I am currently being quite intentional about the information I consume: no more aimless scrolling down my Facebook or Twitter feeds waiting for my time to be clickbaited away. Instead I am doing things like listening to podcasts on a daily basis and reading at least a chapter a day.
I choose to listen to podcasts about personal development, entrepreneurship and urbanism. I have so far listened to two episodes of Third Wave Urbanism and thoroughly recommend it! It is “a podcast highlighting the new normal of urbanism in our globalized cities, as told by two female urbanists”. I met Katrina, one of the two podcasters, at the Stockholm Future of Places conference, which is a sign that we are probably on the same wavelength!
Episode 6 is a great starting place to think critically about the groups you are part of. Where and when are meetings being held? Is everyone of the same gender / age / ability / background? Are you missing out on important information by people being left out? Writing this, I am reminded of Eduarda La Rocque giving a talk, in a swish Ipanema jewellery store, about policies that would affect residents of Rio’s informal settlements. None of the aforementioned residents were present, and as one of my colleague pointed out, he was the only black person there. In this case, the demographic makeup of the attendees was probably not accidental, but often we ignore great insights by unintentionally excluding diverse voices from the conversation. Listen to the episode and think about the groups you belong to!
One of the books I am currently reading (I have three on rotation) is Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design. I am a few chapters in, and loving it! Charles Montgomery first takes us on a pleasurable walk through the history of cities, from the agora in Athens to Disneyland and Brasilia. He then tells us how suburban sprawl makes us unhealthy and unhappy, and essentially how cities can contribute to our happiness (and the survival of our species!), if designed properly. Happy City will lead you to look at your local environment and your housing and transportation choices more critically. It strikes a good balance between pleasure and expertise; definitely worth a read!
When I wasn’t being as good about my Internet-wandering habits, I stumbled upon this article. It addresses the cognitive dissonance between calling yourself a feminist and consuming dairy. I will let you read the (graphic!) article and let you reflect on a few questions. Do you call yourself a feminist? Why / why not? Do you believe or say that you like animals and that they should be treated with respect? Do your food choices reflect this belief?
Feel free to contribute any eye-opening books / podcasts / articles in the comments below!