Wyoming’s national forests and parks were the backdrop this summer for important discussions. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, Rhode Island U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse and world-renowned climber Alex Honnold, among other artists, authors, and academics, came to Teton County to speak about global issues.

To help share some of these discussions with a larger audience, Wyoming Humanities’ Executive Producer Emy DiGrappa is collaborating with the Jackson Hole Center for Global Affairs to produce the “Global Speaker Series” podcast.

“We really wanted to explore ways to not just have a speaker come to Jackson and talk but ‘How do we get that bigger message? How do you we get a bigger audience?’” DiGrappa said.

The “Global Speaker Series” aims to bring speakers from around the world to talk about issues that affect Wyoming. DiGrappa, who is also the producer and host of ThinkWY Radio, mentioned that the plan is to include topics focused on the future of energy, the harm of climate change, trends in business and entrepreneurship, and foreign policy issues.

The podcast allows DiGrappa to call and connect with people all over the world and share it with anyone who has access to the internet.

“Let’s say you live in Gillette, and you’re not in Jackson to hear a speaker on a certain topic. Well, you don’t have to be here, and I don’t have to be there,” DiGrappa said. “I can call them and do an interview over the phone. I can call somebody in Germany or somebody in Washington D.C. and then ... put it out there so that people can listen to it no matter where you live.”

DiGrappa hopes to educate people through conversations with experts like Lukas Haynes, the executive director of the David Rockefeller Fund and an advisory board member at the Center for Climate and Security.

On the podcast Haynes discusses how climate change is affecting local and global affairs. One of his focuses at the Rockefeller Fund is to create a “consensus for a national climate policy.”

“When you begin to appreciate the science and how it’s going to affect every aspect of our economy and society and our security, it’s not hard to become deeply passionate about trying to become a part of the solution set,” Haynes said in the podcast.

Haynes’ message is that climate change should not be as partisan as the media makes it out to be. In an interview he offered some advice for those ready to help.

“The greatest lever for individuals is political action. It also includes talking to family, friends and community and neighbors,” Haynes said. “We can all make our footprints smaller, but political change is what we really need.”

When Haynes speaks about political advocacy it comes from a personal stance, not from his position as the executive director or board member.

DiGrappa currently has four more interviews on the books and plans to continue to work with the Center for Global Affairs to bring speakers that teach listeners more about current issues.

She has always had a passion for storytelling and sharing other people’s stories.

“You never get tired of hearing people’s stories and sharing their life stories. And their inspiration inspires you and others,” DiGrappa said. “You become more knowledgeable about life in general, by listening to other people’s stories.”

You can find the “Global Speaker Series” podcast on ThinkWY.org under “What’s Your Why” or listen to it on Apple Podcasts. 

Contact Natalie Shilati by emailing intern2@jhnewsandguide.com.

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