Transition Culture



Podcast by Transition Culture


  • Episode Twenty Seven: What if we all stopped flying?

    28/05/2021 Duración: 39min

    This new episode, one of my favourite so far, comes with a challenge. Can you listen to it and not reimagine your own relationship with flying or, as one of our guests puts it, being "twanged around in an aluminium sausage"? I stopped flying in 2006. I travel to the far reaches of Europe on the train, travelling to Sweden, Denmark, Austria, Italy, Mallorca, as the extent of my reach. I long one day to take the Trans-Siberian express. Yes, there are now places in the world I probably will never reach, but that’s OK. I can honestly say that not flying has not diminished my quality of life at all. I travel slower, I see more. As we reach a time where airlines and travel companies are falling over themselves to tempt you back onto airplanes to head off on holiday, we are taking a pause, a breath, to ask a question that once felt heretical, but which now feels rather exciting… “what if we all stopped flying?” This show features two amazing guests. Anna Hughes is an author and flight-free adventurer, and hasn’t b

  • Episode Twenty-Six: What if we could live better in a post-growth economy?

    10/05/2021 Duración: 46min

    These days of COVID have shown us that extraordinary profound reimagining of many aspects of society are entirely possible. Might this be the time to forever do away with the idea that the only way to measure our progress, cultural, social, spiritual, economic, is purely by how much bigger our economy is than it was last year? It’s a weird metric… imagine if that was the only way we assessed the growth and evolution of our children? Sure, some growth at the start might be useful, but as they mature, we want to be able to measure their growth and their defining qualities in other ways than just their becoming ever more enormous… And what might the world look like if we did replace this idea of growth with something else? We are joined for this episode of 'From What If to What Next' by two amazing guests. Kate Soper is Emerita Professor of Philosophy and a former researcher with the Institute for the Study of European Transformations at London Metropolitan University. She is the author, and co-author, of man

  • Episode Twenty Five: What if we built an imagination infrastructure?

    26/04/2021 Duración: 36min

    Let’s imagine, and this takes quite a leap in Britain in 2021 I’ll grant you, but stay with me, that we had a government who recognised that we are living through a time of imaginative contraction alongside a climate and ecological emergency, a social justice emergency and so much more. Let’s imagine that they were able to recognise this as the crisis it is, that allowing a population’s imagination to contract is profoundly dangerous. And let us also imagine that they decided that they needed to put in place an infrastructure of policy, resourcing, approaches, economics, and so on, that created the best possible conditions for the imagination to flourish. What might that look like? How would it be to live in a world where that infrastructure was in place? Panthea Lee is a strategist, curator, organizer, and facilitator working for structural justice and collective liberation, and Cassie Robinson. Cassie is Deputy Director of Funding Strategy at The National Lottery Community Fund where she’s responsible fo

  • A 2030 to long for: the best of 2030 from Episodes 10-19.

    12/04/2021 Duración: 41min

    In which, with the help of specially-composed music by Ben Addicott and Rosie Issitt, we take a step into the 2030 that could result from our doing everything we could possibly do. Join Kwame Boateng, Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan, Brian Eno, Scilla Elworthy, Robert Philips, Zach Norris, Andrea J. Ritchie Roman Krznaric, Jane Davidson, Hilary Powell, Dan Edelstyn, Sophie Leguil, Ash Perrin, Ben Tawil, Jane Perrone, Sherri Mitchell (Weh’na Ha’mu’ Kwasset), Josina Calliste, Chris Smaje, Tyson Yunkaporta, Lusi Alderslowe and Matt Willer as they step though time.

  • Episode Twenty Four: What if we read more books?

    12/04/2021 Duración: 49min

    When was the last time you read a book cover to cover? And if you are still able to do this, do you feel you read in the same way you did, say, 20 years ago? How is the decline in our collective attention span affecting our ability to read and, by extension, our collective capacity for knowledge, wisdom and art? What do we lose when we lose our ability to focus? This was such a fascinating conversation, with two people who have given this question a great deal of thought. Maryanne Wolf is a scholar, a teacher, and an advocate for children and literacy around the world. She is the Director of the newly created Center for Dyslexia, Diverse Learners, and Social Justice at the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. Previously she was the John DiBiaggio Professor of Citizenship and Public Service and Director of the Center for Reading and Language Research in the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development at Tufts University. She is the author of Proust and the Squid:

  • Episode Twenty-Three: What if street art could transform the world?

    29/03/2021 Duración: 40min

    Welcome to Episode 23 of our journey together into the imagination and into the powers of What If. Today we are looking at street art. Street art has stood alongside the fight for climate justice, the Black Lives Matter revolution, and pretty much every mass uprising for change through history. But is it just decoration? Or does it have the power to deeply shift a culture? To fire the collective imagination? And what if it was everywhere? I am joined today by two incredible, insightful, passionate masters of this particular artform. Ghanaian-born artist Tijay Mohammed combines his work as an artist, with numerous accolades and residencies, as well as working with the diverse communities he surrounds himself with. He lives in the Bronx, New York, and was one of the artists who created the huge Black Lives Matter mural in that city. He also maintains a studio in Ghana which serves as a sanctuary for visiting artists to interact with local residents, promoting multicultural dialogue through story circles and ar

  • Episode Twenty Two: What if we learned to embrace failure?

    17/03/2021 Duración: 34min

    Welcome to Episode 22 of 'From What If to What Next'. This week we are exploring failure. More precisely, what if we were able to create a culture in which failure is embraced, celebrated even, rather than feared, avoided or ridiculed? What would society look like if we embraced failure in politics, education, economics and everyday life, indeed if we learned from a young age that failure was just as important as success? There's a great What If question to stretch your imagination... My two guests have so many great insights into failure and its importance. Social visionary, entrepreneur and thought leader Simon Cohen strives to make the world a happier and more fulfilled place—he is uniquely placed as the individual who gave away his £1m company, Global Tolerance. A champion for media ethics, social justice and values, he expounds his wisdom as an international keynote speaker. He is also the first person in the UK to place an entire company on a one year sabbatical. And Carlos Zimbrón is the Co-founder a

  • Episode Twenty: What if we addressed the trauma that lies beneath the world's problems?

    09/03/2021 Duración: 01h04min

    Welcome to Episode 20 of From What If to What Next. This feels like a bit of a landmark for us, our twentieth episode! Thank you for joining me on this journey. Do tell your friends to come join us... Any reflections on how you're finding the journey so far are most welcome. Seems like a good moment for that. The good news is that we have saved one of the very finest episodes to mark this moment. Today we are exploring the question of trauma, and I must confess that recording this conversation rather blew my mind, as it will no doubt blow yours. I had to lie down afterward and digest it for a while. I am joined by two amazing thinkers for this conversation. I hope you love it. Susan Raffo is a bodyworker, cultural worker and writer. For the last 15 years she has focused her work through the lens of healing justice with a particular interest in supporting individual and collective practices of safety and wellness. This also means attending to how generational and historical trauma shapes the present mom

  • Episode Twenty-One: What if dynasties of private wealth reimagined their relationship to money?

    01/03/2021 Duración: 31min

    It was recently announced that Chuck Feeney, the Irish American former airport duty free shopping entrepreneur who was worth $8bn, had, at the age of 89, succeeded in his goal of giving away all of his money to initiatives working to make the world a better place. Every cent. He suggested that to give away a huge fortune was far more fun than holding onto it. He once wrote “to those wondering about giving while living .. try it, you’ll like it”. In today's podcast we are exploring how it would be if Feeney's thinking were to be embraced by those holding the vast reserves of money that the world needs to address its complex problems right now. What if they shifted and recognised the need to let go of what they're holding onto? And how would it feel to do so? I'm joined by two amazing guests to discuss this. Dr Wanda Wyporska is Executive Director at The Equality Trust, the national charity that campaigns to reduce social and economic inequality. She is a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of York,

  • Episode Nineteen: What if we rewrote the National Curriculum based on permaculture principles?

    31/01/2021 Duración: 47min

    By now, in this journey into 'From What If to What Next', it is clear that one of the key things in our world in 2021 that needs reimagining is our education system. In this episode, we explore how it might be if at the heart of that reimagining were permaculture principles. How would the underpinning of the National Curriculum with permaculture principles affect both what is taught, and how it is taught? Imagine a generation leaving school skilled in a diversity of practical sustainability skills, as well as being instinctive systems thinkers. After you've heard this conversation, anything less just won't do. This wonderful conversation is only possible thanks to my two wonderful guests. Lusi Alderslowe is the author of 'Earth Care, People Care and Fair Share in Education: The Children in Permaculture Manual' and has been engaging children in permaculture in formal, non-formal and informal settings around Scotland since 2005. She's a mother of two, a Forest School Leader, a human ecologist and co-founder a

  • Drucilla Cornell on the power of the public imagination

    28/01/2021 Duración: 40min

    Drucilla Cornell is a professor of law, women's studies and political science at Rutgers University. After reading a brilliant article she wrote about the public imagination, I got in touch, and here is the conversation we had.

  • Episode Eighteen: What if a revolution in relation to land unlocked a revolution of the imagination?

    18/01/2021 Duración: 34min

    Welcome to our first episode of 2021! We are planning an amazing series of podcasts for this year, and love that you are part of this exploration. In today's episode we bring together Josina Calliste, a health professional and community organiser who is one of the co-founders of Land in Our Names (LION), a black-led collective addressing land inequalities affecting black people and people of colour's ability to farm and grow food in Britain, and Chris Smaje, author of the book 'A Small Farm Future' and the brilliant blog of the same name. Our far-reaching conversation, which could have gone on for hours, explores our relationship with land, and how a reimagining of that could unlock so much. My thanks to both of my guests for their generosity and wisdom, and to Ben Addicott for production and theme music.

  • Episode Seventeen: What if indigenous wisdom could save the world?

    04/01/2021 Duración: 56min

    Of all the 17 episodes of this podcast so far, this is the one that I had to go off somewhere quiet afterwards for a while to digest. It is a very powerful and fascinating discussion. My two guests are extraordinary, and I feel so blessed that they could make the time to join me in this wonderful What If exploration. Sherri Mitchell (Weh’na Ha’mu’ Kwasset (She Who Brings the Light)) is an attorney, an activist, an advisor, a speaker and so so so much more, including author of ‘Sacred Instructions: indigenous wisdom for living spirit-based change’. She was born and raised on the Penobscot Indian Reservation. Tyson Yunkaporta is an academic, an arts critic, and a researcher who belongs to the Apalech Clan in far north Queensland. He carves traditional tools and weapons and also works as a senior lecturer in Indigenous Knowledges at Deakin University in Melbourne. His recent book, Sand Talk: how indigenous thinking can save the world, is deeply wonderful and I am very much enjoying it right now. Our discussi

  • Episode 16: What if we took play seriously?

    04/01/2021 Duración: 48min

    In Episode 16 of 'From What If to What Next' we explore the question of play. Play is a devalued aspect of both childhood and adulthood which has been declining now for decades, and its decline has had many knock-on effects across society. What would it be like if we decided to give it a huge boost, to create the ideal conditions for a re-emergence of play across education, economics, planning, and so much more? What might that look like? I am joined in this episode by two of the most amazing guests to dive deep into this act of imagining. Ash Perrin is the founder and CEO of The Flying Seagull Project, a UK-based charity that works around the world to bring happiness to children who are marginalised or suffering. His small, highly-skilled team of around twenty professional entertainers use music, arts, dance and clowning to spread smiles to more than 140,000 children in hospitals, orphanages and refugee camps around the world. His TEDx talk from last year is a must-watch. Ben Tawil is a play consultant an

  • Episode 15: What if we learned to love weeds?

    13/12/2020 Duración: 39min

    During the first Coronavirus lockdown in the UK, a strange phenomenon was seen in towns and cities across the country. As councils became unable, or unwilling, to maintain their usual programmes of spraying weeds and cutting grass, pavements began to feature what had previously been dismissed as 'weeds'. In response, and using a hashtag #MoreThanWeeds, people began using chalk to circle them and to write their names, both common and Latin. In this podcast we explore how different the future would be if we were to cultivate a culture of better understanding and loving weeds. How would it affect the world around us, and how would it affect us? And how does the way we talk about that dazzling diversity of plants that we dismiss as 'weeds' give insights to how many people 'other' groups of people such as immigrants? What does our attitude to weeds tell us about ourselves? For this, our fifteenth episode, we are joined by two people who have been central to this chalky-fingered rebellion. Sophie Leguil is a fr

  • Episode Fourteen: What if we were to respond to the debt crisis with art and playfulness?

    23/11/2020 Duración: 47min

    One of the things we love most here at 'From What If to What Next' is stories of people bringing imagination to their activism, of impactful, thought-provoking projects that engage our imagination and our playfulness. One of the very best examples of this that we've ever seen is The Bank Job in Walthamstow, London, the work of printmaker Hilary Powell and filmmaker Dan Edelstyn, once described as "an act of generosity rare in the art world". Following the release of the great new book 'The Bank Job' (published by Chelsea Green, and keep an eye on your emails as on Wednesday we will have a subscriber-only competition to win a copy) and their impending new film about the project, we were thrilled to invite Dan and Hilary onto the podcast. The Bank Job eradicated £1.2 million of payday lending debt in their community and so much more besides. I already interviewed Hilary and Dan once before when researching 'From What Is to What If', you can find that interview here. It feels like something we will now do

  • Ministry of Imagination Episode 14 introduction

    16/11/2020 Duración: 01min

    Here are the opening couple of minutes from Episode 14 of the bonus Ministry of Imagination podcast. Subscribe now at

  • The Best of 2030: from episodes 1-9 of 'From What If to What Next'

    10/11/2020 Duración: 01h08min

    Every episode of 'From What If to What Next' begins with my inviting my guests to close their eyes and to walk us through what they imagine 2030 could be like if it were the result of our having done everything we could possibly have done. What would it feel like, taste like, sound like? It is often the most powerful and beautiful part of the podcast. And so, our producer Ben Addicott has painstakingly pieced together the best bits of those visions, and together with Tamsin Cornish, written beautiful music to accompany them. When all pieced together, this podcast offers you a deep and rich immersion in a future that is still possible to us, just. It's not Utopia, but it is a walk through the possible. As the poet Rilke once wrote, "the future must enter into you a long time before it happens". This podcast allows it to do so in the most beautiful way. If there was ever a time in history when clear, abundant and positive visions of the future were vitally needed, this is that time. I so hope you love this

  • Episode Thirteen: What if governments factored future generations into law and policy?

    09/11/2020 Duración: 50min

    And so we reach our thirteenth episode. Wow. Thank you so much for being with us on this journey so far. We have an amazing episode for you today. We live in a world where so much political decision-making seems to be based on short-term thinking, the next opinion poll, next quarter, next election, yet so many of the problems we face are the result of our failing to think in the long term. We use the future as a place to dump the problems we can't resolve, to dump our pollution, carbon emissions, the thorny issues we'd rather avoid. Indigenous cultures and wiser civilisations of the past planned and thought with future generations in mind, so why can't we? And how different would the world be if we did? I am joined for this episode by Roman Krznaric, author of the recent book 'The Good Ancestor: How to Think Long Term in a Short Term World' and one of Britain’s leading popular philosophers, and also by Jane Davidson, author of '#futuregen: Lessons from a Small Country', Pro Vice-Chancellor Emeritus at the U

  • Episode Twelve: What if criminal justice resources were instead invested into communities of colour?

    26/10/2020 Duración: 38min

    You are in for such a treat today. It is my honour and privilege to share with you our twelfth episode of 'From What If to What Next'. In the US, as elsewhere, vast amounts of money are poured into mass incarceration and brutal and violent policing. What if instead that money was invested into the communities that bear the burnt of this approach to criminal justice, into healthcare, wellbeing, opportunity, safety? It's a huge question, and such a rich What If question. Luckily we are joined in this podcast by two amazing guests to explore it. Andrea J. Ritchie is a Black lesbian immigrant police misconduct attorney and organizer whose writing, litigation, and advocacy has focused on policing and criminalization of women and LGBT people of color for the past two decades. She is currently Researcher in Residence on Race, Gender, Sexuality and Criminalization at the Barnard Center for Research on Women, where she recently launched the Interrupting Criminalization: Research in Action initiative. Zach Norris i

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