Our weekly podcast is a conversation between Mel and another social innovator – someone who is already striving for a better, more inclusive world.  Mel, a social entrepreneur himself and with a deep understanding of the highs and lows, talks them to understand what motivates them, what they are trying to achieve and what, importantly, a New Ism should look like for them. Listen to their conversations: you can find The New Ism podcast here or subscribe wherever you normally get your podcasts.

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20. Paul Rice | Fair Trade USA

The New Ism - Paul Rice

Paul Rice is the founder and CEO of Fair Trade USA, the largest certifier and provider of fair trade products in North America. Fair Trade is a global movement of producers, organisations and consumers that put people and planet first. It was was founded on the basis that people want to do the right thing for their families, for fellow global citizens and for the planet – and ensures that the right choices are the easy ones.

“The economy and society of the future must be rooted in values and in ‘shared value’. Companies are not just for creating economic value or wealth for their owners – they need to create shared value, in a financial, social and environmental way for society as a whole. They need to take into account stakeholder needs, not just shareholder needs.”

Listen to the episode here.

Visit the Fair Trade USA website here.


19. Kyle Zimmer | First Book

The New Ism - Kyle Zimmer

Kyle Zimmer is the founder of First Book, an American social enterprise which promotes equal education by ensuring that children from low-income families have access to the books and resources they need. First Book works closely with its 400,000-strong member network and the publishing industry through a sustainable, market-driven model which makes books accessible and affordable.

“Our best catapult move now is to start locking arms on some of these issues and start figuring out cross-sector plays that will have the kinds of impacts we need.”

Listen to the episode here.

Visit the First Book website here.



18. Rick Aubry | Rubicon Programs | New Foundry Ventures

The New Ism - Rick Aubry

Rick Aubry is a leading American social innovator, who has fought tirelessly against inequality in the US. He established Rubicon Programs to support homeless people and people with mental health issues in finding work and somewhere to live; his latest venture, New Foundry Ventures helps social enterprises tackling poverty and inequality to scale. Rick is also training the next generation of social entrepreneurs through his work as a professor of social entrepreneurship.

“Ok for millions of people is better than perfect for tens of thousands”

Listen to Rick’s episode here.

Visit the Rubicon Programs website here.

17. Andreas Heinecke | Dialogue Social Enterprise

The New Ism_Andreas Heinecke

Andreas Heinecke is a German social entrepreneur and globally respected leader in the creation of concepts and exhibitions that overcome stereotypes and break down communications barriers. He is the founder of Dialogue Social Enterprise, which seeks to bridge social divides through human experiences and facilitate the inclusion of marginalised groups.

“We should all have classes in social learning… It’s not a nice-to-have, it’s a must-have.”

Listen to Andreas’ episode here.

Visit the Dialogue Social Enterprise site here.




16. Dr. Martín Burt | Fundación Paraguaya | Poverty Stoplight


The New Ism_Martin Burt

Martín Burt is the founder and CEO of Fundación Paraguaya, an NGO which promotes
entrepreneurship and self-reliance to eliminate poverty. Among many other roles and achievements in the social enterprise and political arenas, he has developed the Poverty Stoplight, a poverty measurement tool and coaching methodology that empowers families to self-diagnose their unique needs and develop plans to lift themselves out of poverty.

“Today, because of technology, we can move deeper than community development into family unit development. So if there are one million families, you can have one million family plans, developed by each family”.

Listen to Martín’s episode here.

Visit the Fundación Paraguaya website here and the Poverty Stoplight website here


15. Recap

Episode 15 is slightly different to our normal format. Before we move onto the next stage of our podcasts, we have taken the opportunity to reflect on and discuss what we’ve learned from our conversations so far – and to announce what is coming next. It’s short and sharp, but we hope you enjoy it! You can find it here.

14. Dr. Mairi Mackay | British Council

The New Ism_Mairi Mackay

Mairi Mackay is the Director of Social and Creative Economies at the British Council, seeking to develop more inclusive and sustainable economies and societies through innovative, cross-sectoral approaches. The DICE (Developing Inclusive and Creative Economies) programme fosters inclusive growth and progress on the SDGs and is designed to empower women and girls, foster youth employment, address inequality and support people with disabilities and other marginalised groups.

“It’s the economics of empowerment: how do you empower people to really build their idea of what a sustainable economy looks like – for their families, for their community – whatever scale that might be. It’s not all about money. People can do extraordinary things without money – with support, with recognition. Resource is necessary – it’s part of the picture but it’s not the only part of the picture, and for me that’s part of the storyline of the new economy.”

Listen to Mairi’s episode here.

Find out more about DICE here.

13. Chris Underhill | Basic Needs | citiesRISE

The New Ism_Chris Underhill

Chris Underhill is a serial social entrepreneur and has, since 2000, focused on mental health care delivery in the global north and south. His organisation Basic Needs enables people with mental illness to access the treatment they need, while his latest venture, citiesRISE, works towards ensuring that the needs of those with mental illness living in the world’s ever-growing cities are met.

“If people can understand design as not just a nice-to-have but, as populations rise, an essential-to-have, then I think we are working towards one of the precepts of a better quality of life in highly populated areas.”

Listen to Chris’ episode here.

Find out more about Chris’ work: Basic Needs, citiesRISE, and his mentoring website.



12. Laurence Demarco | Senscot

The New Ism_Laurence Demarco

Laurence Demarco is the co-founder and trustee of Senscot, an organisation which supports and connects social enterprises in Scotland so that they can drive change in their communities. He has dedicated his career to community development, empowering local communities to take control of the decision-making that affects them. He and Mel met when working on a housing estate in Edinburgh in the early 80s.

“This fantasy that people are only motivated by personal gain – that’s just rubbish. That’s what’s so radical about the social enterprise concept: it’s built on the understanding that there are people, motivated by the desire to serve the public good, just as vehement as people who are motivated by greed.”

Listen to Laurence’s episode here.

Visit the Senscot website here.

11. Baroness Mary Goudie | Women’s rights | Gender diversity

The New Ism_Mary Goudie

Baroness Mary Goudie is a global advocate for the rights of women, working with organisations across the world to tackle gender inequality, poverty and conflict. She is a founding member of the 30% Club, which aims to bring more women on to corporate boards across the world.

“[When women have senior roles], that’s when dynamics change, the whole way the company operates changes, the bottom line does better… That’s where the chemistry changes.”

Listen to Mary’s episode here.

Visit Mary’s website here.



10. Professor Liz Grant | The University of Edinburgh

The New Ism_Professor Liz Grant

Professor Liz Grant is the Director of the Global Health Academy and Assistant Principal for Global Health at the University of Edinburgh. Her many areas of research include palliative care and integrated and person-centred care, and she has worked across the world to transform attitudes to healthcare.

“We need to care for the small so that it can ripple out.”

Listen to Liz’s episode here.

Visit the Global Health Academy website here.

9: David Greig | Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh

The New Ism_David Greig_photo credit_Aly Wright

David Greig is a renowned Scottish playwright and the Artistic Director of the Royal Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh. He is an advocate for the benefits of placing a greater emphasis on the arts and culture in society.

“To have a meaningful democracy you must have art and culture completely open and accessible and at the centre of what we do, otherwise how do we put ourselves in the shoes of others?”

Listen to the episode here.

Visit the Royal Lyceum Theatre website here.

Photo credit: Aly Wright



8: Pip Wheaton | Ashoka UK

The New Ism_Pip WheatonPip Wheaton is the Director of Ashoka UK, which identifies and supports the UK’s leading, systems-changing social entrepreneurs. She is a social entrepreneur herself, having founded South African youth development organisation Enke.

“There is something about a social entrepreneur… There’s an embeddedness, a rootedness in a community and a deep understanding of the problem they’re trying to tackle that allows them to create systemic change – and that’s a form of leadership.”

Listen to Pip’s episode here.

Visit the Ashoka UK website here.




7: Dr Andrew Murray | Doctor | Author | Runner

The New Ism_Andrew Murray

Doctor Andrew Murray is qualified in Sport and Exercise Medicine and General Practice. He currently works as an author, speaker and researcher, advocating for a healthier and more active life for all, and is a well known extreme runner.

“One of the best things you can do for people is to build links and strengthen communities, and give them the opportunity to be involved and engaged”

Listen to Andrew’s episode here.

Visit Andrews’s website here.





6: Professor Pamela Gillies | Glasgow Caledonian University

Pamela Gillies_The New Ism

Professor Pamela Gillies is the Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Glasgow Caledonian University, which is deeply committed to abiding by its motto, ‘for the common good’, in everything it does.

To be powerful, the disruptors need to come together.”

Listen to Pamela’s episode here.

Find out about Glasgow Caledonian University’s commitment to the common good here.

5: Faisel Rahman | Fair Finance

Faisel Rahman is the founder and managing director of  Fair Finance, which offersFaisel Rahman_The New Ism a range of high quality, affordable financial products and services for those the banks have left behind.  Since its establishment in 2005, Fair Finance has helped over 55,000 people to secure fair, affordable loans and change their lives.

“There is this slightly rebellious thing inside everyone that wants to do the right thing.”

Listen to Faisel’s episode here.

Visit the Fair Finance website here.




4: John Elkington | Volans

John Elkington_The New IsmJohn Elkington is a world authority on corporate responsibility and sustainable development and, at heart, an environmentalist.  He created the concept of the triple bottom line – people, planet, profit.

“There’s a rising generation of potential CEOs and C-suite people in business – these people think differently, they’re wired differently, they’re not automatically going to do the right thing but they’re much more predisposed to understanding what right might be and to move in that direction. We have to identify them early and support them.”

Listen to John’s episode here.

Visit the Volans website here.




3: Michael Sani | Bite the Ballot

Michael Sani_The New Ism

Michael’s vision is to create a new generation of activists with the skills and confidence to engage politically and drive the change they want to see.

“I love the idea of  truly looking at where things are done well and can be replicated – and if we can learn to lose our egos  then we definitely  stand a chance… We need to be local with a global view… We can encourage and involve people locally but there needs to be a set of principles that we follow globally.”

You can listen to Michael’s episode here.

Visit the Bite the Ballot website here.



2: Katherine Trebeck | The Wellbeing Economy Alliance

Katherine Trebeck_The New Ism

Katherine is the research lead at The Wellbeing Economy Alliance, which seeks to bring about a shared wellbeing on a healthy planet by transforming our world view, society and the economy.

“I have cause for hope that there are a lot of people deep within the financial system who also recognise that business as usual can’t carry on… because they care about the future for their kids and their grandkids..”

You can listen to Katherine’s episode here.

Visit the Wellbeing Economy Alliance website here.





1: Mel Young | The New Ism | The Homeless World Cup

Mel Young_The New Ism

The New Ism founder Mel kicks us off by talking to co-founder Alex Matthews about why he set up The New Ism, and his vision for a new, more inclusive economy.

“I don’t know the answer to these questions. I want to create a debate, to capture voices and concepts that we can bring together.”

Listen to Mel’s episode here.