A few of my favourite podcasts

I’ve been addicted to podcasts for years. A well curated list can provide a constant well to dip into whenever I need to fuel my curiosity for travel, politics, journalism, culture, or ideas. I listen to them doing the laundry, the washing up, the evening walk to the ferry, or on long drives. I’ve yet to put my iPhone in a ziplock back and use in the shower – but I hear that works too.

This year, I’ve recently expanded my weekly library, and thought I’d share. All of these are of course available on iTunes.

I’d love to know your thoughts? Do you listen to any of these? What are your favourites?

  1. The Stack. Monocle Magazine’s podcast on the latest niche print magazines from around the world.
  2. Slate’s Culture Gabfest. From the team at Slate, this has been one of my favourites for years. Smart, thoughtful people talking about all things pop culture.
  3. Slate’s Political Gabfest. Another great one from Slate. Right now, it’s both fascinating and frustrating as they chit-chat through the insanity of the US Presidential Race.
  4. CBC’s As it Happens. One of the best shows on radio. Each night during the week they focus on both the big and small stories, including live chats with everyday people from villages, towns and communities anywhere in the world. It’s endlessly inspiring and charming. Carol Oft’s authentic and empathetic interviews are a big part of its genius.
  5. Fresh Air. Terry Gross is arguably the best interviewer on radio today. Honest, straightforward and probing, her chats with celebrities and artists are never rushed, always revealing.
  6. On the Media. A great podcast on the state of media, advertising and journalism.
  7. KCRW’s The Treatment. Interviews with actors and directors, hosted by Elvis Mitchell.
  8. The New Yorker Radio Hour. A great hour of radio, presented by David Remnick, the editor of The New Yorker.
  9. Surprisingly Awesome. Find out the hidden awesomeness in everyday things – from broccoli to concrete
  10. CBC’s The Sunday Edition. There’s usually one or two great interviews by Michael Enright each week.
  11. Writers and Company. For a lazy Sunday afternoon, there’s nothing better then this show on CBC radio. Even if I’m not a fan of the author being profiled, I always find Eleanor Wachtel’s interviews captivating.

So that’s a few that I like. Other’s that I’m just getting into include The Night Time Podcast, 99% invisible, The Takeaway, Ice Cream for Everyone, Start the Week, and Slate’s The Grist.

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Stay curious

I was listening to the Slate Political Gabfest today, and they highlighted a wonderful quote from  a Ralph Waldo Emerson essay.

But lest I should mislead any when I have my own head and obey my whims, let me remind the reader that I am only an experimenter. Do not set the least value on what I do, or the least discredit on what I do not, as if I pretended to settle any thing as true or false. I unsettle all things. No facts are to me sacred; none are profane; I simply experiment, an endless seeker with no Past at my back.

While it’s a lovely philosophy for life  in general, it’s good advice for any of us working in communication and behaviour change. We should never stop learning or challenging ourselves because the stakes are too high to think we’ve got it all figured out. So let’s not get too caught up in behaviour change models or strict structures that can sometimes limit free thinking.

For sure, let’s learn from our past – but move forward with the courage to shake things up and challenge what we do and how we think. Just like a group of European Scientists who are now challenging Einstein’s sacred Theory of Relativity.