Patrick Alley

Very Bad People and How to Nail Them

Video Summary

Patrick Alley’s talk takes the audience into a world they would usually come across in spy novels. Shocked by a civil war in Cambodia that saw the rainforest being felled by the genocidal Khmer Rouge rebel group to fund their war effort, Patrick and two friends set up an award-winning investigative organisation called Global Witness whose modus operandi is to uncover the facts and change the system. Going undercover, Global Witness have brought down warlords, exposed the issue of blood diamonds, investigated corrupt heads of state and probed the underbelly of organised crime. Nominated for the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize, the work of Global Witness shows that if you put your mind to it, ordinary people can change the world. At least a bit…. Patrick is one of the three founders of Global Witness. Founded in 1993, Global Witness first tackled the role of natural resources funding conflict, initially focusing on the tropical timber trade funding the genocidal Khmer Rouge guerrilla group in Cambodia, and was the first organisation to expose the role of Blood Diamonds in bankrolling some of Africa’s most brutal civil wars. Since then, Global Witness has become one of the world’s leading investigative organisations dedicated to rooting out corruption and environmental and human rights abuses around the world, with Patrick taking part in over fifty field investigations in South East Asia, Africa and Europe. Taking the findings to lawmakers and the boardrooms of multinational companies Patrick and his colleagues challenged the assumption that you can’t change things. Global Witness now has major focus on tackling the climate crisis.

Patrick is the author of Very Bad People, published in 2022, which charts some of Global Witness’ key investigations. Alongside his two co-founders Patrick received the 2014 Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship, the same year that Global Witness won the TED Prize. Global Witness was nominated for the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize for their work exposing the murderous trade in blood diamonds. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.


Year: 2023 Length: 20:46 Category: English