Podcasts that show love and respect in action

Ashoka is the world’s largest network of changemakers – people of all ages and walks of life who see problems and step up to solve them. They imagine a different future and build it for everyone, for the good of all.

Have you ever looked at the way something works (think education, criminal justice, health care, etc.) and thought: “Hey, that seems unfair or inefficient… does it have to work that way?” Or maybe you thought, “I see a better way to do this… and if I don’t do something, who will?”  

These are some of the many questions that spark ideas and solutions among changemakers. Where others see problems, they see solutions. They don’t prey on people’s fears to drive change; they put love and respect into action.

Introducing new ideas and building new behaviors takes all sorts of skills. But it all starts with radical empathy: Seeing something in a new light. Listening in a new way. Seeking out perspectives that are not so heard, that may be unfamiliar, even uncomfortable.

We’re excited to share this collection of podcasts that we find instructive and inspiring – and also to learn what inspires you! As you explore the playlist, look around you. Do you see a changemaker you’d like to celebrate, thank, or encourage? Share this collection and toolkit with them and share their story with us: #ChangemakersEverywhere

View, follow, and listen to the whole collection of shows on RadioPublic, available on iPhone and Android.

Ear Hustle

Explore the human side of life in prison, shared and produced by those living it. The show is cohosted by Earlonne Woods, a now formerly incarcerated man from San Quentin State Prison and Nigel Poor, a visual artist.

How I Built This

Hear from guests like social entrepreneur Wendy Kopp about their entrepreneurial journey and what it takes to build things. Host Guy Raz asks founders about their life and their creations – the companies and organizations that shape business and society.

Scene on Radio: Seeing White

Take a deep dive into race in America with this fourteen-part documentary series. John Biewen hosts this show from The Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University and is joined by a new cohost for each season on a powerful and large topic.

Mothers of Invention  

Hosted by comedian Maeve Higgins and former Irish president and voice for climate justice Mary Robinson, each episode we’re introduced to the (mostly women) changemakers at the forefront of climate solutions for everyone.

Serial, Season Three

Host Sarah Koenig is joined by Emmanuel Dzotsi for the third season of Serial, an up-close look inside our criminal justice system via a year spent in a Cleveland courthouse.


Meet the people building a more ethical and inclusive movement of entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley and beyond. The show is hosted by four women founders who guide us through conversations and interviews with other changemakers: Mara Zepeda (Switchboard), Jennifer Brandel (Hearken), Aniyia Williams (Tinsel), and Astrid Scholz (Sphaera).

70 Million

70 million people in the US have a criminal record. Communities all over are addressing criminal justice reform at the local level, and 70 Million’s solutions-based journalism reports on these ground-up changes.


RadioLab is a staple, giving us science-powered new ways of seeing the world and understanding human behavior. We recommend Kaitlin Priest’s powerful and timely three-part series, condensed from The Heart, on navigating consent and intimacy, and moving toward full gender equity. Appropriate for older listeners.

An Arm and a Leg

Dan Weissmann’s An Arm and a Leg hits close to home for anyone whose navigated the US health care system. Each episode reports on a different aspect – health insurance ups and downs, inventive community responses and support, and more – with care.


Want to create your own collection of shows that dovetails with your area of interest? Add shows to your Smart Folder on RadioPublic, then inform the Podcast Librarian of your collection: librarian@radiopublic.com.

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