Best podcasts for innovation, education and inspiration

We’re celebrating the launch of our new podcast series that asks grassroots dons the questions that affect anyone trying to make a change in the world. The first episode meets a man transforming vacant lots into flower farms, a woman getting Lakota youth college-ready and the leader of the Black Male Yoga Initiative and asks them how they stay well.

Listen here.

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We’re all about sharing what’s best so in celebration of our new release, here’s a list of the best of the rest. After all, podcasts are a great source of motivation on the go, providing behind-the-scenes access to people and projects like never before.

From stalwarts like This American Life and the Stanford Social Innovation Review to the perhaps lesser known Kind World, we’ve waded through the audio mire to bring you our top picks for innovation, education and inspiration…

For Innovation

How I Built This

From the organisation that brought you Invisibilia, This American Life and Hidden Brain, NPR’s How I Built This goes behind the scenes with founders of some the world’s best-known brands. From conception to success, interviewees share their struggles with host Guy Raz as they candidly detail how they overcame potentially derailing bumps along the way. While Raz’s subjects hail from all corners of the commercial and entrepreneurial world, you’re bound to find some similarities with your quest for social change – along with assurance that, when the road isn’t always smooth and wide, perseverance paves the way.

Social Entrepreneur

Ideal for aspiring and early-stage social entrepreneurs, this podcast comprises interviews with a range of founders, investors and thought leaders. Listen as they share the stories that led them to become change-makers, and dish out advice they’ve learned through experience. Every episode also ends with a call to action, as listeners are challenged to make a change in their own world in line with the topic discussed.

Impact Boom

With new episodes released weekly, Impact Boom lets you hear first-hand from world-leading practitioners, social entrepreneurs, academics, innovators, thinkers and doers in the fields of design, social innovation, social enterprise and education. Whether you’re looking to raise money, scale up or better understand the lens through which you see the world, Impact Boom can help you get there. Plus, if you’re a bit short on time, each episode is also accompanied by a blog post featuring highlights from the interview to read at your leisure. You can even submit podcast ideas or subjects for consideration.

For Education

Stanford Social Innovation Review

This series of audio talks and lectures tackles the big issues with non-profit, government and business experts, and provides information to help changemakers develop long-lasting solutions. From unlocking the power of data to advancing health equity and getting out of your own way, episodes offer usable knowledge to help listeners make a real impact.

Noah Kagan Presents

Noah Kagan Presents, offers strategies to start and grow your business, improve your productivity, and live a happier, more successful life from some of the biggest names in the entrepreneurial world. Despite its commercial focus, many of the lessons apply to social enterprise as well – including how to have engaging conversations, how to overcome rejection and even how to make a podcast from a producer at NPR.

The Impact Podcast

Hosted by author and attorney, Neetal Parekh, The Impact Podcast, is yet another great interview-based resource. In conversation with inspiring founders, filmmakers, attorneys, students, CEOs, investors, inventors and change-makers around the globe, Parekh drills down to discover how they’re shifting the paradigms of business, technology, law and media to create social change, and how you can do the same.

For Inspiration

This American Life

The podcast that spawned Serial, This American Life actually got its start 22 years ago as a public radio show. It’s been a gateway podcast for many, covering just about every aspect of modern life in the form of first person storytelling and monologues. With over 600 episodes to choose from, getting started can seem daunting. We suggest this series on the refugee crisis. Released in 2016, it profiles the very human side of life in the refugee camps of Greece.

Kind World

Seeking inspiration? You’ll find it in Kind World. Each short episode tells the story of someone whose life has been changed by the actions of another – such as this piece about a man who lifted himself out of homelessness thanks to one man’s kindness. And when we say short, we mean it. The majority of episodes are less than nine minutes long, making them the ideal option when you need a quick reminder of the impact seemingly small actions can make.

Humans of Purpose

After many years spent working for government and consulting for nonprofits, Mike Davis wondered: How can businesses learn from high performing startups, ethical businesses and social enterprises? He now aims to address this with his podcast, Humans of Purpose. Each week, Australia-based Davis is joined by a new interviewee to discuss (over tea, coffee or single malt whiskey) their career journey and purpose, how they aim to create change and how they leverage their impact. Though originally targeted at businesses looking to increase their social corporate responsibility, it’s an inspiring listen for anyone seeking social change.

1 Comment

Great article! I really like your list of podcasts. I am a big fan of innovation podcasts. I have recently come up with 50 Best Corporate Innovation Podcasts of 2018:

It’s amazing how many podcasts there are to listen and always get to know something new.