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What Could Possibly Go Right?
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What Could Possibly Go Right?

Author: Vicki Robin

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In this interview series sponsored by Post Carbon Institute, Vicki Robin, activist and best-selling author on sustainable living, talks with provocative thought leaders about emerging possibilities and ways humanity might step onto a better, post-pandemic path.

122 Episodes
Douglas Rushkoff makes another appearance on our podcast, sharing his latest thoughts on What Could Possibly Go Right?  Listen to his previous interviews in episodes 52, 84, and 97.Douglas Rushkoff is an author and documentarian who studies human autonomy in a digital age. Rushkoff’s work explores how different technological environments change our relationship to narrative, money, power, and one another. Named one of the “world’s ten most influential intellectuals” by MIT, his twenty books include Team Human, based on his podcast.Enjoy this casual chat between Douglas and Vicki, including themes of:Re-socialization and finding connection for well-beingPutting the soul back into our interactionsQuestioning our social constructs and triggering our agency to create changeHow experiences of awe can have profound impactsSupport the showComplete Show Notes
Laura Oldanie is a green living and money coach who blogs at Rich & Resilient Living, where she explores money and lifestyle choices for a regenerative future. Her goal is to help people achieve financial freedom and live their best lives in socially and environmentally conscious ways that equally value people, planet, and profit. She received her Permaculture Design Certificate in 2009 and has been exploring how to earn, spend, invest, and manage her money to bring about the change she wants to see in the world ever since. She has been a sought-after source of knowledge on regenerative investing, and her work has been featured in Forbes, Your Money or Your Life, Good Housekeeping, CNBC, All Star Money, ChooseFI, The Firedrill Podcast, the Permaculture podcast, and many others!She answers the question of “What Could Possibly Go Right?” with thoughts including:The “possibilities for us to think more holistically, more resourcefully about wealth and what constitutes wealth”The need to “think about retirement planning on a climate challenged planet”, and to build resilient homes and communitiesThe self-actualization and joy elements that come from resourcefulness and creative frugalityThinking beyond socially responsible investing to more regenerative and meaningful opportunitiesSupport the showComplete Show Notes
For over fifty years, through twenty books and one Pulitzer Prize finalist, Susan Griffin has been making unconventional connections between seemingly separate subjects. Whether pairing ecology and gender in her foundational work Woman and Nature, or the private life with the targeting of civilians in A Chorus of Stones, she has shed a new light on countless contemporary issues, including climate change, war, colonialism, the body, democracy, and terrorism.She answers the question of “What Could Possibly Go Right?” with thoughts including:An exploration of the boundaries or “binding” of gender The relationship between matter and spiritThe value of writing, “a sort of miracle, of something being created”That “people need meaning… as much as food, water, and air” and that meaning often comes through storiesSupport the showComplete Show Notes
Margaret Wheatley, Ed.D. began caring about the world’s peoples in 1966 as a Peace Corps volunteer in post-war Korea. As a consultant, senior-level advisor, teacher, speaker, and formal leader, she has worked on all continents (except Antarctica) with all levels, ages, and types of organizations, leaders, and activists. Her work now focuses on developing and supporting leaders globally as Warriors for the Human Spirit. Margaret has written ten books, including the classic Leadership and the New Science, and been honored for her pathfinding work by many professional associations, universities, and organizations.She answers the question of “What Could Possibly Go Right?” with thoughts including:The idea of life affirming leadership, “on what cultivates life, what cultivates growth” and “adapting to circumstances”.The call to be “of dedicated service at the local level where we can still create good lives… embodiments of good human beings, which is the ultimate gift that we can offer.”The need to “get our egos out of the way” and move to a “place of right action and right work”The question of seeing “what's needed here, and then, am I the right person to contribute at this time?”Support the showComplete Show Notes
For over 35 years, Alisa Gravitz has led Green America, the national green economy organization that develops marketplace solutions to social and environmental problems with a key focus on climate, regenerative agriculture, labor justice and responsible finance.  As part of Green America's Center for Sustainability Solutions, which focuses on transforming supply chains, Alisa Gravitz co-chairs innovation networks on carbon farming, regenerative agriculture, climate safe lending, solar and clean electronics. Ms. Gravitz’s board service includes Ceres, Yes! Media, Network for Good, the Non-GMO Project and Underdog Foundation, along with Green America. She answers the question of “What Could Possibly Go Right?” with thoughts including:The progress in the renewable energy field around the worldThe importance of our own individual steps towards climate action, both in impacting the issue and influencing society’s leadersThe significance of regenerative agriculture for environmental and social benefitsThe role of pathfinders, early adopters, and fast followers in driving positive changeSupport the showComplete Show Notes
Anne Stadler is a pioneering elder and board member at Sourcing the Way. Her specialty is offering services that support self-organizing individual and collective leadership. She opens space for the emergence of spirited leadership and inspired forms for collective evolution. A founder and organizer of local, national, and international peace efforts, and an award-winning television producer at KING 5-TV in Seattle Washington, Anne has decades of experience in guiding the formation of emergent communities. She answers the question of “What Could Possibly Go Right?” with thoughts including:Learning what love is in your life, guiding and pulling us forward through even bleak times and problemsAppreciating “all these little bubbling initiatives that people undertake out of love” that are creating change Realizing that “We live in an emergent reality. We're creating the future all the time, or we're being drawn into it.”Exploring the principles of Open Space for community buildingSupport the showComplete Show Notes
Riane Eisler is a social systems scientist, cultural historian, futurist, and attorney whose research, writing, and speaking has transformed the lives of people worldwide. Her newest work, Nurturing Our Humanity: How Domination and Partnership Shape Our Brains, Lives, and Future, co-authored with anthropologist Douglas Fry, shows how to construct a more equitable, sustainable, and less violent world based on Partnership rather than Domination. Dr. Eisler is founder and president of the Center for Partnership Studies (CPS), dedicated to research and education.She answers the question of “What Could Possibly Go Right?” with thoughts including:That “there's still this distracting argument between capitalism or socialism” and that “yes, we need enlightened government policies, but we really need to go deeper and wider and beyond”The focus on four cornerstones for partnership or domination systems: family/childhood, gender, economics, narratives/languageThe use of social wealth economic indicators as better measures for quality of lifeSupport the showComplete Show Notes
Fran Korten is former executive director, publisher and contributing editor for YES! Magazine, where she wrote about opportunities to advance a progressive agenda in politics, economics, and the environment. She lives in Bainbridge Island, Washington, with her husband, author David Korten.She answers the question of “What Could Possibly Go Right?” with thoughts including:The encouraging increase in voter turnout, especially amongst younger peopleThe learnings we can take from the “people over profit” Mondragon model in Spain’s Basque regionThe benefits of ranked choice voting in elections, resulting in more collaboration and civil dialogue in the political processThe positive shift in our respect for Indigenous peopleSupport the showComplete Show Notes
Kristin Ohlson is a writer living in Portland, Oregon. Her newest book is Sweet in Tooth and Claw: Stories of Generosity and Cooperation in the Natural World. Her last book was The Soil Will Save Us: How Scientists, Farmers and Foodies are Healing the Soil to Save the Planet, which the Los Angeles Times calls “a hopeful book and a necessary one…. a fast-paced and entertaining shot across the bow of mainstream thinking about land use.” She appears in the award-winning documentary film, Kiss the Ground, speaking about the connection between soil and climate health. She answers the question of “What Could Possibly Go Right?” with thoughts including:- “Cities and human societies are marvels of cooperation”- “There are a lot of people in journalism… who are looking for the solutions and looking for positive examples to spread around”- That “every living thing has a mutualism, a mutually beneficial relationship with other living things”- That “a big part of it is storytelling… when something brilliant has happened in these small incremental steps of healing relationships or the natural world; to tell the story, multiplies it”Support the showComplete Show Notes
Douglas Rushkoff makes another appearance on our podcast, sharing his latest thoughts on What Could Possibly Go Right?  Listen to his previous interviews in episodes 28, 52, and 83.Douglas Rushkoff is an author and documentarian who studies human autonomy in a digital age. Rushkoff’s work explores how different technological environments change our relationship to narrative, money, power, and one another. Named one of the “world’s ten most influential intellectuals” by MIT, his twenty books include Team Human, based on his podcast. Others include bestsellers Present Shock, Throwing Rocks and the Google Bus, Program or Be Programmed, Life Inc, and Media Virus. He also made the PBS Frontline documentaries Generation Like, The Persuaders, and Merchants of Cool. As 2022 comes to a close, enjoy this casual chat between Douglas and Vicki.The need to “adopt and invent alternative narratives of success that involve mutuality, rather than singularity; that are collective and communal, rather than alienated and isolated”The importance of tolerating ambiguity, having a tender heart and embracing differenceThe “idea of asking the right questions at the right times… to reduce the cognitive harm imposed by propagandists and media people who don't have our best interests at heart.”Support the showComplete Show Notes
Kritee Kanko is a climate scientist, Zen priest, Educator & founding spiritual teacher of Boundless in Motion. She is an ordained teacher in the Rinzai Zen lineage of Cold Mountain, a co-founder of Rocky Mountain Ecodharma Retreat Center and faculty for many organizations for courses at the intersection of Ecology and spirituality. She has served as a scientist in the Climate Smart Agriculture program at Environmental Defense Fund. She answers the question of “What Could Possibly Go Right?” with thoughts including:The sense of belonging that comes from taking time to slow down and share your authentic truthThe need for healing our collective trauma, to allow us to bond and move forwardThe emergence of ancestral resilience that can bring us togetherThe tension between freedom and boundaries in belongingConnect with Kritee KankoWebsite: boundlessinmotion.orgSupport the showComplete Show Notes
Geneen Marie Haugen, PhD, grew up as a free-range wildish kid with a run amok imagination. She is a guide to the experiential, intertwined mysteries of nature and psyche with the Animas Valley Institute, and is on the faculty of the Esalen Institute, Schumacher College, and the Fox Institute for Creation Spirituality. Her writing has appeared in many journals and books, including Spiritual Ecology: The Cry of the Earth; Thomas Berry: Dreamer of the Earth; Parabola Journal; Ecopsychology Journal;; High Country News; and others.She answers the question of “What Could Possibly Go Right?” with thoughts including:The power in our unique creativity and imagination as human beingsThe value of becoming more receptive to the dreams and consciousness of the community, earth and universe around usThe increasing awareness of traditional Indigenous and ecological knowledge in the Western worldviewSupport the showComplete Show Notes
Gwendolyn Hallsmith is the Executive Director of Global Community Initiatives, a non-profit organization she founded in 2002, and has just celebrated their 20th anniversary. She is the author of six books on sustainable community and economic development and has worked with communities all over the world to foster caring communities, vibrant local economies, good governance, efficient services, and healthy ecosystems. She founded Vermonters for a New Economy to work on economic solutions at the state level, and the Headwaters Garden and Learning Center, an ecovillage in Cabot, VT. She answers the question of “What Could Possibly Go Right?” with thoughts including:Transitioning away from capitalism into new ways of thinking; a “caring economy”Alternative examples for money and ownership, such as timebanking, neighborhood caring models, universal basic income, and sharing economyThe need to make changes in three systems of food, energy and moneyResourcesSong: “The End of Capitalism Rag” by Global Community Initiatives Support the showComplete Show Notes
Hear from our host Vicki Robin in another solo episode, as she shares a topical theme for “What Could Possibly Go Right?” including:Ideas for creative solutions and alternative arrangements to address America’s housing issuesRecognizing the intersection of population pressures, the wealth gap, and the climate crisisTransforming the idea of the American dream, that “we can discover the freedom of belonging as we end isolation as a symbol of wealth and privilege.”Support the showComplete Show Notes
Per Espen Stoknes, a psychologist with PhD in economics, is a TED Global speaker, and serves as the director of Centre for Green Growth at the Norwegian Business School. An experienced foresight facilitator and academic, he’s also serial entrepreneur, including co-founding clean-tech company GasPlas. Author of several books, among them Learning from the Future (2004, in Norwegian), Money & Soul (2009) and the “Outstanding Academic Title of 2015” award winning book: What We Think About When We Try Not To Think About Global Warming (2015). Per Espen has also served as member of Norwegian Parliament.He answers the question of “What Could Possibly Go Right?” with thoughts including:The work of Earth4All in encouraging a change to systems thinking to address the multiple threats to our survivalThe need to shift our identity beyond self-interested individuals, to earthlings sharing a commons in need of preservationThe call to let go of American exceptionalism and recognize the innovation taking place across the globeResourcesBook: Earth for All: A Survival Guide for Humanity (2022) Support the showComplete Show Notes
With the mid-term election underway in US this week, we feature a replay of our interview with Heather Cox Richardson, as heard on episode 8 in July 2020. Heather Cox Richardson is Professor of History at Boston College and an expert on American political and economic history. She is the author of six books on American politics and is a national commentator on American political history and the Republican Party. She is also a leading #Twitterstorian, explaining the historical background of modern political issues through Twitter threads, the co-editor of We’re History, a web magazine of popular history, and the author of Letters from an American, a chronicle of the Trump presidency since the Ukraine Scandal broke. Her work has appeared in The Guardian, the Washington Post, the New York Times, and the Chicago Tribune.Heather addresses the question of What Could Possibly Go Right? with a political focus. Her insights include:- That the current condition is waking people up from autopilot and creating the realization they need to pursue change personally to create the society in which they want to live.- A reminder that the beauty of a democratic system is getting to choose which direction to go.- That the desire for equality of opportunity and access should no longer be pushed to the narrative of special interest in politics.- The potential to innovate and create change through crowdsourcing government and society.- That the American dream needs to be rewritten and move away from the heteronormative nuclear family as its centerpiece, to a more community-centered and diverse view.Support the showComplete Show Notes
Sherri Mitchell is the Founding Director of the Land Peace Foundation, an organization dedicated to the global protection of Indigenous land and water rights and the preservation of the Indigenous way of life. Sherri is an author and cohost of the syndicated radio program Love (and revolution) Radio, which focuses on real-life stories of heart-based activism and revolutionary spiritual change. She was born and raised on the Penobscot Indian reservation (Penawahpskek). She speaks and teaches around the world on issues of Indigenous rights, environmental justice, and spiritual change. After her previous appearance on episode 68, Sherri returns to the question of “What Could Possibly Go Right?” with thoughts including:“Start thinking about who are we beyond the stories that we tell”, including the narratives carried forward from problematic pasts.Learning to “sit in a space of rootedness and visualize the world that we most want to inhabit, then become a citizen who is able to live there, in a peaceful, just and equitable way”Getting energy from aligning ourselves with “those energies that were creating something new, that were about imagining and building the possibility of a new reality”Being conscious of our use of technology and aiming to “reconnect our bodies to the earth” and its teachingsSupport the showComplete Show Notes
Joanna Macy, Ph.D, author & teacher, is a scholar of Buddhism, systems thinking, and deep ecology. A respected voice in movements for peace, justice, and ecology, she interweaves her scholarship with learnings from six decades of activism. Her wide-ranging work addresses psychological and spiritual issues of the nuclear age, the cultivation of ecological awareness, and the fruitful resonance between Buddhist thought and postmodern science. The many dimensions of this work are explored in her thirteen books, which include three volumes of poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke with translation and commentary.She addresses the question of “What Could Possibly Go Right?” with thoughts including:Choosing “to be starkly present in this moment and now” is a radical act“Don't be afraid of your sorrow or grief or rage. Treasure them. They come from your caring.”These emotions “will nurture in you a fierce clarity for what can be done”“There's so much joy and courage… in finding a purpose”Support the showComplete Show Notes
Janine Benyus is the co-founder of Biomimicry 3.8 and Biomimicry Institute. She is a biologist, innovation consultant, and author of six books, including Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature. Since the book’s 1997 release, Janine’s work as a global thought leader has evolved the practice of biomimicry from a meme to a movement, inspiring clients and innovators around the world to learn from the genius of nature.She addresses the question of “What Could Possibly Go Right?” with thoughts including:The inspiration we can take from systems in nature for ourselves and communitiesThe value of a biomimetic approach to infrastructure development and business operationsThe difference in designing systems for positive output, beyond simply net zeroResourcesBiomimicry 3.8 www.biomimicry.netBiomimicry Institute www.biomimicry.orgSupport the showComplete Show Notes
Phoebe Barnard is an environmental and societal futures analyst and sustainability strategist, global change ecologist, biodiversity conservation biologist, climate risk and resilience specialist, policy wonk, and film co-producer. She is the chief executive officer at the Stable Planet Alliance and an affiliate professor at UW Bothell and UW Seattle. Phoebe works at the intersection of science, society, sustainability, policy, planning, and media storytelling.She addresses the question of “What Could Possibly Go Right?” with thoughts including:“Soldiering on through times of profound ecological angst” to make our positive contributionsThe importance of surrounding ourselves with “wonderful people… that are like-minded in their determination to make that positive future, that kinder, wiser, more humble, more sustainable civilization ahead happen.”That “these times call upon us to be the best kind of person that we can be” and “to bring out our most profound humanity”.Support the showComplete Show Notes
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