The ChangeMakers podcast is short series podcast that tells stories about people who are striving for social change across the world.
There are 140 million people across the globe engaged in volunteer work or working for non-profits. These are the Change Makers. The ChangeMakers podcast is a regular 30 min globally focused series that tells the stories about what is working and not working in the world of social change.
Each episode, host Amanda Tattersall picks an issue or theme. The theme might be a wicked problem – like climate change or poverty – or a discrete social change strategy – like digital activism or alliance building. Then she travels across the globe to meet Change Makers who’ve been trying to make an impact in that space. Battle stories are told. Hopes, fears and regrets are shared. Through these stories, lessons about what works – and what doesn’t – are teased out.
With an investigative tone, Tattersall will also visit universities, corporate and political consultancies to bring fresh eyes to challenges that Change Makers face every day.
The program is designed to help Change Makers reflect on what they do, and how they can do it better.
The podcast’s distribution will itself be a lesson in social change best practice. Leveraging Dr Tattersall’s deep, global links in this sector, it will create distribution partnerships with organisations that have over 40 million unique members worldwide.
The host, Dr Amanda Tattersall has written the globally focused “go to” book on coalition strategy (Power in Coalition), set up some of Australia’s most successful social change organisations (GetUp! and the Sydney Alliance) and is still frustrated that while we are doing many things well, we still haven’t turned the corner on creating a world that nurtures the common good.
#19 Migrant caravan in Central America
In late 2018 thousands of people from across Central America walked North to the border of the USA and into the political maelstrom of the midterm elections. How did they organise themselves and what did they achieve?
#20 Igniting opportunities for refugees
In Australia it’s hard for newly arrived refugees to find a new job. In 2011, Settlement Services International found a way for refugees to create businesses for themselves – by using the marketplace as a change maker.
#21 The People v Twitter trolls
Social media abuse tries to shut people down, and is frighteningly common for women and people of colour. This is the story of how Amnesty crowdsourced thousands of volunteers to patrol twitter and see if they could stop it.
#22 Tiananmen to the Hong Kong protests
From Tiananmen Square onwards, Hong Kong protesters have developed sophisticated protest strategies. ChangeMakers explores the long story behind Hong Kong’s protest life that has produced the 2019 movement.
#23 How Umbrella shaped the 2019 protests
The 2014 Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong was a defeat, but it also generated key insights. We explore how it has guided the 2019 Hong Kong Protest movement.
#24 Power of March For Our Lives – 1 – Who Speaks
On 14 February 2018, 17 people were killed in a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida. That same day, student survivors began to build a movement against senseless gun violence and lax gun laws. This is the first episode in a multi-part series that explores how they organised for change. This episode looks at how important their voices were in breaking through the sense of despair in America’s gun debate.
#25 Power of March For Our Lives – 2 – Art and Politics
In the wake of the school shooting in Parkland people began using art as a means to express their grief and to connect their plea for gun reform to others. How did this art reach people in ways that moved beyond just words?
#26 Power of March for Our Lives – Identity Matters
In the US, gun violence affects black communities far more than any other. How did the March for Our Lives movement work with these communities? What do powerful intersectional movements look like?
#27 This is a Big Moment
COVID-19 has shaken the foundations of life as we know it. There is fear, but is there hope as well? This episode features three stories, about healthcare, mutual aid and green stimulus, that show people making something better out of this difficult time.
We speak withDr. Claire Hooker, from Sydney Health Ethics at the University of Sydney; Professor David Isaacs, one of Australia’s leading infectious disease doctors; Dr. Robert Kennedy, a G.P in Redfern, inner city Sydney; Alex Kelly,a strategic communications consultant and an instigator of a mutual aid group; Elly Bird, a councillor from the Lismore area, active in social groups that assist vulnerable communties; and Dr. Daniel Aldana Cohen, a sociology professor at the University of Pennsylvania and co-author of the book Planet to Win: Why we need a Green New Deal.
#28 Bushfires Part 1 – Black Ops Mosquitos
In the summer of 2019, Australia had the worst bushfires on record. Everyone knows the story of the official fires services. This is the story of the not-so-official fire fighting squad.
#29 Bushfires Part 2 – Renegade Aid in Batemans Bay
In all of Australia, Batemans Bay and the South Coast was one of the worst affected. With devastation everywhere, formal government services and charities weren’t able to cope. This is the story of the little known community initiative that saw the breach and stepped in to fill the gap.
#30 Christmas Spirit = Compassion for Refugees
No matter what your beliefs, the moral of the Bethlehem story is that when people are in need they need compassion. While Australia’s refugee policies have infrequently followed this, Australian people have. This is the story of Baby Asha – an injured baby who was medivaced to a hospital in Brisbane and the community of people who rose up to keep that child in a space of safety away from a desert prison on the Pacific Island of Nauru.
#31 Scaling Change – Amanda Tattersall on making change big and small
How can we hold together big ambition for social change on issues like climate alongside the small work required to build powerful connections across our diversity and difference? This piece explores the tensions of scale between big and small, fast and slow through stories and reflections across a life of organising. Our host Amanda Tattersall reads a memoir that she wrote for the Griffith Review in their August edition entitled Hey Utopia.
You can find the Griffith Review here: www.griffithreview.com/editions/hey-utopia/.
#32 The Best Climate Campaign You Have Never Heard Of
Could there be a single lever in the global marketplace that could transform the stakes for climate change? Yes – the insurance industry. Over the past 5 years insurance has been turned upside down by a nimble network of climate campaigners that have set new rules to end insurance for fossil fuel projects. This is the story of the Sunrise Project, the Insure our Future coalition, and the global and Australian distributed networks that have turned the world of insurance around.
#33 Climate Justice, Coalitions and Glasgow
If Glasgow tells us anything – the people of the world will need to keep coming together if the politicians of the world are to ever stop climate change. But that begs the question – what does it take for people to come together powerfully? Especially people who are really different.
Building unusual alliances is both an art and a science and those who have succeeded and failed before have a lot to teach us today. This is a special episode from our archive, recorded in 2017, featuring two very different coalitions. Together they share a series of important lessons about building alliances. We love coalition building at ChangeMakers – our host Amanda Tattersall wrote the go to book ‘Power in Coalition’ and these stories bring many of these ideas to life.
#34 ICYMI – Recalling the beginning of Covid and the early seeds of change
Covid has changed the world – not just the pandemic – but equally the challenges and changes to our human systems – how we relate and work together. We recorded this episode back in May 2020 at the beginning of the crisis. It explores three stories where change and hope were making a difference. We looked at healthcare, mutual aid and the Green New Deal – and saw how people were seeking (and are continuing to build) hope out of difficult times.
#35 ICYMI – A different Afghanistan – the Kabul Peace House
As Afghanistan falls again to the rule of the Taiban, we want to share a lesser known story of hope – the work of Insaan and the Kabul Peace House. During the 2000s in the mountains of central Afghanistan, soon after the US invasion, a remarkable but unlikely peace movement began. Led by a man called Insaan, they committed to a process of building peace between people. Over decades they created understanding and connection between ethnic groups and genders in ways that invasion and ideology couldn’t.
This story was written and recorded by our reporter Mark Isaacs on location in Afghanistan, and first released in 2020. Life in Afghanistan is far more complex than how it is portrayed in the daily Western news, celebrating the Afghani community leaders who continue to work for a better place.
You can find out more about this story in the book about Kabul Peace House, by Mark Isaacs.
#36 Parkland Students (ICYMI)
On 14 February 2018 a lone gunman entered Majory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida and killed 17 people. In the days following, a group of students from the school built a campaign to change gun laws in America. Everyday students like Emma Gonzalez and David Hogg became household names as a social movement called March for Our Lives staged a national conversation around gun violence. This episode tells their story featuring teachers, students and parents who were there that day and part of the movement that grew. We released this story in 2020. It is part of a three-part series about March for Our Lives. Episode two is about art and politics after Parkland, and episode three is about identity.
#37 Standing Rock (ICYMI)
One of President Biden’s first acts was to stop the Keystone Pipeline. It was a victory that arose out of a long battle. First Nations leaders from Standing Rock, in coalition with Indigneous leaders from around the world, initiated this campaign in 2016 to protect their land and water from destruction. But for hundreds of years before this, the Sioux Nations have defended their land and fought for sovereignty. This story features the voices of some of these leaders. The story was first released in 2017, years before the pipeline was stopped.
#38 Building Powerful Coalitions (ICYMI)
What does it take to build powerful coalitions between different groups with different interests and passions? The idea of working together sounds nice, but what makes a coalition work when the rubber hits the road?
This is an episode of two very different but equally successful coalitions. The first talks to organisers in the coalition that delivered the BREXIT deal in the United Kingdom. The second tells the story of the grassroots leaders who build a coalition to stop gas fields being built across the Northern Rivers of NSW in Australia. Each story draws out crucial, transferable lessons about coalition building, drawn in part from our Host Amanda Tattersall’s book Power in Coalition (2010). There are further links to writing and training about coalition building on our website – www.changemakerspodcast.org (via story page).
Further readings on coalitions:
#39 Sexual Assault – IWD ChangeMaker Special
There is a sexual assault crisis in Australia right now. Today we have a special episode – a re-recorded speech that was delivered by host Amanda Tattersall to 500 year 9 and 10 female and male high school students at a public high school in Sydney’s inner West Sydney for its International Women’s Day Assembly. A Transcript of the Speech can be found here.