Ken Banks

At a time where emerging and rapidly spreading infections such as the Ebola and Zika viruses have been dominating conversations in global health, this is a defining moment for innovators – and new and exciting thinking in healthcare is always the hallmark of the annual TEDMED event. In this installment of Digital Diversity, Layla McCay – a member...

In our February story – Cell Coverage: Reaching Pakistan’s Children with the Polio Vaccine – Aziz Memon wrote about Rotary‘s work to replace traditional paper reporting of polio, maternal and newborn health data in Pakistan with more accurate and timely mobile phone-based reporting. This new program is being implemented almost entirely by female health workers, many working...

You shouldn’t need anyone to tell you that there were refugees long before the Syrian crisis brought their horror further into the public consciousness. There was famine before recent announcements of severe food shortages in Yemen, Malawi and Nigeria, too. And, today, with over fifty countries run by dictatorships, oppression isn’t in short supply, either. As...

Solar power has long been touted as an answer to the energy needs of rural communities living off-grid across the developing world. Over recent years the technology has advanced rapidly in terms of efficiency and price, finally making it a genuinely viable option, at household level at least. For the very same reasons – including a...

There are no shortage of books on social entrepreneurship and innovation, but are they the books young people need? Do we have the right balance between theory and practice, or mechanics and motivation? Whose voice is dominant? What’s wrong with many of the current books on offer that drove me to publish two of my own? Well,...

Pakistan is one of only two remaining polio-endemic countries, and extinguishing the virus from every remote region is a considerable challenge. Vaccinators, risking attacks from militants, have to target and track with precision civilians fleeing a warzone in the country’s northwest provinces. One project is using cell phones as part of the polio eradication effort, and...

A New York Times Op-Ed last year highlighted the global disparity in access to quality medication. For people in developing countries, counterfeit drugs are a huge problem. In fact, a more recent Washington Post piece refers to the problem of unreliable pharmaceuticals as a global pandemic, amounting to an estimated $75 billion market annually. The...

On average, a person living in Myanmar (also known as Burma) will live two decades less than someone in the U.S. For Michael Lwin, son of two doctors who came to the United States from Myanmar in the 1970s, this isn’t just a statistic. It’s a deeply unfair consequence of a geographic lottery. A lottery...

We’re seeing a steady stream of great books hitting the shelves at the moment, each focusing on a different aspect of the technology/social innovation debate. While some offer hardcore theory and research, others offer softer inspiration and advice. One day we’ll have a book which captures and weaves together all four – that would be the ideal...

Each year, hundreds – if not thousands – of engaged students walk through the doors of schools, colleges and universities around the world eager to learn the art of social change. Classes in social innovation, social entrepreneurship and design thinking, among many others, have become increasingly popular. On the one hand, this might all be...

According to Wikipedia, crowdfunding is “the practice of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet”. This relatively new phenomenon has helped bring all manner of products and projects to market, and now global health is joining in. In this installment...