Curated by Edie Lush and Claudia Romo Edelman, the co-hosts of Global GoalsCast
Edie Lush is a British-American journalist, author, the Executive Editor of Hub Culture, and a communication trainer and MC.
Claudia Romo Edelman is a Mexican-Swiss diplomat and an advocate for inclusion, equity and representation. She is the former Chief of Advocacy at Unicef and is Special Advisor to We Are All Human Foundation.
Here, Edie & Claudia, hosts of Global GoalsCast, present a collection of podcasts that highlight and inspire global change.
If each of us pulls in the right way, the world will move. That’s why we started this podcast. Global GoalsCast is about the unlikely heroes spurring change, innovation, and disruption that can produce a more equitable world by 2030. We bust development jargon and try not to take ourselves too seriously as we share stories to inspire and empower listeners to make the world a better place, and we sign off every episode with a list of facts and actions.
The Sustainable Development Goals signed by 193 countries in 2015 are the world’s to do list and the guideposts for our podcast. These 17 “Global Goals” range from ending extreme poverty to educating everyone to combating climate change. With each episode of our show, we take each one of these areas, find champions who are doing something extraordinary and make their stories accessible, relatable and attainable for every listener.
What follows are podcasts that feature voices you may not have heard from before – whatever your bubble – who inspire us to think about global issues in a different way.
The great thing about the Global Goals is that you don’t have to have heard about them to be one of the people achieving them! Sometimes when we approach people to be guests the response we get is, “The global whats?”
Each episode features people making a difference. Some of these names are recognizable: Bill Gates speaks about eradicating extreme poverty, Princess Eugenie on ending the scourge of modern slavery, and Annie Lennox about global feminism. Others are the unsung heroes: in an episode on Migration we hear from Brenda, an undocumented girl who crosses the Rio Grande in third grade, who becomes the first in her family to graduate from high school and is now a software engineer at Google. In our episode about breaking stereotypes, we hear from comedians who challenge bias through their jokes and their lives. And in the Food for all episode, we feature Zambian farmers who – with a bit of tech – go from being subsistence farmers to agricultural entrepreneurs.
Mothers of Invention
We love this not just because it is hosted by two women (one ex-UN like Claudia) and is focused on climate justice (because without serious action tackling climate change, the rest of the global goals will be seriously compromised), but also because the hosts, former Irish President Mary Robinson and comedian Maeve Higgins, like to laugh as well (like us). They celebrate amazing women doing remarkable things from the grassroots to the courtroom, the front lines to the board room, all over the world.
Host Julia Streets uses her experience both working in the City of London with a range of financial clients and as an advocate of looking at diversity and inclusion with a wide lens to make the commercial argument for why diversity matters and delivers better results. She is a comedian as well (a bit of a theme for us!) so as a host, she manages to keep a light touch with her guests but without shying away from hard issues.
We all know that eating less meat and dairy is part of the solution to cutting carbon emissions but (for us at least) the whole vegan scene is a little daunting. No one likes to be told what to do, which is why you don’t have to be a vegan to enjoy this podcast. Sara and Ashley tackle the questions that keep us up at night: namely, what plant milk goes best in tea?
Terra Incognita: The Adventure Podcast
Adventurer and filmmaker Matt Pycroft leads conversations with pioneers of exploration and discovery. When you live in a city like we do (London and New York, respectively), it can be hard to remember why the planet is worth fighting for. From mountaineers to Arctic scientists, tree climbers to polar explorers, Terra Incognita feels at times like a podcast version of The Blue Planet.
We have a number of UN and NGO partners who share their stories with us on Global GoalsCast. One of them is the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and we love their podcast about the world on the move. Conflict, economic inequality, and climate change are three of the biggest reasons people move around the planet. As migrants ourselves we know that these issues are complex and emotional, and can’t be dealt with in a tweet or two minute read on the radio or newspaper. On our podcast, we’ve looked at the economic opportunities that refugees offer with Displaced hosts Grant Gordon and Ravi Gurumurthy, and we enjoy the space and time they take to shine a light on the largest displacement crisis the world is facing since World War II.
We like to talk about how, despite the bad news, there is a lot of good in the world. In fact, there’s never been a better time to be alive! Host Kamea Cayne talks with people who are regenerating communities, building biodiversity, tackling food waste, creating sustainable fashion and generally contributing to helping our planet thrive. We like her spirit and her action-oriented episodes that aim to keep those who care motivated and involved.
We have less than 10 years to halt the most serious effects of climate change. We also already know the solutions out there to tackle it. Veteran environmentalist host Jared Blumenfeld (ex-Environmental Protection Agency and Natural Resources Defense Council, and that’s only a tiny portion of his CV) cuts through the crap and produces a highly listenable podcast that deals with things we all care about: plastic pollution, bees, air quality, and the oceans, to name a few.
“Fashion is a reflection of the time,” US Vogue editor Anna Winter said. So what does our overwhelmingly fast and continuous addiction to cheap togs say about us to future generations? That we were unethical, unsustainable, and failed to internalise the externalities of that $1 t-shirt. So what should we do about it? Kestral Jenkins makes us think about the choices we make every day getting dressed, and that we neither have to don a hair-shirt, nor spend a ton, to feel good about how we look.
We often ask our guests on Global GoalsCast how to scale their ideas so they really make a difference to not just thousands of people but millions or even billions of people. That isn’t possible without tripping up along the way. Host Alex Blumberg talks to founders about just that —the path from idea to action—and all the mis-steps and mis-haps that happen along the way. From basketball stars to chefs to police detectives to tech insiders; it’s utterly listenable.
The People Fixing the World
When Edie briefly worked at the World Service, her lasting memory was of the brilliant journalists she met at 3am putting together stories from all over the planet. This show is a great example of that. From new ways of tackling diseases spread by mosquitoes to doubling the number of tigers in Nepal to solutions for aging populations, these podcasts meet people with ideas to make the world a better place and investigate how they work.
Tiny Spark is hard-hitting and not afraid to take on big issues. These folks envision “a world in which we live in an active democracy whose values are fully grounded in human rights, economic and social justice, racial equity, and thriving communities.” Who doesn’t want that?
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.