Each episode of Why It Matters breaks down an issue that is shaping our world's future. Join host Gabrielle Sierra as she speaks with the leaders and thinkers who are facing these questions head on. Fueled by the minds at the Council on Foreign Relations, Why It Matters brings some of the world's most compelling stories home to you.
There is no country quite like Russia. Despite having a relatively small economy, it has been able to maintain global influence through a range of unconventional tactics. How has Vladimir Putin played his country’s weak hand so effectively? And what is his goal? Featured Guests: Jill Dougherty (Global Fellow, Kennan Institute, Wilson Center) Stephen Sestanovich (George F. Kennan Senior Fellow for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Council on Foreign Relations) Angela Stent (Director, Center for Eurasian, Russian, and East European Studies, Georgetown University) For an episode transcript and show notes, visit us at cfr.org/podcasts/russia
China's Starring Role in Hollywood
What does it take to make a Hollywood blockbuster? Movie stars? A great script? How about approval from the Chinese government? In this episode, two guests explore the surprising role of Chinese censorship and oversight in the production of U.S. films and ask what’s at stake as their presence increases. Featured Guests: Aynne Kokas (Associate Professor of Media Studies, University of Virginia) James Tager (Deputy Director, Free Expression Research and Policy, PEN America) For an episode transcript and show notes, visit us at cfr.org/podcasts/chinas-starring-role-hollywood
The Big Red Button (Flashback Episode)
The U.S. president can launch a first-strike nuclear attack at any time, and there’s no law mandating they seek advice first. Some experts think that’s too much power to put in one person’s hands. Episode Page and Show Notes Featured Guests: Richard K. Betts (Adjunct Senior Fellow for National Security Studies)Alexandra Bell (Senior Policy Director, Center for Arms Control and Nonproliferation)Abigail Stowe-Thurston (Program Coordinator, Center for Arms Control and Nonproliferation)
The Future is African
Projections show that by 2050, Africa’s population will double. By 2100, one in three people on Earth will be African. This means that, by the end of the century, sub-Saharan Africa—which already has an extraordinarily young population—will be home to almost half of the young people in the world. In this episode, two experts examine whether Africa’s youth boom will be a blessing or a curse. Featured Guests: Michelle Gavin (Senior Fellow for Africa Studies, Council on Foreign Relations) John Githongo (Inuka Kenya Trust, CEO and publisher of The Elephant)
A Climate Bomb in the Amazon
The Brazilian Amazon is burning, threatening the world’s largest repository of biodiversity. If the fires are not controlled soon, they could release a “climate bomb” of stored carbon that would accelerate climate change. Featured Guests: Monica de Bolle (Senior Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics) Stewart M. Patrick (James H. Binger Senior Fellow in Global Governance and Director of the International Institutions and Global Governance Program, Council on Foreign Relations) Thomas Lovejoy (President, Amazon Biodiversity Center) For an episode transcript and show notes, visit us at cfr.org/podcasts/climate-bomb-amazon
Let's Talk About Toilets
Fifty-five percent of the global population lacks access to safe sanitation, a deadly global health disparity that rarely finds its way into the spotlight. In this episode, we examine the scope of the problem, and the cultural challenges that have made it surprisingly difficult to fix. Featured Guests: Tom Slaymaker (Senior Statistics and Monitoring Specialist, WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Program for Water Supply, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH)) Sangita Vyas (Associate Director, Research Institute for Compassionate Economics) Brooke Yamakoshi (WASH Specialist, UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF)) For an episode transcript and show notes, visit us at cfr.org/podcasts/lets-talk-about-toilets
Customer ReviewsSee All
I just found this podcast. The Amazon episode was outstanding. Thought I understood the issue pretty well, but I learned a lot. I’m looking forward to playing past episodes now.
A favorite for this news junkie!
I have a Pavlovian response to the theme song of this pod, I look forward to it every week! I love hearing about what’s going on in the world and appreciate the deep dives that I don’t always get from other pods. 10/10 would recommend!
Fast Fashion podcast
Great podcast on Fast Fashion and its impact on climate change. I thought that wearing cotton clothes was environmentally better than clothes made with synthetic fabric. I need to better educate myself!!!