David Attenborough ‘optimistic’ about our planet’s future

Sir David Attenborough has said he’s is still optimistic about the future of our planet.

That’s a relief.

It is – but it doesn’t mean we should stop doing our bit to help the planet.

In his new BBC documentary series Wild Isles, David said that, though it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the problems the planet faces, we have the solutions and can make a difference.

So, what’s the new campaign?

David is an ambassador for WWF – a conservation charity which has recently launched a joint campaign with RSPB and the National Trust.

The Save Our Wild Isles campaign is calling for an immediate halt to the destruction of UK nature and urgent action for its recovery.

To get involved with the campaign, you can take a look at the Save Our Wild Isles website. They have plenty of ways you can help out – at home, at work, at school and in your communities.

Alternatively, you can give directly to, or volunteer with, the charities involved in the campaign by visiting the WWF, RSPB or National Trust websites.

This article aligns with the UN SDG Climate Action.


Female social impact entrepreneurs recognised for trailblazing work

Four female social impact entrepreneurs from the Middle East and North Africa had their work recognised in The Bicester Collection’s inaugural edition of the Unlock Her Future Prize

Eight finalists representing Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine,  Saudi Arabia and the UAE attended a pitch day in London to compete to become the winners of the start-up competition, which aims to identify and support women leveraging innovation as a force for good. 

The winners’ ceremony was held on International Women’s Day, hosted by author and women’s activist Lina AbiRafeh

Each will receive a business grant of up to $100,000, bespoke mentorship from international  experts and an education programme from presenting partner New York University Abu Dhabi. 

So who were the winners?

1. Noor Jaber, from Lebanon, with Nawat. Noor hopes to enhance women’s sexual and reproductive health (SRHR) through a safe and accessible digital space providing SRSH knowledge in Arabic via educational content and consultations with qualified experts, offering confidentiality, privacy and convenience. 

“I’m so thrilled to have been selected as a winner of the Unlock Her Future Prize, this initiative brings validation to my passion and to my mission to bring the importance of women’s reproductive health out into the open and to empower women to care for their well-being and  take informed decisions about their bodies,” she said.

2. Sara Llalla, from Iraq, with EcoCentric. EcoCentric is an online marketplace and circular economy system designed to mitigate microplastic food contamination and eliminate plastic waste.

Winning this prestigious prize validates the need of EcoCentric’s services in our society,” she said. “We’re introducing the only truly sustainable food packaging system, which should be normalised as  part of our everyday and now is the perfect time to launch this in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, the host of COP 28.

Inspired by the power of product invention, the judges decided to allocate the third prize between two finalists who are at different stages of the development of their invention.  

3. Fella Bouti, from Algeria, with Ecodalle. Fella provides ecological construction and homogeneous, economical and integrated irrigation solutions to improve large cities’ air quality and urban temperature. 

Unlock Her Future stands for the power of women, this is an incredible opportunity, it will be life changing for me!” said Fella.

4. Nuhayr Zein, from UAE, with Leukeather. This is a sustainable and ethical vegetal material alternative to exotic leathers made from dried plant pods, and a by-product of existing agriculture which minimises  its carbon footprint and provides an additional source of income for farming communities. 

“The Unlock Her Future Prize will allow Leukeather to develop, so that we may all take a step  forward towards a more eco-friendly and responsible world by collaborating with nature and  completely eliminating the unethical and wasteful killing of exotic species,” she said.

Commenting on the winners, Chantal Khoueiry, Chief Culture Officer, The Bicester Collection, said: “Empowering women social entrepreneurs is not just about recognising their achievements – it’s about creating a ripple effect of positive change that impacts entire communities.

“These women are leading the way towards a brighter future for us all.”  

Open to women of any age with an inspiring not-for-profit business idea, or a business where  their for-profit goals generate a positive return to society; the Unlock Her Future Prize identifies ventures that will drive sustainable positive social, cultural and environmental  impact for generations to come, as defined by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The inaugural edition of the prize celebrated the women of the Middle East and North Africa. In 2024, it will travel around the world to celebrate women from another geographical region.  

Find out more at

#DoGood #UnlockHerFuture 

Equality Wellbeing

Among record-breaking anti-trans laws, Minnesota codifies trans health care

Anti-trans and anti-LGBTQ+ legislation is being introduced in the United States at a record pace. The anti-trans legislation includes preventing access to healthcare, name and ID changes, public accommodations like bathroom usage, and much more. 

According to the ACLU, at the time of writing, there have been 399 anti-LGBTQ+ bills introduced in 2023 alone. To put that in perspective, there were 41 bills in 2018, and 238 bills in 2022. 

Organizations like the Human Rights Campaign are fighting to defeat these bills, many of which directly infringe on people’s rights to autonomy.

“Last year we came together to defeat 91% of the anti-LGBTQ+ bills,” said HRC President Kelley Robinson. “This year we are going to do it again. We see how hateful rhetoric and misinformation about who we are and what we stand for ultimately can translate into real-world violence, real-world harm for our people.”

Many state legislatures are ramping up protections for queer people as well, including states like Minnesota that recently protected trans healthcare when Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz signed an executive order protecting and supporting access to gender-affirming health care for LGBTQ people in the state.

“Minnesota strives to be a welcoming and supportive place for LGBTQIA+ community members,” the executive order read. “We uphold the essential values of One Minnesota when all people, including members of the LGBTQIA+ community, are safe, celebrated, and able to live lives full of dignity and joy.”

Studies show that providing gender-affirming care is essential to the health and wellness of gender-diverse people. Studies show that gender-affirming care can be life-saving for transgender and nonbinary children and adolescents.

All this to say, check on your queer friends in the US.

This article aligns with the UN SDG Gender Equality.


It’s a fact: gender equality helps people live longer

Research shows that, where there is gender equality, people live longer.

What? Tell me more!

According to a global study, in countries where there is more gender equality, both men and women appear to live longer. 

The results of the study suggest that though gender equality may initially widen the gender gap in life expectancy, as it ultimately helps women more, there is a ripple effect that will benefit men, too.

The study found that education was the most important aspect of gender equality, followed by political and economic.

If you’re interested in reading the results of the study, you can do so by following this link. If you want to donate to charities to help support gender equality, you can support organisations like Action Aid.

This article aligns with the UN SDGs Gender Equality and Good Health and Wellbeing.


Could you live here? Ikea helps raise issue of homelessness

Ikea has created ‘Real Life Roomsets’ in a number of its UK stores to highlight the issue of homelessness.

Tell me more.

Together with their charity partner Shelter, a charity that supports people experiencing homelessness, Ikea has created rooms in four of their stores that reflect the reality of temporary accommodation.

This is part of Shelter’s ongoing campaign with Ikea, demanding  90,000 social homes to be built a year by 2030 to help address the housing emergency.

If you want to see any of Ikea’s ‘Real Life Roomsets’ you can do so in their Hammersmith, Warrington, Birmingham and Bristol stores.

If you want to support Shelter’s campaign for more social housing, you can do so on its website.

IKEA x Shelter ‘Real Life Roomsets’

This article aligns with the UN SDGs No Poverty and Partnership for the Goals.


Boston is finding ways to make transit free

A handful of US cities started fare-free programs for their public transit during the pandemic.

One such city is Boston, which has gone completely fare-free on three of its bus lines that serve many low-income people and people of color, expanding a program already in place on one line.

Ridership on those lines is about double what it was the year prior, and also up since before the pandemic whereas most other MBTA lines are down system-wide.

“I think what’s so exciting about this is that it doesn’t look all that different. But for the people who are using free buses, it feels very different,” Stacy Thompson, executive director of the transit advocacy group Livable Streets said. “And what that means is that when it is pouring rain outside, when it’s snowing, you can get on the bus faster; the bus moves faster; there’s more money in your pocket if you’re not making a transfer and that’s your only ride.”

Fare-free programs, while already awesome for people trying to save money, also save time because no one has to pay at the front of the bus. It eliminates fare evasion and its related enforcement, which is costly in and of itself and also tends to mostly affect the people least able to pay fines. It also incentivizes people to use public transit which is better for the environment than individual cars.

The US capitol, Washington D.C. is also looking into implementing a fare-free program for most of its transit. 

“These programs were sparked by opportunities to bolster transit’s role as a social equalizer, evenhandedly providing access to jobs, health care, education and opportunity,” said Art Guzzetti, vice president of mobility initiatives and public policy at the American Public Transportation Association.

This article aligns with the UN SDG No Poverty.


The US reveals plans to help restore bison

Bison are one of the most iconic animals in the United States, but during colonial expansion, they were nearly wiped out.

Between 30-50 million buffalos roamed the Great Plains at the beginning of the 19th century. By 1902, fewer than 100 wild buffalos roamed there.

Soon after, the American Bison Society was founded with a focus on bison restoration. Since then, the population has grown steadily to around 30,000 – with many more in captivity. 

Now, the US is looking into other ways to restore large bison herds to Native American lands. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland announced $25 million in federal spending for bison conservation. The goal is to tap into Indigenous knowledge in its efforts to conserve the massive animal.

While the bison has bounced back from near extinction, it still hasn’t returned to a lot of grasslands with deep native connections. Secretary Haaland, of Laguna Pueblo in New Mexico, is the first Native American to serve as a U.S. Cabinet secretary and has been focusing on native concerns, one of those concerns being the reintroduction of the American bison, also known as a buffalo.

“This holistic effort will ensure that this powerful sacred animal is reconnected to its natural habitat and the original stewards who know best how to care for it,” Haaland said. 

“When we think about Indigenous communities, we must acknowledge that they have spent generations over many centuries observing the seasons, tracking wildlife migration patterns and fully comprehending our role in the delicate balance of this earth.”

Across the U.S., 82 tribes now have more than 20,000 bison in 65 herds. Obviously vastly smaller than they used to have but still growing after the bison’s near extinction. 

About half of the $25 million announced Friday will go to the National Park Service. The remainder will be split among the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Bureau of Land Management, and the Fish and Wildlife Service.

This article aligns with the UN SDG Life on Land.


DJ raises £70k for Comic Relief

A Radio 1 DJ has started her Comic Relief fundraiser by DJing around the UK on a 10-person bike.

Sounds fun! Tell me more.

DJ Arielle Free is travelling through England on a 10-person bike, complete with DJ decks, performing as she goes to raise money for Comic Relief. 

The Tour de Dance sees her attempting to cycle 50 hours, across five cities in five days – and incredible feat!

So far she has raised £70,000, with listeners donating and encouraging her along the way. 

So far, Arielle has been to York, Leeds, Sheffield and Manchester, and will finish up her route today, Thursday March 9th.

Congratulations, Arielle!

Find out how you can support her fundraiser here.

This article aligns with the UN SDG Partnership for the Goals.


New bone cancer drug will save lives

A brand new drug has been shown to work against most kinds of bone cancer.

Amazing! Tell me more.

‘CADD522’ is a drug created by scientists at the University of East Anglia. It has been found to block the gene that spreads the cancer around the body – at least when given to mice who have been implanted with human bone cancer.

So does it work on humans?

We’re still a way off that, yet – but it’s looking seriously promising. The next steps are a formal toxicology assessment, before looking for approval to begin human trials, but this could well be something that starts saving lives in the next few years.

What are the benefits?

It’s hoped that as well as having a higher survival rate than current treatment, this drug will be less traumatic – especially for young children. 

The research was led by UEA in collaboration with The University of Sheffield, Newcastle University, the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, Birmingham, and the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

If you want to support research into cancer treatment, you can do so by supporting charities like Cancer Research UK.

This article aligns with the UN SDG Good Health and Wellbeing.


How the US is celebrating International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day is a is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality.

Amongst the attack on reproductive health and LGBTQ+ rights in the United States, International Women’s Day hopes to shine a light on equality and a better future for all women. 

To celebrate this year, participants are being asked to embrace themselves, as a public display to embrace equity, and share it on social media. That’s this year’s theme #EmbraceEquity.

“Equity isn’t just a nice-to-have, it’s a must-have,” the IWD writes on its website. “A focus on gender equity needs to be part of every society’s DNA. And it’s critical to understand the difference between equity and equality.

“The aim of the IWD 2023 #EmbraceEquity campaign theme is to get the world talking about why equal opportunities aren’t enough. People start from different places, so true inclusion and belonging require equitable action.”

While some countries have massive rallies and events for International Women’s Day, in the US the festivities are a little more low-key and widespread.

There is the 4th annual International Women’s Day Together We Ride: A Bike Ride for Equity, Inclusion and Positive Social Change from March 8th to the 12th. 

The National Museum of Women in the Arts has a day-long virtual arts festival where museum staff, artists, musicians, and bartenders will host online programs highlighting women in the visual and performing arts.

Amazon Web Services is conducting a chat with executives from Boeing, Cornerstone, Laserfiche, and MapBox, about how to #EmbraceEquity within their organization and community. 

There are many many more events that you can look up on the International Women’s Day website, with different events in every state. 

Aside from that you can just take part in the #EmbraceEquity initiative, and even if you don’t have social media you can share your embrace photo on the International Women’s Day website

“IWD provides a critical moment to amplify and reinforce commitment, and to forge action promoting gender parity,” the IWD writes. “Celebrating women’s achievements is also key. The IWD campaign theme continues all year through, unifying action to help forge an inclusive world.”

This article aligns with the UN SDG Gender Equality.