The city of Vaasa in western Finland has built a reputation as a centre of innovation, where energy companies are working together to try to find solutions to some of the world’s biggest problems.
Here, there’s a quiet conviction that climate change can be stopped and a belief that technology emerging from this area will help us make the shift to renewable forms of energy.
We meet the people behind a giant engine that can run on a variety of non-fossil fuels, hear about a portable plant that turns waste into energy and speak to scientists developing man-made fuels to replace oil and gas.
We also check out a company creating a new type of battery which it hopes will one day be able to store enough power to meet the needs of a whole city.
Reporter and producer: Erika Benke
(Photo credit: BBC)
Shopping for a better life
Imagine a grocery shop selling all your basic goods at a discounted price… and if you buy enough you also get free health insurance. It might seem too good to be true, but stores like this have been introduced at some factories in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Social entrepreneur Saif Rashid is trying to get better health care to some of the millions of garment factory workers who are on low wages. For them, to lose a day’s pay by taking time off sick can be disastrous and affording decent health care is almost impossible.
Now, with this scheme, they can get health insurance at the same time as getting discounts on their shopping. We find out how it’s changed some workers’ lives and why some people don’t take up the opportunity.
Reporter: Chhavi Sachdev
Producer: Tom Colls
(Photo Credit: BBC)
Turning waste into energy
Where there are humans, there’s waste. About two billion tonnes of garbage was produced in 2016, and the amount we generate is increasing. A lot of it ends up in unmanaged dumps or landfill sites. Much of it can’t be reused or recycled, but instead of seeing it go to “waste” some cement factories are using it to create energy.
In this episode, People Fixing the World also looks at how tourists can help conservationists protect animals, such as lions, cheetahs and hyenas. All they have to do is share their holiday photos.
Reporters: Nick Holland and Jamie Ryan
(Photo Caption: Getty images)
Spotting the sound of a cardiac arrest
If you have a cardiac arrest you need help immediately to have any chance of surviving.
That’s why emergency call operators ask questions specifically designed to identify the condition, ideally within 90 seconds.
Panicked and emotional callers don't always give simple answers, though, and evidence suggests cardiac arrests go unidentified in at least a quarter of emergency calls.
In Denmark, a team of computer engineers is using new technology to listen in on emergency phone calls and look for clues in the conversation that the operator may have missed.
We visit an emergency call centre in the Danish capital to see the system in action and find out if a computer really can detect cardiac arrests faster than humans working alone.
Producer / Reporter: Sam Judah
Photo Credit: Getty Images
The snakebite squad
It's estimated that a person dies from a snakebite every five minutes. Many more people face life-changing injuries, losing limbs and consequently their livelihoods.
Antivenoms are expensive to make and are in short supply, particularly in remote communities where they are needed the most. And what’s more, snakebites in different parts of the world need different types of antivenoms. Many of the current treatments available in sub-Saharan Africa have been developed from snakes in Asia, but antivenom made to treat Indian snakebites won’t work as well on people bitten by snakes in Africa.
Now a new research facility in Kenya is trying to develop better antivenoms from African snakes.
And they've launched a motorbike snakebite ambulance service too, to get people who have been bitten to hospital fast.
(Photo Credit: BBC)