How To Citizen with Baratunde

How To Citizen with Baratunde

How To Citizen with Baratunde reimagines the word “citizen” as a verb and reminds us how to wield our collective power. So many of us want to do more in response to the problems we hear about constantly, but where and how to participate can leave us feeling overwhelmed and helpless. Voting, while critically important, simply isn’t enough. It takes more to make this experiment in self-governance work! Listen in to learn new perspectives and practices from people working to improve society for the many. Join writer, activist, and comedian Baratunde Thurston on a journey beyond politics as usual that will leave us all more hopeful, connected, and moved to act.

Episodes

May 25, 2023 56 mins

Welcome to a special bonus episode of How To Citizen. We are sharing Baratunde's appearance on the What Could Go Right? podcast, created by The Progress Network. Baratunde discusses technology, and specifically generative artificial intelligence, and how it might help or hinder human progress and how it aligns or deviates from our concept of citizen as a verb.

As always, find How To Citizen on Instagram or visit howtocitizen.com to...

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So much of the conversation around democracy focuses on the external: from elections and policy to protests and organizing. While getting active is important...what could happen if we ALSO turn inwards? When we shift our relationship with our insides—what we believe and feel and the unconscious patterns we act from—our world shifts with us. In the final episode of season four, Baratunde sits down with Source Code creator and former...

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There’s no shortage of volunteer opportunities or organizations offering them. But how often are the communities meant to benefit from all of this volunteer work determining what help is truly needed, and which issues are most pressing? Christian Vanizette has spent the last decade building MakeSense, a global network of over 100,000 citizens and entrepreneurs committed to solving social and environmental issues where they live — b...

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Whether you’re a sports fanatic, or you’ve never stepped foot on a court or field—there’s a lot we can learn about citizening from the lens of coaches and athletes. To show us how sports can help us with teamwork, discipline, and a sense of play in our citizening efforts— Baratunde is joined by Steve Kerr, head coach of the NBA championship-winning Golden State Warriors and relentless advocate for gun violence prevention, along wit...

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How we gather matters. A lot. And what is a nation but a big ol’ gathering of gatherings? Baratunde talks with Priya Parker, facilitator and author of The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why it Matters, about how we can use gatherings as a tool for strengthening our relationships by doing things together that invoke joy and have meaning. Listen till the end to hear Priya answer a listener’s pressing question during the live tapin...

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The intensifying political division and violence in our country is concerning — but it’s not unique. And few know that better than Tim Phillips. For 30 years, his organization Beyond Conflict has been bringing people from opposing sides of violent divides together to find common ground. He shares insights from their research into human psychology that could hold keys for overcoming violent division, along with lessons from Northern...

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According to Ruha Benjamin, we’re living inside someone else’s imagination. An imagination that  limits our ability to build a more just, liberated world. So, how do we take back our agency and begin to seed something different? Baratunde talks with Princeton professor and founding director of the Just Data Lab, Ruha Benjamin to find out.

 

SHOW ACTIONS

Internally Reflect - Bear witness and create a ripple

This one is inspired from...

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It’s no secret that our economy only works for a select few. But what would our economy look like if we prioritized people and the planet, instead of profit? Economist Kate Raworth says it might look like a doughnut and to build it requires changing how we talk about, teach, and imagine economics. Baratunde talks with Kate about her theory of doughnut economics and how we can build an economy that works for all life on Earth—explor...

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March 9, 2023 85 mins

Imagine if the members of your group chat shared more than memes but also shared a bank account, or if the early users of a social media app helped decide how that app grew, made money, and moderated content. How does the group make decisions and make sure everyone is heard? Who decides how the money is spent? These are some of the questions Friends with Benefits (FWB), a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) has had to answe...

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Instead of electing politicians to represent us…what if we just represented ourselves? Peer to peer. Neighbor to neighbor. Baratunde talks with Claudia Chwalisz about citizens’ assemblies—groups randomly-selected by lottery that are shifting political and legislative power into the hands of everyday people. Claudia is one of the world’s leading voices on citizens’ assemblies and founder and CEO of DemocracyNext, an organization wor...

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February 23, 2023 61 mins

We all know that voting alone won’t save democracy. But it does help…a lot. No one understands that better than voting rights organizer Nsé Ufot. She’s the former CEO of the New Georgia Project, where she leveraged technology and culture to register 600,000+ new voters. Nsé and Baratunde talk about why voting still matters and how we can bring love into the ways we citizen together. 

 

SHOW ACTIONS

Internal Reflection - What Do You...

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Saving our democracy isn’t just about registering people to vote, ending gerrymandering, and so on. It’s about getting back to the basics of living together well through micro, everyday moments. To kick off season four of the show, Baratunde talks with writer, activist, and fellow Virgo adrienne maree brown about how we can learn to practice democracy in every space we’re in and how our small, civically-minded behaviors in society ...

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February 16, 2023 70 mins

The stories we’re told & tell about ourselves shape the ways we act and how we citizen. And the story we’ve been living in for decades now is one of consumerism and self-interest. Baratunde talks with reformed ad-man and author of CITIZENS: Why the Key to Fixing Everything is All of Us Jon Alexander about how we can tell a new story rooted in community and interdependence. 

 

SHOW ACTIONS 

Internally Reflect - Tell a new story 

...

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The podcast for people tired of tuning into bad news is back with a fourth season and brand new ways to interpret the word “citizen” as a verb! This season we’re asking, how can the practice of “citizening,” in ways big and small, create a dope culture of democracy? 

We’re getting practical, sharing things you can try in your community, in your workplace, in your home, and within yourself. To help us, we’ll hear from people like ad...

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In this bonus episode, Baratunde learns how data, well-defined goals, and a sense of collective ownership are helping those at the front lines of America’s housing crisis work to solve, not manage, homelessness. His partner in conversation is Aras Jizan, the Portfolio Lead for Data and Technology for the Built for Zero initiative at Community Solutions.  

 

Guest: Aras Jizan

Bio: Portfolio Lead for Data and Technology for the Built fo...

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Baratunde asks how can we citizen with tech when we disconnect millions from technology and from society as a whole by incarcerating them? He closes the season in conversation with two people who’ve served time for felony convictions and are now working in tech to expand opportunities for all: Shaka Senghor, author and head of DEI for TripActions, and Teresa Hodge, president of Mission: Launch and co-founder of R3 Score which chang...

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Baratunde is reminded that “tech companies” are really just people and asks what it would mean for tech employees to think critically about their work and its impact and use that power to remake the industry from the ground up? He talks with Xiaowei Wang, whose work at Logic School helps workers answer those questions. They also discuss blockchain, rice farming in rural China, and tarot. It’s all connected. 


Guest: Xiaowei Wang

B...

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December 16, 2021 48 mins

Baratunde continues his journey to discover how we can embed more justice into the data driving our increasingly automated lives and focuses on the most intimate data there is: our DNA. He talks with Krystal Tsosie, an indigenous geneticist, and bioethicist who fights for data sovereignty and the rights of indigenous peoples to have agency over their personhood and knowledge.


Guest: Krystal Tsosie

Bio: Indigenous (Diné/Navajo) ge...

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Baratunde knows what is healthy to eat or not, thanks to the required nutrition labels on our food. But how do we know the ingredients in the algorithms and AI we depend on are safe to use? Baratunde speaks with Kasia Chmielinksi about the Data Nutrition Project, which helps data scientists, developers, and product managers assess the viability, health, and quality of the data that feeds their algorithms and influences our decision...

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Can we inoculate ourselves against misinformation and conspiracy theories in the way we do for infectious diseases? Instead of debunking, can we “pre-bunk?” Sander van der Linden, co-founder of Inoculation Science, has created games that offer to do just that. Baratunde plays one of them and speaks with Sander about online misinformation campaigns, polarization, and how we can better protect ourselves.


Guest: Sander van der Lind...

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