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.
How Can We Support Student Success at All Stages?
The future of our country depends on bold changes to education to ensure that all students are able to realize their full potential.
According to The National Center for Education Statistics, in 2022, average mathematics scores at fourth grade declined across the country. Furthermore, only a third of Americans have a bachelor’s degree or higher, while there continues to be major shortfalls of qualified candidates for “middle skills jobs."
How can we improve student achievement and provide them with viable pathways to jobs that lead to long-term economic mobility
Building on more than a decade of education reform work from Mike Bloomberg’s time as mayor, Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Education program works to ensure that all students have the skills and opportunities to succeed in the 21st century. From supporting the growth of charter schools to investing in programs that help young people get the specialized training they need, our Education program works alongside partners to implement initiatives that will make a significant difference for the children most in need of a great education and chart a path to a successful future.
On this episode, Katherine Oliver sits down with two colleagues from Bloomberg’s Education team – Eve Bois, who manages the Career and Technical Education portfolio, and Jasmine Jenkins, who co-manages the K-12 Education and Advocacy portfolio, to discuss the challenges facing public education in America, Bloomberg Philanthropies’ comprehensive education reform work, and how we are expanding post-secondary opportunities for students through school-based and work-based programs.
135. Can the Arts Keep You Healthy?
Everyone knows that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but can singing in the shower also help? What about seeing a play or taking a painting class? For the past two years, Bloomberg Philanthropies has supported the EpiArts Lab, a National Endowment for the Arts Research Lab based at the University of Florida’s Center for Arts in Medicine in partnership with University College London. The EpiArts Lab has analyzed longitudinal datasets that follow thousands of U.S. residents from all demographics, over several decades to understand whether participating in the arts has long-term benefits for public health.
While we continue to grapple with the mental health fall out of the pandemic, crises caused by climate change, the polarized political landscape, and the marginalization of certain populations…..now more than ever, people are looking for relief.
The good news is, EpiArts Lab has produced over a dozen peer-reviewed papers uncovering the impacts of arts activities on health indicators in various populations, with compelling findings.
In this episode of Follow the Data, Katherine Oliver sits down with Jill Sonke, PhD, director of research initiatives in the Center for Arts in Medicine at the University of Florida, and Tracey Knuckles of our arts team to shed light on the ways that cultural activities can help keep you healthy and how the arts can be incorporated into healthcare systems.
134. Advancing Public Health Strategies to Reduce Overdose Deaths
The overdose crisis is affecting US communities everywhere. A new survey by the Pew Research Center found nearly one in two people in the U.S. knows someone with a substance use disorder.
In 2018, the Bloomberg Overdose Prevention Initiative began its work supporting Michigan and Pennsylvania in using a data-driven approach to confront the overdose crisis, resulting in both states seeing lower increases in overdose deaths than the national average despite the setbacks brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, the Initiative began working in five other hard-hit states: Kentucky, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Wisconsin. Alongside partners, the Initiative draws upon learnings from the initial two states to implement new programs, and to advocate for federal policies to expand treatment access and harm reduction with a goal of accelerating progress in reducing overdose deaths.
On this episode, Katherine Oliver sits down with two of Bloomberg’s critical partners in this effort – Kat Humphries, a Program Manager for the Overdose Prevention Program at Vital Strategies, and Tahira Malik, the founder of Samad’s House in Milwaukee, Wisconsin – to discuss the common misconceptions people have about substance use disorder, harm reduction as an effective strategy for preventing overdose deaths, and policies that could implemented to support recovery in communities across the country.
133. Investing in Women's Economic Independence
Women and girls make up a disproportionate amount of the 1.2 billion people who live in extreme poverty around the world. Our guests today are working in Rwanda and in cities around the world to create opportunities for women that lead to economic independence. Since 2007, Bloomberg Philanthropies' Women's Economic Development Initiative, led by Verna Eggleston, has focused on developing women's skills to help them master income-generating activities.
More than 724,000 women and their families have enrolled in training and education programs directly benefiting over 2.8 million of their children through access to health insurance, education beyond primary school, increased savings, and much, much more. This summer, an independent third party evaluation conducted and published by the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies showed how effective and replicable the program is. In this episode, Katherine Oliver sits down with Verna Eggleston, who leads Bloomberg Philanthropies' Women's Economic Development Initiative, Laurie Adams, the CEO of Women for Women International, and Christine Condo, the Executive Director of Sustainable Growers. They discuss how the program affects women, their communities, and their children and families, key findings of the Johns Hopkins report, and how listeners can get involved.
132. Combatting Pandemic Learning Loss
Across the United States, millions of students are performing below grade level. Eighth grade reading scores are at their lowest level in two decades, and math scores are at a three-decade low, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress.
How can we help students combat pandemic learning loss?
A great education is critical to ensure America can continue leading the global economy - and Bloomberg Philanthropies is funding summer school in eight cities to help public charter school students catch up to where they need to be. Our Summer Boost initiative is just one of the ways we're working to ensure all students have the chance to get a high-quality education.
In this episode, Howard Wolfson, who leads Bloomberg Philanthropies' education program, joins political strategist and venture capitalist Bradley Tusk for a wide-ranging conversation about how Bloomberg Philanthropies is working to address the ongoing crisis in America's education system - from supporting career and vocational training programs, to expanding access to top colleges for talented students from low-income families. This audio is adapted from the Firewall podcast, where entrepreneurs, investors, policymakers, strategists and journalists reveal what's really on their mind.
131. Making Single-Use Packaging Disappear
Did you know that it could take up to 500 years for single-use plastic bottles to biodegrade in the ocean, according to estimates from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration?
What if the solution for more sustainable packaging also lies in the seas? Bloomberg Philanthropies is working to ensure the ocean, key marine ecosystems, and the billions who depend on them can survive and thrive through the Bloomberg Ocean Initiative.
Our guest today – Pierre Paslier – co-founded Notpla, short for "not plastic," a company on a mission to make packaging disappear. Based in London, the team creates alternative packaging made from seaweed and plants, ranging from a bubble that could replace plastic cups and bottles at sporting events, to single dose spheres of toothpaste and sustainable, biodegradable packaging for takeaway food. Since it started in 2019, Notpla has replaced almost 3 million units of single-use plastic from entering the environment.
Notpla is a winner of the 2022 Earthshot Prize, a prestigious global environment prize launched by His Royal Highness Prince William to incentivize change and help repair our planet with innovative solutions by 2030. Our founder, Mike Bloomberg, serves as Global Advisor to the Winners of the Earthshot Prize, including Notpla, and Bloomberg Philanthropies - alongside Bloomberg LP - has supported The Earthshot Prize since its creation in 2019, as a Global Alliance Founding Partner. In fact, Bloomberg LP uses Notpla's sustainable packaging at its European headquarters in London.
On this episode, Katherine Oliver sits down with Pierre. They discuss how he created Notpla with his co-founder and former classmate, Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez, how Notpla expanded from its first product to introduce packaging solutions for electronics, fashion, cosmetics and food, his experience with The Earthshot Prize, and how he’s planning on using his prize money to expand Notpla’s impact.
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”