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5 Favorite Podcasts for Your Economic Development Playlist

podcasts for economic developers, business podcasts


We’ve written before about top podcasts for economic developers, but as podcasts become more popular, we’ve discovered additional shows well-suited to economic developers. Whether you’re listening at the gym, on your commute, or while relaxing, here are five more of our favorite podcasts:

Slate’s Placemakers

Sponsored by J.P. Morgan Chase, Placemakers focuses on cities and the people that shape them. The season’s inaugural episode focuses on the mother of urban planning, Jane Jacobs. Episodes throughout the season address issues common in many cities like rising rents, redevelopment and access to new urban amenities, like bike shares. While it’s difficult to pick just one favorite episode, we recommend checking out, “They Tore Down Hell,” which highlights how the city of Atlanta transformed a crime-ridden housing project into a mixed-income neighborhood.

NPR’s How I Built This

How I Built This, a new podcast by NPR, interviews the entrepreneurs behind some of today’s most well-known companies on their journeys to success. So far, the inaugural season has included interviews with the founders of Sam Adams, Spanx and Instagram. While the founders’ backgrounds and stories vary, a common theme of each episode is optimism, which drove each founder to persevere.  We liked  “Airbnb: Joe Gebbia,” which follows how  Airbnb founder Joe Gebbia turned his way to meet his rising rent into a multi-billion dollar business that has transformed the way we travel.

KALW Public Radio’s 99% Invisible

99% Invisible tells the stories of the “unnoticed architecture and design that shapes our world,” which often intersects with stories about cities, history and technology. From an episode on the “urban wilderness” that focused on pigeons and other city dwellers to another on the ongoing competition among the world’s cities to build the tallest building, 99% Invisible will change the way you view your surroundings.  We recommend checking out “Unpleasant Design & Hostile Urban Architecture,” which highlights how design can be used to shape behavior in public spaces.

Gimlet Media’s Startup

This weekly podcast, now in its fourth season, shows what it’s “really like to get a business off the ground.” Each season has taken a different approach to telling startups’ stories. Season one follows Gimlet Media, the company behind Startup (and many other podcasts), as it tries to break into the business of podcasting. Season two took a serialized approach, focusing on one company, Dating Ring, a female-founded dating and tech company, as it tried to compete in the sea of existing dating services. Taking a new approach, season three focused on one company per episode, documenting a pivotal moment when the founders were faced with a difficult decision. Season four, which just launched, will follow Dov Charney, founder of American Apparel, as he launches a new business. One of our favorite episodes, 2680 Madison Road (Season 3, Episode 10), traces the history of a property in Cincinnati’s Hyde Park that has switched hands several times over the last several decades, and why.

DCI’s The Project

You can’t have a roundup of economic development podcast without including the premiere podcast focused solely on the industry and created by us (shameless plug), The Project. Every two weeks, we profile a recent expansion, relocation or new facility decision, interviewing the key decision makers involved with each project. Hosted by DCI President Andy Levine and his colleague Patience Fairbrother, The Project gives listeners a firsthand look at rarely discussed deals. Listen to The Project (we recommend ALL episodes), and be sure to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.

Do you have any other economic development podcasts that you enjoy? We’d love to hear what you’re listening to. Share your favorites in the comments below!

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