GOOD Q&A: Jessica Flannery

Jessica Flannery, co-founder and director of business development of Kiva, sees big changes in small loans.

What does a $20 donation do for Kiva?
Any donation helps us cover our basic operational costs-paying salaries, keeping the lights on, etc. In 2007, for every $1 Kiva receives in donations, we raised another $10 online in loans for the poor.

How did you and your husband meet-and how did that lead to Kiva's creation?
Matt and I met when we were seniors in college. He was at Stanford, I was at Bucknell. We were at a conference in Washington DC, and started talking about philosophy (my major, and the focus of the masters' degree he was about to begin). From day one, we could always talk IDEAS. In some ways, Kiva was the solution to a dilemma we had about where we each wanted to go in life. I wanted to do microfinance in Africa; Matt wanted to do a tech start-up in Silicon Valley. For years, we didn't know how this would work out, but of course these two passions combined eventually led to the creation of Kiva.

Do you have an individual micro-finance story of that is particularly close to you?
Any woman who takes a loan, perhaps despite cultural poverty or not being seen as valuable outside the home, is heroic in my eyes. There are countless entrepreneurs who have inspired me with the successes they were achieving in their lives, whether that success allowed them to send their children to school, to provide more nutritious food for the families, purchase medicine or mosquito nets, or something seemingly small but just as significant-being able to put sugar in their tea or to put a lock on the door to their home so they could feel secure. Every story is unique, every story is important.

Kiva is incredibly successful and you seem to be a preternaturally bold, caring person. Do you ever deal with fear? What are your fears and how do you combat them?
In terms of what scares me most out in the world, I feel afraid and deeply saddened when I see people who don't believe that they matter, or that they can cause change in the world. Personally, I would be most afraid if I got to the end of my life (or, even the end of a day) and looked back and felt I hadn't been true to myself.
For Kiva and for myself, I try hard not to let fear ever drive my decision-making. If we've ever made mistakes in the past with Kiva, or come close to it, it has been because of fear, and we've learned not to do this anymore. It sounds cliché, but I find great peace and clarity when I remind myself of the things I can control and the things I cannot, and then surrender the latter.

What makes you feel alive?
Newness. Poetry. Going on adventures. Connecting deeply with other people.

What is your personal definition of good?

Learn more about Kiva here.

Julian Meehan

Young leaders from around the world are gathering at the United Nations Headquarters in New York Saturday to address arguably the most urgent issue of our time. The Youth Climate Summit comes on the heels of an international strike spearheaded by Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden, who arrived in New York via emissions-free sailboat earlier this month.

Translated from Swedish, "berg" means "mountain," so it may feel fated that a young woman with Viking blood in her veins and summit in her name would be at the helm. But let's go out on a limb and presume Thunberg, in keeping with most activists, would chafe at the notion of pre-ordained "destiny," and rightly so. Destiny is passive — it happens to you. It's also egomaniacal. Change, on the other hand, is active; you have to fight. And it is humble. "We need to get angry and understand what is at stake," Thunberg declared. "And then we need to transform that anger into action."

This new generation of activists' most pernicious enemy is denial. The people in charge — complacent politicians and corporation heads who grossly benefit from maintaining the status quo — are buffered from real-life consequences of climate change. But millions of people don't share that privilege. For them, climate change isn't an abstract concept, but a daily state of emergency, whether it comes in the form of "prolonged drought in sub-Saharan Africa…devastating tropical storms sweeping across Southeast Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific…[or] heatwaves and wildfires," as Amnesty International reportsare all too real problems people are facing on a regular basis.

RELATED: Greta Thunberg urges people to turn to nature to combat climate change

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The Planet

Millions of people in over 150 countries across the globe marched for lawmakers and corporations to take action to help stop climate change on Friday, September 20.

The Climate Strikes were organized by children around the world as an extension of the of the "Fridays for Future" campaign. Students have been walking out of classrooms on Fridays to speak out about political inaction surrounding the climate crisis.

"We need to act right now to stop burning fossil fuels and ensure a rapid energy revolution with equity, reparations and climate justice at its heart," organizers say.

There's no doubt the visual images from the marches send a powerful message to those on the ground but especially those watching from around the world. GOOD's own Gabriel Reilich was on the scene for the largest of the Climate Strikes. Here are 18 of the best signs from the Climate Strike march in New York City.

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September 20th marks the beginning of a pivotal push for the future of our planet. The Global Climate Strike will set the stage for the United Nations Climate Action Summit, where more than 60 nations are expected to build upon their commitment to 2015's Paris Agreement for combating climate change.

Millions of people are expected to take part in an estimated 4,000 events across 130 countries.

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The Planet
via Apple

When the iPhone 11 debuted on September 10, it was met with less enthusiasm than the usual iPhone release. A lot of techies are holding off purchasing the latest gadget until Apple releases a phone with 5G technology.

Major US phone carriers have yet to build out the infrastructure necessary to provide a consistent 5G experience, so Apple didn't feel it necessary to integrate the technology into its latest iPhone.

A dramatic new feature on the iPhone 11 Pro is its three camera lenses. The three lenses give users the the original wide, plus ultrawide and telephoto options.

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via I love butter / Flickr

We often dismiss our dreams as nonsensical dispatches from the mind while we're deep asleep. But recent research proves that our dreams can definitely affect our waking lives.

People often dream about their significant others and studies show it actually affects how we behave towads them the next day.

"A lot of people don't pay attention to their dreams and are unaware of the impact they have on their state of mind," said Dylan Selterman, psychology lecturer at the University of Maryland, says according to The Huffington Post. "Now we have evidence that there is this association."

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