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Follow the Data Podcast – 2018 Highlights

The Follow the Data podcast features conversations with Bloomberg Philanthropies program leads and our partners – experts in the field, doing the work to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. Each episode features a data point, illustrating the work of partners across Bloomberg Philanthropies five program areas: the arts, education, the environment, government innovation, and public health.

Below some of our program leads select their can’t miss episodes from 2018, covering topics like our Vibrant Oceans Initiative and our new partnership to combat the opioid epidemic.


“I really enjoyed the ‘Why are small-scale fisheries such a big deal?‘ episode of Follow the Data, and I hope you will, too. As part of our Vibrant Oceans Initiative, our partner Rare works with local governments, organizations, and residents in coastal communities to implement more sustainable fishing management systems. By engaging local leadership and using fishing data to drive strategy, Rare is successfully using a local approach to tackle the global challenges of overfishing and illegal fishing. We started Vibrant Oceans in the Philippines, Brazil, and Chile, and I’m really pleased to share that since we aired this episode, we’ve expanded the program to Australia, the Bahamas, Fiji, French Polynesia, Indonesia, Peru, Tanzania, and the US.” – Antha Williams

Government Innovation

“Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson of Gary, Indiana has been working steadily to improve all aspects of the city since her 2011 election. She is part of our Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative and a winner of Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge in 2014. We have enjoyed a deep relationship with her and the city. I selected this episode, ‘The Innovative Mayor: Karen Freeman-Wilson,’ which was taped at the Engaged Cities Award Summit this year, as I feel it champions both our mission and sheds light on the work of an inspired leader invested in fostering good in the world.” – Jim Anderson

Public Health

“I chose this episode as Bloomberg Philanthropies recently announced at The Bloomberg American Health Summit that it is investing $50 million to combat the opioid epidemic. The initiative—a first-of-its-kind partnership between Vital Strategies, The Pew Charitable Trusts, Johns Hopkins University and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) through the CDC Foundation—will help up to 10 states over the next three years implement solutions to strengthen prevention and treatment efforts that offer the most potential to address the root causes of opioid addiction and save lives. New CDC data show there were more than 70,000 drug overdoses in the United States in 2017, including more than 47,000 from opioid overdoses. These are the highest numbers on record and a leading factor in the decline of U.S. life expectancy over the past three years. This episode with Dr. Josh Sharfstein is particularly timely because in 2019 we will announce additional states, beyond Pennsylvania, where we will focus our efforts.” – Dr. Kelly Henning

Women’s Economic Development

“This eponymous episode, ‘Equal Footing,’ tells the story of the development of Equal Footing—a platform based interactive tool developed by the Foundation Center, supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies and The King Boudain Foundation. This interactive tool captures real time data of philanthropic investments in women’s economic development in Congo, Rwanda, and Burundi. This is the first time the information, reports, and investments have been captured and made available to not for profits, government, and potential donors.” – Verna Eggleston


Thanks for listening, and be sure to subscribe to the Follow the Data podcast on SoundCloud, iTunes, and Stitcher. Tune in for more compelling episodes to come in 2019!