Alex Goldmark is the senior supervising producer of Planet Money and The Indicator from Planet Money. His reporting has appeared on shows including Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Radiolab, On The Media, APM's Marketplace, and in magazines such as GOOD and Fast Company. Previously, he was a senior producer at WNYC–New York Public Radio where he piloted new programming and helped grow young shows to the point where they now have their own coffee mug pledge gifts. Long ago, he was the executive producer of two shows at Air America Radio, a very short term consultant for the World Bank, a volunteer trying to fight gun violence in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, and also a poor excuse for a bartender in Washington, DC. He lives next to the Brooklyn Bridge and owns an orange velvet couch.
It's especially hard for developing countries to create jobs and foster small businesses to promote growth. But Nigeria took a risk on a massive national contest to find thousands of people with ideas for businesses and did something radical. It gave away millions of dollars to thousands of people who asked for it — and it worked. It is a rare success story for bold economic development programs.
Following the lead of cities like San Francisco and Washington, D.C., New York wants to permit passengers to use smartphone apps to find a yellow cab. But the prospect of change has prompted a lawsuit from private car services, whose passengers already use smartphones to hail drivers.
Crowdfunding is a simple way for anyone to ask for money online from friends, family and even strangers. One woman raised $10,000 to help her neighbors affected by Hurricane Sandy. She's been hand-delivering checks to owners of damaged businesses and people who just need the extra lift.