the aerial waterways in action, and ask if his scheme can expand to help people living in slums across the globe.

    Presenter: Dougal Shaw

    Reporter: Sam Judah

    Producer: Sam Judah for the BBC World Service

    Photo Caption: Kennedy Odede

    Photo Credit: BBC

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  • 02.10.2018
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    Mending Our Disposable Culture

    Volunteers around the world regularly get together to fix other people’s broken stuff free of charge. Reporter Nick Holland visits an event called a Repair Café in the Netherlands and links up with a team running a similar workshop in India. He asks what difference this 'make do and mend’ movement can make to our disposable culture

    Photo Caption: Repairing a radio with a soldering iron

    Photo Credit: BBC

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  • 25.09.2018
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    Smart Stimulation for People with Dementia

    Anyone who cares for someone with dementia knows the struggle to keep them stimulated and engaged as the condition progresses. This week World Hacks looks at three clever ideas that attempt to help.

    First up, a designer in the Netherlands has created a device that projects simple interactive games on to any table. Using lights, colours and sounds, the Tovertafel, or ‘Magic Table’, allows users to push rustling leaves, pop bubbles and catch virtual fish. We visit a dementia club in north London where it’s the star attraction at their weekly meeting and visit the creator, Dr Hester Le Riche, at her head office in Utrecht to find out how it works.

    Another game features next, a simple board game called Call To Mind, which stimulates conversation through its gameplay.

    And finally we look at some brightly-coloured rehydration drops, which draw the attention of people living with dementia and so aim to keep them healthy as the condition worsens.

    Presenter: Nick Holland

    Reporters: Claire Bates, Susila Silva, Tom Colls

    Photo Caption: The Tovertafel in action

    Photo Credit: BBC

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  • 18.09.2018
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    Running and Singing to Improve Maths and English

    This week we go back to school, with two simple ideas that involve changing the day-to-day lives of pupils to improve their physical and mental wellbeing. The Daily Mile is an idea developed in a Scottish school by an enterprising teacher, which is now being adopted worldwide. It gets pupils to run a mile at a surprise moment during the school day, to break up their learning and burn some calories. Meanwhile, in Bradford, in the north of England, a previously failing school has found salvation through music. To improve its performance in core subjects including maths and English, it promoted music in the timetable and embraced a music-teaching philosophy pioneered in communist-era Hungary.

    Presenter: Dougal Shaw

    Reporters: Shabnam Grewal and Dougal Shaw

    Photo Caption: A pupil playing drums and singing

    Photo Credit: BBC

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  • 11.09.2018
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    A Green Space Revolution in Paris

    How do you create green spaces in the middle of a city, where there’s no space to create large-scale parks or gardens? Paris has come up with a clever solution – they allow anyone to apply for a permit to start a garden anywhere at all. A rich assortment of small projects has sprung up, ranging from plant pots around lamp posts, to rejuvenated church squares, to walls covered with ivy. It’s a piecemeal approach to making the city greener, but it’s one that seems to be working.

    This week on World Hacks we visit this and two other projects that are trying to improve our experience of urban public spaces. As well as Paris’ citizen gardeners, we’ll hear from joggers in India who are ridding their streets of litter and commuters in London who are making a small but crucial change to the way they get to work.

    Presenter: Harriet Noble

    Reporters: Sam Judah and Amelia Martyn-Hemphill

    Photo Credit: Getty Images

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  • 04.09.2018
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    Scanning Homeless People To Make a Donation

    Have you ever wanted to donate to a homeless person, but found yourself without any cash, or concerned about how they may spend the money? A potential solution is being proposed in Oxford, England, through a scheme issuing homeless people with barcodes which can be worn around the neck or printed on a sign.

    Members of the public can scan these barcodes on their smartphones and read the homeless person’s story, before deciding whether or not to donate. Any money pledged goes into a special bank account managed by a support worker, helping the homeless person save towards long-term goals.

    Some think the project solves a number of problems but others fear the act of scanning someone using a smartphone could be dehumanising.

    We visit Oxford to meet homeless people using the barcodes, and speak to the people behind the big idea.

    Presenter: Harriet Noble

    Reporter: Sam Judah

    Photo Caption: One of the homeless people helping trial the new system in Oxford

    Photo Credit: BBC

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  • 28.08.2018
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    Rewarding Green Travel in Bologna

    In the northern Italian town of Bologna, a new public transport system is rewarding citizens for taking sustainable modes of transport. Each time locals walk or use the bus, train, car pooling or car sharing, they receive ‘mobility points’, which can be cashed in at cafes, cinemas, bars, bookshops and a number of other locations across the city. We explore the social and environmental benefits of taking Bologna’s residents out of their cars and onto the streets, moving about the city in a greener way.

    Presenter: Dougal Shaw

    Reporter: Nicola Kelly

    Picture caption: Bologna’s citizens are rewarded for using green transport like bikes

    Picture credit: GreenMe Italy

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  • 21.08.2018
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    Cool Ways of Keeping Things Cool

    A vast and expensive system with the sole purpose of keeping things cool exists across the developed world. This “cold chain” includes fridges in kitchens, refrigerated lorries and cold store warehouses for supermarket produce and medicines. It costs billions to run and has a big environmental cost. But in poorer countries, this cold chain is just in its infancy. People are dying as health clinics lack the fridges to keep vaccines safe. New cold chain technology is needed and two inventors think they’ve figured it out. World Hacks looks at their innovative ways of keeping things chilled.

    Presenter: Harriet Noble

    Reporter: Tom Colls

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  • 14.08.2018
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    Reviving Italy’s ‘Ghost Towns’

    Across the Italian countryside, villages are becoming deserted as people migrate to towns and cities. A sustainable tourism model known as the ‘Albergo Diffuso’ is attempting to reverse this trend. Tourist services, restaurants and hotels are spread around the village to encourage visitors to eat and stay with different families, boosting the local economy. We travel to the town of Santo Stefano di Sessanio in the Abruzzo region to meet the local business owners, restaurateurs and hoteliers profiting from the steady increase in tourism that this model has brought them.

    Presenter: Harriet Noble

    Reporter: Nicola Kelly

    Picture Caption: Santo Stefano di Sessanio, a hilltop village that was once abandoned, now a thriving tourist town

    Picture Credit: Sextantio Albergo Diffuso

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  • 07.08.2018
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    Why Millions Listen to This Girl

    A nine-year-old child announcer has been recruited on the London Underground. The idea is that her voice will surprise passengers, so they listen to her safety message. It’s an example of nudge theory in action, the art of subtly persuading large numbers of people to change their behaviour, by adjusting their environment. People Fixing the World also visits a university campus, which is nudging its students with a subtle price change, encouraging them to use fewer disposable coffee cups.

    Presenter: Harriet Noble

    Reporter: Dougal Shaw

    Photo Caption: Nine-year-old announcer

    Photo Credit: BBC

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  • 31.07.2018
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    Training India’s Fake Doctors

    It’s thought that more than half the people claiming to be doctors in India have no medical qualifications. They are known as “quacks”, operating illegally, but often ignored by the authorities because of a shortage of qualified doctors. They regularly misdiagnose diseases and prescribe the wrong drugs, and some even perform surgeries in makeshift clinics. One prominent, qualified, doctor has started a controversial scheme, offering a quick crash course in medicine to thousands of his untrained counterparts. In return they have to stop calling themselves doctors, and rebrand themselves as “healthcare workers”. At the very least, he says, they will do less harm to their patients, and the West Bengal government has agreed, rolling the project out across the state. But many in the medical establishment are appalled by the idea, arguing that a crash course isn’t enough, and the scheme legitimises criminals who have operated illegally for years.

    World Hacks visits two villages outside of Kolkata - one with a newly reformed “healthcare worker”, and another with a self-confessed fake doctor - to ask if the controversial scheme can really work.

    Presenter: Harriet Noble

    Reporter: Sam Judah

    Photo Caption: Abhijit Choudhury

    Photo Credit: BBC

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  • 24.07.2018
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    Stopping Wildfires in Their Tracks

    Wildfires can have a devastating impact, destroying land, homes and lives. Scientists say that as the planet gets warmer, they are only going to start more often. World Hacks looks at three projects in Spain and North America that are trying to prevent forest fire destruction, by making the landscape itself more fire-resistant.

    Presenter: Harriet Noble

    Reporters: Ammar Ebrahim and Richard Kenny

    Photo Credit: Getty Images

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  • 17.07.2018
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    Generating Power from the Roads

    As scientists and companies work on cleaning up cars, there’s also a team developing new technology along a road in rural Georgia in the United States, with the aim of making a truly sustainable highway. The Ray, an 18-mile stretch of road near the Alabama border, is a “living laboratory” where eco-friendly projects are being tested. It’s got pollination gardens, a tyre-monitoring system to help reduce fuel consumption and solar panels embedded in a section of the road. A large solar installation also generates power and revenue, helping to reduce carbon emissions and encourage investment.

    We meet the team behind the project and explore whether cleaner roads can be rolled out elsewhere in the United States and further afield.

    Presenter: Harriet Noble

    Reporter: Nicola Kelly

    Photo Caption: An electric vehicle’s battery gets charged at a station along The Ray

    Photo Credit: The Ray C. Anderson Foundation

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  • 10.07.2018
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    Recycling to Turn Trash into Cash

    Rubbish littering the streets is a problem all around the world but collecting it can also be a vital source of income. Two projects, thousands of miles apart, are trying to clean up the streets and make life better for rubbish collectors at the same time.

    In Nigeria, a start-up called Wecyclers is helping people profit from their waste, with the help of bicycles, tricycles and an incentives system. In Brazil, a phone app called Cataki is helping connect litter pickers and people with rubbish in an attempt to professionalise these informal recyclers.

    Presenter: Tom Colls

    Reporters: Amelia Martyn-Hemphill, William Kremer

    Photo Caption: Wecyclers in action in Lagos

    Photo Credit: BBC

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  • 03.07.2018
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    The Bricks Helping to Rebuild Gaza

    The Gaza Strip is one of the most densely-populated tracts of land in the world. In addition to the ongoing violence there, it has an unemployment rate of more than 40 percent, and problems with access not only to clean water and electricity, but also basic construction supplies. The United Nations has described the situation there as “a constant humanitarian emergency”. Despite these challenges, a young Gazan engineer has developed a new and innovative way of making bricks, which she hopes could make Gaza less dependent on outside help. She uses rubble and ash to create a cheap, light brick that can be made locally. World Hacks goes to visit the factory and to learn more about how this award-winning new brick, called ‘Green Cake’, could make a difference.

    Presenter: Harriet Noble

    Reporter: Elizabeth Davies

    Photo Caption: Green Cake

    Photo Credit: BBC

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  • 26.06.2018
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    Learning Lessons from the Longest Living Lands

    Can adapting your lifestyle add 10 years to your lifespan? Dan Buettner, a journalist for National Geographic, has identified nine characteristics that he says can add more than a decade to life expectancy. His Blue Zones Project uses lessons learned from five areas of the world with the highest population over the age of 100. We visit Naples in Florida, which has been named the top state for wellbeing in the United States, to find out how altering daily habits has improved the health and happiness of its population.

    Presenter: Tom Colls

    Reporter: Nicola Kelly

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  • 19.06.2018
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    Nigeria's Secret STI Test Kits

    More than three million people in Nigeria are living with HIV, but only about 10% of the population has ever taken an HIV test. Talking about sex is a taboo subject and sexual health clinics are not popular places to be seen. Other sexually transmitted diseases, such as Hepatitis B and Syphilis, are on the rise among young people.

    But a Nigerian entrepreneur called Florida Uzoaru thinks she has a millennial-friendly solution to sexual health. Her start-up is giving people the option to anonymously test themselves at home. Secret packages, sent by courier, contain a pick ‘n' mix of self-test blood kits, contraception or the morning after pill. Customers buy everything online and receive counselling and assistance via WhatsApp. But can bypassing the healthcare system solve the problem?

    Producer and Reporter: Amelia Martyn-Hemphill

    Photo Caption: SlideSafe founder Florida Uzoaru with her secret STI testing kits

    Photo Credit: BBC

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  • 12.06.2018
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    Can a $1 million Prize Help Keep Women Safe?

    In India, an estimated 79% of women have experienced sexual harassment in public, but it’s hoped that a $1 million competition will reduce that figure. We visit Mumbai for the grand final of the Women's Safety XPRIZE, where five teams compete to win $1 million for designing a wearable gadget that will secretly alert others in the event of an attack. We follow the competitors through a series of challenges as they try to prove their device is the best - from buses winding their way through the heart of the city, to a grand convention centre where they have to convince members of the public that their invention can keep women and girls safe from harm.

    Presenters: Sam Judah, Chhavi Sachdev

    Producer: Sam Judah

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  • 05.06.2018
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    The Street Where Houses Come Half-Built

    Two thirds of the world’s population are expected to live in cities by 2050 according to the UN. But where will all these extra people actually live? Budgets to build new social housing are limited, so one architect has been working on a radical solution. To cut costs, Alejandro Aravena suggests providing people with only half a house that they complete at a later date with their own money. Several estates have already been built this way around the world. Tom Garmeson travelled to one in Chile to see how people are living in these new communities.

    Presenter: Nick Holland

    Producer: Tom Garmeson

    Photo Caption: Half a house

    Photo Credit: BBC

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  • 29.05.2018
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    Fighting Food Waste

    Food waste is a global problem. According to the UN, one third of the food that we produce is being thrown away. Two London-based technology start-ups aim to change that. Smartphone app Olio encourages people to share food they no longer want with their neighbours. Meanwhile, Winnow has developed a smart bin which allows chefs to record how much food they’re throwing away, so they can make their kitchens more efficient.

    Presenter: Dougal Shaw

    Reporter: Ammar Ebrahim

    Photo Caption: Food waste mountain

    Photo Credit: BBC

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  • 22.05.2018
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    Clean Clothes and Glasses for the Poorest in Society

    How do you improve the lives of the very poorest people? Sometimes it’s just a question of doing the simple things.

    In Greece, where an economic downturn has left thousands of people homeless on the streets, three friends have found a way to provide them with a basic need – clean clothes. They bought a van and fitted it with washing machines, so they can do the washing wherever it’s needed.

    In Malawi, the problem-solvers have turned their minds to another basic need – vision. They are building a network of new opticians and wire-frame glasses-makers which aim to improve the eyesight of even the poorest in society.

    Presenter: Tom Colls

    Reporters: Nick Holland & Lucy Ashton

    Photo Caption: The mobile laundry in Athens

    Photo Credit: BBC

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  • 15.05.2018
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    Turning Subsistence Farming into an Investment Opportunity

    How do you pull subsistence farmers in Africa out of the cycle of poverty? All you have to do is help them produce more food than they need to survive. But to do that you need money and a new company in Nigeria has designed a smart way to provide it. Farmcrowdy connects farmers with online urban micro-investors. The investors finance the production of chickens, vegetables or grain and receive a guaranteed financial return – and the farmer makes enough to start to grow their business.

    Producer: Shabnam Grewal

    Presenter: Dougal Shaw

    Photo Caption: The Farmcrowdy app

    Photo Credit: BBC

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  • 08.05.2018
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    The Speed Detectors

    A growing movement in the UK is devolving the power of catching speeding motorists from the police to the people. Police have been working with community volunteers, letting them use speed guns in a bid to protect their communities from fast traffic. But as more of these amateurs learn to wield the speed gun, it’s a solution that’s thrown up its own problems.

    Presenter: Harriet Noble

    Reporter: Dougal Shaw

    Photo Caption: A volunteer wields a laser speed gun

    Photo Credit: BBC

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  • 01.05.2018
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    The People’s Peace Talks

    When we think of peace talks we think of politicians from opposing camps meeting behind closed doors in wood-panelled rooms, hammering out the details of an agreement that both sides can accept. But that process hasn’t led to long term peace when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. So is it a mistake to think that only governments can negotiate peace? The Minds of Peace initiative brings together ordinary Israelis and Palestinians to negotiate their own peace agreement.

    Producer & Reporter: Elizabeth Davies

    Photo Credit: BBC

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  • 24.04.2018
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    The Schools Trying to Build Bridges

    Could bilingual schools help bring peace to a seemingly intractable conflict? In Israel, the school you’ll go to is largely decided before you’re even born – by whether you come from a Jewish or Arab family. Communities learn separately and live separately and that, many argue, cements the hostility and misunderstanding of generations. So is the solution to bring them side-by-side? Hand in Hand is a network of integrated schools across Israel where Jewish and Arab students are taught together in Hebrew and Arabic.

    As part of the BBC’s Crossing Divides season, World Hacks visits one of the schools to see how well this model works and whether it really has a lasting impact.

    Producer: Harriet Noble

    Picture Credit: BBC

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  • 17.04.2018
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    Problem-Solving Prizes

    People can’t resist a prize, especially when there’s money to go with a medal, and for hundreds of years that basic human urge has been used to push humanity forward. When you focus minds and money towards a simple target, incredible things can happen - from the clock that won the Longitude prize money in the 1700s to the spacecraft that won the XPRIZE in 2004. Are there any problems that a big enough prize cannot solve?

    Producer & Reporter: William Kremer

    Photo Caption: Pilot Mike Melvill standing on Space Ship One, which went on to win the Ansari XPRIZE

    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    This programme uses a sound effect created by Freesound user bone666138

    Correction: Since our interview with Marcus Shingles was recorded, he has stepped down as CEO of XPrize

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  • 10.04.2018
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    The Town Trying to Cure Loneliness

    Loneliness and isolation can trigger a host of other problems, particularly for our health. But a town in Somerset, in the United Kingdom, appears to have taken a big step towards alleviating the problem. A team in Frome has implemented a handful of simple ideas – getting people to talk about the problems they face and finding ways for them to re-engage with family, friends or social clubs – and they believe it is having a dramatic effect. The cost of emergency admissions in Frome has fallen steeply, while it rises across most of the UK. We visit the town to meet the ‘connectors’ driving the project, and the people they have helped.

    Reporter: Sam Judah

    Presenter: Nick Holland

    Photo caption: Susan Redding

    Photo credit: BBC

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  • 03.04.2018
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    The Babies Teaching Kindness In Class [REPEAT]

    This episode is a repeat from 23 January 2018

    Naomi is not your average teacher. For one thing, she is only six months old. But in many schools across Canada babies like Naomi are a regular feature at the front of class. It is because of an education programme called Roots of Empathy, which is designed to encourage kids to be kinder. The idea is that because a baby cannot explain and externalise how it is feeling, children learn to recognise and identify the baby’s emotions, and become more emotionally astute themselves. It has been proven to reduce bullying. People Fixing the World visits a school in Toronto to see how it works.

    Reporter: Harriet Noble

    Presenter: Tom Colls

    Photo Caption: Baby Naomi

    Photo Credit: BBC

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  • 27.03.2018
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    Taking Out the Space Trash

    Space is littered with junk – some pieces as small as a fleck of paint, and some as large as a London bus. So much of it is orbiting the Earth, in fact, that it poses a danger to future missions. But how can space be cleaned up? One way could be to catch the junk in a net, or to use a harpoon to grab it. A team in Surrey, in the UK, are launching a special spacecraft to find all of this out.

    Reporter: Nick Holland

    Presenter: Dougal Shaw

    Image: Stock illustration of space debris

    Credit: Getty Images

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  • 20.03.2018
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    How to Help Homeless People in Hospital

    Being homeless is extremely bad for your health. Homeless people end up in hospital far more often, and when they get there their condition is often serious. We visit a London hospital to see how one innovative healthcare charity is rethinking caring for the homeless – and how a hospital visit can be an opportunity to do far more than just patch a patient up and send them on their way.

    Presenter: Tallulah Berry

    Reporter: Tom Colls

    Producer: Ammar Ebrahim

    Image: Gary Spall (BBC)

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  • 13.03.2018
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    The Bird Rescuers

    One of every five bird species could be extinct within the next century. Whether it’s down to the shiny glass office blocks materialising all over cities or the trawlers sailing ever-further out to sea to feed our growing population, our birds are seriously under threat. This episode looks at two particular successes when it comes to helping the world’s feathered friends: how Toronto has become a world leader in making cities bird-friendly, and how a group of enterprising conservationists has almost eliminated the deaths of albatrosses as a result of deep-sea fishing.

    Presenter: Tom Collls

    Producers: Harriet Noble and Sam Judah

    Image: Pair of albatrosses

    Credit: Shutterstock

    CORRECTION: In this programme we say that two buildings in Toronto where bird collisions were high lost court cases and had to be adapted. In fact they did not lose the court cases. The charges were dismissed but as a result of the trial bird-safe markers were applied to sections of the buildings.

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  • 06.03.2018
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    Recycling Chewing Gum Litter to Clean Our Streets

    More than $20bn is spent on chewing gum around the world each year. A lot of that gum will end up stuck to the streets. That's why gum is the second most common kind of street litter after cigarette materials. In the UK councils spend around £50m each year cleaning up the mess.

    But British designer Anna Bullus had an idea - what if the sticky stuff could actually be recycled and turned into useful objects?

    Presenter: Harriet Noble

    Reporter: Dougal Shaw

    Photo caption: Shoe sole made of chewing gum

    Photo credit: BBC

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  • 27.02.2018
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    How to Talk to Potential Extremists

    Social media and messaging apps play a role in the extremist “radicalisation” of individuals. Tech companies have tried to get better at identifying extremist content and taking it down, but some specialists advocate an alternative approach – to use these platforms to engage with extremists one-to-one, to confront them and talk them round.

    Last year, the Institute for Strategic Dialogue in London organised hundreds of conversations on Facebook messenger between activists and those expressing extreme Islamist and far-right sympathies. World Hacks has been given exclusive access to their report.

    This experiment raises many moral and practical questions. Do those posting extreme views online still have a right to privacy? At what point do we judge someone as suitable for this kind of intervention? And what exactly is the best way to start a conversation with an extremist?

    Presenter: Elizabeth Davies

    Producer: William Kremer

    Photo credit: Colin Bidwell (BBC)

    CORRECTION: In this programme, we say that counter-conversations were part of Facebook’s Online Civil Courage Initiative (OCCI). It was in fact a separate project, also funded by Facebook.

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  • 20.02.2018
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    Putting Forgotten Pills Back to Work

    An app in Greece is helping people donate their leftover drugs to people who can't afford to buy them. So far the system has helped to recover and redistribute 13,000 boxes of medicine. Donors use the software to scan a unique code on the side of their boxes of unwanted drugs. The app automatically uploads details of the medication to a central database. They're then taken in by the country's network of social pharmacies where they're then given out to unemployed and homeless people.

    Reporter: Nick Holland

    Presenter: Harriet Noble

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  • 13.02.2018
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    Improvising Your Way Out of Anxiety

    You’re standing on a stage, blinded by a spotlight trained on your face, knees weak, hands sweaty. Someone from the audience calls out a random word and you have to immediately react and come up with an amusing sketch or skit. This is improv, the unscripted theatre form that seems like it would cause rather than cure anxiety. But across North America people with the mental health condition are signing up for special “Improv for Anxiety” courses where the techniques and practices of the stage art are used to boost confidence.

    Producer: Harriet Noble

    Presenter: Tom Colls

    Photo Credit: BBC

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  • 06.02.2018
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    The Hydroponics Revolution

    Providing food for seven billion people is fraught with difficulty. Fertilising vast tracts of land and flying fresh vegetables across the globe comes at a huge environmental cost. But more and more people are turning to hydroponics - growing plants in water, without any soil. The idea itself is hundreds of years old, but new twists on the old technique are now shaping the future of food. We investigate some of the most innovative hydroponics projects, from the refugees growing barley for their goats in the Algerian desert to the underground farm built in an abandoned London bomb shelter. But how efficient can the process become? Can hydroponics begin to offer a serious alternative to conventional farming?

    Producer: Sam Judah

    Presenter: Harriet Noble

    Photo credit: Shutterstock

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  • 30.01.2018
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    The Currency Based on Good Deeds

    By its very nature, volunteering means you don’t get paid. But what if there was a way to compensate volunteers that also helped the local economy? The northern English city of Hull is trying an experiment with a new, local cryptocurrency called HullCoin - the first of its kind in the world. It’s a sort of community loyalty scheme, that can only be earned by doing ‘good deeds’ and can only be redeemed in local businesses. But can it really improve the economic resilience of struggling industrial cities? World Hacks has been to Hull to find out.

    Presenter: Dougal Shaw

    Reporter: Elizabeth Davies

    Photo Credit: BBC

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  • 23.01.2018
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    The Babies Teaching Kindness in Class

    Naomi is not your average teacher. For one thing, she is only six months old. But in many schools across Canada babies like Naomi are a regular feature at the front of class. It is because of an education programme called Roots of Empathy, which is designed to encourage kids to be kinder. The idea is that because a baby cannot explain and externalise how it is feeling, children learn to recognise and identify the baby’s emotions, and become more emotionally astute themselves. It has been proven to reduce bullying. World Hacks visits a school in Toronto to see how it works.

    Reporter: Harriet Noble

    Producer: Elizabeth Davies

    (Photo: Naomi)

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  • 16.01.2018
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    Kids versus Cars

    An English woman has championed a way to bring back community spirit to city streets and keep children fit. She creates pop-up playgrounds by regularly closing the roads to cars. Alice Ferguson began her project in Bristol and the idea is spreading around the UK. It is part of a much larger, global movement that thinks it can give children a better deal.

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  • 09.01.2018
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    Can We Save Coral?

    Up to 90% of the world’s coral could be dead by 2050, according to some estimates, unless we take radical action.

    Tackling climate change remains the central battle, but around the world scientists are working on projects that may give coral a greater chance of survival, or at least buy it some time.

    The World Hacks team investigates ‘super coral’ in Hawaii, an innovative insurance policy in Cancun, Mexico and a highly controversial plan to geo-engineer clouds above the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.

    Can any of these schemes transform the fortune of this endangered ecosystem?

    Presenter: Sofia Bettiza

    Reporter: Sam Judah

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  • 02.01.2018
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    Checking-in With The Problem Solvers

    World Hacks follows up on some of our stories from last year – going back to innovators around to world to see how their projects have developed. We hear updates on the app that lets volunteers donate their vision to blind people, the man making roads out of plastic and the compost toilets in Haiti that are turning human waste into soil.

    Presenters: Harriet Noble and Dougal Shaw

    Reporters: Amelia Martyn-Hemphill, Nick Holland and Sam Judah

    Image: People Fixing the World illustration / Credit: BBC

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  • 26.12.2017
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    Scouts, Knives and a Community Fridge

    This week we hear about three small solutions trying to make a dent on some big problems. We hear about an outdoor gym made from melted-down knives. We talk to the scout leaders in Madagascar trying to break taboos around periods. And in London we visit the community fridge, where locals can donate and take whatever they want.

    Reporters: Amelia Martyn-Hemphill, Clare Spencer and Harriet Noble

    Presenter: Tom Colls

    Image: The Steel Warrior gym / Credit: BBC

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  • 19.12.2017
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    The Ring That Could Help Save Women’s Lives

    In Southern Africa, over seven thousand women are infected with HIV each week. Many can't persuade their partners to wear a condom, so a new form of protection being tested in Malawi could be a real game-changer.

    It's a small silicon ring which encircles the cervix and releases antiretroviral drugs, lowering the women’s risk of contracting HIV. Their partners can’t feel it, and don’t even need to know it’s there.

    World Hacks meets the women pioneering this approach and taking control of their own protection.

    Presenter: India Rakusen

    Reporter: Ruth Evans

    Image: A community health nurse in Malawi holds up the dapivirine ring / Credit: BBC

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  • 12.12.2017
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    How to Get Wheelchairs on Planes

    If you are a wheelchair user, travelling by aeroplane can be very difficult. Buses, trains and some cars are designed for people to roll into without getting out of their chair, but planes are not, which means an often painful process of moving between the chair and the airline seat – if this is even possible. This can potentially lead to injuries and can stop disabled people travelling by air.

    Now, a small group of amateur campaigners is trying to change this – designing and testing their own systems that would let their loved-ones travel the world in safety and comfort.

    Presenter: Harriet Noble

    Reporter: William Kremer

    Image: Wheelchair crash testing / Credit: Michele Erwin

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  • 05.12.2017
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    Drone Delivery: Medicines By Air

    Most Malawians live in rural areas and if they get sick, it can be incredibly difficult to get testing kits or medicines in time. Malawi's government has now opened up part of its sky to companies and charities who want to use drones to solve this problem, creating what’s being called the world’s first humanitarian drone testing corridor. World Hacks travels to rural Malawi to assess the opportunities and dangers from this new technology, and to see how much Malawians could benefit.

    Image: Villagers in rural Malawi look on as a drone carrying medical supplies is unloaded / Credit: BBC

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  • 28.11.2017
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    Smartphone-Activated First Aiders

    Your chances of surviving a cardiac arrest while out on the high street are slim. It's estimated survival rates decrease by ten percent for every minute you don't get medical help. The nearest ambulance may be on its way but could take several minutes to arrive. But what if an off-duty paramedic was just around the corner and could help out? BBC World Hacks looks at a new alert system that informs people with first aid training when they're in the vicinity of a medical emergency. Nick Holland investigates whether it works work and what difference it could make to survival rates?

    Image: The app that shows people with first aid training the location of a cardiac arrest / Credit: BBC

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  • 21.11.2017
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    The Former Neo-Nazi Helping Others To Quit

    A retired police detective and a former neo-Nazi leader may seem like an unlikely partnership. But Dr Bernd Wagner and Ingo Hasselbach have taken their past differences and used them as the basis for making a real change. When Hasselbach quit neo-Nazism over two decades ago he and Wagner, who had once arrested him, realised they had a shared dream: to help far right extremists change their ways.

    Presenter: Tallulah Berry

    Reporter: Harriet Noble

    Image: Ingo Hasselbach / Credit: BBC

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  • 14.11.2017
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    How Iceland Saved Its Teenagers

    In 1998, 42% of Iceland’s 15 and 16 year-olds reported that they had got drunk in the past 30 days. By 2016, though, this figure had fallen to just 5% and drug use and smoking had also sharply declined. The action plan that led to this dramatic success is sometimes called “the Icelandic Model” – and strikingly, it does not focus on tighter policing or awareness campaigns to warn children off bad habits. Instead, top researchers collaborate closely with communities on initiatives like parental pledges and night-time patrols after dark, while the government invests in recreational facilities. But is being a teenager in Iceland still fun?

    Presenter: Harriet Noble

    Reporter: William Kremer

    Image: Icelandic teenagers / Credit: BBC

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  • 07.11.2017
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    The Missing Maps

    Thousands of places in the world don't officially exist on a map. If you're not on a map, it can have implications for how people find you - in times of disaster for example. But a project called Missing Maps is solving that, by using the power of volunteers to make 'invisible people, visible'. At a mapathon in London, volunteers are sitting around their laptops plotting the world. And then in Malawi, mapping experts are putting in essential details to the map. World Hacks travels there to see the finished maps and what impact they could have on communities living there.

    Reporter: Charlotte Pritchard

    Presenter: Dougal Shaw

    Producer: Nick Holland

    Image: People looking at a map / Credit: BBC

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  • 31.10.2017
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    The Town Where Public Toilets Are Everywhere

    to stop people getting caught short.

    What do you do if you're out and about and can't find a public toilet? Do you sneak into a cafe and hope no one notices, buy something you don't want just for the privilege of using the facilities, or hold it in until you can get home? The number of public toilets around the world is decreasing, making this an increasingly common dilemma. But not in many parts of Germany thanks to a scheme called "Die Nette Toilette", or the nice toilet. Local authorities pay businesses a monthly fee to let anyone wonder in and go to the loo for free. Not only does this dramatically increase the number of available toilets, it leads to big savings for the public purse.

    Written and produced by Harriet Noble

    Presented by Dougal Shaw

    Image: Interior of a German public toilet / Credit: BBC

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  • 24.10.2017
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    Addressing the World in Three Words

    Around 75% of the world's population, approximately 4 billion people, don't have an address. Take a country like Mongolia, with a largely nomadic population, where street names and postcodes can be few and far between. But that could all be changing thanks to just three words. Mongolia's Postal Service was the first in the world to sign up to What3Words, an idea from a British former music executive fed up of bands and equipment constantly getting lost. He's divided the entire world into 3m squares and given each one a different three word phrase, and it could mean that everyone in the world will soon have an address.

    Presenter: Tom Colls

    Reporter / Producer: Harriet Noble

    Image: How What Three Words divides up the world / Credit: Google Maps

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  • 17.10.2017
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    How Iceland is Fighting the Gender Pay Gap

    Although Iceland is thought to be the best country in the world for gender equality, it lags behind in one metric: the gender pay gap. So a decade ago the country's unions and business community came together to try something new. They devised a management standard to help organisations implement equal pay. Now the government has gone a step further and introduced a law that from January will force companies to adopt the standard or face fines. So is this small island nation set to be the first in the world to equalise pay?

    Presenter: India Rakusen

    Reporter: William Kremer

    Image: Illustration of two Icelandic people / Credit: BBC

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  • 10.10.2017
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    Viking Therapy?

    It looks like the set of Game of Thrones. Once a year Wolin in Poland hosts a huge Viking festival - with a twist. Enthusiasts come from around the world not just to re-enact battles, but to win them, fighting competitively. One organiser of these battles has found that this Viking scene can offer positive benefits to men who have been defined by violence in their past, and are now looking for a way to escape.

    Presenter: Sofia Bettiza

    Reporter: Dougal Shaw

    Image: A modern Viking gets ready for a battle / Credit: BBC

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  • 03.10.2017
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    How Cervical ‘Selfies’ are Fighting Cancer in The Gambia

    It’s not usually a good idea to take selfies of your private parts, but what if those photos could save your life? A new, tiny medical device is being used across Africa to detect cervical cancer from a mobile phone photograph. In Gambia, doctors are often in short supply, but nurses, midwives and smartphones are widely available, allowing patients to be diagnosed and treated remotely. In sub Saharan Africa, cervical cancer is the number one cause of cancer deaths in women, but it takes years to develop and can be treated for under $30 if caught early. Can cervical selfies get women talking about a silent, unseen killer?

    Presenter: India Rakusen

    Reporter: Amelia Martyn-Hemphill.

    Image: Nurse using the EVA system in Gambia / Credit: BBC

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  • 26.09.2017
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    How To Make Sushi From Methane Gas

    Humanity’s hunger for meat is not good for the planet. Every cow, pig and fish that farmers rear has an environmental cost – particularly in the land and water resources it takes to grow the food the animals eat. But one entrepreneur is developing a solution – create animal feed from methane gas. Using methane-eating bacteria, they have developed animal feed that uses a fraction of the land and water of plant-based animal feed.

    Reporter: Charlotte Pritchard

    Presenter: Sahar Zand

    Series Producer: Tom Colls

    Image: Sushi being picked up with chopsticks / Credit: 4kodiak / Getty Images

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  • 19.09.2017
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    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

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  • 12.09.2017
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    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 Martyn-Hemphill

    Presenter: India Rakusen

    Image: Midwife Anne Mulinge / Credit: BBC

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  • 05.09.2017
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    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 the antibiotics no longer work. In the Netherlands, the story of one sick little girl caused pig farmers to wake up to a huge pig MRSA infection that was spreading to humans. Recognising the problem, a couple of pig farmers started a movement that has resulted in the country cutting their antibiotics use in animals by 65% - and, crucially, without affecting their profits. World Hacks investigates how a group of pig farmers solved a massive problem in The Netherlands and whether other countries should urgently follow suit.

    Presenter: Tallulah Berry

    Reporter/ Producer: Shoku Amirani

    Image: Pig on a farm in The Netherlands / Credit: BBC

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  • 29.08.2017
    11 MB
    23:32
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