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Author: Wendy Morrill

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MetaPod is a podcast about podcasts.
62 Episodes
Nadia Marie is an artist born in New York, now living in Atlanta, Georgia. She is also a photographer, musician and now writer, contributing her writing and musical scoring to season 4 of iHeart Radio's show Dear Young Rocker.Dear Young Rocker is an audio memoir about girlhood, growing up in music and finding your place in the world. Presented as letters to a younger self, Dear Young Rocker explores how you became the person that you are today and what kinds of people you might have needed back then.In this episode of MetaPod, Wendy talks to Nadia Marie about writing, recording, scoring and sharing a deeply personal coming-of-age story with the world via podcast. Nadia Marie explains her strong belief in the benefits of talking to others about life's hardships. She also discusses the powerful role that music played in her recovery from amnesia. Aside from fairly serious topics like loneliness, grief, family, body image and women's reproductive rights, Wendy and Nadia Marie also figure out in the course of this MetaPod conversation what the ultimate new item of merch is for the Dear Young Rocker podcast.About Nadia MarieNadia Marie has been releasing music and performing since she was 13 years old. She first got her start playing bars and venues in Atlanta when she was only 14 years old. She grew an online cult-like following from there.She was awarded "Top Songs of the Year" and "Best of Atlanta" by Mainline Magazine in 2019 for her album Weekday Weekend. Her music has been featured in Open Ears Music, Mainline Magazine, Immersive Atlanta and she was named "Songwriter of the Year" by Creative Loafing in 2019.Her photography has been selected for display at Yale University, the Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art, and BurnAway's "art crush" publication. She has also presented work at the Georgia State Research Conference and published work for her series that focuses on ritual and rites of passage of cultural representations of women in the American South.Her latest release “Seven” is about a dialogue and the cyclical codependent relationship between the seven deadly sins and seven stages of grief. She composed all the instrumentation and produced the record herself. "Seven" and other music by Nadia Marie is available on Bandcamp. You can also follow Nadia Marie on Instagram. This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit
"Bands and musicians talk about their various and precarious side jobs."Just as MetaPod talks to creators of the web’s most interesting podcasts to get at the stories behind those podcasts, Giles Bidder of 101 Part Time Jobs talks to musicians about the other jobs they do alongside their work as artists. The result is a backstage pass of sorts to better understand what the minds, hearts and hands of indie rock are doing when they are not on stage, on tour or in the studio.Giles is thoughtful about artists as individuals and about the larger creative economy that they are part of. His DIY ethos makes him a good ally and advocate for musicians who want to create their own lifestyle or pursue work in non-traditional ways. He also has a great moustache.The 101 Part Time Jobs podcast offers insights about how musicians balance or blend work and art into a lifestyle. 101 Part Time Jobs is also a good podcast for discovering bands that you might know yet. particularly if you’re located outside of England.In this episode of MetaPod, Wendy talks to Giles about what makes 101 Part Time Jobs different than other music podcasts. They also talk about some of the unhealthy aspects of the music industry and Giles explains his biggest wish for musicians. Also, Giles is served a question that you'll hear him regularly ask guests on his own show.  As a result, he reveals some of his most embarrassing work stories.About Giles BidderGiles Bidder is the creator and presenter of the 101 Part Time Jobs podcast. He’s also a musician, writer and producer, having worked in print, radio and live events. You can also find the 101 Part Time Jobs podcast on Instagram. This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit
"Articles Of Interest is a show about what we wear."Avery Trufelman is the host and creator of Articles Of Interest and one of the few people on Earth who can connect the shape of a shoulder of a jacket to a major historical event. You might also know Avery from her affiliation with design podcast 99% Invisible or her work on Curbed's Nice Try! and New York Magazine's podcast The Cut. Avery was one of MetaPod’s first guests back in December 2020. In episode 2 of MetaPod, Avery joined us to discuss her work at The Cut, the weekly podcast companion to New York Magazine's column of the same name. However, this episode is devoted to Avery’s work on Articles Of Interest. More specifically, we talk a lot about the new series of the show, titled American Ivy. The new series explores the origin and evolution of this fashion style that what would eventually become known as “preppy”.Avery is intelligent, curious, self-aware, creative and funny. We touched on a lot of different subjects in this MetaPod conversation, including: preppy as a style, fashion trends and “vibes”, fashion forecasting, the “jeans of the future”, scent and our sense of smell, and clothing as a means to express ourselves... plus Liz Claiborne and Ralph Lauren!In this episode of MetaPod, I checked in on a few questions we asked Avery back in 2020. You'll also learn a bit about her appearance at Het Podcastfestival in Amsterdam, September 2022. This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit
Ranjay Gulati is an author, podcaster and Harvard Business School's Paul R. Lawrence MBA Class of 1942 Professor. He is often cited on matters of economics and business and has been studying resilience within organisations in order to understand how organisations grow and prosper under both good and bad circumstances.Professor Gulati’s podcast Deep Purpose is an extension of his work, published earlier in a book with the same title. Deep Purpose examines how business leaders "unlock" the potential of their organisations and people.At quick glance, Deep Purpose seems like business podcast and in this sense is one of the first to be featured on MetaPod. However, this is actually a podcast about people. and you don’t need to be interested in “business” as you might ordinarily think of it to enjoy the podcast. Ranjay speaks to business leaders from across the globe about how they integrate purpose into their work, communities, personal lives and well being.  Through inquisitive conversation, Ranjay is able to get CEOs to reveal their personal thoughts and feelings about their organisations, work, challenges and successes.MetaPod episode recommendation for Deep Purpose:* Unilever CEO Alan Jope Maintains a Long History of Doing GoodIn this episode of MetaPod Wendy enquires with Ranjay about the risks and challenges related to "going deep" on a purpose as a company. They discuss some of the cultural challenges companies have related to pursuing social "good" and also consider consumer expectations around corporate social responsibility. This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit
Panu Pihkala, a climate emotions scholar, and Thomas Doherty, a clinical and environmental psychologist, have created a one-of-a-kind podcast which explores human emotions and feelings around climate change. Climate Change and Happiness is a podcast that also talks about the ways individuals can develop their awareness of these feelings and acknowledge that others have them too. Panu is a scholar based in Helsinki, Finland and Thomas is a psychologist based in Portland, Oregon in the United States. Together their conversations are philosophical and practical, abstract and grounded, international and nuanced. You do not need to be an academic, clinician or social activist to plug into their conversations - they are welcoming, calm and exploratory. Some episodes feature guests from related fields of work while others look at emotions and climate change from seemingly unrelated angles, such as music, art and poetry. What is special about the tone of Climate Change and Happiness is that it is free of “shoulds” and the judgmental opinions and directives that often get associated with environmental activism. As you’ll hear in this MetaPod discussion, the one “should” is that their podcast have therapeutic value to listeners. In this episode of MetaPod we discuss the value of emotional intelligence and the personal risks and social costs of not acknowledging our emotions. You'll also hear Thomas and Panu explain their intentions to create an open-minded podcast that is comfortable with the idea of uncertainty amidst the negative and anxiety-inducing noise that currently exists around climate change.MetaPod episode recommendations for Climate Change and Happiness:* Climate music pt. 1 Panu's playlist* Climate music pt. 2 Thomas's playlist This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit
Have you ever experienced “fago” or felt “limerence”? Most likely you have, but didn't realise there were words for these emotional states.Getting Emotional is a podcast at the intersection of culture, language and emotion. Each episode is devoted to discovering a feeling or emotion, the word for it and the cultural context of its origin and use. Bex Lindsay is the presenter of Getting Emotional and described the discovery of a word related to grief that inspired her to create the podcast: "it's such a lovely thing when you feel a hand has been put out there in the darkness and it's for you - nobody else had shaken my hand in that way before."When she’s not podcasting, Bex is a radio presenter in the UK at Fun Kids Radio. She’s been recognised and awarded for her work in radio and podcasting and most recently won Silver at the 2022 British Podcast Awards for the Getting Emotional podcast.In this episode of MetaPod, Wendy and Bex discuss emotions, feelings and moods, as well as the changing cultural understandings of them over time. They also discuss music and emotion and you'll hear why Bex is such a big fan of the Scottish band Belle & Sebastian.  This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit
Don’t Quit Your Day Job … sounds like cautionary advice about something that you might fantasize about occasionally, right?Well, Don’t Quit Your Day Job is a podcast about and for people in cover bands. You know - the bands that play the songs you like at your local bar or neighborhood events, bands composed of people who do other things during the day, like teach children, take care of animals or manage an IT team... and people who put their sunglasses on at night and make sure you have a good time when you’re out with friends!Don’t Quit Your Day Job is hosted by Ray Auger, a radio personality and station manager at WMRC or “MyFM 101.3” in Milford, Massachusetts in the United States. Ray has a lot of jobs, and actually I don’t think he’d dream of quitting any of them. He's one of the voices behind New England Legends, a podcast exploring the spooky places of New England, but his new podcast allows people in bands to talk about how they pursue their passion for music and entertaining while getting all the other stuff in life taken care of too. The conversations are full of humble advice from experienced, and humorous, part-time musicians, but Ray and his guests pull back the stage curtain for others too, giving fans and business owners ideas about how the nighttime entertainment economy works from the cover band perspective.In this episode of MetaPod, Wendy talks to Ray about the work and relationships involved in being in a band and how bands, audiences and music venues depend on each other to do good business. You'll also hear how Ray turns the occasional live gig screw up into entertainment and about the time he disappointed someone in the audience because he couldn't hit Axl Rose's high parts on “Sweet Child O' Mine”. This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit
Hosted by Gavin Conner, Charles "Chaz" Murphy and Antonio Longo, The Holy Hour brings fans from around the globe together in discussing and dissecting The Cure's expansive 40+ year career.  Started in 2015, more than 200 episodes offer something for every fan, no matter which era of The Cure you prefer.In this episode of MetaPod, Wendy talks to Gavin about what makes for a good fan podcast dedicated to a single band and why a podcast, in contrast to other types of media, is ideal for discussing music. Gavin also shares the origin story of the podcast, the evolution of The Holy Hour and the community that has built up around it. Wendy and Gavin also discuss recent topics related to the band, including The Cure's European "Lost World" 2022 tour, new songs debuted on the tour, a forthcoming album of The Cure, the return of Perry Bamonte to The Cure and many more fan musings - plus a live clip from Helsinki. This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit
"Rumble Strip gives you extraordinary stories about ordinary life."This episode of MetaPod features two New Englanders talking about how to capture the culture of the region for a podcast. That would be Erica Heilman, creator of Rumble Strip, a podcast that she makes in her underwear closet in Vermont, and Wendy, host of MetaPod and native of the Live Free or Die State (aka New Hampshire).Erica is an award-winning indie podcaster and has been producing stories for radio for 15+ years. She calls Rumble Strip "a show about people getting through the day". Although the scenes and smells are characteristic of life in Vermont, Rumble Strip listeners will discover that people are more alike than different. Wendy and Erica discuss how Erica manages to ride tractors, hunt grouse, learn to skin cows while being in a state of wonder talking to people about what the heck is going on. Wendy also asks about the Peabody Award for Erica's episode Finn and the Bell and what it was like to work with band Sylvan Esso on a podcast. And finally, Wendy asks Erica to describe some of the unique smells of Vermont and how she's included them in Rumble Strip.  Oh, and p.s. Erica reveals her power song!Show notesFifty. A Phoenix Moment (Total Eclipse of the Heart)Forrest Foster, Independent DairymanVirtual JusticeSylvan Esso (band)Shaking Out the Numb (produced by Erica Heilman)About Erica HeilmanErica Heilman invites herself into people’s homes to find out what they know, hate, love, what they’re afraid of, and what makes them more like you than you’d realized. These are messy, obsessively crafted stories of the everyday. Rumble Strip’s Finn and the Bell won a Peabody Award in 2022. The Our Show series was named the #1 podcast of 2020 by The Atlantic. Erica’s independent radio work has aired on NPR, Hearing Voices, SOUNDPRINT, CBC, BBC, KCRW’s UnFictional, KCRW’s Lost Notes, and on major public radio affiliates across the United States.Follow MetaPod >>Twitter | Instagram | Facebook This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit
"For Keeps spotlights interesting, unusual or unexpected collections of things and the people who keep them."This episode of MetaPod turns the spotlight around on David Peterkofsky and his podcast For Keeps, which explores the world of collecting. As you might expect, you'll discover that people collect some fairly unusual things. However, For Keeps is more than a show about stuff."Really the idea of how these people relate to the things they have collected is what drew me to the idea," he explains about the origin of the For Keeps podcast.In this conversation, David discusses the connections that collectors have with their collections. He shares what he has learned collectors have in common, irrespective of the types of things collected. You'll also hear some of the stories behind episodes of For Keeps. Wendy and David discuss how collectors view the Internet and its impact on collecting and the communities around collections. Lastly, David entertains the idea of featuring an NFT collector on the podcast.  Show notes:Archiving Prince, with Sound Engineer Susan RogersKMart In-Store Music Tapes, Saved by Mark Davis Elliott Smith's Musical Legacy, with Collector Charlie RamirezGame Show Props and History, with Bob BodenAbout David PeterkofskyDavid Peterkofsky has a background in print journalism and marketing communications, but the power of audio storytelling led him in 2017 to launch For Keeps, which spotlights interesting, unusual, or unexpected collections of items and the people who keep them. By interviewing the keepers of items relating to pop culture, history, geography, and more, he has learned quite a bit about what makes these passionate enthusiasts tick — and engaged in deeper dives on a wide range of topics along the way. David is based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Follow MetaPod >>Twitter | Instagram | Facebook This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit
"EARTH RIOT is a comedy-infused, music-filled exploration of humanity’s most urgent issue - the planet’s sixth extinction."In this episode of MetaPod, Wendy talks to radical performance artists Reverend Billy Talen and Savitri D about the EARTH RIOT podcast and their activism. The pair are known in New York City for their art combining performance and protest to raise issues about capitalism, corporate greed, consumerism, the environment and other social issues. Reverend Billy and Savitri D are the founders and fire behind the community of performance artists/activists known as The Church of Stop Shopping, which includes the Stop Shopping Choir. The community is active in New York City and there is also a Stop Shopping Choir based in London.EARTH RIOT with Reverend Billy and Savitri D is a podcast and radio programme that offers an entertaining and imaginative mash-up of environmental news and thought starters delivered with music, song and conviction. As Reverend Billy is fond of proclaiming, "Earthaleujah!"Show notes:The Earth Cancels the Environmental Movement (EARTH RIOT ep. 4)The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth KolbertBankTrackVeteran anti-consumerist crusader Reverend Billy takes aim at climate change (NPR, November 26, 2021)Follow MetaPod >>Twitter | Instagram | Facebook This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit
"Goodniks is a podcast series exploring the journey and meaning of doing good in the world — for people who do good or are just thinking about it." How do people do good in the world and why do they do it? Goodniks shares first-hand accounts of "doing good" from the ground. Stories of doing good come from social service providers, nurses, movement organisers, police officers, and activists. The podcast responds to a "very real and tangible need" of people wanting to do good, but not knowing how to get started.  "We're living in a time where we are finally recognising critical roles that first responders play, that teachers play, that grocery store workers play - and redefining what good means," said Annalisa Enrile. "I think it's daunting and intimidating when you think about doing good in the world as these huge macro changes."In this episode of MetaPod, we discuss some of the common threads among people changing the world in big and small ways. We learn that being open to doing things outside of your comfort zone and having mentors who champion your capacity are key. We also spend time considering some of the challenging aspects of activism and service to humanity. Counter-intuitive strategies to persevere in the face of adversity, unhealthy motivations to do good and kindness are revealed as a few of the personal challenges that Goodniks come up against.Annalisa Enrile also describes the power of storytelling in education and activism. She also shares a personal story about being championed by a colleague.Show notes"Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” - Audre Lorde"Why acknowledging and celebrating the Black feminist origins of ‘self-care’ is essential" Bryony Porteous-Sebouhian, Mental Health TodayAbout Annalisa EnrileAnnalisa Enrile is a professor of social work at University of Southern California's School of Social Work, training a generation of change makers. She is a storyteller, anti-trafficking warrior and defender of women and girls.Annalisa is one of the few Filipina PhDs in social work, having chosen the field as a way to bring to light important social issues in the Filipino-American community, the fastest-growing Asian immigrant population. She frequently speaks out against sex trafficking, anti-militarization and exploitative migrant labor. A voice for equity and global justice, the clinical associate professor has been recognized as one of the 100 Most Influential Filipinas in the World (FWN Global 100) for her efforts to stop violence against women. She has worked with students, communities and academic partners to create social change through innovation and collaboration. Annalisa is also presenter of the Goodniks podcast, an audio storytelling series exploring the journey and meaning of doing good in the world.Follow MetaPod >>Twitter | Instagram | Facebook This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit
"Women making music with technology"Girls Twiddling Knobs is a "feminist tech podcast" filling the gap between conversations about music gear and the human experience of creating music with that gear.Produced by Isobel Anderson, a UK-based musician, recording artist and producer, the podcast developed as an extension to music tech resources that Anderson was sharing with other women. It's also part of Anderson's Female DIY Musician platform, an online educational community for women learning to record and produce their own music."I definitely am seeing that the podcast is having a really, really positive impact," said Anderson. "I hope in its entirely, when people listen to the podcast, it builds up to a combination of having some techniques up their sleeve, but also not feeling so alone. Also, just better understanding what might be contributing to, if they've had negative experiences in the industry. But, also helping them to feel really excited about the creative possibilities of music technology."In this episode of MetaPod, we discuss Isobel Anderson's experience developing the Female DIY Musician and Home Recording Academy as educational platforms that foster gender inclusion and diversity in music. Isobel also offers insights on the current position of women in music technology and the broader music industry. Furthermore, Isobel talks about the work conditions that act as barriers to entry for women interested in music and technology. Most importantly, she suggests key changes that could remove barriers for women and minorities to enter and succeed in music.Show notesIsobel Anderson dot comSallyAbout Isobel AndersonBetween her 20+ years making, performing and producing music, a PhD in Sonic Arts and a passion for creating supportive music tech education spaces for women, Isobel's career embraces a sense of independence and experimentation. Her four solo albums have amassed over 25 million Spotify streams, her sound works have been performed on international stages and she has published in journals, such as Organised Sound and The Journal of Sonic Studies. Threaded throughout her work is a fascination with how we make sense of ourselves, the world around us and the process of creative exploration itself.  Isobel is proud to produce and host the critically acclaimed feminist music tech podcast, Girls Twiddling Knobs and in 2018 founded The Female DIY Musician, an online resource helping women learn to record and produce their music.Follow MetaPod >>Twitter | Instagram | Facebook This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit
“Something About The Beatles is an intelligent but entertaining examination of The Beatles’ music and career. Smart, funny and surprising – just like the Fab Four.“Robert Rodriguez can tell you something about The Beatles. In fact, he knows and can tell so much about Liverpool’s greatest export that his podcast is fast approaching 250 episodes.That’s a lot of information, discussion and analysis about one subject!But Rodriguez has managed to slice and dice elements of The Beatles’ story that each episode can give the listener something new, something intriguing about the so-called Fab Four.In such high regard is his podcast, the director of the recent Get Back movie, Peter Jackson appeared on the show for an extraordinarily in-depth (and fantastic) interview that is highly unlikely he would’ve done elsewhere.In this episode of MetaPod, we discuss with Rodriguez how the podcast came together, how it’s possible to dissect a subject so thoroughly and what he REALLY thinks about the Get Back movie.Follow MetaPod >>Twitter | Instagram | Facebook This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit
The Extortion Economy examines "the money, people and technology behind the explosion of ransomware that is delivering hundreds of millions of dollars to cybercriminals around the world."Cybercrime is a growth market with a variety of tools, services and practices. It is an industry that is quickly professionalising to become a systemic threat to society.In this episode of MetaPod we talk to Meg Marco about the growth and professionalisation of cybercrime. Meg explains how the business of ransomware works and the actors and technologies, including insurance and cryptocurrency.We also discuss how victims of ransomware have become "consumers" of cybersecurity services, complicit in a vicious cycle of business-like crime.Show notesThe Extortion Economy: How Insurance Companies Are Fueling a Rise in Ransomware Attacks, ProPublica, August 27, 2019The Lazarus HeistAbout Meg MarcoMeg Marco is the Editor in Chief of Observer leading all editorial operations for the Observer brand. Before joining Observer Media, Meg held senior editorial positions at ProPublica, The Wall Street Journal and Axios.At ProPublica her team’s work was honored with the 2021 National Magazine Award for Social Media. She was part of the team of editors whose work was a finalist for the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.She is also formerly the editor and head of product of Consumerist, a Gawker Media publication that was later acquired by Consumer Reports. During her tenure, Consumerist produced deeply reported coverage of topics such as fraud, surprise medical bills, for-profit colleges, telecom policy, consumer privacy and product safety.Meg is author of Field Guide to the Apocalypse, a satirical guide to surviving the end of the world published by Simon & Schuster in 2005, well in advance of the actual end time.Follow MetaPod >>Twitter | Instagram | Facebook This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit
“Can the power of voice lead to a deeper connection?”It's Nice to Hear You is parts experiment, memoir, dating show, self-help, science, and analysis, all thoughtfully combined into an entertaining and insightful podcast.Underpinning It's Nice to Hear You is an audio-only matchmaking experiment, designed by Heather Li, creator and presenter of the podcast. Imagine pen-pals, but instead of letters, people exchange voice memos. Now imagine that you have a pile of audio material with which to tell several stories about how human connections work - or don't."The way I designed the show is at the intersection of a lot of different genres," says Heather Li.In this episode of MetaPod, we talk to Heather Li about how she designed an anonymous voice-only matchmaking experiment and carried it out as "Yves D. Ropper" in the confines of the COVID-19 pandemic.We learn about the challenges and surprises she came across in the experiment, including issues around gender balance, engaging with voice only and imagination in the absence of visual information. Heather also discusses what she learned about the "science of compatibility" and how artificial intelligence is developing to be applied to online dating platforms.Show notesThe 5 Love Languages, Gary ChapmanThe 36 Questions That Lead to Love, New York Times, January 9, 2015On New Podcasts, The Sound of Falling in Love, New York Times, January 26, 2022Behavioral SignalsAbout Heather LiHeather Li is an enthusiastic hobbyist, consumer of culture, and seeker of connection. Professionally, she advises companies from startups to Fortune 500 companies in brand strategy, specializing in experiential retail. She is also a podcast producer, writing and creating the award-winning series, It’s Nice to Hear You, about human connection based on an anonymous dating experiment. The genre-bending series has been featured in New York Times, The Guardian, among other press. Heather has an MBA from Columbia Business School and is currently based in Los Angeles. When she is not working, Heather enjoys browsing vintage furniture, practising aerial silks, and learning about Dutch golden age paintings.Follow MetaPod >>Twitter | Instagram | Facebook This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit
“What if instead of being on the brink of disaster, we’re on the cusp of a better world?”What Could Go Right? is the podcast of The Progress Network, an "idea movement for a better future. The Progress Network examines issues like population growth, the environment, public health, the future of work, international relations, and the economy - all through the lens of global progress. Without succumbing to Pollyanna-ism, Zachary Karabell and Emma Varvaloucas, co-hosts of What Could Go Right? demonstrate that optimism can be put to work for achieving a better future."It's funny, if you talk to a lot of our network members, they're fairly allergic to the term, said Emma Varvaloucas, Executive Director of The Progress Network. "We try not to over-use the term because it has such a bad rap, generally. Optimists are viewed as stupid or sticking their heads in the sand - not that I think that; I think optimists are extraordinarily useful for the world."A goal of The Progress Network is to counteract negative, pessimistic outlooks and media coverage of global topics. The podcast amplifies research, thinking and voices that point to a better future, instead of a worse one."It's less that I am convinced that the future will be better or that things are good than I am convinced that we are all responsible for making it so," stated Zachary Karabell, Founder of The Progress Network. "The future is unknown and we're all daily responsible for creating it. In so far as you believe, in a fatalistic way, that the future is written and that it's writing is negative, I think that's a recipe for individual and collective apathy."In this episode of MetaPod we discuss the objectives of The Progress Network with Zachary and Emma. They explain how The Progress Network is building a foundation for alternative approaches to public discourse and engagement on important issues. We also hear examples of this approach and how it differs to that of mainstream media. Examples of what can go right include achievements in global health, stability of international relations, and unprecedented levels of social spending by governments during the COVID-19 pandemic.NB: This conversation was recorded on February 16th, 2022 - about one week before Russia invaded Ukraine.About Zachary KarabellZachary Karabell is the founder of The Progress Network. He is an author, columnist, and investor and president of River Twice Capital. Previously, he was Head of Global Strategies at Envestnet, a publicly traded financial services firm. Prior to that, he was President of Fred Alger & Company. In addition, he ran the River Twice Fund from 2011–2013, an alternative fund that focused on sustainability.Karabell is a Contributing Editor for Wired and for Politico. He is a frequent contributor to Time and The Washington Post and previously wrote “The Edgy Optimist” column for Slate, Reuters, and The Atlantic. He is a LinkedIn Influencer and a commentator on CNBC, Fox Business, and MSNBC, and contributes to such publications as The Guardian, The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Foreign Policy, and Foreign Affairs.About Emma VarvaloucasEmma Varvaloucas, an editor and writer with over a decade’s experience in nonprofit media, is executive director of The Progress Network. She was the executive editor of Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, the premier publication covering Buddhist news, culture, and Buddhism’s new home in the West, where she oversaw editorial strategy and production as well as the release of several new ventures, including Buddhism foFollow MetaPod >>Twitter | Instagram | Facebook This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit
“The 1990s were a turning point in music: with the increasingly connected world enabling an unprecedented coalescence of various styles and genres, the decade featured the rapid evolution of sonic artistry — and subsequently shaped the soundscape of eras that followed.“The 1990s were a bit of a strange decade. The post-Cold War landscape gave us attempts at looser forms of politics (does anyone still remember “The Third Way”?) and a cultural explosion to match.Music that started finding its feet in the 1970s and 1980s was thrust into the mainstream (disco, R&B and punk became techno, hip hop and grunge) and sonic stalwarts of the previous decade reinvented themselves (again).Step forward, Rob Harvilla, host of 60 Songs That Explain The 90s – a podcast from The Ringer that he created and hosts.It’s no ordinary, tick-the-boxes music podcast by any stretch of the imagination, with Rob curating, narrating and debating songs from the decade that meant a lot to him, to the music industry – hell, even society, in some cases.The show is funny, informative and thought-provoking, which is a pretty good description of his chat with us for our episode of MetaPod.We find out why he selected songs (or didn’t) for his collection in the show, what it was like being Rob Harvilla in the 90s and, as is now customary on MetaPod, a rapid-fire question round at the end.About Rob HarvillaRob Harvilla is a senior staff writer at The Ringer and the host of 60 Songs That Explain The 90s. He’s written for the Village Voice, Deadspin, SPIN, Pitchfork, and various other places that may or may not exist anymore. He lives with his largish family in Columbus, Ohio.Follow MetaPod >>Twitter | Instagram | Facebook This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit
“Sweet Bobby is a live, multi-part investigation in search of one of the world’s most sophisticated catfishers. It’s a story about who we are online, and how social media can be weaponised as a tool of abuse and coercion.“If you didn’t know what “catfishing” is, Sweet Bobby will be an extremely strange introduction to the world of online deception and fake identities.Kirat is the victim of catfishing in this real-life story from Tortoise Media’s Alexi Mostrous, with her cousin Simran emerging years after it started as the unlikely perpetrator.It’s a complex and often unsettling tale, which Alexi navigates cleverly to make sure some of the key voices in the story are heard, including those of Kirat and the real Bobby (rather than the fake Bobby who manipulated Kirat’s life for years).The podcast has won plaudits across the mainstream media, being featured regularly in “Best New Podcast” lists. Accolades it fully deserves.In his interview for this episode of MetaPod, Alexi explains how his investigation evolved and gives his opinion on many of the complex aspects of the case.Show notesKirat Assi: “Bobby tried to destroy my hopes, my dreams, every part of my life” – Guardian What happened to the catfisher after the shock revelation? – Metro Sweet Bobby on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s HourTortoise MediaAbout Alexi MostrousAlexi Mostrous worked at The Times and at the Guardian for 13 years in roles including head of investigations and Saturday news editor, before joining Tortoise Media as a partner in September 2019.In 2013 he won News Reporter of the Year and Scoop of the Year for exposing celebrities such as Jimmy Carr and Gary Barlow as aggressive tax avoiders. In 2018 he was nominated for the same awards for his reporting on Google and Facebook.He has reported from both London and Washington DC as a Stern Fellow for the Washington Post. Previously a barrister, Mostrous studied English at Cambridge University.Follow MetaPod >>Twitter | Instagram | Facebook This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit
“From ghostly phantoms to UFOs, Uncanny host Danny Robins investigates real-life stories of paranormal encounters.”How do you follow up on the tremendous impact of The Battersea Poltergeist – the hit podcast from Danny Robins in 2021?You create a new series of ghostly stories from its listeners.This is what Robins did in late 2021 (at the same time as his award-winning play, 2:22 A Ghost Story, was playing in London’s West End), producing the chilling and equally unsettling Uncanny.Robins spoke to MetaPod about The Battersea Poltergeist for our 15th episode, so we were thrilled to have him back to discuss his latest podcast.In our interview, we discuss some of the threads that are common to many of the stories he recounts in the show, why tales of UFOs are just as bizarre as the supernatural, what makes a truly terrifying ghost story and whether he’s a believer or not.We also find out if Robins would stay at some of the locations he’s featured on the show and how the “Bloody Hell, Ken” slogan has become a calling card (literally) for all things spooky.About Danny RobinsDanny Robins is an award-winning writer and journalist. He writes and makes drama, comedy and documentaries for TV, audio and the stage.His interest in ghosts stems back to childhood. He has made several shows about the supernatural, most recently the acclaimed podcast Haunted, exploring real-life ghost stories.Danny grew up in Newcastle and started performing and writing comedy aged 15. As a comedy writer for BBC Radio 4, he has written the hugely popular shows The Museum of Everything, Rudy’s Rare Record and The Cold Swedish Winter. For TV he co-created the RTS-Award winning CBBC series Young Dracula and has presented for shows such as BBC2’s The Culture Show and Newsnight. He has written two critically-acclaimed stage plays, including the award-winning 2:22 A Ghost Story.Amongst his weirder achievements, he also once had a Number 11 hit single without realising it, entered North Korea for a few minutes and came second in the UK AirGuitar Championship final (he was robbed). He lives in Walthamstow in East London with his Swedish wife and two sons.Follow MetaPod >>Twitter | Instagram | Facebook This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit