Humanosphere is an independent, non-profit news organization. It was originally launched in 2010 with support from National Public Radio and Seattle affiliate station KPLU (and with funding from the Knight Foundation and Corporation for Public Broadcasting). We remain in partnership with KPLU but, in order to grow, have spread our wings and tumbled out of the nest.
As described in our mission statement, we are devoted to covering and analyzing the most important (or entertaining) issues in the global health, aid and development arena. We are deadly serious about poverty, injustice and suffering. But not too serious. That’s deadly boring.
The news site was launched in Seattle because of the region’s leadership in global health, aid, development and the humanitarian sector. The world’s largest philanthropy, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, represents just of one many hundreds of such organizations in the region working to make the world a better place. Though headquartered in Seattle, with a moss-backed bias, nearly a third of Humanosphere’s audience is outside the U.S.
Our board of directors
- Rashmir Balasubramaniam, a brilliant expert on social enterprise, ray of sunshine and CEO of the global strategies consulting firm Nsansa.org
- Bill Foege, the man who beat smallpox, former head of the CDC and one of the original architects of the Gates Foundation’s global health mission
- Andrew Haring, Seattle attorney active in humanitarian causes and formerly general counsel for local ultrasound manufacturer Sonosite
- Rita Hibbard, leading journalist & former Seattle PI colleague who I depend upon to keep me from doing stupid things, who now does executive consulting with non-profit organizations
- King Holmes, world-renowned infectious disease expert and head of global health at the University of Washington
- Jim Simon, assistant managing editor at the Seattle Times and one of the most thoughtful journalists I know
- Kentaro Toyama, co-founding director of Microsoft Research India, professor of information science at UC Berkeley, fellow at the MIT Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values … and Humanosphere’s leading geek heretic
- Eric Walker, board chair, president of Eric G. Walker and Associates (what a coincidence!), a top consulting firm to many international NGOs and former VP for corporate services (aka CFO) at PATH.
- Mauricio Vivero, executive director at Seattle International Foundation, an equity activist focused especially on Latin America and Humanosphere’s new board chair
The new Humanosphere will continue to evolve, beginning with the hiring of our East Coast correspondent Tom Murphy, a prolific writer and blogger on aid and development (View From The Cave, Huffington Post, The Guardian and elsewhere). We also run articles from freelancers around the world, many of them not named Tom. Expect to see many new bylines in the future.
Other partners include Hans Bjordahl and his team at Culture Foundry. I’ve known Hans for many years – as a neighbor, friend and back in the day when he worked at MSNBC. Culture Foundry is a web design-and-technical powerhouse with a track record of delivering transformational change. They call it media disruption. I like that. Their clients include Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, the Esalen Institute and me.
Stay tuned as we re-tune, diversify and expand the Humanosphere.