5 episodes

Solvers 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.

Solvers Skoll Foundation

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 25 Ratings

Solvers 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.

    Christian Happi: The Decolonizing Power of African-led Scientific Innovation

    Christian Happi: The Decolonizing Power of African-led Scientific Innovation

    Based in Nigeria, Dr. Christian Happi is a molecular biologist whose day job is combating infectious diseases. Alongside his life-saving scientific work, he’s on a mission to embolden young African scientists to take the narrative of Africa into their own hands. For far too long, says Happi, the West has failed to credit Africans for innovation and scientific breakthroughs—a legacy of the power dynamics of colonialism and anti-Black racism.

    Happi leads the African Center of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases. The Center has become a platform where Africans can do high quality science and be recognized as leaders in the field, on a global scale. His team was among the first to map genomes for both Ebola and Covid-19. Shared with scientists around the world, the genomic sequencing accelerated widespread testing and tracing of both diseases. Happi speaks with Nguhi about scientific innovation, the narrative shift of decolonization, and global lessons for the next pandemic. His message: Think how much Africa could contribute to the world, if given the opportunity.

    On social media: @skollfoundation #solverspod
    Send us an email: solvers@skoll.org

    • 44 min
    Why the Racial Justice Reckoning Requires Emotional Justice

    Why the Racial Justice Reckoning Requires Emotional Justice

    Too often we rely on technical models to address racism—implicit bias training, examining data and statistics, crafting institutional statements. But the very systems that uphold racial inequity Esther Armah says, are actually propped up by emotion, not logic. Changing the brutal realities of systemic racism requires embarking on a mission of “emotional justice.” For some, an “intimate reckoning” in our closest relationships is necessary, she says. Armah believes that we must confront, in both the personal and public spheres, the way race and racism are felt in the body.

    As founder of the Armah Institute of Emotional Justice, her visionary framework upends performative Diversity Equity and Inclusion trainings that often presume whiteness is the norm. Instead, her method harnesses the emotional power of theatre, art, and storytelling to center the experiences of the most marginalized members of a community. Esther speaks with Courtney about how unpacking emotionality is messy and uncomfortable, but crucial for substantive change.

    For show notes and transcripts, go to https://skoll.org/2021/05/05/solvers-episode-three-esther-armah-why-the-racial-justice-reckoning-requires-emotional-justice/
    On social media: @skollfoundation #solverspod
    Send us an email: solvers@skoll.org

    • 44 min
    Democracy—There’s No App for That

    Democracy—There’s No App for That

    If there’s one thing Alessandra Orofino won’t accept, it’s the status quo. She believes democracies can’t be healthy and thrive unless citizens roll up their sleeves and do the hard work of upholding democratic values. To that end, she co-founded Nossas, a Brazil-based activist organization that embraces fresh and unconventional ways to help people participate in the political life of their communities.

    Nossas took shape in 2011 when the discovery of off-shore oil ushered money into Rio de Janeiro and the city prepared to host the World Cup and Olympics. “I was concerned that a lot of these massive projects didn’t have citizens at the center of them,” she says. A decade later, her organization’s focus has turned to the state of democracy in Brazil, which has begun to unravel under President Jair Bolsonaro. In order for everyone—across the globe—to enjoy democratic freedoms, she says the problem of inequality must be solved. “We can’t have equal representation if we don’t have more equality in the other areas of our lives.” Alessandra talks with Nguhi about learning from failures (including an app that was DOA) and what drives people to take action (spoiler alert: YouTube). It turns out that democracy protectors in formerly colonized nations have a lot to teach former colonizer nations about the fragility of democracy.

    For show notes and transcripts, go to https://skoll.org/2021/04/28/solvers-episode-two-alessandra-orofino-democracy-theres-no-app-for-that/
    On social media: @skollfoundation #solverspod
    Send us an email: solvers@skoll.org

    • 38 min
    Community: The Driving Force Behind Economic Inclusion

    Community: The Driving Force Behind Economic Inclusion

    Rodney Foxworth says the racial “wealth gap” is a misnomer because it implies something that’s achievable to close. “Wealth chasm” is more on the nose since we’re talking about disparities created by centuries of oppression. Growing up in Baltimore, Rodney witnessed firsthand what many Black and brown communities face in America—systemic racism, over policing, economic dislocation. Now, as CEO of Common Future, he draws on that lived experience to create a network of organizations across the country that builds relationships and economic power in historically exploited communities.

    In the wake of the pandemic and the death of George Floyd, Common Future redistributed 10 percent of its operating budget—in one week—into a rapid COVID response fund. Meanwhile larger, deep-pocketed foundations struggled to spring into action. What can wealthy, predominantly white organizations learn from Common Future’s community-based approach? Rodney talks with Courtney about the “duty to community” that guides everything from his moral compass to his work building an inclusive economy.

    For show notes and transcripts, go to https://skoll.org/2021/04/21/solvers-episode-one-rodney-foxworth-community-the-driving-force-behind-economic-inclusion/
    On social media: @skollfoundation #solverspod
    Send us an email: solvers@skoll.org

    • 37 min
    Introducing Solvers

    Introducing Solvers

    Introducing Solvers, a podcast about social innovators tackling the world’s biggest problems. Hear voices from around the globe including infectious disease expert Christian Happi, activist and community organizer Alessandra Orofino, social entrepreneur and nonprofit executive Rodney Foxworth, and Esther Armah whose work focuses on racial healing. Today’s complex, entrenched, and intertwined problems like faltering democracy and racial inequality demand unconventional solutions.

    • 2 min

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25 Ratings

25 Ratings

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