Breaking Silence: How to Achieve Social Change Through Podcasting

I presented a talk at DC PodFest 2017 about creating social change through podcasting. See my recap to start producing your own socially empowering podcast.

Five key takeaways

  1. Work to reach individuals or a smaller group first. Reaching the largest possible group isn’t always realistic. Keep in mind that groups come in all sizes, and they consist of individuals and even smaller groups. You can increase your reach as you build trust and expertise.
  2. Make it easy for someone to find what they need. You can empower a group of people who otherwise lack access to power. A podcast can help them identify resources, collect and preserve knowledge, and build community in ways they may not be able to on their own.
  3. Use this mission statement exercise to identify the problem or solution you want to approach, who would benefit (and would listen to a podcast), and what that group would need to make a change.
  4. Be a communicator—ask people what they need, then respond to those needs with your podcast. Don’t just tell people what you think they need.
  5. If you’re willing to start with what you have, be persistent, and listen to your target group for needs you can help them address, then you can make social change happen with a podcast.

Video recap

See the description on YouTube for timestamps.


The two items I used during the session:

Slidedeck image/photo credits

1, 6, 7, 11, 12, 18. Background: Listen – Thomas Hawk (CC BY-NC 2.0)
3. Image modified from Burke CROP Walk, with point icons from Font Awesome 5 Pro Solid
4. Left: Hyde Park, Memorial Pond – Alex Proimos (CC BY-NC 2.0); Right: Absolutely Populated London – ČTK
5. Icons: Font Awesome 5 Pro Solid; Brain – Marek Polakovic (CC BY 3.0)
9. Model: StyleHub Daily
10. Photo: PxHere (CC0 1.0)
13. Background: Cathedral Grove – Sang Trinh (CC BY 2.0)
14. Image: Nerdy Minds Magazine
15. Chart: Based on analysis by Josh Morgan
16. Images: Christmas Tree Santas
17. Left: Los Angeles Times; Right: Kyle Mercury (used with permission)