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When Vandana Shiva was growing up in the wilds of the Himalaya, her father was a forest conservator, her mother a farmer. Her close relationship with nature was set early on, and her involvement with Chipko, a nonviolent org that emerged in response to large-scale deforestation in the region, soon put Shiva on the path to a career in ecology.

Today, at 66, Shiva has founded a biodiversity farm, Navdanya, as well as Earth University, a learning center that teaches students principles of biodiversity and what Shiva calls "Earth Democracy." Her commitment to farmers' rights and poison-free farming has earned Shiva a slew of awards and accolades, and she has been called an environmental hero by n...

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Ethiopia has made a lot of encouraging progress in recent years, but despite two decades of economic growth, its economy is still struggling. The nation has one of the world's lowest GDPs per capita, and many Ethiopians still rely on subsistence farming. 29-year old tech entrepreneur Selam Wondim is up to the challenges facing her home country, however. And recent changes on Ethiopia's political horizon, including the election of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, have her feeling optimistic.

These days, young Ethiopians are looking more and more to technology–and it's not in search of the latest food delivery app. Where much of new technology in the West is convenience-driven, in Ethiopia peop...

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In the developing world, one of the most common problems is the expansion of food production to feed growing populations. Historically, the answer in many places has been to replace forests with agriculture. Currently, the practice is responsible for over seventy-five percent of global deforestation, according to the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization.

But there are alternatives. A small West African nation of just over two million people, The Gambia is managing to both produce more food and grow more forests. And in the process, they are providing a valuable example for other developing countries around the world.

How are they doing it? Since 1990, the Gambian government has been ...

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In a very welcome development, an influx of new venture capital is being directed to companies dedicated to the elimination of food waste. According to a recent report by ReFED, more than $125 million has been invested in the category so far in 2018.

Food waste and food access have long been a focus here at Billions Rising–and with an estimated $218 billion of food going to waste each year, that's hardly a surprise. The problem of food waste in particular has now become a hot topic among VC firms, including such major players as S2G Ventures. As pointed out by Chuck Templeton, S2G's Managing Director,"Food waste is a huge problem hidden in plain sight,” and it offers huge potentia...

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Catherine Garcia Flowers came to Houston following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, a violent storm in which she and her parents both lost their homes. She soon met Pastor Rudy Rasmus, who saw her vast energy and potential as she quickly went to work feeding Houston's hungry and less fortunate.

After Rasmus founded Bread of Life, a nonprofit serving Houston's homeless, they stayed in touch. And when Flowers was considering a move to Honduras years later, he talked her out of it. His reason: Rasmus needed her to take the reins of his growing organization. She agreed–and within just weeks, Hurricane Harvey struck Houston. Her decision was seemingly meant to be, as Flowers was perfectly position...

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How does one go from a successful modeling career to working as a social entrepreneur learning high-end mobile development–all the while attending medical school?

Ask Shanay Thompson. After a successful stint in the modeling industry, motivated to help others, Thompson decided to become a doctor. When she got into Stanford University, she began mentoring at-risk teens, getting a taste for volunteerism. She then launched Every Kid Fed, a nonprofit which operates year-round pantries in schools in Oakland, California.

Today Thompson's group is feeding hundreds of students who would otherwise go hungry–and she's not finished. To hear the rest of her galvanizing tale, read the Forbes st...

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Food access is an enduring problem in the U.S., so it has long been an issue we are passionate about. 'Food deserts' continue to plague our urban centers: defined as areas in which it is difficult to buy simple, healthy food (think milk, fresh fruit and veggies), food deserts are a persistent drag on public health, and have eluded decades of policymakers.

Entrepreneur Olympia Auset sees the problem as a fundamental one: “Food is a tool that can be used either for oppression or liberation,” she says. Her company SÜPRMARKT is attempting to solve that problem–while at the same time addressing racism in America. To find out how, read the whole fascinating story here.

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Food access is a vexing problem, especially in the inner cities, and small business has a critical role to play in providing workable solutions. We've seen scores of hopeful innovations in this area, many aimed at redirecting the tons of food that are wasted in our cities every day.

Entrepreneur Mark Brand knows what it's like to be hungry; he was once homeless himself. And as a chef, he has a unique perspective on the matter: “I believe that food is the conduit to love and to show people that we really deeply care about them and their success. And that every time we do the opposite, it is the opposite. It’s disrespecting people,” he explains.

Brand and his company MBI have c...

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Food access in the inner city is a problem that we've long struggled with, and the inability to find anything other than fast food in many of our urban environments is a serious health concern. Thankfully, we've seen some inroads in this area, especially in the world of nonprofits.

One remarkable nonprofit group is Denver's The GrowHaus, which has taken a community-centered approach to the problem. They've considered everything from local food production to education, food habits and food waste, and come up with some truly unique solutions.

Ortilia Lujan Flores has struggled with access to food for a long time. Like everyone, Flores wanted to be able to buy affordable, wholesome food. But she ...

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One of the most severe impacts of climate change is the scourge of drought. Drought affects rural farmers' ability to make a living and provide for themselves, and threatens the wider food supply. Solar stills have shown great promise as a way to insure fresh water supplies, but they are typically inefficient. Engineer and social entrepreneur Alessandro Bianciardi has been working on the problem, and has been making immense progress by looking at one of the greatest powers of nature itself: mimicry.

Bianciardi and his team have created what they call the 'Mangrove Still,' which, incredibly, can be produced at just 1/5 of the cost of traditional solar stills. You can read the whole fascinating...

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