Future Perfect

15 EpisodesProduced by Vox

Explore provocative ideas with the potential to radically improve the world. Vox’s Dylan Matthews tackles big questions about the most effective ways to save lives, fight global warming, and end world poverty to create a more perfect future. Produced by Vox and the Vox Media Podcast Network.

15 Episodes | 2018 - 2019

Donors from beyond the grave

June 19th, 2019

33:05

Billions of dollars are donated every year from the fortunes of people who’ve died but are using their wills to influence our world from beyond the …

Sim City, Wisconsin

June 12th, 2019

22:09

Diane Hendricks is the richest self-made woman in America, and she has used her fortune to remake the city of Beloit, Wisconsin. But she’s also used …

A foundation-funded atrocity

June 5th, 2019

32:33
In the 1950s and ’60s, Western foundations like Ford and Rockefeller pushed hard to control India's population by sterilizing its people. In 1975, …

He bought the law

May 29th, 2019

34:51

John M. Olin isn’t a household name, but his foundation helped create the Federalist Society, turned federal judges against environmental protection …

Gilded Rage

May 22nd, 2019

26:11

To put our new age of extreme inequality in perspective, we look back at Andrew Carnegie, who gave America a huge number of libraries so they’d forgive him for his brutal steel mills. We ask: Is the same thing happening …

Season 2: Philanthropy vs. Democracy

May 16th, 2019

1:14
On the second season of Future Perfect: how philanthropy clashes with democracy. First episode drops Wednesday, May 22nd.

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How to pick a career that counts

November 28th, 2018

22:07

What do you want to be when you grow up? Do you want to make a lot of money, or follow your bliss, even if it’s not lucrative? The group 80,000 Hours …

How to save a species (if you really want to)

November 21st, 2018

23:45

The black-footed ferret was thought extinct — until a Wyoming rancher rediscovered it, in 1981. Since then, conservation workers have been doggedly attempting to save the ferret, only to run into big problems like, oh, …

How to be a better carnivore

November 14th, 2018

26:10

Most fish die by slowly suffocating to death on the deck of a boat, struggling for air. That’s horrendously cruel, but it also makes for acidic, rubbery, smelly fish. There’s another way: ikejime, a Japanese method of …

How to rethink America's borders

November 7th, 2018

25:28

The most reliable, best-documented way to lift someone in a poor country out of poverty? Let them come to the US (or another rich country). That’s the argument of Fabio Rojas, a self-described advocate of open borders. …

How to cool the planet with a fake volcano

October 31st, 2018

23:58

When volcanoes erupt, they spray particles into the atmosphere that cool the planet for a bit. As we get closer and closer to truly catastrophic …

How our drinking water could help prevent suicide

October 24th, 2018

21:45

Lithium is a potent drug used to treat bipolar disorder, but it’s also the third element in the periodic table, and you can find tiny amounts in most …

How to make prisons more humane

October 17th, 2018

26:08

Karianne Jackson was working for the North Dakota prison system in 2015 when a trip to Norway changed her life. There, she saw a prison with no bars and no uniformed guards. Instead, prisoners lived in small cottages …

How to save a stranger's life

October 15th, 2018

23:54

In 2016, Dylan Matthews donated his kidney to a complete stranger. He didn’t think he was doing anything really extreme or remarkable. He was just …

Introducing Future Perfect

October 12th, 2018

1:56

Explore provocative ideas with the potential to radically improve the world. Vox’s Dylan Matthews tackles big questions about the most effective ways to save lives, fight global warming, and end world poverty. Dylan …

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