For someone who spends a fair bit of time on his bike, podcasts provide a great opportunity to learn and be entertained whilst on the go. The following provide a run through of the shows that regularly have me hitting the download button:
BUSINESS AND TECHNOLOGY
a16z podcast: Venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz’s podcast uses interviews with industry leaders and commentators to shed light on a range of technology and innovation related issues from the startup sector. A case of content marketing that works.
Recent favourite: Interview with Soylent founder Rob Rhinehart.
Benchmark Podcast: Bloomberg created podcast providing a youthful look at the global economy.
Meanwhile in the Future: Rose Eveleth puts forward scenarios of what the future might be like and in the process getting listeners to think more clearly about what kind of society they want to live in.
Planet Money: Long running NPR show looking at various stories through the lens of economics – much more entertaining than the blurb might suggest.
Recent favourite: The tale of the onion king looks at how Vince Kosuga once cornered the market for onions in the US.
Product Hunt Radio: Podcast in which founders, makers and investors from the startup community are interviewed about their products and their own personal journey.
Radiolab: Radio showing coming out of WNYC weaving stories and science together.
Recent favourite: Birthstory looks at how far an Israeli gay couple went to have kids of their own.
Reply All: Podcast looking at the internet and its impact on the society we live in with an irreverent style.
Recent favourite: A look at the experience of students at Colgate University who were subjected to bigoted commentary from anonymous social media app Yik Yak.
StartUp: Podcast series following the ups and downs of starting your own business. The first series follows the founding of podcast network Gimlet Media and the second series profiles the efforts of online dating service Dating Ring.
What’s Tech: Podcast profiling a single technology issue on each show, starting with the basics and expanding out to explore key issues and controversies. Recent shows have covered quantified self, sex tech, biohacking, space colonisation and online advertising.
NEWS AND ANALYSIS
The Inquiry: BBC radio show focuses on one topical issue each week with recent issues covering whether ISIS can be defeated, corruption in Nigeria and Russian geopolitics.
Longform Podcast: Interviews notable journalists about their careers and the stories that have made them. Great insights into the lengths journalists get to the trust and creating a compelling narrative.
More or Less: Behind the Stats: BBC podcast taking a critical look at numbers reported in the news and in many cases pouring cold water on some pretty outlandish claims.
Rear Vision: Radio show from the Australian ABC network looking predominantly at international issues but also occasionally delving into important Australian subjects. Recent coverage has included Muslim immigration into Europe, the recent Turkish and Canadian elections and the lack of plurality in media voices in Australia.
Thinking Allowed: BBC radio show profiling new research predominately with an ethnographic slant with recent coverage including TTIP, non religious cultures, singlehood and social class in its various forms.
The Weeds: If you’re interested in the interface between politics and policy, this podcast from the Vox will provide plenty of food for thought. Pretty US centric in terms of the policy issues covered but the discussions and conclusions are equally relevant for most developed countries.
ARTS AND CULTURE
99% Invisible: Podcast about design and architecture with recent shows including a look at the history of Monopoly, drinking fountains and the military’s quest for rations that last for ever that the troops actually want to eat.
Recent favourite: Children of the Magenta covering the perils of inflight automation
Desert Island Discs: This BBC Radio institution was something I’d avoided for many years thinking that it was a show about music (something I like to think I already know a lot about). What I found instead was a show where music is a door opener to revealing conversations about people’s lives and history.
The Bike Show: Jack Thurston gives a broader perspective on the world of cycling, taking a look at social, cultural and political issues in cycling and occasionally dabbling in the world of cycle sport.