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People Fixing The World

BBC World Service


Brilliant solutions to the world’s problems. We meet people with ideas to make the world a better place and investigate whether they work.

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The digital detectives tackling child sexual abuse

22:50 | Mar 19th

Europol, the EU's law enforcement agency, is taking an innovative approach to solving disturbing crimes. It holds more than 40 million images of child sexual abuse. In many cases the perpetrators remain at large, and their victims unidentified. By ...Show More

Crossing divides in Cyprus

23:58 | Mar 12th

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, but a community centre is bringing Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots together in the buffer zone between the two sides. Cyprus has been a divided island since 1974, with Turkish Cypriots living in the north and ...Show More

Last video messages to help children grieve

23:07 | Mar 5th

Children who lose a parent may struggle to come to terms with this for the rest of their lives. In the UK about one in 20 children will lose a parent before the age of 16. In other countries, the figure is even higher. However, Gaby Eirew thinks she ...Show More

Turning old clothes into new ones

24:07 | Feb 26th

It’s estimated that 400 billion square metres of fabric are made every year – enough to cover Germany – for the fashion industry. The sector produces a similar amount of greenhouse gases to the international airline and shipping industries combined. ...Show More

Predicting suicide

25:24 | Feb 19th

About 800,000 people take their own lives every year, that’s one person every 40 seconds, according to the World Health Organization. For decades, doctors and researchers have tried to establish the key risk factors that identify someone as being at...Show More

‘No Men Allowed’ – The Gym Getting Women Fit and into Work

22:57 | Feb 12th

In 2006, Turkish entrepreneur Bedriye Hülya set up her first women-only gym, b-fit. It’s cheap to join and is now a successful chain. Many women in Turkey don’t feel comfortable exercising alongside men and their male relatives may not allow them t...Show More

How Nepal Doubled its Tiger Population

24:20 | Feb 5th

Over the past 10 years, Nepal has almost doubled its population of Bengal tigers – it’s estimated the country now has 235 of the magnificent beasts. After years of decline, a combination of smart strategies has turned the tide. The army runs anti-p...Show More

The shopping mall where everything is recycled

24:09 | Jan 29th

There are 14 specialist shops at the Retuna shopping mall in Eskilstuna, Sweden, but they all have one thing in common. Every item for sale in the shopping centre is second-hand. The clever thing about this mall is its location. It is right next to t...Show More

The Turkish App to Help Autistic Children Learn

23:13 | Jan 22nd

There are an estimated 350,000 autistic children in Turkey, but only 20,000 to 30,000 of those children are thought to be in education. And because of stigma around the condition, many parents are reluctant to get a diagnosis. Zafer Elcik’s young...Show More

The Talent Show for Honest People

23:35 | Jan 15th

In this talent show, it doesn’t matter if you can sing or dance, the winner just has to be honest and good at their job. It’s called Integrity Idol and the aim is to “name and fame” honest government workers - people who reject corruption and refuse ...Show More

Does the world need more babies?

23:14 | Jan 8th

People in many parts of the world are having fewer babies than they were 60 years ago, and that’s worrying some countries. So in order to maintain the proportion of people of working age, governments have come up with campaigns to try to get people...Show More

Checking in with the Problem Solvers

33:24 | Jan 1st

Do you ever wonder what happens to the people and projects we feature? This week we revisit innovators around the world to see how their schemes have developed. We catch up with the team catching junk in space, and the PODD disease detectives in Thai...Show More

The Little Libraries Bringing Books into People’s Homes

22:52 | Dec 25th, 2018

In 2009, Todd Bol built a small box in the shape of a school, filled it with books and placed it on his front lawn in Wisconsin, in the US. The book exchange soon became a focal point for the community. Now there are more than 75,000 Little Free Lib...Show More

Can US Entrepreneurs Help Fix Education in Africa?

22:49 | Dec 18th, 2018

Many African countries face huge challenges in education. Millions of children completing primary school still struggle to read and teachers that should be in classrooms are routinely absent. Two US entrepreneurs think they have a solution: a netwo...Show More

Can This Smart Street Stop Drinkers Getting Violent?

24:07 | Dec 11th, 2018

World Hacks visits a long, narrow street in the heart of the Dutch city of Eindhoven. A quarter of a mile long and lined with pubs and bars, Stratumseind is a drinking destination for the country’s young people and football fans. Unfortunately, the g...Show More

How 'Buddy Benches' are Making Playtime Less Lonely

23:54 | Dec 4th, 2018

The idea behind “Buddy Benches”, also known as “friendship benches”, is simple. If a child feels lonely at playtime at school, they can go to the bench as a signal that they need someone to play with. Another child will see them, go and talk to them ...Show More

Smart Boats That Sail on a Bed of Bubbles

23:05 | Nov 27th, 2018

What’s being done to clean up the shipping industry and make it less polluting? Nick Holland looks at innovative ideas to make ships burn less fuel. The industry plays a critical role in the global economy. But it’s under pressure to decarbonise. C...Show More

The Banks That Run on Time Instead of Money

23:19 | Nov 20th, 2018

Around the world, thousands of people are using a special kind of bank. Instead of using it to save and spend money, they’re using it to save and spend time. Based on the idea that everyone’s time is worth the same, time bankers exchange lawn mowin...Show More

How to Build a City for an Ageing Population

24:18 | Nov 13th, 2018

More than a quarter of Japan’s population is over 65 and the country has the highest rate of centenarians in the world. It’s a ticking demographic time bomb as the cost of caring for the elderly rises. But can the solution to this growing proble...Show More

The Country That Can Jail You For Using Plastic Bags

23:03 | Nov 6th, 2018

Just over a year ago, Kenya introduced the world’s most draconian rules on single-use plastic bags. People can be fined up to $40,000 or even thrown in jail for producing, selling or using them. World Hacks travels to Nairobi to find out what impact...Show More

Time to Update the Stranger Danger Message?

23:34 | Oct 30th, 2018

Child abduction by strangers is extremely rare, but the danger looms large in the minds of many parents. One reason is that for the past 50 years or so, governments have created public information campaigns around the message of “Stranger Danger”. In...Show More

Tech That Tricks the Brain

23:18 | Oct 23rd, 2018

Our brains are the control centre of the human body. They allow us to think, to learn and to dream - but if you know how the brain works, it can also be fooled. Two start-up companies are making a business from these brain hacks, using wearable techn...Show More

‘Rental sisters’ for Japan’s Reclusive Young Men

23:35 | Oct 16th, 2018

In Japan, to become a 'hikikomori' means to withdraw from the world and social life. Many of those who suffer from the condition shut themselves in their bedrooms for years on end, refusing to work, study or interact with anyone around them. More tha...Show More

Fighting the ‘Water Mafia’ with Pipes in the Sky

23:35 | Oct 9th, 2018

In Kibera, the largest slum in Kenya’s capital Nairobi, access to water is a minefield. The marketplace is dominated by water cartels, or mafias - water is often syphoned off from the mains supply and pumped in through dirty hosepipes. But Kennedy...Show More

Mending Our Disposable Culture

30:54 | Oct 2nd, 2018

Volunteers around the world regularly get together to fix other people’s broken stuff free of charge. Reporter Nick Holland visits an event called a Repair Café in the Netherlands and links up with a team running a similar workshop in India. He asks ...Show More

Smart Stimulation for People with Dementia

23:31 | Sep 25th, 2018

Anyone who cares for someone with dementia knows the struggle to keep them stimulated and engaged as the condition progresses. This week World Hacks looks at three clever ideas that attempt to help. First up, a designer in the Netherlands has create...Show More

Running and Singing to Improve Maths and English

23:22 | Sep 18th, 2018

This week we go back to school, with two simple ideas that involve changing the day-to-day lives of pupils to improve their physical and mental wellbeing. The Daily Mile is an idea developed in a Scottish school by an enterprising teacher, which is n...Show More

A Green Space Revolution in Paris

23:40 | Sep 11th, 2018

How do you create green spaces in the middle of a city, where there’s no space to create large-scale parks or gardens? Paris has come up with a clever solution – they allow anyone to apply for a permit to start a garden anywhere at all. A rich assort...Show More

Scanning Homeless People To Make a Donation

23:06 | Sep 4th, 2018

Have you ever wanted to donate to a homeless person, but found yourself without any cash, or concerned about how they may spend the money? A potential solution is being proposed in Oxford, England, through a scheme issuing homeless people with barcod...Show More

Rewarding Green Travel in Bologna

23:18 | Aug 28th, 2018

In the northern Italian town of Bologna, a new public transport system is rewarding citizens for taking sustainable modes of transport. Each time locals walk or use the bus, train, car pooling or car sharing, they receive ‘mobility points’, which can...Show More

Cool Ways of Keeping Things Cool

23:18 | Aug 21st, 2018

A vast and expensive system with the sole purpose of keeping things cool exists across the developed world. This “cold chain” includes fridges in kitchens, refrigerated lorries and cold store warehouses for supermarket produce and medicines. It costs...Show More

Reviving Italy’s ‘Ghost Towns’

23:12 | Aug 14th, 2018

Across the Italian countryside, villages are becoming deserted as people migrate to towns and cities. A sustainable tourism model known as the ‘Albergo Diffuso’ is attempting to reverse this trend. Tourist services, restaurants and hotels are spread ...Show More

Why Millions Listen to This Girl

23:33 | Aug 7th, 2018

A nine-year-old child announcer has been recruited on the London Underground. The idea is that her voice will surprise passengers, so they listen to her safety message. It’s an example of nudge theory in action, the art of subtly persuading large num...Show More

Training India’s Fake Doctors

23:42 | Jul 31st, 2018

It’s thought that more than half the people claiming to be doctors in India have no medical qualifications. They are known as “quacks”, operating illegally, but often ignored by the authorities because of a shortage of qualified doctors. They regular...Show More

Stopping Wildfires in Their Tracks

23:25 | Jul 24th, 2018

Wildfires can have a devastating impact, destroying land, homes and lives. Scientists say that as the planet gets warmer, they are only going to start more often. World Hacks looks at three projects in Spain and North America that are trying to preve...Show More

Generating Power from the Roads

23:11 | Jul 17th, 2018

As scientists and companies work on cleaning up cars, there’s also a team developing new technology along a road in rural Georgia in the United States, with the aim of making a truly sustainable highway. The Ray, an 18-mile stretch of road near the A...Show More

Recycling to Turn Trash into Cash

22:59 | Jul 10th, 2018

Rubbish littering the streets is a problem all around the world but collecting it can also be a vital source of income. Two projects, thousands of miles apart, are trying to clean up the streets and make life better for rubbish collectors at the same...Show More

The Bricks Helping to Rebuild Gaza

24:29 | Jul 3rd, 2018

The Gaza Strip is one of the most densely-populated tracts of land in the world. In addition to the ongoing violence there, it has an unemployment rate of more than 40 percent, and problems with access not only to clean water and electricity, but als...Show More

Learning Lessons from the Longest Living Lands

23:28 | Jun 26th, 2018

Can adapting your lifestyle add 10 years to your lifespan? Dan Buettner, a journalist for National Geographic, has identified nine characteristics that he says can add more than a decade to life expectancy. His Blue Zones Project uses lessons learned...Show More

Nigeria's Secret STI Test Kits

22:49 | Jun 19th, 2018

More than three million people in Nigeria are living with HIV, but only about 10% of the population has ever taken an HIV test. Talking about sex is a taboo subject and sexual health clinics are not popular places to be seen. Other sexually transmitt...Show More

Can a $1 million Prize Help Keep Women Safe?

23:08 | Jun 12th, 2018

In India, an estimated 79% of women have experienced sexual harassment in public, but it’s hoped that a $1 million competition will reduce that figure. We visit Mumbai for the grand final of the Women's Safety XPRIZE, where five teams compete to win ...Show More

The Street Where Houses Come Half-Built

23:07 | Jun 5th, 2018

Two thirds of the world’s population are expected to live in cities by 2050 according to the UN. But where will all these extra people actually live? Budgets to build new social housing are limited, so one architect has been working on a radical solu...Show More

Fighting Food Waste

23:49 | May 29th, 2018

Food waste is a global problem. According to the UN, one third of the food that we produce is being thrown away. Two London-based technology start-ups aim to change that. Smartphone app Olio encourages people to share food they no longer want with th...Show More

Clean Clothes and Glasses for the Poorest in Society

22:49 | May 22nd, 2018

How do you improve the lives of the very poorest people? Sometimes it’s just a question of doing the simple things. In Greece, where an economic downturn has left thousands of people homeless on the streets, three friends have found a way to prov...Show More

Turning Subsistence Farming into an Investment Opportunity

23:23 | May 15th, 2018

How do you pull subsistence farmers in Africa out of the cycle of poverty? All you have to do is help them produce more food than they need to survive. But to do that you need money and a new company in Nigeria has designed a smart way to provide it....Show More

The Speed Detectors

23:26 | May 8th, 2018

A growing movement in the UK is devolving the power of catching speeding motorists from the police to the people. Police have been working with community volunteers, letting them use speed guns in a bid to protect their communities from fast traffic....Show More

The People’s Peace Talks

23:00 | May 1st, 2018

When we think of peace talks we think of politicians from opposing camps meeting behind closed doors in wood-panelled rooms, hammering out the details of an agreement that both sides can accept. But that process hasn’t led to long term peace when it ...Show More

The Schools Trying to Build Bridges

23:52 | Apr 24th, 2018

Could bilingual schools help bring peace to a seemingly intractable conflict? In Israel, the school you’ll go to is largely decided before you’re even born – by whether you come from a Jewish or Arab family. Communities learn separately and live sepa...Show More

Problem-Solving Prizes

23:50 | Apr 17th, 2018

People can’t resist a prize, especially when there’s money to go with a medal, and for hundreds of years that basic human urge has been used to push humanity forward. When you focus minds and money towards a simple target, incredible things can happe...Show More

The Town Trying to Cure Loneliness

23:30 | Apr 10th, 2018

Loneliness and isolation can trigger a host of other problems, particularly for our health. But a town in Somerset, in the United Kingdom, appears to have taken a big step towards alleviating the problem. A team in Frome has implemented a handful of ...Show More

The Babies Teaching Kindness In Class [REPEAT]

23:13 | Apr 2nd, 2018

**This episode is a repeat from 23 January 2018** Naomi is not your average teacher. For one thing, she is only six months old. But in many schools across Canada babies like Naomi are a regular feature at the front of class. It is because of an ed...Show More

Taking Out the Space Trash

23:24 | Mar 27th, 2018

Space is littered with junk – some pieces as small as a fleck of paint, and some as large as a London bus. So much of it is orbiting the Earth, in fact, that it poses a danger to future missions. But how can space be cleaned up? One way could be to c...Show More

How to Help Homeless People in Hospital

22:57 | Mar 20th, 2018

Being homeless is extremely bad for your health. Homeless people end up in hospital far more often, and when they get there their condition is often serious. We visit a London hospital to see how one innovative healthcare charity is rethinking caring...Show More

The Bird Rescuers

23:16 | Mar 13th, 2018

One of every five bird species could be extinct within the next century. Whether it’s down to the shiny glass office blocks materialising all over cities or the trawlers sailing ever-further out to sea to feed our growing population, our birds are se...Show More

Recycling Chewing Gum Litter to Clean Our Streets

23:54 | Mar 6th, 2018

More than $20bn is spent on chewing gum around the world each year. A lot of that gum will end up stuck to the streets. That's why gum is the second most common kind of street litter after cigarette materials. In the UK councils spend around £50m eac...Show More

How to Talk to Potential Extremists

23:57 | Feb 27th, 2018

Social media and messaging apps play a role in the extremist “radicalisation” of individuals. Tech companies have tried to get better at identifying extremist content and taking it down, but some specialists advocate an alternative approach – to use ...Show More

Putting Forgotten Pills Back to Work

23:12 | Feb 20th, 2018

An app in Greece is helping people donate their leftover drugs to people who can't afford to buy them. So far the system has helped to recover and redistribute 13,000 boxes of medicine. Donors use the software to scan a unique code on the side of the...Show More

Improvising Your Way Out of Anxiety

22:42 | Feb 13th, 2018

You’re standing on a stage, blinded by a spotlight trained on your face, knees weak, hands sweaty. Someone from the audience calls out a random word and you have to immediately react and come up with an amusing sketch or skit. This is improv, the un...Show More

The Hydroponics Revolution

23:14 | Feb 6th, 2018

Providing food for seven billion people is fraught with difficulty. Fertilising vast tracts of land and flying fresh vegetables across the globe comes at a huge environmental cost. But more and more people are turning to hydroponics - growing plants ...Show More

The Currency Based on Good Deeds

23:17 | Jan 30th, 2018

By its very nature, volunteering means you don’t get paid. But what if there was a way to compensate volunteers that also helped the local economy? The northern English city of Hull is trying an experiment with a new, local cryptocurrency called Hull...Show More

The Babies Teaching Kindness in Class

22:54 | Jan 23rd, 2018

Naomi is not your average teacher. For one thing, she is only six months old. But in many schools across Canada babies like Naomi are a regular feature at the front of class. It is because of an education programme called Roots of Empathy, which is...Show More

Kids versus Cars

23:03 | Jan 16th, 2018

An English woman has championed a way to bring back community spirit to city streets and keep children fit. She creates pop-up playgrounds by regularly closing the roads to cars. Alice Ferguson began her project in Bristol and the idea is spreading a...Show More

Can We Save Coral?

22:57 | Jan 9th, 2018

Up to 90% of the world’s coral could be dead by 2050, according to some estimates, unless we take radical action. Tackling climate change remains the central battle, but around the world scientists are working on projects that may give coral a gre...Show More

Checking-in With The Problem Solvers

26:17 | Jan 2nd, 2018

World Hacks follows up on some of our stories from last year – going back to innovators around to world to see how their projects have developed. We hear updates on the app that lets volunteers donate their vision to blind people, the man making road...Show More

Scouts, Knives and a Community Fridge

23:27 | Dec 26th, 2017

This week we hear about three small solutions trying to make a dent on some big problems. We hear about an outdoor gym made from melted-down knives. We talk to the scout leaders in Madagascar trying to break taboos around periods. And in London we v...Show More

The Ring That Could Help Save Women’s Lives

23:03 | Dec 19th, 2017

In Southern Africa, over seven thousand women are infected with HIV each week. Many can't persuade their partners to wear a condom, so a new form of protection being tested in Malawi could be a real game-changer. It's a small silicon ring which e...Show More

How to Get Wheelchairs on Planes

23:26 | Dec 12th, 2017

If you are a wheelchair user, travelling by aeroplane can be very difficult. Buses, trains and some cars are designed for people to roll into without getting out of their chair, but planes are not, which means an often painful process of moving betwe...Show More

Drone Delivery: Medicines By Air

23:20 | Dec 5th, 2017

Most Malawians live in rural areas and if they get sick, it can be incredibly difficult to get testing kits or medicines in time. Malawi's government has now opened up part of its sky to companies and charities who want to use drones to solve this pr...Show More

Smartphone-Activated First Aiders

23:22 | Nov 28th, 2017

Your chances of surviving a cardiac arrest while out on the high street are slim. It's estimated survival rates decrease by ten percent for every minute you don't get medical help. The nearest ambulance may be on its way but could take several minute...Show More

The Former Neo-Nazi Helping Others To Quit

23:08 | Nov 21st, 2017

A retired police detective and a former neo-Nazi leader may seem like an unlikely partnership. But Dr Bernd Wagner and Ingo Hasselbach have taken their past differences and used them as the basis for making a real change. When Hasselbach quit neo-N...Show More

How Iceland Saved Its Teenagers

23:30 | Nov 14th, 2017

In 1998, 42% of Iceland’s 15 and 16 year-olds reported that they had got drunk in the past 30 days. By 2016, though, this figure had fallen to just 5% and drug use and smoking had also sharply declined. The action plan that led to this dramatic succe...Show More

The Missing Maps

22:56 | Nov 7th, 2017

Thousands of places in the world don't officially exist on a map. If you're not on a map, it can have implications for how people find you - in times of disaster for example. But a project called Missing Maps is solving that, by using the power of vo...Show More

The Town Where Public Toilets Are Everywhere

22:56 | Oct 31st, 2017

to stop people getting caught short. What do you do if you're out and about and can't find a public toilet? Do you sneak into a cafe and hope no one notices, buy something you don't want just for the privilege of using the facilities, or hold it in...Show More

Addressing the World in Three Words

23:24 | Oct 24th, 2017

Around 75% of the world's population, approximately 4 billion people, don't have an address. Take a country like Mongolia, with a largely nomadic population, where street names and postcodes can be few and far between. But that could all be changin...Show More

How Iceland is Fighting the Gender Pay Gap

23:23 | Oct 17th, 2017

Although Iceland is thought to be the best country in the world for gender equality, it lags behind in one metric: the gender pay gap. So a decade ago the country's unions and business community came together to try something new. They devised a mana...Show More

Viking Therapy?

23:19 | Oct 10th, 2017

It looks like the set of Game of Thrones. Once a year Wolin in Poland hosts a huge Viking festival - with a twist. Enthusiasts come from around the world not just to re-enact battles, but to win them, fighting competitively. One organiser of these ba...Show More

How Cervical ‘Selfies’ are Fighting Cancer in The Gambia

23:28 | Oct 3rd, 2017

It’s not usually a good idea to take selfies of your private parts, but what if those photos could save your life? A new, tiny medical device is being used across Africa to detect cervical cancer from a mobile phone photograph. In Gambia, doctors are...Show More

How To Make Sushi From Methane Gas

23:11 | Sep 26th, 2017

Humanity’s hunger for meat is not good for the planet. Every cow, pig and fish that farmers rear has an environmental cost – particularly in the land and water resources it takes to grow the food the animals eat. But one entrepreneur is developing a ...Show More

When Local Currencies Go Digital

23:09 | Sep 19th, 2017

Local currencies – money you can only spend at small local businesses – aim to keep money in their neighbourhood and out of the hands of big corporations and their shareholders. Now they are going digital, with local currencies that live only on smar...Show More

Condom Lifesavers and Voices for the Voiceless

23:29 | Sep 12th, 2017

Each year around 100,000 women die due to heavy bleeding after giving birth. But help is at hand from an unexpected source: condoms. World Hacks goes to a maternity hospital in Kenya to speak to the medical staff using this super-cheap kit that is ...Show More

The Dutch Antibiotic Revolution

23:24 | Sep 5th, 2017

Antibiotic resistant superbugs are a huge problem both in humans and in animals. Many animals reared for food are routinely fed antibiotics to prevent infections. Farmers across the world do it to protect their livestock and to safeguard their income...Show More

How to Get Blood Where it is Needed

23:32 | Aug 29th, 2017

The availability of blood for transfusions saves lives after difficult births and operations. But in much of the developing world, hospitals have a blood shortage. One entrepreneur in Nigeria is working on a solution. She has developed an app that co...Show More

Pakistan’s Laptop Female Doctors

23:31 | Aug 22nd, 2017

How do you help female doctors get back to work when they've given up medicine to look after their families? It's a particular problem in Pakistan where the majority of medical graduates are women who stop working after they get married. Now a scheme...Show More

Urban Cable Cars

22:59 | Aug 15th, 2017

Is a new urban cable car in Mexico more than just a means of public transport? As well as ferrying thousands of people a day, it's been strategically located to link up the poorest neighbourhoods to more affluent parts of the city. It's hoped it will...Show More

Does Universal Basic Income Work?

23:20 | Aug 8th, 2017

Around the world, governments and researchers are experimenting with the introduction of universal basic income. From Finland and Spain to India, the idea of giving every citizen – whether working or not – a set amount of money per month is gaining m...Show More

The Teachable Moment

23:25 | Aug 1st, 2017

Darius has been shot three separate occasions, but the third time was the last. He was met at his bedside by a stranger, who changed his life forever. Victims of violence are, far more likely to be shot, stabbed or violently assaulted a second or ...Show More

Mexico's Cartoon Therapists

22:49 | Jul 25th, 2017

How do you get children who're victims of emotional abuse or physical harm to open up about what's happened to them? In Mexico a psychologist, Julia Borbolla, encourages them to have a one-to-one chat with a cartoon alien that appears on a video scre...Show More

Cutting Cow Farts to Combat Climate Change

19:09 | Jul 18th, 2017

Methane emissions from the burps and farts of livestock accounts for around 15% of global greenhouse gas emissions. But the trick to reducing this could lie with some of Kenya’s smallholder farmers. By using very simple techniques to transform the ...Show More

Thailand’s Disease Detectives

22:46 | Jul 11th, 2017

World Hacks goes to Thailand to meet an army of volunteers on the front line in the fight against dangerous diseases, like Ebola and bird flu. Nearly 100 years ago Spanish Flu infected a third of the world’s population and killed about 50 million ...Show More

Can We Supercharge School?

23:22 | Jul 4th, 2017

A new school in San Francisco thinks it can massively accelerate the speed at which children can learn, using clever technology and smart algorithms to offer each child a bespoke education. AltSchool believes it can achieve results that were only...Show More

Turning Fatbergs into Fuel

23:24 | Jun 27th, 2017

Lurking in the sewers beneath the streets there are giant blobs of congealed cooking fat known as “fatbergs”. Now one company has come up with a clever way of making money out of them. Their efforts may one day change perceptions of fatbergs – turni...Show More

Thailand’s Condom King

22:54 | Jun 20th, 2017

Thailand in the 1960s was on the verge of a population disaster. Thai women were having seven children on average, and the government was struggling to raise living conditions. Mechai Viravaidya, a young economist who moonlighted as a soap actor, new...Show More

How To Be A Better Mum In Jail

23:16 | Jun 13th, 2017

There are more than 200,000 women in US prisons and jails and it is estimated that 6% to 10% are pregnant. One project in Minnesota is trying to use these pregnancies to change the lives of the women, and their children, for the better. We go to jail...Show More

Would You Rent Your Clothes?

23:13 | Jun 6th, 2017

Globally, only around 20% of clothes are re-used or recycled. The majority go to landfill or are incinerated. In the USA alone, the amount of clothes being thrown away has doubled in the last two decades. In World Hacks this week we meet the Scandina...Show More

The Stickers that Save Lives

26:14 | May 30th, 2017

Road accidents are the single largest cause of death amongst young people around the world. But a project in Kenya is making impressive progress in tackling the issue. It has deployed a small and very simple weapon, which has been proven to cut bus a...Show More

Turning Plastic Trash into Cash

23:31 | May 23rd, 2017

Picking up money - that’s what Haitian’s nicknamed a movement seeking to solve Haiti’s plastic waste problem and reduce poverty at the same time. It was started by a man who saw a glimmer of hope in the devastation wrought by the 2010 earthquake: pl...Show More

Turning Goats into Water

24:12 | May 16th, 2017

Fariel Salahuddin is not the type of person you’d expect to see wandering around rural Pakistan, especially with a herd of goats. She’s a successful energy consultant who has worked around the world. But when she returned to where she grew up, Pakist...Show More

Saving Lives with Text Messages

22:58 | May 9th, 2017

What do you do in a medical emergency when the equivalent of 999 or 911 simply doesn’t exist? After spending time in countries that lack public ambulance services, US paramedic Jason Friesen realised the problem wasn’t a lack of sophisticated ambulan...Show More

Greener In Death

23:22 | May 2nd, 2017

This is a story about what happens to your body after you die. In many countries, the current options are burial and cremation, but, both methods come with significant environmental impacts. We’re running out of space for burial in many places, and ...Show More

Helping Disabled People With Sex

23:19 | Apr 28th, 2017

How do you fulfil your sexual needs if you have a disability? How do you masturbate if you have limited use of your hands? These are problems that most able-bodied people have probably never considered. But if you’re in this position it’s something y...Show More

The Data Donators

23:06 | Apr 18th, 2017

The Data Donators Meet Becky. She suffers from arthritis and is in constant pain. Like lots of people – patients and doctors alike – she has a hunch that bad weather could be exacerbating the problem. It’s a question that has been asked for at...Show More

Postmen Delivering Kindness to the Elderly

18:49 | Apr 11th, 2017

On the island of Jersey, postal workers don’t just deliver the mail. They also check up on elderly people during their routes. In a five minute chat, they check they’ve taken their medication and if there’s anything else they need. It’s popular with ...Show More

The Parent Hack For Cheaper Childcare

22:41 | Apr 4th, 2017

Parents struggling with childcare costs in London are banding together to care for each other’s kids. They run a super-cheap nursery where mums and dads take on half of the childcare. It’s a throwback to the childcare movement of the 1970s but can it...Show More

Toilets in Haiti and Circular Runways

23:11 | Mar 25th, 2017

There are no sewers in Haiti. 26% of Haitians have access to a toilet, so a lot of the sewage ends up in the water supply. Currently, Haiti is battling the biggest cholera epidemic in recent history and thousands are dying. We travel there to meet a ...Show More

Checking out the solar hotel

23:14 | Mar 18th, 2017

Could we build cities using solar panels instead of walls? That’s the dream that Huang Ming, a wealthy entrepreneur in China’s Shandong province, has had since the 1980s. He’s become known as the ‘Sun King’ after building a vast solar park, includin...Show More

Moving In With Refugees

22:57 | Mar 11th, 2017

An innovative housing project in Amsterdam is attempting a new way of integrating refugees into the local population. In prefab flats, refugees from the Syrian war live next door to young people in need of cheap rent. They eat together, learn languag...Show More

How China is Cleaning its Air

48:03 | Mar 4th, 2017

Air pollution is a huge problem for China, but did you know it’s actually getting better? The Air Quality Index in several cities is improving, because of a variety of experimental projects that are being rolled out. In this special edition of Worl...Show More

The Voter Lottery

18:35 | Feb 25th, 2017

Voter turnout is a problem around the world, particularly in local elections. But a small group of academics and activists in the US are experimenting with a new way of getting people to turn up and put their cross in a box – a lottery. Every voter i...Show More

Denmark’s Food Waste Vigilante

22:57 | Feb 18th, 2017

Food waste is a massive global problem: the EU alone throws away 88 million tonnes a year. Much of this ends up in landfill and produces dangerous greenhouse gasses which contribute to climate change. In Europe 53% of food waste comes from households...Show More

The Sun Water Solution

25:08 | Feb 11th, 2017

This is a story about how the most amazing ideas do not always work how you would like in practise. In theory it is so simple. You put disease-ridden water into a two litre plastic bottle, screw on the lid and leave it in the sun. After six hours on ...Show More

Lend Me Your Eyes

22:57 | Feb 4th, 2017

A new app is helping blind people solve everyday problems by combining smartphones video technology and an army of armchair volunteers. World Hacks investigates how it works and explores whether micro-volunteering projects like this have the pot...Show More

The War On Fake News

22:49 | Jan 28th, 2017

The internet is awash with made-up news stories. It’s not a new problem, but the highly charged US election campaign forced people to pay attention. This week on World Hacks we’re speaking to some of those fighting back against what they see as a t...Show More

Superblocks To The Rescue?

17:57 | Jan 21st, 2017

In Barcelona, they’re experimenting with a new way of designing the city. Superblocks are vast low-traffic zones, but they’re also deeply controversial. The aim is cut pollution and reclaim public space from the car, but does it work? World Hacks inv...Show More

An Unlikely House Share

18:59 | Jan 14th, 2017

In one of the most expensive cities in the world, students are moving in with older people who have spare rooms as part of a “homeshare” scheme. The young people in Paris get cheap accommodation and the older people get companionship and support ...Show More

Jobs for Syrian Refugees

18:28 | Jan 7th, 2017

Most refugees do not have the right to work. In Jordan they’re running an experiment to find out what happens when they’re given that right. They’re handing out work permits to thousands of Syrian refugees in the hope of improving their lives and...Show More

Respect My Remittances

16:32 | Dec 24th, 2016

Some £600bn is sent home every year by overseas migrant workers, almost four times more than all the countries of the world combined spend on foreign aid. But far from home, many workers fear their families are not spending their money in the righ...Show More

‘Bribing’ Mums To Feed Their Kids

16:48 | Dec 17th, 2016

One in three children in Peru was growing up too short for their age, stunted by a lack of the right foods in their diet. Then in 2005, the government put in place an innovative new system. They gave cash hand-outs to poor mothers but only on the ...Show More

Teaching Kids To Think

16:51 | Dec 10th, 2016

Giving children lessons in how to think and learn for themselves can lead to dramatic improvements in results, according to education researchers. World Hacks meets children learning these “meta-cognition” techniques through philosophy lessons an...Show More

Reducing US Police Shootings

16:55 | Dec 3rd, 2016

Nearly 1,000 people were shot and killed by the US police in 2015, sparking protests and huge controversy. But a new solution promises to reduce the death toll, by focusing in on the key moment of stress in which guns are discharged. Studies have loo...Show More

Cloud Catchers In Peru

15:47 | Nov 26th, 2016

What can you do if you don’t have access to running water? No pipes, no wells, no rainfall? The solution may be to catch water from fog. We meet Abel Cruz, the Peruvian man behind a huge fog net project which is providing water to a community...Show More

Cash Cards For Syrian Refugees

17:05 | Nov 19th, 2016

Syrian refugees in Lebanon are being handed cash cards instead of blankets and food. Aid agencies say money transfers are a better way to deliver essential supplies to some of the 1.5 million Syrians who live in the country – they buy what they need ...Show More