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8 Must-Listen Podcasts for the Stakeholder Economy

Commuting, jogging, a desk lunch between meetings — there are many times of the day when it’s easier to listen than to read, and there’s no reason to give up on your enthusiasm for stakeholder capitalism during those times.

With more than 800,000 shows to choose from in the Apple store alone, identifying which podcasts are most worth your time is likely a to-do list item you’ll never cross off. That’s why we did it for you. The eight podcasts below all offer regular episodes that inform, inspire, and energize business leaders in their daily quest to do right by their stakeholders.

Podcast #1: Purpose360

Carol Cone is an important figure in the world of social purpose, spearheading major campaigns for companies demonstrating an authentic commitment to making the world better and founding Cone Communications. In Purpose360, Cone and fellow marketing guru Chris Noble interview executives at major brands like Timberland and General Motors about how they infuse purpose across their organizations.

Cone has hosted JUST Capital CEO Martin Whitaker twice, once in an episode focused on JUST’s mission and activities, and more recently for a debrief on the recent stakeholder-focused World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

Podcast #2: The Pay Check

Most podcasts are composed of a couple of people chatting or a recording of an interview. Some of the best are more journalistic, interweaving narratives and interviews like a good magazine feature. This one falls into the latter category.

Bloomberg’s The Pay Check is about women, work, and money. The first season focused on the gender pay gap; the second season broadens out to cover the policy and legal issues that contribute to workplace disparities.

As a podcast, The Pay Check offers the high production values of what you might expect from a quality outfit like Bloomberg. If you like NPR’s Planet Money, you’ll probably like this.

Podcast #3: Switched On

Another Bloomberg production, Switched On is about “the future of energy, transport, sustainability, and more,” as told by analysts for Bloomberg New Energy Finance. These analysts provide in-depth and impartial views on timely issues with ramifications for corporate responsibility, such as chemical recycling, rare-earth mining, bioplastics, and corporate use of renewable energy.


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Podcast #4: NACD: Future Fluency

Future Fluency, which is produced by the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), explores “the links between innovation, culture, and the changing face of America, and what it all means for business.” The hosts speak with neuroscientists, sociologists, authors, business leaders, and others about issues such as bias, identity, automation, and AI, and how they play out in the workplace.

One recent episode featuring JUST CEO Martin Whitaker and other guests discusses the value of work with a purpose. Others discuss the importance of innovation in human resources — often an overlooked discipline — in creating a winning culture, and the value of hiring neurodiverse employees. In another penetrating episode, guests examine the notion that corporate upper management lacks diversity due to a “pipeline problem.”

The website for this podcast is particularly useful. You’ll find guest bios, links to articles of further interest, and full episode transcripts.

Podcast #5: ESG Insider

ESG Insider is produced by S&P Global Market Intelligence, the news-and-analysis arm of S&P Global, famous for the S&P 500 stock index. Like Bloomberg’s podcasts, these are journalistic creations with solid reporting about topics such as the problems with factory audits and controversies over new requirements on corporate disclosures. At about 15 to 20 minutes each, episodes are refreshingly tight.

In one fascinating recent episode, a reporter travels to Uzbekistan to reveal how fashion brands helped curtail a government requirement that millions of Uzbeks — including children — be forced to pick cotton during the harvest season.

Podcast #6: PRI Podcasts

Most of the world’s largest asset managers have pledged to follow the United Nations’ PRI, or Principles of Responsible Investment. These podcasts discuss what investors can do to encourage companies to do the right thing on topics such as forced labor, migration, corporate tax responsibility, and climate-related financial disclosures.

The sound quality and production isn’t perfect, but the episodes are succinct and thought-provoking. The podcast also features a monthly five-minute roundup of the latest responsible investment and ESG news.

Podcast #7: Returns on Investment

ImpactAlpha is a business news site focused on social and environmental issues. Returns on Investment is its podcast, with emphasis on institutional investors and the fate of ESG investing. These podcasts cover entrepreneurship, inequality, climate risk, globalism, and more.

Podcast #8: GreenBiz 350

GreenBiz is known for data-rich and insightful posts by its editors and guest experts about sustainable business and clean technology. GreenBiz 350 is the site’s weekly podcast, which is now well past its 200th episode.

Each episode includes commentary and discussions with insiders at companies spearheading innovative environmental initiatives. If you like something you hear, episode links on the website give descriptions and timestamps for easily referencing each segment.

Prefer books over podcasts? Check out our list of must-reads for 2020. And if you haven’t already, sign up for our free weekly newsletter, The JUST Report, to get all the latest news and insights on the movement toward a stakeholder economy sent straight to your inbox.

Have questions about our research and rankings?  We want to hear from you!