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What Could Go Right?

Author: The Progress Network with Zachary Karabell and Emma Varvaloucas

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What if instead of being on the brink of disaster, we’re on the cusp of a better world? No one can deny the challenges the world faces, from pandemics to climate change to authoritarianism. But pessimism and despair are too easy a response. Each week, Progress Network Founder Zachary Karabell and Executive Director Emma Varvaloucas convene a diverse panel of experts to discuss the central issues of our era, including sustainability, polarization, work, and the economy, and make the case for a brighter future. They emerge from their conversations with a counterintuitive but informed take: progress is on its way.

107 Episodes
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Has social media peaked? How is media different now compared to the early days of Twitter and Facebook? Are there too many social media options? Zachary and Emma speak with Ben Smith, editor-in-chief of Semafor, founding editor-in-chief of Buzzfeed, and author of "Traffic: Genius, Rivalry, and Delusion in the Billion-Dollar Race to Go Viral." Journalism's recent online progression, social media fragmentation, and the Facebook news evolution are discussed here today. What Could Go Right? is produced by The Progress Network and The Podglomerate. For transcripts, to join the newsletter, and for more information, visit: theprogressnetwork.org Watch the podcast on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/theprogressnetwork And follow us on X, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok: @progressntwrk Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
This week we’re sharing an episode of a podcast we think you’ll really like – The Boston Globe’s Say More. We are living in a time of deep uncertainty, marked by global conflicts, economic anxiety, and societal divisions. No wonder we're so uneasy. Progress Network member, and host of the “On Being” podcast Krista Tippett sits down with host Shirley Leung to explain why these uncertain times require a larger spiritual quest for meaning and stillness in modern life. We inhabit a noisy, distracting world of Slacks and texts, and we need to learn how to get quiet. It’s surprisingly hard, and Krista shares her own journey managing burnout and “befriending reality” in all its glorious messiness.  Find more episodes of Say More at https://link.chtbl.com/saymore?sid=whatcouldgoright Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
In this week's Progress Report, Zachary and Emma discuss the emotional state of the world, the decriminalization of marijuana in Brazil, and the surprising resilience of small islands to rising sea levels. They highlight the disconnect between individual experiences and collective perceptions, as well as the need for more positive stories in the media. What Could Go Right? is produced by The Progress Network and The Podglomerate. For transcripts, to join the newsletter, and for more information, visit: theprogressnetwork.org Watch the podcast on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/theprogressnetwork And follow us on X, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok: @progressntwrk Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
What does the surprising outcome of the Indian elections mean for the state of democracy there? Zachary and Emma delve into the failure of polling predictions and discuss the implications of the election results with Ravi Agrawal, the editor-in-chief of Foreign Policy. The conversation looks towards India's future growth and the challenges it faces. While India has the potential to attract companies and become a destination for business, average incomes remain low, and further reforms are needed. What Could Go Right? is produced by The Progress Network and The Podglomerate. For transcripts, to join the newsletter, and for more information, visit: theprogressnetwork.org Watch the podcast on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/theprogressnetwork And follow us on X, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok: @progressntwrk Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
In this week's Progress Report, Zachary and Emma look at a recent study that people are choosing to avoid the news due to its focus on negative stories. Efforts to repair the ozone hole have been successful, demonstrating the potential for positive change in environmental issues. The use of drones in agriculture can reduce pesticide use and have positive environmental and social impacts. Thailand's legalization of same-sex marriage is a positive development for LGBTQ rights in Southeast Asia. What Could Go Right? is produced by The Progress Network and The Podglomerate. For transcripts, to join the newsletter, and for more information, visit: theprogressnetwork.org Watch the podcast on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/theprogressnetwork And follow us on X, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok: @progressntwrk Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
How meaningful are our discussions with others? Are we truly listening to the other person? What are supercommunicators? Zachary and Emma speak with Charles Duhigg, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of "Supercommunicators: How to Unlock the Secret Language of Connection." Supercommunication methods, listening skills, and tools for measured responses are discussed here today. What Could Go Right? is produced by The Progress Network and The Podglomerate. For transcripts, to join the newsletter, and for more information, visit: theprogressnetwork.org Watch the podcast on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/theprogressnetwork And follow us on X, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok: @progressntwrk Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
In the first episode of our new weekly news podcast, Emma and Zachary look into the recent EU elections, school lunches in America, and how a YouTuber in Cyprus possibly won a seat in European Parliament by accident. What Could Go Right? is produced by The Progress Network and The Podglomerate. For transcripts, to join the newsletter, and for more information, visit: theprogressnetwork.org Watch the podcast on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/theprogressnetwork And follow us on X, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok: @progressntwrk Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
When we hear the word ‘revolution,’ we often think of the bloody conflicts of the past. But what constitutes a modern-day revolution within our current economic system and forms of government? Both parties within American politics have seen cultural revolutions and shifting value sets with each decade. Zachary and Emma discuss these changes with CNN host, journalist, and author Fareed Zakaria. His latest book, ‘Age of Revolutions,’ explores past and present conflicts that define the polarized and unstable age in which we live. What Could Go Right? is produced by The Progress Network and The Podglomerate. For transcripts, to join the newsletter, and for more information, visit: theprogressnetwork.org Watch the podcast on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/theprogressnetwork And follow us on X, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok: @progressntwrk Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Is social media safe for children? How old do kids need to be to have smartphones? Is Gen Z's mental health declining because of TikTok? Zachary and Emma speak with Jonathan Haidt, social psychologist and author of "The Anxious Generation." Social media's effect on brain development, TV Parental Guidelines and the internet's lack thereof, and the influence of video games on young men are discussed here today. What Could Go Right? is produced by The Progress Network and The Podglomerate. For transcripts, to join the newsletter, and for more information, visit: theprogressnetwork.org Watch the podcast on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/theprogressnetwork And follow us on X, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok: @progressntwrk Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Why do people hate taxes but seem proud to pay them? When did taxation in the US become such a lightning rod issue? And are American feelings about taxes unique? Today Zachary and Emma talk to Vanessa Williamson, senior fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution and a senior fellow at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center. The discussion weaves through taxation, redistribution, and political participation.  What Could Go Right? is produced by The Progress Network and The Podglomerate. For transcripts, to join the newsletter, and for more information, visit: theprogressnetwork.org Watch the podcast on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/theprogressnetwork And follow us on X, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok: @progressntwrk Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
How do we properly mine for public opinion? Can we trust polls again? And is there a "secret Biden voter" out there? Zachary and Emma speak with John Gerzema, CEO of The Harris Poll and columnist. The 2024 US presidential election, the mood of America, and major flaws of polling are discussed here today. What Could Go Right? is produced by The Progress Network and The Podglomerate. For transcripts, to join the newsletter, and for more information, visit: theprogressnetwork.org Watch the podcast on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/theprogressnetwork And follow us on X, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok: @progressntwrk Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
What does it mean to be a modern Jew? How do Jews in America handle their relationship to Israel, especially after the atrocities of October 7 and the subsequent war with Hamas? Zachary and Emma speak with Noah Feldman, Harvard professor and author of the new book 'To Be a Jew Today: A New Guide to God, Israel, and the Jewish People.' The Israel-Hamas war, levels of Jewishness, and how Gen Z sees things are talked about in today's conversation. What Could Go Right? is produced by The Progress Network and The Podglomerate. For transcripts, to join the newsletter, and for more information, visit: theprogressnetwork.org Watch the podcast on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/theprogressnetwork And follow us on X, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok: @progressntwrk Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
What is the cost of not investing in families in America? How can economic security be guaranteed? Zachary and Emma speak with Natalie Foster, President of the Economic Security Project and author of the new book ‘The Guarantee: Inside the Fight for America’s Next Economy.’ Baby bonds, student loans, why so many Americans dislike dealing with the government, and raising the economic floor are among the topics discussed today. What Could Go Right? is produced by The Progress Network and The Podglomerate. For transcripts, to join the newsletter, and for more information, visit: theprogressnetwork.org Watch the podcast on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/theprogressnetwork And follow us on X, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok: @progressntwrk Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
In the modern age of warfare, what does it mean for Americans to enter the armed forces? Zachary and Emma speak with veteran and author Phil Klay about the disconnect many people who serve in our current wars feel when they return back home, as well as the lack of understanding that American civilians have toward the complexities of these conflicts. Yet the military remains a major factor in the government’s budget and in Americans' patriotic pride. This discussion leads to questions about the morals of modern warfare and the care the nation owes to the veterans who have provided their service and the allies who have assisted in our efforts. What Could Go Right? is produced by The Progress Network and The Podglomerate. For transcripts, to join the newsletter, and for more information, visit: theprogressnetwork.org Watch the podcast on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/theprogressnetwork And follow us on X, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok: @progressntwrk Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Many news stories tend to focus on the doom and gloom of our current economy. Zachary and Emma speak with economist and author Allison Schrager, who tends to see things differently. Climbing wages, retirement planning, and even the current state of inflation are all positive elements of today's economy. TikTok and the rise of younger generations living at home are also hot button topics in today’s conversation. What Could Go Right? is produced by The Progress Network and The Podglomerate. For transcripts, to join the newsletter, and for more information, visit: theprogressnetwork.org Watch the podcast on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/theprogressnetwork And follow us on X, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok: @progressntwrk Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Can the idea of America looking beyond race work in such a divided time? Are there reasons we should still use race as a basis for public policy? Have colleges gone too far in their actions to confront racist actions in the past? Zachary Karabell and Emma Varvaloucas talk to Coleman Hughes, the author behind the new book 'The End of Race Politics: Arguments for a Colorblind America' to look at a modern approach to race that seems to be making waves. What Could Go Right? is produced by The Progress Network and The Podglomerate. For transcripts, to join the newsletter, and for more information, visit: theprogressnetwork.org Watch the podcast on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/theprogressnetwork And follow us on X, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok: @progressntwrk Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Negative news can be overwhelming, but it's important to question whether it accurately reflects our world. Join "What Could Go Right?" to hear positive stories from various experts and challenge the negative narrative. Let's strive for a more balanced view of what's happening today. Whether you need a change of perspective or change of heart, check out "What Could Go Right?" from The Progress Network, with Zachary Karabell and Emma Varvaloucas. What Could Go Right? is produced by The Progress Network and The Podglomerate. For transcripts, to join the newsletter, and for more information, visit: theprogressnetwork.org Watch the podcast on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/theprogressnetwork And follow us on X, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok: @progressntwrk Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
While we are hard at work on season six of What Could Go Right, we wanted to share another show we think you’ll really enjoy – The Ongoing Transformation.  The Ongoing Transformation is produced by our friends at Issues in Science and Technology. Each episode features conversations about science, technology, policy, and society. This episode explores the CHIPS and Science Act, which aim to secure American competitiveness and innovation by investing $280 billion in domestic semiconductor manufacturing, scientific innovation, and regional development.  But if past government investments in science and technology are any guide, this will affect American life in unexpected and profound ways—well beyond manufacturing and scientific laboratories. Hear Michael Crow, president of Arizona State University, and host Lisa Margonelli discuss these initiatives in the context of previous American security investments.  Find more episodes of The Ongoing Transformation wherever you listen to podcasts! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Are our fears about the future grounded in facts on the ground today? Will conflict and war wax or wane this century? And what global progress can we look to as examples of unexpected good occurring? Today, for our season finale, Zachary Karabell and Emma Varvaloucas reflect on lessons gleaned from this season's episodes. What Could Go Right? is produced by The Progress Network and The Podglomerate. For transcripts, to join the newsletter, and for more information, visit: theprogressnetwork.org Watch the podcast on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/theprogressnetwork And follow us on X, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok: @progressntwrk Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Are we defined by our jobs? What happens to ex-presidents after they leave office? And how does that apply to the current political landscape as we head into the 2024 election? Today, we're joined by Jared Cohen, author of the book 'Life After Power: Seven Presidents and Their Search for Purpose Beyond the White House,' to explore how these leaders transition, redefine their identities, and sometimes find higher callings post-presidency. What Could Go Right? is produced by The Progress Network and The Podglomerate. For transcripts, to join the newsletter, and for more information, visit: theprogressnetwork.org Watch the podcast on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/theprogressnetwork And follow us on X, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok: @progressntwrk Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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Comments (4)

Andrew Browne

Great to hear Democrats talking to other Democrats about how great are Democrats and why the polls really point to a Democrat win.

May 27th
Reply

Daniel Schaetz

you guys seem to miss the forest for the trees

Jul 8th
Reply

Matues Martins

hi mateus martins

Nov 16th
Reply

Old man

it's good to hear that some of the 1% are starting to read the writing on the wall. more of them need to get in front of inequity and fix it. If they don't fix it, the pitch Forks will. and we don't want that. The French Revolution was very ugly and nasty and messy.

Sep 11th
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