30 episodes

Hosted by Kai Ryssdal and Molly Wood, “Make Me Smart with Kai & Molly” is a weekly podcast about the economy, technology and culture. In a time when the world is moving faster than ever, this podcast is where we unpack complex topics, together. Because none of us is as smart as all of us.

Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly American Public Media

    • News Commentary

Hosted by Kai Ryssdal and Molly Wood, “Make Me Smart with Kai & Molly” is a weekly podcast about the economy, technology and culture. In a time when the world is moving faster than ever, this podcast is where we unpack complex topics, together. Because none of us is as smart as all of us.

    Every problem is a housing problem

    Every problem is a housing problem

    At least, according to New York Times reporter Conor Dougherty. We talk with him about the affordable housing crisis, local government and his new book “Golden Gates.” Plus, listeners weigh in on BlackRock and the “Internet der Dinge,” and we celebrate our 150th episode.

    • 35 min
    No more business as usual?

    No more business as usual?

    The big buzzwords among the executives and world leaders at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting this year were “stakeholder capitalism,” the idea that a corporation should serve a social and environmental good, not just enrich shareholders. What a concept, right? It comes after those Business Roundtable guidelines on corporate responsibility, and sustainability pledges from big players like Microsoft and BlackRock. But is this really a challenge to Milton Friedman’s 50-year-old treatise on corporations’ purpose? Or just a savvy but cynical PR move? We put that question to Jerry Davis, the associate dean for business and impact at the University of Michigan’s business school. He says it’s harder for a company to be a “successful hypocrite” now.

    • 34 min
    Do we have to call it the “internet of things”?

    Do we have to call it the “internet of things”?

    There’s a whole galaxy of connected items you can buy to ostensibly make your life easier: speakers, locks, coffee mugs, even dog collars. The so-called “internet of things” is already big and growing fast. By 2021, the market for all things connected is on track to pass $500 billion. There is no upfront connection or service fee to make these things work; we pay for them with our data. The Economist’s technology editor, Tim Cross, walks us through privacy concerns, security concerns and 5G.

    • 36 min
    We have enough (vegan) food for everyone on the planet

    We have enough (vegan) food for everyone on the planet

    But only if we start eating differently, says activist and food expert Frances Moore Lappé. Veganism wasn’t really a thing in 1971 when she wrote “Diet for a Small Planet.” But a plant-based diet is inching its way toward the mainstream, even as the average American consumes a record 220 pounds of meat a year. Lappé talks with us about what’s changed since the 1970s, “regenerative agriculture” and the difference a plant-based diet can make for the planet. Plus, we read your emails about the Equal Rights Amendment and the coronavirus, and Benjamin Walker of the podcast “Theory of Everything” answers the “Make Me Smart” question. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter.

    • 32 min
    A vote for the ERA was long overdue, but it might be too late

    A vote for the ERA was long overdue, but it might be too late

    Virginia became the 38th state to ratify the equal rights amendment to the constitution last week, giving the ERA the support it needs … about three decades after it expired. Many people, some 80% according to one poll, think the U.S. Constitution already includes equal protections for women’s rights, but it doesn’t. On today’s show, we’re going to look more at how we got to this point and what “equal rights” really means for the women’s movement and the economy overall. Here to guide us through is CUNY professor Julie Suk. Her book about the ERA, “We the Women: The Forgotten Mothers of the Equal Rights Amendment,” is out this summer.

    • 34 min
    It’s 2020. And the Cambridge Analytica story? It’s growing …

    It’s 2020. And the Cambridge Analytica story? It’s growing …

    Remember Cambridge Analytica? You probably wish you could forget. But 10 and a half months from the next presidential election, Brittany Kaiser says there’s still more we all need to know about Big Data and how companies like her former employer are using it to steer democracy. She used to work at CA, and after writing a book and appearing in a documentary about it, she’s publishing a bunch of internal documents showing how the company worked and its reach beyond the United States. For our first episode of the new year, we talk with Kaiser about election interference and her new Own Your Data Foundation. Plus, we’ll catch up on some of your emails and voice memos from the holiday break.

    • 37 min

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