To most, poverty is thought to be inevitable. This is because our efforts to deal with the problem focus on the symptoms, rather than the causes. Giving food, clothing, or clean water may help temporarily, but if it’s the only method we use, there will always be poor people. In order to eliminate poverty, we need to understand how it works and how it’s sustained.
People living below the poverty line have more to overcome than just a lack of money, food, shelter, or other basic needs. Individuals can work multiple jobs, and still be kept poor for a myriad of reasons, including lack of safety, dignity, privacy, a voice, property rights, and human interaction. For the poorest of the poor, many of these factors are compounded.
Instead of thinking about poverty as a condition, think of it as a system that restricts access to resources many take for granted: education, healthcare, access to better jobs, political representation, banks that allow you to save or borrow money, and human rights protection from ethnic or gender prejudices. This system removes the ability to take even the most basic control of one’s life.
Big Questions believes that to address poverty you must move beyond theory and embrace the general process of action. The show sets out to prove that poverty is a system which denies the poor tools and resources. The show is about meeting “Big needs with local solutions”. We get into the trenches with leaders combatting social need and innovators creating new resources and access for those in need.
Though many global problems are much bigger than the current solutions, the show is passionate about addressing each issue. By doing so we hope to further the search for the solutions that will solve these problems. [Read more in DePaul Magazine]
Willona "Nonie" Olison, PhDDirector - ICTRGrowing up, if Noni or any of her four siblings were hungry and there wasn’t food already in the house, they had two choices: they could take two buses to get to the nearest grocery store, or they could settle for the food selection at 200 Cut Rate Liquors across the street.
MizanSocial WorkerMizan works in one of the poorest countries in the world. “You want to remember the poor," he told us, "because in this country, sooner or later, you might stand in their shoes.” We were very fortunate to have shared with him his first experience in America, when we brought him to Chicago.
Patricia H. Werhane is the Wicklander Chair of Business Ethics in the Department of Philosophy and Executive Director of the Institute for Business and Professional Ethics at DePaul University with a joint appointment as the Peter and Adeline Ruffin Professor of Business Ethics and Senior Fellow at of the Olsson Center for Applied Ethics in the Darden School at the University of Virginia.
Professor Werhane has published numerous articles and is the author or editor of over twenty books including Ethical Issues in Business (with T. Donaldson, eighth edition). She is the founder and former Editor-in-Chief of Business Ethics Quarterly, the Journal of the Society for Business Ethics. Professor Werhane is currently a member of the academic advisory team for the Business Roundtable Ethics Institute housed at the University of Virginia. Her current research projects focus on feminism in business and poverty reduction through for-profit initiatives.
Kim Clark is a creative professional active in film, television, and live performance. He is a businessman and community leader in Three Oaks, Michigan and Chicago, Illinois where he has lived for the past 20 years with his partner David Fink. Their creative efforts have been featured in The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune and network television.
His circuitous career path has included 10 years with the Cosmopolitan National Bank of Chicago (Vice President of Marketing), Associate Creative Director at New York's Young and Rubicam Advertising Agency and in 2006 he ran for United States Congress from Michigan's 6th district. He is also an expert pipe organ builder. Before joining DePaul University, he crafted, and later headed, national writing programs for The Second City Training Center.
Mat is a television producer and web developer who has produced on 3 continents (and counting), and developed and produced all 19 episodes of Big Questions over its 2 series. His most recent web app has been presented at ethics conventions in the US and Europe.
Scott is a multimedia producer with experience in editing, graphic design, animation, and cinematography. He has produced segments for Big Questions all around the world and behind the scenes, worked to develop the first season's 13 episodes.
Tim Rolph is a Chicagoland native and a graduate student at DePaul University. He is an avid traveler and occasional contributor to the Chicago-centric web magazine Gapers Block.
Brenda Bowyer is an 18 year veteran in public television. She has worked in radio production for over 25 years. Telling stories with impact and giving voice to those without is a personal passion.
Timothy Wolfer is a documentary filmmaker who has produced in 21 countries such as China, Uganda and Mozambique. His real passion is filmmaking in humanitarian situations, filming after the Philippines 2013 Typhoons, Haiti days after the 2010 earthquake and most recently South Sudan’s civil war. His work has been featured all over the world most notably Hulu.com and CNN.
Sarah began as a researcher for the show, but soon became deeply involved in production. She is currently working for NGOs in the middle east, based in Jordan, and acts as a consultant for Big Questions.
Andrew is an international freelance documentarian based in Madrid, Spain. His work has been featured online for El País, the Spanish National Ballet and numerous private entities. In addition to his work with Big Questions, Andrew is a noted behind-the-scenes and stills photographer.
Brad Athouse is a Chicago-based pianist, teacher, audio engineer and composer for film and television. Having worked in genres ranging from classical piano to ethereal, synth driven sound collages, his music has been compared to such modern composers as Cliff Martinez and Clint Mansell. To date Brad has contributed to numerous film, visual, and multi-media projects.
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