Wanjira Mathai is a Kenyan environmental and civic leader. She is the chair of the Wangari Mathai Foundation, which is named after her mother who won the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize for her work on environmental justice.

Much of Wanjira’s work focuses on the intersection of women’s empowerment and environmental sustainability. We kick off with a discussion about her work with a group called the Partnership on Women’s Entrepreneurship in Renewables (wPOWER) and also the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves.

Much of our conversation discusses the challenges and opportunities around renewable energy in the developing world — and why the developing world is where some of the most interesting and exciting innovations in green energy is happening.

We also discuss the work of her mother, the environmental justice pioneer who founded the Green Belt Movement.

This episode is presented in partnership with the Global Challenges Foundation , whose aim is to contribute to reducing the main global problems and risks that threaten humanity. Last year, the Global Challenges Foundation held an open call to find new models of global cooperation better capable of handling the most pressing global risks. In May this year at the New Shape Forum in Stockholm, the top proposals will be presented publicly and further refined through discussions with key thought leaders and experts. US$5 million will be awarded to the best ideas that re-envision global governance for the 21st century. 

Wanjira Mathai is a Global Challenges Foundation ambassador and in the conversation we discuss this prize and why new ideas for global governance are important for the future of environmental sustainability. 

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