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From What If to What Next

55 EpisodesProduced by Rob HopkinsWebsite

If there was ever a time for fresh thinking, for being bold, for being visionary and imaginative – for reimagining everything – this is it. Each episode, writer and Transition Movement founder, Rob Hopkins, invites cutting edge thinkers to visualise a new future. Join us as we ask What If...

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55 - What if we could find the humour in climate change?

July 4th, 2022


An odd question perhaps... yet in the hands of our guests, Belina Raffy and Sam Knights, a powerful and pertinent one. What if we were to harness the …

54 - What if bread could unlock social transformation?

June 20th, 2022


Welcome to our 54th episode, our 54th journey into the future that is still possible, just.  But before I tell you more, a suggestion, as you'll hear in the episode, that this episode will be a lot more enjoyable, and a …

53 - What if the world went vegan?

June 6th, 2022


Here at 'From What If to What Next' we don't shy away from the big questions of our times! Today we are diving deep into the question of what we eat.


Rather than debating whether veganism is a good thing or not, today …

52 - What if our economy truly prioritised health?

May 23rd, 2022


Welcome to Episode 52, different from the episode we advertised, a bit of a mix up at What If Towers, but it means some of you now know the subject of our next episode. Oh well. But this week's is such a treat.


Meet …

51 - What if ending male violence was men's work?

May 14th, 2022


We are joined by two amazing guests to discuss a vitally important issue. Ben Hurst of Beyond Equality and Graham Goulden of Cultivating Minds UK …

50 - In conversation with adrienne maree brown

April 25th, 2022


Episode 50. That's something worth celebrating! And what a beautiful way to celebrate it, by interviewing the person I've wanted on this podcast …

49 - What if we were citizens rather than consumers?

April 11th, 2022


Today's episode is one of my favourites so far, with two amazing guests. It was inspired by one of our guests, Jon Alexander's new book 'Citizens: why the key to fixing everything is all of us', which is just released …

48 - What if rooftop gardening covered our cities' roofs?

April 6th, 2022


When it comes to building food security, biodiversity, employment, spaces that are good for mental health, and so much more besides, we are missing a huge opportunity. Our cities contain many square kilometres of flat …

47 - What if we addressed the mental health crisis imaginatively?

April 6th, 2022


You're going to enjoy this one. This week we're talking about mental health, and how different the world would be if we were to take a very different …

46 - What if printmaking could inspire social change?

February 28th, 2022


This week this podcast joins you with printing ink on its hands and under its fingernails . We're talking about printmaking and its potential to unleash social change. I have a vested interest here, I love printmaking. …

45 - What if we redesigned cities based on children’s needs?

February 14th, 2022


Meet Tim Gill and Alice Ferguson of Playing Out, brilliant guests for a vital discussion. Today we're talking about kids, and play and about the places where we live.  Kids have almost entirely vanished from our …

44 - What if we could end the climate crisis in one generation?

January 31st, 2022


We start this year with a fantastic episode and a really important question. What if we were to implement every solution that we already know exists …

43 - What if visible mending became the new fast fashion?

January 17th, 2022


Although not planned as some kind of 'Christmas Special', that's kind of what this episode is, so hopefully it will give you the opportunity to treat …

42 - What if we are standing on the cusp of an Imagination Age?

January 11th, 2022


The IPCC report that came out in mid-2021 said “unless there are immediate, rapid and large-scale reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, limiting warming to close to 1.5 degrees, or even 2 degrees, will be beyond …

41 - What if we reclaimed our public spaces from advertising?

December 20th, 2021


Powerful psychology is used to convince us, often subliminally, that we want and need things we previously never knew even existed. This is …

40 - What if Afrofuturism could teach the world about the power of what if?

December 6th, 2021


I'm not going to say much about this episode, other than that it's incredible. We are exploring Afrofuturism, which has been variously described as …

39 - What if the Leadership Team for COP26 Were 50% Women?

November 29th, 2021


The world’s governments will be coming together for 2 weeks to, hopefully, reach some kind of binding agreement that might give the world at least a …

38 - What if every Place Had a Thriving Social Economy?

November 22nd, 2021


Everywhere, where you live included, has a patchwork of organisations of different sizes who are doing business and making things happen in a way …

37 - What if the Bugs Bounced Back?

November 15th, 2021


The decline of insect populations around the world has been nothing short of terrifying. Last year I visited a school in an intensive wine-producing …

36 - What if Activists Paid Attention to their own Development as well as the Problems of the World?

November 8th, 2021


Today we bring together Anthea Lawson, author of the fabulous new book 'The Entangled Activist' and Alastair McIntosh, author of 'Soul and Soil' and …

35 - What if Care Work Was Valued

October 25th, 2021


Today’s episode of From What If to What Next is about care. Care has been very much on our minds of recent. COVID has highlighted how vitally important care is and yet how undervalued it is. It is so often seen as being …

34 - What if Young People Reimagined the School System

October 18th, 2021


You are in for such a treat. This is one of the most thought-provoking and inspiring episodes of this podcast yet. It was my huge honour to be joined by Yumna Hussen and Lottie Cooke to discuss what a reimagined …

33 - What if the Future of Travel in Cities was on Two Wheels rather than Four?

October 11th, 2021


Here is the perfect accompaniment to the long summer days. Or the deluge. Or perhaps a bit of both. Today we are talking about travel. As many cities begin to actively take steps away from the dominance of cars, we are …

32 - What if the Black Imagination were Valued as it Should Be

August 16th, 2021


Firstly, sorry I'm late posting this. I was on a clifftop in Cornwall and the sun was shining and so it took me a while to get home! But, I must say …

31 - What if the Future was Non-Binary

August 2nd, 2021


This is such an incredible episode. One of those ones I had to go off and sit under a tree afterwards to absorb. Today we talk about gender. I grew up in a society that thought in terms of two genders, you were male or …

30 - What if the Future was well Facilitated

July 19th, 2021


Episode Thirty. Wow. Whoever thought we'd get this far? Thank you so much for your support in making that possible. We have a delicious episode to …

29 - What if we Mastered the Art of Time Travel?

July 5th, 2021


If you had a Time Machine, which year would you set the dial to? This episode is about time travel. More specifically, it is about using imaginary …

28 - What if we redesigned the operating system of our entire civilisation?

June 21st, 2021


The time for imagining that change happens in small, incremental steps is now way behind us. As Naomi Klein says, "there are no non-radical solutions …

27 - What if we all Stopped Flying?

June 7th, 2021


This new episode, one of my favourite so far, comes with a challenge. Can you listen to it and not reimagine your own relationship with flying or, as one of our guests puts it, being "twanged around in an aluminium …

26 - What if we could Live better in a Post-growth Economy?

June 5th, 2021


These days of COVID have shown us that extraordinary profound reimagining of many aspects of society are entirely possible. Might this be the time to forever do away with the idea that the only way to measure our …

25 - What if we Built an Imagination Infrastructure?

June 3rd, 2021


Let’s imagine, and this takes quite a leap in Britain in 2021 I’ll grant you, but stay with me, that we had a government who recognised that we are living through a time of imaginative contraction alongside a climate …

24 - What if We Read more Books?

May 24th, 2021


When was the last time you read a book cover to cover? And if you are still able to do this, do you feel you read in the same way you did, say, 20 …

23: What if Street Art could Transform the World?

May 9th, 2021


Today we are looking at street art. Street art has stood alongside the fight for climate justice, the Black Lives Matter revolution, and pretty much …

22 - What if we Learned to Embrace Failure?

May 7th, 2021


This week we are exploring failure. More precisely, what if we were able to create a culture in which failure is embraced, celebrated even, rather …

21 - What if Dynasties of Private Wealth Reimagined Their Relationship to Money?

May 6th, 2021


It was recently announced that Chuck Feeney, the Irish American former airport duty free shopping entrepreneur who was worth $8bn, had, at the age of 89, succeeded in his goal of giving away all of his money to …

20 - What if we Addressed the Trauma that Lies Beneath the World's Problems?

May 5th, 2021


Today we are exploring the question of trauma, and I must confess that recording this conversation rather blew my mind, as it will no doubt blow yours. I had to lie down afterward and digest it for a while. I am joined …

19 - What if We Rewrote the National Curriculum Based on Permaculture Principles?

April 12th, 2021


By now, in this journey into 'From What If to What Next', it is clear that one of the key things in our world in 2021 that needs reimagining is our education system. In this episode, we explore how it might be if at the …

18 - What if a Revolution in Relation to Land Unlocked a Revolution of the Imagination?

March 29th, 2021


Our far-reaching conversation, which could have gone on for hours, explores our relationship with land, and how a reimagining of that could unlock so …

17 - What if Indigenous Wisdom Could Save the World?

March 15th, 2021


Of all the 17 episodes of this podcast so far, this is the one that I had to go off somewhere quiet afterwards for a while to digest. It is a very …

16 - What if We Took Play Seriously?

March 1st, 2021


Play is a devalued aspect of both childhood and adulthood which has been declining now for decades, and its decline has had many knock-on effects …

15 - What if We Learned to Love Weeds?

February 15th, 2021


During the first Coronavirus lockdown in the UK, a strange phenomenon was seen in towns and cities across the country. As councils became unable, or unwilling, to maintain their usual programmes of spraying weeds and …

14 - What if We Were to Respond to the Debt Crisis with Art and Playfulness?

February 2nd, 2021


One of the things we love most here at 'From What If to What Next' is stories of people bringing imagination to their activism, of impactful, …

13 - What If Governments Factored Future Generations Into Law and Policy?

January 4th, 2021


We live in a world where so much political decision-making seems to be based on short-term thinking, the next opinion poll, next quarter, next …

12 - What If Criminal Justice Resources Were Instead Invested Into Communities of Colour?

December 21st, 2020


In the US, as elsewhere, vast amounts of money are poured into mass incarceration and brutal and violent policing. What if instead that money was …

11 - What If We Had The Skills and Abilities To Talk To Decision Makers?

December 7th, 2020


So many of those who listen to this podcast are trying, in one way or another, to bring about change in the world. Whether it is the more confrontational activism demonstrated by groups like Extinction Rebellion and …

10 - What If We Decolonised Education?

November 1st, 2020


The uprising of Black Lives Matter and other organisations have led to many calls for the decolonisation of education at every level. But what does …

9 - What If We Lived In A Wellbeing Economy?

November 1st, 2020


Here is Episode Nine. Our question this time was slightly adapted from one sent in by subscriber Pamela Barnes. As the world attempts to claw its way …

8 - What If Communities Had Spaces Where They Could Come Together To Imagine?

November 1st, 2020


In this episode we are exploring a question sent in by subscriber Joy Cherkaoui. One of the things a future in which imagination is able to flourish will need is spaces in which imagination and creativity are invited. …

7 - What If Every City Used Doughnut Economics?

October 31st, 2020


Doughnut Economics is rapidly moving from the fringe to the mainstream. Amsterdam in Holland was recently confirmed as the first ‘Doughnut City’, …

6 - What If Imagination Were a Universal Basic Right?

October 31st, 2020


Allow me to present one of my very favourite episodes of ‘From What If to What Next’ thus far. The question we explore in this episode is ‘What if imagination were a universal right?’ My guests to explore this are …

5 -What If We Treated People At The End Of Their Lives With The Same Reverence, Love, and Care As We Do At The Beginning?

October 31st, 2020


As we start, hopefully, to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, which has disproportionately affected older people, many people have experienced an end …

4 - What if Doctors' Surgeries Became Catalysts for Transition?

July 20th, 2020


In our fourth episode, we bring together two of the UK's most pioneering doctors to explore what a very different future for healthcare could be …

3 - What If Cities Intentionally Relocalised Their Food Production?

July 20th, 2020


In this third episode of 'From What If to What Next', we're talking about food. Taking a question from Patreon subscriber Tony Buck, we are asking "What If towns and cities set out to intentionally relocalise their food …

2 - What if a Universal Basic Income Sparked a Revival of the Imagination?

July 20th, 2020


In this podcast, we’re talking about Universal Basic Income with Alexis Frasz, researcher and cultural strategist with Helicon Collaborative, and 

1 - What If Birdsong Drowned Out the Traffic?

July 20th, 2020


In this first episode, we meet singer, curator, event creator and lover of birdsong Sam Lee, speaking to us direct from a birdsong-filled woodland clearing, and Mya-Rose Craig, aka Birdgirl, who is doing amazing work …

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