What could go right? That’s the question The Progress Network Founder Zachary Karabell and the organization’s Executive Director Emma Varvaloucas have been asking since Sept. 1 in a new podcast with that title, which together they introduce here. So far, Karabell and Varvaloucas are eight episodes in in search of answers to that question — What could go right? — exploring topics ranging from restoring the balance of power among government, citizens, and business to the future of work to building a better internet and more.
More than a podcast, The Progress Network, based at New America, launched a year ago on Oct. 14, 2020. As explained on its website, it’s an organization that “is building an idea movement that speaks to a better future in a world dominated by voices that suggest a worse one.”
As the name suggests, they’ve got a network of scholars and experts ranging far and wide in various fields — from the public sector to the private, from nonprofits to for-profits — who are making the case that we are not — despite pessimism pervading our lives daily through doom-and-gloom headlines and soundbites — all dangling from chaos’ cliff fated to fall into a societal collapse; instead, progress is present and evident.
To showcase that, in addition to the podcast, they produce a newsletter that’s very much the opposite of doomscrolling and host events to discuss not just what a brighter future might look like but how folks are working to get us there.
In other words, in a world seemingly filled with media that paints the picture of the end-times and division beyond repair and a world where everything is going wrong, The Progress Network, with a finger on the pulse of good news, is reporting about What Could Go Right, shining a light on the folks working in creative ways at local levels as well as global towards a common good.
Speaking of global and local levels, in the latest episode of What Could Go Right?, which aired Wednesday, Oct. 13, Karabell and Varvaloucas ask: How do global changes affect us on the local level, and vice versa?
Addressing that are Our Towns’ co-founder James Fallows and the founder of FutureMap, Parag Khanna. They cover geopolitics and discuss how local narratives differ throughout the globe, and explore the future of migration and climate change adaptation.
You can give it a listen here. And the bonus: by visiting the same link, you can read a transcript of the interview.