Episode 1 transcript - Is it time for a new utopia?!
Colombe: Hey, everyone. Welcome to The Equitist the podcast that will try to understand with you what a more equitable world - one that is based on freedom on fairness - I know it's difficult to imagine, but it's possible can look like, and we'll also seek to understand how we can potentially and possibly create it.
I'm Colombe I'm one of the co-hosts and I'm here with Andrea.
Andrea: Hi everyone.
Colombe: And we are planning lots of what we think are amazing episodes with outstanding guests to explore what the new utopia should be like and what is needed, what system change needs to happen, what we can do in individual and collective lives to make it happen. But let's start from the beginning.
Why do we need to change the way the world works?
Andrea: I think I'm not the only one thinking that today the world does not work as it should, I think this is the most important problem, the way society functions, the way we live our lives should, and could be way better than today.
And let me give you an example, a very concrete one. Think about what happened the last two years. Doctors, nurses. Literally destroyed themselves, kill themselves, to keep societies afloat, despite that their salaries or benefits are very low. They're not enough to live often in a central cities.
In the meantime, finance executive business leaders earn a hundred, 200 times more. And their impact on society is very low or definitely is not targeted the wellbeing of our communities, our people, our planet. This for me, just playing me wrong. We should change. We should try to fix the situation.
And no one on the whole planet is actually thinking what's next? How can we fix these incredible flows of our societies and bring our world, our planet, our communities, our life to the next level.
Colombe: That's very well said. I'm actually going to ask our listeners this, whoever is listening to this, and I hope it's a lot of people on this first episode.
Take a second to answer the following question. Do you think that your government is doing enough for you? Do you think that the world is functioning as well as it should?
Do you think that it's functioning in a fair manner? If you answer to any of those questions is no. Then there's clearly an issue and has been for a very long time. And obviously this is not groundbreaking to say it. It's pretty clear that we are not in an optimal situation. A lot of people are saying it.
So that's the first issue. The world is not working as it should. As a result, a lot of people are suffering.
The second issue is that while we can complain about it and we often have short term policy ideas of how to solve some of the issues. So for example, Some people are advocating for a cap on wealth or others are advocating for universal basic income and others advocating to stop using planes.
To all of the big issues of our times, whether it's fiscal justice, climate change and so on, people have policy solutions that on the short term might help in fixing the problem. We do not have a long-term vision of what society should look like, and I don't know for you, but for me waking up in the morning and trying to think, okay, I'm going to give it all. I have to try to change this world to make it more fair for everyone and so on without knowing what this world could look like beyond avoiding doomsday through the climate crisis, beyond trying to reduce inequalities, without having a clear image of a new utopia, it's very difficult to fight for it because we don't have something to fight for.
We have something to fight against. So for me, this is also the aim of the podcast. It's to understand some of the big issues we're facing and also opportunities to be honest, we live in a fascinating time. We could have houses on Mars in the future, who knows it's one of my personal dreams. And, but we also need to imagine what this ideal new society should look like.
And I'm not just talking about Mars I'm talking about our own planet, our communities and individuals, and where we should put the focus.
Andrea: I think this is very well said Colombe, and I think these two problems can only be solved. if we rethink society and it's very easy to say more difficult to do and this is why we have launched this podcast. Because we believe we have an idea, but this idea is still at its beginning.
We're gonna take, it's gonna take time a lot of conversation with our listeners, with experts to really make it. The great idea that we wanted to be. And this idea is Equitism. Equitism is a philosophy that preach to put equity, the value of equity at the center of society from a political, economical and social point of view.
Equity is, let me give you an example. It's different than equality. It's basically think about trying to look beyond a fence , you have different Heights. You can be one meter 60, one meter 80 or another height. And depending on your height, you might need support to look beyond the fence.
And only with when each and everyone of the people behind the fence can look beyond, you have actually reached equity.
Colombe: Yes. It's basically different from equality because equality, everyone can stand behind the fence, but I'm smaller than you. So probably I wouldn't be able to watch over the fence. But with equity I have a little, what's the word in English thing to stand on and I can actually look beyond the the fence right?
So Equitism is this philosophy, where we want to put equity at the center from a political social and economical point of view. And what does it mean? It means that if we manage to provide to each and everyone, the right opportunities or rights, meaning the one tailored to their needs, we believe that you can unlock wellbeing for individuals, the people and the planet. And this is the final goal of the work we are doing. It's not about generating GDP. It's not about ensuring that we live longer in planet that is decaying But it's actually ensuring that every single person on this planet, every single community and the planet as a whole, and maybe more planets, if we ever expand can actually thrive, can achieve the maximum level of wellbeing possible, which means happiness, health and all the other dimension that make one's life worth living.
Colombe: And I think that's really interesting because normally when we talk about how societies are doing well, we use very weird indexes, right?
You mentioned GDP and others, but in a world where resources are not infinite in a world where growth in itself should not be the one thing we strive towards, we should try to understand that while some of those measures might help in achieving wellbeing, they are not the end goal, right? Some countries have very big GDP growth yet are very unequal and people do not have the right to vote, to express themselves, to be themselves.
People end up in prison because of various characteristics, such as their religions their sexual orientation and so on. And for me, this is not a society that is doing well. So we'll talk about three aspects, individual community, because we think that the community has a big place in this and the planet herself.
And through this podcast,. We're going to speak about a lot of different thematics from democracy to bioethics. And we have a lot to learn because I know nothing about the second one, but it will be very interesting. But before we jump into this, I think it's time to actually properly introduce ourselves. You've already been listening to us for quite a few minutes without knowing who we are. So Andrea, I have a few questions for you.
Andrea: Okay. I'm a bit scared.
Colombe: And so let's start from the beginning.
Can you introduce yourself quickly? Can you tell us about yourself?
Andrea: So my name is Andrea I'm Italian. I'm sadly, already 30,
Colombe: Very dark for every podcast listener who is 30 or over!
Andrea: And I used to be a very boring business consultant. Then in 2017 with the person next to me and a German friend, I decided to jump into politics. And I had absolutely no experience in that. And then the three of us started a political party across Europe called Volt.
The idea that back then was the one of uniting people bringing Europeans together. And just ahead of the European elections of 2019, that we wanted to challenge from all over the continent. I must say the project went very well. We elected our co-founder Damian into the parliament and after that Volt went on to elect more and more people at national and local level across the continent.
However, for Colombe and I, the solution was less fun simply because shortly after the European elections, we realized that a lot of the reasons why we were doing what we were doing were not well placed into a European movement . Basically we wanted to unite people to fight climate change, to defend democracy, to protect women's rights.
And these are issues that happen sadly all over the planet. It's not just Europe and Europe in itself cannot solve this problem. It's less than 10% of the world population. So this is why in the summer of 2019, Colombe and I set our work toward another direction that we let her introduce.
Colombe: So I'm Colombe as you can hear from my accent, I'm French. And I have a very similar path as a result to Andrea's just because we've been working together for the last few years, except that I don't consider my past job to be very boring, but I used to work in human rights, which was amazing. And then when Brexit happened and the far right was rising a lot in France ahead of the European elections, I thought that it was needed to try something else.
And as a result, I co-founded the European political party, with Andrea and Damian, with the idea of countering nationalism, bringing people together and solving European issues. Just like him, in 2019, I realized that I was very mistaken in believing that this could be done at the European level or that this was the right way of going about it.
I think people should have political representation in the European union. So for this, our project was great. However, I don't think, and I still do not believe that it could solve the issues we're trying to tackle. Including, welcoming people that are migrating towards Europe in a fair and human manner, including trying to solve climate change, trying to improve democracy, trying to guarantee rights, coming up with innovative measures to ensure a maximum wellbeing for people, communities, and the planet herself.
And so this is why with Andrea we decided to create a global movement because we do believe that there's a huge untapped potential in bringing people together across borders. We are ourselves from different countries. Every time I spoke to someone from a different country, prejudices is go down. You learn something new ideas come together, and you realize that a lot of the time you have the same fears, although they might be stronger in certain countries and in different contexts.
And we also have very similar dreams. We're not that complex in this way.
We just sometimes don't agree on the way of getting there. So we decided, okay, we know how to mobilize people across borders. We did it for a couple of years. Let's do it across the world. Let's bring people together across the world to try to tackle challenges that goes beyond borders.
So we did this, we launched a global movement, not knowing how to do it again. It was a lot of fun. And then we realized that it was very difficult to solve those issues. Obviously we didn't realize it at this moment we knew it from the beginning, but just because you don't have a global political system, you don't have a global system in which we could participate.
We had to fight every single battle. One after the other. And it was an uphill battle
Andrea: and there are many many.
Colombe: Yeah. It's never ending. To give you a concrete idea, we started by launching a climate campaign to ask the UN security council to declare global climate emergency, knowing it wouldn't happen because some countries at the time didn't believe climate change was a thing.
Trump was still at the head of the U S and then we launched other campaign, some successful, for example, we managed to create a coalition of health workers. I don't know if you remember Andrea from across the world.
Andrea: It was a very good campaign.
Colombe: Exactly. And in it, we asked the WHO to prioritize vaccination for health workers across the world.
This was May, 2020 before we had a vaccine. Before we knew we would have a vaccine soon, we just knew that countries for every pandemic tend to hold resources, tend to buy rich countries tend to hold resources. And the rest of the world is left worst off as a result. And we knew not because we're very smart, but just because this is what scientists and history have said, that as a result, you have more variants. As a result, you have more deaths, the pandemic last longer, and it's stupid for everyone. And very deadly
Andrea: It's crazy to think that the thing that we said two years ago are actually turning very true, like Omicron and everything else yeah.
Colombe: So we actually, we put together Instagram doctors, they also doctors in real life they're just very popular on Tik TOK and Instagram together. And we advocated ahead of something called the world health assembly to have health workers across the world, have priority access to vaccines.
Very logical and stuff. Healthworkers protect us all. We were not even asking for all people to have equal access, which they should.
And the WHO answered to our request saying it was the right thing to do. And they would try still today, by the way, it's not the case. I think if I read correctly in Africa, three out of 10 doctors or something had access to a dose.
Andrea: Yeah. Shameful.
Colombe: Exactly. So we launched a lot of campaigns. We worked, we organized hundreds of protests in support of freedom movements from Hong Kong to Venezuela and so on, with the idea of uniting people on ensuring that we stood together, that we fought together for a better world.
And then we realized that there was something missing. We were trying to avoid the worst off and to ensure that people could have equitable access to opportunities and so on. But we did not know what the world we were trying to create would even look like.
And we realized that this was an issue for our movement because as a result, people got mobilized on individual battles, which was important. But then how did they go beyond their own center of interests? How could they fight on the long term without having a clear vision and a hopeful one as well? We can't just try to avoid dooms day everyday. Life is hard enough as it is.
And so we decided that with our community to create and to think about what this world could look like and how to get there and to create a new ideology. And this is because when Andrea and I looked at communism and at capitalism, A lot of systems that have been tried and ideologies that have been tried, some of them brought more good than others clearly but none of them work for us all today.
None of them are solving some of these fundamental issues.
Andrea: They are outdared if think about it. It's 200 years that some of these ideologies came alive even longer and we still live according to these doctrines. norms When now things have changed. First of all, we are aware of many different risks that we live as a society like climate change. And so on, we have finally understood that we should be at least equal. And then now we're trying to reach the equitable part. But it's more accepted than 200 years ago. And then there is technology that enables so many things that were not possible before. And there is still a part of the world - luckily it's a small one - that lives according to communist principles, especially dictatorial communist principle. And then there is another big part of the word that still thinks that the best thing a society should do is the one of hoarding resources and save lots of money.
And I think it's incredibly sad that we don't have an alternative.
Colombe: Yeah. Also because we see it doesn't work, neither of them have enabled me and I am a woman to have equal rights in the law and in practice, across the world. Neither of them have enabled us to leave above poverty across the world. Neither of them have enabled us to have full democratic rights and so on.
We were like, okay there's no solution that exists. Let's create one. And we also came to this realization when we started asking a lot of people: what do you want? What is the world you want? And it's difficult to explain in words, I think if you could see me, it would be more clear, but I'll try a lot of people answered,
yeah, the system doesn't work and we need, and I'm doing a gesture.
Andrea: Colombe's moving her hand in a way that communicates a lot of anger and expression and hope.
Colombe: Yeah. But basically people like gesture towards something up and they don't know. And they're like, when you have something on the tip of your tongue and you can't articulate it property, and for me, it was the same. I was like, clearly the system doesn't work. And then I'm not sure. And you try to show that there needs to be some movement and some that you're not sure. And so we've heard that this was a missing piece that we could try to contribute to not only Andrea and I but our entire community of members that are right now, 22,000 people in over 130 countries that are trying to understand how to make Equitism practical for all.
This is to say, we decided that we needed to come up with a new philosophy to articulate it, to explain what it would mean for individuals, for communities and for the planet.
And we felt that a podcast would be the perfect way to explore this because to be honest, a lot of the time we have
Colombe: There's a lot of topics we want to explore. There's a lot of really cool people that are working on similar ideas might not be working on their entire philosophy, but in their own fields, are exploring how to completely reshape the world because I don't believe a single second that short policies can solve this issue.
We need to completely change the way the world works, I think. And exactly, but we will also succeed at some point, if not, as some others and. And so we thought, okay, let's just launch this podcast so that every week we research a topic, speak with great people and try to articulate some thoughts on it and then get feedback from you, the listeners, and understand how to move forward.
Andrea: It sounds like a plan Colombe. This was a very long intro.
Colombe: And let's talk for a second about what people can expect from this podcast.
Andrea: First of all, there is a weekly podcast that's already quite exciting. I guess it's going to be hosted by me in Colombe and once a month, our members from all over the planet will come together and host a special episode driven by the community.
We have three, three very cool things we want to bring to you. First of all, is a collection of very clever people. Thanks to our work, we met with experts in the field of democracy in the field of human rights, but also philosophy business artists and so on.
And these people are really doing wonders in their own field. And often they go undetected because maybe you are not from the country. You don't speak the language. You don't get to read about that. And through this podcast we want to bring them directly to you, you're going to hear about the digital minister of Taiwan trying to change the way a country works.
You're going to hear about a leader of South Africa, trying to bring together groups that have fought for centuries in the continent so very interesting stuff. Thanks to that and thanks to the work of our members, we're going to then bring you what we announced for a long time in this podcast. So the vision of how society should look like, as I mentioned the beginning, We don't have the secret.
We are working on it. We are building together. And I hope that in this podcast, among the many words, the many discussion and many shadows, you're going to see the light behind the vision that we're trying to bring together to create a truly equitable world. And as we say to go beyond what we have right now, whether it is capitalism, communism, or other models of society, we want to go beyond that
Colombe: and we'll also bring a global perspective. So Andrea mentioned already that our members will come together, but we believe that to achieve an equitable society. We need to have a United world. And so for this, we'll also explore how a global governance, how working together truly as one can take place and change the entire planet.
Andrea: So last but not least, we actually gonna provide you a practical guide on how to take action. If you're listening to this podcast, you're someone that cares about the word cares about issues.
that care about The people sitting next to them right now on the bus, on the underground. And this is exactly the people we want to reach because I feel that
Andrea: you're, you they're listening right now. You have a potential to impact the world, to change a bit the world around you, to ensure that some people that are suffering will not suffer anymore and will actually thrive.
And through this podcast, we're going to share ideas, projects, campaigns to push you, all of us to do better and to try to make this world a bit more equitable.
Colombe: To recap, tune in, subscribe, like, comment because every week we will bring you incredible voices known and unknown, that will give you a new perspective on some of the most urgent and incredible topics that can help us in reshaping society. From democracy to bioethics, to space exploration, we will tackle it all in order to have a more fair society for you for your community and for the planet as a whole.
Second, this will provide you with a clear idea, a guide of what society and politics should look like. So not only will you hear from great people and great jokes from Andrea and I, and very clever arguments, but this will give you a clear vision. We hope and will give us a clear vision of what this new utopic society, what this equities revolution will create.
And finally it will enable you to take action so you can already do so by joining a movement Atlas, but not only we will give practical tips, ideas of how you can change your own life, how you can change the life of your community.
We'll give you resources in order to be able to change the world, because we don't just want this to be a passive experience. And of course, loads and loads of equitist content. So this was a first ever episode. My first request to you is send us your feedback. Tell us what you thought of the idea of the way of doing it. We have a great team of volunteers helping us produce it, but we need more people and we need more feedback. Please be kind by the way.
Second, I will ask you if you can. And if you like the content to support us, so leave comments and likes wherever you listening to this podcast. I heard it helps a lot and please send it to anyone who might be interested. Family, friends, colleagues, the aunt of your great grandmother. Anyone you saw once drunk at a club, anyone who you think may be interested in this podcast, it would incredibly help us.
And then last but not least, we will provide some longer content and more in-depth content for members of a movement Atlas.
So the next episode number two will be on how to make democracy sexy again. So after this long introduction and explanation of what we want to do, we have an incredible guest that will be coming onto our podcast minister Audrey Tang who's the digital minister of Taiwan. And we talk literally about how to make democracy sexy again, how to make it thrive how to innovate it, how to make it even more relevant than participatory.
However, because this interview lasted a very long time. Cause we had a lot to discuss and this podcast will not last five hours every time. And we won't include the full interview into the podcast, but if you become a member, you'll have access to all of the longer format .
This was the first episode of the Equitist, the podcast we are launching with this episode to understand what a more equitable world, what a more fair, what a more free world, what this new utopia can look like and how we can get there. In the next episode, you'll hear from an amazing guest. And as she often says, at the end of conversations, live long and prosper.