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Firstly, sorry I'm late posting this. I was on a clifftop in Cornwall and the sun was shining and so it took me a while to get home! But, I must say that this episode is absolutely worth the wait. One of my favourites so far. This week we are exploring the black imagination, with two amazing guests. Natasha Marin is an antiracism consultant based i…
 
This is such an incredible episode. One of those ones I had to go off and sit under a tree afterwards to absorb. Today we talk about gender. I grew up in a society that thought in terms of two genders, you were male or you were female. This was accompanied by expectations that men behaved in ways that were ‘masculine’, and women in ways seen as bei…
 
Episode Thirty. Wow. Whoever thought we'd get this far? Thank you so much for your support in making that possible. We have a delicious episode to mark this moment. Farzana Khan is a writer, director, cultural producer and award-winning Arts educator. She is the co-founder and Director of Healing Justice London. She has a background in Youth and Co…
 
If you had a Time Machine, which year would you set the dial to? This episode is about time travel. More specifically, it is about using imaginary time travel, or futurism, or deep dreaming, or whatever you want to call it, in our activism. Why is it so powerful to invite people to imagine the future? What does it do to us to step into an imaginary…
 
The time for imagining that change happens in small, incremental steps is now way behind us. As Naomi Klein says, "there are no non-radical solutions left". Today we are thinking big. Really big. With big thinkers. While some of our episodes focus on what if questions that are quite specific and focused, in this episode, Episode Twenty-Eight, we ar…
 
This new episode, one of my favourite so far, comes with a challenge. Can you listen to it and not reimagine your own relationship with flying or, as one of our guests puts it, being "twanged around in an aluminium sausage"? I stopped flying in 2006. I travel to the far reaches of Europe on the train, travelling to Sweden, Denmark, Austria, Italy, …
 
These days of COVID have shown us that extraordinary profound reimagining of many aspects of society are entirely possible. Might this be the time to forever do away with the idea that the only way to measure our progress, cultural, social, spiritual, economic, is purely by how much bigger our economy is than it was last year? It’s a weird metric… …
 
Let’s imagine, and this takes quite a leap in Britain in 2021 I’ll grant you, but stay with me, that we had a government who recognised that we are living through a time of imaginative contraction alongside a climate and ecological emergency, a social justice emergency and so much more. Let’s imagine that they were able to recognise this as the cri…
 
When was the last time you read a book cover to cover? And if you are still able to do this, do you feel you read in the same way you did, say, 20 years ago? How is the decline in our collective attention span affecting our ability to read and, by extension, our collective capacity for knowledge, wisdom and art? What do we lose when we lose our abi…
 
Today we are looking at street art. Street art has stood alongside the fight for climate justice, the Black Lives Matter revolution, and pretty much every mass uprising for change through history. But is it just decoration? Or does it have the power to deeply shift a culture? To fire the collective imagination? And what if it was everywhere? I am j…
 
This week we are exploring failure. More precisely, what if we were able to create a culture in which failure is embraced, celebrated even, rather than feared, avoided or ridiculed? What would society look like if we embraced failure in politics, education, economics and everyday life, indeed if we learned from a young age that failure was just as …
 
It was recently announced that Chuck Feeney, the Irish American former airport duty free shopping entrepreneur who was worth $8bn, had, at the age of 89, succeeded in his goal of giving away all of his money to initiatives working to make the world a better place. Every cent. He suggested that to give away a huge fortune was far more fun than holdi…
 
Today we are exploring the question of trauma, and I must confess that recording this conversation rather blew my mind, as it will no doubt blow yours. I had to lie down afterward and digest it for a while. I am joined by two amazing thinkers for this conversation. I hope you love it. Susan Raffo is a bodyworker, cultural worker and writer. For the…
 
By now, in this journey into 'From What If to What Next', it is clear that one of the key things in our world in 2021 that needs reimagining is our education system. In this episode, we explore how it might be if at the heart of that reimagining were permaculture principles. How would the underpinning of the National Curriculum with permaculture pr…
 
Our far-reaching conversation, which could have gone on for hours, explores our relationship with land, and how a reimagining of that could unlock so much. My thanks to both of my guests for their generosity and wisdom. Josina Calliste is a health professional, community organiser, and one of the co-founders of Land in Our Names (LION), a black-led…
 
Of all the 17 episodes of this podcast so far, this is the one that I had to go off somewhere quiet afterwards for a while to digest. It is a very powerful and fascinating discussion. My two guests are extraordinary, and I feel so blessed that they could make the time to join me in this wonderful What If exploration. Sherri Mitchell (Weh’na Ha’mu’ …
 
Play is a devalued aspect of both childhood and adulthood which has been declining now for decades, and its decline has had many knock-on effects across society. What would it be like if we decided to give it a huge boost, to create the ideal conditions for a re-emergence of play across education, economics, planning, and so much more? What might t…
 
During the first Coronavirus lockdown in the UK, a strange phenomenon was seen in towns and cities across the country. As councils became unable, or unwilling, to maintain their usual programmes of spraying weeds and cutting grass, pavements began to feature what had previously been dismissed as 'weeds'. In response, and using a hashtag #MoreThanWe…
 
One of the things we love most here at 'From What If to What Next' is stories of people bringing imagination to their activism, of impactful, thought-provoking projects that engage our imagination and our playfulness. One of the very best examples of this that we've ever seen is The Bank Job in Walthamstow, London, the work of printmaker Hilary Pow…
 
We live in a world where so much political decision-making seems to be based on short-term thinking, the next opinion poll, next quarter, next election, yet so many of the problems we face are the result of our failing to think in the long term. We use the future as a place to dump the problems we can't resolve, to dump our pollution, carbon emissi…
 
In the US, as elsewhere, vast amounts of money are poured into mass incarceration and brutal and violent policing. What if instead that money was invested into the communities that bear the burnt of this approach to criminal justice, into healthcare, wellbeing, opportunity, safety? Andrea J. Ritchie is a Black lesbian immigrant police misconduct at…
 
So many of those who listen to this podcast are trying, in one way or another, to bring about change in the world. Whether it is the more confrontational activism demonstrated by groups like Extinction Rebellion and Black Lives Matter, or grassroots organising and working to build the alternative, we are all trying to understand how to be the most …
 
The uprising of Black Lives Matter and other organisations have led to many calls for the decolonisation of education at every level. But what does it mean to decolonise education? As Boris Johnson dismisses such calls as a “national orgy of self-embarrassment”, does decolonising education mean simply changing the curriculum, or does it go much, mu…
 
Here is Episode Nine. Our question this time was slightly adapted from one sent in by subscriber Pamela Barnes. As the world attempts to claw its way back from the COVID19 pandemic, and as opinion polls show an overwhelming support for not ‘going back’ to how things were before, people are increasingly discussing and exploring new models for an eco…
 
In this episode we are exploring a question sent in by subscriber Joy Cherkaoui. One of the things a future in which imagination is able to flourish will need is spaces in which imagination and creativity are invited. Intentionally. These can take many forms, but we need them. What then are the ingredients of such spaces? What makes a good one? Who…
 
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