Fighting Air Inequality through Open Data, Open Source Tools and Collaboration, with Christa Hasenkopf, OpenAQ

OpenAQ aggregates and shares air quality data from around the world in order to fight air inequality. How big of an issue is air pollution? The World Health Organization estimates that one out of every eight deaths on the planet is related to air pollution. That’s more than HIV/AIDS and Malaria combined. Most of these deaths occur in developing countries, creating what Christa Hasenkopf calls “Air Inequality.” Christa is an atmospheric scientist. In grad school, she focused on the atmosphere of a moon of Saturn called Titan. One day she was talking to a professor from a neighboring university. The professor was telling Christa about Mongolia while showing her pictures…

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Creating and Sustaining Livelihoods through Vision, with Jordan Kassalow, VisionSpring

VisionSpring is a social enterprise that provides affordable access to eye care everywhere. As a 23-year-old student of optometry, Jordan Kassalow had an opportunity to travel to Latin America to bring eye care to underserved populations. While on the trip, he came across a 7-year-old boy who was a student from the School for the Blind in Mexico. Jordan realized that the boy was not blind, but instead needed a strong pair of glasses. Jordan told me “When the lenses were aligned with his eyes and saw for the first time, it was a very powerful moment that changed both of our lives.” From that moment, it would take another…

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