Episode 36: Humanitarian diplomacy revealed

UN agencies such as the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights have immortalised the role of the humanitarian diplomat and the crucial role they play in safeguarding the interests of marginalised communities. But can diplomats for sustainable development be considered humanitarians as well? Or is there a fine line between humanitarian aid and sustainability? We uncover the definition of both and see if both actors have a similar approach in their way of saving the world.

As mentioned in the episode: Osterman, C. "How globalisation didn't start with the local". Social Value UK. 2019.

Episode 35: Puerto Rico - can investors and businesses save the island?

For the past week, Puerto Ricans have been protesting in San Juan where they are calling for the resignation of Governor Ricardo Rosello. This is following a revelation of corruption in the lead up for humanitarian and development relief for the island, which is still suffering from the aftermath of the 2017 Hurricane Maria storm. The island (a US territory) is suffering not only from a $102 billion cost in damage but also an economic crisis that is seeing many both die and flee from the island. But is there space for NGOs, impact investors and businesses with a social mindset to fill in the gaps where government has failed? We discuss the current dynamics of the island to understand the potential to make real social impact.

Episode 34: Is China preventing a sustainable Africa?

For those familiar with the African continent, one cannot deny the presence of China. Whether in infrastructure, businesses or the influx of Chinese migrant workers, Beijing has invested heavily in the continent and forged ties with many African leaders for its One Belt One Road initiative. While this has definitely led to an economic boom for the continent, is there a potential of this backfiring due to lack of due dilligence on both sides for sustainable development? On this episode, we discuss the real potential cost of easy access Chinese loans to African states and the implication this could have.

Episode 33: Sustainable development for peace in Israel

For years, contemporary Israeli society has seen a division between both Israeli Jews and Israeli Arabs, especially when it comes to the booming start-up and tech scene that has seen Israel dubbed as "the start-up nation". But is there a space for non-profits and start-ups to foster sustainable development for peace through innovation? On this episode, we speak with Naama Nagar and Hans Shakur of the Nazareth-based non-profit Tsofen as they work to bridge Arab and Jewish entrepreneurs for real sustainable change via tech and empowerment.

Episode 32: Italy's need for sustainable development

Italy has been suffering from low economic growth and mass brain drain for the past decade, seeing the country fall faster and faster into a downward spin. But what role can sustainable development play in saving the country? What are the current gaps? In today's episode, we uncover the current Italian dynamics to understand the potential for sustainable development to lead to higher impact and growth for the country. 

Episode 31: Frontier Markets - the sustainable frontier for impact investors?

With all the hype on emerging markets, we forget there is one additional realm which very few impact investors have considered until now - frontier markets. On this episode, we speak with Gavin Serkin of New Markets Media and Intelligence to discuss what they are, why impact investors should be considering them and why they matter for a sustainable future.

Episode 30: Trump, tariffs and Mexico - a real solution to the migrant crisis

In early June, US President Donald Trump announced a plan to implement tariffs on all Mexican goods until the Mexican government solves the current migrant crisis along the US border. But is this an appropriate solution? More importantly, is this even sustainable? We discuss the root cause of the migrant crisis, the current dynamics and propose a real solution, which businesses, NGOS and investors can also be on board for, which leads to real action and a positive solution.

Episode 29: Hot Talks with Chiara Soletti - Climate change and Brazil

On this inaugural series of Hot Talks, where we invite experts to discuss key themes pertinent to diplomacy in international development, we sit down with Chiara Soletti of the Italian Climate Network to discuss recent threats made by the Bolsonaro administration in Brazil against both the Amazon and the indigenous populations. We discuss the potential threat to the global climate that this move could have and highlight the opportunity that is present for both businesses and NGOs in taking up the role where government may be missing.

Episode 28: Religion, diplomacy and development - the need to understand

Religion is a delicate subject but it is crucial to understand in order to ensure development and humanitarian aid is evenly distributed to all stakeholders in many conflict zones. On this podcast, we speak with Prof Mark Juergensmeyer of University of California Santa Barbara to discuss religion and diplomacy in international development - what is the need to understand religious dynamics in post-conflict zones in order to effectively deliver development and aid?

Episode 27: Spotlight on the Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic has witnessed unprecedented growth and an economic boom since the mid-2000's, rendering this island nation as the top receiver of FDI in Latin America and the fastest growing economy in the region. But apart from business and trade opportunities, what lies for sustainable development? While it is an emerging economy, it is still a developing one. So what are they key gaps present and what can be done for greater social impact? We explore more on today's episode.

Episode 26: What is sustainable development? Conversations with Charlotte Osterman of Pax Tecum Global

Since the creation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) back in 2015, the word ‘sustainable development’ has become the most important word for global development. It is also one of the primary terms used by us at The Global Podcast. But what does it mean? We sit down with Charlotte Osterman, Director of Sustainable Development at Pax Tecum Global to explain what it means, where it came from and why it matters.

Episode 25: Is diplomacy for development in Venezuela still possible?

Image courtesy of Al Jazeera

Image courtesy of Al Jazeera

Venezuela has been in an economic crisis for years but the situation heightened when the President of the Venezuelan National Assembly, Juan Guaido, was declared interim president by the assembly as a response to current President Nicolas Maduro's management of the country. Since then, the country has been the scene of a dire humanitarian crisis and the pawn of a geopolitical hand at play. Yet while the country's politics goes on, millions flee the country and basic human needs aren't being met. Can diplomacy in international development save Venezuela? Is there a role for NGOs and either state or non-state actors to engage to provide relief and aid for the Venezuelan people? On this episode, we invite Temir Porras Ponceleon (former Foreign Affairs Advisor to Hugo Chavez and former Chief of Staff to Nicolas Maduro), Daniel Lansburg-Rodriguez (Director of Latin America for Greenmantle LLC and Adjunct Lecturer at Northwestern Kellogg), and Ryan Lloyd (Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Sao Paulo) to discuss this crucial question - is diplomacy in international development still possible in Venezuela?

NB: This episode was recorded on Monday, 29 April. On 30 April, Juan Guaido declared to have military personnel switch loyalty to declare an end to Maduro. Maduro retains the majority of the Venezuelan army’s backing. However, the situation is still ongoing and still remains unclear. Much of the uncertain and potential for what could occur was forecasted in this podcast.

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.