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The Blue Continent Podcast

The Blue Continent Podcast

By Brennan Pürtzer
Veteran journalist and international development expert Brennan Pürtzer hosts interviews with global innovators addressing issues the world over.
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BCP.E15: Fresh Ministries CEO discusses food security and hunger eradication in USVI and beyond

The Blue Continent Podcast

The Swiss vote on holding corporations accountable for their international subsidiaries
In late 2020, Switzerland voted on a relatively new kind of legislation, a bill would have enforced human rights on multinational corporations based in Switzerland, which has more corporate headquarters per capita than any other nation on earth. It would have made corporations liable for offences carried out by their foreign subsidiaries and subcontractors. The vote failed to reach the necessary thresholds, but was notable in the question it posed, and how close it came to coming into effect. Today we speak with andreas missbach of "Public Eye", one of the most vocal interest groups lobbying for the passage of this legislation. - Music for this episode was provided by swiss jazz musicians Mathias Ruegg, Charly Antolini, and Nik Bartsch - if you're interested in their music, please check them out!
February 26, 2021
BCP: A new way to organize Nigerian farmers into a competitive block
Alluvial is an innovative and highly scalable private sector response to the challenge of food security. Higher population growth puts Africa at particular risk of a food and humanitarian crisis with global dimensions in terms of basic food supply and unprecedented migration. - Our guest is Alluvial co-founder Dimieari Von Kemedi Kemedi has been responsible for project planning and management of Alluvial’s rice project and has taken a lead role inestablishing Alluvial’s export processes. He has worked in community development, nature conservation and conflict management. Kemedi has served a number of senior level expert and consulting positions, including with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the UN Panel of Experts on Liberia, Statoil and the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. Kemedi holds a degree in law from the Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt and was Environmental Politics Visiting Fellow at the University of California Berkeley. Email: - Music from today's episode was provided by Grammy winning percussionist Lekan Babalola
February 14, 2021
A vision from Barbados: What could a collaborative concept for a sustainable food environment look like today?
Guest: Barbados Chef & sustainable food advocate John Hunte.  John has been engaged in building a sustainable food system for his island of Barbados, and several years ago presented this idea in a TedX talk from Bridgetown - how to conceptualise his entire island as a single farm environment, and make nutritious food available to everyone.
October 19, 2020
What is "biogarmentry?"
Brennan and designer Roya Aghighi discuss the future of fashion and her pioneering work in the field of biogarmentry. Learn more here:
October 19, 2020
Estonia's Digital Nomad Visa gives online workers an option to perform work in Nordic country
Estonia's e-Residency managing director Ott Vatter guests with Brennan to discuss the opportunities available to live and work in Estonia via their new Digital Nomad visa program -- a first-of-its kind innovation.
October 01, 2020
BCPod: St Croix' Research & Tech Park attracts innovative employers who contribute to the island
Yihan Wang is the business development advisor for US Virgin Islands' Research And Technology Park. Here they attract innovative tech companies with a vision of developing sciences which make sense here, and utilizing them to spur unique types of growth for the islands.
September 23, 2020
BCP: The future of energy in The Caribbean, with RMI's Chris Burgess
RMI's Director of Projects Chris Burgess discusses how the Rocky Mountain Institute is helping Caribbean nations make near and long term investments to improve their sustainable energy infrastructure, and how the combination of renewable resources and high traditional energy costs creates an environment where progress can be self-funded.
September 18, 2020
BCP: Indian boutique upcycling enterprise brings a revolution in waste and self-worth
Shaila discusses how she discovered the need for waste reduction through her work in supply chain management. She describes how her company changes the paradigm and creates value and meaningful employment through the development of artful and sturdy items from discarded items.  You can see their work here:
September 09, 2020
BCP: A powerful hyper-efficient solar technology comes on the market from Swiss-Serbian group
Brennan speaks with Albert Engbers of the Swiss-Serbian solar company Aeros Energie. The company utilizes a new application of the technology to utilize hyper-efficient thermal output. He says it's perfect for application in desalination plants or on islands.
September 02, 2020
BCP: Kari Eliassen of the Norwegian Refugee Council discusses the ongoing Cameroon conflict
As a guest on The Blue Continent Podcast, Guest Kari Eliassen of The Norwegian Refugee Council explains the suffering caused by the world's most under-reported conflict in Cameroon, and what the Norwegian Refugee Council is doing to provide support for affected people.
August 26, 2020
BCP LIVE: Master Vodka Distiller Art Wollenweber explains his company's community consciousness on the Island of St Croix, USVI
Brennan interviews Art Wollenweber of Mutiny Island Vodka of St Croix about the 1 year old company's role in their community. The company responded to the Covid crisis by adapting to produce the world's only commercial hand sanitizer made from breadfruit - and making it available to the whole of the US Virgin Islands.  (Apologies for the poor audio quality -- we thought our earpiece mics were picking it up, but they were not)
August 19, 2020
BCP.E15: Fresh Ministries CEO discusses food security and hunger eradication in USVI and beyond
Rev. Dr. Robert Lee, III, of Fresh Ministries talks with Brennan about the history of his non-profit and their philosophy of engagement in Jacksonville and around the world. His team has led efforts to fight Aids in Africa, as well as holy land pilgrimages that actually facilitate cross cultural understanding. 
August 14, 2020
BCP.E14: Masimba from Zimbabwe describes how his charity Rebirth Trust helps ex-cons and the planet
In Zimbabwe, deforestation occurs at a pace as high as 20% annually. Masimba and his charity Rebirth Trust employ ex-convicts in a country where as many as 90% of offenders can trace their crime as a response to deep poverty. He hires the reformed criminals to plant fruit trees, which will give them a tool to improve their lives, and counter some of the deforestation occuring in that country.  GET INVOLVED! Visit their homepage at:
July 28, 2020
BCP.12: The emerging global markets of tomorrow! Author Gavin Serkin discusses trends and future market predictions
Guest Gavin Serkin, CEO of New Markets Media & Intelligence chats with Brennan in a wide-ranging conversation that traverses the globe from Ghana, Nigeria, Côte D'Ivoire, Myanmar, Ethiopia, Sri Lanka and Ukraine to Vietnam.  Gavin and Brennan discuss the characteristics that spell success in emerging economies, as well as the minefields that befall any best laid plans.
July 28, 2020
BCP.13: Dr. Bianchini discusses the science of "Green Chemistry" and the future of asphalt
In a wide ranging discussion, Dr. Bianchini of Collaborative Aggregates explains what "Green Chemistry" is, and how additives can be used to reduce the ecological costs of road construction.
July 20, 2020
TIME TRAVEL! Special BBC World Report from the Year 2045: looking back on The Coronavirus 25 years later
The BBC world service provides thoughts and analysis from across the world. In today's special edition, we look back 25 years, at the Coronavirus, which affected the entire planet in the year 2020, and changed the international power dynamic, providing a bookend on America's supreme influence.
July 12, 2020
BCP.E11: Thinking Huts CEO Maggie Grout plans the building of 3D printed schools in Madagascar
Thinking Huts founder and CEO Maggie Grout joins The Blue Continent Podcast to discuss how her non-profit was able to conceive a plan for building 3D Printed Schools in the African Island Nation of Madagascar.  Grout, a Colorado native, discusses her time at Sussex University and the partnerships she made there with UK partners of the Madagascar-based non-profit SEED.
July 05, 2020
E.10: Ex-Oxfam USA president Ray Offenheiser discusses the future of global development and current trends
Ray Offenheiser, former President and CEO of Oxfam America and director of the Pulte Institute for Global Development at Notre Dame speaks with Brennan about current areas of research, inequality, COVID-19 and economic development. Ray also hosts The Global Pathways Podcast.
June 27, 2020
E.09: Girish Shivakumar of Mission Shunya describes sustainable tech in India today
Brennan speaks with Girish Shivakumar of the Mission Shunya podcast, who describes some of the progress in clean technology and sustainable advancements happening in India today. Mission Shunya is the name of his podcast, which has been focused on achieving net zero emissions.  You can find his podcast here:
June 22, 2020
BONUS: Mourning the passing of Rupert Hine, 72, composer of the Blue Continent Podcast theme music
English music producer Rupert Hine has passed a the age of 72. You've heard his music in every edition of the Blue Continent Podcast, using beats from his song "The Lone Ranger", by his band Quantum Jump. Hine made more of a name for himself through his work producing other artists, such as RUSH (Presto & Roll The Bones), Tina Turner, The Fixx and Howard Jones: Here is his obituary in today's NY TImes:[0]=AT0LCcL5cOc7yV4tdsBCC9BZDJy9DaoOPaU_6CR6IwB36TLdG4dHZ6wYlHW6J5RSHvbogSQ0ll3W4dQFeh87RXczvDYWjccTHw7u2KTR0HJJWiC22qb8CMhB71KlJM2DGqf8WZfiVbgomOelcTZamw And here is music from Quantum Jump -- which I believe married Jazz Fusion and Progressive Rock as well as any act that ever existed:
June 16, 2020
BCPod E08: Guest René Post of the Worldview Foundation describes work to restore Burmese mangroves
Worldview sales & marketing manager René Post describes the work being done in Myanmar (Burma) to restore mangrove forests, and the unique alignment that allows for constant reinvestment in the growth of the project and local communities. More about this project can be see in this Your Blue Continent video: You can visit the Worldview website here:
June 09, 2020
SPECIAL EDITION: Witness recounts violent riot police attacks in DC (June 1, 2020)
In this special edition of the Blue Continent Podcast, Brennan speaks with Laura Dodson, a former US Peace Corps response volunteer (Philippines). Dodson was near Lafayette Square on Monday, June 1, 2020, when federal riot police charged peaceful protestors and clergy, spraying them with tear gas to clear the path for President Trump to pose for a photo op with a bible outside of St. John's Church. Dodson recounts her experience in detail.
June 07, 2020
BCPod E07: Guest Nelson Boateng, director of Nelplast, innovative plastic waste solution
Brennan interviews Nelson Boateng of Ghana, managing director of Nelplast, and inventor of an innovative solution to turn waste plastic material into solid bricks, useful for construction and paving. He explains the process and some of his expansion ideas.  Check it out at:
June 06, 2020
Blue Continent Pod E06: Guest Fron Nahzi from the Global Dev. Experiment Podcast
Brennan Speaks with Fron Nahzi, an innovative executive with more than 25 years of demonstrated successes in expanding not-for-profit and higher education's global reach and impact by establishing partnerships with US and international universities, NGOs, governments and businesses, and developing successful fundraising strategies. Fron apologizes that the development community didn't know to focus on climate issues over the past 30 years of development, and the two discuss some localized issues affecting governing in The Balkans.
June 02, 2020
Blue Continent Pod E05: Chocolate Talk with Oliver Nieburg of The Sustainable Food & Drink Podcast
How can you know the chocolate you're buying wasn't harvested by a child? Oliver Nieburg from the Sustainable Food & Drink Podcast talks Chocolate supply chains, ethical/fair trade chocolate, developing world labor, child labor and industrial ecology with The Blue Continent Podcast. You can find ACT cooperative here: You can find Oliver's podcast here:
May 29, 2020
Blue Continent Pod: Ep04: Guest Dr. Bob Huish from The Global Development Primer (GDP) Podcast
The Blue Continent Podcast speaks with Dr. Bob Huish, professor of international development studies professor at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. They discuss global health, and evaluate different countries' success or lack thereof in the context of each country's underlying health condition. They discuss US-Cuba relations, and Dr. Bob provides a deep historical assessment of the development of the WHO and multilateral health institutions. Musical selections from: Machito (Cuba) , Ravi Shankar, The North Korean propagandists, Vinogradov, Tanzania's Vijana Jazz Band, Frank Zappa, Ghana's Guy Warren, Cuba's Irakere, and Venezuela's Marco Grandos.
May 25, 2020
BCP: E03: Talking Sustainable Energy in the developing world with guest Hans-Martin Førsund of the Norwegian International Development Co.
The Blue Continent Podcast speaks with Hans-Martin Førsund, who has more than 30 years of experience from public and private sectors, all over the world, including decades of work in maritime policy development.  He's been a project manager, consultant and an entrepreneur, always focused on sustainability and waste reduction.  Hans-Martin discusses the acute need for sustainable electric systems in the developing world, and how his organization is providing much-needed support.
May 21, 2020
May 20, 2020
May 20, 2020
E02: Hawaiian legacy reforestation initiative's Jason Ho’opai talks radical innovation in forestry
The Hawaiian legacy reforestation initiative is a nonprofit organization working since 2014 to reforest endemic trees and restore native habitat for wildlife, including Koa, Ohi’a, naio, and others. Their director of the board, Jason Ho’opai speaks with Brennan about the organization, its partnerships, goals, and the future potential of their innovative self-sustaining model.
May 17, 2020
The Blue Continent Podcast, E01: University of Adelaide's Simon Lacey discusses International trade
Distinguished Australian international trade advisor and University of Adelaide lecturer Simon Lacey speaks with host Brennan Purtzer about concerns and realities of global trade pacts, the weak points of agreements, and the difficulty in trying to predict anything American President Trump may try to do. Prof Lacey discusses how American leadership under Trump has hurt America's global status at 18:11 - 18:57. Global Development.
May 10, 2020
Welcome, introduction to the new series.
Brennan welcomes his audience to the new series of the Blue Continent Podcast
May 04, 2020