If you haven’t been on our our podcast journey, let me explain: ‘Igniting Change’ explores why consumers don’t make more sustainable decisions, and looks at the sustainability intention action gap and how we can change behaviours to combat it. Sound good? Well, on top of that, every episode of the first season has an ahhhh-mazing guest!
The hope for this podcast series was to discover how we, as humans, can reduce our impact on the planet with insights from psychologists, brands, sustainability experts, climate scientists, government and charitable organisations. Series 1 was hosted by yours truly, Charlotte Mill, Head of Marketing, and Richard Strachan, Managing Director at 3 Sided Cube.
The whole basis for our podcast centres around Ignite, which is a movement purpose-built to drive behavioural change and make a difference to the ever-growing waste crisis, support sustainable living and enhance environmental protection. The aim of the program is to get the right people in the right room to create solutions to the world’s biggest problems. We do this through collaborative events, with past speakers from WWF, Innocent and Beauty Kitchen as well as research reports and our newly launched podcast series.
Recently, we hosted an event all around the intention-action gap. It was incredible to have so many like-minded people gathered in a room, passionate about finding ways to collaborate in order to get more consumers to act upon their sustainable intentions. That event, and the research findings from our consumer report, which sought to understand why the intention-action gap exists for consumers when it comes to making sustainable decisions, really made us want to delve in and find out MORE.
You can download our ‘Bridging The Gap’ report and see the findings here:
Why we decided to start a podcast
This was a massive journey for us and we had been thinking about doing a podcast ages. It really gathered steam and clicked when we decided to centre the podcast around our Ignite initiative.
The podcast felt like a perfect fit for continuing the conversations we were so keen to have. The report showed us that there was a gap and on a top level, explained why it existed, but it felt like there was more there. And that is where our ‘Igniting Change’ podcast was born!
It felt like the most natural step for us.
With ‘Igniting Change’ we were then able to make a space to talk more about why that gap exists and what individuals, businesses and the governments can all do to bridge it.
How we came up with the concept
A podcast is such a great, interactive way to be able to interview loads of people with all sorts of different experiences and have a really open and honest conversation with them about the subject matter. In order to make change happen that’s what we need to do. To keep talking about it and having those unfiltered conversations about the steps we can take as individuals to be the change we really want to see.
Before we knew it we had a “dream guest speaker list” and couldn’t wait to hit the ground running to start recording episodes!
The devil is in the details
Turning our idea for ‘Igniting Change’ to a fully formed idea was a whole new bag of tricks. Going into it, we didn’t know much! Aside from listening to podcasts, neither of us had any experience in what it took to deliver a neat and tidy podcast episode to listeners every week. But we soon learned!
Pretty early on we decided, as we didn’t have anyone available internally, to hire someone to edit the podcast. I’m so glad we opted to do that because it enabled us to focus on the guests and really get a wide breadth of experience within the sustainability sector. There was definitely a lot of thought and care that went into lining up guest speakers for each episode so that by the end of the season there was a real comprehensive overview about the intention-action gap.
Once we had an outline of what Season 1 would look like and the content we would cover, it was time to experiment! There was definitely a learning curve but experimenting with a few different microphones and chatting to those that are in the industry really helped us get up to speed on the in’s and out’s of producing a podcast.
We used Squadcast as it is a great program for novice podcasters to use, but also captured the sound well. To compliment this, a Yeti microphone was what worked out best for us in the end so that you could hear us clearly. We were worried about the sound being an issue but soon realised Cube HQ is a great spot and if we recorded out of working hours, this minimised noise – and it actually worked out great for our guests too!
It was a whole new can of worms setting up all the tech to best record us. After lots of trial and error and even more practice runs – shout out to all my Cubies that hopped on the microphone with me for yet another test run – we got into a great rhythm of being able to quickly set-up and feel comfortable going through the motions to host a seamless episode.
We used Lybsyn for our viewings because it was a great way to track the downloads and it is so exciting to think that there are over 300 people caring about the subject matter and taking the time to download and listen to our podcast.
Who likes the sound of their own voice?
My co-host Rich is an absolute pro, he has done public speaking for years and also hosts our monthly ‘Tech For Good Talks’ webinar, so the idea of actually sitting down and recording our first episode was easy.
Though I have spoken at events before, it was pretty daunting when it actually came to recording. As well as this, I then had to listen back to all the episodes so I tried to remove myself from the episode, pretend it wasn’t me and just listen for the content I needed. It’s a funny kind of stage fright because I was just in a meeting room at 3 Sided Cube (that I have probably been in thousands of times), chatting with Rich and our guests!
How we found the perfect line-up of guests
While Rich and I could talk around the sustainability intention-action gap for days, we really wanted guest for each episode that were diverse and would bring some varying experience and knowledge to the table each week. As we work in the “tech for good” space, we do know quite a few people that share our mission. So it really was a matter of reaching out to people whose work we admired, all the way to other guests giving recommendations and voila, we had eight episodes worth of really amazing guests!
You can listen to every episode and catch our incredible guests here:
- Episode 1: We speak with Professor Mark Maslin, Climate Scientist at UCL, and Author of ‘How to Save the Planet: The Facts’, all about why people are not sustainable, the global perspective and climate change communication style.
- Episode 2: We speak with Tolly Gregory, Climate activist and Artist, all about being an active global citizen, the differing forms of action one can take, and trolling for good.
- Episode 3: We speak to Molly Webb, Founder of Yoyu, about having the option to make more sustainable decisions, how to make that change happen, and introduces us to ‘dirty hour’.
- Episode 4: We speak to Marc Violo, Head of Marketing at Loop, about reuse, consumer demand and applying the milkman model.
- Episode 5: We speak to Paul Tyrer, Founder of Eumelia, about the power of information, visualisation and starting small.
- Episode 6: We speak to Kate Sandle, Director of engagement from B CORP UK, about the need for long term-ism, working with businesses to create change and using the word responsibility instead of sustainability.
- Episode 7: We speak to Applied Futurist, Tom Cheesewright, on sustainability trends, influencing behaviours, and the two-pronged approach to combating climate change.
- Episode 8: We speak to Jo Chidley, founder of Beauty Kitchen, on demystifying the beauty industry, business responsibility, and having one version of the truth.
What Season 1 taught us
Over the course of eight episodes, we quickly saw a theme arising from each guest. When asked what they would recommend for steps one could take that is interested in living a more sustainable lifestyle, the resounding answer was, “don’t strive for perfection”.
If you go into transitioning towards a lifestyle that is more cognisant of being gentler on the earth and natural resources, start small! If you try to do a massive overhaul and beat yourself up that you aren’t living 100% sustainably, then it’ll get overwhelming. Do what you can on a small scale, use sustainable energy, be mindful during your shop and then slowly expound upon your new habits.
No one is expected to be perfect, but we are expected to try.