Ahead of Christmas – a time when many of us in the West tend to over-indulge, Global GoalsCast is looking at food with a different angle. Namely, food as a revolutionary tool for development. This is a story of two entrepreneurial farmers in Zambia – Golden and Mainner and a market trader who sells their produce called Charity. Golden and Mainner are rural small scale farmers – growing enough to feed their families with some left over to sell at market.
Mainner and Golden became part of a pilot project by the World Food Program to create an ‘eBay for farmers’ in Zambia (a mashup of online maps, mobile money, camera and a chat system). They go from selling a couple of buckets of cowpeas (black-eyed peas) in 2016 to selling literally tons of different products (including eggplants and sweet potatoes). They become sellers for their community through this virtual farmers’ market. Mainner improves her home, sends her daughter to a better school and uses her phone to get books sent from abroad to start an after-school reading club in her house. Golden grows his agricultural business and seed bank for the poorer members of his village.
The big idea here is as old as civilisation itself. By connecting to a larger world these farmers get the most for their skills and output. Their lives and income improve as do those of their neighbours.
As Evin Joyce, one of the inventors of the app tells us, the last decade has seen almost every sector of rich world economies transformed by the latest digital and financial technologies, enabling people to do old things in new ways with greater efficiency. A similar revolution of digital and financial technologies is beginning in African agriculture. The questions are ‘how quickly will it happen,’ and, ‘who will it benefit most?’ If the world is to achieve Zero Hunger by 2030, we must answer by saying, ’as soon as possible’ and ’to benefit those furthest left behind.’
The episode also explores the World Food Program’s Local School Meals program in Kenya and Mali with Lara Fossi and Sylvia Caruso – where local farm produce is used to feed children – benefitting both the farmers and the kids of their community. The same thread Claudia and Edie explored in the episode on Extreme Hunger – the importance of investing in human capital – is reiterated as we discover that every single dollar invested in school meals has an economic return of between $3 to $10. Improved education and health in school children eventually leads to increased productivity when they become working adults.
Two additional food-related stories come to us in this episode from the Global GoalsCast sponsor, Undeniably Dairy. Listen to two female activists – Jenni Tilton Flood and Emily Hunt Turner. Jenni is a dairy farmer in Maine and Emily runs a grilled cheese restaurant in Minneapolis, Minnesota that employs those impacted by the criminal justice system.
Silvia Caruso has held the position of Country Director and Representative for the World Food Programme (WFP) in Mali since June 2016. With WFP since 1999, Ms Caruso has served as WFP Deputy Country Director in the Democratic Republic Congo (DRC), Deputy Country Director for Mozambique, Deputy Country Director for Madagascar, Programme Officer for WFP in Sudan and Head of Sub-Office in Kuando Kubango and Field Operations Coordinator in Luanda, Angola.
Mainner Chabota Malungo is a Maano Ambassador for the World Food Program. She lives in Pemba district, Zamiba. She is a farmer and this season helped 178 farmers sell 359 tons of produce through the Maano App.
Lara Fossi was assigned to WFP Kenya as Deputy Country Director (Programmes) in July 2018. She started working for WFP as a Junior Professional Officer in Burkina Faso (2002-2004) and has worked as a Programme Officer in Egypt (2004-2008), an External Relations Officer in Rome (2008-2011), a Programme Advisor in Rome (2011-2013) and most recently as Head of Capacity Strengthening in Kenya (2013-2018). Prior to joining WFP, she worked for NGOs in Bangladesh, Honduras and Tanzania.
Emily Hunt Turner is the Founder and CEO of All Square, a civil rights social enterprise centered on a craft grilled cheese restaurant and professional institute. All Square invest in the minds and lives of those impacted by the criminal justice system by providing paychecks, power, and professional pipelines to prosperity. Emily’s background is in law, architecture, and public policy. Prior to All Square, Emily spent five years as an attorney for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), tackling issues of prisoner reentry and housing segregation. She was selected as a 2015 HUD Emerging Leader, where she spearheaded federal prisoner reentry reform in Washington DC. She currently lives in Minneapolis—a block from All Square’s flagship location—with her wife, Melanie Hoffert.
Evin Joyce has been a teacher, tour-guide, soldier and pizza delivery driver, as well as a serial volunteer with humanitarian organisations (Belgian Red Cross, UNICEF France, slum schools in Delhi, asylum seekers in Ireland), before finding work with European Commission’s Humanitarian Department and then the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP).
He worked with WFP for five years in several countries, including Central African Republic, Ethiopia and Myanmar. However his most rewarding work with the UN happened in Zambia where he designed and developed a new app to help rural small-scale farmers sell their produce at more equitable prices.
Golden Lwindii is a farmer and businessman dealing with agricultural products and aggregating farm products. He is based in Mazabuka district, particularly Mbayamusuma settlements. He is an Ambassador for Maano and runs a seed bank for his community.
Lizzy Charity Mulengu is a young widow from Lusaka, Zambia. She is a trader at New Soweto Market and works together with her mother.
Jenni Tilton-Flood works on her family dairy farm – Flood Brothers Farm – in Clinton, Maine. It is a traditional family farm that has three generations caring for 3400 cows, calves and heifers, including a 1600 head milking herd that has been in the family and in agricultural production for over 200 years. Her list daily list of ‘to-do’s includes mechanic, veterinarian, manager, accountant, scientist, educator and economist. Jenni grew up the daughter of the local John Deere salesman She is an outspoken supporter of all things agriculture and spends her spare moments advocating for agriculture, the importance of the family farm in America and for local communities. Jenni is involved in her community and volunteers regularly with Maine Agriculture in the Classroom, within her local schools and youth sports, the Shine On Cass Foundation and Maine Food Strategy Network.
This episode was made possible thanks to the support of
Our life is not good. We plant our produce – but we don’t have market.
If we don’t have market for crops, there’s no point in growing for example 100 pounds of cowpeas. Where are you going to sell them.
Its ebay for Farmers. But adapted to the very specific needs of rural smallscale farmers and the traders who want to buy from them.
Maano increased my income because I managed to sell more than before.
Haha – having a smartphone is a good thing I tell you, I didn’t know how good it is.
Edie Lush (EL): This is the Global GoalsCast… The podcast that asks if we can change the world?
Claudia Romo Edelman (CRE): This episode we look at the revolutionary power of food …
But first! A shout out to our sponsors – we can’t make the Global GoalsCast without you!
Michelle Cooprider: Our thanks to CBS News Digital and to Harman the official sound of Global GoalsCast. And later in this episode with the support of Undeniably Dairy — we will hear stories from the people who put real, fresh dairy foods on your plate.
CRE: Welcome back, I am Claudia Romo Edelman
EL: And I am Edie Lush. Claudia, would you believe that thanks to Global GoalsCast I am now in a WhatsApp group with Zambian farmers? Anyone who is listening you can check them out in our twitter or Instagram feeds!
CRE: Knock yourself out!
EL: Exactly Mainner and Golden and Charity are all there!
EL: They are a big part of our conversation today about food – which is of course one of my favourite topics in the entire world. There’s a ton of new thinking around food and how the growing and marketing of food can be harnessed for other economic goals.
CRE: Famine and malnutrition remain a challenge in some places. But the closer we get to wiping out famine the more the business of food is being used to achieve other goals. So we want to tell you some stories.
EL: These are stories that illustrate a revolution in how food and food supply can spur economic development, educate young people, strengthen communities and include everyone in the disruptive benefits of new technology.
CRE: Sounds like a perfect fit to our mission of showing that We Are All Human, Edie. Look, by bringing in those Zambian farmers, including several women, we help to broaden the voices that you hear in the media. We have to have more diversity of voices because the world is diverse. And not only that but also it brings the idea that you’ll hear this episode is about inclusion, about bringing folks at the end of the road because by bringing us all up the playing field for humanity goes up as well.
CRE: So why don’t we start in Zambia and your conversations about how a mobile app has turned subsistence farmers into e-commerce agricultural entrepreneurs.
EL: First of all I have to introduce you to Evin, who actually now lives in Ireland. And he invented the coolest app.
Evin Joyce: Hi, my name is Evin Joyce and I worked for WFP as a program officer. I designed and managed a project, a project called MAANO virtual farmer’s market.
Edie : Tell me about that. What gave you the idea for it?
Evin Joyce: I got a job with the World Food Program in Zambia in 2015. One of the biggest challenges they’re facing, farmers, small holder rural farmers. Really smaller scale people right at the end of the road, if you like, the last mile, small scale farmers.
EL: I called up Evin a second time because I realized listening back to our first interview that I’d never asked him what he meant by a last mile farmer.
Evin Joyce: A last mile farmer in Zambia is somebody who is more than 20 kilometers from a tarmacked road, definitely doesn’t have any automated transport. Uses a plow the same way as plows would have been used hundreds of years ago, drawn by two oxen, has no idea what the price in the market is. Either when it is time to buy seeds or inputs or when it’s time to sell their crop. Because they have no automated transport they have to rely on the one bandjaxed old lorry that’s owned by some businessman and the closest town to bounce down their their dusty, muddy road to them at harvest time and offer them a low ball price to buy their crops, to which they’ll have to accept because they have no other option.
EL: Mainner and golden are just these kind of last mile farmers. Golden told me that the World Food Program would come to buy his cowpeas for their school feeding program – so that’s one buyer for one crop. Mainner told me about growing enough to feed her family, and sometimes having a little over to sell to one of these bandjaxed old lorries (which actually kindof sounds like my high school car) So anyway they are at the mercy of someone else who has a truck and the knowledge of what their crops are going to bring in…and to use language I learned in Econ 101 they suffer from Information Asymmetry – that’s when one group knows more than another. That was just part of the challenge these Zambian farmers confronted, as Mainner explained to me. I’m going to let her introduce herself.
Mainner Chabota: Okay, I am Mainner Chabota. I’m 42 years. I am married with four children. Three girls, one son.
Edie Lush: Mainner is a survivor and – just like you and me Claudia – as a mother she has a ferocious drive to look after her kids. She lives in a two bedroom house, has an outside kitchen, her house sits at the end of a dirt road 15 km from the nearest town. To feed her family when times were tough she traveled 1000 kilometers to the border with Congo to sell goats
And can you tell me what it was like before you had MAANO?
Mainner Chabota: Our life was not good. We plant our produce but we don’t have market. We were selling on using buckets and we travel from here to town to sell our produce.
Edie Lush: And how much would you sell for example, when you went to town before MAANO?
Mainner Chabota: Maybe five bags 250 kgs. Because of transport it was very expensive for my community to take the produce to town.
EL: Mainner has now become friends with one of the traders she met on the app – a young woman called Charity Mulengu. They are 224 kilometers apart but the app lets them do business more easily and more cheaply.
Charity Mulengu I’m 32 years. I was married. husband died in a road accident. I have two children. I work in New Soweto market selling spices and legumes with my mother. With Maano we are buying direct from the farmer. It is better in the way that – I can communicate direct with the farmer.. We agree on the thing which I want. For example if I want five bags of cowpeas. I will communicate with the farmer. Then the farmer will advertise those five bags of cowpeas. When I send the money to the WFP, WFP send the money to the farmers. When the farmer can send those 5 bags to me. With Maano trading is better because I don’t waste much of my time to go to the farms and meet the farmers.
EL: So that’s the power of MAANO — which means Intelligence in the local language, Tonga…Maano enabled buyers and sellers to communicate with each other and make deals…
Now I want to tell you how Maano got started. To do that lets hear again from Evin Joyce – one of the creators of the app for the World Food Program.
Evin Joyce: So it was to start by getting 15 farmers that I knew from other projects working with the World Food Program in Zambia and bringing 50 farmers from the five traders from different market towns in Zambia together for one week in a classroom in the middle of nowhere, in an old ministry of Agricultural Training School.
Evin Joyce: We had had conversations, that involved the traders going to one corner of the room and writing on a flip chart, all of the reasons they did not trust farmers, that the farmers would hide things in the bags of food to make it weigh more and there will be dirty crops in there. They talk about currency fluctuations that the farmers don’t understand. And then to have the farmers up at the other end of the room saying all of the reasons that they didn’t trust the traders. That the traders have played with the weighing scales that they lie about the price.
We train them how to use key functions of a smartphone, the camera, whatsapp, Google maps and mobile money. Then we put the traders in the classroom in the middle of the training complex which is about the size of four or five football pitches and that was to simulate the traders sitting in the marketplace in a market town, and then the farmers were hiding behind trees and sheds across the rest of the training facility outside. And then they advertise their produce to the traders in the whatsapp group that we’d created. Then afterwards, if the trader was interested, they’d say, yeah, how much are you selling for.
Evin Joyce: And once a price was negotiated in the whatsapp chat and the farmer would share their location, the googled pin, and the trader, just like Uber or airbnb works, would send the money to my phone as the World Food Program. And we were the escrow and we held the money until afterwards. The trader used the Google pin to find the farmer, exchange the produce, check it, and only when the trader was happy with quality and quantity that it was as described in the photo, then we would release the money to the farmer and then you’ve got a sale.
Evin Joyce: By the start of the summer of 2017 when the harvest was coming in, we were ready. And in that harvest season, we helped more than 1,200 farmers sell $50,000 worth of their crops through the system. Its Ebay for Farmers. But adapted to the very specific needs of rural smallscale farmers and the traders who want to buy from them. And those needs are that they are the end of the line, the last mile.
EL: So now for my other Zambian farmer friend. Golden Lwindii is a 46 year old farmer who lives about 70 kilometers away from Mainner. He runs an agricultural goods shop in his village, a successful cooperative which has a seed bank for poor farmers. He’s got plenty to keep him busy.
Golden Lwindii: My name is Golden Lwindii. I’m married, I’ve got six children, three girls and three boys.
Edie Lush: Oh my goodness. You have your hands full
Golden Lwindii: Yes.
Edie Lush: Tell me how many generations has your family been working your land?
Golden Lwindii: About four generations.
Edie Lush: What was the process like when, when Evin and the World Food Program first brought mono to you? What happened?
Golden Lwindii: The world food program used to come to our place, then we could put the crops together, a sort of aggregation. Then the world food program will come and get the crops. Then maybe after two weeks to one month, that’s when we can get our money.
Edie Lush: And tell me how that changed with MAANO?
Golden Lwindii: When Maano came, you know MAANO is a platform, a platform where buyers meet with the farmers so we have more than one buyer, so there is more chance of negotiating the price. And if you have more buyers, then it means that the price will go up. So this time, for example, if buyer A is offering me 2 Kuacha per kg of cowpeas, then I am free not to accept that price. Maybe there are other buyers offering it for 4 or 5 kuacha per kg of cowpeas. So it has increased our marketing system.
Edie Lush: And how much has it increased your income would you say?
Golden Lwindii: It has really increased our income, before MAANO came, we only used to sell two types of crops, that is maize and cowpeas. But when MAANO came, it attracted a lot of buyers so those buyers had different requirements. Some maybe want to buy cowpeas, others want to buy soya beans, others who’d want to buy maize and so forth. So it has improved our income in the sense that we have the market for every crop that we grow
Golden Lwindii: If you don’t have market for crops, there is no point in growing them, for example, a hundred bags of cowpeas. Where are you going to sell them? So before the coming of this market, people used only to grow before enough for consumption, but after market now people started to grow from, from four bags to about 60 bags from six to 100 bags from 100 bags to 200 bags. So people have got money now, more than ever before.
EL: That is a big deal. So the benefits of this virtual farmers’ market include more reliable price information, more potential buyers, lower transport costs and reliable payment. And as Mainner told me, she sold more produce which brought her more income.
Mainner Chabota: MAANO increased my income, because I manage to sell more now than before MAANO. So MAANO now is able to buy even if I have a less than 50 kgs, MAANO buys, so Maano increased more. Maybe I can save 45 percent.
Edie Lush: And tell me what crops do you grow now?
Mainner Chabota: I grow, maize, cowpeas, soybeans, bambara nuts, grounds nuts, sweet potatoes, potatoes, eggplants. Before MAANO, we were growing only maize and small cowpeas, only to fed the family.
Golden Lwindii: Before this program came were, we didn’t have markets. So now you can come in my community, people are able now to send their children to school, people are living in the (inaudible) housese.
Edie Lush: One part about this story that I love is that the WFP gave the farmers smartphones – for most of them this was their first encounter with such a device. And beyond using maano for themselves, they also sell on behalf of others in their village that don’t have smartphones. And they end up using them for all kinds of things. Mainner used them to organise for a bunch of books to be sent to her from abroad so she could set up an after-school library for kids in her village. And – they use them just like we all do – to communicate with our friends.
Golden Lwindii: Haha – Having a smartphone is a good thing I tell you. I didn’t know how good this is. You see, like on whatsapp uh, we have so many groups that we are discussing a lot of famine issues. Maybe if you are not on whatsapp, then you can on facebook, you are connected nearly to everyone.
Edie Lush: how does, um, MAANO help those people who don’t have a smartphone?
Golden Lwindii: I am an ambassador for MAANO.
Golden Lwindii: We put the crops together. I get the pictures, I advertise on the platform. Then after that they buyers will be able to see the crops. They don’t need to travel to come here and see the crops. But you can send the pictures using the smartphone.
EL: Mainner and Golden are early adopters, power users and are now agricultural digital entrepreneurs. They help their neighbors sell cowpeas, or eggplants, or goats on Maano and they take a small percentage of the proceeds for their efforts. They are getting paid to help others in their community.
Evin Joyce: But it isn’t every single person, every single farmer that’s going to be a, an e-commerce entrepreneur. But it is in that group, for example, the first farmers who, who, who were in the pilot in 2017, 20 percent of those farmers sold more produce than the other 80 percent. And in that, in that 20 percent, there were some who were real altruistic enablers of others like Mainner or Golden Lewindii who is already a small businessman but in a cooperative in his village, but who had a community seed bank that worked in the cooperative, in his village that helped the most vulnerable people in his community come, borrow seed, grow a bit of produce, bring it back, you know, they were on the margins. They’re very hard to reach, with any kind of a business, entrepreneurial adventure. But if you can build a reward system into the project as we did with Maano virtual farmer’s market, you can help include them. And then it’s the Mainner Chabotas and the Golden Lewindis, wh have the capacity and are in these really rural areas. That’s, that can help reach the really vulnerable people.
EL: So Claudia the big idea here is as old as civilization itself. By connecting to a larger world these farmers get the most for their skills and output. This is only the second harvest with the market created by maano, but the changes are clear.
CRE: So Edie, this isn’t just about food to eliminate hunger. this is about the power of food to eliminate poverty and spur growth and development
EL: that is it in a nutshell..in zambia i think its a bambara nutshell..
CRE: So when we come back, we will hear about another program that offers food to encourage students to stay in school. And if you are a loyal listener that we know you are to the Global GoalsCast you know how important staying in school is… IRSE DE PINTA go out of school is bad story – I am not sure I want to hear your stories as a student Edie.
EL: I was a very good student and I never skipped school. But I’ve heard stories about you actually.
CRE: We’ll be back in a second.
SPONSOR BREAK – 2.5 min Dairy interview
EL: So from Zambia to Maine! Our sponsor – Undeniably Dairy – put me in touch with a rather remarkable dairy farmer in Maine. Here’s my conversation with Jenni Tilton-Flood -mother, farmer, activist and community leader.
EL: So Jenni, the population of farmers, those who are involved in agriculture that feed the world is actually a very small percentage. Some statistics say in the United States, it’s less than two percent feeding everyone else. Tell me what it’s like being a dairy farmer?
Jenni Tilton-Flood (JTF) It used to be we lived in a world where everybody either knew a farmer or they had a really deep connection with where their food came from and from whom. In my state of Maine here in the US, it’s less than half percent of the population really spends their time putting food on the tables of our neighbours.
JTF: Our cows eat very well. Some of them eat around 130 pounds of food a day and it’s not just anything we throw at them we don’t just see what’s cheap on the grocery store shelves. We make sure that nutritionists evaluate how they’re doing, how they’re feeling, how they look and make sure we’re giving them all the nutrition they need and we even have new recipes that they’ll give us to feed them and we utilize a lot of the food that we raise here on our own farm for them.
EL So on the Global GoalsCast, we are unapologetically pro female, pro girl, pro women. And I’m delighted to be speaking to a female dairy farmer. So tell me what your perspective on women in agriculture is personally. How do you find it?
JTF My dad was the John Deere Salesperson and so I was always in the truck riding around a farm. So I’ve always been around the women of agriculture and it’s always been such a given for me, that women are the people who are driving the checkbook and driving the home and the tractors. They’re, they’re not just raising crops, they are raising our future and they’re doing so by putting food on the table, putting money in the bank and infusing their communities at large with the ability to grow, prosper and better themselves.
So whether you’re talking about the fact that a dairy farm is actually taking their manure and turning it into renewable energy sources and actually powering the homes and communities or you’re talking about the fact that not only did they provide the electricity for the lights at the local ball field, they probably sponsored the tee shirts that those kids are wearing in their community ball team.
We’re also a certified B Corp and that means that we’re committed to social and environmental excellence and we’re really working to benefit in a meaningful way, not just our business but the societies that we touch and the communities we’re involved with and the environment that we live in, work in and depend upon.
CRE: welcome back…later in the show we’re going to hear from another remarkable woman who also works in dairy!
Ok, Edie, we know from our work here at the Global GoalsCast that education is perhaps the most powerful force for long term change…
EL: We’ve been banging on about that in almost every single episode. And of course in the short term that means keeping kids in school today. Which is how I got to talking with another world food program officer in Kenya about how food can help to do that.
Lara Fossi: My name is Lara Fossi. I’m the deputy country director for the World Food Program in Kenya. A lot of my work has been focused around the school meals program which is one of our flagship programs.
Lara Fossi: In 2009, the Kenya homegrown school meals program was launched. Local farmers basically produce food that is then purchased for use in school meals. Which maximizes the benefits for students, farmers and the community. And it also encourages dietary diversity and healthy eating habits. School meals aims to provide children with a meal in schools so they don’t have to learn on an empty stomach. The meals promote enrolment. And they also help children stay in school so that they complete can their education. By procuring locally from farmers, from the surrounding communities, school meals are also acting as a stimulus to the local economy.
Lara Fossi: And we actually started a local economy wide impact evaluation study earlier this year that is going to try to capture the full impacts that a program like school feeding can have on the local economy. We do know from cost benefit analysis that have been conducted in a sample of countries that every single dollar invested in school meals has an economic return of between $3 to $10 and this is from improved education and health in school children that eventually leads to increased productivity when they become working adults.
EL Lara Fossi describes the power of these school meals in arid part of Kenya
Lara Fossi: In northern Kenya enrolment can be as low as 50 percent in primary school. Many children simply don’t access a school education and many children in those communities don’t have a guaranteed meal every day during the lean season when people’s livelihoods are under stress. In rural Kenya when communities and families see the smoke rising from the fires that are being stoked in the morning from the schools it is a real incentive for families to send their children to school. That smoke is like a signal that there is a meal that will be prepared during that school day.
Lara Fossi: In July this year, WFP completed its handover of the school meals program to the government. So this is now a program that covers over 1.6 million children and it’s fully led, financed and implemented. So run now by Kenyans for Kenyans.
CRE So the World Food Program in 2017 implemented school meal programs across 71 countries that provided more or less 18 million children countries in 60 countries some meals
EL: that is a lot. Another wfp official in Mali, summed up why feeding kids in school is so powerful….
Sylvia Caruso I’m Sylvia Caruso, Caruso, like the opera singer. I’m Italian, I’m from the south of Italy, from Naples, and I’ve been in posted here in Mali, in Bamako since July 2016 as the World Food Program representative.
Sylvia Caruso I talk about the importance of human capital. What does it mean? We, we try to support children because children are, of course, the future of those communities. We provide either food or cash to the committees in the schools for assuring one meal a day for children in primary schools. And It’s an implicit transfer to the families means the families don’t have to feed those children. But it also helps the children to stay at school, focus better on their learning and make sure they attend the school throughout the years.
CRE: Edie, very very powerful stories about food as a crucial tool for achieving the global goals–we may sound like food groupies right? Like totally on WFP’s camp. But the truth is that we’re really impressed by the results that organisations like the WFP gets.
EL: This was a really remarkable episode for me to work on – in fact as you know this episode was supposed to be about something completely different. We were supposed to talk about famine, about the hungriest people in the world. And the story from Mainner, from Golden, listening to Charity just slightly took this episode over. So I’m afraid we’re going to have to make another episode.
CRE Does this mean we are committing on air to a second episode on famine and all the other areas of food. I mean I’m in – such a complex and rich issue with so many layers. Let’s do it.
EL: Exactly. So I think we should return to famine, improving harvest yield with better technology, all those issues in another episode.
CRE: So one issue that really jumped out at me in this episode, Edie is the power of technology to help people who really need the help. It is the same technology that you would use to get a cab in uber or a date in Tinder. But used actually for good.
EL: So here is more on that from Evin Joyce, one of the inventors of that remarkable app who worked for the WFP in Zambia.
Evin Joyce Overthe last few years, the last decade we’ll say, and every single sector of rich world economies transformed by digital technologies, financial technologies as well that are essentially enabling people to do old things in new ways with greater efficiency. There’s a similar revolution of digital and financial technologies. It’s about to take place in African agriculture. It’s already started in some places – that will occur. It’s not in question. It’ll sure as night follows day. It’s the same as the way ecommerce has shaken the retail industry. How airbnb has shocked the hotel industry, how Uber has challenged the taxi industry. The same thing will happen in Africa, African agriculture, But what we need to ask is how quickly it’ll happen and who it’ll benefit most. Because if the world is to achieve this zero hunger goal by 2030, then the answer to this, to these questions has to be that It’s going to happen as soon as possible on. It’s going to benefit those further behind first.
CRE: Equity and equality, food and nutrition are essential to provide a fair chance to everyone. Without that, there will be consequences that will be very very expensive. Healthcare is increasingly heavy when you don’t act on prevention. When you don’t act on making sure that that 7 billion growing to nine will have access to food, one way or the other as a right. Then you will have to pay for the consequences on healthcare and diseases and it will have an economic and a social consequence and a price for the world. So it is important to look at nutrition. Food is an essential right for everyone. We are all human and we need to be nourished.
EL – And that’s what we heard in this episode. Mainner with her increased income starts eating better, starts providing more varied food to her kids. And she stops worrying about being hungry. And that frees her to focus on other ways that she can improve her community.
CRE: So Edie, his is the end of our first season of The Global Goalscast.
EL: We will return in january with season two. we already have plans to bring you stories about climate change, diversity and inclusion and, as we just told you, fighting famine in some of the most troubled places on earth
CRE: We do want to thank every in our network – all the UN agencies and NGO’s who have connected us to every corner of the world – Edie we have been in every continent – in more than a dozen countries – in order to find the stories that make this podcast.
EL: I have learned an enormous amount this year.
CRE: Oh my god me too.
EL: Remember Brenda from our first episode Claudia? She crossed the Rio Grande, I’m not going to say the Rio Grande River. She crossed the Rio Grande and became a Google Software engineer. The Swans, who walked to the south pole, relying soley on renewable energy.
CRE: 60 days, 600 miles, only on renewable energy.
EL: I really wish I had so many pennies for every time that I heard you say that. The Palau pledge people, who did that incredible program now when you enter Palau the country you get a stamp in your passport that says you will leave that country better than you found it. They won an award – just after we made that podcast about them.
CRE Right! And just like the Palau pledge, we will make the Global GoalsCast pledge. We’ll commit to having a season two where we will bring you more stories, more people, more voices of the champions that are making a difference. Allowing you to know that you can do your part as well. And that we together can make the difference.
EL: And before we go let’s hear some more from the dairy folks – this time I spoke with Emily Hunt Turner, a former attorney who runs an restaurant in Minneapolis called All Square selling something I actually can’t say without my mouth watering .. grilled cheese sandwiches. there’s something very special about this particular restaurant .
Emily Hunt Turner (EHT) All square is a civil rights social enterprise in Minneapolis, Minnesota and we are centered on a craft grilled cheese restaurant and professional development institute. And we invest in the minds and lives of those who have been impacted by the criminal justice system.
Our Name and our brand is sort of a double entendre. Our grilled cheese are square and we’re also making a positive statement I think to the world that once those, who have paid their debts to society are all square as well.
Grilled cheese has had this really equalizing, warm factor in our enterprise. Cheese is – a bit of an adhesive and I think that that’s something that we really like. Let’s talk about the issue, let’s do something on the ground to provide a solution to it, but let’s also, you know, invite people in to break bread and, share a little warmth.
EL So tell me about some of the folks that you work with
EHT We have 12 fellows traveling through our 12 month curriculum. I think we have an incredible range of humans with all varieties of backgrounds, expertise. some have college degrees, some don’t. Some had been out of prison for two months, some have been out for years. The grilled cheese restaurant is a way to put money in their pockets, but investing in their professional endeavors as well through the institute and getting to know who they are and what they want to do with their lives. We have two fellows who were studying for the LSAT to get into law school, one who’s applying for a paralegal associate and the rest of them are developing small business plans. The people that are involved in this are really what’s making it the most rewarding for me and I think all of our leadership.
EL: What’s the most surprising part of your work?
EHT: The issue that we’re dealing with – the reality is once you have even an arrest that never resulted in a conviction, let alone a conviction on your record, the dreams are really foreclosed. The intention and the hope goes directly to – once I get out of prison or once I’ve had my record resolved, how can survive? How can I find a place to live and find a job and will that even be possible? I don’t know that it will. And dreams are not really on the table. And that’s, that is incredibly disheartening in my mind. And it’s also not okay.
EL So I want to bring it back finally to grilled cheese. How did you decide on grilled cheese?
EHT: With this diversity of perspective, with this diversity of viewpoint and a lot of the polarizing rhetoric that we’re seeing in the world today. Grilled cheese just had a really unifying dimension to it that felt warm. It felt safe and it felt like community.
EL: This was the first series of the Global GoalsCast and I’m Edie Lush.
CRE: And I’m Claudia Romo Edelman Thank you so much for having been with us this year. See you next year.
Michelle: Thank you to our partners….
This episode wouldn’t have been possible without Keith Reynolds, Founder & President of Spoke Media who lent us his ear.
Intro: 00:02 My friend who was my best friend in the village who failed to go to secondary school because he parents couldn’t raise $6 and I was privileged to go, but she was brighter than me, is still where I left her. I always say, please present me, the young girl who decided to leave school at 10 in order to be married at 12. Even I was surprised when we ran these numbers that it shows that almost 90 percent of the people remaining in extreme poverty will be in Subsaharan Africa by 2050. In today’s world, you cannot reduce poverty if you don’t reduce conflict. You cannot reduce hunger if you don’t deal with conflict and war.
Claudia: 00:49 This is the Global GoalsCast.
Edie: 00:51 The podcast that asks if we can change the world.
Claudia: 00:55 This episodes, are we losing ground in the fight against extreme poverty?
Edie: 00:59 Right after this.
CREDITS: 01:02 This episode was made possible thanks to the support of Cisco and thank you to HARMAN the official sound of global goals cast.
Edie: 01:12 Welcome back. I’m Edie Lush.
Claudia: 01:14 And I’m Claudia Romo Edelman. This episode, we’ll look at the most fundamental of all the sustainable development goals, Goal number one.
Edie: 01:22 That’s right. The goal of eliminating extreme poverty by 2030. So Claudia, did they make it goal one because it was the most important of the 17 sustainable development goals?
Claudia: 01:34 Yes. All the other goals are based on ending poverty and many are also essential to ending poverty, educating girls, curbing population growth, curtailing climate change, resolving conflicts.
Edie: 01:48 And we know the world has made extraordinary progress in eradicating extreme poverty in Asia. A billion people have been lifted up,
Claudia: 01:56 But now bill gates is sounding an alarm.
Bill Gates: 01:59 Even I was surprised when we ran these numbers that it shows that almost 90 percent of the people remaining an extreme poverty will be in Subsaharan Africa by 2050, and so what this means is that this poverty is going to be a feature of life in a few places and these are places where there are the fewest opportunities. In some of these places, there’s violence, a lack of stability. These are places where climate change will make these subsistence farmers lives more difficult. Also, these are often places where the governance is not providing the primary health care or education even at a basic level and every one of these places are exactly where we’re experiencing rapid population growth. The geography of births in the world is changing and this is something that’s really fascinating. Over the rest of the century, the number of babies born stays the same. We really reached peak baby. We can seethat the places that they’re born are changing.
Claudia: 03:08 That was Bill Gates at his Goalkeepers event during the global goals week in New York.
Edie: 03:13 That was very well done for getting all those words out.
Claudia: 03:16 I know, concentrated poverty in Africa. That’s what bill and Melinda Gates warned about in the report from their foundation. Later in this episode, we will hear from an expert who helped prepare that report.
Edie: 03:30 First, let’s talk about the solutions. Gates stressed to us in the audience that the situation is far from hopeless. He was calling the world’s attention to present trends so the world would change those trends.
Claudia:03:43 China and India have beaten extreme poverty and they are already success stories in Africa,
Edie: 03:48 And you know how much we love success stories,
Claudia: 03:51 We do.
Edie: 03:51 …Here on the global GoalsCast. The world needs to take what we already know works well and do much, much more of it. That was the message from Bill and Melinda Gates. Invest in people and what they call human capital.
Claudia: 04:05 So Edie, why don’t we start with your conversation with an African leader that you caught up at the United Nations. I have to admit, she’s one of my favorites.
Dr. Joyce Banda:04:13 My name is Joyce Banda. I am former president of the Republic of Malawi, but I’ve been in the women’s Movement for 35 years so people know me for the work that I’ve done in the Joyce Banda Foundation. I am convinced that Africa will change for the better and I’ll caution that we have done well. We’ve done our best. We’ve been leaders even before colonization and we’re leaders today and we are participating and we have had 4 female presidents there other continents that are still trying to get one woman to statehouse that I know.
Edie: 04:50 Still waiting here in the U. S. I also know from the work I’ve done on the Global GoalsCast how important it is to keep girls in secondary education so that they can make the right choice at age 15. Here, the goalkeepers event, president macron was blunt about this. Let me play it.
Pres Macron: 05:07 always say, please present me with a lady who decided, being perfectly educated, to have seven, eight, nine children, please present me the young girl who decided to leave school at 10 in order to be married at 12 and this is not teaching African people from New York. This is a pure bullshit to say that.
Edie: 05:36 So tell me what you think we can do to support girls with that really important stage.
Dr. Joyce Banda: 05:40 Now I’m glad you asked that question. The Joyce Banda Foundation runs to secondary schools and I hope that one day you can have a chance to visit. One of them is up and the other one is rural based in the community because my friend was my best friend in village who failed to go to secondary school because her parents couldn’t raise $6 and I was privileged to go, but she was brighter than me, is still where I left her. So Christa lost out and I went all the way to state house and I think that is the greatest injustice to the 130 million girls that are not going to school. So I engaged Christa I even brought her to America yet we even met together Gordon Brown in 2018. So she’s my fellow champion in the village. She’s the one who goes looking for children, girls that we can send to our school in the village, but the village, we target girls and boys that are from child headed households. So what needs to happen now is that most countries they have free primary education, but secondary education is not free.Our school is one of the only three free secondary schools in Malawi. So what do we need to do is to find a way of providing free education to these girls when they get. We live in years old now, they are going to seconrdary school because, when a girl stays four more years in secondary school in Africa in the village, it’s not only about her future, it’s about her health as well because then we will hopefully we avoid getting married at 11, at 12 and in Malawi I’ve seen a nine year old bride. But when she gets older school they need just four more years and do your research and mine have taught us that most of those that are dying giving birth are between 12 and 19, so secondary education to agree with what you’ve just said is critical in many ways, but it is important for us to find a way because there are many countries that have decided. Ghana has just introduced free secondary education, but you can see the challenges now.
Edie: 07:46 Dr Joyce Banda, the former president of Malawi a really inspiring person and I absolutely do hope to visit her schools.
Claudia: 07:53 Yes, I’m sure everybody would like to hear more and maybe Edie, maybe in season two we will have some funding to send you to Malawi. Oh my God and Michelle too, she’s waving. Okay. Together with our producer. But for now, we learned so much during these, what we called the global goals week that happens at the framework of the United Nations General Assembly. And also from the Goalkeepers, from the people that came from all over the world to this coast, precisely for the advancement of the sustainable development goals this September.
Edie: 08:26 We’ve said so often, Claudia, that educating girls is the single most powerful tool for ending extreme poverty and improving society’s.
Claudia: 08:33 Yes, and part of what Bill Gates is saying is that the challenge in parts of Africa is deep and complicated, made more so because the population is growing fastest in some of the poorest and most distressed places, so ending strife goes hand in hand with education, improving agriculture and curbing climate change as well as population growth.
Claudia: 08:55 Edie, you spoke to a child soldier from Sierra Leone, right?
Edie: 08:59 Yes. A child soldier who was rescued by some women from UNICEF and is now an education activist with a vision.
MohammedSidibay: 09:05 My name is Mohammed Sidibay. I was born in a country that was engaged in a 10 year war in which I got involved in it when I was five. The rebels came to my village and played God on the lives of my entire family and they took me and so I became a child soldier from when I was five until I was 10. Like most wars, the war in Sierra Leone ended and I found myself in the streets of Freetown not knowing how to read or write and being homeless and orphaned, under 10 years old. That’s not a situation I should have been in.
Edie: 09:42 And so what did you do? What happened?
MohammedSidibay: 09:45 Thanks to UNICEF who helped to get me in school and then thanks to organizations like I Earn, the My Hero Project, I serendipitously came to the United States 4 years after I got out of the war. I was 14 at the time and I came to speak at a conference on the topic Children caught in crossfire and it was supposed to last a week and that week is morphed into 11 years now. Before coming to America, I thought America was the greatest country in the world, in the Sierra Leone was a country of violence and I never wanted to go back because he has done nothing but take away everything from me and has never given me anything. I quickly realized that was wrong on both fronts. That Sierra Leone it’s not a country of violence, is violence with an aspect of my culture too. I was introduced to and America was not that. It’s not the perfect society I imagined it to be. Then it’s a country of paradox in so many ways.
Edie: 10:47 That’s putting it lightly, I would say. You credit UNICEF and some education for what saved you or is that the right way to put it? Tell me a little more about that journey. What was it specifically about that education that opens your world view?
Mohammed Sidibay: 11:04 When you were a kid, there are, people take it for granted in the West, the ability to learn how to read and write, the ability to see your name and recognize that it’s your name. It gives you ownership. And so by fighting to ensure that I was enrolled in school so that I learned how to spell and how to read and write, I gain ownership of who I was. Now granted to the circumstances and the situation we’re not ideal, but I think that was like the first step.
Edie: 11:39 When I interview you in a year, what’s going to be an incremental bit of success that we can talk about?
MohammedSidibay: 11:46 My hope is right now there’s a ban on girls education. Pregnant girls abuse specific. Pregnant girls are being prevented from to school with a government that says universal education for all. In a year, I hope that that will not be the case, that. That there will be a band that this government will realize on their president says, this is not right and we’re going to reverse that ban. Furthermore, there are a lot of new powerful positions have been created with the leaders in the administration of inclusion for young people, but what I’m seeing is these powerful positions have been created, have been mainly filled by boys country that has more women than men, should not be this way. So in a year term, I hope the presidents will continue to create more opportunities and more high profile jobs and make sure that women are the one filling these roles because to me that’s important because most of 99.9% of the people have had the biggest impact in my life, who have helped shaped my life and my vision of the world and who’ve ensured that I am where I am today and been women and I think it’s time that we give credit where credit’s due.
Claudia: 12:59 Goof more Mohammed Sidibay of Sierra Leone.
Edie: 13:01 It was very moving to hear his story and to recognize that both he and Joyce Banda, we’re telling personal stories that represent a broad path forward. For Africa to breakout of the trends Bill Gates is warning about.
Claudia: 13:15 Yes, exactly. You spoke to one of our partners who had a very important perspective of how complex eradicating poverty is now and why the path leads straight through one other of the global goals.
Edie: 13:29 His name is Neil Keny-Guyer, and he’s the CEO of Mercy Corps. Now I know that you’re most concerned about goal number 16. For those who don’t know, it tells what it is and why.
Neil KG: 13:41 Goal Sixteen essentially relates to peace, justice, and good sound institutions. The reason that we think that goal 16 is so important, in fact, the most critical goal is because in today’s world you cannot reduce poverty if you don’t reduce conflict. You cannot reduce hunger if you don’t deal with conflict and war. If you know promote peace, you cannot continue to make progress around health and education, and the reason is is because poverty, poor health, poor education outcomes, unclean water, hunger, they’re all clustering in a set of fragile states, so that’s why it is absolutely essential that we make progress in addressing some of the fundamental conflicts around the world. Otherwise, we will not achieve the aspiration of the sustainable development goals.
Edie: 14:36 Tell me what you’re seeing, the kind of work that you do with fragile communities, with people who are really under pressure.
Neil KG: 14:42 We have to recognize, particularly in these fragile states, these places were poor governance, conflict and extreme poverty all collide and keep people trapped, keep people from moving forward that the interventions that worked in more stable places where we’ve seen such dramatic results from China to India to Indonesia and on and on and the results have been spectacular. Those same formulas don’t work in fragile states and of course there are no silver bullets. There is no shiny solution is, there’s no great innovation or app that’s going to come in and turn around these environments. Investing in women, gender equality is going to be critical and essential part of it, but at Mercy Corps, we talk about the three Gs as the way forward is in a way way to think about it. First G is grievance and we’ve in many of these places, you have to address underlying deep seeded historic grievances that are often aggravated and accelerated by, you know, modern political leaders. But if you don’t address the underlying grievance, if you don’t help people see a common future together, then you won’t make progress. Secondly is governance. I think the development community has been weak on governance and I don’t mean the functioning of government. What I mean is the relationship between government, private sector and some form of community or civil society, but in whatever we do, whatever our interventions, whether it’s education, whether it’s health, we have to do that in a way that strengthens systems of governance. And then the third G is growth is economic growth because in these fragile places, you cannot sustain the gains in health, education and social welfare if you don’t simultaneously have inclusive enough growth. That is absolutely essential as we see everywhere. So we think when you can put the three G’s together, you can actually begin to turn around fragile states, put them on a more stable, potentially more peaceful and prosperous pathway forward.
Edie: 16:49 That’s Neil Keny-Guyer of mercy corps with their three G’s of sustainable development. Heal grievances, improve governance and drive growth. Here at global goalsCast, we add a fourth G, gender equity.
Claudia: 17:02 You said it, Edie, we need all four G’s to achieve the SDGs.
Edie: 17:06 You do sound like a cheerleader a little bit.
Claudia: 17:09 I always wanted to be one.
Edie: 17:10 Did you?
Claudia: 17:10 Yeah but in Mexico we don’t have those. We don’t have American football, so…
Edie: 17:15 And when we come back we will speak with two experts about population growth in Africa, how some countries have slowed population growth and others have not, and why this matters so much.
Claudia: 17:30 Listeners will know from our last episode about Cisco’s initiative with Middle School kids called the global problem solvers. That is only as small part of what they do to use technology and expertise to make a positive impact on people, society and the planet and also to create an inclusive digital economy. Edie caught up with Amanda Cumberland at the World Economic Forum Sustainable Development Impact Summit during the UNGA. Amanda works at Cisco Corporate Affairs on a strategic insights team that does research analytics and business intelligence.
Edie: 18:05 You’ve got some new research that you’ve done on skilling, on the world of work, where our children are going to be when they enter the work field. Tell me, give me the broad brushes, first of all.
CISCO: 18:14 So recently we did a research study partnering with Oxford Economics and we wanted to really understand the impact of technology on the labor market, the future labor market and that includes jobs of course and skills of the future and we did this sort of complex modeling looking at what jobs are going to change over the next 10 years and which jobs are going to be more at risk for displacement. We know technology creates jobs as well and so the more we can anticipate that and understand, you know, the changes that are happening and the skills that are really needed for the future, the more we can help prepare the future workforce. We looked at, okay, what are those skills that are going to be less required and so things that are a little bit more routine in terms of communication, administration and things, obviously are going to be a little bit easier to automate and skills that require, you know, critical thinking and creativity and design, you know, you’re all going to be less likely to be automated. I think we all talk about the technology skills and how important those are and how fast everything is changing, but what was really interesting also is on top of that, we found there’s a 32 percent skills gap in human skills will be called human skills over the next 10 years.
Edie: 19:17 What’s a human skill?
CISCO: 19:19 That’s a great question. So things like negotiation and persuasion, social perceptiveness instructing, you know, teaching those things are really going to be more important given a lot of the complexity that’s happening with the new digital world, but also all the data, right? All the complicated changes that are happening, but it’s also less likely to be automated. It’s more human friendly. We also looked at for specific jobs that may be displaced for a specific person and a specific role, what are the probable jobs they could move into. So what does that mean? What kind of skills would they have? The debt could be translated into other type jobs. So just looking at data around the historical patterns. When jobs that required those skills were displaced, what kind of jobs do they move into? And then what are those gaps they need to fill so that it can be very specific also.
Claudia: 20:10 We’re back. Let’s go straight to your conversation with Dr Joannie Bewa, whom you and I met through the gates foundation. She’s a physician from Benin who told us about what made her become a doctor.
Joannie Bewa: 20:25 That’s a very sad story of of best friend of mine who had to 12 years old had this unwanted pregnancy. She didn’t know who to talk to, how to address it and she just did an abortion and unfortunately she never came back to school and she died. And from this moment I realized that there is like a gap because the school does not teach you anything about that. It does not cover sexuality at all. And then I decided to begin to work as an activist and actually to become a physician also to address the lack of access to health services.
Edie: 21:03 Tell me about that. Tell me what the challenges are that you face in helping young women get reproductive health Services
Joannie Bewa: 21:11 Sexuality is taboo in some areas in the world and sometime it may not be easy to talk about this issue or their can be like some hesitation for young girls actually to discuss about it even though they need this information. But a good thing when you try to find the funniest way or the most relaxed way to address this issue, you realize that they asked questions and they want more. They even more than what you anticipated. An example I used to do, demonstration of how to use male condoms, but also female condom and you can see the energy in the room of women’s and girls and boy who wants to really know how to use that because school actually doesn’t address that issue.
Edie: 22:00 It’s totally obvious to me that youth and especially young women have an incredibly important role to play at this and I love your idea about bringing humor to it. Tell me a little bit more. What did you do? Were you putting them on cucumbers? What were you doing?
Joannie Bewa: 22:15 Well, the thing is I just start like as if I want to talk about a serious issue and so people are very like attentive and I’m like, okay, so we are going to talk about how to use female condoms, who wants to show me? And everyone is just hesitant. I’m like, okay. Then I will show you and then I just remove it and I say, okay, this is how to use it, This is what not to do. And they realize they, especially for female condom or maybe even for oral contraception, you realize that they don’t know body image, healthy relationship is also the kind of thing we discuss about. So it’s a wide range of workshop or community dialogue of using soccer or social media. Try to use every strategy to bring young people together.
Claudia: 23:02 This brings us to our discussion about the giant elephant in the room. One of the keys to keep progress going forwardis to slow down the rapid rates of population growth in parts of Africa. This is not about population control.
Edie: 23:15 This is about human rights. This is about giving women in places like northern Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, and the other eight countries where population is projected to double by 2050. The right to decide when they get married and how many children they want to have. This was explained to me by Alex Ezeh, an African demographer who wrote a section of the gates report on population in Africa.
Alex Ezeh: 23:41 Much of the bug that is driving the growth in the population actually is one third. These are women who have exceeded that number of children. They would have wanted if they have control over their reproduction. The women who have decided I don’t want to have anymore children. They want to delay your next book by at least two years, but they are not using any effective methods of contraception. And because of this they end up with unwanted fertility, which can be mistimed or not wanted at all. And if you can actually help this women to manage that, you can reduce fertility rates and population growth rates ultimately by as much as 30 to 40 percent in many of these countries. And the second thing that is driving this rapid growth is the fact that for many of these countries, the age at first marriage, which actually is a proxy for age at first birth, it’s very low, and by simply changing that by a small margin, by having policies that prohibits child marriage, that’s marriage to children under 18 years of age, we can significantly reduce the rate of growth of the population in many of these countries. If we invest in female education and we help girls go to school and finish primary, go to secondary, we know that many of these women with secondary education at least make different decisions with respect to child bearing, with respect to the investments they make in their children, with respect to other opportunities they may have in life. And each of these opportunities that such education grants women also leads over time and over and over again to much reduced rates of population growth. Because those women have fewer children than those who’ve never gone to school. They are more likely to use family planning than those who’ve never gone to school. They are more likely to invest in their children and the children are more likely to go to school, so you have a multiplier effect of such decisions and investments.
Claudia: 25:54 So we’re back to where we started, not only with the Joyce Banda in this episode, but in one of the very first episodes of season one, educating girls.
Edie: 26:04 Does that seem like a long time ago?
Claudia: 26:06 I know
Edie: 26:10 There’s a lot we haven’t mentioned in this episode that helps lift people out of extreme poverty. Investing in human capital also means investing in health, in agricultural innovation, which can turn farmers from subsistence farming to selling to the market, which we’re going to cover in our next episode on food security.
Claudia:26:30 So this brings us to the end of the program. This is where we’re going to wrap the issue and I have to say for me these was really an exciting time. Normally you have the development bubble, the people that work in my world talking to ourselves increasingly loud. That’s pretty much what you know, like what it is and we are focused on the problems and the solutions and so one. But at the end of the day, what I love this at this time around, it felt like the bubble busted and that they were by far more people interested. I feel the traction coming in from the gates foundation doing the GoalKeepers and being extremely cool and with music and young people, the economic forum devoted an entire summit in New York to talk about the Sustainable Development Goals. And us, we hosted a party to kick off the United Nations.
Edie: 27:21 That was fun!
Claudia:27:21 Even we had a name Edie, the global goals week. That’s amazing and you can only imagine that if we can keep going and cascading, the energy can keep on going and cascading into other parts of the world.
Edie: 27:33 What I also notice was not only what you said there, young people, solutions, not just problems, but also how all these things are connected and what it seems to me is that these goals and the way to think of them is that they’re like a circle rather than a kind of pyramid of some being more important than the other. They’re complicated. They’re global and they’re all interconnected.
Claudia: 27:57 Indeed and what you just said about the young people and Incentives and awards. And we ourselves, we created in our award and we gave it to people like the champion of humanity and I love that actually that the reports of the gates foundation and the goals keepers had awardees and We’re shining a light. Yes, and the issues that we have to pay attention, but also on the things that are working on the things that we can pay attention to scale them up because they are solutions to bigger problems if we scale them up.
Edie: 28:27 And it brings us to this issue about human capital. So building roads, investing in capital capital expenditure. It’s easy, it’s fast, you spend money and you see a result. Investing in human capital takes longer. It takes patience, but what we’ve learned from China and India is that if you do invest that money, you see the results.
Claudia: 28:50 So we want to leave you with a sense of progress. We want to leave you with a sense of interconnectedness and investment on human capital.
Edie: 28:58 So if you take the goal, here are facts and actions that we’re going to give you back. Fact Number one, since 2000 more than a billion people have lifted themselves out of poverty.
Edie 29:09 That number is so huge. It’s almost impossible to appreciate what an enormous achievement it is.
Claudia: 29:14 Fact, number two, extreme poverty is becoming heavily concentrated in some regions in sub Saharan African countries in particular. By 2050, that is where 86 percent of the extremely poor people living on less than $1.9 a day are projected to leave fact.
Edie: 29:32 Fact Number three, for most African countries, the outlook is positive. For example, Ethiopia once known principally in the West for famine will likely almost eliminate extreme poverty by 2050. That brings us to our actions. These are taken from be the change. Number one, clean out your pantry, fill a box with nonperishable foods and donate it to a food bank. I actually did this this morning before I got on the plane to come here and I know that in London cans of tomatoes and fruits are always welcome,
Claudia: 30:03 Actual number two do something good. Volunteer, or actually sponsor a child so that they can have access to food or education or health. Our producer, Michelle does that for our boy in Malawi. There are many organizations out there that I have an option for you to engage. Save the Children World Vision, UNICEF, World Food Program. Just go and do something
Edie: 30:26 And action number three on your birthday, offer the option to donate money to your chosen charity in replacement of a gift. I think you did this the other day? You can even do this on your facebook page
Claudia: 30:37 And those things do matter. Now, for the second part of Edie’s interview with Amanda Cumberland from our response or Cisco. Stay tuned because you want to hear about what Cisco is doing. I tell you. In 2016, Cisco setup an ambitious goal to positively impact 1 billion people with digital solutions by 2025.
Edie: 31:00 Tell me about the technologies skills that people will need. I talk with my kids all the time about why are you doing more coding in school, but then I hear teachers telling me what all. It’s not just coding that they need, what does schools need to be doing?
Amanda CISCO: 31:12 In our city, We looked at things based on her own database and so besides programming, application development, I think are big skills now currently. And in the future, but also skills around security, cyber security, and that’s a real big growing area that we’ve seen with other research actually to. It’s critical because of all the connections that are happening, so how do you secure the networks? How do you secure all this data that’s happening? Also because of data you can imagine data analytics, data scientists are more and more in demand. It’s one of my passions, something that I’ve always been interested in and done, but now it’s even more pervasive and needed across industries, across jobs.
Edie: 31:51 Analyzing all the data that comes in
Amanda CISCO: 31:53 And it’s for anyone almost, its good for them to have some data skills even if they’re not sort of phd, you know, modeling type data, analytics people. There’s so much data that just understanding how to navigate data, understand data.
Edie: 32:05 And I know that just goes, there’s a lot of work, not just with the middle school kids on the Global Problem Solvers, but with high schools, with colleges, community colleges. Tell me what that is and the effect you’ve seen on those people who’ve gone through it.
Amanda CISCO: 32:18 We have a huge program coming out with King Academy Program. It’s actually 20 years old now. [Ah, Congratulations!] Yes, and we have over a million students a year. I take horses and that’s lucky like you mentioned through high schools, through community colleges or universities around the world and we were very proud of that program. We developed a curriculum, we give it away for free to the schools to use and it is teaching technology skills, networking skills, which are also, networking is the foundation for digital. Without the network, none of the connections, IOT, you name it can happen. So looking at only networking, we have courses around IOT, also security that we talked about and then maybe an entrepreneurship skills and things like that. So it’s great That’s if you’re in one of the schools are set up for Networking Academy program, you know, we, you can go to Netacad.com and see more about like what if there’s a school nearby that’s actually teaching our curriculum. But we’re really excited about it and what we’ve noticed is in terms of outcomes, you know, that students that take our courses, at least what we call our CCNA program, which is teaching networking skills that’s aligned to with our industry certification or CCNA certifications and those students who have at least taken all those four courses and also some of the students that have taken just one or two of those CCNA courses, We found that um, one point 6 million students over the past, since 2005 really have said that they’ve gotten a brand new job because of taking courses. So they attributed it to our courses. Yeah. So we’re, and again, that’s around the world and over 170 countries. So.
Edie: 33:47 Great. Well thank you very much for stopping. I know you’ve got a plane to catch. We’ll let you go get it. Um, but thank you very much for joining us and we will see you again. Thanks for joining us. Do you follow us on facebook, instagram, twitter, subscribe to our podcasts. Give us five stars. We’ll love you forever. This is Ed Lush
Claudia: 34:10 And I am Claudia Romo Edelman
Edie 34:11 And this is the Global GoalsCast
Claudia: 34:13 Thank you for being with us. Bye
Credits: 34:19 Thank you to our partners at the United Nations, Unicef, World Food Program, UN Foundation, SDG action campaign of the Office of the UN Development Program, International Office for Migration, International Development Law Organization, malaria no more, rollback malaria, project everyone and public foundation. We are also grateful for the support of Hub culture, SAS, cultural intelligence, Freud’s communication, Saatchi and Saatchi action button, and of course CBS news. Digital