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Hello! This week we head for the peatlands, get in the sea, and go in search of UK's lost rainforests to explore ecosystems beyond the trees. Could restoring these habitats play a significant part in achieving net-zero? And what else needs to be done to tackle the UK's nature crisis? Joining us are Kate Jennings (with a canine cameo), Guy Shrubsole…
 
Happy New Year! To start 2022, Ed and Geoff talk to one of the UK’s most acclaimed and prolific scriptwriters, Jack Thorne (Help, Kiri, His Dark Materials, The End of History, This Is England.) Jack is a co-founder of Underlying Health Condition - a pressure group campaigning for proper inclusion and representation of disabled people in the enterta…
 
Hello! Well, what a year 2021 has been... thank you for being with us throughout. Here are some of 2021's very best bits for your delectation. Best wishes from your friends at Reasons to be Cheerful HQ See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
 
As last year's Christmas AMA was such a huge success *there were no major repercussions*, we thought we'd do it again. Ed and Geoff answer (and avoid) your questions, from sandwiches of choice in the make-your-own-sandwich shop to which cabinet member Ed would prefer to take on in a royal rumble. (Guess which of those Ed answered, and which he avoi…
 
In the fourth and final episode about how progressive victories were won, we're taking a look at the introduction of the national minimum wage. It feels unthinkable now that there shouldn't be a minimum rate that workers are paid, but it wasn't too long ago that hourly rates of £1 or £1.50 were commonplace. The road to a national minimum wage was l…
 
In the latest episode of our series about progressive advances, we're taking a look at the history of the fight for race equality in the UK. It is one that goes back centuries but we want to explore what progress has really been made in modern times and what have been the drivers--the combination of activism, movements, law and cultural change both…
 
In the second of our episodes about how progressive victories were won, we're looking at gender equality and why the Nordic nations seem to be so far ahead of most of the world. What is it about the culture, society, and politics of the region? What role did women's movements play? And is there something in the water/snow, or can it inspire us to d…
 
We're doing a little shimmy, into the past. In the first part of our mini-history series on how progressive victories were won, we're looking at the NHS. How did this complex institution, that's beloved in the UK and revered around the world, manage to even get off the ground? Who were the key players? How did they win over opposition (and why was …
 
Ed's been in Glasgow again this week as COP26 comes to a close. He digs in to get the verdict. He speaks to young Kenyan activist Elizabth Wathuti, then friends of the pod, Pete Betts, multi-hatted climate wonk, and Farhana Yamin, adviser to vulnerable countries, for their takes on the outcome. Plus the revelation that RTBC has hit the big time, fe…
 
Ed’s spent the week in Glasgow at COP26. He brings you the voices of young activists demanding change, including Anna, a young Glasgow climate striker. Then he talks to Simon Stiel, Minister for Climate Resilience in Grenada and Pete Betts, former top UK civil servant on climate negotiations, now a leading voice on the state of the play. Plus Geoff…
 
Hello! As COP26 kicks off, we’re exploring how cities and towns are leading the way on tackling the climate crisis. Mark Watts from C40 Cities talks us through how some of the world’s largest cities — from Milan to Seoul — are taking urgent action to reduce emissions. Polly Billington from UK100 tells us what local leaders are up to in the UK. And …
 
Hello! Libraries are about far more than borrowing books. We’re exploring how libraries around the world serve their communities and are adapting to changing needs. Sociologist Eric Klinenberg explains why libraries help build social solidarity and should be a priority for government investment. Marie Østergård tells us about libraries in the Danis…
 
Hello! We know the UK’s population is getting older, but what should that mean for our towns, villages and cities? We’re talking about ‘age-friendly communities’ — places where people of all ages can live healthy and active lives. Natalie Turner from the Centre for Ageing Better explains the idea. Paul McGarry from Greater Manchester Ageing Hub tel…
 
Hello! Millions of homes across Britain need retrofitting with insulation and low carbon heating to meet our climate goals. We chat to Josh Emden from IPPR about the many benefits of a national retrofit programme and how government can make it happen. Then Aneaka Kellay from Carbon Coop explains how they’re piloting a people-powered approach to ret…
 
Hello! Sociologist Sam Friedman has spent years exploring how class shapes our society. He argues Britain faces a powerful ‘class ceiling’ that affects who can access certain jobs and then progress in them. We chat to Sam about why that is and what we can do about it. Then Isabel Farchy from the Creative Mentor Network tells us how her charity is w…
 
Hello! We’re chatting to incredibly prolific historian Adam Tooze about his new book ‘Shutdown: How Covid Shook the World’s Economy’. We talk to Adam about the response to Covid around the world and what it means for everything from the rise of China to the future of the Green New Deal. PLUS Fiona McIntyre on her mission to open up the wonders of d…
 
Hello! Advances in technology are enabling new ways to monitor and manage people at work. How can we ensure workers don’t lose out from the rise of ‘algorithmic management’? Future of work expert Beth Gutelius tells us about a Californian law cracking down on issues in the warehouse industry. Then Anna Thomas from the Institute for the Future of Wo…
 
Hello! This week we’re getting our heads around the mind-boggling world of digital currencies. The Guardian’s UK tech editor Alex Hern answers our questions about Bitcoin — from how it actually works to its extraordinarily high energy use. Josh Ryan-Collins from UCL tells us why the Bank of England is exploring introducing its own digital currency.…
 
Hello! We’re celebrating the start of September with an episode on rewilding — the idea of restoring eco-systems so nature can take care of itself. Alastair Driver from Rewilding Britain talks us through what it is and how to make it happen. Steve Micklewright explains how Trees for Life is rewilding parts of the Scottish Highlands. And Jan Stannar…
 
Hello! For the final part of our special series on this year’s COP 26 climate summit, we’re exploring how the climate movement is pushing world leaders to act. Ugandan climate activist Vanessa Nakate tells us about her journey into activism and what she is calling for now. Then Tommy Vickerstaff from 350.org explains how we can all get involved in …
 
Hello! For the latest stage of our journey through the world of COP 26, we’re exploring the politics of the climate summit. Experts Pete Betts, Farhana Yamin and Saleemul Huq are back to talk us through the outcomes we need from COP 26 and the challenges in making them happen. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.…
 
Hello! In the second episode of our series on the COP 26 climate summit, we’re exploring what’s at stake in tackling the climate crisis. Scientist Emily Shuckburgh explains the need for urgent action. Then Saleemul Huq from the International Centre for Climate Change and Development in Bangladesh and former president of the Maldives Mohamed Nasheed…
 
Hello! For the next few weeks we’re treating you to some special episodes about COP 26, the crucial climate summit taking place in Glasgow this November. First, we're talking through the basics and asking how on earth we got to where we are today. Author Alice Bell gives a whistle-stop history of our understanding of the climate crisis and the poli…
 
Hello! We spend lots of time exploring great ideas around the world but this week we’re looking closer to home. It’s Reasons to be Welsh! First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford tells us about where the Welsh Government is leading the way on innovative ideas from tackling the climate crisis to inequality, the importance of devolution in making it ha…
 
Hello! Lee-doh or ly-doh? We’re asking the big questions about the lido revival taking place across the UK. Many towns and cities saw their outdoor pools close during the twentieth century but lidos are back on the up. Journalist Chris Beanland talks us through the history here and around the world. Emma Pusill tells us about the amazing community …
 
Hello! It’s our 200th episode! We’re talking about the groundbreaking Environmental Justice Commission, which has just published an ambitious plan for putting fairness at the heart of tackling the climate crisis. Caroline Lucas and Hilary Benn, two of the co-chairs of the commission, talk us through some of the key ideas. Then Paul Nowak from the T…
 
Hello! How can we properly switch off from work in an era of phones, email and remote working? We’re exploring the ‘right to disconnect’ — the idea that people should have a right to disengage from messages and calls outside of their working hours. Professor Anna Cox explains the importance of work-life boundaries. Andrew Pakes from the Prospect Un…
 
Hello! How can we ensure everyone has access to the essentials for a decent life? A coalition of campaigners argue we need a new ‘Social Guarantee’ based on three pillars: living wage jobs, universal public services, and fixing our safety net with a living income. We talk through the idea and how to make it happen with Social Guarantee expert Maeve…
 
Hello! For the final week of our Go Big podcast book tour, we’re talking to incredible people successfully campaigning for change around the world. Ali Abdi and Elbashir Idris talk about the campaign for the first Halal Nando’s in Cardiff and the amazing community activism fighting for social justice that it inspired. Fast food worker and union act…
 
Hello! It’s the third episode of our podcast book tour, exploring ideas from Ed’s new book ‘Go Big’. We're revisiting citizens’ assemblies and the role they could play in repairing our democracy. Experts Graham Smith, Archon Fung and Becky Willis talk us through what citizens’ assemblies are, where they’re being used, and how they fit into the wide…
 
Hello! From New Zealand to Finland, countries are experimenting with alternatives to using gross domestic product (GDP) as the primary measure of national success. For our second special episode on ideas from Ed’s book Go Big, we’re asking: could changing what we measure help to transform the economy? Katherine Trebeck from the Wellbeing Economy Al…
 
Hello! For the next few episodes we’re going big with some of the ideas from Ed’s new book, Go Big. This week: could better parental leave for dads help promote gender equality? Icelandic Prime Minister and friend of the pod Katrín Jakobsdóttir explains Iceland’s world-leading approach. Then Molly Mayer from the Fawcett Society and Jeremy Davies fr…
 
It’s the big day! Ed’s book ‘Go Big: How to Fix Our World’ is out now. To celebrate, here’s an extract from the audiobook read by Ed. Buy the audiobook here: https://adbl.co/31yPi9O Buy the book from your favourite bookshop or online: https://bit.ly/3u9CVOL See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.…
 
Hello! A big theme of the podcast has been the need for big change. We’re chatting to two people with really interesting perspectives on that. FT writer Martin Sandbu talks about why this is a moment that demands a transformation of our economy and what it could look like. Then Heather McGhee, one of the leading thinkers on the US left, talks about…
 
Hello! We’re talking buses with King of the North AKA Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham. Back in March, Andy announced plans to bring the region’s buses under public control. We ask him what that will mean and what it shows about the power of devolution. Then Pascale Robinson from Better Buses for Greater Manchester talks about campaigning f…
 
Hello! For the last few years, Preston has been pioneering a bold experiment in how to create a fairer local economy. What can we learn from their ‘community wealth building’ approach? Preston City Council leader Matthew Brown is back to tell us about how the Preston model is taking shape. Tony Greenham from South West Mutual explains how a new gen…
 
Hello! We’re incredibly excited to be talking to one of our favourite authors, Michael Lewis, about his new book, The Premonition: A Pandemic Story. He explores what went wrong in the US response to coronavirus through the lives of a number of people at the heart of pandemic planning. We chat to Michael about what he discovered, his approach to wri…
 
Hello! We’re talking about football… but not just about football. Hot on the heels of the European Super League fiasco we’re exploring ideas to change where power lies in football - and asking what they mean for society more widely. Uli Hesse tells us about the ‘50+1’ rule in Germany. Thomas Hanna from The Democracy Collaborative and Vidhya Alakeso…
 
Hello! This week we're exploring a vision for how we can address the environmental crisis and build a better society in the process. Friends of the pod Mat Lawrence and Laurie Laybourn-Langton are back to chat about Planet on Fire - their 'manifesto for the age of environmental breakdown'. Then climate justice activist Dominique Palmer talks about …
 
Hello! President Biden sparked a major debate when he described spending on social care and childcare as an investment in infrastructure. We’re exploring why the question of what counts as ‘infrastructure’ really matters. US policy expert Julie Kashen talks us through the US infrastructure debate then Professor Sue Himmelweit from the Women’s Budge…
 
Hello! Finland has just been named the world’s happiest country for the fourth year running. To celebrate, we’re going on a virtual Nordic trip to explore the secrets behind their success. We ask Finnish journalist Anu Partanen and authors of ‘Finntopia’ Danny Dorling and Annika Koljonen what we can learn from Finland about how to build a better so…
 
Hello! In February the Supreme Court ruled against Uber in a major case on the rights of its drivers. Could it prompt a shift in working conditions in the gig economy? Former Uber driver and co-claimant in the recent case James Farrar tells us about his legal victory, Kelle Howson from Fairwork talks about what it could mean more widely, then Marti…
 
Hello! The ‘right to play’ is recognised by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. How can we make sure all children have the time and space to play? Aled Hanson tells us about his experience of working at Flintshire Playscheme. Marianne Mannello from Play Wales talks about the pioneering Welsh play legislation. Then writer and researcher Ti…
 
Bonus episode: Our extended conversation with poet and children's author Michael Rosen about his new book 'Many Different Kinds of Love'. We talk about Michael's experience with Covid and why he decided to write about it. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
 
Hello! President Biden’s Covid relief package has been described as the most progressive piece of US legislation in the US for decades. Does it mark the start of a transformational presidency? We speak to Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro about the historic expansion of child tax credit and her 18 year campaign to make it happen. Lindsay Owens from the Gr…
 
Hello! Is remote working here to stay? How do we deal with the new inequalities that creates? Friend of the pod & home working guru Nick Bloom talks us through his research on the future of workplaces. Claire McCartney from the CIPD explains how employers can make hybrid working work for all. And Claire Carpenter from the Melting Pot in Edinburgh s…
 
Hello! Parks and green spaces have been more important than ever over the last year but there are deep inequalities in who has access to them. We’re asking why that is and what we can do about it. Kate Ashbrook from the Open Spaces Society talks us through the history. Then Beth Collier from Wild in the City and Helen Griffiths from Fields in Trust…
 
Hello! In 1942 William Beveridge published the report that shaped Britain’s welfare state. We’re asking what lessons it offers us nearly 80 years on. Journalist Nicholas Timmins talks us through the history of the original report then LSE’s Tania Burchardt explains how to fix the holes in our welfare safety net today. And for World Book Day we’re c…
 
Bonus episode here! It’s our full conversation with Marc Stears about his new book, ‘Out of Ordinary’. We chat about the 1945 government, the dilemmas of big change and how politics can reflect our everyday lives. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
 
Hello! What happens when an economy rewards owning things rather than doing things? Author Brett Christophers argues it’s a recipe for soaring inequality and economic stagnation. We chat to Brett about Britain’s “rentier economy” and what to do about it. Then Pascale Robinson from We Own It explains how the problems play out in public sector outsou…
 
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