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Episode 24: Nishant Malhotra recaps 2021 A Social Impact Special Feature

This is a special feature on 2021, kickstarts the first podcast on Social Impact Update from The middle Road. Do refer to the add on educational publication following this podcast. This is going to be a regular feature from The middle Road.

First a bit about The middle Road platform. Inspired by the seventeen sustainable development goals, and keeping the model simple yet elegant, The middle Road’s mission is to make a holistic change within the world. The startup promotes themes on sustainable development, art, culture, well-being supported by well-rounded and comprehensive online learning initiatives. Despite being a one-person company, The middle Road platform has a global audience with readers and learners from across the globe. Known for its intense and educative reads, insightful and informative podcasts, webinars and videos, and educational online courses, the company is a global thought leader in social impact. The startup is a refreshing change from any of its peers, youthful yet measured, enlightening yet fun, creative yet simplistic, thought-provoking, multifaceted and, instructional. Within a short period, the startup has interviewed leading social enablers across continents, posted research focussed futuristic publications on topics related to the social and development sector artistically leading the way. This read captures some significant news from 2021, especially the reads covered on The middle Road platform.


Note: GERD figures are in PPP$ (constant 2005 prices). Many of the underlying data are estimated by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics for developing countries, in particular. Furthermore, in a substantial number of developing countries data do not cover all sectors of the economy.

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# The Ongoing Pandemic 

2021 will go down as the fastest vaccine rollout, yet the vaccination against the novel coronavirus is riddled with vaccine inequality. The share of fully vaccinated people in low income countries still hovers around 4 percent. Compare this to ~70 percent fully vaccinated population in high-income countries and 72 percent in Upper Middle-Income countries as per data shared by Our World in Data as of 30 December 2021. As of today, the cumulative cases exceed 284 million, registered deaths overtaking 5.4 million with actual figures much higher than the reported figures.


The emergence of Omicron further exacerbated the problem of global recovery. Omicron is now the most dominant strain in the US and has exploded in Europe. First reported in South Africa on 24 November 2021, the new variant accounts for 73 percent of cases as per the CDC report for mid-December. CDC’s national genomic surveillance efforts are statistically powered to detect a variant that is circulating at 0.1 percent with 99% confidence and can monitor changes over time. To know more confidence intervals, refer to the online courses’ statistics modules on The middle Road. Both the World Bank and IMF took out packages to fine-tune the global asymmetries caused to the pandemic. The World Bank Group has committed $157 billion since the beginning of the pandemic while IMF proposed a $50 billion plan in 2021 enabling social change impact within the global arena. This pandemic has seen upwards of $16 trillion stimuli, the largest amount in modern history to fight the novel coronavirus. African Development Bank and Asian Development Bank are other multilateral that stood out for their work during the pandemic. Asian Development Bank announced a $20 billion dollar to support its developing countries in April 2020 and the $9 billion APVAX vaccine initiative announced in December 2020 offers support for its member countries for an equitable and safe rollout of COVID-19 vaccines. According to many estimates, the COVID-19 crisis has caused the worst recession since World War 2 with Global Debt standing at $296 trillion by Q3, 2021, according to the Institute of International Finance.

Source: World Bank | Image The middle Road

# Person of the Year 2021 – Art of Subtlety

The middle Road awarded Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka as Person of the Year, for their tremendous contribution in defining the Art of Subtlety, a metaphor for measuring substance and character. Allison O’Donnell’s role in Shetland or Carey Mulligan’s role in Collateral exemplifies this attribute. As social upheaval continued in many parts of the world, the Art of Subtlety emerged as the central Tenet of 2021.

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Refer to the Recap 2021 publication posted Under Insights for the full feature