Renowned actress and writer Evanna Lynch and award-winning psychologist and bestselling author Dr. Melanie Joy have conversations with changemakers about how to shift our thinking to create a more just world for people, animals, and the planet—and to cultivate personal transformation in the process.
Bonnie Wright on going gently as we care for the world
48:57Bonnie Wright’s strong connection to the ocean developed in childhood, when she spent her weekends on the beach on the south coast of England. As an artist, she drew inspiration from the sea—and over time, as she witnessed the beach become ever more littered with trash and erosion and climate change threaten the coastline, she was inspired into activism, too. On the final episode of season 1, she chats with Evanna about her book, Go Gently: Actionable Steps to Nurture Yourself and the Planet, in which she shares approachable tips on how to live more sustainably to empower readers to reduce their environmental impact. For Bonnie, going gently means combining action with care. She reveals how she softened her approach to climate advocacy while writing the book as she came to deeply understand the nuances and complexities of the issue and saw the benefits of giving people space to make their advocacy personal and sustainable. And for Harry Potter fans, Bonnie delves into her love and admiration for Ginny Weasley, the character she played in the movie franchise; how the role shaped who she is today; and why she believes the Weasley family are eco-conscious! Best known for her work as an actress playing Ginny Weasley in all eight of the Harry Potter films, Bonnie Wright has since stepped behind the camera, directing shorts, commercials, and music videos, including projects that have premiered at the Cannes and Tribeca film festivals. Her passion for storytelling has also led her to record several audiobooks. Bonnie is a passionate advocate for ocean health and its link to our own health. Her book Go Gently was published earlier this year and explores practical and tangible ways we can take action for our environment and community. She also launched a YouTube channel examining the same themes as the book in a more intimate and diaristic form. Bonnie is committed to using her platform to further her own education around climate and humanitarian issues and to communicate her findings in an engaging way to her followers. She is an ambassador with Greenpeace, Kiss the Ground, and the Rainforest Alliance. Check out Bonnie’s book Go Gently and her accompanying YouTube channel. Follow Bonnie on Instagram and Twitter. Check out Evanna’s book, The Opposite of Butterfly Hunting. Follow Just Beings on social media: Instagram Facebook Twitter This episode was edited by Andrew Sims. Photo of Bonnie Wright © Lorenzo Agius
Dolly Chugh on learning and unlearning
46:42In her new book A More Just Future, award-winning psychologist Dolly Chugh recounts how she went from seeing the Little House on the Prairie books as enchanting tales of American family life to recognizing the series’ “whitewashing” of US history—and confronting the psychological discomfort that this recognition entailed. On this week’s episode, Dolly joins Melanie to talk about the book, which is a guide to unlearning the one-sided history most people in the United States have been taught; broadening our perspectives; and navigating a way forward that amplifies underrepresented voices and works to undo the damage wrought on the marginalized. They discuss why it’s so important that we learn a fuller and more truthful version of our history; how to grapple with the shame, guilt, disbelief, and resistance many of us feel when we recognize and address the injustices in our flawed systems; and how to work toward a more just future without shame or judgment. Dolly Chugh is a Harvard-educated social psychologist at the NYU Stern School of Business. An expert researcher in the psychology of good people, in 2018, she delivered the popular TED talk “How to let go of being a ‘good’ person—and become a better person,” which was one of the 25 Most Popular TED Talks of 2018 and currently has almost 5 million views. Dolly’s book A More Just Future is available to preorder now and will be published on October 18. Her first book is The Person You Mean to Be: How Good People Fight Bias. To learn more about her, subscribe to her newsletter, Dear Good People, and visit DollyChugh.com. Melanie and Dolly refer to the television series This Is Us, and Dolly mentions Angela Duckworth’s book, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance. Follow Just Beings on social media: Instagram Facebook Twitter This episode was edited by Andrew Sims. Photo of Dolly Chugh © Jeannie Ashton
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Johann Hari on finding focus in the modern world
43:51Are you finding it harder and harder to focus? If so, it’s not your fault—and you’re certainly not alone. When we’re striving for positive change, whether in our personal lives or on social issues, being able to remain focused on our goals is key. But a multitude of factors in our modern world are making it ever more challenging for us to do so. In this week’s episode, New York Times best-selling author Johann Hari joins Melanie to discuss his own personal journey to find his focus, what he discovered when he investigated the causes of the issue for his book Stolen Focus, and the steps we can all take toward regaining control of our own attention. Learn more about Johann Hari’s book Stolen Focus at stolenfocusbook.com. Discover his other work at johannhari.com. Check out the work of the Center for Humane Technology at humanetech.com. Follow Johann on social media: Twitter Facebook Instagram Follow Just Beings on social media: Instagram Facebook Twitter This episode was edited by Andrew Sims.
The Happy Pear on the power of optimism and community
38:18In this episode of Just Beings, Dave and Steve Flynn of The Happy Pear join Evanna and Melanie to discuss how they made the journey from opening a humble fruit and veg shop in Ireland to building a community of over 1 million people living healthier lives. This uplifting conversation dives deep into the benefits and challenges of being optimistic in life and work, the power of following our curiosity, and the energy, motivation, and joy that come from being mission-driven and working in service of others. Learn more about Dave and Steve’s work at thehappypear.ie. Check out their books here. Join them for swimrise on the beach in Greystones, Ireland, at sunrise every day! (For more information, see here.) Follow them on social media: Instagram Facebook YouTube Twitter Follow Just Beings on social media: Instagram Facebook Twitter This episode was edited by Andrew Sims.
Joanne Molinaro on telling stories to change the world
43:48Joanne Molinaro, known on social media as The Korean Vegan, is a master of the art of storytelling for social change. After the video in which she prepares Korean braised potatoes while describing how she worked as a janitor during high school in order to earn money to buy clothes to fit in with the cool kids went viral, she started producing 60-second recipe videos in which she tells stories about her family, immigrants from what is now known as North Korea. In this episode, Joanne—a passionate social justice advocate—joins Evanna and Melanie to discuss how she uses storytelling and food strategically to promote empathy as the antidote to the division and conflict she sees in the world. Tune in to learn how Joanne has embraced the challenge of embodying her values by making significant changes in her life, while protecting the bonds she has with loved ones and honoring her cultural traditions. Learn more about Joanne at thekoreanvegan.com. Check out her book, The Korean Vegan Cookbook. Listen to The Korean Vegan podcast. Follow her on social media: Instagram TikTok Facebook YouTube Twitter Check out Melanie’s books Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows and Beyond Beliefs. Follow Just Beings on social media: Instagram Facebook Twitter This episode was edited by Andrew Sims.
Dr. Michael Gervais on becoming our better selves
48:44Psychologist Dr. Michael Gervais, a world-renowned expert on the relationship between the mind and human performance, has cracked the code of how ordinary people can do extraordinary things. By becoming more present, we can improve the way we respond to challenges in our personal lives as well as injustices in the world around us. In this week’s episode, he joins Melanie to share insights into how we can change the way we think so that we find personal empowerment and can help create a better world. Learn more about Michael’s Finding Your Best online course here. To enter the contest for a chance to win free access to the course, visit the Just Beings Instagram account. Check out his Finding Mastery podcast here. Follow him on social media: Instagram Twitter Follow Just Beings on social media: Instagram Facebook Twitter This episode was edited by Andrew Sims.
Lily Cole on finding solutions to the climate crisis through communication and open-mindedness
48:59Fashion icon and environmental advocate Lily Cole joins Evanna and Melanie on this week’s episode to chat about her book Who Cares Wins, in which she presents a plethora of potential solutions to the environmental crisis intended to inspire and create lasting global change. In this wide-ranging conversation, they discuss the importance of having an attitude of openness and dialog when addressing environmental issues, why animal agriculture is such a contentious topic within the climate movement, and how to choose a focus when there are so many worthy causes in the world. Check out Lily’s book Who Cares Wins and her accompanying podcast. Follow Lily on Instagram. Lily’s upcoming film Hilma will be out later in 2022. Lily refers to George Monbiot’s book Regenesis, Simon Amstell’s BBC “mockumentary” Carnage, and Andrea Arnold’s film Cow. Check out Melanie’s book Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows. Follow Just Beings on social media: Instagram Facebook Twitter This episode was edited by Andrew Sims.
Evanna Lynch and Melanie Joy on Just Beings
42:20“How do we all occupy space on this planet in a way that does justice to our own dignity? How do we reclaim our own dignity and honor the dignity of others?” These are among the questions that hosts Evanna Lynch and Dr. Melanie Joy will be exploring on the Just Beings podcast. In this episode, Evanna and Melanie kick off the show with an intimate conversation in which they recall how they bonded over their shared solutionary approach to addressing injustice, highlight the importance of striking the right balance between personal development and social impact, and discuss why the conversations they’ll be having on the show are so needed at this moment in time. They also introduce the formula for healthy relating—and explore how we can all begin practicing this formula in our everyday lives in order to work toward a more just world. Check out Evanna’s book, The Opposite of Butterfly Hunting. Follow Evanna on social media: Instagram Facebook Learn more about Melanie’s work at melaniejoy.org. Follow Melanie on social media: Instagram Facebook Twitter Learn about Beyond Carnism, the nonprofit organization founded by Melanie, at carnism.org. Follow Just Beings on social media: Instagram Facebook Twitter This episode was edited by Andrew Sims.
Just Beings Trailer
3:31On the Just Beings podcast, renowned actress and writer Evanna Lynch and award-winning psychologist and bestselling author Dr. Melanie Joy will be having conversations with changemakers about how to shift our thinking to create a more just world for people, animals, and the planet—and to cultivate personal transformation in the process. The show will be launching next Tuesday, August 23. Subscribe now to make sure that you don’t miss an episode! Follow Just Beings on social media: Instagram Facebook Twitter This trailer was edited by Andrew Sims.