The #GlobalPOV Project

And all this time, I thought the world was round. The world is not round.
It has edges we can fall from and faces staring in entirely different directions.
And I thought the world was huge, but it is not — it’s in our hands.
We can hold it, change it, turn it, shake it.
We can solve it, but not by sheer luck or chance. We must be taught the way. — Abby VanMuijen, U.C. Berkeley ’12

The #GlobalPOV Project combines critical social theory, improvised art and digital media to explore innovative ways of thinking about poverty, inequality and undertaking poverty action.

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The #GlobalPOV Project is an innovation in the field of higher education. A mixed-media approach to curriculum and pedagogy, it combines traditional teaching components, such as in-class instruction and independent reading, with online video micro-lectures and social media discussions to capture and maintain the interest of young people who crave intelligent content — content that challenges them to think flexibly, grapple with issues of practice and theory, and question the assumptions of past development efforts.

With intent to shape global poverty and practice action into a field of inquiry, The #GlobalPOV Project converts academic knowledge into formats that are accessible and interesting to the wider public. In particular, the mixed-media strategy is designed to reach a generation of socially conscious “millennials” growing up in a world of online connectivity, engagement and innovation.

There are three components to The #GlobalPOV Project:

  • #GlobalPOV Video Series — A free web video series consisting of 10 micro-lectures, each organized around a compelling and provocative question, introduce a new genre for communicating important debates regarding issues of global poverty, development and foreign aid. The videos combine social science theory with improvised art and live-action sketch to communicate complex dilemmas and frameworks of thought to the wider public, especially to young Americans eager to take up the cause of poverty action.
  • Encountering Poverty Point-of-View Book — A forthcoming Point-of-View (POV) book, to be published by the University of California Press, will consolidate a new field of inquiry: global poverty studies. The book will outline and share the core concepts and case studies of the path-breaking undergraduate curriculum of the Global Poverty and Practice (GPP) Minor at UC Berkeley. It will also link to the The #GlobalPOV Project video series by way of Quick Response (QR) codes. Moreover, students will have the opportunity to discuss the content of the book in the #GlobalPOV Twitter feed.
  • #GlobalPOV on Twitter — An intervention in the relationship between youth, social media and the public sphere, the #GlobalPOV (short for “global poverty” and “global point of view”) feed marks the dramatic democratization of the classroom. The feed is an open forum in which students, teachers, practitioners and interested members of the public can ask questions, share resources and  engage in public debates about society, economy and politics.

Rejecting both the “hubris of benevolence” (we can solve poverty in a Spring Break) and the “paralysis of cynicism” (we cannot change a world of inequality), The #GlobalPOV Project strikes a tone that combines critique with optimism, honesty with passion. This has been the tone of the Blum Center’s Global Poverty and Practice (GPP) Minor since its inception, and through this project, we hope to share such an approach with the wider public.

#GlobalPOV Videos

  • “Who Sees Poverty?” With Ananya Roy

    “Can We Shop To End Poverty?” With Ananya Roy

    “Who Profits From Poverty?” With Ananya Roy

    “Are Slums the Global Urban Future?” With Ananya Roy

    “Is Privilege Poverty?” With Clare Talwalker

    “Will Hope End Inequality?” With Genevieve Negrón Gonzales

    “Who is Dependent on Welfare?” With Ananya Roy

    “Can Experts Solve Poverty?” With Khalid Kadir

    “Can Your Point of View Change the World?” With Ananya Roy and Abby VanMuijen

Behind-the-Scenes Blog

  • #GlobalPOV Tweets

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Meet the Team


Abby VanMuijen

Story Artist,
The #GlobalPOV Project

More about Abby

Abby VanMuijen is the Story Artist for The #GlobalPOV Project. A former student of Prof. Roy, she produced the “Global Poverty Coloring Book” while sitting/doodling/not sleeping in class one semester — and that was just the beginning. In addition to working as #GlobalPOV’s on-camera talent extraordinaire, she teaches an undergraduate course on visual note-taking.


Ananya Roy

Professor of Urban Planning and Social Welfare and Director of the Institute on Inequality and Democracy at UCLA
Twitter | Website

More about Ananya

Formerly the Education Director at the Blum Center, Ananya Roy is now Professor of Urban Planning and Social Welfare and Director of the Institute on Inequality and Democracy at UCLA.


Clare Talwalker

Vice Chair,
GPP Minor
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More about Clare

Clare Talwalker is the Vice Chair of UC Berkeley’s Global Poverty and Practice Minor and also Lecturer in the International and Area Studies Program. In the classes she teaches on global practice, ethnographic method, political economy, South Asia, and human rights, she is not afraid
to keep up with new media.

Genevieve Negrón-Gonzales

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Twitter | Website

More about Genevieve

Genevieve Negrón-Gonzales is an Assistant Professor of Education at the University of San Francisco. Genevieve’s interests include political activism among undocumented migrant students, immigrant students and higher education, and California racial politics and Latino immigrant communities.

Khalid Kadir

Course Lecturer,
GPP Minor
ude.1501187481yelek1501187481reb@r1501187481idak 1501187481
Twitter | Website

More about Khalid

Khalid Kadir is a Core Course Lecturer in the Global Poverty and Practice program at UC Berkeley and teaches courses in Political Economy as well as Environmental Engineering.