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  • What would nature do? JANINE BENYUS, BIOMIMICRY: Innovation Inspired by Nature

    Earth Day 2024 is April 22nd. Here’s my 2011 conversation with JANINE BENYUS, who coined a term and invented a field called Biomimicry. After 3.8 billion years of R&D on this planet, failures are fossils. What surrounds us in the natural world has succeeded and survived. So why not learn as much as we can from what works? Nature has already solved many of the problems we grapple with. Animals, plants, and microbes are the consummate engineers. They have found what works, what is appropriate, and most important, what lasts here on Earth.

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  • The Myths of Poverty & the Role of Luck-MARK RANK-The Random Factor

    Why does our society produce more poverty than other wealthy countries? Why don’t we or why can’t we change our incentives? I speak with MARK RANK, about his books, THE POVERTY PARADOX and POORLY UNDERSTOOD: What America Gets Wrong About Poverty, and his latest, THE RANDOM FACTOR: How Chance & Luck Profoundly Shape Our Lives & the World Around Us. Learn more at bit.ly/3JdYuWZ

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  • CHARLES EISENSTEIN (2019), Climate – A New Deeper, Fuller Story – People connect more with nature than policy

    I describe the goal of my engagement with what we call the environment as “a healthy relationship with the rest of nature.” In this 2019 conversation, CHARLES EISENSTEIN asks: Have we become too focused on climate change? and reminds us that holding rivers, forests, and creatures as sacred and valuable in their own right, not simply as carbon credits, can engage emotional and psychological connections deeper than any policy prescription. I say we need both. We’re engaged in an existential improv and the first rule of improv is “Yes, and-“ 

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  • Can we build immunity to mis- & dis-information? ANDY NORMAN & MELANIE TRECEK-KING of the MENTAL IMMUNITY PROJECT

    With social media and AI, bad actors weaponize information, stressing democracy. We have two options: stop the lies or stop people from believing them. The former is near impossible in a free society, but there’s solid evidence the latter is achievable. I talk with two founders of the Mental Immunity Project, ANDY NORMAN, author of MENTAL IMMUNITY, and MELANIE TRECEK-KING, creator of THINKING IS POWER, an online resource that teaches critical thinking to the general public.

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  • Two for the Campaign Ahead: 1) DREW WESTEN (2007), The Political Brain 2) BERNIE HORN (2009), Framing the Future

    As we fasten our seatbelts and plunge into the 2024 campaign, here are two conversations worth a re-listen. From 2007, I talk with DREW WESTEN about the ideas and advice in his influential book, THE POLITICAL BRAIN: The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation. Westen: Democrats almost always present the best arguments but lose elections to Republicans who have mastered the art of emotion and story-telling. In the second half, my 2009 conversation with BERNIE HORN of the Leadership Training Institute about FRAMING THE FUTURE: How Progressive Values Can Win Elections and Influence People. Horn: Persuadable voters make choices depending on how political issues and questions are framed. Emotion, framing, narratives. Trump traffics in all three. 

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  • ROB JOHNSON & I talk about the State of the Union – Biden’s speech plus our own take on things

    ROB JOHNSON is a plain-speaking and passionate critic of an economic, financial, and political system that leaves too many behind. He and I do post-election shows – and we’ll do another this November, but this week we talk about the State of the Union as well as the state of the union. We talk about Biden’s speech and about how the two of us see things – the economy, the election, the two parties, the nation’s mood, how we got here, and how we might move forward. Rob is President of the Institute for New Economic Thinking and host of the podcast Economics and Beyond. You can learn more about him and his work at ineteconomics.org 

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  • TIM DeCHRISTOPHER-Courage & Conviction-Tim served 21 months in prison for civil disobedience protecting public lands

    We know Republicans exercise minority rule in the states, the House, and the Supreme Court. Now Biden is arming Israel without meaningful or effective demands for humanitarian treatment of innocent civilians. Is it time for civil disobedience? Here’s my 2013 conversation with Tim DeChristopher. In a disputed auction of oil leases on pubic lands, Tim bid and won the rights to 22K acres, which he had no plan to pay for or exploit. He was tried on federal felony charges and served 21 months in prison. I offer this example to remind us of the personal courage it may take to offer real resistance to policies and actions being done in our names. 

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  • ANGUS DEATON, co-author, Deaths of Despair – ECONOMICS IN AMERICA: An Immigrant Economist Explores the Land of Inequality

    ANGUS DEATON won the Nobel prize in Economics for work accomplished before he and his wife, economist Ann Case, wrote DEATHS OF DESPAIR and the Future of Capitalism. Pre pandemic, life expectancy in the US was no longer rising, and already falling among adults without 4 years of college, due in large part to alcoholism, drug overdoses, and suicides. In his newest book, ECONOMICS IN AMERICA: An Immigrant Economist Explores the Land of Inequality, Deaton reflects on 25 years of his writings from the perspective of 2023. He’s takes a hard look at the field of economics, and its role in a society and an economy that leaves out so many. His last words in this conversation: “I made a lot of mistakes in my life, and it’s good to be able to live long enough to be able to acknowledge them.” You can learn more at deaton.scholar.princeton.edu

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  • 5 BROKEN CAMERAS (2013)-EMAD BURNAT (Palestinian) & GUY DAVIDI (Israeli) co-directors, of the Oscar-nominated doc.

    This week the media offers Academy Award buzz as well as the horrors of Israel’s response to the horrors of October’s attack by Hamas. Here’s my 2013 conversation with Palestinian EMAD BURNAT and Israeli GUY DAVIDI, co-directors of the Oscar-nominated documentary, 5 BROKEN CAMERAS. The film tells the story of Burnat, a Palestinian West Bank farmer, his wife, and four small children. As we track the destruction of each of his cameras, we witness his village’s ancient olive trees bulldozed, protests intensify, and a son grow from a newborn to a young boy. 

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  • MARGOT SUSCA-HEDGED: How Private Investment Funds Helped Destroy American Newspapers and Undermine Democracy

    We all know the newspaper business is in trouble. A weekday edition of the LA Times – once a “national” newspaper, along with the NYTimes, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal – now might be 32 pages and another 100 were recently laid off in the newsroom. The culprit is assumed to be the internet, stealing both stories and ads. Not so fast. I talk with MARGOT SUSCA, a former reporter, now a professor of Journalism, about her first book, HEDGED: How Private Investment Funds Helped Destroy American Newspapers and Undermine Democracy. Her assessment: “What we have is not a crisis of profit. What we have is a crisis of greed and growing inequality.”

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