The famous Renaissance man Leonardo Da Vinci once said that “simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication”. But could “simplicity” be used to solve major issues facing the globe like unsafe water, food shortages and a lack of basic education?
On this week’s Full Frame, we talk with people who prove that simple ideas can foster change, make a profound impact and even save lives.
Shawn Seipler: Cleaning the world
According to the World Health Organization, pneumonia and diarrhea are two of the leading causes of death among children, under the age of five, in developing countries. Yet, both can be prevented by access to simple hygiene products that most of us take for granted.
Shawn Seipler is on a mission to save millions of lives using soap, while at the same time, offering programs to protect the environment. He’s the founder of the nonprofit social enterprise, Clean the World, the largest global recycler of hotel hygiene products.
The impact has been enormous. Since launching the effort in Orlando, Florida back in 2009, Clean the World has distributed more than 30 million bars of soap to children and families in 100 countries around the world. In that time, the number of deaths from these diseases has dropped by 35%.
Shawn Seipler joins May Lee in our Los Angeles studio to talk about changing the world and saving lives, one bar of soap at a time.
Navyn Salem: Peanuts saving lives
UNICEF estimates that around the world close to 160 million children are chronically undernourished. It says each year about three million children die due to under nutrition.
Navyn Salem is the founder of Edesia, a nonprofit, U.S.-based food aid company. It produces a simple product called “Plumpy’Nut” that is full of micronutrients to treat and prevent malnutrition in developing countries. Since starting production in 2010, her Rhode Island factory has sent more than 3.5 million so-called “miracle packets” to children in 46 countries. The product has proved to be lifesaving.
From Rhode Island, Navyn Salem joins May Lee in our Los Angeles studio to talk about Edesia’s mission to save as many lives as possible in the developing world.
Matthew Clough: Handbags tackle education crisis
A 2013 UNESCO study showed a staggering 124 million children and adolescents do not have access to formal primary education. The numbers may actually be higher but the tools and measurements to get more accurate figures aren’t available.
One person who’s trying to lower those numbers is social entrepreneur Matthew Clough. His company, Stone and Cloth, specializing in backpacks and totes, donates a portion of its proceeds to a scholarship fund for Tanzanian school children to ensure their classroom time is supported and subsidized.
From Detroit, Michigan, Matt Clough joins May Lee in our Los Angeles studio to talk about how a small company is tackling a worldwide challenge.
Nancy Berliner: Chinese art curator
This week’s Full Frame Close Up is a profile in cross-cultural curiosity.
Now living in Boston, Nancy Berliner lived in China for many years. She spent her time there studying the language and culture and collecting historical artifacts, artifacts that even many Chinese people haven’t seen.
As a curator at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Berliner still travels to China, uncovering treasures that help both the Chinese and Americans gain a better appreciation for the rich history of China. Full Frame caught up with Nancy Berliner to talk about her latest project.