Bloomberg Philanthropies’ “Follow the Data” podcast highlights how our work is driving change and making an impact in the areas of education, the arts, the environment, public health and government innovation.
Here’s how the podcast works: our founder is a strong believer that “if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it,” and data-driven strategies are at the core of our work. Each episode will begin with a key data point that gives insight into a problem we’re addressing through our unique approach. From there, our guests – some of whom you will recognize as our program leads and partners – will share their expertise and stories on how our work together impacts the data.
110. The Enduring Pandemic: COVID-19, What We Know Now, and Where We Go From Here
A year and a half into the pandemic, people have new questions they’re looking to experts to answer: booster shots, variants, and how to manage long-haul COVID.
This week’s podcast episode was previously a Bloomberg Philanthropies virtual conversation about the COVID-19 pandemic featuring WHO Global Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases and Injuries Mike Bloomberg along with Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health, and Dr. Kelly Henning, who leads Bloomberg Philanthropies’ public health program.
They discuss when a COVID vaccine for children could be approved, how often we may need to get booster shots, which variants they’re keeping their eyes on, and more.
109. Tackling Homelessness In Cities Around the World
Imagine sheltering in place during the start of the coronavirus pandemic without having a home to shelter in. Sadly, more than 580,000 individuals in the United States experienced homelessness in 2020, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the fourth consecutive annual increase in the number of people experiencing homelessness. In an effort to help those experiencing homelessness during the pandemic, city officials acted quickly to help people find temporary shelter. Now, without lockdown restrictions in place, cities are facing new challenges as they move people from temporary shelters like hotels to group shelters and as eviction moratoriums lift.
The pandemic has changed the way cities tackle almost every issue, and Bloomberg Associates, the pro-bono consulting arm of Bloomberg Philanthropies, works side-by-side with cities around the world to address homelessness.
Earlier this summer, Tamiru Mammo and Linda Gibbs, who work on Bloomberg Associates' social services team, co-authored a book entitled How Ten Global Cities Take on Homelessness: Innovations That Work alongside Jay Bainbridge and Muzzy Rosenblatt, their colleagues from the City of New York during the Bloomberg administration.
The book provides a deep-dive into how ten cities – Bogotá, Mexico City, Los Angeles, Houston, Nashville, New York City, Baltimore, Edmonton, Paris, and Athens - have addressed street homelessness.
On this episode, Tamiru Mammo and Jay Bainbridge join the podcast to discuss what stands out about how these cities are tackling homelessness, what successful solutions look like, and what the new normal looks like in terms of tackling this issue going forward.
108. How Cities Use Data to Adapt to Climate Change
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres issued a "code red for humanity" when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change shared its latest report this week, which calls climate change "unequivocal" and "an established fact." And the growing frequency and intensity of heat waves, droughts, and storms like the ones we've experienced this summer are to be expected for years to come.
Climate action is of critical importance for local leaders, as extreme temperatures are expected to be off the charts more frequently and for longer periods of time, causing significant harm to human health and well-being. While cities are often hit hardest by the impact of climate change, they are also on the frontlines in this fight.
From planting trees to help cool down cities to reimagining and improving access to public spaces, mayors are taking immediate, bold action to improve quality of life for their residents. Bloomberg Associates, the pro bono consulting arm of Bloomberg Philanthropies, works with cities to implement sustainable and scalable solutions to fight climate change now.
To tell us more about how cities are working to become more sustainable and resilient, Jacob Koch, who works on our Sustainability team at Bloomberg Associates, sits down with Alejandro Restrepo-Montoya, a Professor of Architecture at Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana in Medellín, Colombia. Alejandro formerly served as the City Architect of Medellín, and helped design the city's award-winning "Green Corridors" project, which helped to reduce average city temperatures by 2 degrees Celsius.
Jacob also sits down with Ilaria Giuliani, the Deputy Chief Resilience Officer of the City of Milan. Bloomberg Associates has helped to support Mayor Beppe Sala's goal to plant three million trees by 2030 and to help re-imagine the historic streets and piazzas to be greener and ensure all Milanese live within a short walk of an upgraded public space.
On this episode, Jacob, Alejandro and Ilaria discuss how cities use data to drive decision-making and evaluate impact, and the importance of bringing nature back to cities.
107. Supporting the Next Generation of Healthy Food Policy Experts
The pandemic has forced many to change their diet and exercise routines - and governments around the world are weighing how to encourage citizens to eat healthier and to get active again. In the U.K., Prime Minister Boris Johnson is reviewing a report recommending a Salt and Sugar Reformation Tax, a first-of-its-kind policy which would add a 3 pound tax per kilogram of sugar sold at wholesale and 6 pounds per kilogram of salt sold at wholesale. If enacted, the tax would help fund an expansion of free school meals to 1.1 million more children in Britain.
Healthy food policies help move more people toward healthier diets - but a lack of research expertise is a barrier to guiding national policies in countries around the world.
The Vital Strategies Health Food Policy Fellowship, funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, supports outstanding PhD candidates from Barbados, Brazil, Colombia, Jamaica, Mexico, or South Africa who are committed to creating healthier food environments through public policy. The fellowship supports students from these countries as they are focus countries for Bloomberg Philanthropies' food policy program.
Ahead of UN International Youth Day, Kristine Momanyi of our food policy team sits down with Trish Muzenda, Joana Cruz, and Nicholas Guzman - three Vital Strategies Healthy Food Policy Fellows - to discuss promising food policies and the fellowship program.
106. The Power of Parent Coalitions
In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, two other public health epidemics have surged: gun violence and youth vaping.
Parents have an important role to play in addressing these challenges - and it should come as no surprise that two of the most prominent advocacy groups fighting for public safety measures in the United States are organized by mothers.
Mothers have long been leaders in mobilizing around social issues like drunk driving, women's suffrage, and child labor laws - and today's activists and organizers are leveraging social media and other digital tools to connect with and build a diverse coalition of volunteers across the country.
On this episode, Katherine Oliver sits down with Shannon Watts, the founder of Moms Demand Action, a grassroots movement fighting to protect Americans from gun violence with more than 6 million supporters, as well as Meredith Berkman and Dorian Fuhrman, the co-founders of Parents Against Vaping E-Cigarettes, or PAVE. PAVE seeks to educate parents about the dangers of e-cigarettes and advocate for legislative change to protect minors from Big Tobacco.
Kindly note the views of the podcast guests are entirely their own, and Bloomberg Philanthropies hasn't independently verified any of the statements made by this week's podcast guests.
105. Preventing Childhood Drowning Around the World
Drowning is the third leading cause of unintentional injury and death around the world. More than 90% of drowning deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, and children under the age of five are most at risk. To highlight the impact drowning has on communities - and to draw attention to the need for urgent action - the United Nations General Assembly passed its first-ever Resolution on Global Drowning Prevention, declaring July 25th as World Drowning Prevention Day.
Our founder, Mike Bloomberg, is the World Health Organization’s Global Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases and Injuries. Given that drowning claims more than 235,000 lives a year, he’s working to draw more awareness to this cause.
Since 2012, Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Initiative to Prevent Drowning supports tailored efforts to tackle the specific causes of drowning on a local level in Bangladesh, Viet Nam, and Uganda.
To tell us more about the Initiative, Kelly Larson, who works on our public health team, sits down with Dr. Aminur Rahman, the Director of the Center for Injury Prevention and Research, Bangladesh. They discuss why drowning is so prevalent for children below the age of 5 in Bangladesh, the importance of community daycares to prevent drowning, and why the government of Bangladesh is taking a lead on drowning prevention.
Then, Becky Bavinger of the Bloomberg Philanthropies public health team sits down with Huyen Doan, the Viet Nam Country Director for the Global Health Advocacy Incubator. They discuss creating a survival swimming program for nearly 15,000 children in provinces with high drowning numbers and how we’re measuring progress in drowning prevention.
I was attracted to this podcast to learn more about data-based evidence and policy, but I’ve kept listening for along because of your incredible work on fighting tobacco, empowering women and inspiring innovation. Keep up the great fight!!!!
This podcast provides some great snapshots of how philanthropy can be used with data to deliver results. Definitely worth the listen!
Misleading title - really about pet projects of the foundation
As an assessment professional, I was interested in a podcast that talks about how data is used. Given the name “follow the data”, I assumed this would be the focus. After listening to three episodes, data is discussed in passing but is not the focal point of the podcast. Instead, the focus is on the work of the philanthropy, not on how data is used to inform the work. Yes, they say “data”, but only to say benign things like “data is used all the time” or “we looked at data to identify a problem”, but never discussion or analysis about data itself. Should be renamed “Follow this philanthropy”