"Whose Century Is It?" explores ideas, trends and twists shaping the 21st century, through a global lens. Host Mary Kay Magistad, a former NPR and PRI East Asia correspondent, offers interviews, stories and perspectives from around the world.
On China's New Silk Road Podcast Preview
If you like Whose Century Is It?, check out this preview of my new limited series podcast with the Global Reporting Centre, On China's New Silk Road. I've teamed up with great local journalists on almost every continent to explore how China's global ambition is seen around the world, and at the impact Chinese investments in one of the biggest global infrastructure efforts ever, are having on the ground.
Slavery in your grocery cart
Next time you sip your tea or bite into a bar of chocolate, or load up your grocery cart with other treats, spare a thought for the underpaid or unpaid workers who made it possible. Modern slavery comes in many guises, and politics professor Genevieve LeBaron of the University of Sheffield in England, who's done field studies on the subject, is here to tell you how it happens, and what you might want to look out for as you shop.
Wizards, Prophets & the Fate of the Earth: Innovation & Conservation in an age of climate change
We're pretty clever, we humans, but we ignore unintended consequences at our peril -- like climate change, after a couple of centuries of fossil fuel-driven growth and innovation. Can we innovate our way out of that growing crisis, or must we cut back and conserve if we want a habitable planet? Or both? Science journalist and author Charles Mann, author of 1491, 1493 and The Wizard & the Prophet, tells the tale of these two competing approaches through the lives of the 'wizard,' Norman Borlaug, father of the Green Revolution, and the 'prophet,' William Vogt, early ecologist and author of the hugely impactful 1948 book, Road to Survival.
Sci Fi Future
In the imagined world of novelist Eliot Peper's near-term future in such books as Bandwidth and Borderless, San Diego's burning, polar ice caps have melted, everyone's got their heads in their digital feeds, and a powerful social media company called Commonwealth controls --well, seems like just about everything. Eliot talks to host Mary Kay Magistad about writing speculative fiction, about the value of sci fi in helping us all think through current crises and possible futures, and about what sci fi has seen coming, and what it's gotten just plain wrong.
Why half the world's languages may disappear in this century
Embedded in each language is a reflection of life as lived by its speakers, over thousands of years. And when a language disappears, that embedded knowledge is lost. As the world grows more connected, and as dominant cultures push their own languages for wider use – think English, Chinese and Arabic, for starters -- languages are disappearing. As many as half the world's 7,000 languages may be gone by the end of the century. The good news is that linguists are on it, like this episode’s guest Laura Welcher, who oversees the Long Now Foundation’s Rosetta Project in San Francisco.
Ethnic cleansing, human tragedy & the future few saw coming for Burma: What the Rohingya Muslim purge reveals about Myanmar's challenges in building real democracy
Not so long ago, Myanmar (Burma) was a good news story, with democratic reforms, a booming economy and falling poverty rates. Then came ugly military-led attacks on Rohingya Muslims, who killed, raped and burned houses, and forced more than 700,000 Rohingyas to flee to camps in Bangladesh, with little pushback from pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi. What does this mean for Myanmar's democratic future? Khin Ohmar, an exiled Burmese human rights and democracy activist for 30 years, shares her thoughts.
Listen, think, and learn
I keep coming back for more! This is a podcast for thinking people who are interested in going beyond a superficial level. Subscribe, you’ll enjoy it.
I listen to these podcasts a couple of times - each time seems to get my mind wandering into new places...
Episodes on global issues are interesting
I found the first several episodes on China, Technology and other issues to be informative. The drift toward the obvious political biases of the podcaster in more recent episodes is much less interesting. Please get back to focusing on global issues.