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The 85%

emerge85

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The 85%
The 85%

The 85%

emerge85

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About Us

We are witnessing a global geo-economic transformation centered on the rise of emerging markets, the growth of a new global middle class, rapid urbanization, and unprecedented physical and technological connectivity. In a world where 85% of the world’s population lives in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, the centers of gravity in these emerging markets are reshaping the global landscape. Headquartered in Dubai, emerge85 collaborates with an array of stakeholders to uncover and accelerate the most promising solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. If you share our passion for a more inclusive digital future, reach out.

Latest Episodes

Learning Languages and Life Experiences from Refugees

Meara Sharma talks with Aline Sara, founder of a startup called NaTakallam: “we speak” in Arabic. The organization pairs refugees and displaced people, right now mostly Syrian refugees in Lebanon, with people all over the world who want to learn Arabic. It leverages the gig economy to create a remote income stream for refugees, many of whom aren’t allowed to work, and it also helps language learners practice the kind of conversational Arabic not often taught in formal settings. Beyond that, it’s about making connections across worlds of difference and deepening understanding on both sides of the conversation. Meara and Aline discuss the origins of NaTakallam, the benefits and challenges of operating as a for-profit social enterprise, and the organization’s plans to expand to other languages and displaced populations.

36 MIN2018 AUG 31
Comments
Learning Languages and Life Experiences from Refugees

How Cryptocurrency Can Reshape Financial Systems in the Emerging World

This week on the podcast, we talk with Tricia Martinez. She’s the founder of Wala, a financial services app, and Dala, a cryptocurrency that goes with it. Based in Cape Town and currently operating in South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Uganda, Wala enables people to send digital money -- Dala -- to family across borders, as well as borrow, make transactions, and save. Many of these consumers haven't had a formal bank account before, or they conduct their lives primarily in cash -- both of which pose challenges to financial freedom. Tricia and producer Meara Sharma discuss why banks have failed consumers in emerging markets, how cryptocurrency and blockchain are helping to reimagine financial systems, and more.

31 MIN2018 AUG 28
Comments
How Cryptocurrency Can Reshape Financial Systems in the Emerging World

Overcoming Stigma Around Reproductive Health Through E-Commerce

This week we talk with Joanna Bichsel, the CEO and co-founder of Kasha, an e-commerce platform based in Rwanda that delivers reproductive health and personal care products to largely rural, low-income women. The company is committed to helping women in the emerging world access products that are often stigmatized, like birth control and pregnancy tests, through mobile ordering and discreet delivery systems. Kasha started in Rwanda in 2016 and has recently expanded into Kenya. Producer Meara Sharma talks with Joanna about her journey to working in tech and health in emerging countries, the importance of women-centric business models, and East Africa's exciting startup culture.

35 MIN2018 JUL 17
Comments
Overcoming Stigma Around Reproductive Health Through E-Commerce

The Rise and Fall of the Makoko Floating School

Stories of social change in the emerging world tend to involve new and exciting ideas, bold visions, and innovation. But sometimes there’s a disconnect between how a project is shown to the outside world — through press, fundraising, accolades — and how it actually functions on the ground. Like in the case of the Makoko Floating school in Lagos, Nigeria. Makoko is a massive slum built along the Lagos lagoon — many of its houses are on stilts, and canoe taxis are common. When a school there needed an extension, Nigerian architect Kunlé Adeyemi got involved and designed a radical new structure that would float on the water and shift with the fluid environment. The design was internationally lauded and made Adeyemi a star. But the school itself was a disaster. In a recent piece for the Atavist Magazine, Lagos-based journalist Allyn Gaestel (@AllynGaestel) investigates the dramatic rise and fall of the Makoko Floating School. As she writes, it’s a story “about the myths that peop...

27 MIN2018 JUL 4
Comments
The Rise and Fall of the Makoko Floating School

Tony Seba Says Energy As We Know It Will Be Obsolete By 2030

This week, we bring you a conversation with Tony Seba, a serial entrepreneur, educator, and thought leader on disruption. He’s the author of the book "Clean Disruption of Energy and Transportation – How Silicon Valley Will Make Oil, Nuclear, Natural Gas, Coal, Electric Utilities and Conventional Cars Obsolete by 2030." Emerge85's Afshin Molavi recently spoke with Tony Seba at a conference on sustainability at the International Finance Corporation, IFC, in Washington DC. They talked about how the way we get around is set to radically change, and the particular impact that will have on the emerging world.

16 MIN2018 JUN 19
Comments
Tony Seba Says Energy As We Know It Will Be Obsolete By 2030

Ian Bremmer on the Failure of Globalism

This week, host Afshin Molavi (@AfshinMolavi) talks with Ian Bremmer (@ianbremmer) about his new book, "Us Vs. Them: The Failure of Globalism." It's a clear-eyed, often bleak examination of the fallout from a globalized world: how those who have been left behind are expressing outrage and fighting for survival, and what governments are doing about it. Bremmer is president and founder of Eurasia Group, a leading global political risk research and consulting firm, as well as a frequent speaker, columnist, and author of several other books including "Every Nation for Itself" and "The End of the Free Market."

31 MIN2018 JUN 12
Comments
Ian Bremmer on the Failure of Globalism

The Blazing Aspirations of India's 600 Million Young "Dreamers"

More than half of India’s 1.3 billion people are under the age of 25. As the UN has noted, “Never before have there been so many young people,” and “Never again is there likely to be such potential for economic and social progress.” But the challenge of educating and employing hundreds of millions of young people is staggering, perhaps even inconceivable. At the moment, less than 17 percent of India’s graduates are immediately employable. So, this desperate, often frustrated generation of young Indians are charting their own course. This is the generation that features in journalist Snigdha Poonam’s new book, "Dreamers: How Young Indians Are Changing the World." In it, she profiles a range of young people who are creating their own future, on their own terms -- from the CEO of a clickbait company to an aspiring actor to a Hindu chauvinist to a professional scammer. The result is a portrait of India in the throes of change, in ways that are both inspiring and terrifying. In th...

33 MIN2018 JUN 5
Comments
The Blazing Aspirations of India's 600 Million Young "Dreamers"

Tech Titan Nandan Nilekani Says the Time for Data Democracy Is Now

Nandan Nilekani (@NandanNilekani) is one of India's most successful tech leaders. In 1981, he co-founded Infosys, the massive IT and outsourcing company. After more than 35 years there, he became the architect of the Indian government's Aadhaar program, the biometric database that has registered more than a billion Indians with an ID number to access a range of government and private services. He's also invested in several startups and founded the digital education platform EkStep. In his recent book, "Rebooting India," Nilekani argues that data and technological innovation hold the key to improving Indian society, from healthcare to education to anti-corruption. Emerge85's Vinay Chawla (@chawlawala) recently spoke with Nilekani at the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington, D.C. about the ways in which data can be harnessed to improve governance as well as ensure individuals have agency over their digital lives.

18 MIN2018 JUN 1
Comments
Tech Titan Nandan Nilekani Says the Time for Data Democracy Is Now

To Combat Traffic Jams, Think Outside The Road

If there’s one thing that unites the world’s fastest growing cities, it is the mind-numbing experience of being stuck in traffic. Across the emerging world, the cost of congestion, which cuts into work hours and erodes people’s well-being, amounts to economic losses in the billions. This week, we’re going to take a look at two cities where experimental solutions to traffic have cropped up. Aya Lowe (@AyaloweCNA) reports from the Philippine capital Manila, where startups are building dorms for people who suffer hours-long journeys to work. And Lucinda Elliott (@lucinda_elliott) takes us to São Paulo, Brazil, where on-demand helicopters are helping commuters rise above the fray.

13 MIN2018 MAY 16
Comments
To Combat Traffic Jams, Think Outside The Road

Branko Milanović on Global Inequality: What Do We Do?

We're back with more from Branko Milanović, professor at the City University of New York’s Stone Center on Socio-Economic Inequality, and author of the book, "Global Inequality: A New Approach for the Age of Globalization." Last week, producer Meara Sharma talked with Milanović about the factors that have driven inequities among nations and societies for centuries. While the last two decades have seen, for the first time since the industrial revolution, a decline in global inequality, the gulf that divides the haves from the have-nots remains extreme. So this week, we’re going to talk about solutions: how that gulf can be bridged, and whether there’s the political will to do so.

20 MIN2018 MAY 8
Comments
Branko Milanović on Global Inequality: What Do We Do?

Latest Episodes

Learning Languages and Life Experiences from Refugees

Meara Sharma talks with Aline Sara, founder of a startup called NaTakallam: “we speak” in Arabic. The organization pairs refugees and displaced people, right now mostly Syrian refugees in Lebanon, with people all over the world who want to learn Arabic. It leverages the gig economy to create a remote income stream for refugees, many of whom aren’t allowed to work, and it also helps language learners practice the kind of conversational Arabic not often taught in formal settings. Beyond that, it’s about making connections across worlds of difference and deepening understanding on both sides of the conversation. Meara and Aline discuss the origins of NaTakallam, the benefits and challenges of operating as a for-profit social enterprise, and the organization’s plans to expand to other languages and displaced populations.

36 MIN2018 AUG 31
Comments
Learning Languages and Life Experiences from Refugees

How Cryptocurrency Can Reshape Financial Systems in the Emerging World

This week on the podcast, we talk with Tricia Martinez. She’s the founder of Wala, a financial services app, and Dala, a cryptocurrency that goes with it. Based in Cape Town and currently operating in South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Uganda, Wala enables people to send digital money -- Dala -- to family across borders, as well as borrow, make transactions, and save. Many of these consumers haven't had a formal bank account before, or they conduct their lives primarily in cash -- both of which pose challenges to financial freedom. Tricia and producer Meara Sharma discuss why banks have failed consumers in emerging markets, how cryptocurrency and blockchain are helping to reimagine financial systems, and more.

31 MIN2018 AUG 28
Comments
How Cryptocurrency Can Reshape Financial Systems in the Emerging World

Overcoming Stigma Around Reproductive Health Through E-Commerce

This week we talk with Joanna Bichsel, the CEO and co-founder of Kasha, an e-commerce platform based in Rwanda that delivers reproductive health and personal care products to largely rural, low-income women. The company is committed to helping women in the emerging world access products that are often stigmatized, like birth control and pregnancy tests, through mobile ordering and discreet delivery systems. Kasha started in Rwanda in 2016 and has recently expanded into Kenya. Producer Meara Sharma talks with Joanna about her journey to working in tech and health in emerging countries, the importance of women-centric business models, and East Africa's exciting startup culture.

35 MIN2018 JUL 17
Comments
Overcoming Stigma Around Reproductive Health Through E-Commerce

The Rise and Fall of the Makoko Floating School

Stories of social change in the emerging world tend to involve new and exciting ideas, bold visions, and innovation. But sometimes there’s a disconnect between how a project is shown to the outside world — through press, fundraising, accolades — and how it actually functions on the ground. Like in the case of the Makoko Floating school in Lagos, Nigeria. Makoko is a massive slum built along the Lagos lagoon — many of its houses are on stilts, and canoe taxis are common. When a school there needed an extension, Nigerian architect Kunlé Adeyemi got involved and designed a radical new structure that would float on the water and shift with the fluid environment. The design was internationally lauded and made Adeyemi a star. But the school itself was a disaster. In a recent piece for the Atavist Magazine, Lagos-based journalist Allyn Gaestel (@AllynGaestel) investigates the dramatic rise and fall of the Makoko Floating School. As she writes, it’s a story “about the myths that peop...

27 MIN2018 JUL 4
Comments
The Rise and Fall of the Makoko Floating School

Tony Seba Says Energy As We Know It Will Be Obsolete By 2030

This week, we bring you a conversation with Tony Seba, a serial entrepreneur, educator, and thought leader on disruption. He’s the author of the book "Clean Disruption of Energy and Transportation – How Silicon Valley Will Make Oil, Nuclear, Natural Gas, Coal, Electric Utilities and Conventional Cars Obsolete by 2030." Emerge85's Afshin Molavi recently spoke with Tony Seba at a conference on sustainability at the International Finance Corporation, IFC, in Washington DC. They talked about how the way we get around is set to radically change, and the particular impact that will have on the emerging world.

16 MIN2018 JUN 19
Comments
Tony Seba Says Energy As We Know It Will Be Obsolete By 2030

Ian Bremmer on the Failure of Globalism

This week, host Afshin Molavi (@AfshinMolavi) talks with Ian Bremmer (@ianbremmer) about his new book, "Us Vs. Them: The Failure of Globalism." It's a clear-eyed, often bleak examination of the fallout from a globalized world: how those who have been left behind are expressing outrage and fighting for survival, and what governments are doing about it. Bremmer is president and founder of Eurasia Group, a leading global political risk research and consulting firm, as well as a frequent speaker, columnist, and author of several other books including "Every Nation for Itself" and "The End of the Free Market."

31 MIN2018 JUN 12
Comments
Ian Bremmer on the Failure of Globalism

The Blazing Aspirations of India's 600 Million Young "Dreamers"

More than half of India’s 1.3 billion people are under the age of 25. As the UN has noted, “Never before have there been so many young people,” and “Never again is there likely to be such potential for economic and social progress.” But the challenge of educating and employing hundreds of millions of young people is staggering, perhaps even inconceivable. At the moment, less than 17 percent of India’s graduates are immediately employable. So, this desperate, often frustrated generation of young Indians are charting their own course. This is the generation that features in journalist Snigdha Poonam’s new book, "Dreamers: How Young Indians Are Changing the World." In it, she profiles a range of young people who are creating their own future, on their own terms -- from the CEO of a clickbait company to an aspiring actor to a Hindu chauvinist to a professional scammer. The result is a portrait of India in the throes of change, in ways that are both inspiring and terrifying. In th...

33 MIN2018 JUN 5
Comments
The Blazing Aspirations of India's 600 Million Young "Dreamers"

Tech Titan Nandan Nilekani Says the Time for Data Democracy Is Now

Nandan Nilekani (@NandanNilekani) is one of India's most successful tech leaders. In 1981, he co-founded Infosys, the massive IT and outsourcing company. After more than 35 years there, he became the architect of the Indian government's Aadhaar program, the biometric database that has registered more than a billion Indians with an ID number to access a range of government and private services. He's also invested in several startups and founded the digital education platform EkStep. In his recent book, "Rebooting India," Nilekani argues that data and technological innovation hold the key to improving Indian society, from healthcare to education to anti-corruption. Emerge85's Vinay Chawla (@chawlawala) recently spoke with Nilekani at the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington, D.C. about the ways in which data can be harnessed to improve governance as well as ensure individuals have agency over their digital lives.

18 MIN2018 JUN 1
Comments
Tech Titan Nandan Nilekani Says the Time for Data Democracy Is Now

To Combat Traffic Jams, Think Outside The Road

If there’s one thing that unites the world’s fastest growing cities, it is the mind-numbing experience of being stuck in traffic. Across the emerging world, the cost of congestion, which cuts into work hours and erodes people’s well-being, amounts to economic losses in the billions. This week, we’re going to take a look at two cities where experimental solutions to traffic have cropped up. Aya Lowe (@AyaloweCNA) reports from the Philippine capital Manila, where startups are building dorms for people who suffer hours-long journeys to work. And Lucinda Elliott (@lucinda_elliott) takes us to São Paulo, Brazil, where on-demand helicopters are helping commuters rise above the fray.

13 MIN2018 MAY 16
Comments
To Combat Traffic Jams, Think Outside The Road

Branko Milanović on Global Inequality: What Do We Do?

We're back with more from Branko Milanović, professor at the City University of New York’s Stone Center on Socio-Economic Inequality, and author of the book, "Global Inequality: A New Approach for the Age of Globalization." Last week, producer Meara Sharma talked with Milanović about the factors that have driven inequities among nations and societies for centuries. While the last two decades have seen, for the first time since the industrial revolution, a decline in global inequality, the gulf that divides the haves from the have-nots remains extreme. So this week, we’re going to talk about solutions: how that gulf can be bridged, and whether there’s the political will to do so.

20 MIN2018 MAY 8
Comments
Branko Milanović on Global Inequality: What Do We Do?
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