Education

Listen and learn - the 4 most important radio programs

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I believe people tend to be more concern about their personal opinions being challenged instead of being concern about their personal opinions being wrong. When I say wrong, I mean not based on facts, logic or reason. For example, I might believe that veganism is good for the world and the most sustainable diet. I have chosen to become vegan and I promote it on my networks. I’m so convinced that I’m not willing to listen to research showing that on landscapes in Sweden where there are grassing animals there is a high biodiversity. I claim those research to be wrong and say that animals in Sweden do not grass, they mostly live their lives in cages. The problem here is that instead of acknowledging the scientific fact and say that it might be true that grassing animals are good for biodiveristy, currently not all animals grass. Even if they did the question is if there is enough land for all animals to grass? And if that is the case, who says they need to be eaten or used to supply food. Do we not have grassing horses that keep the landscapes open without being slaughter? That would be a more rational way to challenge the conclusion based on a research of biodiversity without changing your position about veganism. Science says grassing animals are good for biodiversity, human social and economic system makes the conclusion that some meat in the diet is good for the planet.

But that’s not really what I wanted to write about. This post is based on the previous one about knowing the facts and educate yourself. So here comes a little story:

When I started my bachelor studies in Peace and development at Linnaeus University I had a professor who has been working his whole life with humanitarian aid and development. He was in expert in all kinds of development issues and well educated in topics such as philosophy, politics and economics. He knew a little thing about everything. He knew the theories and he knew how to work on the field with humans, especially in Mozambique. Sometimes he spoke loudly about his concerns for our global world, “are we really developing or is everything just going in cycles?”

He was very passionated about his work to educate new students about what he learned so far. I will never forget that day when he the week before had recommended all the students in the classroom (probably 80 sitting in the aula) to listen to four radio programs at the Swedish public radio. The week before people had nod their heads, written the four programs down and now he asked who among us had been listen to them. The room when silent and he looked around seriously. He wondered again who had listen to them and short after I raised my hand. I was the only one. He went angry and asked his student why they do not take his advice and why they have not listen to the programs? Are you not serious about your studies? This is not the only place you have to learn about the world you also have to keep yourself updated about important topics! I can still hear the sound of his voice and after that day I promised to take any advice from any professor regarding where too find information. I took his advice and I have the last eight years probably listen to 80% of all the episodes these four programs has produced since then.

What programs? For swedish listeners:

Godmorgon, Världen!

Filosofiska rummer

Konflikt

Ekonomiekot

Of course these are not the only good programs the Swedish public radio have, I also listen to Klotet i Vetenskapsradion, Kropp & Själv, Människor och tro, P3 Dokumentär, Sommar & Vinter i P1, Teologiska rummet, Vetandets värld, and Vetenskapsradion Historia among others. Not all episodes of course, the four ones mentioned above are still my priority.

I normally listen when I am transporting myself or when I am exercising. I like the idea of educating myself while becoming stronger, faster and healthier. A better holistic version of me.

Will you take my advice and listen?

Educate yourself

Photo: Some of my books at home

Photo: Some of my books at home

In one of my previous posts I wrote about Ways to change the world and I promised I would dig more into these areas on how you can take action towards a more sustainable world. Before one start to make changes in their daily life or become an advocate for sustainability, one must know the facts. Sustainable development is a very big topic and it includes many different aspects. Sustainable development could be anything from global fish trends and the right policy making to regulate those, to local urban bee farming in Sweden or gender equality in the finance sector. To know everything about everything, is impossible. You must find what interests you the most.

However, there are some fundamental things I think anyone who talks about sustainability should keep on eye on and that is; the climate crisis, environmental trends or changes, general global social development and the world economy.

How do you keep yourself updated? In five ways I believe (except “normal news” which you should watch less):

  • Subscribe News Letters from organisations/research centre’s such as Amnesty, Red Cross, Greenpeace, Future Earth, Ellen Macarthur Foundation, AI Sustainability Centre, UN organisations and so on. I’m also following several scientific papers and get updates from Mendeley. For swedish speakers I believe Omvärlden and Aktuellt Hållbarhet are the basic musts.

  • Read proper reports and scientific papers. If you are into social media you’ll probably easy get news about latest report and significant reserach within the field. But you also get people’s opinion about them. Go back to the source and get your own opinion before taking in everyone else. An example would be Living Report by WWF, it’s so easy to read, there’s no reason not to read it yourself.

  • Listen to podcasts, the radio and watch documentaries. However, I would say prioritise public radio if you live in a functioning democratic society. The journalists there have done proper training and are much better at reporting from different perspectives compared to if you just go for Netflix. You’ll get my favourite channels in another post.

  • Read books. Okey, this one is probably among the most important ones. It might not provide you with latest news but it will give you stories with higher quality. To write a book is a much harder work than a twitter sentence and to be able to publish and be trust worthing, in most cases, you actually need to be someone that has knowledge about the topic. I’ll suggest you to read the books of Yuval Harari and Naomi Klien. I think I’ll write a post just about books too since this one is very important.

  • Follow the work of certain researchers (and on social media). I believe far to many people are following people who are not professionals in the area. It’s great that all these sustainable living influencers are coming up and activists that take more space in media. But they are not experts in the field and tend to promote whatever they believe is true, good or right. To actually know what’s better for the world you need to create you own idea based on facts provided by science. You could follow Johan Rockström, Kate Raworth, Johan Kuylenstierna, Victor Galaz, Will Steffen, Line Gordon, Jeffrey Sachs and Sarah Cornell (some of them you’ll find on Twitter), to mention a few. Stockholm Resilience Centre also has a list of female scientists. I would also suggest you to do a diversity analysis of your sources so you get science from all over the world (on my list of things to improve since most of the ones I’m following are from Sweden or western countries).

Get started, do some research, subscribe, follow and let yourself be educated. How to manage? Spend less time on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and watching series on Netflix. Change your source of information from low quality to high quality.