Tropical forests are critical to the future of the planet. They harbor millions of species of plants and animals, and, as natural storers of carbon, they play a key role in combating climate change. They are also home to millions of indigenous people, who have protected the forests and their resources for thousands of years. Penny Davies, Program Officer at the Ford Foundation, explored the forests of Nigeria as a child and has devoted her career to advancing policies that benefit forest peoples globally. She recently sat down with BurnessGlobal's Coimbra Sirica to discuss the role these communities play in protecting their forests—and all of us from the climate change crisis.


Rollercoasters. For some, they are an intoxicating thrill. But for others, just the word can set off a wave of motion sickness. So why do people react differently to the exact same experience? It all comes down to brain structure.

Poverty, poor health and overcrowding are some of the many challenges facing communities in Kenya's urban slums, or informal settlements. Jane Otai knows these issues firsthand. Raised in a slum in Nairobi, Jane is now a senior program advisor for global health nonprofit Jhpiego, where she helps educate women and girls on reproductive health and family planning. Jane recently sat down with BurnessGlobal's Michelle Geis in Nairobi to discuss her motivation for working in the slums and what she sees as the world's most urgent development priority.

Brazil’s fourth largest city, Belo Horizonte, with 2.5 million people, has accomplished what we have been unable to do in America: end hunger. A former city official there says, “It is easy to end hunger if we are willing to break free of limiting frames and to see with new eyes.”


Cattle, goats, chickens and other farm animals are the unsung heroes of international development. More than 600 million rural poor depend on their animals to survive, and livestock contribute up to 80 percent of agricultural GDP in developing countries. Perhaps no group understands this better than the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), which conducts research on livestock to improve food security and reduce poverty globally. Susan MacMillan, Head of Public Awareness at ILRI, sat down with BurnessGlobal's Michelle Geis in Nairobi to discuss the critical role of livestock in international development and how to communicate the urgency of ILRI's work to audiences who might never step foot in a developing country.