Inspiring Solutions for a Better World

Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley

Stories of remarkable individuals and organizations making a difference in the world. From entrepreneurs and activists to educators and healthcare professionals, we showcase people who are bringing about positive change in their communities, locally, globally, and digitally. Join us as we learn from these inspiring individuals and explore the innovative solutions they have developed to address some of today's most vexing challenges. Produced by the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley Podcast and Zoom Host: Rushton Hurley Podcast Producer: Elton Sherwin read less
Society & CultureSociety & Culture

Episodes

26. 3M Teen Winner: Detecting and Treating Mid-ear Infections
Jul 4 2024
26. 3M Teen Winner: Detecting and Treating Mid-ear Infections
Leanne Fan is a high schooler from San Diego, CA. In 2022 she was named America's Top Young Scientist by 3M. Fan's invention can both detect and treat mid-ear infections, and at a low cost. Details: By 2050, 1 in 4 people will have hearing loss to some extent. In children, the majority of this hearing loss is caused by mid-ear infections. Loss of hearing that comes from repeated ear infections can also affect one's future and health. For a child, this can affect the ability to learn and develop social skills. Diagnostic and treatment may be too expensive and unavailable in lower income countries, as over 50% of the world’s population doesn’t have access to healthcare. Our speaker, Leanne Fan, was inspired by her mother's battles with multiple ear infections to invent the Finsen Headphones, a prototype that detects and treats mid-ear infections using acoustic reflectometry, machine learning, and phototherapy. These headphones can both detect and treat mid ear infections, and at a low cost. A high schooler from San Diego, Fan was named America's Top Young Scientist by 3M and Discovery Education in 2022 and rang the New York Stock Exchange opening bell. She strives to provide a low cost and non-medicinal ear infection treatment in place of antibiotics for kids to prevent hearing loss, control infections before surgery is needed, and reduce the spread of antibiotic resistance. Fan also encourages science and art in her community and in younger children by promoting her local science fairs and teaching children science at science expos. To learn more about Leanne's project in the 3M Young Scientist Challenge, go to: https://wvnexus.org/?p=13513 ⁠⁠More about the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley⁠⁠    Website: ⁠⁠Rotary.cool⁠ Meetings’ ⁠⁠Video Archive⁠⁠ YouTubeChannel⁠⁠ How to become a member in ⁠⁠this online Rotary eClub⁠⁠ ⁠⁠More about Rotary International:⁠⁠ Website: ⁠⁠www.Rotary.org⁠⁠ Find a ⁠⁠local Rotary club⁠⁠ Find an ⁠⁠online Rotary Club⁠⁠ Podcast and Zoom Host: ⁠⁠Rushton Hurley⁠⁠ Podcast Producer: ⁠⁠Elton Sherwin⁠⁠ Audio edited and enhanced with: ⁠⁠Descript Studio Sound ⁠⁠  #PositiveChange #Inspiration #Rotary
25. Is Cash Aid Better?
Jun 22 2024
25. Is Cash Aid Better?
GiveDirectly sends cash directly to people living in extreme poverty, no strings attached. GiveDirectly is the first – and largest – nonprofit that lets donors send money directly to the world’s poorest. They believe people living in poverty deserve the dignity to choose for themselves how best to improve their lives, and cash enables that choice. They have successfully delivered over $700M to approximately 1.5M people across 15 countries since their founding. Cash transfers are arguably the most-studied anti-poverty intervention, with proven positive impacts on recipients' economic, health, and education outcomes. GiveDirectly has advanced the cash research base with nearly 20 randomized control trials from its own programs, generating rigorous evidence on key design and implementation questions across varied contexts. Ilan Wallentin currently serves on GiveDirectly's Development team, having spent the previous two years as the organization's Chief of Staff under the leadership of Secretary of State for International Development, Rory Stewart. https://youtu.be/38kFLfqsk50 To learn more, go to: General -- https://www.givedirectly.org/ Research -- https://www.givedireGiveDirectlyctly.org/research-at-give-directly/ Donations -- https://donate.givedirectly.org/ ⁠⁠More about the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley⁠⁠    Website: ⁠⁠Rotary.cool⁠ Meetings’ ⁠⁠Video Archive⁠⁠ YouTubeChannel⁠⁠ How to become a member in ⁠⁠this online Rotary eClub⁠⁠       ⁠⁠More about Rotary International:⁠⁠ Website: ⁠⁠www.Rotary.org⁠⁠ Find a ⁠⁠local Rotary club⁠⁠ Find an ⁠⁠online Rotary Club⁠⁠   Podcast and Zoom Host: ⁠⁠Rushton Hurley⁠⁠ Podcast Producer: ⁠⁠Elton Sherwin⁠⁠ Audio edited and enhanced with: ⁠⁠Descript Studio Sound ⁠⁠  #PositiveChange #Inspiration #Rotary
24. Economic Development Through… Flowers?
Jun 6 2024
24. Economic Development Through… Flowers?
The Chicago Eco House and Southside Blooms transforms vacant lots into sustainable urban flower farms, turning blight into economic opportunities for majority-Black inner-city communities. Local youth are trained as florists and farmers through our workforce development program. Why flowers? The floral industry generates $35 billion a year. 80% of flowers sold in the USA come from out of the country. Chicago has unused assets in blighted, vacant lots. Youth are unemployed and underemployed - they’re bored. The problems we are facing need systemic solutions, and this program ties together nature, economy, hope, faith, community, and good old-fashioned American progress, all while developing the inherent creativity of young people. Our speaker is Quilen Blackwell, the president and co-founder of Southside Blooms and Chicago Eco House, a 501(c)3 nonprofit in Chicago with the mission of using sustainability to alleviate poverty on the southside of the city. Quilen’s background in renewable energy and community organizing is well suited to his role as president of Southside Blooms and Chicago Eco House. His organizing credentials include work abroad as a volunteer in the United States Peace Corps organizing rural farmers in Thailand, as well as helping working-class residents of suburban Milwaukee attain affordable housing domestically. He later worked in the biofuels industry where he procured feedstock such as used cooking oil and soybean oil for biodiesel production. Quilen holds a bachelor’s degree with comprehensive honors from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and holds a master’s degree in environmental policy from the University of Denver. To learn More: https://southsideblooms.com https://chicagoecohouse.org https://instagram.com/southsideblooms https://www.instagram.com/chicagoeco/ https://facebook.com/southsideblooms https://facebook.com/chicagoecohouse ⁠⁠More about the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley⁠⁠    Website: ⁠⁠Rotary.cool⁠ Meetings’ ⁠⁠Video Archive⁠⁠ YouTubeChannel⁠⁠ How to become a member in ⁠⁠this online Rotary eClub⁠⁠ ⁠⁠More about Rotary International:⁠⁠ Website: ⁠⁠www.Rotary.org⁠⁠ Find a ⁠⁠local Rotary club⁠⁠ Find an ⁠⁠online Rotary Club⁠⁠   Podcast and Zoom Host: ⁠⁠Rushton Hurley⁠⁠ Podcast Producer: ⁠⁠Elton Sherwin⁠⁠ Audio edited and enhanced with: ⁠⁠Descript Studio Sound ⁠⁠  #PositiveChange #Inspiration #Rotary # minority # underprivileged # economic development
23. Using Sound and AI for Conservation
May 23 2024
23. Using Sound and AI for Conservation
Rainforest Connection (RFCx) is a science- and technology-driven nonprofit detecting and preventing deforestation and supporting biodiversity and ecosystem monitoring in 119 countries. Founded in 2014, RFCx accomplishes this work by combining the power of acoustics, AI, an international team of field workers, scientists, engineers, and data scientists, and on-the-ground collaborators. By utilizing acoustic data and AI, they can gather data on the presence, distribution, and behavior of a wide range of species, from birds and mammals to insects and frogs, as well as patterns of threats. This information can then be used to inform conservation and management decisions, including identifying key biodiversity areas, establishing protected areas, evaluating wildlife management initiatives, and developing conservation strategies tailored to different species. RFCx focuses on real-time threat detection of illegal activities, such as logging and poaching, using acoustic technology. To decrease illegal activity and protect threatened ecosystems, they developed recorders called Guardians, which are placed in the canopy and run in real time. The Guardians automatically detect the sounds of chainsaws or gunshots and send alerts to rangers or communities via the Guardian Mobile and Web App, who can then immediately take action to stop illicit activities. The threat detection pipeline developed by RFCx has been adopted and successfully deployed across 25 countries. To monitor biodiversity, RFCx aids partners end-to-end and/or in specific areas with their biodiversity monitoring projects using acoustics and AI with planning, executing, and understanding results. They produce long-term solutions to biodiversity monitoring by creating regional Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) that automate species detections of hundreds of species from sound recordings; they have classified almost 1,500 species around the world for automatic detection from 16 CNNs their team has developed. This allows on-the-ground collaborators to detect species and monitor their behavior long-term for the purpose of enabling data-driven conservation decisions and actions. Their team also conducts ecoacoustic analyses, combining species-specific and soundscape results from acoustic analysis with climatic and environmental variables to model ecological processes. Our speaker, Dr. Sarika Khanwilkar, has dedicated her career to conserving endangered species and improving planetary health through data-driven action. Before joining Rainforest Connection (RFCx), a conservation technology startup and nonprofit, she got her PhD in Ecology from Columbia University and was a Fulbright scholar. Dr. Khanwilkar has conducted research on the illegal wildlife trade, forest-based livelihoods, and forest health. She also is a founder of a nonprofit dedicated to tiger conservation and co-founder of one of India’s first research projects using sound to assess biodiversity. Most of her free time is spent in the forests of central India looking for tigers and admiring trees. At RFCx, she is Head of Partnerships and actively involved in using scalable technologies for high-impact conservation work across the globe. To learn more, go to: https://www.rfcx.org https://www.arbimon.org ⁠⁠⁠More about the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley⁠⁠⁠    Website: ⁠⁠⁠Rotary.cool⁠ ⁠Meetings’ ⁠⁠⁠Video Archive⁠⁠⁠ ⁠YouTubeChannel⁠⁠⁠ How to become a member in ⁠⁠⁠this online Rotary eClub⁠⁠⁠ ⁠⁠⁠More about Rotary International:⁠⁠⁠ Website: ⁠⁠⁠www.Rotary.org⁠⁠⁠ Find a ⁠⁠⁠local Rotary club⁠⁠⁠ Find an ⁠⁠⁠online Rotary Club⁠⁠⁠   Podcast and Zoom Host: ⁠⁠⁠Rushton Hurley⁠⁠⁠ Podcast Producer: ⁠⁠⁠Elton Sherwin⁠⁠⁠ Audio edited and enhanced with: ⁠⁠⁠Descript Studio Sound ⁠⁠⁠  #PositiveChange #Inspiration #Rotary
22. Youth Training Youth-Helping Their Communities
May 2 2024
22. Youth Training Youth-Helping Their Communities
Vahid Motazedian, serves as the executive director for Olinga Learning and the Foundation for the Application of Science (FAS), two California nonprofits dedicated to empowering youth to contribute to the social and economic development of their small, rural communities. Vahid grew up in Iran, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, and Oregon. His father studied agriculture and dedicated his life to helping small farmers in rural communities. Vahid got his BS in electrical engineering from Oregon State University and worked in Silicon Valley for companies including Advanced Micro Devices, Synopsys, Oracle, and Salesforce. He left high tech in 2015 and moved to Salinas to devote himself to nonprofit work. He dedicates his time and energy to advancing educational programs that equip youth with moral and scientific capabilities and to developing technology solutions that help farmers. The Wings of Knowledge Initiative, which we'll learn about in his presentation, aims to empower youth to improve their rural communities through participatory action research projects. It began with simple projects designed to improve some aspect of community life, such as painting murals, planting flowers, teaching children, and trash cleanups. Over time it grew in scope and complexity to include engineering projects designed to help local farmers. This presentation shares the story of how small teams of youth in California's forgotten towns are working together to advance processes of science research and technology development within a wider context of improving their communities and the lives of their families. Video: https://youtu.be/EwuB3pr4FQ4 To learn more, go to: https://www.wings.ngo ⁠⁠More about the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley⁠⁠    Website: ⁠⁠Rotary.cool⁠ or: https://www.siliconvalleyrotary.com/ Meetings’ ⁠⁠Video Archive⁠⁠: https://www.siliconvalleyrotary.com/meetings/YouTubeChannel⁠⁠: https://www.youtube.com/@rotaryeclubofsiliconvalley824/videosHow to become a member in ⁠⁠this online Rotary eClub⁠⁠: https://www.siliconvalleyrotary.com/join ⁠⁠More about Rotary International:⁠⁠ Website: ⁠⁠https://www.rotary.orgFind a Rotary near you: https://my.rotary.org/en/club-searchFind an ⁠⁠online Rotary Club:⁠⁠ https://tiny.cc/rotaryonline   Podcast and Zoom Host, ⁠⁠Rushton Hurley⁠⁠: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rushtonhurley/ Podcast Producer, ⁠⁠Elton Sherwin⁠⁠: https://www.linkedin.com/in/eltonsherwin/ Audio edited and enhanced with ⁠⁠Descript Studio Sound ⁠⁠  #PositiveChange #Inspiration #Rotary
19. Tobacco and the Environment: It's Worse Than You Think
Mar 21 2024
19. Tobacco and the Environment: It's Worse Than You Think
Although the harms of tobacco use are well-known to almost everyone, the harms that tobacco causes to the environment are less recognized. These harms start with tobacco growing, which is very hard on soils and woodlands, diverts agricultural efforts away from food production, and harms farmers and their children who are engaged with this cash crop. Tobacco product manufacturing is a dirty business, now moving away from the US and to countries where environmental regulations may be lacking. Smoking itself creates health risks through environmental contamination of air (secondhand smoke) and living spaces (thirdhand smoke). The aftermath of smoking, both for traditional and for many types of electronic cigarettes, is a huge, preventable source of waste made up of plastics, metals, packaging, toxic chemicals, and in the case of e-cigarettes, lithium batteries. Now, there are international efforts involving environmental groups, public health advocates, multinational organizations, and governments to do something about this unnecessary environmental insult. This effort involves countries, advocates, and scientists who have come together under a United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) treaty negotiation to address the enormous and growing problem of environmental plastic waste. Filtered cigarettes are part of this problem, and if they can be eliminated as a single-use, toxic plastic product, there will be significant benefits to both human health and the environment. Our speaker, Dr Thomas Novotny, is Professor Emeritus of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the San Diego State University (SDSU) School of Public Health. He is a graduate of the University of Nebraska Medical Center (MD 1973) and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (MPH Epidemiology 1992). Previously, he served as an epidemiologist in the CDC's Office on Smoking and Health and as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health in the US Department of Health and Human Services. He co-directed the Joint PhD program in Global Health at SDSU/UCSD from 2009-2015, and he has done extensive research on tobacco and the environment. In 2010, he founded the Cigarette Butt Pollution Project, a research, educational, and advocacy non-profit organization that addresses tobacco's impact on the environment. He is a member of the American Public Health Association, the American College of Preventive Medicine, the US Public Health Service Commissioned Officers Association, and the Council on Foreign Relations. To learn more: https://www.cigwaste.org https://ash.org/plastic-pollution/⁠⁠More about the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley⁠⁠    Website: ⁠⁠Rotary.cool⁠ Meetings’ ⁠⁠Video Archive⁠⁠ YouTubeChannel⁠⁠ How to become a member in ⁠⁠this online Rotary eClub⁠⁠ ⁠⁠More about Rotary International:⁠⁠ Website: ⁠⁠www.Rotary.org⁠⁠ Find a ⁠⁠local Rotary club⁠⁠ Find an ⁠⁠online Rotary Club⁠⁠   Podcast and Zoom Host: ⁠⁠Rushton Hurley⁠⁠ Podcast Producer: ⁠⁠Elton Sherwin⁠⁠ Audio edited and enhanced with: ⁠⁠Descript Studio Sound ⁠⁠  #PositiveChange #Inspiration #Rotary
18. Student Uses AI to Prevent Suicides
Mar 7 2024
18. Student Uses AI to Prevent Suicides
Our speaker today, Siddhu Pachipala, will make the argument that we can do far better identifying and treating suicide risk. For all the radical leaps forward we've seen in machine learning, biotechnology, and renewable energy over the past 70 years, it feels like psychiatry is sitting firmly in the dust. Just look at the way we handle suicide. The moment a patient walks into the clinic, they're asked to bullet off their symptoms for the clinician to analyze, a process subject to so much bias that it lets the vast majority of high-risk patients go unnoticed. For the few high-risk patients that do get spotted, clinicians are supposed to take their symptoms and use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) to pick out treatment, but the DSM is so arbitrary that the process is little more than guesswork—with billions of dollars in debts, years of delays, and millions of deaths as the result. It's been more than a decade since the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) announced that our risk assessments and treatment appraisals have reached their limits. But there hasn't been a viable replacement… until now. SuiSensor brings psychiatry right where it belongs: here, in the 21st century. Instead of ticking off monthly or yearly one-size-fits-all boxes, SuiSensor gives custom, real-time reports, outperforming our current assessments by a whopping 92.65%. When it comes to our trial-and-error appraisals, the results speak for themselves: SuiSensor's machine-learning algorithms can interpret patients' underlying etiologies and deliver optimal treatment modalities with 86.75% accuracy. The future of psychiatric diagnosis and treatment could rest in the very words we write. Siddhu Pachipala is an Indian-American innovator and an MIT student, and was named one of Change.org's Top 10 Changemakers Under 25. His vision is to use hard data to "bring some sense to our senseless state of affairs here in America." By morning, Siddhu is talking civic tech with National Geographic as one of Regeneron's Top 40 Young Scientists... and by night, he's building coalitions of working-class Texans with his NGO, Embolden. When Siddhu finally collapses, sometime around 1:22 AM, his bed might be in Cambridge, but his home? Still Conroe, Texas. To learn more: https://www.npr.org/2023/05/20/1176438893/this-high-school-seniors-science-project-could-one-day-save-lives ⁠⁠More about the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley⁠⁠    Website: ⁠⁠Rotary.cool⁠ Meetings’ ⁠⁠Video Archive⁠⁠ YouTubeChannel⁠⁠ How to become a member in ⁠⁠this online Rotary eClub⁠⁠ ⁠⁠More about Rotary International:⁠⁠ Website: ⁠⁠www.Rotary.org⁠⁠ Find a ⁠⁠local Rotary club⁠⁠ Find an ⁠⁠online Rotary Club⁠⁠   Podcast and Zoom Host: ⁠⁠Rushton Hurley⁠⁠ Podcast Producer: ⁠⁠Elton Sherwin⁠⁠ Audio edited and enhanced with: ⁠⁠Descript Studio Sound ⁠⁠  #PositiveChange #Inspiration #Rotary
17. Ending Malnutrition in Africa for Pennies
Feb 15 2024
17. Ending Malnutrition in Africa for Pennies
Two billion people globally suffer from malnutrition, aka hidden hunger, hitting Africa the hardest. Many lack access to healthy food, relying on starchy flour for every meal. This poor diet, lacking vital nutrients, tragically leads to 8,000 preventable child deaths daily. While developed nations enjoy fortified foods like cereal, milk, and salt, two billion people worldwide lack this basic human right. In parts of East Africa, as many as 95% of the population depend on small rural flour mills for their food source to survive. Sanku enables local flour mills throughout East Africa to produce fortified flour, currently reaching approximately six million people with healthier meals everyday. Adding life-saving nutrients to food means children can fight disease, grow up healthy and educated, and live productive lives. By preventing health problems before they occur, Sanku's solution may have more sustained impact at scale on the lives of people living in rural sub-Saharan Africa than any current health intervention today. Our speaker, Felix Brooks-church, strongly believes that access to nutritious food should be a right, and not a privilege, and has dedicated his life to developing a technology and business model capable of providing the basic human right to better nutrition to the millions of children and adults excluded by status-quo efforts. Felix co-founded the social enterprise called Sanku in 2013 with the mission to end malnutrition by guaranteeing that every meal, for every mother and child, contains life-saving nutrients, forever. For the last seventeen years, Felix has lived in the Global South, refining micronutrient delivery systems and developed economic models for sustaining food fortification at scale for small mills throughout East Africa. He led all aspects of product development and engineering for the award-winning Sanku Dosifier technology, and designed the innovative business model that will ultimately sustain Sanku's operations at scale with minimal external investment. Felix has grown the organization from a two-man start-up to over 100 East African employees, passionately dedicated to ensuring close to six million people now have access to nutritious food every day. Sanku's big bet vision is to end malnutrition for 100 million people by 2030. To learn more, go to: https://projecthealthychildren.org/ ⁠⁠More about the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley⁠⁠    Website: ⁠⁠Rotary.cool⁠ Meetings’ ⁠⁠Video Archive⁠⁠ YouTubeChannel⁠⁠ How to become a member in ⁠⁠this online Rotary eClub⁠⁠       ⁠⁠More about Rotary International:⁠⁠ Website: ⁠⁠www.Rotary.org⁠⁠ Find a ⁠⁠local Rotary club⁠⁠ Find an ⁠⁠online Rotary Club⁠⁠   Podcast and Zoom Host: ⁠⁠Rushton Hurley⁠⁠ Podcast Producer: ⁠⁠Elton Sherwin⁠⁠ Audio edited and enhanced with: ⁠⁠Descript Studio Sound ⁠⁠  #PositiveChange #Inspiration #Rotary
16. First Female President and the Supreme Court
Feb 1 2024
16. First Female President and the Supreme Court
Sylvia Whitlock, was born in New York City but educated in Kingston, Jamaica. Sylvia worked for the United Nations, before moving to California to start a career in education. Along the way, she earned her Ph.D., cum laude, from Claremont Graduate School. Subsequently, she earned another masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Azusa Pacific University, and began a second career as a therapist. She is licensed by the Board of Behavioral Sciences in California. In 1982, joined the "Ex-Rotary Club of Duarte" in California. Why was "Ex" part of the name? The admission of Mary Lou Elliott, an elementary school principal, had caused the ouster of the Rotary Club of Duarte from Rotary International. At the time, women were not allowed in Rotary, though the 1987 US Supreme Court ruling in favor of the Duarte club forced Rotary to open its doors to women, and to reinstate the Duarte club. Sylvia became president of that club the same year, making her the first woman in the Rotary world to head a club as president. She has held a wide variety of roles at the club and district levels, and has been a district assistant governor. Her history and speaking skills have allowed her to present at conventions and meetings all over the world. She is the author of Women Also Serve, and has been called "one of the most groundbreaking women I know" by Rotary International President Jennifer Jones. Today, Sylvia will tell us some of the stories of her history with Rotary, as well as her work to help Rotary open its arms to more and more people around the world. ⁠⁠More about the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley⁠⁠    Website: ⁠⁠Rotary.cool⁠ Meetings’ ⁠⁠Video Archive⁠⁠ YouTubeChannel⁠⁠ How to become a member in ⁠⁠this online Rotary eClub⁠⁠ ⁠⁠More about Rotary International:⁠⁠ Website: ⁠⁠www.Rotary.org⁠⁠ Find a ⁠⁠local Rotary club⁠⁠ Find an ⁠⁠online Rotary Club⁠⁠   Podcast and Zoom Host: ⁠⁠Rushton Hurley⁠⁠ Podcast Producer: ⁠⁠Elton Sherwin⁠⁠ Audio edited and enhanced with: ⁠⁠Descript Studio Sound ⁠⁠  #PositiveChange #Inspiration #Rotary
15. Carbon Smart Wood: The Power of Local Regenerative Supply Chains
Jan 19 2024
15. Carbon Smart Wood: The Power of Local Regenerative Supply Chains
Theo Hooker is COO and co-founder of Cambium Carbon which is on a mission to build local regenerative wood supply chains. Most of the 36 million trees that fall in US cities each year are mulched or thrown in the landfill. Cambium connects that would-be wasted material to their network of sawmills and then into big national buyers. Their Carbon Smart Wood product diverts waste, creates local jobs, and supports community tree planting with 15% of profits funding local planting. Theo has cultivated his career around building businesses that are good for people and the planet. He is driven by systems thinking and principles behind steady state and donut economics to build truly regenerative economies. As COO and co-founder of Cambium Carbon he oversees the standardization of operations to connect more salvaged material to national demand partners. In his free time he likes ultra running, handstands, and sketching trees. To learn more: https://www.cambiumcarbon.com ⁠⁠More about the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley⁠⁠    Website: ⁠⁠Rotary.cool⁠ Meetings’ ⁠⁠Video Archive⁠⁠ YouTubeChannel⁠⁠ How to become a member in ⁠⁠this online Rotary eClub⁠⁠ ⁠⁠More about Rotary International:⁠⁠ Website: ⁠⁠www.Rotary.org⁠⁠ Find a ⁠⁠local Rotary club⁠⁠ Find an ⁠⁠online Rotary Club⁠⁠   Podcast and Zoom Host: ⁠⁠Rushton Hurley⁠⁠ Podcast Producer: ⁠⁠Elton Sherwin⁠⁠ Audio edited and enhanced with: ⁠⁠Descript Studio Sound ⁠⁠  #PositiveChange #Inspiration #Rotary # Climate Change # enviroment # Save the Planet
14. Rebuilding the Appalachian Economy From the Ground Up
Jan 5 2024
14. Rebuilding the Appalachian Economy From the Ground Up
Brandon Dennison is the founder and CEO of a non-profit social-enterprise incubator in southern West Virginia lays out his organization's blueprint for rebuilding an entire economy in coal country. The presentation will assess the current state of West Virginia's economy, then pivot to a series of solutions being tested by Coalfield Development to overcome the many challenges faced. Success is not assured, but the country needs Appalachia to succeed, or else many of the deep-seated frustrations that are contributing to America's political divide today will only deepen. On an even larger scale, the entire planet needs this region to develop as well. Workers in this region have many of the skill sets needed to mitigate the damaging effects of climate change. And the sensitive biodiversity of the region, embedded in some of the largest areas still forested on the East Coast, can serve as a key climate-resilience and carbon-capture area. Brandon is Ashley Dennison's husband and father to their boys: Owen and Will. Born and raised in West Virginia, he is Founder and CEO of Coalfield Development, which incubates social enterprises designed to diversify Appalachia's coal-based economy and cultivate opportunity for people facing barriers to employment. Dennison graduated from Shepherd University with a B.A. in History and a B.S. in Political Science. He holds a Master of Public Affairs degree from Indiana University. In 2017, Brandon was named West Virginian of the Year by WV Living Magazine. He is winner of the JMK Social Innovation Prize, is a DRK Entrepreneur, and is an Ashoka Fellow. In 2019, he was awarded the Heinz Award for Technology, the Economy, and Employment. As a college student, Brandon Dennison volunteered with his church to repair homes in West Virginia's coal country. He never forgot seeing people his own age desperate for paying work. In 2010, Brandon founded Coalfield Development Corporation as a community-based non-profit organization designed to rebuild the Appalachian economy from the ground up. Coalfield Development Corporation offers on-the-job-training, education, and mentoring to people in the southern coalfields. Brandon was quoted in the Bill Moyers "Making Change" series, saying, "Our responsibility is to create opportunity, then to provide encouragement and build the self-confidence necessary for pursuing opportunity." Coalfield Development has created more than 250 new jobs, over 50 new businesses, and more than 1,000 professional certification opportunities for unemployed people, many of whom were laid-off coal miners. Learn more: https://coalfield-development.org ⁠⁠More about the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley⁠⁠    Website: ⁠⁠Rotary.cool⁠ Meetings’ ⁠⁠Video Archive⁠⁠ YouTubeChannel⁠⁠ How to become a member in ⁠⁠this online Rotary eClub⁠⁠ ⁠⁠More about Rotary International:⁠⁠ Website: ⁠⁠www.Rotary.org⁠⁠ Find a ⁠⁠local Rotary club⁠⁠ Find an ⁠⁠online Rotary Club⁠⁠   Podcast and Zoom Host: ⁠⁠Rushton Hurley⁠⁠ Podcast Producer: ⁠⁠Elton Sherwin⁠⁠ Audio edited and enhanced with: ⁠⁠Descript Studio Sound ⁠⁠  #PositiveChange #Inspiration #Rotary
13. Unleashing Africa’s Lion: Development Strategies that Succeed, Dr. Ernesto Sirolli
Dec 22 2023
13. Unleashing Africa’s Lion: Development Strategies that Succeed, Dr. Ernesto Sirolli
Dr. Ernesto Sirolli is a renowned expert in local economic development and sustainable entrepreneurship. He is the founder of the Sirolli Institute and the author of two books: Ripples from the Zambezi and How to Start a Business and Ignite Your Life. He is also a popular public speaker and has given a TEDx talk titled "Shut Up and Listen". In 2016, he received the IOEE International Lifetime Achievement Award for Entrepreneurship Education at the House of Lords in London. Dr. Ernesto Sirolli is a community iron man. In 1971, he began practice in the field of international aid in Africa. That experience prompted him to develop Enterprise Facilitation (EF). The EF model and Trinity of Management tool trains communities, NGOs, and corporations how to capture the passion,energy, and imagination of their own people. Dr. Sirolli resides in the USA, has companies in Europe and Australia, and founded the Sirolli Institute (23 years of social enterprise) with these two principles: 1. Never initiate, never motivate - always respond. 2. Work with passionate, self determined people. Dr. Sirolli received a Laurea di Dottore in Political Sciences from Rome University, and a Ph.D in Philosophy and Sustainable Development from Murdoch University. He is a professor at Curtin University Sustainability Policy (CUSP). Sirolli has worked globally with entrepreneurs to create over 55,000 jobs in +400 communities and with companies to find their "super powers." Today he will explain that "only beauty will save us." To learn more about the Sirolli Institute: https://www.facebook.com/sirolliinc/ https://www.linkedin.com/in/ernesto-sirolli-61279511/ https://www.sirolli.com ⁠⁠More about the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley⁠⁠    Website: ⁠⁠Rotary.cool⁠ Meetings’ ⁠⁠Video Archive⁠⁠ YouTubeChannel⁠⁠ How to become a member in ⁠⁠this online Rotary eClub⁠⁠ ⁠⁠More about Rotary International:⁠⁠ Website: ⁠⁠www.Rotary.org⁠⁠ Find a ⁠⁠local Rotary club⁠⁠ Find an ⁠⁠online Rotary Club⁠⁠ Podcast and Zoom Host: ⁠⁠Rushton Hurley⁠⁠ Podcast Producer: ⁠⁠Elton Sherwin⁠⁠ Audio edited and enhanced with: ⁠⁠Descript Studio Sound ⁠⁠  #PositiveChange #Inspiration #Rotary
11. HIV/AIDS Memorials: An American Story
Nov 17 2023
11. HIV/AIDS Memorials: An American Story
The National AIDS Memorial has been sharing the story of the struggle against HIV/AIDS since the beginning of the pandemic. Through their programs, they remember in perpetuity the lives lost, and offer healing and hope to survivors, inspiring a new generation of activists in the fight against stigma, denial and hate for a just future. Among these programs, the AIDS Memorial Quilt has been one of the most powerful. Originally called the NAMES Project, the Quilt’s first panel was created in June 1987. In October 1987, the Quilt was displayed for the first time on the National Mall in D.C., and its 1,920 panels covered a space larger than a football field. The Quilt is ever-growing and today has more than 55,000 panels weighing more than 54 tons. The National AIDS Memorial Grove is another anchor program. Located in Golden Gate Park, this 10-acre living memorial honors all those who have confronted the pandemic, provides a place to heal in nature, and hosts events throughout the year, including the annual commemoration of World AIDS Day. Our speaker, John Cunningham, joined the National AIDS Memorial as Chief Executive in 2009. John is a fifth generation Californian, having grown up in the East Bay before relocating to New England at the age of seven. A graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, he received a degree in political science and organizational behavior. John presently resides in Oakland with his husband Joel and their two dogs. To learn more, go to: https://aidsmemorial.orghttps://changethepattern.org ⁠⁠More about the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley⁠⁠    Website: ⁠⁠Rotary.cool⁠ Meetings’ ⁠⁠Video Archive⁠⁠ YouTubeChannel⁠⁠ How to become a member in ⁠⁠this online Rotary eClub⁠⁠ ⁠⁠More about Rotary International:⁠⁠ Website: ⁠⁠www.Rotary.org⁠⁠ Find a ⁠⁠local Rotary club⁠⁠ Find an ⁠⁠online Rotary Club⁠⁠ Podcast Producer: ⁠⁠Elton Sherwin⁠⁠ Audio edited and enhanced with: ⁠⁠Descript Studio Sound ⁠⁠  #PositiveChange #Inspiration #Rotary
10. Saving Birds, Bees and Stars: The Dark-Skies Initiative
Nov 3 2023
10. Saving Birds, Bees and Stars: The Dark-Skies Initiative
Light pollution is bad for birds, bees and your health. This week's speaker, Stephen Hummel, is the Dark Skies Initiative Coordinator at the University of Texas at Austin's McDonald Observatory, located in the Big Bend region of Texas. His educational background is in international relations and astronomy. Alongside many partners, Stephen was involved in establishing the world's largest International Dark Sky Association certified Dark Sky Reserve in the Big Bend region of Texas and Mexico in early 2022. Prior to this, Stephen was involved in astronomy and science outreach. In his spare time Stephen is an accomplished photographer, with images used by National Geographic, the BBC, NASA, and more. Over the past 100+ years, the world's night skies have been rapidly vanishing due to the spread of light pollution. Thankfully, easy solutions to light pollution exist. In a remote region of West Texas and Northern Mexico, astronomers, conservationists, parks, and many communities have teamed together to form the largest area in the world where the night sky is protected: the Greater Big Bend International Dark Sky Reserve. The reserve is not only the largest of its kind at over 15,000 square miles in area, but also the first such reserve to cross an international border. At the core of the reserve is the University of Texas' McDonald Observatory, home to one of the largest telescopes in the world. McDonald Observatory has worked with surrounding communities for decades to promote better lighting practices to preserve our night skies, without requiring people to live in darkness. Stephen Hummel will discuss the impact of artificial light as well as the strategies that have led to the reserve's success. To learn more, go to: https://www.bigbenddarkskyreserve.org/ and the International Dark-Sky Association https://darksky.org ⁠⁠More about the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley⁠⁠    Website: ⁠⁠Rotary.cool⁠ Meetings’ ⁠⁠Video Archive⁠⁠ YouTubeChannel⁠⁠  How to become a member in ⁠⁠this online Rotary eClub⁠⁠ ⁠⁠More about Rotary International:⁠⁠ Website: ⁠⁠www.Rotary.org⁠⁠ Find a ⁠⁠local Rotary club⁠⁠  Find an ⁠⁠online Rotary Club⁠⁠   Podcast and Zoom Host: ⁠⁠Rushton Hurley⁠⁠ Podcast Producer: ⁠⁠Elton Sherwin⁠⁠ Audio edited and enhanced with: ⁠⁠Descript Studio Sound ⁠⁠  #PositiveChange #Inspiration #Rotary
9. Fighting Poverty in Africa with Tractors and Phones (video)
Oct 20 2023
9. Fighting Poverty in Africa with Tractors and Phones (video)
Jehiel Oliver, the founder and CEO of Hello Tractor, an agricultural technology company that connects tractor owners with smallholder farmers in need of tractor services. Jehiel has been honored with numerous awards for his work in social entrepreneurship including being recognized by Foreign Policy Magazine as a Top 100 Global Thinker and a World Economic Forum Circulars inaugural cohort member. He was appointed under the Obama Administration to serve two years as a member of the President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa, where he most recently chaired the technology subcommittee. Prior to Hello Tractor, Jehiel worked in consulting and investment banking. He lives with his wife, mom, and two daughters in Nairobi, Kenya. This presentation will cover the journey of Hello Tractor using GPS, geofencing, Telematics, and the "Internet of Things" (IOT) to solve one of the world's most pressing problems: climate change and global income and food insecurity. Also discussed: An innovative financing partnership with MasterCardFraud reduction Farm management Market entry strategies Farm productivity To learn more about Hello Tractor: https://www.hellotractor.com To learn more about Jehiel: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jehiel/ ⁠⁠More about the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley⁠⁠    Website: ⁠⁠Rotary.cool⁠ Meetings’ ⁠⁠Video Archive⁠⁠ YouTubeChannel⁠⁠ How to become a member in ⁠⁠this online Rotary eClub⁠⁠ ⁠⁠More about Rotary International:⁠⁠ Website: ⁠⁠www.Rotary.org⁠⁠ Find a ⁠⁠local Rotary club⁠⁠ Find an ⁠⁠online Rotary Club⁠⁠   Podcast and Zoom Host: ⁠⁠Rushton Hurley⁠⁠ Podcast Producer: ⁠⁠Elton Sherwin⁠⁠ Audio edited and enhanced with: ⁠⁠Descript Studio Sound ⁠⁠  #PositiveChange #Inspiration #Rotary
8. Mercury and Plastic-free Seafood: Saving Tuna & Other Fish from Extinction (video)
Oct 6 2023
8. Mercury and Plastic-free Seafood: Saving Tuna & Other Fish from Extinction (video)
Umami meats is now Umami Bioworks: ⁠https://vegconomist.com/cultivated-cell-cultured-biotechnology/cultivated-seafood/umami-meats-rebrands-umami-bioworks/⁠ ⁠https://umamibioworks.com/⁠⁠https://www.linkedin.com/company/umamibioworks/⁠ Cultivated Seafood: A Sustainable Solution Our speaker this week, Mihir Pershad, is the founder and CEO of Umami Bioworks, where he is building a team pioneering cultivated, 'not caught' seafood by crafting delicious, nutritious, and affordable cultivated fish that is better for our health, our oceans, and our future. From Mihir: "Only 7% of global fisheries are sustainable but seafood demand will grow 50% by 2050. Aquaculture can't keep up with demand and there are more than 2 dozen species we cannot farm that we are driving extinct due to overfishing for human consumption. “Our seafood supply is also increasingly contaminated with heavy metals, microplastics, parasites, and antibiotics and global fishing contributes more GHG emissions than the entire aviation sector. We need novel, more sustainable methods to produce the additional 100 million tons of seafood needed by 2050 if we are to feed humanity while preserving and restoring our planet. "At Umami Meats, we are developing a platform for producing cultivated, 'not caught' seafood to enable local, price competitive production of cultivated fish that keeps endangered species in the ocean while providing consumers with delicious, healthy, low emissions, sustainable seafood. “We are dedicated to regenerating our oceans and our planet by enabling consumers to have their fish and eat it too, starting with IUCN Red Listed species that are difficult to farm and that are being driven extinct by human consumption. “Our goal is to be the "Intel inside" the seafood industry to allow traditional seafood suppliers to produce millions of tons of cultivated seafood that help them overcome dwindling traditional supply, meet growing demand, and establish a food system that is sustainable for the next century and beyond." Mihir has an academic background in protein biochemistry and has spent his career working to commercialize deep tech innovations to address humanity's grand challenges. Most recently, he was a Venture Partner at Early Charm Ventures, where he led the commercialization of university spinouts at the intersection of biotechnology and aquaculture. Mihir is also author of Cultivated Abundance, a book that outlines a framework for entrepreneurs to leverage transformative technologies to build an inspiring, abundant future for humanity. ⁠⁠More about the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley⁠⁠    Website: ⁠⁠Rotary.cool⁠ Meetings’ ⁠⁠Video Archive⁠⁠ YouTubeChannel⁠⁠ How to become a member in ⁠⁠this online Rotary eClub⁠⁠ ⁠⁠More about Rotary International:⁠⁠ Website: ⁠⁠www.Rotary.org⁠⁠ Find a ⁠⁠local Rotary club⁠⁠ Find an ⁠⁠online Rotary Club⁠⁠   Podcast and Zoom Host: ⁠⁠Rushton Hurley⁠⁠ Podcast Producer: ⁠⁠Elton Sherwin⁠⁠ Audio edited and enhanced with: ⁠⁠Descript Studio Sound ⁠⁠  #PositiveChange #Inspiration #Rotary