Interviews By Topic

AI robots and dragons

Victor LaValle is the editor of a collection of short stories where — even in dire situations and terrifying futures — everyone has a place, and a chance at being the hero.More

man on mars

Fear about the future of the planet keeping you up at night? Aerospace engineer Robert Zubrin has a solution: it’s time to settle Mars. More

Deray Mckesson

Organizer and activist DeRay Mckesson says hoping for big change is great, but it doesn't go anywhere without small actions where people take care of one another.More

Lydia Hester

Lydia Hester is 17. A junior in high school with a pile of AP classes. And she has a nearly full-time job as an activist. She does all that, and she’s not even old enough to vote. And yes, that really bugs her.More

the day-to-day hope

Theologian Serene Jones says that hope isn't just spiritual — it's a force that moves people through the day-to-day grind to do bigger things.More

Common

Rapper Common is eager to talk about hope – specifically, how we can make hope in our lives.More

"The Chronology of Water" by Lidia Yuknavitch

Megan Stielstra is the author of three collections of essays, the most recent being "The Wrong Way To Save Your Life." She tells the story of how she first crossed paths with "The Chronology of Water," Lidia Yuknavitch's award-winning memoir — the anti-memoir that broke new ground for speaking with candor about the joy and the pain of living.More

Steven Pinker

Steven Pinker presents a Dangerous Idea: things today are actually better than they've ever been.More

Man along an unnamed road in Obafemi Owode, Nigeria.

Chigozie Obioma grew up in Nigeria — he’s a novelist and teaches at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln. He says that despite rampant corruption, poverty, and an HIV/AIDS crisis, Nigerians are definitely more optimistic than most. He explains why.More

Budding hope

Hope can seem saccharine. Bland. Trite. But talking about hope with Andre Willis, a philosopher of religion, might make you realize you're not thinking big enough when you think about what hope means.More

Alice Walker

Hope is a complicated, even slippery, word. One that demands a poet’s voice. Here’s Alice Walker, reading her poem “Hope is a Woman Who Has Lost Her Fear.”More

bright brain

How neuroscientist Tali Sharot accidentally stumbled on what’s known as “the optimism bias” — our hard-wired belief that our future will be better than our past or present.More

forest

Claire Peaslee is a naturalist who lives in Point Reyes, California, a place decimated by recent forest fires that sits literally on top of the San Andreas Fault. Yet she finds hope there through pilgrimage.More

Amanda Shires

While pregnant with her first child, Amanda Shires was playing fiddle on the road for her husband, the country superstar, Jason Isbell. Near the end of her pregnancy, touring got to be too much. So she stayed home, alone, for weeks… with nothing to do but write songs.More

 The Great Lakes mobile, by Melanie Ariens

Melanie Ariens has become known for her water-themed art, a focus of her combined loves of art and environmental activism. She uses mostly recycled materials to make art that makes people think about the Great Lakes, the rivers, and the water we drink.More

Tree

Richard Powers’ “The Overstory” is overturning a lot of conventional thinking. It’s been called “visionary” and “monumental” — and it earned him the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in fiction. Though human characters shape the plot of this 500-page epic, the real heroes are trees.More

Water walkers

Since 2003, Grandma Josephine Mandamin led fellow Anishinaabe women on sacred “water walks” around Great Lakes. Fellow water walker, Siobhan Marks, tells her story.More

The Schlitz Bottling Floor, c. 1666.

Milwaukee has a reputation as America's "Brew City." But why? Historian Ben Barbera lays out the economic forces and acts of God that built the houses of Miller, Pabst and Schlitz.More

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