• Hello! Have you ever dreamed of running your own bookshop? We are cheerful to report that the book industry is smashing it at the moment, with the number of indie bookshops at their highest level in six years, and book sales above pre-pandemic levels. Ed and Geoff speak to Sian Bayley, news editor at The Bookseller, who tells us about what’s driving this upward trend. We hear from co-founders Rosie May and Sarah Scales of Juno Books in Sheffield about how they made their lockdown dreams a reality. Finally, Aimée Felone, children’s publisher and co-director of Round Table Books in Brixton, tells us about her journey into publishing and what it means to run an inclusive bookshop.

    Plus: Buoyed up by his viral musical success, Ed's started learning an instrument...


    Sian Bayley, News Editor, The Bookseller (@sleighbayley / @thebookseller)

    Rosie May and Sarah Scales, Co-Founders of Juno Books (@junobookssheff)

    Aimée Felone, Managing Director of children’s publisher Knights Of and Co-Director of Round Table Books (@aimeefelone / @roundtablebooks)

    More information

    BookBar in Finsbury Park, London

    Learn more about the work of BookTrust and Lit in Colour

    Visit the Bookseller's website - the trade magazine for the publishing industry

    Visit Juno Books in Sheffield 

    Visit Round Table Books in Brixton, London

    Find out about Knights Of, Aimée’s publishing company

    CLPE Survey of Ethnic Representation in Children's Literature. Read the most recent report here

    Books Aimée recommends in the episode

    Knights and Bikes by Gabrielle Kent

    For Every One by Jason Reynolds

    Small Worlds by Caleb Azumah Nelson 

    Windward Family by Alexis Keir

    Mind and Me by Sunita Chawdhary

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

  • Hello! Every day, remarkable acts of diplomacy are happening around the world to bring us one step closer to cooperation on our biggest conflicts and challenges. But how much do we really know about what goes on behind closed doors? And what are the ingredients of a successful negotiation? We speak to climate diplomacy legend and friend of the pod, Christiana Figueres, about her leadership on one of the most extraordinary diplomatic feats: the 2015 Paris Agreement. Gabrielle Rifkind, a specialist in conflict resolution, tells us about the importance of finding the ‘human face’ of conflict. Finally, the EU’s former top diplomat Catherine Ashton talks to us about the highs and lows of her time on the job, and why all of us are diplomats without even knowing it.

    Plus: We’ve talked sandwiches, we’ve talked toasters. Have a guess at which gadget has Ed bought for himself this week...


    Christiana Figueres, co-founder of Global Optimism and former Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC 2010-2016 (@CFigueres / @OutrageOptimism) 

    Gabrielle Rifkind, Specialist in conflict resolution and Director of the Oxford Process (@OxfordProcess)

    Catherine Ashton, Former High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and author of And then what? Inside stories of 21st century diplomacy 

    More information

    Buy a copy of Catherine's book

    Listen to Outrage and Optimism, Christiana and Tom Rivett-Carnac's podcast

    Learn more about the Oxford Process

    'We need to rethink how we do diplomacy,' Guardian Article, Catherine Ashton

    Learn more about the Paris Agreement, the legally binding treaty on climate change

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

  • Episodes manquant?

    Cliquez ici pour raffraichir la page manuellement.

  • Hello! This week Ed and Geoff sat down with writer, journalist and now Professor of Sociology, Gary Younge. Gary talks about his new book ‘Dispatches from the Diaspora: From Nelson Mandela to Black Lives Matter’, and how his upbringing in a new town - Stevenage - led to a life telling stories from historic moments on both sides of the Atlantic, and what he can teach the next generation of journalists. 

    Plus: Both Ed and Geoff both went viral fungal this week. Did you see?

    Pre-order a copy of Gary's book here.

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

  • Hello! While we generally aim for cheerfulness, it's also ok to be a little angry too. Senator Bernie Sanders is. After a long career of fighting for a more progressive politics, the self-proclaimed democratic socialist has had enough: capitalism isn't working for the average American (or Brit) anymore. Three billionaires own more wealth than the bottom half of American society combined, and healthcare, education, and childcare are unaffordable. The establishment has consistently written off his policies as ‘radical’ but Bernie is convinced that what he's fighting for is just common sense. Geoff and Ed sit down with the longest-serving independent politician in US history to talk about baseball, how his policies have influenced the Democrats, and whether Ed has finally met his political meme match.

    Plus: Which tangy snack has Ed rediscovered?

    Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders)

    Buy a copy of It's ok to be angry about capitalism by Bernie Sanders

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

  • Hello! As you wearily stood in a queue for a flight that was four hours delayed, having been hit with a hefty fee for a bag that you swore would fit under the seat, have you ever wondered if there was a better way to travel? Well, you’re not alone! 2022 was a bumper year for international train travel, as people took to the rails to see Europe and beyond. While long-distance train travel is better for the environment, it is often expensive and buying tickets can be fiddly. We speak to rail royalty Mark Smith, better known as the Man in Seat 61, who tells us why this is changing. Journalist and author Monisha Rajesh inspires us with tales of her travels around the world by train and finally we talk to Jody Bauer from Eurail, the company that sells Interrail passes, about its 50th anniversary and why it has revolutionised rail travel around Europe.

    Plus: Has Ed hired the assistance of a food stylist?


    Mark Smith, founder of the Man in Seat 61 website (Twitter: @seatsixtyone / Instagram: @seatsixtyone)

    Monisha Rajesh, Journalist and Author (Twitter: @monisha_rajesh / Instagram: @monisha_rajesh)

    Jody Bauer, Research Analyst, Eurail (Instagram: @eurail / @interraileu)

    More information

    To plan an international train journey visit the Man in Seat Sixty-One

    Visit Monisha's website and buy her books Around India in 80 Trains and Around the World in 80 Trains

    Visit 33 countries with one pass. Buy an Interrail or Eurail pass and get inspiration for your next trip here

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

  • Hello! Climate change litigation has come on a long way since the 2000 blockbuster film Erin Brockovich. There's been a huge rise globally in the number of cases being filed against negligent governments and corporations, but what does this mean for our efforts to tackle the climate crisis? We hear from Catherine Higham, policy fellow at LSE, and Laura Clarke from ClientEarth about the kinds of climate-related cases being thrashed out in court. We then cross the pond to Canada, where 15-year-old climate activist Sophia Mathur has been busy suing the Ontario government. We find out what inspired her to act, and what her hopes for the future are.

    Plus: Where did Ed go for a *bracing* open water swim this week?


    Catherine Higham, Policy Fellow, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, LSE (@CatherineHigha3, @GRI_LSE)

    Laura Clarke, CEO, ClientEarth (@LauraClarkeCE, @ClientEarth) 

    Sophia Mathur, Climate Activist (@sophiamathur)

    More info

    Global Trends in Climate Litigation 2022 (Report, Grantham Research Institute, LSE)

    Learn more about ClientEarth's work

    Learn more about Sophia's journey to becoming an activist

    Why 2023 will be a watershed year for climate litigation (Article, The Guardian)

    Sign up to The Wave: the newsletter about climate litigation and justice

    Links to additional cases mentioned can be found on our website

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

  • Hello! Nepo-babies are a new-fangled term but the issue of social mobility goes much deeper…in this episode Ed and Geoff explore why the same kind of people often seem to make it to the top. Why does your starting point in life still strongly determine where you’ll end up? We find out why it matters and if there’s anything we can do to change it. We’re speaking to social mobility tsar Alan Milburn, social entrepreneur Joe Seddon who helps state school pupils get into top Universities and to comedian Josie Long about how to open up the creative industries to more people.

    Plus: Can Geoff persuade Ed to woo Justine with a ChatGPT Valentine's poem?


    Alan Milburn, Chair, Social Mobility Foundation (@alanmilburn1958 & @SocialMobilityF) 

    Joe Seddon, Founder & CEO, Zero Gravity (@whatjoedid & @zerogravity)

    Josie Long, Comedian & Co-Founder, Arts Emergency (@JosieLong & @artsemergency)

    More info

    Read the New York Magazine article on nepo babies in Hollywood

    Read Vice's article about why American nepo babies have nothing on the British

    Learn more about the Social Mobility Foundation and apply to their Aspiring Professionals Programme 

    Sign up to Zero Gravity as a sixth form student to get mentoring, or as a university student to become a mentor

    Read Zero Gravity's Gap Zero Report on the network advantage

    Learn more about Arts Emergency, get support as a young person, donate or become a mentor

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

  • Hello! This week we're speaking to comedian, actor and author Cariad Lloyd who's on a crusade to help us become better at talking about death and grief. Although it might not seem like the most cheerful of topics, Cariad believes that there's a lot of hope and optimism in thinking and talking about death. We discuss why the five stages are a load of twaddle, how there is no 'right way' to deal with your grief and what to say (and what not to say!) to someone who's grieving.

    Plus: Geoff and Ed’s telepathy reaches new levels...for the first time in the pod’s history, they have the same reason to be cheerful!

    Follow Cariad on Twitter (@ladycariad)

    Buy a copy of Cariad's book out now You are not alone: A new way to grieve

    Listen to all episodes of Griefcast including the episode with Dr Kathryn Mannix

    Cariad mentioned psychotherapist Julia Samuel

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

  • Hello! This week on Reasons to be Cheerful Ed and Geoff are Going Out Out and talking about the night-time economy: generally everything that happens between 6pm and 6am. At the end of 2022, iconic Manchester venue ‘Night & Day’ was threatened with closure over a noise complaint. We talk about why this example represents a wider crisis in city nightlife and how it is possible to protect it, both for a good night’s sleep and for better workers’ rights. We chat to Dr Alessio Kolioulis about the history of the night-time economy, to Sacha Lord about why Manchester’s nightlife is the keystone of its cultural identity and to Clare Lynch, long-time resident of Soho, who tells us about the changes happening there and how to preserve the area’s character. And where does Bez from the Happy Mondays keep his bees?

    Plus: Find out which TV chef has given a professional review of Ed’s soup…


    Dr Alessio Kolioulis, Lecturer teaching urban economic development at the Bartlett Development Planning Unit, UCL (@AleKolioulis)

    Sacha Lord, Night Time Economy Adviser for Greater Manchester (@Sacha_Lord)

    Clare Lynch, Audio producer and Soho Resident (@clarelynchred)

    More info

    Night & Day: Manchester venue’s noise breach appeal hearing postponed

    Brussels famous nightclub Fuse allowed to reopen

    Working Nights: Municipal strategies for nocturnal workers

    It’s official - Germany declares its nightclubs are now cultural institutions

    Listen to Soho Radio

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

  • Hello! This week we’re talking about ChatGPT, the artificial intelligence language model that’s taken the world by storm. But is the hype justified? And what can it do beyond writing poems about your favourite podcast? We speak to Rory Cellan-Jones, whose dog is also an internet sensation, about what ChatGPT is and whether it’s been trained on a pro-Ed dataset, to Dr Kate Devlin about what it means for education and whether we can trust AI, and finally to Andrew Strait about some of the ethical concerns surrounding ChatGPT. Can AI really make society better and fairer?

    Plus: Where is Ed off to next on his culinary journey?


    Rory Cellan-Jones, Former Technology Correspondent, BBC (@ruskin147 and check out the hashtag #SophiefromRomania to keep up to date with the latest doggie developments)

    Dr Kate Devlin, Reader in Artificial Intelligence and Society, Department of Digital Humanities at King’s College London (@drkatedevlin & @kingsdh)

    Andrew Strait, Associate Director, Ada Lovelace Institute (@agstrait & @AdaLovelaceInst)

    More info

    Try out ChatGPT for yourself

    Subscribe to Rory’s Substack on health and technology

    Department of Digital Humanities, King’s College London

    Visit the Ada Lovelace Institute’s Website

    UKRI Trustworthy Autonomous Systems 

    Stephen Hawking warns artificial intelligence could end mankind by Rory Cellan-Jones

    OpenAI underpaid 200 Kenyans to perfect ChatGPT then sacked them 

    Human-like programs abuse our empathy by Professor Emily Bender

    ChatGPT used by mental health tech app in AI experiment

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

  • Hello! This week we’re talking about climate misinformation and how we tackle it. Mis- and disinformation about the climate crisis is not new: since the 1970s industry players and fossil fuel giants have been denying the reality of climate change in order to sow confusion and polarise public support for taking action. Delay is the new denial, according to Jennie King, who talks to us about some of the arguments used to delay action on climate change. Professor Sander van der Linden tells us about the psychology of misinformation spread and why social media has only turbocharged it. Finally, Sean Buchan talks to us about the grassroots campaign Stop Funding Heat which aims to make climate misinformation unprofitable.

    Plus: Geoff goes on a gastronomic journey with Ed's latest cooking attempt.


    Jennie King, Head of Climate Research and Policy, Institute for Strategic Dialogue (@jkingy, @ISDglobal)

    Professor Sander van der Linden, Professor of Social Psychology, University of Cambridge (@Sander_vdLinden)

    Sean Buchan, Campaign Director, Stop Funding Heat (@seanforachange, @stopfundingheat)

    More info

    What is climate mis-/disinformation?

    Deny, deceive, delay: documenting and responding to climate disinformation at COP26 and beyond Report from the ISD

    Taxonomy of climate contrarian claims Academic paper: Coan, Boussalis, Cook, Nanko

    Discourses of Climate Delay Comic by Céline Keller

    Climate Action Against Disinformation 

    Pre-order a copy of Sander's book Foolproof: Why we fall for misinformation and how to build immunity

    Stop Funding Heat Campaign

    Other resources

    DeSmog Journalism to clear the 'PR Pollution' clouding the science and solutions to climate change

    Skeptical science Website set up by academic Jon Cook to examine the science and arguments of climate scepticism

    Ed and Geoff mentioned:

    Three policies making life in Paris better for children

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

  • Hello! New year, new term and this week Ed and Geoff are going back to school. Too little has changed about our education system since the Victorian times, and for too many young people it can seem an outdated and rigid system - geared simply towards passing exams - which is letting them down. We speak to three experts who tell us that it doesn't have to be this way: Dr James Mannion, clinical psychologist Dr Naomi Fisher and to Andy Sprakes, the co-founder of Doncaster's most oversubscribed school, about how they're already doing things differently and why it's beneficial for everyone involved.

    Plus: want a chance to live out your Geoffocracy dreams? We hear from Suzanne Heywood about a new prize looking for our listeners' policy ideas!


    Dr James Mannion, Director of Rethinking Education, a teacher training organisation (Visit his website or follow him on Twitter @RethinkingJames)

    Dr Naomi Fisher, Clinical Psychologist (Follow her on Twitter @naomicfisher or subscribe to her Substack)

    Andy Sprakes, Chief Academic Officer and Co-founder, XP School in Doncaster (@SprakesA & @XPschool) 

    Suzanne Heywood, Chair of the Heywood Foundation (@HeywoodFndation)

    More info

    Do schools kill creativity? TED Talk, Sir Ken Robinson

    The crisis of the last six months has exposed five damaging myths in education Blog, Peter Hyman

    Rethinking Education James Mannion's teacher training organisation

    How to Change the World James Mannion's TEDxtalk on 'vertical slice politics'

    Above all compassion, the story of XP School Film

    Learn more about the Heywood Prize and enter here.

    Contact Reasons to be Cheerful via our website, follow us on Twitter and Instagram. Let us know your episode ideas, your comments and feedback! 

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

  • Hello and happy 2023! Normal service will resume next Monday but in the meantime we’ve got a cracking interview with co-authors Adrienne Buller and Mathew Lawrence for you. Their new book ‘Owning the Future: Power and Property in an Age of Crisis’ is all about ownership. Basically, who owns what in our economy and society, and why it matters. They set out an alternative future for us that’s not dominated by profit making business models, but rather meets the needs of all citizens without destroying the planet. 

    And as we look to the future, Ed reminisces about past mishaps with his coat...

    Buy Owning the Future: Power and Property in an Age of Crisis

    Common Wealth Think Tank


    Adrienne Buller, Director of Research, Common Wealth Think Tank (@adribuller)

    Mathew Lawrence, Founder and Director, Common Wealth Think Tank (@dantonshead)

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

  • It’s been another calm year for politics: four chancellors, three prime ministers and a lettuce. Through the tumult, we’ve been providing you a steady stream of reasons to be cheerful. Having applied a (not very) rigorous methodology we’ve chosen our ten favourite moments from the year. What’s made it to the top spot?

    We’d love to hear from you over the holidays with your ideas, guest suggestions or emails. If you want to get in touch with the podcast you can email us at [email protected] or through our website.

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

  • Hello! We’ve decked the loft with boughs of holly and after two years, Ed and Geoff are finally reunited for some Christmas fun and frolics. Traditional board game proceedings have been temporarily suspended, as we ask some friends of the pod to tell us their reasons to be cheerful. And boy, it’s a real bagamashings. We hear from Jon Ronson, Self Esteem, Davina McCall and Michael Douglas, Ayesha Hazarika, Tom Allen, and many more…

    Find out which celebs sent us a message from bed, who told Ed he had the weakest handshake in Western Europe, and what Dan the Lifeguard really sounds like.

    With thanks to all our cracker message senders and listeners in 2022!

    If you want to get in touch with the podcast you can email us at [email protected] or through our website.

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

  • Hello! When we hear about social workers it's usually because something terrible has happened. Social work is rightly subject to scrutiny, but why do we never hear about any of the good stuff? Despite operating in an under-resourced and bureaucratic system, social workers are helping individuals and families facing some of the toughest life circumstances, in the hope of creating a fairer and more prosperous society. We talk to Ruth Allen about the profession, to Ryan Wise who's trying to remove day-to-day barriers that social workers might face, and to Lisa Hackett about why we need to shift public perceptions of social workers and the job they do.


    Ruth Allen, CEO, British Association of Social Workers (@ruthallenonline) (@BASW_UK)

    Ryan Wise, Co-founder, Crescendo (@ryanwise18)

    Lisa Hackett, Chief Social Worker, Frontline (@FrontlineSW)

    More info 

    Learn more about the British Association of Social Workers' 80:20 Campaign

    If you're a social worker, take BASW's annual survey of social workers

    Read more about the 15% solutions approach that Ryan discusses

    Understand more about Crescendo

    Find out information about Frontline, England's largest social work charity

    The campaign to get care experience designated a protected characteristic

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

  • Hello! This week Ed and Geoff are on location to chat with two big brains who have been part of two important commissions about the state of the UK economy. What are the deep roots of the economic crisis facing our country? And what's the solution? 

    The UK is suffering from a 'toxic combination' of high inequality and stagnating growth. We look at some of the long-term issues that mean the cost of living crisis is hitting Britain particularly hard, why we need a new economic strategy and what it would involve. And what does Geoff's hairdresser have to do with it all?


    Carys Roberts, Executive Director, IPPR (@carysroberts) (@IPPR)

    Torsten Bell, CEO, Resolution Foundation (@TorstenBell) (@resfoundation)

    More info

    Read the final report (2018) from IPPR's Commission on Economic Justice

    Read 'Stagnation Nation' (2022) the interim report from the Economy 2030 Inquiry

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

  • Hello! This week we're talking about disability activism: its past, present and future. Disabled people are routinely excluded from society, despite making up 15% of the population. How has disability activism shifted people's attitudes and perceptions? And how can we transform our society so it's fairer for everyone? To find out we speak to disability justice activist Anna Landre about why it's not possible to legislate prejudice out of existence, we also talk to Christoph Keller about his new memoir and to Ruth Malkin about the People's History Museum's new exhibition celebrating the history of disability activism.

    Transcripts of all the interviews are available on our website.


    Anna Landre, Disability Justice Activist and Research Fellow, UCL (@annalandre)

    Christoph Keller, Novelist, editor and playwright. Author of ‘Every Cripple a Superhero’ 

    Ruth Malkin, Community Co-Curator, People's History Museum (@PHMMcr)

    More info

    Visit Anna's website

    UCL's Global Disability Innovation Hub

    The Shaw Trust Disability Power 100 List 2022

    Buy Christoph's book 'Every Cripple A Superhero'

    Islam Alijaj's Twitter (Swiss politician)

    Visit the People's History Museum's Exhibition: Nothing About Us Without Us (until October 2023)

    Get online support and advice from Scope

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

  • Hello! Ed's just come back from COP27 where he was roving with his mic. He spoke to some experts on how we shift to zero carbon power and break our dependency on fossil fuels. We talk to Kingsmill Bond about why the transition to renewables makes economic sense. Tzeporah Berman tells us about the potential of the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty to constrain supply. And Mohamed Adow tells us why the continent of Africa could lead the way in becoming a renewable energy superpower, and what that means for its development.


    Kingsmill Bond, Energy Strategist, Rocky Mountain Institute (@KingsmillBond) (@RockyMtnInst)

    Tzeporah Berman, Chair of the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty (@tzeporah) (@fossiltreaty)

    Mohamed Adow, Director, Power Shift Africa (@mohadow) (@PowerShftAfrica)

    More info

    Read about past and current peaks in fossil fuel demand (RMI)

    Visit Kingsmill Bond's website to read about the drivers of change for the transition to renewables and the myths of the incumbency

    Listen to Kingsmill on the Volts Podcast

    Learn more about the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty

    Access the Global Registry of Fossil Fuels (Carbon Tracker; Global Energy Monitor)

    Watch Tzeporah's TED Talk

    Visit Power Shift Africa's Website

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

  • Hello! This week as world leaders- and Ed -gather in Sharm El-Sheikh for COP27 we’re covering a tricky topic: what’s our role as individuals in tackling the climate crisis? When we feel like governments and businesses aren’t doing their bit to keep 1.5C alive, is it normal for us to feel disillusioned about the power that’s in our hands?


    Our guests say that action on climate isn't all on us, but that it won't happen without us either. We speak to Alyssa Gilbert from the Grantham Institute for Climate Change about the enabling role of government and why we need to shout about the actions we’re taking. We also talk to Mike Thompson from the Climate Change Committee and to Tom Bailey, who is recommending shifts he thinks we can take to make a difference.


    Plus: Geoff has a new look and reveals his Autumnal beverage of choice 


    More info

    Imperial's 9 things you can do about climate change 


    CCC's 2022 Report on Climate Offsetting


    CCC's 2020 Report on the Sixth Carbon Budget

    Sign up and Take the Jump for 1, 3 or 6 months


    Listen to 'Holding out for a Zero,' an RTBC episode from July 



    Alyssa Gilbert, Director of Policy and Translation at the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment, Imperial College London (@AlyssaRGilbert) (@Grantham_IC)


    Mike Thompson, Chief Economist and Director of Analysis, Climate Change Committee (@Mike_Thommo) (@theCCCuk)


    Tom Bailey, Co-founder, Take the Jump (@taketheJUMPnow)

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.