My friend Jean Parker is always in the midst of an exciting creative endeavour! She’s currently working on a book about constructive resilience and community economic enterprise, but one project that she recently completed is a podcast series called “Discovering How” for our friends at EBBF. EBBF stands for “Ethical Business Building the Future” and Jean was the host of its podcast series, skillfully curating and weaving together conversations that offer you stepping stones, fresh ideas, and the personal learnings of people who believe that ethical business can and should build the future. There are 17 episodes in all, and I was interviewed for the series, but I thought it was time to turn the microphone around and ask Jean to tell us more about herself and “Discovering How”. I hope you enjoy our conversation – and the podcasts!
Baha’i Blog: Hi Jean! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself your background in radio and podcasting?
I began my radio work back in my undergraduate university days but never thought it would become a part of my career. Fast forward a few years, and I became a program producer at Radio for Peace International [RFPI] in Costa Rica. RFPI was a shortwave station and our programs reached people in at least 120 countries across the world. I then became a radio journalist working in India and nearby countries for about ten years reporting on human rights and social development. I thought I was done with audio production when I was approached by EBBF; they wanted to produce a podcast to highlight the work of the organization and its members.
Baha’i Blog: What’s the ‘Discovering How’ podcast all about, and why do you think it’s important to have a podcast series like this?
The podcast is focused on promoting ethical business. People share their strategies for transforming business and economic life to make it a contributor to a better world. They also talk about their personal experiences, what it has been like for them to bring their values into the business arena. Those are my favorite episodes, the personal stories people have. They have been very forthcoming as well. They don’t just talk about their successes, but they tell us about their struggles as well, what they did when things didn’t work as anticipated and what they worry about now. The range of experience is as diverse as the people interviewed for the podcast and they have a lot to say.
Baha’i Blog: Why did you decide to do it, Jean? Why was it important for you personally to be a part of the podcast series?
As a part of my doctoral research, I wrote about economics and quickly learned about what a diverse and fascinating area of study it is. Around that same time I began learning about the principles of economics found in the Bahai Writings and in the letters from the Universal House of Justice. Doing the podcast became a way to put what I was learning into action and contribute to a wider discourse about business and the management of resources that make life work.
Baha’i Blog: What do you hope listeners will take away with them?
Hope. The negative elements of the world are unnaturally amplified in all aspects of social interaction. At some point we have to turn our attention to creating solutions. In the current configuration, business holds many of the resources to make that happen. So I want listeners to know that there are people, some of them highly placed, who are innovating everything from how people collaborate, finding nobility in business and how corporations can be structured with fairness to all stakeholders. Naturally, the spiritual aspects of work and business are prominent in the interviews, and I always learn so much about how to integrate spiritual belief into our professional lives. When I reflect on our episodes, it’s like the first glimpse of Baha’u’llah’s vision of human prosperity.
Baha’i Blog: Is there anything that you’ve found really interesting, or that has stood out to you so far while working on these podcasts?
The commitment of many people to act on their values yet still achieve success, even if it takes a long time. Also, the risks people are willing to take in order to try something new, and to leave the world a better place than it was when they found it.
Baha’i Blog: Is there anything else you’d like to share?
EBBF provides an important forum for people to find fellow travellers as they transform business and work in their own sphere of influence. This is not easy and EBBF is a supportive and stimulating group of people from whom to learn, create new ideas and incubate strategies.
Baha’i Blog: Thank you so much, Jean, for telling us more about the ‘Discovering How’ podcast series!
You can find the “Discover How” podcast series here on the Podbean page for EBBF.
Find out more about EBBF from their website: ebbf.org
And read our interview with Daniel Truran, EBBF’s director, here on Baha’i Blog.