Technology is helping to revolutionize politics the world over, including in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. When prominent lawyer and politician Marie-Thérèse Nlandu was imprisoned, her supporters used the internet to quickly publicize the case, leading to her release a few months later. This film explores how the arrest affected Nlandu's family, still living in a tense, militarized city where it is extremely difficult to film.
Mr. Ihsan Khan was a taxi cab driver in Washington DC for over 20 years. Then he won a fortune in a lottery and decided to return to his hometown in Pakistan to run for mayor. Naturally, he won—but soon after a massive earthquake devasted the region. This film tells his story, and asks: what is the relation between money and politics in a democracy?
In many rural parts of Africa, people live far from their nearest medical centers and have no means of transportation. This is why groups like Dignitas International are promoting a community-based approach to administering drugs and treatment to HIV patients, a technique that's already paying dividends.
This film takes us on a journey through the three ages of democracy in Kenya, as seen through the eyes of a girl growing up there. From the youthful optimism of the post-independence Kenyatta era, through dictatorship under Daniel arap Moi, to Kenya's third stage of democracy under Mwai Kibaki, this film asks: can free speech and openness ever really come of age?
Pastoralist communities in Ethiopia are being hit hard by global climate change, a problem these nomadic people did nothing to create. By working with the local government and NGOs, they are finding ways to adapt and solve the challenges they face.
Alleviating poverty is more guesswork than science, and lack of data on aid's impact raises questions about how to provide it. But Clark Medal-winner Esther Duflo says it's possible to know which development efforts help and which hurt—by testing solutions with randomized trials.
Nathan Myhrvold and team's latest inventions—as brilliant as they are bold—remind us that the world needs wild creativity to tackle big problems like malaria. And just as that idea sinks in, he rolls out a live demo of a new, mosquito-zapping gizmo you have to see to believe.
In just 20 years, the Nigerian movie industry has grown from virtually nothing to become the third largest in the world, fueled by low-budget films that are shot fast and released straight to video. But perhaps the most remarkable part of this explosion is that it has required almost no government help or outside aid; instead, it's all down to cheap technology and some remarkably driven filmmakers.
Sampat Pal is a campaigner with a mission: to ensure that those born into the lowest caste have an education, avoid child marriages, and earn a decent wage. But, while Mahatma Gandhi famously preached non-violence, Pal believes that India's long history of patriarchy, abuse, and corruption demands a new style of justice.
J.S Parthibhan is a bank manager with a difference: he's interested in people, not numbers. Through micro loans, he's helping villagers in rural areas develop a sense of entrepreneurship and self-respect.
Can risk management techniques from global financial markets help people in the developing world avoid the worst effects of famine? The World Food Programme's new director of business planning thinks this approach could revolutionize the aid industry.
The Sekem Farm is an ecological paradise in the middle of the Egyptian desert. Both a thriving business and close-knit community, nothing is lost here, and a delicately balanced relationship between workers and nature has been established. With predictions of the world's population rising to 9 billion by 2050, Dr. Abouleish's ambitious vision may well be the future of farming.
In Caracas, Venezuela the streets thump with hip-hop, Latin rhythms, and violent crime. But the city is also home to a remarkable youth orchestra system that has helped more than a million kids from poor neighborhoods discover a very different world: that of classical music. Only a few will ever become professional musicians, but many more will have their lives changed for the better.
While most industrialized nations are trying to prevent economic migrants from crossing their borders, New Zealand has quietly opened its door to thousands of seasonal guest workers from five Pacific Island nations. Not only are Kiwi businesses happy to have the extra labor, but also worker remittances go directly to where they're needed most: poor villages on islands such as Vanuatu and Tonga.
In the middle of a global recession, Kenya's Equity Bank is booming. Microloans as small as $10 are helping the country's budding business people. Can Wall Street learn a lesson from these rural entrepreneurs?
The Sulabh toilet is self-composting and requires no drainage, and already serves some 4 million people daily in India. What's more, this revolution in public sanitation—with help from the Sulabh movement's leader, Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak—is empowering some of the country's poorest people.