World Hacks [world Service]

Episodes

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20170516
20170606

An innovative new weekly programme looking at how we can solve the world's problems.

Globally, only around 20% of clothes are re-used or recycled. The majority go to landfill or are incinerated. In the USA alone, the amount of clothes being thrown away has doubled in the last two decades. In World Hacks this week we meet the Scandinavian entrepreneurs trying to change this. Could a solution to this waste be to give people the option of renting clothes, so they don’t hoard things they rarely wear? Or how about clothes you can throw away guilt free, because they are fully compostable?

Presenter: Mukul Devichand
Reporter: Dougal Shaw

Image: Man in boxer shorts / Credit: Houdini

An innovative new weekly programme looking at how we can solve the world's problems.

An innovative new weekly programme looking at how we can solve the world's problems.

Globally, only around 20% of clothes are re-used or recycled. The majority go to landfill or are incinerated. In the USA alone, the amount of clothes being thrown away has doubled in the last two decades. In World Hacks this week we meet the Scandinavian entrepreneurs trying to change this. Could a solution to this waste be to give people the option of renting clothes, so they don’t hoard things they rarely wear? Or how about clothes you can throw away guilt free, because they are fully compostable?

Presenter: Mukul Devichand
Reporter: Dougal Shaw

Image: Man in boxer shorts / Credit: Houdini

03/12/2016 Gmt20161203

An innovative new weekly programme looking at how we can solve the world's problems.

04/02/2017 Gmt20170204
04/03/2017 Gmt20170304
04/03/2017 Gmt20170304

04/04/2017 Gmt20170404
07/01/2017 Gmt20170107
10/12/2016 Gmt20161210
10/12/2016 Gmt20161210

An innovative new weekly programme looking at how we can solve the world's problems.

11/02/2017 Gmt20170211
16/05/2017 Gmt20170516
17/12/2016 Gmt20161217
18/03/2017 Gmt20170318
19/11/2016 Gmt20161119

An innovative new weekly programme looking at how we can solve the world's problems.

24/12/2016 Gmt20161224
25/02/2017 Gmt20170225
25/03/2017 Gmt20170325
28/01/2017 Gmt20170128
€bribing’ Mums To Feed Their Kids20161217

One in three children in Peru was growing up too short for their age, stunted by a lack of the right foods in their diet.

Then in 2005, the government put in place an innovative new system. They gave cash hand-outs to poor mothers but only on the condition that they had regular health check-ups and their children went to school.

By 2014 the number of children growing up too small had halved.

World Hacks tells the story.

Also on the programme, should we start getting rid of paper money?

Presented by Sahar Zand.

Image caption: Mother and child part of the malnutrition programme / Image credit: BBC

How they’re giving cash, with strings attached, to poor mothers in Peru.

An Unlikely House Share20170114

In one of the most expensive cities in the world, students are moving in with older people who have spare rooms as part of a “homeshare? scheme.

The young people in Paris get cheap accommodation and the older people get companionship and support in return.

World Hacks reports on the generation-spanning friendships that are blossoming as a result.

Presented by Sahar Zand.

Photo: Monique and Mikyoung, who are part of the homeshare scheme / Credit: BBC

How a homeshare scheme is matching older people and students in Paris.

Cloud Catchers In Peru20161126

Can catching fog solve the global water crisis?

What can you do if you don’t have access to running water? No pipes, no wells, no rainfall?

The solution may be to catch water from fog.

We meet Abel Cruz, the Peruvian man behind a huge fog net project which is providing water to a community in the slums of Lima. Could fog catching be a solution to wider water crises facing the world?

Also on World Hacks, we help a Canadian listener with his bed bug invasion and hear a big idea that could change how girls and women are viewed in the Arab world.

Produced by Tom Colls.

Image caption: Fog nets in Peru / Image credit: BBC

Cloud Catchers In Peru20161126

What can you do if you don’t have access to running water? No pipes, no wells, no rainfall?

The solution may be to catch water from fog.

We meet Abel Cruz, the Peruvian man behind a huge fog net project which is providing water to a community in the slums of Lima. Could fog catching be a solution to wider water crises facing the world?

Also on World Hacks, we help a Canadian listener with his bed bug invasion and hear a big idea that could change how girls and women are viewed in the Arab world.

Produced by Tom Colls.

Image caption: Fog nets in Peru / Image credit: BBC

Can catching fog solve the global water crisis?

Cloud Catchers In Peru20161231

What can you do if you don’t have access to running water? No pipes, no wells, no rainfall? The solution may be to catch water from fog.

We meet Abel Cruz, the Peruvian man behind a huge fog net project which is providing water to a community in the slums of Lima.

Could fog catching be a solution to wider water crises facing the world?

Also on World Hacks, we hear a big idea about giving soldiers weapons that do not kill.

Image caption: Fog nets in Peru / Image credit: BBC

Cloud Catchers In Peru20161231

What can you do if you don’t have access to running water? No pipes, no wells, no rainfall? The solution may be to catch water from fog.

We meet Abel Cruz, the Peruvian man behind a huge fog net project which is providing water to a community in the slums of Lima.

Could fog catching be a solution to wider water crises facing the world?

Also on World Hacks, we hear a big idea about giving soldiers weapons that do not kill.

Image caption: Fog nets in Peru / Image credit: BBC

Can catching fog solve the global water crisis?

Denmark’s Food Waste Vigilante20170218

Meet the woman who’s made it her mission to stop Danes throwing away food

Food waste is a massive global problem: the EU alone throws away 88 million tonnes a year. Much of this ends up in landfill and produces dangerous greenhouse gasses which contribute to climate change. In Europe 53% of food waste comes from households, and one woman has made it her mission to stop Danes throwing away food. We travel to Copenhagen to meet Selina Juul, a key part of Denmark’s food waste revolution.

Meet the woman who’s made it her mission to stop Danes throwing away food

Food waste is a massive global problem: the EU alone throws away 88 million tonnes a year. Much of this ends up in landfill and produces dangerous greenhouse gasses which contribute to climate change. In Europe 53% of food waste comes from households, and one woman has made it her mission to stop Danes throwing away food. We travel to Copenhagen to meet Selina Juul, a key part of Denmark’s food waste revolution.

Getting Help In Emergencies In Super-quick Time20170509

The man getting emergency help to accidents using just a mobile phone. And Plastic Roads.

Greener In Death20170502

How “water cremation? offers a new way of dealing with dead bodies.

How “water cremation? offers a new way of dealing with dead bodies.

Helping Disabled People With Sex20170425

The group in Taiwan helping disabled people to fulfil their sexual needs.

How do you fulfil your sexual needs if you have a disability? How do you masturbate if you have limited use of your hands? These are problems that most able-bodied people have probably never considered. But if you’re in this position it’s something you probably think about a lot. And it’s a problem which Vincent, the founder of a small NGO called Hand Angels, is trying to help with. His group matches volunteers with disabled people to provide a sexual service. Mukul Devichand and Alvaro Alvarez go to Taiwan to hear the remarkably frank stories of the volunteers and the receivers at the service. They open up a world of deep disappointment of those people who haven’t experienced sex or intimacy and an organisation that thinks it has the solution. But can any service ever fill this gap or is it just a shallow fix.

Presenter: Mukul Devichand

Image: Vincent – the founder of ‘Hand Angels’ / Credit: BBC

The group in Taiwan helping disabled people to fulfil their sexual needs.

How do you fulfil your sexual needs if you have a disability? How do you masturbate if you have limited use of your hands? These are problems that most able-bodied people have probably never considered. But if you’re in this position it’s something you probably think about a lot. And it’s a problem which Vincent, the founder of a small NGO called Hand Angels, is trying to help with. His group matches volunteers with disabled people to provide a sexual service. Mukul Devichand and Alvaro Alvarez go to Taiwan to hear the remarkably frank stories of the volunteers and the receivers at the service. They open up a world of deep disappointment of those people who haven’t experienced sex or intimacy and an organisation that thinks it has the solution. But can any service ever fill this gap or is it just a shallow fix.

Presenter: Mukul Devichand

Image: Vincent – the founder of ‘Hand Angels’ / Credit: BBC

How To Be A Better Mum In Jail20170613

A project in the US puts doulas into prisons to give babies a good start in life.

There are more than 200,000 women in US prisons and jails and it is estimated that 6% to 10% are pregnant. One project in Minnesota is trying to use these pregnancies to change the lives of the women, and their children, for the better. We go to jail with the Minnesota Prison Doula Project to see how it works.

Reporter: Sahar Zand
Producer: William Kremer

(Photo: A prison mum in Minnesota)

Moving In With Refugees20170311

How young Dutch people and Syrian refugees are becoming housemates

An innovative housing project in Amsterdam is attempting a new way of integrating refugees into the local population. In prefab flats, refugees from the Syrian war live next door to young people in need of cheap rent. They eat together, learn language together, and develop the networks that researchers say are critical to successful integration.

(Photo: Young people living in the Startblok)

How young Dutch people and Syrian refugees are becoming housemates

An innovative housing project in Amsterdam is attempting a new way of integrating refugees into the local population. In prefab flats, refugees from the Syrian war live next door to young people in need of cheap rent. They eat together, learn language together, and develop the networks that researchers say are critical to successful integration.

(Photo: Young people living in the Startblok)

Postmen Delivering Kindness To The Elderly20170411

On the island of Jersey, postal workers don’t just deliver the mail. They also check up on elderly people during their routes. In a five minute chat, they check they’ve taken their medication and if there’s anything else they need. It’s popular with older people and their relatives, and the project has caught the attention of post offices - and health professionals - around the world. Could a chat on the doorstep help solve the social care crisis? We travel to Jersey to meet the man behind the idea, and join a postman on his round.

Also in the programme, award-winning engineer Lina Nillson talks about how we could get more women into engineering.

Presenter: Tom Colls

Producer: Elizabeth Cassin

Image: Jersey postman Ricky Le Quesne / Credit: BBC

Could postal workers help solve the social care crisis?

On the island of Jersey, postal workers don’t just deliver the mail. They also check up on elderly people during their routes. In a five minute chat, they check they’ve taken their medication and if there’s anything else they need. It’s popular with older people and their relatives, and the project has caught the attention of post offices - and health professionals - around the world. Could a chat on the doorstep help solve the social care crisis? We travel to Jersey to meet the man behind the idea, and join a postman on his round.

Also in the programme, award-winning engineer Lina Nillson talks about how we could get more women into engineering.

Presenter: Tom Colls

Producer: Elizabeth Cassin

Image: Jersey postman Ricky Le Quesne / Credit: BBC

Could postal workers help solve the social care crisis?

Superblocks To The Rescue?20170121

In Barcelona, they are experimenting with a new way of designing the city. Superblocks are vast low-traffic zones, but they are also deeply controversial. The aim is cut pollution and reclaim public space from the car, but does it work? World Hacks investigates.

Also on the programme, we hear advice from Antarctica on how to stay warm in the cold snap.

(Photo: A superblock from above. Credit: Google Maps)

How they are redesigning the road system to reclaim the city from cars in Barcelona

Teaching Kids To Think20161210

What happens when you teach kids how to think for themselves?

Giving children lessons in how to think and learn for themselves can lead to dramatic improvements in results, according to education researchers.

World Hacks meets children learning these “meta-cognition? techniques through philosophy lessons and juggling and looks at the difficulties in implementing the system.

We also hear a big idea about Christmas and look at the best advice for avoiding paying a bribe.

Presented by Sahar Zand.

Image caption: Child with hand up in class / Image credit: AP

What happens when you teach kids how to think for themselves?

Giving children lessons in how to think and learn for themselves can lead to dramatic improvements in results, according to education researchers.

World Hacks meets children learning these “meta-cognition? techniques through philosophy lessons and juggling and looks at the difficulties in implementing the system.

We also hear a big idea about Christmas and look at the best advice for avoiding paying a bribe.

Presented by Sahar Zand.

Image caption: Child with hand up in class / Image credit: AP

Thailand’s Condom King20170620

We meet a man behind a sexual health revolution in Thailand.

Thailand in the 1960s was on the verge of a population disaster. Thai women were having seven children on average, and the government was struggling to raise living conditions. Mechai Viravaidya, a young economist who moonlighted as a soap actor, newspaper columnist and teacher, made it his mission to get family planning into every village in Thailand - he wanted to make condoms as easily accessible as vegetables.

Mechai realised he could use humour to break down Thai reservations about contraception, launching condom blowing competitions and condom beauty pageants. His efforts were so successful, condoms became known as “Mechais? in Thai, and he was nicknamed “The Condom King? or “Mr Condom? When the HIV/Aids crisis threatened to engulf Thailand in early 1990s, Mechai, now a government minister, launched a mass media campaign promoting condom use and made condoms available everywhere, from massage parlours to bus stops. It is estimated these preventative measures saved 7.7 million lives. We find out what lessons we can learn from his 45 years of campaigning. Presented by Mai Noman.

Reporter: Ruth Evans
Producer: Charlotte Pritchard

(Photo: Mechai Viravaidya)

We meet a man behind a sexual health revolution in Thailand.

We meet a man behind a sexual health revolution in Thailand.

Thailand in the 1960s was on the verge of a population disaster. Thai women were having seven children on average, and the government was struggling to raise living conditions. Mechai Viravaidya, a young economist who moonlighted as a soap actor, newspaper columnist and teacher, made it his mission to get family planning into every village in Thailand - he wanted to make condoms as easily accessible as vegetables.

Mechai realised he could use humour to break down Thai reservations about contraception, launching condom blowing competitions and condom beauty pageants. His efforts were so successful, condoms became known as “Mechais? in Thai, and he was nicknamed “The Condom King? or “Mr Condom? When the HIV/Aids crisis threatened to engulf Thailand in early 1990s, Mechai, now a government minister, launched a mass media campaign promoting condom use and made condoms available everywhere, from massage parlours to bus stops. It is estimated these preventative measures saved 7.7 million lives. We find out what lessons we can learn from his 45 years of campaigning. Presented by Mai Noman.

Reporter: Ruth Evans
Producer: Charlotte Pritchard

(Photo: Mechai Viravaidya)

The Data Donators20170418

Meet Becky. She suffers from arthritis and is in constant pain. Like lots of people – patients and doctors alike – she has a hunch that bad weather could be exacerbating the problem.

It’s a question that has been asked for at least 2000 years, but we have never had the tools or resources to answer it. That is, perhaps, until now. Dr Will Dixon has set up a mass participation study that takes advantage of smartphone technology. More than 13,000 people have downloaded an app that has provided his team with a massive set of data, and by combing through it he hopes to answer the question once and for all. It’s not the only project of its kind, either. Around the world more and more people are launching similar projects – asking thousands of volunteers to donate their data for the greater good.

Presenter: Mukul Devichand

Reporter: Nick Holland

Image: overlay of highlighted bones of woman at physiotherapist / Credit: Shutterstock

Can the wisdom of the crowd answer a two thousand year old question?

Can the wisdom of the crowd answer a two thousand year old question?

Meet Becky. She suffers from arthritis and is in constant pain. Like lots of people – patients and doctors alike – she has a hunch that bad weather could be exacerbating the problem.

It’s a question that has been asked for at least 2000 years, but we have never had the tools or resources to answer it. That is, perhaps, until now. Dr Will Dixon has set up a mass participation study that takes advantage of smartphone technology. More than 13,000 people have downloaded an app that has provided his team with a massive set of data, and by combing through it he hopes to answer the question once and for all. It’s not the only project of its kind, either. Around the world more and more people are launching similar projects – asking thousands of volunteers to donate their data for the greater good.

Presenter: Mukul Devichand

Reporter: Nick Holland

Image: overlay of highlighted bones of woman at physiotherapist / Credit: Shutterstock

The Stickers That Save Lives20170530

How the stickers on bus windows are cutting accidents in Kenya

Road accidents are the single largest cause of death amongst young people around the world. But a project in Kenya is making impressive progress in tackling the issue. It has deployed a small and very simple weapon, which has been proven to cut bus accidents by at least a quarter – a sticker.

Also on the programme, how they’re making recreation space in Chile, but without knocking down any buildings.

Presenter: Tom Colls
Producer: Harriet Noble

[Image: Mutatu buses in Kenya. Copyright: Getty Images]

How the stickers on bus windows are cutting accidents in Kenya

How the stickers on bus windows are cutting accidents in Kenya

Road accidents are the single largest cause of death amongst young people around the world. But a project in Kenya is making impressive progress in tackling the issue. It has deployed a small and very simple weapon, which has been proven to cut bus accidents by at least a quarter – a sticker.

Also on the programme, how they’re making recreation space in Chile, but without knocking down any buildings.

Presenter: Tom Colls
Producer: Harriet Noble

[Image: Mutatu buses in Kenya. Copyright: Getty Images]

Toilets In Haiti And Circular Runways2017032520170328 (WS)

There are no sewers in Haiti. 26% of Haitians have access to a toilet, so a lot of the sewage ends up in the water supply. Currently, Haiti is battling the biggest cholera epidemic in recent history and thousands are dying. We travel there to meet a team of women who are trying to solve this massive problem. They have set up an NGO called Soil which delivers dry, compost toilets to peoples’ homes. Alternatives to water guzzling flushing toilets - which need infrastructure such as sewers - are drastically needed in many parts of the world. And there’s a bonus to this scheme too.

Also on the programme, a radical suggestion for airports: build circular runways. Are the current straight ones really the best way to take off and land?

Presenter: Sahar Zand

Reporters: Gemma Newby and Dougal Shaw

Producer: Charlotte Pritchard

Image: The women of Haiti who work for the NGO Soil / Credit: BBC

A scheme to solve the problem of human waste disposal in Haiti.

A scheme to solve the problem of human waste disposal in Haiti.

Turning Fatbergs Into Fuel20170627

How one company is turning sewer waste into a valuable energy source

Lurking in the sewers beneath the streets there are giant blobs of congealed cooking fat known as “fatbergs? Now one company has come up with a clever way of making money out of them. Their efforts may one day change perceptions of fatbergs – turning the lumps of putrid waste into a valuable commodity.

Presenter: Tom Colls
Reporter: Nick Holland

(Image: A fatberg, Credit: Thames Water)

How one company is turning sewer waste into a valuable energy source

How one company is turning sewer waste into a valuable energy source

Lurking in the sewers beneath the streets there are giant blobs of congealed cooking fat known as “fatbergs? Now one company has come up with a clever way of making money out of them. Their efforts may one day change perceptions of fatbergs – turning the lumps of putrid waste into a valuable commodity.

Presenter: Tom Colls
Reporter: Nick Holland

(Image: A fatberg, Credit: Thames Water)

Turning Haiti’s Plastic Trash Into Cash20170523

Can “social plastic? keep the oceans clean and fight poverty too?