Podcast provides hope for the next generation

A new podcast series from Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington has brought together a dozen expert speakers in discussion with Dr Sarah-Jane O’Connor from the Centre for Science in Society, to explore the latest thinking on the challenges and opportunities for a sustainable future.

image of parent and child planting a tree
In the six 20-minute-long episodes, academics, professionals, and postgraduate students aim to educate and inspire hope in listeners. The six episodes tackle climate action, biodiversity, clean water, circular economics, equity, and partnerships.

“No single person has all the answers to how we achieve a more sustainable future, but the more we talk across disciplines, the better chance we have of ensuring we are going in the right direction,” says the University’s director of Sustainability, Andrew Wilks.

As well as being available on University podcast channels, summer scholar, third-year student Caitlin Hall, worked with Tonya Sweet from the School of Design Innovation to develop a website to help teachers and students use the podcasts in their classroom.

“Hosting these conversations has been a daunting but inspiring task,” says host, Dr O’Connor. “It was great to get such different worldviews together, and it is clear from this series that while we have some way to go, we are an innovative species, and if we all work together, we have a long and prosperous future.”

This might be by developing new battery technology, like founder of TasmanIon Dr Shalini Divya; teaching the next generation of teachers about equity, like Dr Hiria McRae or sustainability within management, like Dr Ben Walker; researching freshwater management, like Dr Julia Talbot-Jones; or using new technology to track pest species, like Master’s student Ellen Carlyon.

The series ends with a reflection on how partnerships underlie sustainability, particularly within the University context. “The Living Pā construction project is a rich example of partnerships across industries and disciplines,” says Mr Wilks.

Listen to the podcast now—available on your favourite podcast provider.