Episode 24: The New Africa - entrepreneurship and innovation (conversations with the World Bank's Simon Duchatelet)

The Economist labelled Africa as the "Hopeless Continent" in the early 2000's. Fast forward to the present and it has now published a cover on how Africa is "rising". Businesses and governments are flooding to the continent to do business and Africa is now the scene of a rising amount of startups and entrepreneurs. So what is fuelling this? And what is this new kind of African innovation? We speak with Simon Duchatelet of the World Bank's Finance, Competitiveness & Innovation Global Practice to find out more on why this decade is indeed the 'African decade'.

Click here to find out information on the World Bank’s launch of XL Africa.

Episode 23: Spotlight on Indonesia

On 17 April 2019, Indonesians went to the polls and voted in current President Joko Widodo (commonly called Jokowi) back into office for a second term. But with underachieving on certain developmental promises and a sudden alliance with the more conservative right wing, what political implications will this have for both development and sustainability for the country in the coming years? We provide the overview and analysis on this episode.

Episode 22: The opportunity for businesses in supporting the SDGs - a conversation with Matt Loose

With the launch of the SDGs back in 2015, there was an opportunity for businesses and the private sector to come on board in supporting the global goals. But the pick up has been with mixed results. In this episode, we speak with Matt Loose of SustainAbility to discuss the opportunities available for businesses in supporting the SDGS and why it makes financial and commercial sense in saving the world.

Episode 21: Political will - what it is and why it matters

Political will is the most used term in global affairs, business and in the NGO sector. But what is it really? Interestingly enough, we do and we don't know much about it. On this episode, we take the time to discuss what is this concept and why it is so crucial for your business, development program or investment if you want to see if grow and become more sustainable.

Episode 20: Brazil under Bolsonaro - political will and the SDGs

In early 2019, Brazil elected Jair Bolsonaro as its new president. Hailed as the "Trump of Brazil" by many media commentator for his far-right stances, he has come into office promising to tackle the country's urban violence and spiralling corruption which has caused much unwanted attention globally. Much like Trump, Bolsonaro dismisses climate change and his political focus is no longer on sustainable development for a country where economic inequality and poverty is still a reality. So what is the current political climate and will for sustainable development in Brazil? On this episode, we're joined by Dr Ryan Lloyd of the University of Sao Paulo, Amanda Lima of UNDP and political journalist Carlos Oliveira to discuss the current Brazilian political landscape, political will for the SDGs and the change for businesses and NGOs to influence for the sake of social good.

Episode 19: Trump slashes US foreign aid budget - why it's a bad idea

On 11 March 2019, US President Donald Trump slashes the 2020 Budget to US foreign affairs and international aid. This was done in effort to make room for costs to accommodate his proposal of the US-Mexico wall which led to the 35 day US government shutdown early this year. But in his attempt to make America 'great again', he's actually making it much worse, especially in regards to the power which USAID and development programs can yield for American image abroad. We dive in further into today's episode to explain why.

Episode 18: Haiti and NGOs - what's wrong and how to fix it

The 2010 Haitian Earthquake rocked Haiti to the core, killing thousands and inviting in a slew of NGOs along with their philanthropical dollars to the country. Yet the years that followed demonstrated abuse by NGO workers of the Haitian dynamics, disappearance of humanitarian funds and a lack of improvement to the plight of Haitians in a country which has yet to recover. So are NGOs to blame? We speak with the Founder of The Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, Brian Concannon, and Anthropologist Dr Timothy Schwartz who is the author of The Great Haiti Humanitarian Aid Swindle to uncover what NGOs have been doing in Haiti, how it has hindered recovery and what they can do to change in order to lead to sustainable development.

Episode 17: Does global philanthropy actual increase the wealth gap?

Global philanthropy is on the rise with famed organisations launched by the Clintons and the Gates taking full stage. With an aim to help reduce the wealth gap and foster both sustainable development and relief in marginalised and developing countries, are they actually achieving their goals? More precisely, is philanthropy only adding to the problem? We explore further in this episode and highlight the good, the bad and what can be done to change it.

Episode 16: The benefits of investing in conflict. Conversations with Sami Hamdi

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Impact investing has been the buzzword as of late in global philanthropy and with the International Community of the Red Cross (ICRC) having launched 'humanitarian investment bonds' (HIB) back in 2017, it leaves one to wonder if investing in conflict is a good choice? Discussing the benefits of investment during conflict, we sit down with Sami Hamdi, Editor and Chief of The International Interest to uncover not only the advantages to the investor, but the potential to foster sustainable peace and economic empowerment.

Episode 15: What the hell is the difference? Development diplomacy vs diplomacy in international development

The term 'development diplomacy' has been confused often with diplomacy in international development. On this episode, we take the time to dissect the two, explain their differences and their respective importance in foreign affairs, business and sustainable development.

Episode 14: Does democracy lead to sustainable development? Conversations with Tamara Dancheva

The OECD has recently included in a questionnaire for sustainable development the need for democratic institutions. But does democracy actually foster sustainable development? We speak with Liberal International's Head of Human Rights, Tamara Dancheva on the case for democracy in leading to greater social impact.

Episode 13: What is Impact Investment?

According to the Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment, there are estimates that in 2018, US $12 trillion was invested in socially responsible investment funds. Impact investing is a rapidly growing industry with a huge potential to bring sustainable social impact. But what is it? In this episode, we dive in to what it is, how it works and how it can help both emerging and developing economies.

Episode 12: Life After Economic Sanctions

For years, the preferred method of US Foreign Policy against states deemed dangerous were economic sanctions. From Sudan to Iran, sanctions have proved to be more harmful to the people on the ground than the government. But with sanctions lifted from Sudan in 2017 and the EU rigorously trying for the sake of their businesses to bypass re-emerging sanctions from the USA against Iran, what are the opportunities that lay for NGOs, impact investors and businesses when the curtains of sanctions are lifted? And what is the political will present for them? Our Director and Host Gesu Antonio Baez dives into the question to find out more.

Episode 11: Senegal - Africa's Rising Star

Africa is booming - there's no doubt about that! But some of the countries in the continent are really taking centre stage. One country in particular is Senegal. In this episode, we cover the political will present in the country that provides opportunities for businesses, NGOs and investors to engage with the country to further both social impact and sustainable development endeavours.

Episode 10: Why diplomacy in business?

In a rapidly globalising word, businesses are needing to engage more with governments. And with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the United Nations promoting more Private-Public partnerships, businesses are going to need a lot more political tact in order to engage with governments. This means employing diplomacy itself. In this episode, we explain why diplomacy in business is crucial, especially for businesses that foster sustainable development and social impact.

Episode 9: Paul O'Brien of Oxfam on the importance of NGOs working with political will

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On today's episode, we speak with Paul O'Brien, VP for Policy and Advocacy at Oxfam America to discuss the importance of NGOs understanding political will in order to push forward both advocacy campaigns and development programs. Often seen as two roads that don't cross, Paul O'Brien goes over why it is important for NGOs to have more political savy when engaging with governments for a more sustainable outcome.

Episode 8: The Top 5 to Watch in 2019

It's a new year, yet surprisingly old conflicts and baggage keep following. 2018 was a dynamic year and no doubt remnants of past events will inspire potential events in 2019. In this episode, we provide you with "The Top 5 to Watch in 2019" in both business and global affairs to guide you on opportunities and risks in both sustainable development and diplomatic engagement.

Episode 6: Can we invest during conflict?

Image by AFP/Getty Images

Image by AFP/Getty Images

In September 2017, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) launched the new endeavour entitled “Humanitarian Impact Bonds” (HIBS) with the intention to sanction money from the private sector towards development in conflict zones. But can this be of benefit? How does it work and if it does work, how do we spread the word? We discuss more about the potential for HIBs in today’s episode.

Episode 5: Protests in France - a solution

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The past few weeks have seen immense rioting all over France in response to President Emmanuel Macron's proposal to raise taxes on diesel fuel as a method to tackle carbon emission. The result was sparked anger from many workers already feeling the weight of heavy taxes and confusing many in the outside world on the status of order in France . Without a doubt, reducing carbon emission is crucial but what can be done to tackle this and not disempower citizens? We discuss both the background of protests in France, insight on the current one and a solution to appease both issues.