Blog

Mapping Methane: Plugging Local Natural Gas Leaks Can Yield Global Climate Benefits

In partnership with Google and the Robertson Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies grantee Environmental Defense Fund is working to build a faster, cheaper way to find and assess gas leaks under our streets and sidewalks.

Bloomberg Philanthropies / Google ‘Hangout’ at the US-Africa Business Forum

Bloomberg News Washington Bureau Chief Jonathan Allen anchors an all-day ‘Google Hangout’ at the US-Africa Business Forum hosted by Bloomberg Philanthropies and U.S. Department of Commerce.

Photo Essay: Dispatch from Maternal Health Clinic in Tanzania

Bloomberg Philanthropies is committed to accelerating progress in Kigoma to reach Millennium Development Goal 5 – the reduction of maternal death by 75% between 1990 and 2015. Few countries are on track to reach this goal, but with the dedication of our partners and the Tanzanian government, we are optimistic Kigoma can attain it and be a model for the world.

The Power of a Penny: Building Knowledge to Invest in What Works in Education

According to a new report by Bloomberg Philanthropies partner, Results for America, by shifting just 1% of federal education funds to review what aspect of education programs have an impact – education funding could be much better informed and driven by evidence of what actually works.

VIDEO: Verna Eggleston Explains the Story behind our Women’s Economic Development Initiative in Sub-Saharan Africa

As part of our work to provide vocational training to women in Sub-Saharan Africa to help them earn income and improve their lives, Bloomberg Philanthropies trains female farmers in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to harvest and export high quality coffee from crop to cup and shows them how to benefit directly from coffee sales. Verna Eggleston of Bloomberg Philanthropies tells the inspiring story of how and why we’re investing in women’s economic development in Africa and partners explain how coffee fits into the picture.

Why We Need to Raise Tobacco Taxes

By Dr. Douglas Bettcher, Director, Prevention of non-communicable diseases, World Health Organization

For a long time, the tobacco industry has fiercely opposed levies on tobacco products and launched intense campaigns against efforts to raise tobacco taxes, making the fight to curb tobacco use challenging. The reality is that raising taxes on tobacco products is the most effective way to reduce tobacco use, generate revenue for health programs and most importantly, save lives. That’s why the World Health Organization (WHO) is putting tobacco taxes back on the agenda for World No Tobacco Day 2014.

5 Ways The Met is Using Technology

By Sree Sreenivasan, Chief Digital Officer, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Most people don’t associate museums with technology beyond audio guides – which were cutting-edge visitor experiences at one time – but that’s quickly changing. The Digital Engagement Initiative at Bloomberg Philanthropies is supporting cultural institutions like the Met Museum to use all kinds of digital, mobile and social media to connect with our audiences and enhance their experiences.

At the Met, I have the privilege of working with a wonderful team of technologists and art experts on ways we can increase access to our collection for everyone including those who visit our galleries in New York to online art enthusiasts around the world. It’s a revolutionary moment for us as we explore new ways to engage our audience through technology – even the audio guide has evolved into a multimedia device – and with the advent of smartphones, we are ramping up our efforts to transform how visitors learn about and interact with art through a mobile experience.

Here are five examples – among many others – of technology in action at the Met:

Q&A with Esther Mukundane of Sustainable Harvest Rwanda: Creating opportunity for female coffee farmers in Rwanda

Sustainable Harvest is the pioneer of the Relationship Coffee Model, a system of sourcing that stresses quality, transparency, and sustainability throughout the supply chain. Through a three-year grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies, Sustainable Harvest recently launched a nonprofit entity, the Relationship Coffee Institute, which will create economic opportunities for women in the Rwandan coffee trade.

As part of the launch of the Relationship Coffee Institute, Sustainable Harvest held a regional version of its Let’s Talk Coffee event. Bringing together 80 female coffee farmers from rural areas, Let’s Talk Coffee Rwanda offered trainings both on the entire coffee value chain and on mushroom and honey production. The event also brought together roasters, retailers, NGOs, and senior government officials to discuss challenges and strengthen opportunities for smallholder farmers to make connections in the value chain.

In this Q&A, Bloomberg Philanthropies asked Esther Mukundane, country director of Sustainable Harvest Rwanda, about her experience at Let’s Talk Coffee, what surprised her the most about the event, and how everyone can support the initiative:

Mike Bloomberg’s Annual Letter on Philanthropy

This year begins a new stage for Bloomberg Philanthropies – and for me personally. Over the past twenty years, I have grown increasingly active in philanthropy – and increasingly convinced of its power to save lives and change the world for the better. When I left City Hall on December 31, 2013, after having had the honor of serving New Yorkers for 12 years, I began having more time to spend on national and global issues. The same is true for Patti Harris, who served as my First Deputy Mayor and is also CEO of Bloomberg Philanthropies. Now, both of us are excited by the opportunity to substantially expand the work of Bloomberg Philanthropies and our involvement in it.

Thanks to the hard work of our dedicated staff and our diverse and driven partners, Bloomberg Philanthropies has already established itself as a force for policy innovation and global collaboration. In fact, this month we were named the world’s second most innovative organization, behind only Google, by Fast Company. That honor is a reflection of groundbreaking work that is happening in each of our different program areas.

New U.S. Surgeon General’s Report on Tobacco’s Harmful Effects Shows that Progress Is Possible, but More Work Remains

By Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Health Team

Fifty years ago the U.S. Surgeon General released a landmark report that linked smoking to cancer and fundamentally changed public attitudes around tobacco. Since then, considerable progress has been made in the United States – smoking rates have been cut in half since the 1964 report was released. Strong policies have banned smoking from many public spaces and prohibit tobacco advertising in many media outlets. And taxes on cigarettes have been increased federally by many states and localities.

To commemorate the report’s anniversary, the U.S. Surgeon General released an updated report on the tobacco epidemic. The new study notes declines in U.S. smoking prevalence, and that’s good news, but the report also indicates that much more work is still needed to end the deadly tobacco epidemic.