BBC’s Global Services launch major season exploring Money & Power

This June will see the launch of Money & Power – a major new season of programmes and features across the BBC’s global TV, radio and online networks exploring how the basic building blocks of our lives are being shaped and reshaped by money.
Reporting from countries across the world – China, Korea, Pakistan, Israel, Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Sweden, Spain and the US – the month-long exploration will look at how money, and the power it brings, can define our relationships and our lives. The season will look at how, and why, money causes some relationships to prosper and others to fail.
Stephen Titherington, Commissioning Editor, BBC World Service English, said: “The world is getting richer, but the age old questions remain about what good these riches do, and how they are shared across society and across our own families. This is an intimate look at money, and relationships – from owning empty mansions in the Punjab to getting back on your feet after bankruptcy in Miami. This is as much about families as it is about global finance, as we test the reality of living together whether it’s for richer or for poorer.”
This diverse collection of unique stories will explore, from a personal point of view: winning the lottery, building your dream home, the hidden world of the financial dominatrix, facing financial money clinics as a couple, living in gated communities in Honduras, being an only child in Sweden and Portugal, getting married in Uganda, and in the US and Mexico asking what our teeth say about us to others.
The Money & Power season is the result of the BBC World Service’s annual ‘Creative Challenge’ in which BBC staff, regardless of role, can put forward their own ideas. The selected entries are then made into radio and TV programmes and additional digital content which are then broadcast and published across the BBC’s global services in different languages.
Programme Information:-
In Every Dream Home a Heartache
(TV and radio documentaries, plus digital & social media content)
For many Pakistani migrants coming to the West the best sign of success is to return home to a mansion built with their new found wealth – a dream home – but what of their children and grandchildren? For them, where is home? Many living in Oslo return to the Punjab to build their mansions, with hundreds appearing in the Kharian region of the Punjab. Each mansion represents a successful migration to the West.
In Oslo these Punjabi men and their families have mostly lived in small spaces and had low paying jobs. For decades they have worked hard and saved hard. For them the dream, as well as the economic statement of success, was to own a mansion back in the Punjab – and now many of them do. For three or four weeks a year the mansions are holiday homes to the returning migrants and their Norwegian born children. This is often a time when differences and rifts in extended families emerge and a time when young people must assess their futures. On BBC World News on 16th June.
Uganda: The Price of Marriage
(TV and radio documentaries, plus digital and social media content)
In Uganda, when it comes to weddings, there are really only two options: go big, or go home… literally. If you’re hoping to make your vows steeped in tradition, couples return home to their family and tribe. But, if you’re following the latest craze, you’ll certainly be going big: big dresses, big venues and big bills. With many Ugandans falling into financial ruin, all for the sake of bragging rights over the best party, the government may soon pass the ‘The Anti-Luxury Wedding Bill’ capping expenses on a couple’s most special day. We follow two couples on two very different journeys: one in the heart of Kampala and one in the rural Mbale as we discover the true cost of love. On BBC World News on 23rd June.
Putting Your Money Where Your Mouth Is
(Radio documentary, TV features plus digital and social media content)
What do our teeth say about us? BBC Journalist Natalia Guerrero is in Miami and Mexico and asks do we judge others by their teeth and do we demonstrate our own wealth by paying for the perfect smile? This documentary explores what our teeth say about us. On BBC World News on 23rd & 30th June.
Back From The Brink
(TV and radio documentaries, plus digital and social media content)
Stories of entrepreneurs who have tried and failed – and are trying again. As part of the BBC World Service’s “Money and Power” season, we meet the entrepreneurs facing the toughest of tests. In three vivid stories from across the globe, we hear from individuals who have created businesses and watched them fail. Now, they are picking themselves up, dusting themselves off, and starting all over again. We meet Rafael Agostinho Rodrigues, who created a massively successful sunglasses brand in his native Brazil, turning over $15 million and employing 45 sales representatives. He watched as cheap imitations of his high-end products flooded the market and his business went under. Now he’s in Miami, Florida, with 14,000 pairs of sunglasses in a warehouse, trying to find an investor so he can start up all over again. In South Korea, Hyerin Lee attempted to kickstart the market for green energy through tidal power. But her ambitious project faced numerous challenges and it went bust. Today she has an innovative new product she’s trying to sell – a portable unit which can generate power for campers by dipping it in a stream. And in Israel, there’s Miriam Lottner, who set up a web-based animated TV show aimed at getting more young women interested in science and tech. The business failed and now she’s created a new educational card game for children. Will she succeed? We hear about the hopes, the angst and the burning drive which keeps these serial entrepreneurs going even when the going gets tough. Presented by Georgia Catt. On BBC World News on 30th June.
Money Clinic
(TV and radio programmes, plus digital and social media content)
Couples and families discuss love and money with an expert. Presenter Ruth Alexander invites couples and families into the BBC Money Clinic to discuss their relationship with money and each other with local experts in both Miami and Nairobi. Like it or not, money is at the heart of our most personal relationships. It’s also at the root of a large proportion of relationship breakdowns. Being able to talk honestly and openly about money is critical, and yet it can be hard to talk about. Often, we don’t understand our own entrenched attitudes to spending and saving, where they come from, and how they’re affecting our lives. This programme aims to change that, giving people the chance to discuss and explore their money issues, worries and goals. In the first episode, the BBC Money Clinic travels to Miami in the United States, where young families struggle to keep up with the high cost of living. In the second, the BBC Money Clinic opens in Nairobi, Kenya, where young couples are trying to work out how to manage the considerable costs of getting married and setting up life together, while supporting their parents. On BBC World News on 7th & 14th July.
Winning It Big
(TV and radio documentary, plus digital and social media content)
Most people have dreamed of winning the lottery. It’s a dream that has become ever more common around the world as jackpots get bigger and lotteries more numerous. But does money really make us happy, and how much does this depend on where we live and how we spend it? To find out the BBC’s Mike Thomson meets lottery winners from around the globe. Mike dines with Arab/Israeli restaurateur, Jawdat Ibrahim, who spends much of his $23 million windfall on trying to bring Palestinians and Israelis closer together, through good food and dialogue. Mike tours rural Idaho with American businessman, Brad Duke who is determined to put his mountain of money to work. Brad won’t be happy, he insists, until he has trebled his $220 million winnings. Mike goes nightclubbing with the self-declared ‘Mark Zuckerberg’ of Ghana, a man with a very different plan. The young Pop video maker, likes to flash his cash and seems determined to spend his way to happiness. Mike also meets Canada’s, Rebecca Lapierre, who spurned a big lump sum in favour of $1000 a week for life. The former Miss Quebec has dedicated her winnings to helping the poor. True joy, she tells Mike, lies in giving rather than getting. So, what can we learn from these lottery winners, and are they any happier than the rest of us? On BBC World News on 14th July.
The Private Cities of Honduras
(TV and radio documentaries, plus digital and social media content)
Will the plan to create entire privatised cities in Honduras work? Luis Fajardo examines a controversial plan to create privatised cities in the impoverished Central American country of Honduras. Nearly a decade ago star US economist, Paul Romer, proposed “charter cities” as a model for developing countries to escape poverty and violence: new cities with Western-style institutions and laws, to be built and managed by foreign entities in semi-autonomous enclaves. The hope is that these new cities would attract foreign investment and offer stability and prosperity to Hondurans weary of violence and instability. Critics have condemned the initiative as thinly-veiled colonialism. But the current leaders of Honduras, one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere and one of the most violent in the world, are receptive to the concept and have begun laying down the legal groundwork for the plan. President Juan Orlando Hernandez was re-elected last year in an election were the subject of privatised cities was one of main election issues. Activists warn that the privatised enclaves will only worsen social inequality and undermine sovereignty in an already weak and deeply divided country. On BBC World News on 21st July.

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