11 episodes

Rethinking Possible features interviews with people who are dealing with big, global problems that are entrenched, complex, messy, and always urgent. But none of that stops them. They’ve rolled up their sleeves and gotten straight to work. How do they remain resilient in the face of immensely complex problems that have spanned generations? How do they keep going when the issues they work on are bigger than their own lifetimes? Hosted by Courtney E. Martin and Nguhi Mwaura, and brought to you by the Skoll Foundation in partnership with Aspen Ideas.

Rethinking Possible Skoll Foundation

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.6 • 56 Ratings

Rethinking Possible features interviews with people who are dealing with big, global problems that are entrenched, complex, messy, and always urgent. But none of that stops them. They’ve rolled up their sleeves and gotten straight to work. How do they remain resilient in the face of immensely complex problems that have spanned generations? How do they keep going when the issues they work on are bigger than their own lifetimes? Hosted by Courtney E. Martin and Nguhi Mwaura, and brought to you by the Skoll Foundation in partnership with Aspen Ideas.

    Halla Tómasdóttir: Can Capitalism Save the Planet?

    Halla Tómasdóttir: Can Capitalism Save the Planet?

    Capitalism has arguably accelerated many of the world’s problems, from climate change to economic exclusion. What role can—and should—it play in accelerating solutions? Halla Tómasdóttir of The B Team offers up a new spin on capitalism: one driven not only by short-term profit, but also by the wellbeing of people and the planet. She’s working within the profit-driven system, from the top down, on what she calls “radical collaboration” between the private sector, civil society, and governments.

    Halla helped to found a university, launched her own investment firm, ran for president of her home country of Iceland, and is no stranger to the silo effect between sectors. Now, as CEO of the B Team, which she describes as “a group of courageous business and civil society leaders working together to transform business for a better world,” she’s rallying companies across disciplines to collaborate on solutions to the globe’s most pressing problems. She speaks with Nguhi—a self-described skeptic of capitalism—about the potential for change in a system largely responsible for the things that need changing.

    For show notes and transcripts go to https://skoll.org/2021/06/23/solvers-episode-10-halla-tomasdottir-can-capitalism-save-the-planet/
    On social media: @skollfoundation #solverspod
    Send us an email: solvers@skoll.org

    • 38 min
    Garrett Bucks: The Role of White People in Anti-Racist Work

    Garrett Bucks: The Role of White People in Anti-Racist Work

    Garrett Bucks founded The Barnraisers Project, an organization that “equips people who’ve never thought of themselves as organizers with the tools to move their social networks from denial and defensiveness to action.” Like any meaningful anti-racism work, it requires participants—in this case white people—to sustain discomfort and be willing to stare down stark truths that are easier to turn away from. But he believes personal turmoil is necessary in order to achieve meaningful change.
    The way Garrett sees it, America was founded with two gaping holes in its heart -- cavities created by the acts of enslaving Black people and taking land from Indigenous communities. Many generations later, Garrett believes it’s critical for white people to address the problems their ancestors created, and that white people continue to sustain. Courtney talks with Garrett about how it’s possible to find joy in the work required to become the person—and the country—we say we want to be.

    For show notes and transcripts go to https://skoll.org/2021/06/17/solvers-episode-nine-garrett-bucks-the-role-of-white-people-in-anti-racist-work/
    On social media: @skollfoundation #solverspod
    Send us an email: solvers@skoll.org

    • 48 min
    Colette Pichon Battle: Lessons from the Bayou on Climate Change and Community Power

    Colette Pichon Battle: Lessons from the Bayou on Climate Change and Community Power

    Step foot into Louisiana's bayous and you’ll smell the strong scent of azaleas even before you smell the cooking. Amidst the sweet fragrance of flowers and mouth-watering cuisine, an odious history of racial division sits in the foreground of these communities on the frontlines of climate change. For lawyer and activist Colette Pichon Battle, growing up in this cocktail of complexity and beauty has greatly informed her work to dismantle structural racism exacerbated by climate change.

    As founder and executive director of the Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy, Colette supports and activates local communities affected by climate change through regional, multi-racial alliances using everything from legal services to sacred pilgrimages down the Mississippi River. She’s harnessing the power of community, spirituality, and indigenous knowledge to tackle the issues threatening our very humanity—racial injustice, climate change, and economic exclusion. Colette joins Nguhi for a spiritual, yet grounded, conversation on what we can learn from not only the land, but those who have lived on it longest.

    For show notes and transcripts go to https://skoll.org/2021/06/10/solvers-episode-eight-colette-pichon-battle/
    On social media: @skollfoundation #solverspod
    Send us an email: solvers@skoll.org

    • 37 min
    Priti Krishtel: A ‘Patent Detective’ Investigates Access to Medicine

    Priti Krishtel: A ‘Patent Detective’ Investigates Access to Medicine

    Getting the right medicine at the right time can mean the difference between life or death. Yet until COVID-19, there hasn’t been widespread recognition of the importance of creating easy and equitable access to life-saving medications. That’s where Priti Krishtel comes in. While the pandemic has arguably accelerated a movement around global access to medicines, she’s spent the last 20 years working to uncover how the patent system prevents life-saving drugs from getting into the hands of people who need them most.

    Priti is a health justice lawyer and co-founder of Initiative for Medicines, Access & Knowledge (I-MAK), a nonprofit working to address structural inequities in how medicines are developed and distributed. She investigates the outdated patent system and uses law to challenge big pharma, corporations, and a general economic structure driven by profit. Her earlier career experience working on the HIV/AIDS crisis in India gives her a deep sense of purpose in tackling an issue that, for many, has newfound importance in the Coronavirus Era. Courtney talks with Priti about how she’s working to sustain the access to medicine movement so that when the next pandemic hits, fewer people die.

    For show notes and transcripts go to https://skoll.org/2021/06/02/a-patent-detective-investigates-access-to-medicine/
    On social media: @skollfoundation #solverspod
    Send us an email: solvers@skoll.org

    • 41 min
    Yordanos Eyoel: In Democracy We Trust?

    Yordanos Eyoel: In Democracy We Trust?

    Yordanos Eyoel emigrated to the United States at age 13, in the aftermath of the Ethiopian Civil War—a war that started long before she was born. Yordanos saw firsthand the direct impact of an unstable government on her family's life, after her mother, a journalist, had to seek political asylum in America. Although she went from privilege to poverty seemingly overnight, the stability of the American political system outweighed the material luxuries her family left behind in their war-ravaged homeland.

    As founder of The Civic Lab Initiative at New Profit, a venture philanthropy organization that invests in “democracy entrepreneurs” and systems change, Yordanos is committed to solving the crisis of trust in America. She speaks with Nguhi about her belief that democracy is malleable and requires constant and robust innovation. And when it comes to repairing trust—and ensuring the fixes are inclusive—coming at it from the position of an outsider is her secret weapon.

    For show notes and transcripts go to https://skoll.org/2021/05/26/solvers-episode-six-yordanos-eyoel-in-democracy-we-trust/
    On social media: @skollfoundation #solverspod
    Send us an email: solvers@skoll.org

    • 36 min
    Harish Hande: Lessons from Street Vendors

    Harish Hande: Lessons from Street Vendors

    What can we learn about resilience from street vendors? Just about everything, says Harish Hande of SELCO, an organization that delivers decentralized solar energy to the poor in India. Tackling both poverty and the energy crisis at once, Harish’s pioneering work relies on the belief that every individual offers their own expertise, and you don’t need a PhD to solve the world’s toughest problems.

    Harish says our obsession with pedigree causes us to overlook the expertise of individuals on the ground, especially when it comes to poverty alleviation and social innovation. He’s using sustainable energy to uplift street vendors in India who are already equipped with solutions to the problems threatening their livelihoods — they just need additional resources to spring into action. Drawing on his experience growing up under the caste system in a steel state in India, he shares with Courtney what it’s like to unlearn “untouchability.” They talk about SELCO’s mission-based hiring model — he rolls his eyes at the idea of hiring based on degrees and résumés — and the ways in which his work carries into his personal life as a father.

    For show notes and transcripts go to https://skoll.org/2021/05/19/solvers-episode-five-harish-hande-the-ultimate-solver-a-street-vendor/
    On social media: @skollfoundation #solverspod
    Send us an email: solvers@skoll.org

    • 27 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
56 Ratings

56 Ratings

Bob Norman 51 ,

Awesome and inspiring

Every one of the first 7 episodes has opened my mind and heart to both the people working to solve enormous problems and to the imperative to take personal action in any/every way that I can. Courtney and Nguhi are wonderful hosts, adding their own deep insights and questions into the complexities of the issues raised. Thank you!

lookingfortruth6395621 ,

Why

Why write a review. You only show the 5 star reviews.

Mahoganyslide ,

Solutions, finally

The media is full of deep analyses of problems, but very little about who is responding to them and how. Solvers (aptly named) brings much needed attention to solutions to the most entrenched problems. And the hosts are great! They both bring a nuanced perspective and never veer into baseless positivity/optimism or empty platitudes. Can’t wait for more episodes!

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