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People Fixing the World

Updated 1 day ago

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

Read more

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

iTunes Ratings

129 Ratings
Average Ratings
120
2
2
3
2

Insightful

By Theresa B Sayers - Oct 26 2017
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I like that this show has several different view points. Worth the listen.

Genius

By OFL4 - Oct 17 2017
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Extraordinary in reporting, engaging in style and enlightening in content. Well done!

iTunes Ratings

129 Ratings
Average Ratings
120
2
2
3
2

Insightful

By Theresa B Sayers - Oct 26 2017
Read more
I like that this show has several different view points. Worth the listen.

Genius

By OFL4 - Oct 17 2017
Read more
Extraordinary in reporting, engaging in style and enlightening in content. Well done!
Cover image of People Fixing the World

People Fixing the World

Updated 1 day ago

Read more

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

Rank #1: Reducing US Police Shootings

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Nearly 1,000 people were shot and killed by the US police in 2015, sparking protests and huge controversy. But a new solution promises to reduce the death toll, by focusing in on the key moment of stress in which guns are discharged. Studies have looked at police officers' reactions in these situations - including their stress levels and their implicit biases.
Now, a new training system has been developed which uses heart rate monitors and breathing exercises to minimise the stress reaction. World Hacks investigates whether the system works, and whether it will help save lives. Presented by Sahar Zand.
(Photo: Police stand guard near Trump Tower on Election Day. Credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Dec 03 2016

16mins

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Rank #2: Cool Ways of Keeping Things Cool

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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

Aug 21 2018

23mins

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Rank #3: Teaching Kids To Think

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Giving children lessons in how to think and learn for themselves can lead to dramatic improvements in results, according to education researchers.
World Hacks meets children learning these “meta-cognition” techniques through philosophy lessons and juggling and looks at the difficulties in implementing the system.
Presented by Sahar Zand.
Image caption: Child with hand up in class / Image credit: AP

Dec 10 2016

16mins

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Rank #4: Fighting Food Waste

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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

May 29 2018

23mins

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Rank #5: Learning Lessons from the Longest Living Lands

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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

Jun 26 2018

23mins

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Rank #6: Stopping Wildfires in Their Tracks

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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

Jul 24 2018

23mins

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Rank #7: The People’s Peace Talks

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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

May 01 2018

23mins

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Rank #8: Rewarding Green Travel in Bologna

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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

Aug 28 2018

23mins

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Rank #9: Turning Goats into Water

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Fariel Salahuddin is not the type of person you’d expect to see wandering around rural Pakistan, especially with a herd of goats. She’s a successful energy consultant who has worked around the world. But when she returned to where she grew up, Pakistan, Fariel decided she wanted to work on smaller projects to try to make an immediate impact and provide solar energy to poor, rural communities. This was all very well, until she realised these places didn’t have water, let alone power. What they did have was goats. Fariel developed an innovative scheme to trade what the villagers have in plentiful supply for something they desperately needed: goats for water. But what was Fariel going to do with all her newly acquired goats?
Presenter: Mukul Devichand

Reporters: Secunder Kermani and Dougal Shaw

Producer: Charlotte Pritchard
Image: Goats in rural Pakistan / Credit: BBC

May 16 2017

24mins

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Rank #10: The Speed Detectors

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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

May 08 2018

23mins

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Rank #11: Running and Singing to Improve Maths and English

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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

Sep 18 2018

23mins

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Rank #12: Taking Out the Space Trash

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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

Mar 27 2018

23mins

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Rank #13: The reuse and refill revolution

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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)

Apr 23 2019

23mins

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Rank #14: Nigeria's Secret STI Test Kits

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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

Jun 19 2018

22mins

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Rank #15: The Babies Teaching Kindness In Class [REPEAT]

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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

Apr 02 2018

23mins

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Rank #16: Improvising Your Way Out of Anxiety

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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

Feb 13 2018

22mins

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Rank #17: Shopping for a better life

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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)

Oct 08 2019

22mins

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Rank #18: Turning waste into energy

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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)

Oct 01 2019

24mins

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Rank #19: Clean Clothes and Glasses for the Poorest in Society

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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

May 22 2018

22mins

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Rank #20: Scanning Homeless People To Make a Donation

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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

Sep 04 2018

23mins

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