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FEASTA and EHFF
28 minutes | Jan 31, 2023
Wellbeing Frameworks: challenges and progress
Many people would agree that we need to change the way in which we measure progress and move past the current narrow focus on GDP. Ireland, along with many other countries, has been developing a wellbeing framework that contains a dashboard of indicators which are intended to give a snapshot of how Ireland is doing in many different areas, including health, education, employment and the environment. But can these wellbeing frameworks really help to bring about a transformation of the economy? Seán Ó Conláin and Caroline Whyte speak with Margreet Frieling, the knowledge co-lead at the Wellbeing Economy Alliance (WEAll), about her experience in New Zealand wellbeing framework and in WEAll, working with policymakers worldwide on wellbeing frameworks.
29 minutes | Dec 31, 2022
Transforming chaos into coherence
David Somekh of the EHFF and Caroline Whyte spoke with Jim Garrison. Jim is the founder of Ubiquity University, whose founding purpose is to develop learning experiences grounded in the world’s wisdom traditions blended with practical interpersonal and entrepreneurial skills. Jim has a doctorate in philosophical theology from Cambridge University and has been active throughout his life in the anti-war, anti-nuclear, citizen diplomacy and environmental movements. He worked closely with Mikhail Gorbachev in the State of the World Forum. Since the pandemic began, he has been co-hosting a series of webinars called "Humanity Rising". Topics covered in the discussion include climate disruption, the Russia-Ukraine war, the Cuban missile crisis and the power of the youth movement.
34 minutes | Dec 1, 2022
Housing access and mass retrofitting in Ireland and Europe: challenges and solutions
Seán Ó Conláin and Caroline Whyte interviewed Anne Barrington, who is the Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Ó Cualann Cohousing Alliance in Ireland, and Uuriintuya Batsaikhan, an economist based in Brussels who oversees the research projects at Positive Money Europe. Topics covered in our discussion included the challenges faced by those trying to provide affordable housing in Ireland, the impact on the housing supply of the ECB’s monetary policy and other EU policies such as the Growth and Stability Pact, the effects of the current energy crisis, the need to mitigate climate disruption, and the role played by ideology in current Irish housing policy. We also explored some ways forward, including the Unlock campaign for providing mass retrofitting of housing in Europe that is being spearheaded by Positive Money Europe, and potential changes to the treatment of housing under Irish law.
25 minutes | Oct 31, 2022
Lessons for community health from the COVID pandemic
David Somekh and Caroline Whyte spoke with Lars Münter. Lars works on international relations for the Danish committee for health education, and he also manages the communication for Nordic Health 2030 and is a member of the EHFF’s Advisory Group and the Wellbeing Economy Alliance’s Danish hub. Topics covered included the impact and implications for community health from the COVID pandemic, the need to shift emphasis in the healthcare system away from ‘illness care’ and towards empowering patients and helping to build community capacity, synergies between the changes needed in the healthcare system and those needed in the broader economy, the energy system, and the education system, and possible ways forward.
32 minutes | Oct 3, 2022
Empowerment through the arts
Cristina Ciampaglione, originally from Italy, is an artist and arts manager who has worked on a range of arts projects in Ireland and is a Project Manager with The Walls Project, which uses street art as a tool of engagement between communities and artists. She recently coordinated - and spoke at - an event on Art and Climate Change at the Italian Institute of Culture in Dublin. In this podcast, she speaks with Seán and Caroline about how she came to be working as an arts manager, and about the enormous role which she believes the arts can play in improving life by empowering people and helping to create a vision for the future.
28 minutes | Aug 1, 2022
Breaking down silos in healthcare and the economy
In this month’s podcast, David Somekh, the network director of the European Health Futures Forum (EHFF) who often co-hosts our podcasts, spoke with Caroline Whyte. Topics discussed include the challenge of breaking down silos and employing systems thinking and scenario thinking, the importance of health literacy, the need to move away from 19th-century models of healthcare, and the challenge of persuading people to change their mindsets. David explains how the EHFF came to be created and why it focusses on the overall ‘health ecosystem’, and its interconnectedness with the ‘wellbeing economy’ model which seeks to identify the overall outcomes we want in society rather than trying to constantly expand GDP. David also talks about the roots of the Wellbeing Economy Hub for Ireland, which both Feasta and the EHFF are involved in.
32 minutes | Jul 1, 2022
Supporting nature's connections
Seán Ó Conláin speaks with ecologist Julien Carlier about his research, including his doctoral thesis on mapping the ecological benefits of greenways, his current work on mapping High Nature Value farmland and forestry, and his impressions of the new CAP programmes which aim to pay farmers for restoring biodiversity on farmland.
31 minutes | May 31, 2022
The theory and practice of Communities of Practice
Caroline Whyte and David Somekh of the European Health Futures Forum speak with Davie Philip about Communities of Practice. Davie is a community catalyst, climate coach and facilitator at Cultivate, the Sustainable Ireland Cooperative. Since 1997 Davie has been active in Ireland promoting sustainability, community resilience and cooperative approaches to meeting our needs. He was a founding member of Feasta and also of Sustainable Projects Ireland Ltd. the company behind the ecovillage project in Cloughjordan, Co. Tipperary where he is now based. From 2016 to 2021 Davie sat on the Council of ECOLISE, the European network for community-led initiatives on climate change and sustainability, and from April 2019 to 2021 he was a co-president. He, Caroline and David are all core members of the Wellbeing Economy Hub for the island of Ireland. Davie explains what Communities of Practice are and why they're useful, and he and David exchange insights on their experience with them.
31 minutes | Mar 31, 2022
Problems of U.S. Climate Politics (and Maybe Some Solutions?)
Our guest this month is Professor Theda Skocpol, who is the Victor S. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology at Harvard University, and the founder and director of the Scholars Strategy Network. Professor Skocpol has extensively researched the social and political dynamics that can bring about major changes in social policy in the US. Her most recent book, co-authored with Caroline Tervo, is ”Upending American Politics: Polarizing Parties, Ideological Elites, and Citizen Activists from the Tea Party to the Anti-Trump Resistance”. We discuss her 2013 report “ ‘Naming the Problem: What It Will Take to Counter Extremism and Engage Americans in the Fight against Global Warming”, which came out in the aftermath of a failed attempt at climate legislation in the US that took place in 2010. The report also supports Cap and Dividend, or Cap and Share, a climate policy that’s advocated by members of Feasta’s climate group. Mike Sandler, who is a member of Feasta's climate group and the current Chair of the Feasta Board of Trustees, and who also manages the Commons-Share and Dividends for America websites, joined Caroline Whyte for the interview.
33 minutes | Mar 1, 2022
A Small Farm Future
Seán Ó Conláin and Caroline Whyte spoke with Chris Smaje. Chris is based in Somerset in the UK and worked as an academic sociologist and anthropologist for some time, but then changed focus to the practice and politics of agroecology. He now coworks a smallholder farm. He has written several books, including, most recently,' A Small Farm Future: Making the Case for a Society Built Around Local Economies, Self-Provisioning, Agricultural Diversity, and a Shared Earth'. He writes the blog Small Farm Future and has also written for various publications, such as The Land, Dark Mountain, Permaculture magazine and Statistics Views, as well as academic journals such as Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems and the Journal of Consumer Culture.
29 minutes | Jan 31, 2022
Bioregionalism, the Commons and the Doughnut
To kick off our 2022 series, Caroline Whyte of Feasta and David Somekh of the EHFF spoke with Isabel Carlisle, the director of the Bioregional Learning Centre in Devon in the UK. Isabel spoke about her earlier career as an archaeologist and in the art world, and how she became involved in the climate movement and bioregionalism. She described a collaborative community project which the Centre is working on to figure out effective ways to keep the river Dart clean and to save water, and how the Centre is also helping to put the ideas of the Economic Doughnut to work at a regional level. We talked about coordinating local action in different places through global networks such as the Regenerative Community Network and the Wellbeing Economy Alliance, and about ways in which bioregional thinking could be useful to the new Wellbeing Economy Hub for the island of Ireland.
31 minutes | Dec 31, 2021
Dispersing the looming cloud of digital waste
Caroline Whyte and Seán Ó Conláin speak with Gerry McGovern, who is a specialist in identifying and reducing digital waste and the author of the book 'World Wide Waste: how digital is killing our planet and what we can do with it'. Gerry has written eight books about digital design and has appeared on numerous media including the BBC and CNN. The Irish Times has described Gerry as one of five visionaries who have had a major impact on the development of the Web. Among topics discussed are the astounding difference in data use between a landline audio call and an online video call and the connection between digital waste, the concentration of power and poor working conditions.
29 minutes | Nov 30, 2021
Symbiosis and system change: potential lessons from mycology
Bill O'Dea, a specialist in mycology, talks with Seán Ó Conlaín and Caroline Whyte about the immense contribution that fungi make to the biosphere, their nutritional value, the threats they are facing, the complex symbiotic relationship which they have with each other and with other species, and how this relationship could help to provide inspiration for the societal and economic changes that are needed to achieve a sustainable economy.
31 minutes | Oct 31, 2021
Growth-independence and clear communication in the wellbeing economy
This podcast includes two interviews/discussions, one with Jakob Hafele of the Zoe Institute for Future-Fit Economies and the other with Lars Münter of the Nordic Health 2030 Coalition. Both of their organisations are members of the global Wellbeing Economy Alliance, but have come to it from different angles. Jakob talks about his work on the EU level to help enable the economy to function independently of economic growth, and his reading of the current situation in the EU and worldwide, while Lars argues that health and environmental advocates need to make more precise use of the language of money along with other measurements, such as environmental and satisfaction indicators, in order to better communicate the potential of their work. Both discussions take place with Caroline Whyte.
32 minutes | Sep 30, 2021
Sidestepping the 'Growth versus Degrowth' debate
In this podcast we look at potential ways to get beyond the time-consuming, and sometimes quite heated, arguments between those who believe that aggregate ‘green growth’ is possible and those who believe that environmental constraints will oblige us to adopt a different economic goal. Beth Stratford, an economics researcher who is a fellow at the New Economics Foundation and the co-author of the report ‘The UK's Path to a Doughnut-Shaped Recovery’, outlines an agenda that she believes both degrowth advocates and green growth advocates should be able to sign up to. She describes four strategies for reducing growth dependency in the economy while simultaneously improving societal wellbeing. Political feasibility and the challenges of movement-building are also discussed. Seán Ó Conlaín, David Somekh and Caroline Whyte participated in the interview.
29 minutes | Jul 31, 2021
Transformation catalysts part 2
This podcast continues with the theme of transformation catalysts which we also explored in last month’s eán Ó Conlaín interviews Steve Waddell, who is the lead steward of the global Bounce Beyond movement which accelerates initiatives working to make regenerative, life-centered economies realizable at scale as “next economies” communities. Steve has a Ph.D. in sociology and a Masters in Business Administration from Boston College and is the author of numerous books on economic and social transformation.
30 minutes | Jun 30, 2021
Transformation catalysts and narratives
Seán Ó Conláin interviews Dr Sandra Waddock on her decades-long research into the role that certain organisations can play in bringing about societal change on a profound level.
31 minutes | May 31, 2021
Community Wealth Building: boosting agency and diversification
Sean O'Conlain and Caroline Whyte speak with Mary McManus, who has worked in the Welfare Rights Advice sector in Belfast for over 20 years, and from Seán Mc Cabe, the Executive Manager of the Climate Justice Centre of TASC, the Irish-based Thinktank for Action on Social Change, about the potential offered by Community Wealth Building.
29 minutes | Mar 31, 2021
Crises and collectivity
David Somekh of the EHFF interviews Professor John Drury of Sussex University and Cormac Russell of Nurture Development. They talk about their research into collective behaviour in terms of crisis, ways in which communities can come together when the circumstances call for it, and how a sense of solidarity can be encouraged to take root rather than fade away over time.
31 minutes | Feb 28, 2021
Health, justice and the environment - the core issues
The latest instalment of our podcast series ‘Bridging the Gaps’ begins with an interview by David Somekh of the European Health Futures Forum of Tsvetelina Filipova, who is involved in All Policies for a Healthy Europe, an intersectoral initiative that brings together a diverse group of NGOs, think-thanks, associations, companies, and individuals. Tsvetelina is chairing the initiative's environment group and she describes a report which the group has just published. David and Caroline Whyte then go on to interview Eloi Laurent, who is an economist based in Paris and a ‘convert’ to ecological economics. Eloi talks about the strong links between justice, a healthy environment and human health, and how the fight to reduce inequality is the best basis for environmental activism.
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