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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.