GOOD

Meet the Minds That Are Hacking Our Surroundings for the Better

Rebuilding a war-torn country, making houses out of mud, and more.

Each year, GOOD celebrates 100 people from around the globe who are improving our world in creative and innovative ways—advocates, inventors, educators, creatives, business leaders and more who are speaking up, building things, campaigning for change, and ultimately refusing to accept the status quo.

In this section, meet 16 individuals reclaiming and reshaping spacesurban, rural, figurativeto be more sustainable, inclusive, and safe.


Jeff Hebert Plots New Orleans’ Comeback

New Orleans

Few cities need Hebert’s job as much as his current employer, New Orleans. The Big Easy, which is still fighting to recover from massive devastation wreaked by Hurricane Katrina, hired the urban planner as its first chief resilience officer near the end of 2014. This year, Hebert will begin implementing “Resilient New Orleans,” a strategy that prioritizes infrastructure, inequality, and adaptation.

Sally Duncan Protects Playtime

Addis Ababa

Ethiopian urbanization is uniquely concentrated in Addis Ababa, the only urban area with more than 300,000 people in a country of over 90 million. As the capital continues to grow, Duncan wants to expand and democratize its public play space. Her company, Out of the Box, designs children’s recreational areas for low-income, high-rise condominium communities. Its first “adventure playground” opens this spring.

María Claudia Lacouture Puts Colombia On the Map

\nBogotá

As president of Colombia’s official promotional agency, ProColombia, Lacouture has tackled her country’s dangerous, drug-fueled reputation with digital-age ingenuity. Tourism has increased by more than 50 percent during her four-year tenure, now outpacing exported coffee as a source of foreign revenue. She’s also helping turn the country into an international hotbed for tech, leading campaigns to encourage Colombians to enter the sector.

Kelly Ward Brings a Pen to a Gunfight

Washington, D.C.

As general counsel for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, Kelly Ward developed the “gun violence restraining order,” allowing California officials as of January to temporarily confiscate firearms from those deemed a clear and present danger. Next on Ward’s agenda is expanding similar legislation across the country.

Liz Alden Wily’s Land Rights Revolution

Leiden

Rogue political economist Liz Alden Wily has spent decades contesting legal systems that deny community-based land rights. Now she’s fighting to put 6 billion hectares back into the hands of indigenous communities whose land tenures predate the existence of a state. Last November, she helped launch LandMark, an interactive digital map that provides information on land tenure history as well as national land and resource laws. She also started the African Land Rights Transparency Index, a biannual report on rural land rights policies in various states. The report will expand to include 25 countries this year and the entire continent by the end of 2017.

ShamsArd Gets Crafty In Palestine

Ramallah

Danna Masad, Lina Saleh, Dima Khoury, and Rami Kasbari of Palestinian design studio ShamsArd champion local earthen building materials and affordable, sustainable architecture. But as Israel tightened its grip last year on imports into Gaza and the West Bank—draining Palestine’s supply of concrete and cement—ShamsArd became vital for a new reason: It offers design solutions based on construction materials Palestinians can reliably acquire. The five-year-old firm has worked on homes, hospitals, and community centers; it’s currently collaborating on 20 new playgrounds.

Autowale Decongests India’s Streets

Pune

With the world’s second highest number of traffic fatalities, India clearly has a congestion problem. Janardan Prasad and Mukesh Jha are attempting to alleviate that with Autowale, an app, website, and phone-in service that functions like Uber for auto-rickshaws. Autowale connects customers with drivers of India’s ubiquitous three-wheelers, which facilitate 20 percent of the country’s urban trips while occupy- ing just two percent of the road. The company now employs over 1,000 drivers—many of whom have increased their monthly salaries twofold with the steady work—and has served half-a-million customers. This year Autowale is testing hyperlocal food, grocery, and e-commerce deliveries.

Ravi Naidoo Nurtures Africa’s Creative Class

Cape Town

Few are more responsible than Naidoo, founder of renowned creative agency Interactive Africa, for turning Cape Town into an international design hub. The annual Design Indaba Festival he launched in 1995 brings together Africa’s foremost and emerging creatives to exhibit, network, and reimagine the continent.

Sarah Lidgus Crowns Community King

New York City

As founder of the urban inequality-focused creative studio Small City New York, designer Sarah Lidgus’s community-based design practice aims to make cities friendlier, specifically by engaging its inhabitants in the process. She speaks passionately about building lasting relationships, understanding a project’s political context, and accepting the community as the expert. Last year, Lidgus launched a community design school in Queens, produced an employee rights guide for nail salon workers, and led a community art project in the South Bronx.

Beth Stryker Gives Cairo a Facelift

Cairo

An architect, artist, and curator by trade, Beth Stryker co-founded CLUSTER (Cairo Lab for Urban Studies, Training and Environmental Research) with architect/urbanist Omar Nagati in the Arab Spring’s aftermath, to foster urban research, architecture, art, and design initiatives. CLUSTER works to revitalize downtown Cairo, through long-term projects to reinvigorate the city’s passageways and rooftops as public space. The lab has also developed designs for a community park to integrate informal and formal neighborhoods, held participatory design workshops, and designed a model for urban eco-houses.

Thomas Granier’s Inspired Mud Masonry

Ganges

In sub-Saharan Africa—where desertification and deforestation are depleting natural timber resources and modern construc- tion materials can bankrupt families—20,000 people use or live in Thomas Granier’s “Nubian vault” homes, built with local, raw-earth bricks and based on methods invented over 3,000 years ago in Egypt. Formerly a mason’s apprentice, Granier co-founded the Nubian Vault Association in 2000 to reduce housing costs, battle climate change, and cultivate a new, smarter generation of West African masons. Last year, the organization expanded into its fourth and fifth countries, Benin and Ghana.

Sarah Drummond’s Pedal-Powered Movement

Glasgow

CycleHack started as an annual 48-hour event uniting citizens, government officials, and cycling agencies in cities around the world to prototype design solutions for cycling accessibility. It quickly grew into an online community sharing tricks year-round, like how to use a penny and rubberband to temp rarily makeshift a skirt into bike-friendly pants. This year, founder Sarah Drummond, proud owner of a blue racer named Lost Boy, is bringing the event to more than 70 cities and developing bike-friendly curriculum for schools.

Adib Dada Revives Polluted Rivers

Beirut

The Beirut River is more sludgy sewer than river, complete with rumors of a resident crocodile lurking in the muck. Adib Dada thinks he can clean it up. Using biomimicry techniques developed at theOtherDada, his architecture and design practice, Dada is attempting to rehabilitate the river and reintegrate it into Beirut’s natural ecosystem. He’s also rebuilding the city’s infrastructure around a more symbiotic relationship between nature and the built environment. The first stage, Beirut River 2.0, which addresses infrastructural decay and contamination in the most polluted neighborhoods, is currently under way.

Susannah Drake Soaks Up Pollutants

Brooklyn

Architect Susannah Drake’s DLANDstudio, a design firm that fuses landscape and architectural engineering, unveiled an ambitious proposal that fundamentally reimagined New York City’s oppositional relationship with water in 2010. Her vision starts to take shape when Gowanus Canal Sponge Park opens in Brooklyn this spring. Among other features, the park’s custom-engineered soil will absorb toxins and heavy metals from the canal’s heavily contaminated waters, which the EPA has estimated would take over $500 million to clean completely.

Carolina Osorio Fights Traffic with Formulas

Boston

There’s a good chance the next generation of urban transportation systems will run on algorithms developed by Carolina Osorio. The Bogotá-born civil and environmental engineer, currently an associate professor at MIT, builds real-time traffic management strategies and models derived from advanced math theory that use high-resolution urban mobility data collected on smartphones to reduce urban congestion. Simply put, your future commute is looking a whole lot nicer.

Facundo Guerra Revitalizes Sao Paulo Nightlife

\nSão Paulo

Urban entrepreneur and nightlife architect Facundo Guerra injects culture and revelry into the areas of São Paulo that need it most. As one of the leading forces behind the city’s cultural resurgence, Guerra brings a forward-looking nostalgia to his transformation of run-down, seedy street corners into vibrant nightlife hotspots that rejuvenate, rather than replace, seasoned establishments. His revival of Riviera, a locally cherished bar that closed in 2006, and opening of Cine Joia, a 1950s cinema-turned-music-venue, have landed Guerra on the list of São Paulo’s most buzzworthy tastemakers.

Features
via The Howard Stern Show / YouTube

Former Secretary of State, first lady, and winner of the popular vote in the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton, sat own for an epic, two-and-a--half hour interview with Howard Stern on his SiriusXM show Wednesday.

She was there to promote "The Book of Gutsy Women," a book about heroic women co-written with her daughter, Chelsea Clinton.

In the far-reaching conversation, Clinton and the self-proclaimed "King of All Media" and, without a doubt, the best interviewer in America discussed everything from Donald Trump's inauguration to her sexuality.

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Politics
Pixabay

Offering parental leave for new fathers could help close the gender gap, removing the unfair "motherhood penalty" women receive for taking time off after giving birth. However, a new study finds that parental leave also has a pay gap. Men are less likely to take time off, however, when they do, they're more likely to get paid for it.

A survey of 2,966 men and women conducted by New America found that men are more likely to receive paid parental leave. Over half (52%) of fathers had fully paid parental leave, and 14% of fathers had partially paid parental leave. In comparison, 33% of mothers had fully paid parental leave and 19% had partially paid parental leave.

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Bans on plastic bags and straws can only go so far. Using disposable products, like grabbing a plastic fork when you're on the go, can be incredibly convenient. But these items also contribute to our growing plastic problem.

Fortunately, you can cut down on the amount of waste you produce by cutting down on disposable products. And even more fortunately, there are sustainable (and cute) replacements that won't damage the environment.

Coconut bowls


Cocostation

Who says sustainable can't also be stylish? These cute coconut bowls were handmade using reclaimed coconuts, making each piece one of a kind. Not only are they organic and biodegradable, but they're also durable, in case your dinner parties tend to get out of hand. The matching ebony wood spoons were polished with the same coconut oil as the bowls.

Cocostation Set of 2 Vietnamese Coconut Bowls and Spoons, $14.99; at Amazon

Solar powered phone charger

Dizaul

Why spend time looking around for an outlet when you can just harness the power of the sun? This solar powered phone charger will make sure your phone never dies as long as you can bask in the sun's rays. As an added bonus, this charger was made using eco-friendly silicone rubber. It's win-win all around.

Dizaul Solar Charger, 5000mAh Portable Solar Power Bank, $19.95; at Amazon, $19.95; at Amazon

Herb garden kit

Planter Pro

Put some green in your life with this herb planter. The kit comes with everything you need to get a garden growing, including a moisture meter that helps you determine if your herbs are getting the right amount of food to flourish. All the seeds included are certified to be non-GMO and non-hybrids, meaning you can have fresh, organic herbs right at your fingertips.

Planter Pro's Herb Garden Cedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazonedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazon

Reusable Keurig cups

K & J

Keurig cups are convenient, but they also create a ton of plastic waste. These Keurig-compatible plastic cups are an easy way to cut down on the amount of trash you create without cutting down on your caffeine. Additionally, you won't have to keep on buying K Cups, which means you'll be saving money and the environment.

K&J Reusable Filter Cups, $8.95 for a set of 4,; at Amazon

Low-flow shower head

Speakman

Low-flow water fixtures can cut down your water consumption, which saves you money while also saving one of the Earth's resources. This shower head was designed with a lighter flow in mind, which means you'll be able to cut down on water usage without feeling like you're cutting down on your shower.

Speakman Low Flow Shower Head, $14.58; at Amazon

Bamboo safety razor

Zomchi

Instead of throwing away a disposable razor every time you shave, invest in an eco-friendly, reusable one. This unisex shaver isn't just sustainable, it's also sharp-looking, which means it would make a great gift for the holidays.

Zomchi Safety Razor, $16.99; at Amazon

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