The ‘Why’ of eAdvising

Meet Andrew Meriwether, one of the virtual advisors of the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ College Access and Success initiative working at College Advising Corps. In a guest blog post, Andrew shares with us why virtual advising is so important.

Little Sun Expands in 2014

Little Sun, which brings portable solar-powered lamps to rural Africa, had a benchmark year in 2014. Bloomberg Philanthropies made its first ever “impact” investment in Little Sun, helping the socially responsible business expand its reach to four new countries in sub-Saharan Africa and scale up production and sales of its distinctive and sustainable lamps.

Global Approach: Bloomberg Philanthropies initiatives that made a difference in 2014

From the mercados of Mexico to the coasts of Chile, from a coffee farm in Rwanda to a health clinic in Tanzania, from a hamlet in Bangladesh to a fishing village in The Philippines, and in the world’s great cities including Johannesburg, Barcelona, and Istanbul, Bloomberg Philanthropies worked across six continents in 2014 to create better, longer lives for the greatest number of people.

We used data to find some of the world’s most pressing problems, implement solutions, and monitor progress.

Biochar-ging Ahead to Engage Citizens in Combating Climate Change

Stockholm, one of the five winning cities in the 2014 Mayors Challenge competition, will create a citywide program that activates citizens as front-line change agents to combat climate change. Together, the city and its residents will produce biochar, an organic substance that increases tree growth, sequesters carbon, and purifies storm water runoff. The City of Stockholm’s Björn Embrén explains the crucial ingredient at the core of their idea and how it will use the Mayors Challenge Prize to accomplish this ambitious goal.

As the Innovation Team program expands, five pioneer mayors speak about i-teams successes in their cities

On Monday, December 15, we will announce the latest cities to join Bloomberg Philanthropies Innovation Teams program. The i-teams program aims to improve the capacity of City Halls to effectively design and implement new approaches that improve citizens’ lives – relying on data, open innovation, and strong project and performance management to help mayors address pressing urban challenges.

This week, the first five mayors to receive i-team grants from Bloomberg Philanthropies wrote about their experiences in an op-ed series on CNN Money. Over the past three years, these Mayors have mobilized i-teams to equip municipal government not only with the capacity to strategize, but the tools, metrics, partnerships and techniques needed to bring ideas to reality and improve citizens’ quality of life.

New Health Crisis in Developing Countries: Heart attack, stroke, cancer, diabetes become the biggest killers

By Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Health Team

The biggest global health crisis in low- and middle-income countries is not Ebola, nor is it HIV/AIDS. While the fight against those infectious diseases remains critically important, the emerging health issue in low- and middle-income countries is noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). These are defined as diseases that result in chronic illnesses. The crisis is related to lack of preventative measures and healthcare, as well as poorly functioning health systems. Noncommunicable diseases are becoming the biggest killers.

That is the message of a landmark new report by the Council on Foreign Relations, funded in part by Bloomberg Philanthropies, titled The Emerging Global Health Crisis: Noncommunicable Diseases in Low- and Middle-Income Countries. The report recommends specific steps the United States can take now and in the near and long term to use its leadership position on global health issues to address this crisis in lower-income countries.

Are You Taking the Public Art Challenge?

By Mitch Landrieu, Mayor of the City of New Orleans and Chair of the Tourism, Arts, Parks, Entertainment and Sports (TAPES) Standing Committee at the US Conference of Mayors (USCM)

With the deadline for the Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge approaching on December 15, I am reflecting on how art transforms cities into vibrant cultural centers, revitalize neighborhoods and makes cities more appealing to visit, work and live.

WHO Report Outlines Ten Ways to Prevent Drowning

By Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Health Team

To help put better data and context behind this leading cause of death, Bloomberg Philanthropies helped fund a new World Health Organization study The Global Report on Drowning; Preventing a Leading Killer. Bloomberg Philanthropies CEO Patricia E. Harris and Dr. Kelly Henning of the Foundation’s public health team, travelled to Geneva to launch the report which is the first major study of its kind to look at drowning deaths worldwide, their causes, and to recommend practical solutions that will prevent these needless deaths.

“Despite the terrible toll drowning takes on communities around the world – especially in low- and middle-income countries – it hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves as a serious and preventable problem. This report can help change that, and it will help us save many lives,” said Patricia E. Harris.

Commercial Fishing Far Out Sea & Over the Horizon – Until Now

Oceans provide food and income for 3 billion people around the world and demand is expected to increase as the world population grows. But overfishing – taking more fish out of the ocean than can be naturally replaced – is leading to a vicious cycle where fishermen work hard, use more advanced technologies but still catch fewer or smaller sized fish. The destructive behaviors at the root of the issue aren’t always obvious. Commercial fleets operate far out in sea, over the horizon, and out of sight – until now. Oceana, a Bloomberg Philanthropies grantee, in partnership with Google and SkyTruth have joined forces to help bring a level of unprecedented transparency to commercial fishing through a new tool called Global Fishing Watch.

Barcelona to Highlight Mayors Challenge-Winning Program to Aid Aging Population During Gathering of City Innovators

By Mayor Xavier Trias, Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona is the European Capital of Innovation. Each day we continue to pioneer the use of technology to improve important urban services, including public transport, street lighting, waste and water management, and social and health care. And the world is taking notice. In 2011 we were named the Mobile World Capital, and Barcelona is recognized worldwide as a leading “smart city.”

In response to these accolades, Barcelona was selected to host a new edition of the City Innovation Summit, an excellent complement to the annual Smart City Expo World Congress, which kicks off today. Smart City Expo and the City Innovation Summit are landmark events, bringing together over 400 leading city innovators, strategists, and thinkers to share and improve cutting edge initiatives that are transforming cities into centers of culture, knowledge, creativity, innovation and wellbeing.