Top 5 Restart Radio episodes from 2020

Top 5 Radio Shows - with an old Armstrong Tuner

If there’s one thing we were able to do in 2020 without too much interruption, it was make podcasts. In our Top 5, we miss the sounds of fixing, and the ambient sounds of live interviews. For example, we would’ve loved to visit Armstrong Audio’s legendary technician T in his workshop. But other than that, and some hiccups with online recording, this year we had some great interviews.

It was a year of serious topics, made all the more urgent by public health, economic and environmental crisis. In the mix: strain on supply chains, reuse of medical equipment, teaching climate change in schools, and the urgent lack of diversity in tech.

Thanks to Dave (producer) and Holly (Restart’s Communications Assistant) for another great season. We’ll resume next year, when we hope start travelling, interviewing and meeting people again.

1. Combining nostalgia with the new at Armstrong Audio

We talk to Shamil Joomun, the co-owner of London-based vintage audio restoration company and café, Armstrong Audio. Now located in Walthamstow, east London, Armstrong Audio has a long history and a unique approach to repair.

2. Reuse and repair with two frontline medical professionals

Dr. Tarek Loubani and Reidun Garapick join us for a discussion about sustainability and repair of medical equipment and PPE during Covid-19. This is also a call to arms for all repairers, makers, and activists: we must push for essential changes to the system that will live on beyond the pandemic.

3. Shoes and urgent system change with Tansy Hoskins

Discussing Tansy Hoskins’ latest book, Foot Work, we learn how shoes can help us explore issues of labour rights, clothing sustainability, and system change.

4. The urgent need for diversity in tech, and how repair can help

We share a talk from Josh Babarinde of Cracked It, who made repair more accessible as a career for ex-offenders and at-risk youth. He highlights the ever-pressing issue of the lack of diversity in the tech industry, and the dangerous, real-world consequences.

5. Why we need climate education, with Teach the Future

We talk to Jude Daniel Smith from Teach the Future, which aims to reshape the school curriculum to reflect the urgency of the climate crisis and equip younger generations for its inevitable impact on their future.

And in a great “Top 5” tradition, we’re cheating and adding a bonus track because we really need to focus on the future these days.

Our low-tech future, with Kris de Decker

We talk to journalist Kris De Decker about how low-tech of the past can serve as inspiration to improve our future. What if our current idea of sustainability and our economic model may be inherently incompatible? And how much is too much?

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