David Attenborough and Naomi Klein turn climate change on its head


The Glass Bead Game is a brand new podcast featuring esteemed author Naomi Klein and broadcaster David Attenborough. It confronts complex global issues such as climate change by combining academic debate with real-life accounts. Episode 1 was released earlier this week.

On February 8 the University of Sussex released ‘The Meaning of Climate Change,’ the first two-part episode of a new podcast featuring Naomi Klein and David Attenborough. In this first episode, presenter Will Hood discusses how the overlap between biology, economics, and academia is inextricably vital to our understanding of the modern world. It also draws upon the anecdotal experiences of Canada’s indigenous groups, who have struggled against forces that have destroyed their natural habitats.

The Glass Bead Game is named after a popular novel written by Herman Hesse in 1943. The book is an apt inspiration for the podcast’s name; it featured a game that was played by forging connections between various academic disciplines. The podcast aims for something similar by drawing upon the opinions of experts from numerous fields. The result is an expansive collage of ideas that address a complex issue, with attempts to bring all these narratives together under a single comprehensive lens.

More highlights of the first episode include coverage of the COP21 climate summit in Paris. Attenborough and Klein engage the question: How does direct action influence our understanding of climate change, and to what extent can political solutions herald real, lasting impact?

The podcast series is marketed towards the “curious of mind,” to whom it offers a brand new platform for academic research to interact with the experiences of real people. These are unheard, often silenced people, brought together in a myriad of ways.

This dynamic and entertaining style mirrors that of popular podcasts being produced in the US. The Glass Bead Game hopes to do away with the static panel-based debates usually heard on UK radio.

The series presenter Will Hood is an award winning filmmaker and a research associate at the University of Sussex, whose School of Global Cities is responsible for the podcast’s inception. The series is produced by Rob Alexander from Perfectmotion.

The Glass Bead Game can be found here.


Photo Credit: swirlingthoughts on Flickr.