Creative problem-solving in the face of extreme limits


Navi Radjou studies “jugaad,” also known as frugal innovation, pioneered by people in emerging markets who create new inventions and new ideas despite very limited resources. And the practice has caught on globally. Sharing a wealth of examples of human ingenuity at work, Radjou lays out three principles for how we can all do more with less.

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“Save the rainforest” is an environmental slogan as old as time — but Tasso Azevedo catches us up on how the fight is actually going these days. Spurred by the jaw-dropping losses of the 1990s, new laws (and transparent data) are helping slow the rate of deforestation in Brazil. Is it enough? Not yet. He has five ideas about what we should do next. And he asks if the lessons learned in Brazil could be applied to an even bigger problem: global climate change. Watch »

“It’s said that to be a poet, you have to go to hell and back.” Cristina Domenech teaches writing at an Argentinian prison, and she tells the moving story of helping incarcerated people express themselves, understand themselves — and glory in the freedom of language. Watch for a powerful reading from one of her students, an inmate, in front of an audience of 10,000. In Spanish with subtitles. Watch »
Worldwide, violence is on the decline, but in the crowded cities of the global south — cities like Aleppo, Bamako and Caracas — violence is actually accelerating, fueled by the drug trade, mass unemployment and civil unrest. Security researcher Robert Muggah turns our attention toward these “fragile cities,” super-fast-growing places where infrastructure is weak and government often ineffective. He shows us the four big risks we face, and offers a way to change course. Watch »

2041 will be a big year for the last truly pristine place on Earth: Antarctica. That year will mark the end of a 50-year agreement to keep Antarctica free of mining, drilling and other exploitation by the world’s nations and corporations. Explorer Robert Swan — the first person to walk both the North and South Poles — is on a mission to ensure that we extend that treaty. With passion, he pleads with us to help preserve the Antarctic — for our own survival. Watch »
Quote of the Week

January 17, 2015

I maintain couchsurfing and crowdsurfing are basically the same thing — you’re falling into the audience and you’re trusting each other.”