Follow The Data Podcast


Bloomberg Philanthropies Follow the Data podcast highlights how our work is driving change and making an impact in the areas of education, the arts, the environment, public health and government innovation. Heres how the podcast works: our founder is a strong believer that if you cant measure it, you cant manage it, and data-driven strategies are at the core of our work. Each episode will begin with a key data point that gives insight into a problem were addressing through our unique approach. From there, our guests some of whom you will recognize as our program leads and partners will share their expertise and stories on how our work together impacts the data.


  • 85. Peer-to-Peer College Advising – Does It Work?

    85. Peer-to-Peer College Advising – Does It Work?

    24/09/2020 Duração: 22min

    The coronavirus pandemic has exposed many inequities– and for high-achieving, lower-income high school seniors, the cost of higher education may make enrolling in college even more challenging. The National College Attainment Network analysis of FAFSA data through August reports that 1000,000 fewer high school seniors completed financial aid applications for college admissions this year. One of our CollegePoint partners, Matriculate, trains college student Advising Fellows to help high-achieving, lower-income high school students identify colleges that are a good fit, complete resumes, recommendations, and application forms, apply for financial aid, compare aid packages, and prepare academically, socially, and emotionally to succeed in college. On this episode, Jhenielle Reynolds, who works on the education team at Bloomberg Philanthropies, sits down with Mikayla Deckard, Matriculate’s Head Virtual Advising Fellow, and a student at Indiana University - Bloomington, and Freddy Rodriguez, a high school stud

  • 84. A Summer Unlike Any Other

    84. A Summer Unlike Any Other


    Summer has always been a special time for children to get outdoors and play – but the coronavirus pandemic posed a challenge for summer camps and programs serving youth. The Fresh Air Fund, which was founded in 1877 at the height of the tuberculosis epidemic in New York City was determined to continue its mission of providing free summer experiences for kids. With the support of Bloomberg Philanthropies, Ford Foundation, and The JPB Foundation, The Fresh Air Fund created Summer Spaces, in collaboration with the city, transforming closed New York City streets into age-appropriate, socially distant, play spaces for children. The program also provided employment to local youth ages 18 to 24, who served as activity specialists, coaches, and counselors. Special thanks to the many program partners, including ones mentioned in this episode: Ford Foundation, The JPB Foundation, the American Ballet Theater, Scholastic, and Verizon. In this episode, Fatima Shama, the Executive Director of The Fresh Air Fund, sit

  • 83. Virtual College Advising - Does It Work?

    83. Virtual College Advising - Does It Work?

    14/09/2020 Duração: 23min

    CollegePoint is a virtual advising program that aims to help as many as 65,000 high-achieving, low-income high school students apply to college, navigate the financial aid process, and decide which college to attend – entirely for free. The program matches each student with a virtual college advisor who provides personalized college application and financial aid support through text messages, e-mails, and video conference calls. On this episode, Jhenielle Reynolds, who works on the education team at Bloomberg Philanthropies, sits down with Rachel Maguire, a CollegePoint advisor, and Logan Balfantz, a recent CollegePoint alum who is now a freshman at the University of Notre Dame. Rachel and Logan joined the podcast to tell us more about what it was like to work together through CollegePoint during Logan’s college application process, to give tips to students who may be applying to college during the pandemic, and to share advice for students and advisors who may be adjusting to tele-education methods during

  • 82. The 9/11 Memorial Glade: A Tribute to Strength

    82. The 9/11 Memorial Glade: A Tribute to Strength

    28/08/2020 Duração: 24min

    This episode is a rebroadcast that we first published in late September of 2019 around the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. We spoke with Alice Greenwald - National September 11th Memorial and Museum President and CEO. And she shared with us how a series of stone monoliths at the site of the memorial – known as the Glade – came to be and its purpose. And while it was temporarily closed to the public during the pandemic for safety reasons, the space has reopened to welcome visitors once again.

  • 81. Is It Safe to Reopen Schools?

    81. Is It Safe to Reopen Schools?

    21/08/2020 Duração: 23min

    With back to school on everyone’s minds, students, parents, educators, public health experts and politicians continue to debate on the safety of reopening schools for in-person instruction.   On this episode, we talk to Dr. Jennifer Nuzzo, a Senior Scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, where she leads research partnerships with public health practitioners in order to document their learnings and improve our readiness for large and challenging outbreaks. She also co-wrote a New York Times op-ed earlier this summer, called “We Have to Focus on Opening Schools, Not Bars.” Dr. Nuzzo joined Dr. Kelly Henning, who leads our public health program, to share advice for schools and school administrators trying to enforce social distancing and mask wearing, to discuss how students, teachers, and administrators who are immunosuppressed should approach returning to the classroom, and to tell us more about how other countries are approaching school reopening.

  • 80. Your COVID-19 Vaccine Questions, Answered

    80. Your COVID-19 Vaccine Questions, Answered

    14/08/2020 Duração: 27min

    The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we live – and a vaccine is our best hope to resume normal life. While studies of possible COVID-19 vaccines continue, questions emerge: How close are we to a vaccine? Should children, pregnant women, and the elderly be included in vaccine trials? How successful does a vaccine have to be in order to be considered effective? Dr. Ruth Karron is the Director of the Center for Immunization Research and of the Johns Hopkins Vaccine Initiative at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and is considered one of the top vaccine experts in the world. Dr. Karron sits down with Dr. Josh Sharfstein to tell us more about how COVID-19 vaccine trials are evaluating vaccine safety, why it’s important to have racial and ethnic diversity in vaccine trials, and how we can build trust with communities to allay concerns about the vaccine. This episode is borrowed from “Public Health on Call,” the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s podcast – host

  • 79. How Cities Are Supporting Arts  Culture During COVID-19

    79. How Cities Are Supporting Arts & Culture During COVID-19

    05/08/2020 Duração: 23min

    In London, cultural tourism is worth about 8 billion pounds a year—largely from international visitors. Recent statistics in London indicate that the creative economy will lose 16 billion pounds, and 150,000 jobs, by the end of 2020 alone. As the Deputy Mayor for Culture and the Creative Industries of London, Justine Simons oversees City Hall’s work across music, theatre, film, fashion, design, games, and art. She’s also the founder and chair of the World Cities Culture Forum, which convenes cities to explore the vital role the arts have in shaping communities. Justine sat down with Tracey Knuckles, who helps cities develop strategies for strengthening their creative sector in her role at Bloomberg Associates, to discuss how London and other cities around the world are responding to COVID-19’s impact on the cultural sector, what strategies cities are implementing as they navigate re-opening cultural institutions, and what the long-term outlook looks like after the pandemic.

  • 78. Systemic Racism as a Public Health Issue

    78. Systemic Racism as a Public Health Issue

    31/07/2020 Duração: 21min

    As more data about the impact of the pandemic becomes available, it is increasingly clear that the coronavirus is affecting the most vulnerable and disadvantaged populations in the U.S. the hardest. As the Director of The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Equity and the Director of the Johns Hopkins Urban Health Institute, Dr. Lisa Cooper and her team work to make health care institutions more equitable, communities more engaged, and health policies and practices more effective to eliminate disparities in health and health care in Baltimore, the United States, and around the world. Dr. Cooper sat down with Dr. Jessica Leighton from our public health team to tell us more about what can be done to reduce the toll of COVID-19 on Black and Latino communities, how the public health community is tackling systemic racism, and how listeners considering joining Black Lives Matter protests in their communities can protest safely.

  • 77. Training an Army of Contact Tracers

    77. Training an Army of Contact Tracers

    23/07/2020 Duração: 20min

    The coronavirus pandemic continues to surge across the country – and contact tracing is one of our best tools to slow the spread. The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Bloomberg Philanthropies, together with New York State, launched a free online course, called "COVID-19 Contact Tracing," in order to train an army of contact tracers to reach and assist people who have been exposed to the virus. Dr. Emily Gurley, the infectious disease epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health who designed the course, joined Kelly Larson from our public health team on June 26th to tell us more about what contact tracing really is and what makes a contact tracer effective, what material is covered in the free COVID-19 Contact Tracing Course, and the role technology plays in fighting COVID-19.

  • 76. Identifying Implicit Biases in Cities

    76. Identifying Implicit Biases in Cities

    17/07/2020 Duração: 20min

    Bloomberg Associates – the philanthropic consulting arm of Bloomberg Philanthropies – has been working with the City of Houston, Texas, on the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative and with other key partners across the country in order to tackle how school discipline practices contribute to the school-to-prison pipeline. One of those key partners is Rev. Dr. Bryant Marks of The National Training Institute on Race and Equity at Morehouse College, whose team is providing city-wide implicit bias training for the City of Houston. Rev. Dr. Marks recently joined Mariama N’Diaye of our Bloomberg Associates team to discuss what implicit bias training entails, what implicit bias looks like in schools, and how school discipline practices contribute to the school-to-prison pipeline, and shares advice for listeners who may be beginning to identify inequities in their own communities.

  • 75. The Pandemic’s Effect on Gun Violence

    75. The Pandemic’s Effect on Gun Violence

    09/07/2020 Duração: 21min

    As mayor of New York City, Mike Bloomberg started working on gun safety and co-founded Mayors Against Illegal Guns – a coalition that grew to 1,000 current and former mayors. And when he left City Hall, he created Everytown for Gun Safety alongside Moms Demand Action founder Shannon Watts by combining Mayors Against Illegal Guns with her army of volunteers and millions of other Americans committed to ending gun violence. Everytown is now the country’s most powerful grassroots advocacy group for common sense gun policies, and the counterweight to the gun lobby. As part of their effort to better understand and reduce gun violence in America, Everytown has a robust research arm that helps inform policymakers, advocates and experts working on the gun violence crisis. According to the team’s latest study, historic precedent suggests that economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic could contribute to a 20 to 30 percent increase in firearm suicides in the US this year. Everytown's Director of Research, Sarah Burd

  • 74. The Data Behind The Pandemic

    74. The Data Behind The Pandemic

    01/07/2020 Duração: 19min

    Cities and states are reopening, even as coronavirus cases are surging in the United States. Dr. Tom Inglesby and his team at the Center for Health Security of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health use research, data, and expert analysis to advise decision makers about public health practices to mitigate the effects of epidemics and disasters like COVID-19. In this episode, Dr. Inglesby sat down with Bloomberg Philanthropies public health program lead Dr. Kelly Henning to tell us more about how states are looking at data to inform school and office reopenings, whether we’re in the first or second wave of COVID-19, and the power of social media during the pandemic.

  • 73. Four Podcasts Our Team Is Listening To This Week

    73. Four Podcasts Our Team Is Listening To This Week

    26/06/2020 Duração: 05min

    Follow the Data is on hiatus while we work on a slate of exciting episodes starting next week. In the meantime, we wanted to highlight a few of our team's favorite podcasts: The American Health Podcast, Public Health on Call, Southbank Centre’s Podcasts, and Public Art Works: A Podcast by the Public Art Fund.

  • 72. Food First Responders

    72. Food First Responders

    18/06/2020 Duração: 13min

    To express our appreciation for health care workers risking their lives to protect others during the COVID-19 pandemic, Bloomberg Philanthropies teamed up with Chef José Andrés and his nonprofit, World Central Kitchen, to provide almost 1.1 million meals to those working on the frontlines at 16 NYC Health + Hospitals facilities. In a conversation recorded on June 4th, World Central Kitchen CEO Nate Mook joined Bloomberg Philanthropies Senior Advisor Brynne Craig to share an update on our partnership, to tell us more about how re-opening will shift World Central Kitchen’s work, and to let us know how you can help people across the country that are in need of a meal or groceries.

  • 71. How Helsinki, Finland Is Responding to COVID-19

    71. How Helsinki, Finland Is Responding to COVID-19

    12/06/2020 Duração: 10min

    As cities continue to grapple with the public health challenges posed by COVID-19, Mayor Jan Vapaavuori of Helsinki, Finland, joined Kelly Larson, who works on our public health team, two weeks ago to discuss how Helsinki is responding to COVID-19, how the Partnership for Healthy Cities is encouraging global collaboration between cities, and what’s keeping mayors hopeful right now.

  • 70. Lights, Camera…Action?

    70. Lights, Camera…Action?

    05/06/2020 Duração: 15min

    The entertainment industry has grinded to a halt as a result of the coronavirus crisis. Film and television production is speculated to resume in the fall at the earliest, and live theaters are bracing for a six month shutdown – yet the entertainment community has adapted to continue creating during this time. Michelle King, the co-creator of “The Good Wife” and “The Good Fight;” Brooke Kennedy, executive producer of “The Good Wife” and “The Good Fight,” actress Christine Baranski, actor Brian Stokes Mitchell, and Joseph Benincasa, President and CEO of The Actors Fund, joined host Katherine Oliver for a conversation around how film productions are transitioning to Zoom, how we can keep casts and crews safe, and how The Actors Fund is helping people in performing arts and entertainment in need.

  • 69. How Freetown, Sierra Leone is Responding to COVID-19

    69. How Freetown, Sierra Leone is Responding to COVID-19

    29/05/2020 Duração: 18min

    As COVID-19 spreads rapidly in cities around the world, the virus poses an urgent challenge to mayors and city health officials worldwide. Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr of Freetown, Sierra Leone, joins Dr. Kelly Henning, who leads the public health program at Bloomberg Philanthropies, to discuss how Freetown is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, how global mayors are sharing information during the crisis, and what’s keeping mayors hopeful right now.

  • 68. The Cost of Recovery for Our Cities (Part 2)

    68. The Cost of Recovery for Our Cities (Part 2)

    22/05/2020 Duração: 15min

    In the first episode of this two-part series we learned how cities can access federal aid for crisis relief and recovery. This week’s episode dives into how apart from securing and deploying aid, it’s particularly important for cities to maintain fiscal order so that they can maximize the funds and avoid any misuse and trouble down the road. This week’s episode features Rose Gill, a Principal at Bloomberg Associates and Steven Kobre, Partner at Kobre + Kim. Together, they discuss the role of monitors in reviewing the use of federal funds, emerging cases that involve fraud, and share advice for city leaders managing COVID-19 federal aid on how to mitigate risks. Additionally, Rose spoke with Jerry DeLoach, who is the Head of the Cost Recovery team for the City of Atlanta to discuss how the city is responding to this crisis and at the same time is tracking expenditures to maximize federal reimbursements and recovery.

  • 67. A Promising Treatment for COVID-19

    67. A Promising Treatment for COVID-19

    15/05/2020 Duração: 19min

    Dr. Arturo Casadevall and colleagues at Johns Hopkins University and around the country have been working around the clock to develop a convalescent serum therapy to treat COVID-19 using blood plasma from recovered patients. If all goes well with the current U.S. trials, thousands of survivors might soon line up to donate their antibody-rich plasma. In this episode of our series around Bloomberg Philanthropies’ COVID-19 response, Dr. Casadavall joined Dr. Jessica Leighton, from our public health team, to discuss how blood plasma has been used to treat infectious disease outbreaks in the past, what makes blood plasma treatment different from a vaccine, how donating your blood plasma could help your community, and what’s giving researchers hope right now.

  • 66. Slowing the Spread of COVID-19 in Africa

    66. Slowing the Spread of COVID-19 in Africa

    08/05/2020 Duração: 21min

    In Africa, where governments and populations are used to – or at least more aware of – highly infectious diseases from Ebola and other outbreaks, 36 out of 54 countries currently have social distancing measures in place. Yet caseloads are beginning to increase, and public health professionals are following the data to understand the severity and speed of the spread in Africa. In this episode of our series, Amanda McClelland, the Senior Vice President of Prevent Epidemics and Resolve to Save Lives at Vital Strategies, sat down with Dr. Jennifer Ellis, from our Public Health program. They discuss why it’s important to prioritize slowing the spread of coronavirus in low- and middle-income countries, particularly those in Africa, the importance of the Box It In strategy, how response to the coronavirus has differed from other recent outbreaks, and what’s keeping public health professionals hopeful right now.

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