44 episodes

How To Citizen with Baratunde reimagines the word “citizen” as a verb and reminds us how to wield our collective power. So many of us want to do more in response to the problems we hear about constantly, but where and how to participate can leave us feeling overwhelmed and helpless. Voting, while critically important, simply isn’t enough. It takes more to make this experiment in self-governance work! Listen in to learn new perspectives and practices from people working to improve society for the many. Join writer, activist, and comedian Baratunde Thurston on a journey beyond politics as usual that will leave us all more hopeful, connected, and moved to act.

How To Citizen with Baratunde iHeartPodcasts

    • Society & Culture
    • 3.8 • 2.1K Ratings

How To Citizen with Baratunde reimagines the word “citizen” as a verb and reminds us how to wield our collective power. So many of us want to do more in response to the problems we hear about constantly, but where and how to participate can leave us feeling overwhelmed and helpless. Voting, while critically important, simply isn’t enough. It takes more to make this experiment in self-governance work! Listen in to learn new perspectives and practices from people working to improve society for the many. Join writer, activist, and comedian Baratunde Thurston on a journey beyond politics as usual that will leave us all more hopeful, connected, and moved to act.

    Baratunde’s Tech Origins (with Belinda Yvonne Thurston)

    Baratunde’s Tech Origins (with Belinda Yvonne Thurston)

    Technology and its promise of a better world is a part of Baratunde’s DNA. In this episode, Baratunde reminisces with his older sister, Belinda, about their upbringing in Washington DC in the 1980s. They discuss their mother’s influence on his earliest experiences with tech that would someday come to shape this very podcast. 




    Guest: Belinda Thurston

    Bio: Yogini, tai chi player, Buddhist, African-Japanese American, journalist, speaker, motivator, number one sister.

    Online: Just B Yoga website




    Go to howtocitizen.com for transcripts, our email newsletter, and your citizen practice.




    ACTIONS




    - INTERNALLY REFLECT

    Relationships matter.

    How have you invested in the key relationships that make your world go round? Do you have the relationship with your siblings and family members that you want? This Harvard Study showed that happiness boils down to one thing: relationships. 







    MORE WAYS TO CONNECT & SUPPORT
    Leave a review and rating. It makes a huge difference with the algorithmic overlords!
    Find us at @howtocitizen on Instagram and tag us in your actions
    Visit our non-Bezos bookshop. 

    Subscribe to Baratunde's weekly Recommentunde Newsletter, his column on Puck, or you can even text him right now at 202-894-8844

    Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 44 min
    A Podcast-Sized History of Tech (with Scott Galloway)

    A Podcast-Sized History of Tech (with Scott Galloway)

    Baratunde has been sounding the alarm about the perils of Big Tech for years. In this episode, he breaks down his journey in tech and talks with tech expert and sharp critic, Prof G, otherwise known as Scott Galloway, co-host of the Pivot Podcast. They dive into Scott’s summary of what the hell went wrong, his recent argument that corporations need to start acting “as citizens,” and how this idea of corporate citizening informs his investment strategy. 




    Guest: Scott Galloway

    Bio: Marketing expert who specializes in critiquing the worlds of tech & business, and how they operate within capitalism.

    Online: His website; @profgalloway on Twitter; the Pivot podcast




    Go to howtocitizen.com for transcripts, our email newsletter, and your citizen practice.




    ACTIONS



    - INTERNALLY REFLECT 

    Feeds and Feelings

    Take a moment to reflect on your various social media feeds. If your FB or Instagram feed had a personality how would you describe it (ie. sassy with a bit of inspiration or snarky, gossipy, and entertaining)? How do your social media feeds make you feel? Consider training the algorithm by selecting accounts and content that pushes you forward rather than drags you down. A small but perhaps mighty action for your mental and emotional wellbeing.



    - BECOME INFORMED

    Check out Baratunde’s Digital Manifesto

    Read and contribute to an open Google Docs version of the manifesto here. Comment about what’s missing, improve it, or add references to work from others. Baratunde may share some of your feedback on his social channels. Also recommended by Scott, the book Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman available in our bookshop. 



    - PUBLICLY PARTICIPATE

    Ensure regulation of Big Tech

    Here are three grassroots efforts you can join to ensure big tech doesn’t go unregulated. Join with others to lend your voice and skills. Check out - Freedomfromfacebookandgoogle.com, Athenaforall.org working to free us from Amazon, and The Economic Liberties Project.us.




    MORE WAYS TO CONNECT & SUPPORT
    Leave a review and rating. It makes a huge difference with the algorithmic overlords!
    Find us at @howtocitizen on Instagram and tag us in your actions
    Visit our non-Bezos bookshop. 
    Subscribe to Baratunde's weekly Recommentunde Newsletter, his column on Puck, or you can even text him right now at 202-894-8844

    Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 49 min
    Public Parks and Re-creation (with Eli Pariser)

    Public Parks and Re-creation (with Eli Pariser)

    Right now we interact with the public more online than offline. But these digital spaces are not designed with our collective wellbeing in mind. Baratunde speaks with Eli Pariser, Co-founder of New_Public, about how we are missing intentionally designed digital public spaces, like libraries and park spaces online, and they discuss New_Public’s NEW! design playbook for creating platforms that bring us together instead of tear us apart. 




    Guest: Eli Pariser 

    Bio: Author, Activist, and Entrepreneur, Co-Founder of New_Public 

    Online: New_Public website; @elipariser on Twitter; Eli’s website




    Go to howtocitizen.com for transcripts, our email newsletter, and your citizen practice.




    ACTIONS



    - PERSONALLY REFLECT 

    Public Interactions

    Reflect on some recent online interactions you’ve had with total strangers on social media. Now think about some interactions you’ve had with strangers offline, maybe in a public park or library. How did each experience make you feel? Did you prefer one over the other? Why? 



    - BECOME INFORMED

    Check out New_Public’s work

    Check out New_Public’s new design playbook for building digital public spaces of the future. It was built from two years of global research and feedback. Also, read Eli’s thought-provoking article in the Atlantic about envisioning a future online that serves the public good and supports a culture of democracy.



    - PUBLICLY PARTICIPATE

    Join a niche, online community forum.

    Consider joining or starting your own online community where you can practice some of the 14 signals using a platform like Hylo or MightyNetworks. Most of the signals don’t require code as much as thoughtful governance, culture, and norm-setting to create a different kind of online space that helps us citizen. Said another way, try finding or creating an online community in a space that isn’t a giant shopping mall.



    MORE WAYS TO CONNECT & SUPPORT



    Leave a review and rating. It makes a huge difference with the algorithmic overlords!
    Find us at @howtocitizen on Instagram and tag us in your actions.
    Visit our non-Bezos bookshop. 

    Subscribe to Baratunde's weekly Recommentunde Newsletter, his column on Puck, or you can even text him right now at 202-894-8844

    Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 39 min
    Move Slow and Fix Things (with Esra’a Al Shafei)

    Move Slow and Fix Things (with Esra’a Al Shafei)

    Esra’a is a Bahrani human rights activist and founder of Majal, a multiplatform organization that amplifies underrepresented voices in the Middle East and North Africa. She works collaboratively with technologists and designers across the world to create alternative digital spaces that are safe from censorship and trolling. Utilizing gamification and music, Majal’s platforms offer a safe space for people who face persecution based on their identity and politics.




    Guest: Esra’a Al Shafei

    Bio: Founder of Majal, Migrant Rights, and Mideast Tunes; civil rights activist dedicated to improving the lives of LGBTQ+ youth in the Middle East. 

    Online: Majal website; @ealshafei on Twitter




    Go to howtocitizen.com for transcripts, our email newsletter, and your citizen practice.




    ACTIONS



    - PERSONALLY REFLECT 

    Personal Security

    When have you felt concerned for your safety and security online? What features online made you feel vulnerable or exposed? Was it something you could control or was it outside of your control? If you’ve never felt insecure on online platforms, why do you think that is?



    - BECOME INFORMED

    Question Scale in Philanthropy

    Check out Majal.org and look at the platforms they operate. 

    When you are engaging with nonprofits and philanthropy, look at who founded and runs the groups you support or amplify. Find ones that are run by those closest to the problem, which are often people from marginalized communities. Start your learning journey by reading Decolonizing Wealth by Edgar Villanueva. 



    - PUBLICLY PARTICIPATE

    Challenge the philanthropic norms.

    Instead of supporting large organizations that emphasize scalability and unsustainable growth, consider getting as local and grassroots as you can in terms of your time and resources. Often smaller, on-the-ground, and grassroots organizations have a more direct impact despite far fewer resources. And make the How To Citizen community look good: donate over at Majal.org so they can keep supporting the important platforms serving activists and LGBTQ youth in the Middle East. 






    MORE WAYS TO CONNECT & SUPPORT
    Leave a review and rating. It makes a huge difference with the algorithmic overlords!
    Find us at @howtocitizen on Instagram and tag us in your actions.
    Visit our non-Bezos bookshop. 
    Subscribe to Baratunde's weekly Recommentunde Newsletter, his column on Puck, or you can even text him right now at 202-894-8844

    Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 35 min
    Circles in a World Made for Triangles (with Pia Mancini)

    Circles in a World Made for Triangles (with Pia Mancini)

    Baratunde learns more about experiments in digital democracy. He speaks with Pia Mancini, cofounder of Open Collective, a platform empowering collectives and mutual aid groups with new transparent, decentralized financial tools that make local grassroots efforts more feasible than ever. It is a powerful example of how the use of technology can change the power dynamics and help people citizen together where they live and across the globe. 




    Guest: Pia Mancini

    Bio: Democracy activist, open source sustainer, co-founder & CEO at Open Collective and Chair of DemocracyEarth Foundation. 

    Online: Open Collective website; Pia’s website; on Twitter @piamancini and @opencollect




    Show Notes + Links

    Go to howtocitizen.com to sign up for show news, AND (coming soon!) to start your How to Citizen Practice.

    Please show your support for the show in the form of a review and rating. It makes a huge difference with the algorithmic overlords!

    We are grateful to Pia for joining us! Follow her @piamancini on Twitter, or find more of her work at Opencollective.org.




    ACTIONS

    PERSONALLY REFLECT 

    Cultivate Optimism

    Take a moment to reflect on when you feel most positive, most optimistic in your week? What are you doing, who are you around, what media/info sources are you consuming? Work on adding more of these elements to your weekly routines. The world needs more clear-eyed optimists for us to reach our collective potential. It’s hard to citizen when you’re only cynical.



    BECOME INFORMED

    Who in your life needs Open Collective

    Take a moment to wrap your mind around this NEW community infrastructure that is truly revolutionizing the way local initiatives and groups work together around the world. We bet you know of a local project or informal group that could benefit from it! Take the time to learn more https://opencollective.com/. Also check out Pia’s TED talk, How To Upgrade Democracy for the Internet Era, for more about her beliefs and journey. 



    PUBLICLY PARTICIPATE

    Join in with other locals 

    Support open-source and move away from private mega-malls like Facebook by adopting the Signal app, an open source, end-to-end encrypted, not-for-profit messaging platform. And if you use open source to build the product that is making you money, give back to open source, because open source is not free. It was paid for by someone else's time. So make sure you give back to the developers.

    Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 41 min
    Fast, Fair, Fun (with Digital Minister Audrey Tang)

    Fast, Fair, Fun (with Digital Minister Audrey Tang)

    After a life of civic hacking outside the system through efforts like vTaiwan, Audrey Tang, now Digital Minister of Taiwan, speaks with Baratunde about how to use digital tools to include people in more direct, participatory, democratic practices and her design philosophy of “fast, fair, fun.” She shows how tech can help government be more responsive to and collaborative with its citizens. 




    Guest: Audrey Tang

    Bio: Digital Minister of Taiwan, open-source software contributor, poetician

    Online: Taiwan’s Public Digital Innovation Space; On Twitter @audreyt and the hashtag #FastFairFun




    Go to howtocitizen.com for transcripts, our email newsletter, and your citizen practice.




    ACTIONS



    - PERSONALLY REFLECT 

    Flexing our personal power

    When have you felt justified pushing against an authority in your life? How did you do it and did it achieve your goal? If not, why not? If so, were there other unintended consequences? If you could go back in time, would you change your actions in any way?



    - BECOME INFORMED

    What is Open Government?

    Get informed about this idea of "open government." Learn more about Audrey’s work at digitalminister.tw. If you want to go deeper, read the book Open Democracy by Hélène Landemore. It's about centering ordinary citizens in the democratic process. Find it in our online bookstore bookshop.org/shop/howtocitizen. And search social media for the hashtag #OpenGovernment to discover other related thinkers and doers helping us govern ourselves.



    - PUBLICLY PARTICIPATE

    Public Forums

    Practice sharing your voice on an issue you care about in a public forum (not just social media). For example, you can comment on upcoming federal regulations at regulations.gov. But the real action is local, so join a participatory budgeting initiative by searching online for “participatory budgeting near me”, or attend a virtual or live city or neighborhood council meeting and offer feedback during the public comment section. Use your voice to influence a public issue. Flex your power!

    Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 48 min

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5
2.1K Ratings

2.1K Ratings

lif3izgr8t ,

Original

I love the energy and the originality of Baratunde!! Forever a fan‼️

Jenn Wolfe ,

Just love this

Lessons in how we can all take action. Season 3 episode about Majal.org was great. I donated, lol, but she is so right about how most platforms work and the brokenness of the philanthropy-industrial complex.

Rena M G ,

Love this show

Thank you for creating this show and space to talk about such important issues and how we can live, thrive, and fight for justice in this world.

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