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Podcast and essays

 WORLD: we got this podcast

The podcast talking big global challenges with the experts taking them on.


Each episode we speak with an expert guest about their research, about how it can help us to understand our world and, most importantly, how it can help us to meet the challenges we face.

From how climate change is impacting democracy in India to how First Nations peoples in Australia have responded to COVID-19, we speak to experts here in the UK and around the world to help us explore the issues that matter.

With each episode we release a list of readings materials so you’re able to delve deeper into the research being done to understand these big global challenges.

You can listen to the WORLD: we got this podcast on iTunes, SoundCloud, and Spotify.

Episode notes

In our first podcast of 2021 we are joined by Professor Anand Menon, Director of the UK in a Changing Europe, to discuss that most complex of challenges – Brexit. We also discuss what other political and economic challenges lay in wait for the UK, why language, process and explanation are crucial to understanding complex challenges and why the Union may become the defining issue of 2021.

Brexit and Beyond, the latest UK in a Changing Europe report

In our end of year Christmas special we speak to Dame Louise Casey about taking on some big challenges during her time in government - from tackling homelessness under Tony Blair to leading the troubled families programme under David Cameron. We discuss why sound policy making is a mixture of the 'blindingly obvious' and the very complex. Furthermore, Dame Louise explains why she thinks Boris Johnson's government needs to rethink how it approaches challenges such as child poverty and homelessness. We also discuss the impacts of COVID-19 and the COVID-19 community campaign to make sure no family goes without this winter, -a campaign Dame Louise helped to launch this week. To get involved in the COVID community campaign and to contribute please use the link below.

COVID Community Campaign

We speak with Alice Politi about her new paper 'Italy: a case study of the Silk Road Project in Europe'. The paper considers the recent bilateral agreement between Italy and China, examining what it can tell us about the role of Chinese foreign investment for Chinese trade and diplomacy. The paper is the first in a new Policy Series from the Lau China Institute titled 'China in the World'.

Further reading

We speak with Rosa Heimer about her essay and research, looking at the impacts of COVID-19 on black and minoritized women facing gender-based violence. We discuss how housing, immigration and policing are currently failing to support many women escaping violence. We discuss why these issues will outlive the pandemic but also what we can do to bring about change.

Further reading

We speak with Nithya and Laurie about why the brick industry in Cambodia has created a multigenerational workforce of adults and children trapped in debt bondage – one of the most prevalent forms of modern slavery in the world. This process of unfree labour has led them to coin the term 'blood bricks'. Working with other researchers they aim to highlight the injustices of modern day slavery, but also the wider political and economic forces which facilitate the blood brick system.

Crowd Justice campaign

Brazil sits at the heart of some of the world's biggest challenges; from deforestation to inequality. Its ability to overcome these issues are not only critical to it's future, but to the future of the entire planet. We speak with Professor Anthony Pereira about his new book 'Modern Brazil: A Very Short Introduction' and why, in order to understand Brazil today, we must understand its contemporary formation.

Further reading

In this episode we discuss the threats faced by minorities communities within India. Sudhir Selvaraj is a PhD candidate at the King's India Institute at King’s College London. His research focuses on violence against Christians in India, and as well as being a research he is also a playwright. In this episode we discuss the ideas raised by a spoken word piece that Sudhir wrote and produced on the 2008 Kandhamal violence. The incident refers to the violence which took place towards the Christian minority in the Kandhamal district within the eastern coastal state of Orissa.

Further reading

Special guest Chair Owen Hatherley, of the Guardian and Tribune magazine, is joined by Professor Deborah Potts, Author of Broken Cities: Inside the Global Housing Crisis and Professor Phil Hubbard, Director of the Urban Futures Centre at King’s College London to discuss the global housing crisis.

Further reading

We speak with Dr Katie Meehan after her study finds that more than 1.1 million people in the USA live without indoor plumbing, with the largest number of homes in New York and Los Angeles. We discuss what her latest research on water access in the United States tells us about modern America.

Further reading

In the first episode of our new format podcast we speak to Professor Martin Wooster about the importance of mapping wildfires, why not all wildfires are bad, and the unique threat posed by fires in the tropics. Professor Martin Wooster is an expert on Satellite Earth Observation and the quantification of landscape fire. He was appointed Professor of Earth Observation Science at King's in 2005. He is currently working with the Leverhulme Centre for Wildfires, Environment and Society, in partnership with Imperial College London, Royal Holloway and the University of Reading.

Further reading