621 episodes

Do you care about the environment but feel "I want to act but if no one else does it won't make a difference" and "But if you don't solve everything it isn't worth doing anything"?
We are the antidote! You're not alone. Hearing role models overcome the same feelings to enjoy acting on their values creates meaning, purpose, community, and emotional reward.
Want to improve as a leader? Bestselling author, 3-time TEDx speaker, leadership speaker, coach, and professor Joshua Spodek, PhD MBA, brings joy and inspiration to acting on the environment. You'll learn to lead without relying on authority.
We bring you leaders from many areas -- business, politics, sports, arts, education, and more -- to share their expertise for you to learn from. We then ask them to share and act on their environmental values. That's leadership without authority -- so they act for their reasons, not out of guilt, blame, doom, gloom, or someone telling them what to do.
Click for a list of popular downloads
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Guests include
Dan Pink, 40+ million Ted talk viewsMarshall Goldsmith, #1 ranked leadership guru and authorFrances Hesselbein, Presidential Medal of Freedom honoree, former CEO of the Girl ScoutsElizabeth Kolbert, Pulitzer Prize winning authorDavid Allen, author of Getting Things DoneKen Blanchard, author, The One Minute ManagerVincent Stanley, Director of PatagoniaDorie Clark, bestselling authorBryan Braman, Super Bowl champion Philadelphia EagleJohn Lee Dumas, top entrepreneurial podcasterAlisa Cohn, top 100 speaker and coachDavid Biello, Science curator for TED
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This Sustainable Life Joshua Spodek: Author, Speaker, Professor

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.8 • 109 Ratings

Do you care about the environment but feel "I want to act but if no one else does it won't make a difference" and "But if you don't solve everything it isn't worth doing anything"?
We are the antidote! You're not alone. Hearing role models overcome the same feelings to enjoy acting on their values creates meaning, purpose, community, and emotional reward.
Want to improve as a leader? Bestselling author, 3-time TEDx speaker, leadership speaker, coach, and professor Joshua Spodek, PhD MBA, brings joy and inspiration to acting on the environment. You'll learn to lead without relying on authority.
We bring you leaders from many areas -- business, politics, sports, arts, education, and more -- to share their expertise for you to learn from. We then ask them to share and act on their environmental values. That's leadership without authority -- so they act for their reasons, not out of guilt, blame, doom, gloom, or someone telling them what to do.
Click for a list of popular downloads
Click for a list of all episodes
Guests include
Dan Pink, 40+ million Ted talk viewsMarshall Goldsmith, #1 ranked leadership guru and authorFrances Hesselbein, Presidential Medal of Freedom honoree, former CEO of the Girl ScoutsElizabeth Kolbert, Pulitzer Prize winning authorDavid Allen, author of Getting Things DoneKen Blanchard, author, The One Minute ManagerVincent Stanley, Director of PatagoniaDorie Clark, bestselling authorBryan Braman, Super Bowl champion Philadelphia EagleJohn Lee Dumas, top entrepreneurial podcasterAlisa Cohn, top 100 speaker and coachDavid Biello, Science curator for TED
See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    613: Our Next Constitutional Amendment

    613: Our Next Constitutional Amendment

    My proposal and rationale for the next amendment for the United States Constitution.
    It will sound crazy, impossible, and too hard at first, as it did with me. But the more you consider it, the more the objections will fade. It is the right tool for the right job. Nothing else is.
    I'll write more about it later. For now, just the audio.

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    • 37 min
    612: Sebastian Junger, part 1: Humans Thrive on Mutual Dependence, Feeling Needed, But Our Culture Isolates.

    612: Sebastian Junger, part 1: Humans Thrive on Mutual Dependence, Feeling Needed, But Our Culture Isolates.

    When I wrote up my experiment to live with my apartment off the grid in Manhattan for a month, I looked up what I did the morning I started. My library records show I borrowed and listened to Sebastian's book Tribe, then my browser history shows I watched a ton of videos featuring him. Soon after I read Freedom, watched Restrepo and The Last Patrol.
    His work makes you question your values, the values of our culture, and what you do about it. In my case, his exploration to why in a culture of material plenty, that according to, say, Steven Pinker's Enlightenment Now or The Better Angels of Our Nature, which say life is the best its ever been, in head-to-head competition, people who know civilization choose to live in other places. His books and our conversation clarify and refine the conditions, but the main appeal of not-civilization is feelings of mutual dependence and feeling needed. Our culture isolates. With affluence has come anxiety, depression, and suicide.
    His research and writing helped me understand why I enjoy each step of polluting less. People from the outside read me as extreme, but America pollutes extremely much. I've reduced over 90 percent, but I still pollute. I'm finding myself not extreme but traditional.
    Sebastian shares the main points of his books on community, mutual support, feeling needed, war, love, and more versus isolation and anxiety. At the end we talk about how to restore what we've lost and the prospect of changing culture to sustainability, which looks promising.
    Sebastian's Home PageLots of videos featuring Sebastian
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    • 1 hr 1 min
    611: Etienne Stott, part 6: Activism and Leadership

    611: Etienne Stott, part 6: Activism and Leadership

    In this sixth conversation between an Extinction Rebellion Rebel and a home-grown sustainability leadership (I hope) leader, we explore more of the life of someone who has devoted himself to solving our environmental problems.
    We continue comparing and contrasting the approaches, learning from each other, developing friendship, sharing the challenges, and sharing why we do it.
    If you, listener, haven't yet decided to make sustainability your priority, I think you'll find everyone needs your help. I hope this conversation helps influence you. Whatever else you're working on, clean air, land, food, and water will help.
    I hope Etienne and my conversations help reveal it's a deeply rewarding life.
    And hearing from an Olympic gold medalist who sees this work as the most valuable he can do is pretty engaging.

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    • 43 min
    610: Abortion and Sustainability

    610: Abortion and Sustainability

    Here are the notes I read from:40% of pregnancies are unplanned. Overpopulation is a major problem for environment so it's a topic for this podcast.Girlfriend who pressured me into unprotected sex and got pregnantNot only women's issue. Men have as much value to add as anyone who hasn't been robbed or murdered to speak on robbery and murder.Her power, reversing her word, pressuring, irresponsibility, tearFinancial abortion. If you support abortion, it's consistent and will help you win your caseStories of pro-lifers getting abortionsMany men who support abortion and many women who oppose itWhat if someone believes unique human life begins at conceptionTo me, fertilized cell is not a human being. Like an ant, not an anthill, nor are a dozen ants or even thousands. Yet at some point an anthill forms. Or a cloud. Water vapor everywhere, yet where cloud begins in space or time not clear.Somewhere clump of cells becomes human capable of suffering, before nine months.If you believe the cells don't become human until late and don't accept that others could consider it murder, have some compassion. It may help to learn that many past cultures, including likely yours into the twentieth century, and many others today consider infanticide after birth within days, weeks, or even longer acceptable. How do they look to you? Would you kill a born baby? Can you see that others might see you that way? What would you do if you saw a parent preparing to kill a baby already born that was viable? What would you say to a society that left twins to die from the elements or hunger?Democracies debate life, death, self defenseSeems to me a conflict to resolve democratically. No scientific proofLet's say you're absolutely right and not a unique human life at conception or even until birth. People can vote however they want. Can you at least acknowledge their point of view? To lead, you have to go where they are. You're losing. Maybe reconsider your tactics.Likewise, say you can prove unique life begins at conception. Still not well defined. When sperm enters egg? Can't be. When DNA combines? If DNA doesn't finish combining, you'd allow some birth defects to be killed. My point is you still haven't found a hard lineOr what if we can clone humans from one cell. Then you must do everything possible to keep that machine running and build as many as possible.Both sides keep pushing toward greater extremes, listening less, not more, trying to circumvent democracy. Stating more extreme positions.I think democratic debate is best solution at high level. Also practically, I think it will win you more support and disarm opponents more.I can't help mention a creative solution from The Satanic Temple. It's making abortion a religious ritual protected by law that health care providers apparently have to honor. If all it takes to force by law a doctor to give an abortion is converting to a religion, I suspect TST may see an influx, new religions may start forming, or existing religions will begin their own rituals. I'll link in the text.
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    • 20 min
    609: Finishing My Off-the-Grid-in-Manhattan Experiment in Month 3

    609: Finishing My Off-the-Grid-in-Manhattan Experiment in Month 3

    Having just started month three of living off the electric grid in Manhattan, technical issues led me to stop the experiment. I'm not sure the problem, but connecting the solar panels to the power station, it doesn't charge. I don't know how to diagnose it without another power station or solar panel I know works to find the problem.
    Here are the notes I read from:
    Last use of electronics off-grid before cooking lunch with pressure cooker, which will mean reconnecting the apartment's master circuit that I disconnected in May.I knew I'd feel dirty because I would cause pollution.Up and down stairs, sleeping in heat, knee injuredThe hard part wasn't living traditionally. My food was more fresh. I lived with more meaning and purpose.The hard part was living in a different culture, even if just me, than America.I lived by Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You and Leave It Better Than You Found It.As for America, by its fruit shall ye know a tree. What are America's fruits? Not Do Unto Others or Leave It Better.American culture: more men with breasts and fewer sperm than any culture in history.But choice made for me: Power station broke, the computer battery, then charger, now either power station or solar panels.Yesterday had to postpone two meetings.Used power from last time it charged down to six percent on station, about an hour on computer, though longer on phone.Will cook stew, declare victory, and keep using little, especially the fridge.I expect to make twelve months without the fridgeEarlier episodes on the experiment:
    586: My Kitty Hawk moment, on the way to a Moon Shot584: Freedom, continual improvement, fun, and curiosity: day three only solar in ManhattanPlus I spoke to a city government advisory group and talked about leading up to it.
    593: How I disconnected from the electric grid in Manhattan for 2 weeks (and counting)
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    • 9 min
    608: Parents Just Don't Understand

    608: Parents Just Don't Understand

    The notes I read from:
    Yesterday my mom suggested I move away from the city if it makes me feel so bad. Last week my dad reaffirmed that he wouldn't appear on the podcast without some vague conditions he was using my invitation to cajole me into.
    To move away from the problem is exactly the opposite of my mission. Nearly everyone else identifies my work as helping the world, even if they don't see the underlying beauty, harmony, etc I do, but my parents get annoyed.
    Why the discrepancy?
    They love and support their son, or something pretty close to me. How is it that my sharing my mission with them results in misunderstanding?
    Pivotal life moment: manager suggested sharing problems
    Growing up we didn't expose problems. If conflict, talking about it was the problem.
    People just are that way. Each person is just that way. You just have to work around them. But above all, don't mention any conflict.
    When I did, I have memories of my dad bellowing with anger. My mom would more play the martyr and imply the person bringing up the problem hurt her. After all, if no one brought it up, she wouldn't feel bad.
    So I learned not to expose conflict. All those years I let it fester. Sad at the relationships I lost.
    Then learned how to manage conflict.
    Then learned to manage emotions, learning the difference between a given emotion, even one I didn't like--like say anxiety, helplessness, hopelessness, guilt, shame, insecurity--and suffering or misery, which to me are like meta-emotions. I can feel shame but not misery, which allows me to face shame and act on it.
    I haven't seen that self-awareness in my parents. Once they feel the emotion they don't like, that situation is bad. The way out is to change the subject.
    Other huge life interest: nature
    Conservation of energy is beautiful
    I don't remember my parents showing any interest for science or nature. They supported it, but I don't think it means anything to them. I can't imagine they understand a differential equation let alone see the profound beauty in it.
    So as I understand them, they can make no sense in working on sustainability.
    To bring up at that time that others are suffering for our decisions makes them feel bad. Why not just talk about relatives and who's doing what?
    From their views, I'm talking about something abstract that makes them feel bad. The possibility of seeing beauty or changing culture is, as best I can tell, beyond them.
    I've described myself like Meathead, the son-in-law in All in the Family. He believes in equal rights across racial, sexual, and class lines. Most of us would agree with him, but he lives in Archie's house and in that house, roles were prescribed by sex, race, and class, so equality angered him.
    Archie was the racist with the heart of gold, but a racist with a heart of gold is still a racist.
    So while I'm Meathead, they're polluters with hearts of gold. So, still hurting people.
    I'm not going to move away from the problem.
    Washington Square Park drowned in litterThe system of slavery evolved into today's polluting systemNine million people a year die from breathing polluted air
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    • 12 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
109 Ratings

109 Ratings

Cab283775 ,

Makes it seem possible

I have often felt overwhelmed and incapable of living true to my environmental values. Joshua talks about his incremental journey and how starting small leads to big changes.

malfoxley ,

Great show!

Joshua, host of the podcast, highlights all aspects of sustainability and more in this can’t miss podcast! The host and expert guests offer insightful advice and information that is helpful to anyone that listens!

Yael0117 ,

Thoughtful, incisive, brave

Josh’s approach is deeply honest, which makes for meaningful content that is a genuine reflection of connections made through the pursuit of a common goal.

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