Inspiring Environmental Podcasts of 2020

There may have been no festival season this year, but there have been plenty of podcasts. Lock-down provided me with a chance to listen to a few, and so here’s some favourites, including a couple of festival-produced series, sessions with friends Mac Macartney and Ed Gillespie, a homage to Rob Hopkins’ must-read book From What Is To What If, and a podcast presented by Jamie Pike in which I share my journey with Shambala. Enjoy :0)

Header image credit: Ania Shrimpton, Shambala Festival 2019

Mothers Of Invention

Hosted by producer Thimali Kodikara, comedian Maeve Higgins and former Irish president Mary Robinson, this series explores climate justice through a feminist lens. Full of compassion and humour these women seek out (mostly) female experts to find solutions to complex man-made problems.

Bioneers: Revolution from the heart of nature

The Bioneers podcast is a rich collection of conferences, a platform for incredible thinkers that do not have a voice in the mainstream media. Every episode is slick, highly intellectual yet wholly digestible, addressing climate change, social justice, evolution, democracy and so much more.

The New Navigators Featuring Chris Johnson

In this podcast presented by inspirational ethical entrepreneur, coach and Bio-leadership pioneer Jamie Pike, I share how Shambala grew from a few friends in a field to the festival it is today, and how mentors and ceremony have played an increasingly important role in my life.

The Great Humbling

There is something utterly refreshing about hearing Ed Gillespie and Dougald Hine candidly acknowledge, with humour, the collective crisis we are all living through. Not for the faint hearted, promptly hopping from climate change to children’s literature to 14th century chess before you’ve even boiled the kettle!

Somewhere To Believe In: A Greenbelt Podcast

Keeping the spirit of Greenbelt Festival alive, Somewhere To Believe In invites musicians, comedians, poets & activists to put the world to rights by exploring those critical spaces that lie between creativity, activism and faith.

The Goods

Joss Ford, of ethical marketing agency Enviral, approaches this series with a genuine passion and curiosity for people and their stories. Guests include activists, entrepreneurs and environmentalists who are all striving to do Good (with a capital G) in their worlds.

Slow Food Youth Network Podcast

This podcast is absolutely full of charm, with each episode being released in conjunction with this year’s virtual Terra Madre Salone Del Gusto. Host Valentina Gritti will take you on a journey across the globe, amplifying the voices of indigenous people who are deeply connected to our food systems.

From What If to What Next

This gem of a podcast has served as a real antidote to 2020. Rob Hopkins, with each purposefully chosen guest, answers questions like ‘What if every city used Donut Economics?’ and ‘What if birdsong drowned out the traffic?’ to ignite joy and hope for a new caring and regenerative future. The very act of dismantling the current systems in our imagination makes a new reality feel possible.

Music Declares Emergency Radio

Technically not a podcast, but definitely well worth some of your auditory attention. Hosts Sam Lee and Faye Milton release a programme once a month of carefully curated music, climate science and latest MDE news. A great way to educate yourself on the MDE campaign, while also dancing out some of those frustrations.

Accidental Gods

Listening to Accidental Gods feels like medicine. Not just because of Manda Scott’s pensive and soothing voice, but also because every episode does a deep dive into the core of what it means to be alive on this earth. Like a collection of meditations, this podcast will nourish you with ideas for people and planet that are both ancient and cutting edge.

Shambala Speaks

If you, like many, have been mourning the loss of festivals this year, then Shambala Speaks might be some consolation. Bringing you the eclectic stories and knowledge familiar from the Shambala festivals of yore, episodes explore rebellion, mental health, psychedelics & poetry. With each one recorded on site in previous years, if you close your eyes you can almost feel that you are there.

Crystals, Clits & Climate

Grounded in ecofeminist theory, this series makes vivid connections between sexuality, spirituality and sustainability. All too often we, as humans, perceive ourselves as separate from the natural environment and our minds separate from our bodies. This, rather visceral, podcast conjures the power found in these connections in order to take action on climate change and personal wellbeing.

The Sustainability Agenda

Fergal Byrne does not hesitate to get into the nitty gritty and go places that others may fear. Covering important but uncomfortable topics such as the damaging extractive practices of renewable energy or our human propensity for denialism, the Sustainability Agenda is smart, engaging and a pioneer of critical thought.