Bridging the Gaps 2020: Podcasts on ecology, health, energy, well-being…..

Seán Ó Conláin

Our 2020 podcast series, Bridging the Gaps, was co-organised by Feasta and the European Health Futures Forum. It was a follow-on to our 2019 series Beyond the Obvious, also done in collaboration with the EHFF.

The hosts, Seán O’Conláin and Caroline Whyte, explored a range of topics with guests from a wide variety of backgrounds. We uploaded 10 podcasts in the course of 2020. Please feel free to comment below, and check out our 2021 Bridging the Gaps series.

Our thanks to Laoise Kelly who gave us permission to use her harp music. The piece is ‘Princess Beatrice’ from her Album ‘Just Harp’.

Podcasts are listed below from the newest to the oldest.

Podcast 10: Economic narratives and systems innovation

December 31 2020

We interview Argentian economist and Wellbeing Economy Alliance member Mariana Mirabile, who has a PhD in development economics and is a partner of Systems Innovation, on the reasons behind her shift in orientation away from a neoclassical approach to economics and towards ecological economics, and the potential for using narratives to achieve system-level economic change in order to help address the many challenges we’re facing.

Podcast 9: Defending nature, supporting health

November 30 2020

We hear from Oonagh Duggan, who is the head of advocacy for the conservation of birds and their habitats at Birdwatch Ireland and is on the Steering Committee of the Environmental Pillar, and also from Easkey Britton, who is a prominent and highly skilled surfer, as well as an academic with a PhD in Environment and Society.

Topics covered include the current state of biodiversity in Ireland and elsewhere, and the challenges involved in trying to promote State and EU-level policies that protect nature. There was also exploration of the relationship between biodiversity and health and, more generally, the many ways in which contact with nature, whether on land or on sea, can be beneficial for both our physical and our mental health.

Podcast 8: Being young in a time of pandemic

October 31 2020

In this podcast we explore the effects of the COVID 19 pandemic, and of the general economic context in which lockdown is occurring, on young people. We hear from Jonathan Laszlo, a health care researcher living in Belgium; Tommy Hickey, a law graduate living in the Dublin area; and Amber Wilmott, an A-level student in southern England. David Somekh joins Caroline Whyte as co-interviewer. Topics discussed include the biggest challenges that young people in industrialised countries are facing, the things that governments could be doing better, and the most unexpected aspects of the lockdown.

Podcast timeline

1:30 – Jonathan Laszlo
11:56 – Tommy Hickey
22:30 – Amber Wilmott

Podcast 7: Multiculturalism and resilience

August 31 2020

This podcast features Feasta’s summer intern, Nadia Hansen, interviewing Dundalk-based social worker Dr Washington Marovatsanga on cultural competence, enforced absence, the relationship between power and knowledge production, the problematic history and orientation of social work, Direct Provision (the controversial Irish system for accommodating asylum seekers) and how a Global South philosophy of collectivism could help us to overcome the environmental and social challenges we’re all facing.

Podcast timeline

2:30 – introduction by Nadia, discussion of Washington’s academic background and work history
7:45 – cultural competence: working with people with a different cultural background from you
10:35 – roots of social work in 19th century capitalism and colonialism
14:05 – historical silencing of indigenous cultures, enforced absence
15:40 – the potential for change as a result of BLM
17:40 – differences between Global South peoples’ perception of rich countries and the reality
18:20 – culture shock, pressures on migrants from their families back home
19:05 – collectivist traditions in African culture, different attitudes to the environment
20:17 – interconnectedness of social and environmental problems
23:42 – Maori influence on family group conferencing, restorative justice
25:50 – Direct Provision
27:33 – hopes for Ireland

Podcast 6: Towards Well-being

July 31 2020

David Somekh of the European Health Futures Forum interviews Stewart Wallis, Chair of the Wellbeing Economy Alliance. The Alliance is a new global collaboration of organisations, alliances, movements and individuals, working together to change the economic system. Feasta and the EHFF have both recently become Alliance members.

Topics covered in the podcast include the reasons why a large majority of people consider the current economic system to be dysfunctional, the five basic things that people throughout the world say they need, the history of the Alliance, how the Alliance functions, and the potential for Ireland to join the WeGO group of governments that are orienting their policy towards well-being (at present, this group comprises Scotland, New Zealand, Wales and Iceland).

Podcast 5: Partnership-based organisation

June 30 2020

Governments around the world are currently rethinking their approach to the economy and reflecting on their overall goals, and this is triggering many questions about how best to structure organisations, large and small, so as to improve our chances of achieving those goals. This podcast includes interviews with people at an international gathering organised by the NGO Metaphorum. They are working on applying the cybernetician Stafford Beer’s Viable Systems Model in different domains in order to help restructure organisations in a way that can maximise the autonomy of the people involved, ensure that vital needs are being met and enable easy communication. Projects range from the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals to a community-based health project in the a UK town. Interviewees include Jon Walker, the co-author (with Angela Espinosa) of the book A Complexity Approach to Sustainability; Ian Kendrick, a strategic innovator; and Mike Bewick, a former senior advisor in the UK’s National Health Service.

Podcast timeline:
3:09 – interview with Jon Walker
9:36 – interview with Ian Kendrick
24:54 – interview with Mike Bewick

Podcast 4: The future of tourism and business travel

May 31 2020

We interview Manuel Grebenjak of the Stay Grounded network, and Professor James Faulconbridge, head of the Organisation Work and Technology Department at Lancaster University, about the future of tourism and business travel in the wake of Coronavirus – bearing in mind the need to urgently reduce travel’s environmental impact – and the effects of the Coronavirus on the cultural norms associated with business travel.

Podcast timeline:
2:00 – Interview with Manuel Grebenjak
19:38 – Interview with Professor James Faulconbridge

Podcast 3: Basic income and the global pandemic struggle

March 31 2020

We speak with Dr Evelyn Forget at the University of Manitoba about her research into the health and social effects of a basic income trial that was held in rural Canada in the 1970s. Then we talk to Paul Harnett and Laura Bannister, who are both directors of the World Basic Income, and who describe why they believe a global per-capita basic income is not only desirable as a way to help address the global pandemic crisis, but entirely possible to achieve.

Podcast timeline:
1:00 – Introduction
2:00 – Interview with Dr Evelyn Forget
17:17 – Interview with Paul Harnett and Laura Bannister

Podcast 2: Economic and political aspects of enough

February 29 2020

In this podcast we hear a short talk by Anne Ryan on the concept of ‘enough’, from Feasta’s December 7 event ‘Living well in the face of climate and ecological crises’ (which was featured in our first podcast of this series). Then guest host David Somekh of the EHFF interviews two ethicists, Richard Turnbull of the Centre for Enterprise, Markets and Ethics and Henk Den Uijl, policy advisor at NVTZ (Dutch society for board trustees in health and social care), with all three giving their reactions to Anne’s talk.

Podcast timeline:
1:00 – Introduction by David Somekh
5:00 – Anne Ryan’s talk on ‘enough’
20:50 – Richard Turnbull and Henk Den Uijl react to Anne’s talk

Podcast 1: Living well in the face of climate and ecological crises

January 31 2020

This podcast features recordings from a seminar organised by Feasta in Dublin on December 7 2019.

Through a combination of interview-style conversation, presentation and small-group discussion, this event explored the mental and emotional toll of our increasing awareness of climate change and environmental destruction with a view to building up resilience, both personal and community. Speakers and interviewees included psychologist and Feasta trustee John Sharry, Feasta administrator Morag Friel, Extinction Rebellion activist Leontien Friel Darrell, sociology lecturer and Feasta trustee Mark Garavan, social activist and Environmental Pillar representative Theresa O’Donohoe, and climate campaigner and journalist John Gibbons.

Podcast timeline:
2:05 – Introduction by John Sharry
6:50 – John Sharry interviews Morag Friel and Leontien Friel Darrell
28:58 – Mark Garavan interviews Theresa O’Donohoe and John Gibbons

Note: Feasta is a forum for exchanging ideas. By posting on its site Feasta agrees that the ideas expressed by authors are worthy of consideration. However, there is no one ‘Feasta line’. The views of the article do not necessarily represent the views of all Feasta members. 

3 Replies to “Bridging the Gaps 2020: Podcasts on ecology, health, energy, well-being…..”

  1. When you contend as earnestly against usury, as you do for GAI, you will achieve your objective, but, until then you are cucked.
    I thank you for your reporting as it, even conversely, moves us forward.

  2. Thanks for your comment, Moriyah. I agree that basic income by itself won’t get us to where we need to go – other things are needed too. In Feasta we’re also very concerned about the role played by debt and interest in the economy. We’ve been advocating interest-free banking for some years, and are also interested in proposals such as those made by Positive Money and the Onsgeld campaign in the Netherlands, which has a lot of political support.

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