Subtitle: Imagination taking power

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From What If to What Next: Episode Thirty Four

You are in for such a treat. This is one of the most thought-provoking and inspiring episodes of this podcast yet. It was my huge honour to be joined by Yumna Hussen and Lottie Cooke to discuss what a reimagined education system would be like. Honestly, spending an hour in the company of these two remarkable young people, so articulate and well informed, was just a joy.

November 30, 2021
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As many cities begin to actively take steps away from the dominance of cars, we are asking what might it be like if that had already happened? What might it be like to live in a city in which more travel now takes place on food or on two wheels? And how are electric vehicles transforming that? It’s a brilliant discussion with two amazing guests.


November 7, 2021
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It is said that just before a tsunami hits, everything falls unnaturally silent. And that then, when the water arrives, it arrives not as a Hokusai-style foam-crested wave, but as a steady, unstoppable and relentless wall of water. It’s around midday on Friday in the centre of Glasgow, and it has fallen similarly, weirdly silent, […]


November 4, 2021
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Here are some conversations I had with people at COP26 in Glasgow on my third day here, either whilst, or shortly after, being kettled by the police for over 2 hours on St Vincent’s Street! I hope you enjoy it. In this podcast you will hear from Dorothy Grace Guerrero, Head of Policy at Global […]


November 2, 2021
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I made it to Glasgow, a surreal moment in history I felt called to witness. I’ll post a few things while I’m here, but to start with, here are a few conversations I had yesterday whilst landing and starting to get my bearings. Here I talk to veteran activist and author Bill McKibben, to community supported organiser Jacob Johns, to Anthony Diaz of the Newark Water Coalition and to Leila Salazar-López, Executive Director of Amazon Watch. Enjoy.


October 26, 2021
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In a few days I head up to Glasgow for COP26. I have no formal role, indeed I don’t know why I’m going there really, and I can only be there for the first week, but I feel drawn to being there. I feel like history is calling me to be there, just as it did when I went to Paris for COP21 in 2015, which felt like an extraordinary time to be there, a moment in history that had to be tasted.


October 23, 2021
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Usually our brand new podcasts are, initially at least, released only to subscribers, but today we make an important exception. This episode, Episode 39, is being released just 6 days before the beginning of COP26, the vitally important climate summit happening in Glasgow. The world’s governments will be coming together for 2 weeks to, hopefully, reach some kind of binding agreement that might give the world at least a fighting chance of preventing runaway climate change. There’s one problem though…


October 21, 2021
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This episode is absolutely one of my favourites so far. What is the experience among communities of colour of striving to sustain an imaginative life in the context of a wider culture that is often hostile to it? Is there such a thing as a distinctly black imagination, and if so, how does it differ from what we might think of as a ‘white imagination’?


October 1, 2021
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“Mostly we have the opinion leaders of the world either saying it’s going to be more of the same, but perhaps more competition between governments around the world, or it’s time for the rich to escape Earth entirely and go to space. So it feels like we are in the midst of a crisis of imagination on the sort of level of political leadership and economic leadership”.


September 27, 2021
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I had the huge honour on Thursday morning to spent over two hours with the amazing architect and artist Luc Schuiten. Luc is an architect who designs extraordinary ecological buildings and who also has become very well known, mostly in the French-speaking world, for his incredible images showing what an ecological, regenerative future could look […]


September 24, 2021
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This is such an incredible episode. One of those ones I had to go off and sit under a tree afterwards to absorb. Today we talk about gender. I grew up in a society that thought in terms of two genders, you were male or you were female. This was accompanied by expectations that men behaved in ways that were ‘masculine’, and women in ways seen as being ‘feminine’… If you were someone who didn’t identify as either, or someone who challenged society’s expectations of what being masculine or feminine meant, it was a bleak time. And in many cultures, far bleaker still, indeed very dangerous.


© Rob Hopkins 2017-2021