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Amy Webb

40 Podcast Episodes

Latest 17 Jun 2021 | Updated Daily

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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Smart Dust with Amy Webb on crypto, assistive reality and emotional AI

Smart Dust

Exponential advances in technology are changing our world at a rapid pace, and for most of us, predicting what comes next feels a little like gazing into a cloudy crystal ball. Enter this week’s very special guest, Amy Webb. A world-renowned futurist, Amy’s expertise in the realm of emerging technologies is second to none. She’s the CEO and founder of the Future Today Institute, which advises some of the world’s biggest companies, and a professor of strategic foresight at New York University’s Stern School of Business.  In this episode, we cover crypto, assistive reality, ‘The You of Things’, emotional AI and robots-as-a-service  


8 Jun 2021

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Unpacking Self Limiting Beliefs with Amy Webb

The CogCast

Founder of the Anxiety to Freedom Project & Transformational Mentor Amy Webb joins Brooke Lagana for the next episode of The Wellness Rookie Sessions! 


26 May 2021

Similar People

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Amy Webb Launches 2021 Emerging Tech Trend Report

SXSW Sessions

Join Amy Webb for the Future Today Institute's 14th annual Emerging Tech Trends Report and a deep dive into all the trends you'll need to follow in 2021. In this provocative session, futurist Amy Webb, professor at NYU Stern School of Business and founder of the Future Today Institute, provides a data-driven analysis for the emerging tech trends that need to be on your radar in 2021––and shows you scenarios for the future of business, governing and society.

1hr 8mins

12 Apr 2021

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Advocacy and Burnout with Amy Webb

Finding Happy The Podcast

Though so many of the mamas in this community have experiences in common, no two stories are exactly the same. This is why it’s so critical to gather together and have the space to share our stories - and why I wanted you to hear from blogger, and children’s book author, Amy Webb.  Amy’s daughter Lamp (more on her name in the episode) was born with limb differences. What is uniquely challenging for Lamp is that her disability has no impact on her mental development. But because children have such little exposure to a child with limb differences, connecting is so exhausting.  Discover how advocacy has been a messy and grace-filled road for Amy and why writing children’s books have been a perfect way to engage in this important conversation.  Check out the full show notes at  findinghappythepodcast.com/episodes/amywebb Registration is open for Stronger Together!  https://sineadquinn.lpages.co/stronger-together/

1hr 34mins

8 Mar 2021

Most Popular

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Episode 13 - Beyond Kindness and Inclusive Storytelling with Amy Webb

Advocate Like a Mother Podcast

Amy Webb joins the podcast today and spends some time sharing her journey toward speaking up for inclusion for her daughter "Lamp" (Not her real name) who was born with a condition called microgastria and limb reduction complex. In addition, we revisit some blog content she previously wrote as a way to look at what's changed in her life and how we can observe that as a mirror to see our own prejudice and we talk about the practice of anti-ableism by looking at the work accomplished in advocating against racism. CONNECT WITH OUR SHOW INSTAGRAM | @advocatelikeamother TWITTER | @advocatelikeamom EMAIL | Hello@advocatelikeamother.org CONNECT WITH AMY WEBB OFFICIAL WEBSITE AMY ON INSTAGRAM--- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/advocatelikeamother/message


3 Feb 2021

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Louise O’Neill in Conversation with Amy Webb and Tanita Patel

Birmingham Lit Fest Presents….

Today’s episode is brought to you by the READ ON project, a scheme supported by the European Union’s Creative Europe fund. The READ ON project gets young people reading, writing, and interviewing authors, both in their own country and across Europe. In this week’s podcast, two of our young presenters, Amy Webb and Tanita Patel, interviewed bestselling author Louise O’Neill about her latest book After the Silence, discussing the cultural preoccupation with true crime and stories about young women, feminism and the urgency of the climate crisis.The Birmingham Lit Fest Presents... podcast brings writers and readers together to discuss some of 2020’s best books. Each Thursday across the next few months we’ll be releasing new episodes of the podcast, including wonderful discussionsabout writing, poetry, big ideas and social issues. Join us each week for exciting and inspiring conversations with new, and familiar, writers from the Midlands and beyond.Take a look at the rest of this year's digital programme on our website: https://www.birminghamliteraturefestival.org/. For more information on Writing West Midlands, visit https://writingwestmidlands.org/Follow the festival on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook @BhamLitFestCreditsCurator: Shantel Edwards (Festival director)Guest Curator: Kit de WaalProduction: 11C/ Birmingham Podcast Studios for Writing West MidlandsTRANSCRIPTBLF Podcast Transcription, Episode 5: Louise O’Neill in Conversation with Amy Webb and Tanita Patel Kit de WaalWelcome to the Birmingham Lit Fest Presents...podcast series. I’m Kit de Waal and I’ve worked with the Festival Director, Shantel Edwards, as Guest Curator of this year’s podcast series. Each Thursday across the next few months we’ll be releasing new episodes of the podcast, including wonderful discussions about writing, poetry, big ideas and social issues. Today’s episode is brought to you by the READ ON project, a scheme supported by the European Union’s Creative Europe fund. The READ ON project gets young people reading, writing, and interviewing authors, both in their own country and across Europe. In this week’s podcast, two of our young presenters, Amy Webb and Tanita Patel, interviewed bestselling author Louise O’Neill about her latest book After the Silence, discussing the cultural preoccupation with true crime and stories about young women, feminism and the urgency of the climate crisis.Amy WebbWelcome to the Birmingham Literature Festival 2020 and to our podcast with the writer Louise O'Neill. My name is Amy and I'm part of a project called Young Presenters. I'm from the city of Birmingham in England and I'm 16 years old. In September I am due to start at University College Birmingham studying health and social care.Tanita PatelMy name is Tanita and I am also part of the Young Presenters project. I'm 16 years old from Wolverhampton and about start Sixth Form in September to study psychology, RS and English Literature.Amy WebbOver the last three years Young Presenters have trained young people to run events at the Birmingham Literature Festival. The project is part of Read On, a scheme supported by the European Union's Creative Europe fund.Tanita PatelThis year's Birmingham Literature Festival is being run online. And we are so pleased to be here to interview the writer Louise O'Neill. Louise, welcome to the Birmingham Literature Festival.Louise O’NeillOh, thank you so much for having me.Amy WebbLouise, we have quite a few questions for you. But before we start, could you please tell us a bit about yourself and your writing?Louise O’NeillYeah, well, I'm from Ireland, I'm from a small town called Clonakilty in West Cork, which is in the south of Ireland. And I have been writing for, I’m trying to think how many years now, I think it's seven years. And so, my first novel was called Only Ever Yours, and that was published in 2014. And that's a dystopian novel, set in a world in which women are no longer able to have daughters. So they can have sons, but their bodies have sort of naturally evolved to reject a female foetus in the womb. So faced with the extinction of the human race, a decision is made to create these schools where girls are bred for their beauty and then trained to be subservient to men. My second novel came out in 2015, and that was called Asking For It. And that was about a young woman called Emma O’Donovan, who is the victim of a brutal sexual assault. My third novel was for adults, so we probably won't be talking about that here, but my fourth book was a feminist retelling of the Little Mermaid for young adults, which was called The Surface Breaks. And, actually, my fifth novel is due to be published next week.Tanita PatelThanks Louise, that's really interesting. However, our first question isn't actually about your writing, we would both like to know, what have you been up to in lockdown?Louise O’NeillOh, God! Um, that is a very good question. And I really wish that I could tell you that I, you know, was emerging from lockdown clutching a piece of art in my hands. But I am not. I think when Taylor Swift came and said that she had written and recorded an album during lockdown, I felt immensely guilty. And just a great deal of shame about my lack of productivity. But I think to be honest, when it was called, when everything happened at the beginning, I was really just scrambling. I felt incredibly anxious, I think it was difficult not to pick up on the anxiety and the fear. That was just so like the atmosphere was thick with it really. So, for the first month, I think I just felt completely paralyzed. I was unable to, to write I was unable to read, I couldn't even watch Netflix. So, I think it took me a little bit of time to come out of that fog in a way. And just try and adjust and try and kind of, and I hate using the term the new normal, but I suppose trying to adjust to this new way of living and figure out a way of doing it that felt, I don't know, comfortable I suppose, for me. So that's kind of been what I've been doing with my lockdown is just trying to adjust to the madness.Amy WebbDefinitely. I agree with you there, a lot of people have struggled in similar ways and we've got to try and accept the new normal. As you mentioned earlier, you have a new book just published called After the Silence. Could you please introduce the book for people who have not read it?Louise O’NeillYeah, of course. Well, it's going to be published on September 3, so it's only a week out. And it is set on an island off the coast of West Cork called Inisrun. And an incredibly glamorous wealthy family called the Kinsellas have set up, a world-renowned artist retreat centre on the island. And the youngest Kinsella son Henry has married a local woman called Keelin. And it's at Keelin’s 36th birthday party that this violent storm engulfs the island, you know, the power goes out and it's completely cut off from the mainland. And the next morning, the body of a young girl is found. No one can get on the island. No one can get off the island. So it has to have been someone on Inisrun who did this. And then 10 years later, the murder of the beautiful Nessa Crowley still haunts the Irish people. And so, a team of documentary makers have arrived on to the island to find out exactly what happened on Inisrun that night. So that's it, After the Silence in a little nutshell.Tanita PatelThank you for that great explanation. Whilst reading it, I thought it was really powerful book. Are there any experiences or stories that have influenced your writing of this book?Louise O’NeillYeah, I mean, you know, it's interesting, I suppose. For me, one of the primary things was that so many of my friends were becoming really obsessed with true crime. And, you know, I suppose since Serial, the podcast that investigated the murder of a Korean American teenager, was released in 2014, I think there has just been a spate of documentaries and podcasts that you know, are investigating true crime. And I suppose I found it really interesting, because so many of the victims of these crimes are also women, but the audience for this genre seems to be primarily women. So I think I was really interested in that. And then there was a podcast that I was really fascinated by, which was called the West Cork podcast. And it was, I suppose the reason why it had particular resonance for me is because I'm from West Cork, and it was about the murder of a French woman called Sophie Toscan du Plantier in 1996. When you grow up in an area, you know, in the countryside, where, you know, we didn't even lock our front doors, you know, the crime was just non-existent at that time in the 90s. So, for something like this to happen was just so, so terrifying. And, and I think when I was listening to the podcast, and so much of it, the primary suspect, who's never been charged by the way, but has, I think, has really carried this with him. He was an English man and I suppose I was really interested as well in that kind of very uneasy tension that often results between English and Irish people, because of so many years of oppression and colonial rule, and I suppose, you know, Ireland has only had its freedom for 100 years. And so, there was just a lot of things that I thought, God, this is so interesting, and I really wanted to, to look at all of that. And, you know, the book also deals with coercive control, which is, I suppose, a form of domestic abuse that is not as commonly understood as physical abuse. You know, coercive control is when someone tries to manipulate their partner, you know, whether that's through financial means or sexual means or emotional manipulation. And I wanted to, I suppose, use this book as a way of looking at this subject. And with so many of my novels, what I'm always saying is that I'm trying to start a conversation, particularly about topics maybe that aren't as commonly discussed or looked at in our society. And I suppose, for After the Silence, this felt like a really important, relevant issue that I wanted to address.Amy WebbThat's really interesting and it's interesting to hear the history of Ireland. There are a lot of strong characters in this book, which do you relate to the most?Louise O’NeillYou know, it's interesting, I think, this is my fifth novel. And I think, with After the Silence, this is probably the one where I don't think I relate to any of the characters and I think, you know, and how I'll explain that is that with, with the three novels for young adults that I've written Only Ever Yours, Asking For It and The Surface Breaks, those were all with teenage protagonists. And you know, they were dealing with issues like body image, and eating disorders, and sexual violence and slut shaming and sexuality and, you know, first love and all of those things. And I suppose I, you know, I have been a teenage girl, I have experienced so many of those issues, so while those characters weren't based on me, I could really empathise with their experience and I suppose I channelled quite a lot of maybe my own pain or, you know, my own trauma or my own difficulties into those characters. Whereas I think with After the Silence, this is the first book that I've written with a protagonist who is older than me. Keelin is 46 in most of the novel and then in the flashback, she's 36. So I think it was actually really interesting to, like as a creative exercise for me as a writer, to write a book with a main character that I really didn't feel, I suppose, that she was an echo of me or that I was kind of channelling something of my own through her that she was just a creation. And I actually really enjoyed it, and I suppose as well, you know, you can't, I suppose as a writer, you know, you can't keep writing the same sorts of books over and over again. And because of that, there's going to come a time where you have to start writing stories and characters that are completely outside of your, of your own experience. And I think After the Silence definitely was that for me.Tanita PatelAs you've just briefly mentioned and having heard your short descriptions on some of your other books, and even reading some myself, it seems like, this book is quite different to your other novels. And I'm wondering, what made you decide to write this sort of psychological thriller?Louise O’NeillI mean, I will say that, you know, all of my other books have actually been different genres, you know, Only Ever Yours was a dystopian novel, Asking For It, and Almost Love were contemporary novels, and The Surface Breaks was a fantasy novel. So, I'm not necessarily defined by genre, I tend to have the idea for a book, and then try and figure out what the best way to tell that story is. And I think very early on with After the Silence, it became very clear to me that this was going to be a psychological thriller, just, you know, it's about secrets and the lies that we tell ourselves and other people in order to survive. And so, I knew it was going to be, as I said, a thriller. And I suppose when you look at my novels, no matter what the genre is, there is a thread that connects all of them, and I suppose that thread is if you want to call it feminist, if you want to call it, you know, just being a woman in the world, navigating the world and a female body, and how that manifests itself, I think that's a thread that kind of connects all of the novels. But I will say that with After the Silence, even though it definitely was different, and it was a, it's a departure for me, it felt like a really good fit for me as an author. And I, you know, I really enjoyed it, I really enjoyed looking at how to make it as compelling as possible. And pacing is really important in a psychological thriller, and just, I suppose, how to make it as gripping as I possibly could. So I really enjoyed that creative challenge. Tanita Patel In After the Silence and Asking For It the media seems like a central part to the story. Why do you think media is drawn to stories about young women?Louise O’NeillSuch a great question. You know, that was something, I suppose, I was really, and I agree with you that it's in both novels, I mean, I think I was, maybe trying to grapple with it even more in After the Silence, because, you know, in the last few years, I think, and I'm sure you feel the same way. And I feel like, you know, your friends probably feel the same way. I think there has been just this awakening of consciousness around inequality in the world, particularly pertaining to race, to sexuality, to gender, to ethnicity, to religion. And I suppose, for me, you know, I am a white Irish woman who grew up in a very monocultural society, and who didn't really have to think about any of these things because everyone around me looked like me. And I think that, you know, I moved to New York, in 2010 and I suppose that was the first time where I was really beginning to think about these, these subjects. And I suppose we've seen it time and time again, you know, that when it's the murder, or the rape, or the abduction of a white woman, or a white child or a white girl, that that is given a great deal of attention in the media. Whereas if it is a black woman, or a woman of colour, or you know, a child of colour, that it just isn't afforded the same sort of importance. And I think that's so sad, and really telling of the fractures in our society. And I suppose, a case like the Madeleine McCann case would be a really good example of that. And, you know, it's not that I begrudge her family that because it's every parent's worst nightmare. But you know, I suppose you have to think well, what about the, you know, the black girls who were taken and why, you know, why is the media not reporting on that? Why are we, you know, why is there not money still being poured into that fund. And I suppose, when I started to think about these topics, I really wanted to look at, I suppose, the way in which the media sometimes can, and certain facets, you know, my partner is a journalist, and I think that like journalism is a really important profession. And I think that the freedom of the press is an important thing to uphold. And I'm not criticizing all facets of the, of the media I suppose it’s more tabloid culture, and just the kind of fetishization almost of beautiful women, and then when beautiful women go missing or when beautiful, you know, when they're murdered, just the way in which that is portrayed in the media can often be quite unsettling. And, you know, there's this line where the two documentary makers are speaking to a police officer. And, you know, he says, you know, it's interesting, who we decide, which women or which girls we decide we're going to care about, and, and he says, you know, it helps if they're pretty, and I just think there's something really broken about that I suppose.Amy WebbThat's really insightful and quite saddening to know that societies become this way. You've already touched on this quite a bit before, but as the victim Nessa Crowley is viewed as beautiful by the media and the characters, do you think her beauty affects the way the characters and media feel and handle her death?Louise O’NeillYeah, absolutely. And I suppose, particularly because the way in which Nessa, who is this very beautiful, you know, young woman, the way in which she is portrayed is so different to the way that Keelin who is Henry Kinsella’s wife - Henry Kinsella is the man who is suspected of murdering Nessa - the way in which that they are treated by the media, but also the way that they're pitted against each other in this idea that there can only be one woman that is the winner. And, you know, that winner will be judged upon their physical appearance. And I think, you know, we saw it with Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie when all of that came out with Brad Pitt in 2005. And, you know, we've seen it recently with Megan Markle and Kate Middleton, it's like that we can't allow two women to coexist happily, it's like the media has to create rivalry, it has to pit them against each other, and it has to judge them on their physical appearance. And it's really, it's just, it's so exhausting. And it's so harmful to women's mental health and I think it's especially harmful to younger women, who are coming of age and who are watching all of this unfold. And I suppose the message that they're internalizing as a result of that is, to my mind, you know, a harmful one.Tanita PatelFollowing on from the last question a bit, the murder of Nessa Crowley takes place during a party and in one of your other books, a party is also a very important factor. And I’m wondering what is it about parties that can be useful for a novelist?Louise O’NeillI suppose I mean, that's such a good question, these are really good questions. And I, I suppose there is, especially when there is drink, and there's drugs involved, people's inhibitions are lowered, and people will say things and do things that they might not ordinarily do. And I suppose from a narrative point of view, that's always really, really interesting. And it also seems like, a good time, I think, for secrets to be revealed. And, and for, you know, people to speak their truth and to tell someone what they really think or how they really feel about them. And so it kind of feels like there's this slightly explosive energy. And it's actually interesting that you say that, because with Asking For It, and I haven't put this together but now that you've said it, it's just made me think of it that in Asking For It there, the heat is really oppressive, you know, that they are having a heatwave the time of that party. And they're sweating, and they're sweltering and they're kind of waiting for the weather to break because it's too hot and it's kind of that sense of almost like things are ready to boil over. And then obviously, with After the Silence when the party happens, there's this really violent storm that is just you know, whipping the island. And again, I suppose, it's that sense of things being out of control. And, and just really overwhelming and so I suppose it's that kind of idea that, that the parties are wild, but the weather outside is kind of matching it.Amy WebbThat is really interesting to hear. And I like the take of parties because it kind of links all the novels together. Are there any important themes you write about, for instance, Keelin and Henry's daughter is very concerned about sustainability. Is the climate crisis important to you?Louise O’NeillI mean, I don't think you can be alive today and not be concerned about the climate crisis. And if you are, I think you're either very optimistic or wilfully ignorant. It is very frightening. And I think, for so many of us, I suppose it was like, I remember as a child, you know, we were, when I was a child it was the ozone layer, the whole of the ozone layer was sort of the big environmental crisis that everyone was worried about. And there was always this sense of that it will be fine in our lifetime, but that you would take these measures for your children's children. And I suppose what has been very confronting over the last number of years is that the rate of climate change, the progress of it has increased exponentially to a point where, you know, this isn't our children's children, this is in our lifetime. This is my parent’s lifetime. And I think that that has been very frightening. And I really feel sorry, for younger people, you know, like teenagers, like the two of you who haven't, you know, have had no hand in this, you know, you have had no hand in creating this crisis. And yet, you are the ones who are going to be, I suppose, left dealing with the consequences. And I just think that it is time for radical action with this, and governments, you know, across the globe, their inefficiency, and their just reluctance to move on this issue feels to me much more motivated by political and financial interests, rather than what is, you know, for the good of this planet. And it reminds me of this old proverb, I think it was a Native American proverb that my dad used to say, when we were kids. And he’d say when will the white man learn that you can't eat money? And I probably completely butchered that now but I think there is something so true about that this greed, this insatiable greed for more, for more money, for more wealth, it's like, I'm not sure what these people think they're going to do with all of that wealth, when the world is uninhabitable. So yeah, to put it mildly, yes, I am very concerned.Amy WebbYou have also supported the Black Lives Matter campaign. Could you say a bit about why this issue is important to you?Louise O’NeillI mean, it's important to me because I am a human being, and I want to see other human beings being treated with the same respect, and decency that I would hope to be treated with. I've spoken a little bit about growing up in a predominantly white culture, and then when I moved to New York, it was the first time that I had very close friends who were people of colour. And it was very eye opening, actually, because, you know, I thought that racism couldn't exist in a city like New York, because it was such a melting pot. And, and this kind of, I suppose, post racial utopia, and then to hear from black friends about their experiences with the police and their fear of brutality and I suppose just racial profiling and discrimination that they experienced on a daily basis was, yeah, I mean, the only way I can describe it was just an awakening, of sorts. And then I think that when the Ferguson rising happened in 2014, I mean, that really brought it home, because I suppose, and, you know, I think it was Will Smith said that, you know, racism isn't getting any worse, it's just getting filmed. And I think that's actually really important because for white people, if you haven't experienced it, when you're being confronted with this irrefutable, like evidence of exactly how unfair and unjust and just like, God, just devastating, this kind of brutality is, you can't unsee it, you know, you can't look away, it's a human rights atrocity. And I think that if you're in any way of a decent human being, then you can't, you just can't allow that to continue and I suppose, as a white person, you know, it's very much looking at how my skin colour has protected me and how it's benefited me and in ways maybe, that I wasn't even aware of. And I think also understanding that the dismantling of that is going to take, like a lot of work. And I think it has to be, I mean I know it has to be, it has to be white people doing that work. And, you know, being prepared, I suppose, for that to be uncomfortable and for that to be difficult, and maybe to lose out on jobs or to lose out on, you know, speaking on a panel that you really wanted, because they're like, no, we're having, you know, two black authors and two white authors. And so I think it's understanding that like that, this is necessary and this has to happen because I think until all of us are equal then none of us are. So it's something I suppose, like I just had, I think a lot of people are like this, I'm not saying that, you know, I'm not trying to sort of big myself up or whatever, but I just think I have, injustice in any shape or form just really burns. And I think that when you see these images, or you hear these stories, or you watch these videos, it's just, it's so horrifying. And I think, I suppose I just want to try and do my part in in dismantling that and whatever that will be, I suppose.Tanita PatelYou mentioned in a few of your social media biographies that you're beginning to learn Irish. How important is the Irish language to you?Louise O’NeillWell, you know, it's interesting, I really want to and I suppose, obviously, in After the Silence there's quite a bit of Irish sprinkled throughout it and a very close friend of mine, Trailoch is a native Irish speaker so he translated it for me. And I've just always wanted to speak it. My uncle married a woman who came from the Gaeltacht, her family spoke Irish, like her mother would be quite a hesitant English speaker which would be quite rare nowadays, like most people from Gaeltachts would speak to English and Irish pretty much interchangeably. So, they would have been very much, you know, native Irish speakers. And it just felt like this secret language, you know, that they could talk to each other in and it just sounded so beautiful. And obviously I studied it at school and it was in the same way that I think so many subjects are taught at school, it's how do I learn enough to do well in my exams, rather than how do I learn enough so that I can have a decent conversation with people if I go to Dingle or if I go to Ballyvourney, or you know, any of these Gaeltacht Irish speaking areas in the country. And because we've all been stay-cationing this summer, because no one can, well, most people aren't traveling abroad, I you know, was down in Dingle and I was in Cape Clear, which is an island off the coast of West Cork, these places are, you know, they would be native Irish speaking areas. And I just keep thinking, God, I really wish I could just, even if I had like a five-year- old grasp of conversational Irish, I just thought it would be really lovely. So, I am planning on taking a course, this autumn. So, the next time you speak to me, hopefully I'll be like half fluent. Amy WebbThat is really amazing and very inspiring. And it's nice to be able to speak your home language really.Tanita PatelThroughout the novel, there are references to the recent #MeToo movement. Would you call yourself a feminist writer and how have you responded to sexism you've come across? Louise O’NeillI mean, I don't think that Keelin the main character in the book probably considers herself a feminist, but I am a feminist, I have called myself a feminist since I was 15 and it is a very integral part of who I am and my identity as both a person and a writer. So I would 100% agree that my feminism informs my writing. And I suppose the issues that I am drawn to that come up again, and again, in my writing, whether that's body image or violence against women, or you know, or sexual violence, and eating disorders, and the beauty myth and the pressure that's put on young women to be beautiful and sexy and gender politics and relationships, you know, I suppose it's all of these things that I'm grappling with, in my real life, that I think spills over into my work as well. When it comes to sexism, like, in general, I just try and call it out. And sometimes, the way that I call it out has to be done differently. So if it's an older person, you know, let's say if it's an older family relative, I'm obviously going to call it out in maybe a more gentle, explanatory way than if it's in the middle of a radio interview, or, you know, or if it's someone who's being really aggressive online, or, you know, I think that the manner in which I deal with that is going to be different, depending on the circumstances and the person that's involved. But I think at the end of the day, it's just really important to call out any incidences of sexism or misogyny, that you see whether those are directed towards you or whether they're directed towards someone else.Amy WebbDefinitely. I think women have been used to being discriminated against because of their gender and it's important to call things out like that. Many of your books deal with domestic violence and abuse of women in different forms. Why is it important for you to tell these stories?Louise O’NeillWell, I think it's important to tell these stories because these stories are happening, you know, these stories are real, and they are reality for millions, billions of women across the world on a daily basis. And I suppose I really want to live in a society in which that's not true, you know, I want to live in a world in which, which is safe for women and for children. And, you know, safe from terror and rape and abuse and manipulation and violence. And I think, you know, we all have to do, we all have to play our part and for me, as a writer, my books, and what I'm putting out into the world in that way, that is my contribution, I suppose, to this conversation. And we, we all have different talents and we all have different abilities. So I suppose the way in which someone else contributes to that conversation might look different to mine. But this is the way that I, that I feel like I can do that. Tanita PatelOne of the documentary producers in After the Silence, Jake, has also suffered as a result of an abusive father. I wonder, why did you decide to give him that backstory?Louise O’NeillI felt like, I suppose when you're looking at all of the characters in a book, you want to make sure that they all have their own motivations and their own reasons for their actions. And when I was looking at the two documentary makers, I was like, well, why would they be interested in making this documentary, and one of them, I felt like would have Irish heritage, that, you know, his family would have been from West Cork, and he would have heard about this story from them and that's why he'd want to do it. And then I think I thought that the other character would have had personal experience of abuse, and would be using his career as a channel to tackle abuse, to try and I suppose, to look at this subject or to bring it to light. And for me, I suppose, that character was going to be Jake. And I also knew that Jake and Keelin were going to have this very strong bond, that that was going to be a part of the story. And, I think it made sense to me that they would connect over something like this. I just wanted to highlight that it is not just the survivors of abuse, you know, that are impacted by it, you know, whether that's male or female. Innocent children who are caught in the crossfire as well and who are brought up in a culture of fear, and silence, and abuse, and the long term impacts that that has on those children is so devastating. So, I suppose in the character of Jake, I really wanted to, to present that side of the story as well.Amy WebbIt's amazing that you advocated for these kinds of issues. In the book Keelin studied counselling and worked with a domestic violence organization. Did you have to do a lot of research to write about her experiences with domestic violence in the book?Louise O’NeillYes, I did a lot of research. And you know, I did a lot of research for Asking For It as well. But I'd had experience of sexual violence myself, so I was able to bring that to it, whereas I hadn't, I had no experience of domestic abuse, either personally, or, you know, within my immediate family and I wanted to make sure that I did it justice. So I read so many books about it and I also was in close contact with a charity here in West Cork called the West Cork Women Against Violence Project. So they asked some women who were coming to the centre would they be interested in speaking to me, and I spoke to, I think it was around 10 women, some in groups and some individually, and I just asked them to tell me about their experiences, to tell me about how it started and how it escalated and the impact that it had on them and it was a very, it was a very humbling and harrowing experience to hear those stories, to hear what exactly happens behind closed doors for so many people. And I felt very privileged to be given that access, and to be trusted with those stories, and I carried them with every word that I wrote, and I hope that I did those women justice.Tanita PatelThat's amazing to hear the work you have to put into behind the scenes of making this novel. Your novel really shows how complex the issue of domestic violence is. Keelin leaves her first husband, after he physically assaults her, but doesn't seem to realize how controlling and abusive Henry is. Is it difficult for you to write about characters with such distressing lives?Louise O’NeillI mean, sometimes it is. I didn't find, I have to say now, Asking For It, again, I think it was probably that Asking For It was quite close to me, whereas, because I was able to have some sort of emotional distance between me and Keelin, I didn't identify with her as a character, you know, she didn't, like she wasn't a part of me, I suppose, in a way, it felt easier to write that character and to maintain some sort of emotional distance. So that it didn't, the research was difficult. And listening to those stories was difficult. But the writing of the book itself, I didn't find it difficult, I have to say, I mean, no more than any book is obviously, you know, there's, there's difficulty involved. And there's some days where you'll think, why on earth did I choose this career and why on earth did I begin this book. But no, I think, as I said, the ability to write it, and then to be able to walk away from it that day, and sort of leave it on my desk, you know, to leave it there with my computer. I'm not sure if that's age, I'm not sure if that's because this is my fifth novel. I think maybe I've just gotten a little bit better at being able to separate my work and my personal life.Amy WebbThat's amazing and that does contain some great tips for aspiring authors. You have written books for young adults and adult audiences. Do you approach writing differently depending on the audience you are writing for?Louise O’NeillHmm, no, not really because writing a book is, for me, anyway, is the same no matter what age category it's aimed at I think, and it's, you know, sometimes I'm not even necessarily thinking about the audience, or you know, or what age the audience is going to be. I'm very much concerned, particularly in that first draft with, what is the story? How am I going to tell it? And what is the best way that I can tell it? And so those are the issues I suppose that I am focused on. And those are the same whether it's a novel for adults, or whether it's a novel for young adults.Tanita PatelWe know this question gets asked a lot, but we would love to know what is next for you? Are you working on something new?Louise O’NeillI am about to start working on something new, and which I've sort of been working on just the idea and coming up with the concept. So I'm, to be honest, I'm so excited about just starting a new project, I think this year has been so strange, and unsettling for everybody that I think working on something new will be a really great distraction from all of the just chaos that's going on. And just, it's just, I mean, I feel very privileged because obviously, you know, I didn't lose my job, and everyone in my life is healthy and well. So I don't want to, I suppose take that for granted. But I think even for those of us who have ostensibly been very lucky, you know, this has been a trying year. So for me whenever things are difficult, or when things prove to feel overwhelming, I think getting back to my desk and getting back to my work has always been the best antidote. So I'm just really excited about starting this new project and just getting it out into the world as soon as possible.Amy WebbIt's nice to hear you've got that idea of calm after what we’d call the storm. Can we finish Louise by asking what advice you would give to anyone who wanted to become a writer? Did you always want to be a writer and are there any secrets you can share about writing a novel?Louise O’NeillWell, no, firstly, I didn't always want to be a writer, I wanted to be an actress. But actually, funnily I think they're quite similar in that it's taking a character that is very different to you, and trying to inhabit them and trying to understand their motivations and why they behave, the way that they do and bringing that character to life, whether that's on stage or on film, or on the page. And so I suppose I can see the similarities now. And I think that for anyone who's listening who wants to be a writer, I wish that I could tell you that there's like a secret. But I think really, the only secret is that you just have to sit down and write. And I think that a lot of people become very overwhelmed because they start, they think, oh, I can't write an entire book. And no one can sit down and write an entire book. But what everyone does is they sit down, and they write 500 words, or they write for an hour, and then they do that three times a week and then in a year, they have a novel and it's honestly, it's as easy and as difficult as that. Because I think you have to tackle your own self-doubt and the criticism and that inner voice telling you that you know, you can't do this, because you can do it. And the thing is, is that if you want to write that desire is not going to go away. So sit down at your desk, turn on your computer, and just start. Amy WebbThank you very much to everyone who's listened and thank you Louise for joining us. We love After the Silence and we want everyone to read it! And please come back to Birmingham.Louise O’NeillOh, I'd love to come back. Oh my god, once we're able to travel again.Tanita Patel Thank you.Outro messageThank you for listening to this week’s episode of the Birmingham Lit Fest presents...podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, we’d love for you to tell us about it – leave us a review or a rating and find us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @bhamlitfest. You can download our latest podcast episodes, every Thursday, from all the places you would normally get your podcasts and find transcripts of our episodes in the shownotes and on our website at www.birminghamliteraturefestival.org . Details about our full programme can also be found on our website. Until then, happy reading!The Birmingham Lit Fest Presents... podcast is curated by Shantel Edwards and produced by 11C and Birmingham Podcast Studios for Writing West Midlands.


29 Oct 2020

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TWiT 793: The J to J Protocol - Amy Webb and Cory Doctorow Fix All the Problems of Big Tech

This Week in Tech (Audio)

Amy Webb and Cory Doctorow Fix All the Problems of Big Tech The dangers of dystopian thinking The dangers of utopian thinking Why we need an Office of Strategic Assessment vs why we need to break up monopolies Is the problem that the government can't write sensible regulation? Where should tech policy come from? Technologists? Smart people in government? Is the problem that the government lacks knowledge? Or that people in general lack knowledge? Or that they refuse to be knowledgeable? Bashing tech has become cool. Here's why that's dangerous. Lead in the water in Flint and binge drinking in Britain What is "The Problem" of Big Tech? Could we write a law to fix it? Should companies fear lawsuits? Is there a better way to make people and companies do things than regulation? Is California Prop 24 a step in the right direction? is Inrupt a step in the right direction? Privacy as a luxury good Five Eyes, Japan, and Australia want to end encryption, but privacy is still important Happy Rosh Hashanah! We need more public intellectuals. But there is a danger in being intellectual. And Jewish. Host: Leo Laporte Guests: Cory Doctorow and Amy Webb Download or subscribe to this show at https://twit.tv/shows/this-week-in-tech Sponsors: expressvpn.com/twit extrahop.com/TWIT Wasabi.com offer code TWIT

2hr 16mins

19 Oct 2020

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TWiT 793: The J to J Protocol - Amy Webb and Cory Doctorow Fix All the Problems of Big Tech

This Week in Tech (Video)

Amy Webb and Cory Doctorow Fix All the Problems of Big Tech The dangers of dystopian thinking The dangers of utopian thinking Why we need an Office of Strategic Assessment vs why we need to break up monopolies Is the problem that the government can't write sensible regulation? Where should tech policy come from? Technologists? Smart people in government? Is the problem that the government lacks knowledge? Or that people in general lack knowledge? Or that they refuse to be knowledgeable? Bashing tech has become cool. Here's why that's dangerous. Lead in the water in Flint and binge drinking in Britain What is "The Problem" of Big Tech? Could we write a law to fix it? Should companies fear lawsuits? Is there a better way to make people and companies do things than regulation? Is California Prop 24 a step in the right direction? is Inrupt a step in the right direction? Privacy as a luxury good Five Eyes, Japan, and Australia want to end encryption, but privacy is still important Happy Rosh Hashanah! We need more public intellectuals. But there is a danger in being intellectual. And Jewish. Host: Leo Laporte Guests: Cory Doctorow and Amy Webb Download or subscribe to this show at https://twit.tv/shows/this-week-in-tech Sponsors: expressvpn.com/twit extrahop.com/TWIT Wasabi.com offer code TWIT

2hr 16mins

19 Oct 2020

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149: Teaching Children about Disability // Amy Webb of This Little Miggy

3 in 30 Takeaways for Moms

How do we teach our children about different types of bodies? How do we teach them not to stare or point at others who look different from them? How do we help them understand the difference between empathy and pity?All of this and more is discussed in this week's powerful episode with Amy Webb, an artist, writer, and special needs mother who advocates for the disability and special needs community through her interviews and writing on her blog and other platforms. She is the author of the award-winning children's book When Charley Met Emma, and she just released a follow-up entitled Awesomely Emma this month!Listen in as we discuss the nuance of teaching our children about the world and the varying types of people in it!Three Takeaways for Teaching Children about Disability by Amy WebbBring disability representation into your home, through media, books, and conversations. (A great place to start is with Amy's books!)Teach your children that being different and having a disability is okay and NOT inherently sad. It’s important to teach our children not to pity others or make assumptions about their lives but to instead listen, learn, and empathize. Remember that “kindness” is not the goal, friendship and inclusion are the goal. Have open conversations with your children and other parents to figure out ways to modify the environment so kids with all types of abilities can build deep friendships.Show NotesAmy's blog, This Little Miggy Stayed HomeAmy's Instagram, @thislittlemiggyAmy's article on Cup of Jo: "Navigating a Special Needs Encounter" Amy's books! When Charlie Met Emma and Awesomely EmmaOther Children's Books that Represent Disability**These links are affiliate links, which means that when you purchase, you support 3 in 30. Thank you!Emmanuel’s Dream by Laurie Ann ThompsonAll the Way to the Top by Annette Bay PimentelHiya Moriah by Victoria NelsonA Kids Book about Disabilities by Kristine Napper *Use the code 3IN30 for $5 offRelated EpisodesEpisode 141: Raising Children with Chronic Conditions // Andelin PriceEpisode 147: Teaching Children How to Advocate for Themselves // Dr. Traci BaxleyEpisode 140: Raising Culturally Curious Children // Preethi B. HarbuckLast Year's Episodes in the "YOU are Your Child's Most Important Teacher" SeriesEpisode 099: How to Talk to Your Kids about Sex // Kristin B. HodsonEpisode 100: How to Talk to Your Kids about Pornography // Diina AlexanderEpisode 101: How to Talk to Your Kids about Skin Tone & Race // Dr. Lucretia BerryEpisode 113: How to Teach your Kids about Racism // Jasmine BradshawAnnouncements!-A podcast I've been loving lately: Notes from the Backpack hosted by the National PTA. Their recent episode “Talking Race and Kid Lit” with author Kwame Alexander is exceptional.-Many thanks to BetterHelp online therapy for sponsoring this month of 3 in 30! Use the code 3IN30 for 10% off your first month.-Don't forget that my online courses about starting and growing a podcast will be open forevermore! Whenever the time is right for you, check out Podcast U. if you're ready now, join by October 5, 2020 for a sweet bonus. (Find out more about that here.)Which of these tips that Amy Webb shared did you find most helpful? Let me know in a comment below!


28 Sep 2020

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MUSE Conversations: Amy Webb

MUSE with Tara Lee

MUSE Conversations has been created as the sacred haven to commune and connect through shared conversation.Human to Human, Heart to Heart, Soul to Soul dialogues intentionally created to be raw, real, unmasked and unfiltered with the co-created intention to serve and impact.In these musing conversations we will dive in deep, create in the raw and have fun amongst it all. This is a sacred, soulful. Simplistic yet intentional space to nestle into the nurture and nourishment of yourSELF. Take what lands, leave what doesn’t to return to the centre of YOU. Remember you are seen, you are loved and who you BE matters! In this space Tara dives in with the amazing Amy Webb. Amy is the founder of the Anxiety to Freedom Project, and is an Energy Medicine Practitioner and Meditation Mentor. The highlights of this conversation were:Embodied ExperienceCreating safety in healing containers Emotions as gatewaysand .... what it means to lead from being what we seek to see in the world. To find out more about Amy's work and project go to:www.anxietytofreedomproject.comwww.instagram.com/anxietytofreedomprojectIf you want to connect more or work with Tara Lee go too:www.taralee.cowww.instagram.com/taraleemuseswww.facebook.com/taraleemusesRemember, you are who you have been looking for. You are seen, you are loved and you really do MATTER!

1hr 3mins

2 Sep 2020