266 episodes

From politics to the personal, we're about solutions. Our weekly podcast features two friends and longtime journalists. Join Richard Davies (ABC News) and Jim Meigs (Popular Mechanics) as they challenge authors, experts and provocateurs in a search for positive, practical ideas. Guests include Alan Dershowitz, a noted legal scholar and defender of civil liberties; Mike Rowe of "Dirty Jobs" and Lenore Skenazy, founder of "Free Range Kids." Topics include politics, parenting, personal finance, human behavior and much more. "How Do We Fix It?" - a repair manual for the real world. Produced by DaviesContent

How Do We Fix It? Miranda H Shafer

    • News
    • 4.8, 79 Ratings

From politics to the personal, we're about solutions. Our weekly podcast features two friends and longtime journalists. Join Richard Davies (ABC News) and Jim Meigs (Popular Mechanics) as they challenge authors, experts and provocateurs in a search for positive, practical ideas. Guests include Alan Dershowitz, a noted legal scholar and defender of civil liberties; Mike Rowe of "Dirty Jobs" and Lenore Skenazy, founder of "Free Range Kids." Topics include politics, parenting, personal finance, human behavior and much more. "How Do We Fix It?" - a repair manual for the real world. Produced by DaviesContent

    Lessons From a Thousand Towns: Singer-Songwriter Dar Williams

    Lessons From a Thousand Towns: Singer-Songwriter Dar Williams

    At a time of social distancing, limited travel and other restrictions to protect public health, we get a nostalgic reminder of the joy of journeys, and infinite variety of America's small cities and towns.


    This episode was first published in 2018. Our guest, Dar Williams, has been called "one of America's very best singer-songwriters" by The New Yorker. A remarkably well-traveled musician, she tells us how towns and cities can turn themselves around. 


    "What I Found in a Thousand Towns: A Traveling Musician's Guide to Rebuilding America's Communities" is an impassioned account of the fall and rise of small American towns she cherishes. Dar chronicles practical success stories and challenges, delivering her message with hope and love.
    "The opposite of division is not unity. It is collaboration," says Dar.


    We discuss the power of positive proximity and how working on local projects together can bring different parts of a community together. Dar speaks of the strength of weak ties and why they help build networks of people who act as stewards for the places that they love. 
    From improving police-community relations in Gainesville, Florida, to the revival of Beacon, New York, we learn of many examples of how communities can succeed and thrive. 
     
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    • 25 min
    Climate Alarm: Bad for the Environment? Michael Shellenberger

    Climate Alarm: Bad for the Environment? Michael Shellenberger

    Climate change is real, but it's not the end of the world, says our guest, science writer, Michael Shellenberger.


    He argues in the controversial new book, "Apocalypse Never", that activists use alarmism to describe threats posed by rising levels of carbon in the atmosphere, and are harming the cause of environmentalism. His proposed solutions include support for carbon-free nuclear power, agricultural industrialization, urbanization, and technological innovation. 


    This episode provoked a lively debate. Richard disagrees with the tone and some of the arguments made here. Jim is more supportive. But both of our hosts agree that discussing tough issues with plenty of room for conflicting opinions is an important part of what we do. 


    A self-described eco-modernist, Michael Shellenberger is an author, environmental policy writer, co-founder of Breakthrough Institute, and founder of Environmental Progress.  


    Recommendation: Richard is reading "In This Together" by Bill Shireman and Tramell Crow, and is following the work of EarthX, a series of conferences that bring together environmental activists, corporate leaders and researchers interested in a more sustainable future.
     
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    • 26 min
    Refugees and Migrants: Tolu Olubunmi, Leonard Doyle, Ahmed Badr

    Refugees and Migrants: Tolu Olubunmi, Leonard Doyle, Ahmed Badr

    One of the many impacts of COVID-19 is a sharp decline in travel. In many parts of the world, the virus led to a temporary hold on one of the greatest trends of the modern age: the mass movement of people— from tourists to migrants, expats, asylum seekers, refugees, and IDP’s, internally displaced people. An estimated 244 million people, or about 3.3% of the world’s population, were born in one country and now live in another.


    Even before COVID hit, The Trump Administration reversed decades of US policy on immigration and refugees, imposing sweeping restrictions on admitting foreign workers, refugees, and students. Business groups sued the Administration over new limits on work visas. Universities and colleges objected to restrictions on foreign students. House Democrats passed a bill to reverse the restrictions.


    Many see migration as a threat. But for others it’s an opportunity. On this show we re-visit interviews with advocate Tolu Olubunmi, Leonard Doyle the UN migration agency, IOM, and podcaster Ahmed Badr.


    Tolu Olubunmi, hosted the podcast series, "A Way Home Together: Stories of the Human Journey". She is a global advocate for migrants, refugees, and displaced people. She is a Dreamer, born in Nigeria, who now lives in The United States.


    Leonard Doyle is a former journalist, and head of media and communications at the UN migration agency IOM. He spoke with Richard about global migration trends, and the need for a better understanding of immigrants and refugees.


    Ahmed Badr is a 21-year-old author, social entrepreneur and former Iraqi refugee. He is the host of the new podcast series, "Resettled", and founder of Narratio, a digital platform that highlights the creative work of young people across the world.


    Recommendation: Jim is watching the TV series, Never Have I Ever, airing on Netflix.
     
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    • 25 min
    The Problem With Cancel Culture: Megan McArdle

    The Problem With Cancel Culture: Megan McArdle

    We’ve all canceled something. Whether it’s a subscription, a vacation, or a date, cancelling or erasing a person? It seems so brutal. So unforgiving and final.


    It’s no surprise that cancel culture began on social media. Supporters say they are targeting people, companies and institutions for endorsing systems of racism, inequality, and bigotry. Opponents of cancel culture argue that this form of shaming causes personal injury, stifles debate and is a chilling threat to free speech.


    In this episode, we speak with opinion columnist Megan McArdle of The Washington Post, who wrote the recent article, "The Real Problem With Cancel Culture." She is also the author of "The Up Side of Down: Why Failing Well Is the Key to Success.” 


    We also discuss the Harper's Letter on open debate, signed by more than 150 academics, journalists and intellectuals, and the resignation of opinion journalist Bari Weiss from The New York Times.


    "One of the arguments you get into is that cancel culture isn't real because there've always been things you couldn't say," Megan tells us. "But now the things you couldn't say are in a much wider range of topics, and a much broader range of things about those topics that you can't say."


    Recommendation: Richard recommends the news website allsides.com.
     
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    • 36 min
    Democracy Reform: Voters Not Politicians. Katie Fahey

    Democracy Reform: Voters Not Politicians. Katie Fahey

    Gerrymandering, the partisan process of redrawing political maps to favor one political party over the opposition, is often used unfairly to take power away from many voters. 


    Voters Not Politicians is a highly successful grassroots campaign against gerrymandering in Michigan that began with a simple Facebook post by its young founder, Katie Fahey. The group took on party bosses, won a ballot initiative, and changed state law. This episode discusses how this campaign could be a model for others.  


    In 2018, Michigan voters overwhelmingly approved a citizen-led ballot initiative to create an independent commission to draw up the state’s congressional and legislative maps. This week, a federal court threw out a second attempt by the state Republican Party to over-turn the result. Months from now a new state redistricting commission will be given the job of fairly drawing a legislative map.


    This episode of "How Do We Fix It?" received funding from Solutions Journalism Network, a non-profit group that trains and connects journalists to cover what's missing in today's news: solutions, and how people are responding to problems.  


    Recommendation: Jim is reading "Midnight In Chernobyl" by Adam Higginbotham.  
     
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    • 26 min
    Generation Z. The Future of U.S. Democracy: Civics Unplugged

    Generation Z. The Future of U.S. Democracy: Civics Unplugged

    America's four most powerful political leaders--President Trump, former Vice President Joe Biden, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell-- are all in their mid-to-late seventies.
     
    In this episode, we hear from four 16 to 18 year-olds about the future of American democracy, and why they're committed to working for positive change.
     
    Zoë Jenkins, Emmy Cho, Thanasi Dilos, and Noor Mryan are among the 200 inaugural fellows of the new non-partisan, youth-led movement, Civics Unplugged. On July 4th, 2020, they are signing the Civics 2030 Declaration, part of a decade-long campaign to create a better world. 
     
    The movement's first annual summit began with Commence 2030, a launch platform and celebration of Gen Z "civic superheroes" who are working on a decade-long set of projects and initiatives aimed at bringing a brighter future for our country's democracy. Senator Cory Booker, Andrew Yang, Steve Balmer, Audrey Tang, the digital minister of Taiwan, and The Rock, retired pro-wrestler Dwayne Johnson, all spoke at the online event.
     
    Recommendation: Richard is reading "Why We're Polarized", by Ezra Klein.
     
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    • 29 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
79 Ratings

79 Ratings

jspinelle ,

Great guests, insightful conversations

A true bright spot in today’s journalism landscape! Highly recommend for anyone who is looking for a break from cable news, political punditry, and the endless grind of traditional media.

ccshatz ,

Everyone should listen

It would be transformative if everyone could get out if their bubble long enough to listen to this

Frederick Jay ,

Professional, Entertaining, and Informative

Can a podcast be all three? Yeah, I think so. Especially when the two gentleman we hear in the podcast are running show. I just discovered this podcast and I am so glad I did. From now on, I will be a regular listener for sure. You should too. You might just learn a thing or two and have fun while doing it. This podcast is EXCELLENT...really enjoying.

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