Findhorn Foundation Trustee and FICS co-founder Paul Dickinson is a co-creator of the most widely listened to climate change broadcast
by Yvonne Cuneo
I’ve just finished listening to the highly entertaining and informative one year celebration episode (8 May) of the award winning podcast Outrage and Optimism, created by former UN Chief Christiana Figueres, Tom Rivett-Carnac and Paul Dickinson.
It has become the most widely listened to climate change podcast, with an audience stretching from San Francisco to Sydney, no doubt because of its wonderful juxtaposition of outrage and optimism, both required to fuel the actions we need to address climate change. The podcast was recently voted one of only six Honorees in the 2020 Webby Awards, the leading international award honouring excellence on the Internet, in the category of News & Politics Podcasts.
I’m proud to say Christiana visited The Park with a group of climate financiers in 2014 and refers to the Foundation affectionately as “the magic kingdom”. That group, I’m happy to say, continues to meet annually at The Park in a programme called Climate Finance, convened by Helen Wildsmith.
Paul, a co-creator of the podcast and Helen, convenor of Climate Finance are both now Findhorn Foundation Trustees, co-creators and advisors of the Findhorn International Centre of Sustainability (FICS) and good friends of mine.
Over the last ten years Paul has co-convened many successful and productive programmes such as Unlocking the Future, Water Security Forum, Systemic Risk, SDGs, Corporate Strategy for an Open Society, and Local Economic Forum.
I encourage you to explore all the weekly episodes of Outrage + Optimism, to hear interviews with such amazing people as David Attenborough, Ellie Goulding, Jane Goodall, Greta Thunberg, Richard Branson, Joanna Macy, Wanjira Mathai, David Miliband, Stella McCartney and Theresa May. I particularly loved the superb interview with Yuval Noah Harari, historian, futurist, philosopher and best-selling author, and Wanjira Mathai’s exploration of corruption and ‘courage poverty’.
Each episode starts with a round-up of what has made the presenters feel outraged or optimistic in the climate debate, followed by an in-depth interview with a weekly guest. The podcast has topped the UK Politics podcast charts twice, been selected as the number 10 All-Time Podcasts on the Apple UK Charts, been the number 3 Politics Podcast on Apple Australia Charts and was listed at number 15 of The Guardian Best Podcasts in the World of 2019.
It is notable that in the first episode in April 2019 David Attenborough talked of the moral issue at the heart of the environmental issue – a morality that concerns all life on this planet, now endangered as a result of a generation that thinks it has the right to obliterate huge sections of three and a half billion years of evolution.
Have a listen – the hard-hitting content combined with the lovely camaraderie of the presenters and their stubborn optimism moves me beyond any sense of victimhood to a place of inspiration, knowing I can help create the future. It also reminds me that it is an exciting time to be alive. The pandemic has proven to be an ally in showing us, unintentionally, that it IS possible to reduce carbon emissions.