The Impact of Conservative Courts
January 8, 2020
The Trump Administration has been nominating judges at breakneck speed, and the Senate has been confirming them at a similar pace.
January 8, 2020
The Trump Administration has been nominating judges at breakneck speed, and the Senate has been confirming them at a similar pace.
December 26, 2019
We recently talked with Jane Suiter and David Farrell, who were instrumental in the implementation of the Irish Citizens’ Assembly. The Citizens’ Assembly uses deliberative mini-publics to recommend policies to the Irish Parliament. Listen to our interview with them here! While we were talking, Jane discussed a deliberative democratic initiative happening on the other side […]
December 23, 2019
Earlier this season, we talked with Stephen Wertheim of The Quincy Institute. During our interview we spent some time discussing the ways in which the US wages war, and how we seem to get ourselves into an awful lot of conflicts without having Congress declare war. So, we thought we’d give a brief overview of […]
December 4, 2019
Our newest episode with David Greising of The Better Government Association really opened our eyes to the impact of investigating, and the role that good journalism and concerned citizens play in making sure our policymakers stay honest. Listen to our interview with David Greising here! It’s no secret that Illinois has a problem with corruption, […]
November 8, 2019
“If you don't understand the system you're in, you can't change it.”
Hannah McCarthy and Nick Capodice host Civics 101, the podcast refresher course about the basics of how American democracy works. We discuss the importance of empowering citizens and understanding the rules of our complex system, as well as the enduring repercussions of slavery in the United States.
August 9, 2019
“The cash bail system is a humanitarian crisis that unfolds in real time.”
Robing Steinberg is the founder and CEO of The Bail Project, an unprecedented national effort to combat mass incarceration by transforming the pretrial system in the US. We discuss how cash bail has been used to incarcerate millions of innocent people, what the collateral cost of this system is to our society, and how we should reconceive it.
August 2, 2019
“What are the human rights and civil rights of pregnant women?”
Lynn Paltrow is the Founder and Executive Director of National Advocates for Pregnant Women. We take a deep dive into the consequences of recognizing fetal personhood for the human rights of women and how reproductive health is at the center of the fight for equal rights.
July 26, 2019
“We have a responsibility to create more equity and justice in the world.”
Melissa Mark-Viverito is the former Speaker of the New York City Council and co-founder of the 21 in ’21 Initiative. She argues that electing women into government is critical for our society and democracy because their perspectives and experiences need to be represented in budgets, public policy, and legislation.
July 12, 2019
“I would tell people to encourage them to participate in the census because when they are counted, they are seen, and resources can come to your community.” This interview with Ashley Allison of The Leadership Conference about the important role of the census for our democracy was originally released on October 5, 2018. She speaks […]
June 28, 2019
“The greatest crisis is this tremendous loss of power that we're all experiencing.”
Micah White is the lifelong activist who co-created Occupy Wall Street and the author of The End of Protest. He is also co-founder of Activist Graduate School, which is taught by, and for, experienced activists. We discuss the limitations of contemporary protest, how protest and activism can be revitalized, and whether the time for a revolution is now.
June 15, 2019
In our interview with Jackie Zammuto of WITNESS, she provided a clear and comprehensive explanation of what to do when recording video. Listen to this how-to guide to learn the best way to conduct yourself if you ever have a chance to take a video of human rights abuse. For more information, please visit the […]
June 14, 2019
“Just bearing witness is important.”
Jackie Zammuto leads the programmatic work in the United States of WITNESS, an organization that makes it possible for anyone, anywhere to use video and technology to protect and defend human rights. We discuss how to use video more strategically and effectively for change, and how videos bring a human perspective to big complex challenges.
April 27, 2019
“We have to make democracy deliver better.”
This is a bonus episode from the Democracy Works podcast, which examines what it means to live in a democracy. Host Jenna Spinelle interviews David Frum, the author of Trumpocracy: The Corruption of the American Republic. He discusses how we can use the tools of civic engagement to build the democracy we want for ourselves and for future generations.
April 19, 2019
"I want to be with, and work with, and work for everyone."
This interview with former Congressman Beto O’Rourke was originally released on May 5, 2018. We are reposting this episode because he is now a candidate for the highest office of the land. He is again running a people-powered campaign, visiting as many communities as possible in order to listen to the needs and concerns of every day Americans.
April 12, 2019
"As Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy said, the poor person accused of a crime has no lobby."
Revisit some of the highlights of this season that gave us so much insight into poverty in America, added to our discourse, and helped us revise our thinking.
March 22, 2019
“Parents can’t afford to pay and teachers can’t afford to stay.”
Gail Joseph is the Founding Executive Director of Cultivate Learning at the University of Washington and the Bezos Family Foundation Distinguished Professor in Early Learning. We discuss the critical importance of high-quality programs, the costs to society of not investing in this space, and the necessity of a well-educated early learning workforce.
March 15, 2019
“Insurance companies say they’re lowering prices, but they’re not.”
Dan Weissmann is the host of a podcast on the cost of health care called “An Arm and A Leg” as well as a veteran reporter for outlets such as “Marketplace” and “Planet Money”. We discuss the complexities of picking a health insurance plan, the extreme vigilance we need to practice as health care consumers, and how to navigate getting good care and good coverage.
March 8, 2019
“Without housing, nothing else is truly possible.”
Maria Foscarinis is the founder and executive director of the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, and has advocated for solutions to homelessness at the national level since 1985. We discuss why housing is a human right, how criminalization of the homeless is both perverse and ineffective, and examine the leading reasons behind the affordable housing crisis.
March 2, 2019
“Education is not a process of checking a box along the course of someone's life but a deep investment in the future.”
Max Kenner is the founder and executive director of the Bard Prison Initiative, a college that is spread across six interconnected prisons in New York State. We discuss the enduring value of the liberal arts, the immense power of an education on reducing recidivism, and the critical importance of deep investments in human beings.
February 22, 2019
"All the people on death row are poor."
Stephen Bright served as the director of the Southern Center for Human Rights in Atlanta, and is currently a lecturer at Yale Law School, as well as professor of practice at Georgia State College of Law. We discuss the death penalty in the United States and its relationship to poverty, race, and disadvantage.
February 15, 2019
“People are running because they have issues that they want to solve in their communities.”
Ross Morales Rocketto is co-founder of Run For Something, an organization that supports diverse, young progressives running for state and local office. We discuss which candidates win, why building a bench of local and state politicians is important, and how an increase of candidates leads to better voter turnout.
February 6, 2019
"Telling these types of stories, showing people that it's not just white dudes who are lawyers, who have a lot of money, that can do this type of work is one of the most effective ways for us to try to show folks they can do it, too."
Ross Morales Rocketto, co-founder and chief program officer of Run For Something, kicks off the new season with a conversation about diverse, young candidates for state and local office. Tune in on February 16 for Season 5 of Future Hindsight!
November 16, 2018
“Education should prepare kids for life.”
Ted Dintersmith is an avid education advocate and the author of “What School Could Be: Insights and Inspiration from Teachers Across America”. We discuss why developing a child’s human potential as a fulfilled and self-supporting citizen should be the top priority, and how equitable access to high quality education is imperative to achieve this goal.
November 9, 2018
“We as citizens aren't the fans. We’re the players.”
Ben Theodore is an avid community activist in Brooklyn, as well as a program associate at the NYC Department of Education. His passion for civic engagement shows how it can transform our society. We discuss the power of local politics and grassroots activism, our responsibility as citizens, and the importance of idealism in public policy and politics.
October 26, 2018
“I'm passionate about making sure that people who want to vote, can vote.”
Max Feldman serves as Counsel in the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU, a nonpartisan institute that works to improve our democracy and judicial system. We discuss the powers of voting, the need to modernize election systems and enact pro-voter laws, as well as the rising trend of voter suppression since 2010.
October 12, 2018
"Is healthcare a right or a privilege? In my belief it's a basic right for all."
Phil Polakoff, MD, is a physician with a distinguished career in public health and clinical medicine, the CEO of A Healthier We, and a consulting professor at Stanford University of Medicine. We discuss how an emphasis on prevention coupled with innovations in healthcare access and delivery can help us share greater health and equity for all Americans.
October 5, 2018
“I would tell people to encourage them to participate in the census because when they are counted, they are seen, and resources can come to your community.”
Ashley Allison is the Executive Vice President of Campaigns and Programs at The Leadership Conference, the nation’s premier civil and human rights coalition. We discuss how the census is a cornerstone of our democracy. The data it provides is vital for delivering the resources and services that are necessary to sustain thriving communities.
September 21, 2018
“Our democracy simply works better when more citizens show up and participate.”
Brian Miller is the Executive Director of Nonprofit VOTE, an organization that partners with other nonprofits to integrate voter engagement into their ongoing activities. We discuss the importance of promoting voter registration in excluded communities to achieve full representation, and the benefits of a non-partisan, in person approach to do so.
September 14, 2018
“When more people vote, the electorate is far more representative of the general public.”
A sneak peek of the first episode of Season 4: Brian Miller makes a case for registering and voting. National Voter Registration Day is on September 25, 2018.
August 24, 2018
“The more you understand history, the better agent of social change you can be.”
Pam Elam and Namita Luthra serve on the Board of Directors of the Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony Fund. Their Monumental Women campaign will bring the first statue commemorating real women to New York City’s Central Park in 2020. We discuss the importance of honoring women and their contributions to society in public spaces.
August 17, 2018
“There's a lot of money in the system that can move towards cash, and be used to end extreme poverty.”
Michael Faye is the president and co-founder of GiveDirectly, an organization that sends cash directly to people living in extreme poverty. We discuss why we should use cash as a new benchmark for international aid, unpack false assumptions about decision-making, and examine the benefits of universal basic income.
August 11, 2018
“See if the people that you just elected are actually doing their jobs and are actually representing you.”
Maria Yuan is the founder of Issue Voter, an organization whose mission is to make civic engagement accessible, efficient, and impactful. We talk about the importance of being informed on the bills before Congress, communicating your priorities and opinions to your representative, and understanding whether your rep is truly representing you.
August 3, 2018
“We have to stand up for what is right and it's not just about us. It's about the future of our children and their children.”
Rachel Leyland and Kendra Abel are public school teachers in Oklahoma City who participated in the walkout in April of 2018. We discuss how the walkout shed light on the problems caused by chronic underfunding of public education, the power of standing together to demand change, and the importance of supporting pro-education candidates for office.
July 27, 2018
“Our democracy can be something that's vibrant, something that's living and breathing.”
Scott Warren is the CEO and co-founder of Generation Citizen, an organization that works to ensure students in the United States receive an effective civics education. We talk about the unique power of political action to bring about change and the need to teach our youngest generations how to be active participants in our democracy.
July 13, 2018
“Our history shows that we are a nation of immigrants and refugees, and that we have benefited from that.”
Mark Hetfield is the President and CEO of HIAS, the oldest refugee assistance organization in operation. We discuss our humanitarian obligations to refugees, the tremendous benefits that they bring to American society, and bust the misconceptions about the current refugee situation in the US.
July 6, 2018
“Fighting corruption is not an end in and of itself, it's an effort toward improving society at large.”
Paul Lagunes is a Columbia University political scientist whose scholarship focuses on corruption in the Americas. His current book project is “Corruption and Oversight: Insights from Field Experiments”. We define corruption, discuss how it relates to democracy, and learn that voting is a tool to fight against it.
May 26, 2018
“The purpose of the government is to make sure that the game is fair and that people have equality of opportunity.”
Ian Bremmer is a prolific thought leader and author, the president and founder of Eurasia Group, as well as foreign affairs columnist and editor-at-large at TIME. His most recent bestseller is Us vs. Them: The Failure of Globalism. We discuss how globalism, the ideology, has been rejected, and what we can do to write a new, more equitable social contract.
May 19, 2018
“There's so much more information there than we know. Take a moment to think about what permissions you're giving."
Shafi Goldwasser is an award-winning mathematician and computer scientist and the Director of the Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing at UC Berkeley. Her most notable work is in cryptography and zero knowledge proof. We discuss the promise of cryptography to make our society more secure.
May 5, 2018
"I want to be with, and work with, and work for everyone."
Democratic Congressman Beto O’Rourke represents his hometown, El Paso, TX. Currently a Candidate for US Senate, he is running a people-powered campaign, visiting every single county in Texas and listening to the needs and concerns of the state’s constituents. We talk about how to rebuild our democracy, the necessity of bipartisanship, and how big money corrodes our political process.
April 28, 2018
"The purpose of unions is to give workers a collective voice in relation to their employers."
Ruth Milkman is a sociologist of labor and labor movements, and Distinguished Professor of Sociology at the CUNY Graduate Center and at the Joseph S. Murphy Institute for Worker Education and Labor Studies. We examine the role of unions for workers, the main factors of de-unionization, and the potential leadership by millennials in this space.
April 21, 2018
"We need to keep reinventing our city."
Robert Hammond is the executive director and co-founder of Friends of the High Line, which was the driving force behind turning an abandoned elevated railroad in New York City into a public park. We discuss the essential role of a city’s public open spaces and how exhilarating it is to pursue your dreams.
April 14, 2018
"Being eligible for enrollment is so different than being ready to persist and complete degrees."
Nick Ehrmann is the founder and president of Blue Engine, which was borne from the discovery that the strongest predictor of college completion is sustained academic rigor in high school coursework. The organization re-imagines the classroom in order to teach students how to master core academic skills and be truly ready for college.
April 7, 2018
"The best person to fight for the issues that are important to young people is young people themselves."
Tyler Ruzich is a 17-year old Republican candidate for governor of Kansas, one of eight teens in the race this year. We discuss what it means to be a Republican of the next generation, why it’s important to get involved now, and what young people can do to become more engaged.
March 10, 2018
"When voters demand a solution, that’s when you start to see action."
Ai-Jen Poo is an award-winning activist and a leading advocate for domestic workers’ rights. We discuss the elder boom, the increasing importance of domestic work in our society, and how we can engage to demand a new Caring infrastructure.
March 6, 2018
"Start having a conversation about this issue regardless of political party."
Andrea Miller is the president of the National Institute for Reproductive Health. We talk about the broad support among men for Roe vs. Wade, the Hyde Amendment, and the two most damaging misconceptions about abortions.
March 3, 2018
"When women are able to make decisions about their reproductive lives it makes their families more stable."
Andrea Miller is the president of the National Institute for Reproductive Health. We talk about the impact that reproductive legislation has in society and how it’s historically been affected by safety and public health concerns.
February 24, 2018
"The cheapest way to learn is from somebody else’s mistakes."
Joe Hartigan has cracked the code on how to effect change. He is a retired NYC Fire Department lieutenant and community activist since 1995. His passion, dedication, and consistency over many years brought about ferry service for the residents of Rockaway, Queens. Every community would benefit from a fervent advocate like Joe. We can become advocates for our communities by focusing on specific issues, joining forces, and staying persistent.
February 17, 2018
"Consistent, rigorous advocacy can effect change in a positive way in terms of social justice."
Roland Augustine is an art dealer, tireless activist, and active member at the Bard College Prison Initiative. We discuss the necessity of finding new ways of activism for social justice in our daily lives.
February 10, 2018
“We know for long-lasting happiness and meaning, often times it’s being of service or caring. Because it’s your true nature.”
James R. Doty, MD, is a neurosurgeon and clinical professor at Stanford University. He shows us how to shape our own lives and of those around us by reframing, practicing compassion, and living with an open heart.
February 2, 2018
"I’d say the minimum in a democracy is people need to learn enough to vote responsibly and to vote."
Richard K. Betts, Ph.D, is the Director of the Saltzmann Institute of War and Peace Studies at Columbia University. We talk about how we can be meaningful stakeholders in foreign policy by voting and supporting political movements.
January 27, 2018
"People still fundamentally know it’s a good thing to participate in the civic process."
Matt Kalmans is the CEO and co-founder of Applecart, a strategic political consultancy and lab. We discuss the power of voting, how social pressure can influence our actions, and the ways in which science and technology can help us understand our political behavior.
January 20, 2018
"People should be civically engaged because otherwise they’re ceding the ground to others."
Bernard Harcourt is an author, lawyer, and critical theorist. In our conversation, we discover that civic engagement is a learned skill, the power of collective action, and the importance of remembering our truths and values.