We all have them – that friend who has taught themselves underwater basketweaving or some other totally unfathomable skill during the pandemic. But education doesn’t require expensive classes, loads of equipment, or dragging a wading pool into your home. It’s all about finding the right podcast!
There are so many topics we could all use a primer on, so starting with what’s interesting or valuable to you is key. For us, this week we wanted to learn a bit more about climate change and sustainability. We’re always on the lookout for podcasts that promote intersectionality (especially if they’re talking about something from a feminist perspective) which is how we found Mothers of Invention, “a podcast on feminist climate change solutions from (mostly) women around the world.”
Back for its third season, Mothers of Invention is hosted by former Irish president Mary Robinson, comedian Maeve Higgins, and producer Thimali Kodikara who welcome listeners in with ease. If you’re feeling intimidated by the weight of climate change as a topic, Mary, Maeve and Thimali’s chemistry will quickly make you feel welcome. Titles aside, these three individuals are here to learn and share with their listeners, a lesson we can all forget as podcasters when we’re discussing a theme we’re passionate about.
Along with our trio of hosts, Mothers of Invention offers us interviews with experts in climate change, from scientists and researchers to activists and politicians. These guests come from all over the world to talk about aspects of climate change that some listeners may have never considered before, like climate reparations to countries who are disproportionately impacted by increasingly devastating droughts, floods, and other extreme weather conditions.
A key aspect to building the sense of community within the programme is how listeners are encouraged to participate. Those tuning in at home are invited to record sounds from their lives and send them in to be featured. But we are also asked to participate and see ourselves in the hosts, as when Maeve and Thimali decide to write a letter to a local official about the dumping of waste into the Hudson River in New York. Here we can easily see ourselves in the discussion of two women who have possibly never written their local elected officials before, and are unsure where to start or how to be effective. With Mary offering insight into what an official is likely to read or respond to, our own anxieties are eased about making sure the issues important to us are being confronted by our local government. We, too, can write a letter about climate change, education, or any other topic that moves us. (And we should!)
To learn more about climate change and experience the atmosphere of Mothers of Invention for yourself, check out mothersofinvention.online. New episodes are available on Wednesdays through the website, Spotify, and everywhere you get your podcasts!