Social Entrepreneur Jock Brandis CNN Hero Full Belly Project Shin Fujiyama Podcast

Jock Brandis, Founder of The Full Belly Project

Social entrepreneur and CNN Hero Jock Brandis is the founder of The Full Belly Project. He is the winner of the MIT Ideas Award and the Purpose Prize. He is known as the modern-day Thomas Edison, having invented the “holy grail” of sustainable agriculture and more. His universal peanut sheller and other appropriate technologies have helped tens of thousands of people in many countries across the world. His nonprofit organization works out of a factory in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Jock Brandis is an old guy with a great sense of humor. He made me laugh out loud many times during the episode in between his inspirational stories. He talks in depth about embracing failure in this episode.

This episode is mostly about Jock’s involvement with… peanuts!

“The peanut (or groundnut as it is called in West Africa) is an important subsistence crop to hundreds of millions of people across the world. Not only is it important nutritionally, as it provides a convenient source of protein and 30 essential nutrients, but it is also an important source of income for these communities. Often referred to as a “women’s crop” in Africa, women traditionally grow, harvest and shell them to supplement their families’ diets, but also as a product to bring to market.” – The Full Belly Project website

Show Links for Jock Brandis

Show Notes & Summary for Jock Brandis

  • Jock’s teaching assignment in Trenchtown, a slum in Kingston, Jamaica
  • Working for Oxfam by flying food into war-torn Biafra in Africa
  • How Jock met Kurt Vonnegut in Africa and the deal they made together
  • How Jock became a lighting guy and an actor in the movie industry
  • Jock’s role in Deathbed, The Bed That Eats People, known as the worst movie in history
  • Jock’s life on a steam-powered tug boat in Toronto with his wife
  • How his life changed when his wife passed away, leaving Jock with his two children
  • Jock’s favorite advice for raising children
  • How he ended up in Mali, Africa where he got the idea of creating a peanut sheller
  • Peanuts are the most consumed protein food in the world for poor people
  • What the doubters said to Jock when he told them about his attempt to invent a peanut sheller
  • How Jock’s peanut sheller invention was featured on National Geographic
  • How Jock worked with Peace Corps volunteers to deliver his peanut shellers
  • What his first garage shop looked like where he made his inventions
  • How Fully Belly Project sends out their small peanut sheller factories to developing countries around the world
  • How one machine shelled 16 tons of peanuts, making enough money for a village to dig a water well that provided clean drinking water
  • Why his fail-proof peanut project failed in Guyana
  • “Hunger has nothing to do with food.”
  • Aflatoxin, the peanut fungus that is toxic
  • How Jock used ozone to combat aflatoxin
  • Why Jock sends small ozone generators to the villages now
  • How Jock developed a solar livestock water program in the US
  • Jock explains what the Full Belly factory is like
  • Jock explains the important role that volunteers play at Full Belly
  • The clubhouse-like factory culture
  • “Fail early, fail often.”
  • “We’ve learned to fail faster than anyone else.”
  • How The Fully Belly Project got their water powered seesaw patented
  • Jock’s secret to creating a big impact with a small team
  • His biggest regrets in life
  • “The road to misery is trying to make everyone happy.”
  • “To roll up your sleeves and try something because your first three mistakes will teach you more than all the design conferences in the world.”
  • Jock on failure: “If you’re going to fail, fail with as many people in the world seeing you fail.”
  • Jock’s secret to success