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.
1 – Making The Impossible Possible
You might think it’d be easier to ask for something achievable in a campaign, rather than demand the impossible. But sometimes the opposite is true.
In the first episode of ChangeMakers podcast, we look at the famous Fight for 15 campaign in the United States, which is radically changing the way low-wage workers fight for better conditions. Then we look at the roots of the radical politics that is sweeping Barcelona – and examine their attempts to “empower the street”.
2 – How To Win
When the largest rally in human history in 2003 didn’t stop the Iraq War it makes you wonder what does it take for a coalition to win?
In the second episode of ChangeMakers podcast we look at Brexit and examine how the types of coalitions used by each side influenced the outcome of the referendum. Then we go to the Northern Rivers in regional Australia look at how a different kind of alliance against Coal Seam Gas sought to organise across the entire community.
3 – When Women Lead
Sometimes when you need radical change it helps to not know how things are ‘meant to be done’.
In both of the stories in the third episode of ChangeMakers, we see women who had very little experience, entering male-dominated spaces and smashing it. By disrupting the business-as-usual approach, their innovations have had lasting impact. The first story is about mothers who are standing up to the gun lobby in the USA, and the second is about the women on the frontline of terrorism in Kenya.
4 – When Anger Works – Part One
When a growing movement of young people places itself in harms way to stop injustice, it can be powerful and unpredictable. Often it is fueled by the white-hot anger of knowing that you’re on the side of justice when those in power have failed to make the change you need. We can see this with the powerful #FeesMustFall student movement in South Africa.
This is a two part episode about times when direct action was used to confront an overwhelming force. Part one looks at the remarkable #FeesMustFall student movement in South Africa, that all started when someone threw poo at a statue.
5 – When Anger Works – Part Two
This is the second part of an exploration into how anger can be channelled into powerful actions. Part two comes from Brisbane, Australia where a simple vigil outside a hospital turned into a national flashpoint that overturned a decade of political consensus on Australia’s refugee policy. Remarkably, when they began the organisers of the vigil didn’t know what they were even aiming to achieve.
6 – Protesting in Putin’s Russia
What would you do if someone wanted to illegally concrete over your local park, and build an apartment block on it? And what would you do if the authorities supported the illegal construction? Today episode looks at how to organise genuine opposition in a place where the one thing they hate is genuine opposition. How a small protest against destruction of a local park turned into a mass movement that’s sweeping Russia.
7 – Fighting Dirty: Standing Rock
What would you do if someone wanted to bulldoze an oil pipeline through your country, threatening not just your land, but your water and air? And what if the nation backing them had a history of playing dirty? That’s the situation the people in today’s episode found themselves in. The battle over building an oil pipeline in Standing Rock in South Dakota, USA. Should they take the high road? Or respond in kind?
8 – The Power of Vision: Fred Hollows
What does it take to improve the lives of millions of people? The late Fred Hollows knew. He was known across the globe for his groundbreaking work in disrupting the global medical establishment, and his legacy lives on among the doctors he inspired. His most famous student, Dr Sanduk Ruit, has helped bring sight to over 125 000 people and trained thousands more doctors. In the process, he has directly improved the lives of millions of people. But what does it take to achieve transformation at this kind of scale?
9 – Fighting the Hard Right
Have you ever clicked on an online petition and wondered whether it worked? In 2016, GetUp – a digital campaign organisation best known for its online petitions and email campaigns – decided to go offline. They came up a strategy to remove extreme conservative politicians from the Australian parliament. One of the places they went to was the seat of Bass in Northern Tasmania – a seat not known for being welcoming to out-of-towners. What did they do, and how did they do it? GetUp has been condemned by many for the campaign they ran. Here they talk openly about its strengths – and weaknesses.
11 – Brooklyn Nine Nine
What can we learn when a Hollywood TV show gets into ChangeMaking? Comedy show Brooklyn 99 took on police racism. How did they do it in a way that people didn’t turn off? Companion article
12 – Umbrella Movement
In 2014 Hong Kong hundreds of thousands of citizens staged a mass street occupation demanding the vote. Why did it happen? And what led to tensions building inside the movement overtime?
13 – Indivisible
This is the origin story of the largest anti-Trump organisation in America and how it built a mass based local movement to save affordable healthcare.
14 – Reclaim the City
In Cape Town, apartheid pushed black residents to the edge of the city. Reclaim the city is a movement pushing back, desegregating the city through strategic long term occupations.
15 – Marriage Equality
The road to marriage equality in Australia was filled with dirty tricks and homophobia. How did the LGBTI community build a movement strong enough to overcome it all?
16 – Fair Treatment
What is a church doing running a facility where illegal drugs can be used openly? And why?
17 – Homes for the Homeless
How do we overcome chronic long term homelessness? On this episode we look at one campaign which decided to set an absurdly ambitious goal to try and solve the homelessness problem.
18 – Asian Coalition for Housing Rights
Can squatters ever hope to become land owners? An inspiring story from Thailand shows what it takes for poor people to rebuild the city around them.
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.
2019 – ChangeMaker Chats
Can Universities be change makers? If so, what does it take to traverse the research-practitioner divide? To find out more we interviewed Marc Stears, Director of the Sydney Policy Lab.
Marc is a former Professor of Oxford turned speech writer for the UK Labour Party’s Ed Miliband, and now he is in Sydney trying to build more bridges between scholarship and practice. So why does he do it? And how?
How do politicians really make change? Although most political leaders say they are powerful and can make a difference – what are the real pressures and backroom deals that make that hard? This week we hear from a senior leader of the Australia Labor Party who “spills the beans” on how some of this works.
John Robertson was a Labor Party Minister and the Leader of the Opposition in NSW for 4 years, as well as being a highly successful leader of the union movement. In this chat he sheds some light on what really happens in politics.
We discuss the Your Right at Work campaign and how it helped change the Australian Labor Party as well as the Liberal Party. We go through, in some detail, what shapes political power – from the party to the public service and everything in between.
Then we explore how to make change outside the party, and Robertson offers some advice to the Stop Adani movement – suggesting the kinds of strategies that might be useful for engaging the Labor Party.
Jennifer Dillon is the communications director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance. We talk about her work seeking recognition, dignity, respect and basic labour protections for millions of domestic workers in the United States.
Hahrie Han is one of the world’s top researchers studying ways of strengthening civic engagement. We explore the different strategies you can use to build people power and the journey she took to become one of the world’s top researchers in this space.
Dave Sweeney is a long time prominent anti-nuclear campaigner, co-founding the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize winning global organisation, ICAN, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.
Joel Solomon is the co-author of a new book – The Clean Money Revolution: Reinventing Power, Purpose and Capitalism. He is the chair and co-founder of Renewal Funds, Canada’s largest mission venture capital firm and has been active in the charitable funding of environmental issues for decades.
GetUp is one of Australia’s most impactful and influential community organisations, and Paul Oosting is their national director. We discuss what GetUp learnt from the 2019 Federal Election campaign. We find out Paul’s insights about what it’s like to operate under the pressure of media and political attack.
Antony Dapiran is the author of City of Protest – A Recent History of Dissent in Hong Kong. He is a long-time Hong Kong resident, lawyer, and commentator on Chinese business and legal matters.
When the 2019 Bushfires burnt her home, Fiona Lee did what most would find hard – she became an advocate for climate change. Three days after her house burnt down, Fiona and her family stood at NSW Parliament House calling for serious action on climate change as creating the context for these catastrophic fires. What is her story? How did she do this? And what did she learn about the power of her own voice in this moment.
Jeremy Heimans is a digital social movement entrepreneur and the key figure behind cutting edge social change organisations like GetUp, Avaaz and Purpose. We talk about his journey, and themes from his new book with Henry Timms, called New Power – How Power Works in Our Hyperconnected World – and How to Make it Work for You.
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