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


  • Covid Pandemic: Americas Wake Up Call. Adrian Wooldridge

    Covid Pandemic: America's Wake Up Call. Adrian Wooldridge

    23/10/2020 Duração: 30min

    If the Covid pandemic has taught us anything, it is that the government's response to a global health emergency can mean the difference between living and dying.America's woeful performance in recent months has exposed how far we have fallen behind public health systems in much of Asia. While China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore combined have recorded fewer than 1,000 cases per day since September, the U.S. is reporting over 60,000 daily cases.Our guest is Adrian Wooldridge of The Economist, and co-author of "The Wake Up Call: Why the Pandemic Has Exposed the Weakness of the West and How to Fix It.""We need to have a much more efficient government that is collectively valued by society," says Adrian. He argues that it's time to make government great again. In this episode, we discuss steps to improve government's use of technology and delivery of services while protecting individual liberty.Recommendation: Jim is listening to the podcast "50 Years of Music With 50 Year-Old White Guys"note

  • Four Threats: American Democracy in Crisis: Suzanne Mettler

    Four Threats: American Democracy in Crisis: Suzanne Mettler

    16/10/2020 Duração: 30min

    More than half of American voters expect to see a rise in violence after election day, according to a recent poll. Only 49% said Americans will largely accept the results.These findings and others suggest that American democracy is facing intense stress. President Trump has repeatedly refused to say whether he would accept the official results. "Trump and Biden supporters have deep disagreements over several aspects of the election and voting process – including whether it will be clear which candidate won even after all the votes are counted," says Pew Research Center.This episode examines how our current problems compare to past outbreaks of political turmoil. Professor Suzanne Mettler, co-author of the new book, "Four Threats: The Recurring Crises of American Democracy" is our guest.The four threats are: polarization, racism and nativism, economic inequality, and excessive presidential power. "Today, for the first time ever, all four of these threats t

  • Why Voting Isnt Enough. CivicLex: Richard Young, Megan Gulla

    Why Voting Isn't Enough. CivicLex: Richard Young, Megan Gulla

    09/10/2020 Duração: 30min

    How do you get supporters of Donald Trump and Joe Biden in the same room at the same time working together on something political? It sounds almost impossible, but even at a time of hyper-partisan division, progress and trust can be achieved on a local level. In this episode, we look at the groundbreaking work of CivicLex, a non-profit civic education and solutions journalism group based in Lexington, a Kentucky city of nearly 400,000 people. Civic Lex has three main goals: Improve access to information, Change the processes that govern how the city interacts with residents, and Democratize political power. Our CivicLex guests are: Executive Director, Richard Young, who has worked on civic engagement and community development projects for almost a decade, and Director of Programs, Megan Gulla, who has worked and volunteered in a variety of fields, including creative, local journalism. CivicLex has won funding from The National Endowment for the Arts, Knight Foundation, Facebook J

  • Advice to my Younger Self: Bruce Van Dusen

    Advice to my Younger Self: Bruce Van Dusen

    02/10/2020 Duração: 27min

    How does your career stay on track at a time of very high unemployment, great technological change and enormous uncertainty? We explore these questions and much more with one of the advertising industry's most successful commercial directors. When he was 23, Bruce Van Dusen was desperate for a job. For the next 40 years, he thought that every commercial that he made would be his last. With a mix of audacity, determination, and hard work, plus a dash of deep personal insecurity, Bruce developed a remarkable knack for crafting stories that could be told in 30 seconds. His wise and highly entertaining new book is "60 Stories About 30 Seconds: How I Got Away With Being a Pretty Big Commercial Director Without Losing My Soul (Or Maybe Just Part of It)."We discuss some lessons Bruce learned along the way-- lessons that he wished he had known when he started out in his crazy, fast-changing industry. Such as: Go to a meeting any time anywhere; Treat all famous people like they're not; Nothing

  • Loving Yourself and Humanity: Chloé Valdary

    Loving Yourself and Humanity: Chloé Valdary

    25/09/2020 Duração: 25min

    Anger, fear and loathing cut across our deeply divided, hyper-partisan political divide. From The White House and the streets of cities, to furious posts on social media, many of us objectify others. Those belong to the wrong tribe are often the objects of personal scorn.In a recent Twitter post, our guest, Chloé Valdary, says: "if you do not possess the power to love, and especially love your enemies, then you don't really have the power."In this episode, Chloé talks about her antiracism program, Theory of Enchantment, which uses pop culture as an educational tool, teaching social and emotional learning in schools, and diversity and inclusion in companies and government agencies. The three key principles involve:1. We are human beings, not political abstractions.2. Use criticism to uplift, not tear down.3. Lead with love and compassion.Recommendation: Jim is reading the new book, "Utopia Avenue" by British novelist, David Mitchell.  See for

  • Fires In The West: Alastair Gee and Dani Anguiano

    Fires In The West: Alastair Gee and Dani Anguiano

    18/09/2020 Duração: 30min

    Massive wildfires in the west have burned through more than five million acres, forced tens of thousands of people from their homes, and spread smoke and air pollution across many states. This year's historic wildfire season prompted calls for reforms of the nation's fire management policies, and are a clear sign that the impacts of climate change are now being felt. Changes in the weather leading to temperature extremes and drought are no longer a theory.We discuss the causes of raging wildfires, including forestry management, climate, and the movement of people, as well as practical steps can be taken now to reduce the destruction to property and people's lives. Our guests are Guardian journalists Alastair Gee and Dani Anguiano, authors of the new book, “Fire In Paradise: An American Tragedy", a harrowing account of the most destructive wildfire in a century. Both Dani and Alastair reported extensively on the Camp Fire in 2018, and this year's megafires in California,

  • Radical Health for Pregnant Women: Ivelyse Andino

    Radical Health for Pregnant Women: Ivelyse Andino

    11/09/2020 Duração: 25min

    “Tech For The Public Good” is supported by a grant from Solutions Journalism Network. Technology is a double-edged sword, especially during the coronavirus pandemic. Despite well-publicized threats from bots, hackers, government spooks and huge online firms, tech is often a force for public good. In this special episode on civic tech, we report on a local effort to promote better healthcare for those who need it most: the residents of America's poorest Congressional District: New York's 15th CD in The Bronx. Ivelyse Andino is our guest. She's the founder and CEO of Radical Health, a minority-owned, Bronx-based health-equity social enterprise that uses technology, an app powered by artificial intelligence; and community conversations to help (among others) pregnant women and new mothers understand their health care rights.  According to U.S. government statistics, black women are up to six times more likely to die from complications of pregnancy than white women. "The U.S. is

  • COVID Pandemic. How Philosophy Can Help: Eric Weiner

    COVID Pandemic. How Philosophy Can Help: Eric Weiner

    04/09/2020 Duração: 26min

    Fears about COVID-19 can take an emotional toll, leading to a growing sense of worry and panic. We ask: How can philosophy help us cope with adversity in a pandemic?We go in pursuit of wisdom and discovery with journalist and author Eric Weiner, author of the new book, "The Socrates Express: In Search of Life Lessons From Dead Philosophers". This episode is a rollicking ride, as we follow in the footsteps of history’s greatest thinkers—from Epicurus to Nietzsche, Thoreau to Gandhi— who show us practical and spiritual lessons for today’s unsettled times.Philosophy helps us as we struggle with disturbing questions raised by coronavirus. How to find a level of calm and certainty in an uncertain age? How do we endure tough times? There are no easy answers, but as with religious texts, philosophy helps us ask better questions. "We often confuse knowledge and wisdom, and we think that what we need to get out of this mess is more information," Erik tells us. "More information,

  • Renewing Work in America: Oren Cass

    Renewing Work in America: Oren Cass

    28/08/2020 Duração: 25min

    The American worker is in crisis and faces a very uncertain future. The COVID-19 pandemic led to a deep recession and millions of layoffs. Even before coronavirus— despite a decade of continuous economic growth— the percentage of Americans with jobs was well below normal levels. Many people had dropped out of the labor force, and gave up looking for work. For the first time in modern memory, life expectancy started to fall as substance abuse and obesity rates rose. Our guest, conservative author Oren Cass, argues that we've abandoned the American worker, and pushed four-college at the expense of more effective solutions.In his widely-praised book, "The Once and Future Worker",  Oren argues that government policy should emphasize production, not consumption. His arguments were summarized  in The Atlantic."We've become obsessed with consumerism-- measuring everything in terms of consumers and living standards... In the process, we've for

  • Its So Hard To Change Our Minds: Eleanor Gordon-Smith

    It's So Hard To Change Our Minds: Eleanor Gordon-Smith

    21/08/2020 Duração: 28min

    Most people reject facts that cause them discomfort or don't line up with their view of the world. All too often emotion, not reason, informs our beliefs. Despite social media claims that #factsmatter, it's surprisingly difficult to use rational arguments to change minds."It's surprising how much we still put faith in rational argument," says our guest, Australian writer and philosopher, Eleanor Gordon-Smith. In this summer re-run episode from November, 2019, we take a fun, fascinating journey to the limits of human reason. Eleanor's book "Stop Being Reasonable. How We Really Change Our Minds," includes personal stories of successful persuasion that illustrate what most of us get wrong about rationality she says. Her latest book is, Illogical Stories: how to change minds in an unreasonable world."Hearing the story of how somebody changes their mind is hearing the story of how they change their life," Eleanor tells us. "Why, when we know that changing our minds is as tangled and difficult and messy as we are,

  • America’s Voting Crisis. Charles Stewart, David Litt

    America’s Voting Crisis. Charles Stewart, David Litt

    14/08/2020 Duração: 24min

    Joe Biden's selection of Kamala Harris to be his vice-presidential running mate is a reminder that the fall election season is about to start in earnest.In this episode, we discuss solutions for America's voting crisis. People of all political persuasions have expressed concerns about holding an election in the COVID pandemic. President Trump made unsubstantiated claims about voter fraud. Many have protested the barriers faced by voters who find it difficult or nearly impossible to have their say in elections. In Georgia this summer, some voters waited in line for 5 hours to make their voices heard, while New York election officials took many weeks to count absentee ballots and get the results from congressional primary elections.This podcast is produced with assistance from the Democracy Group podcast network. We feature groundbreaking interviews from "Democracy Works" podcast with elections expert, MIT political science professor, Charles Stewart, and former Obama spe

  • Lessons From a Thousand Towns: Singer-Songwriter Dar Williams

    Lessons From a Thousand Towns: Singer-Songwriter Dar Williams

    07/08/2020 Duração: 25min

    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 hel

  • Climate Alarm: Bad for the Environment? Michael Shellenberger

    Climate Alarm: Bad for the Environment? Michael Shellenberger

    31/07/2020 Duração: 26min

    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

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

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

    24/07/2020 Duração: 25min

    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 podca

  • The Problem With Cancel Culture: Megan McArdle

    The Problem With Cancel Culture: Megan McArdle

    17/07/2020 Duração: 36min

    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

  • Democracy Reform: Voters Not Politicians. Katie Fahey

    Democracy Reform: Voters Not Politicians. Katie Fahey

    10/07/2020 Duração: 26min

    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 

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

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

    03/07/2020 Duração: 29min

    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 Taiw

  • The Worlds Best Healthcare Systems: Ezekiel Emanuel

    The World's Best Healthcare Systems: Ezekiel Emanuel

    26/06/2020 Duração: 24min

    The U.S. spends far more money on healthcare than any other nation, but has the most confirmed COVID-19 cases. The lax response to the coronavirus crisis exposed many weaknesses in the system, which was less prepared for a pandemic than other nations.  In this episode, we look at what can be learned from other systems around the world. Our guest is the well-known oncologist, bioethicist, and healthcare expert, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, author of the new book, "Which Country Has the World's Best Healthcare?""Every country feels that their healthcare costs are high. Ours are stratospheric," Dr. Emanuel tells us. "Our drug costs are way higher than any other country, but every country is feeling pressure from drug costs."In his book, Dr. Emanuel profiles 11 healthcare systems around the world. From Taiwan to Germany, Australia to Switzerland, healthcare providers tackle a global set of challenges, in pursuit of better healthcare solutions.  Recommendation: O

  • How Innovation Works and Why It Matters. Matt Ridley

    How Innovation Works and Why It Matters. Matt Ridley

    19/06/2020 Duração: 28min

    "The Covid-19 pandemic reveals that far from living in an age of incessant technological change, we have been neglecting innovation in exactly the areas where we most need it." So writes our podcast guest, best-selling author Matt Ridley.We discuss the urgent concept raised in his latest book, "How Innovation Works, And Why It Flourishes in Freedom."As Viscount Ridley, Matt was elected to the UK House of Lords in 2013. His TED Talk, "When Ideas Have Sex" has been viewed more than two million times. His books, including, "The Rational Optimist", have sold more than one million copies.Matt Ridley argues that we need to change the way we think about innovation, to see it as a bottom-up, incremental process, rather than a top-down event that develops according to plan. He also explains the fundamental difference between innovation and invention."Trial and error is the secret sauce of innovation," Matt tells us. "Again and again and again if you talk to great innovators they stress the importance of tria

  • Racism, Protests, Police Reform: Coleman Hughes

    Racism, Protests, Police Reform: Coleman Hughes

    12/06/2020 Duração: 39min

    The massive wave of protests in hundreds of towns and cities across America and in many other countries were sparked by outrage, pain and grief over the killing of George Floyd, and countless incidents of racism against African-Americans.We've all been surprised by the events of the past few weeks. They've forced many of us to question our core beliefs about the political system, public morality, and the distribution of power. For this episode, we looked for someone who could talk about race from a personal, practical, and original viewpoint Our guest is writer and podcaster, Coleman Hughes, a recent graduate of Columbia University, who has testified before Congress, and written articles for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Quillette, and other outlets. Coleman was recently named as a Manhattan Institute fellow."If we are just going to live in what's comfortable you might as well not think at all", says Coleman, in response to chants, demands and slogans at Black

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