goodpods headphones icon

To access all our features

Open the Goodpods app
Close icon

Accidental Gods

Accidental Gods

At this time of the Great Transition, we need new, fresh ideas, role models and narratives that show us how we can step forward into a future we'd be proud to leave to the generations that come after us. What does it take for our great, great grand-kids to look back and say, 'It was hard, but they did it'? What changes are we already making that take us in the right direction? We talk to the people leading the way, offering interviews, conversations and radical new ideas from people who are living the change we need to see in the world. We have the choice now, to transform - or to face the chaos of a failing system. Our Choice. Our Chance. Our Future. Join the evolution at:
profile image
profile image
profile image

3 Listeners

not bookmarked icon
Share icon

All episodes

Best episodes

Top 10 Accidental Gods Episodes

Best episodes ranked by Goodpods Users most listened

Sometimes the synchronicity of this podcast leaves me very happy. About six months ago, I was thinking that I wanted to talk to someone who really lived at the interface between science and spirituality, where I could begin to sand down some of the rough edges of my own thinking.

And that afternoon, I discovered that the 2nd edition of Professor Ursula Goodenough's book 'The Sacred Depths of Nature' was due to be published in the first half of this year. So we set up a podcast and then it turned out that my calendar management was haywire and I'd booked it for the day after teaching one of the most challenging of the shamanic dreaming courses. Normally I'd give myself several days to come back to something approaching consensus reality. You may think I don't spend a lot of time in CR as it is, and you'd be right, but there are degrees of my untethering and the day after a dreaming course is not my most tethered.

But in the end, it was magical - really good to re-read Ursula's book in the evening and then have a quiet day reflecting and exploring things that snagged my attention. And so here we are: Ursula is a Professor of Biology Emerita at Washington University. She has discussed religious naturalism in essays, college classes, and as part of blogs and television and radio productions. She participated in conversations with the Dalai Lama sponsored by the Mind and Life Institute.

She is author of the book, “The Sacred Depths of Nature” which, examines cosmology, evolution, and cell biology, celebrates the mystery and wonder of being alive, and suggests that this orientation might serve as the basis for “planetary ethic” that draws from both science and religion. And on the basis of this concept, in 2014, Ursula was part of the founding of the Religious Naturalists Association. And now comes the second, updated, edition, that looks into epigenetics and pandemics and generally updates both the science and the moving reflections that each scientific section evokes.

It's beautiful, thoughtful, and inspiring. Robin Wall Kimmerer, author of Braiding Sweetgrass said of it, “At once expansive and intimate, empirical and immanent, analytical and intuitive, material and spiritual, science and poetry get to dance joyfully together in these pages.” What better encouragement would we need to explore more deeply with the author? So People of the Podcast, please welcome Professor Ursula Goodenough, author of The Sacred Depths of Nature

In 2023, Ursula was elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

Sacred Depths of Nature
Order Ursula's book here
Religious Naturalist Association
National Academy of Sciences
Terence Deacon - The Symbolic Species
Bitch by Lucy Cooke


06/14/23 • 88 min

profile image

1 Listener

plus icon
share episode

Musician, artist, maker-of-ceremony and guardian of the ancestors of the land, Carolyn Hillyer talks - and sings - about the three things that take care of this land: a deep honouring of the ancestors, a fierce guardianship, and the absolute heart-felt connection of tribe.

Carolyn Hillyer lives on a 1,000 year old farm in the heart of Dartmoor. Her fierce, deeply spiritual guardianship of this place involves a heart-commitment to sharing the space with those who have been and those yet to come. As we near the end of (the first) Covid lockdown, she talks - and sings - of her spiritual connection to the ancestors of this land, of the ceremonial spaces she has built, of the Sami women and the bear skull that they brought in honouring - and of the remains of a Bronze Age ancestor-woman found on the hill overlooking the land, and the bear skin she was wrapped in. Carolyn's deep, heartfelt connection to the land shines through her words, her art and her songs: a shining beacon of how life can be lived for those who choose to follow.

Carolyn’s website, Seventh Wave Music:


07/01/20 • 69 min

profile image

1 Listener

plus icon
share episode

If you've listened to this podcast at all recently, you'll know that I'm in the editing phase of the new book - the phase where we 'carve it into tiny pieces, throw significant chunks of it in the recycling (because words are never wasted and text storage is basically free) and rebuild the rest into something shinier, sharper and generally more succinct.' And I'm telling you this because this week's guest is a fellow writer who knows what it's like to stare at a blank page until your forehead bleeds - but in this case, she's also an academic psychologist who has the data to back up the value of Thrutopian writing.

Dr Denise Baden is a Professor of Sustainable Practice at the University of Southampton, and she says, that 'working in sustainability and climate change, the more you know the scarier it is. Like the sun, you can’t look too closely at it, but face to one side, you make your way, because in fact, it’s easy to put everything right. All the solutions are right here, they just have to catch on. Walking lightly and mindfully upon the earth is so doable. I started writing as therapy, with green solutions as the main ingredient, stories to soothe my soul. Then my characters and their stories took over centre stage, leaving the green solutions to season the stew.'

Denise is one of those people who sees a problem and starts creating real world solution. in 2018, she set up the series of free Green Stories writing competitions to inspire writers to create positive visions of what a sustainable society might look like, and to tell stories that showcase solutions, not just problems because her data show that's what we need. In the process she continued to research what works in terms of fiction and climate communication - as a result of which, she has written a novel, Habitat Man, and she compiled an anthology of short stories called No More Fairy Tales: Stories to Save Our Planet. which she had ready by COP27 so there was a copy for every delegate to read. Magnificently, she is on the Forbes list of Climate Leaders:

Denise Website
Green Stories website NEXT NOVEL PRIZE DEADLINE IS 26th JUNE
Denise on Twitter:
Denise publications and academic record
Sustainable HairCare project:
Details of the project with Bafta and Albert

Key hashtags are #ClimateCHaracters and #HotOrNot. The survey is here (please go an complete it!)

The images were designed by (check out their website – the first and third especially are hilarious and the one about the old XR protestor is incredibly moving.

Thrutopia website

Books mentioned by other authors
Carbon Diaries by Saci Lloyd
The Ministry for the Future by Kim Stanley Robinson


05/24/23 • 76 min

profile image

1 Listener

plus icon
share episode

This week's guest is fast becoming a friend of the Podcast. In the first part of what is now an ongoing series, Dr Simon Michaux outlined for us the nature of the materials crisis - the fact that there is simply not enough stuff, not enough copper or cobalt or lithium to continue to manufacture at the levels we have been - and there's not even enough to make the renewable (or, as Nate Hagens would call them, rebuildable) technology to replace the fossil fuel power we're going to have to stop using.
If you haven't listened to these two, please do, because lot of this conversation is predicated on that one, and on our second podcast where we looked at Michaux's hierarchy of needs and really delved into power generation in more depth.

I had planned that we'd look more at the remaining five of Simon's hierarchy of needs in this conversation, but - like most of these podcasts - the plan went out of the window when I asked how he was doing and it was clear that he'd been having some really interesting conversations. And so we went with this - because it seems to me that if the people who get it are multiplying, then it's useful for us to know this - we can support the narratives that unpick the 'business as usual' dynamics and begin to look forward to what will work. That's the core of this podcast - what can we do, how can we do it - and how can we ensure that enough people get this to create a global movement. We had to cut off faster than we'd like, so there will be (at least) a podcast four!

Simon Michaux Podcast 1
Simon Michaux Podcast 2
Gail Tverberg 'Our Infinite World:
William Rees:


06/07/23 • 68 min

profile image

1 Listener

plus icon
share episode

As you'll know by now, one of our core motivators in creating this podcast was the realisation that the 'democratic' systems of the world are largely broken and are not a useful way to affect change. I used to be a political activist. I thought I'd given all that up, but today's conversation has definitely re-awakened my political instincts because today I'm talking with two of the people who set up South Devon Primary: a group committed to changing the political system in the UK.
So the first thing to say for those of you who live elsewhere is that this episode is focused on the need for change in the Westminster Parliament. But the issues are worldwide and whatever your political system, it could probably do with being shaken up. We need to share best practice across the globe and what Simon Oldridge, Anthea Simmons and Ben Long have created feels like a template that could be replicated not just throughout the UK but across the world. The principles are basic and while it's not going to take us to full democracy in one giant leap, it's definitely a step in the right direction. If adopted around the nation (and the world) it could see us move away from the politics of hatred, fear and resentment to something a great deal more generative.

To look at these three in more depth and so understand where they're coming from: Simon Oldridge was an accountant with Ernst and Young and then CEO of a manufacturing company. More recently, his awareness of the climate and ecological crisis has led him to engage with a group endeavouring to put forward a Climate and Ecology Bill to the UK parliament (he talks about this in the podcast) and to set up the South Devon Primary campaign which you'll hear about in much more depth.

Anthea Simmons is Editor in Chief of the progressive online paper, West Country Voices, speaker for Devon for Europe and author of a number of books, including one for young climate activists. Before that, rather like Simon, she worked in financial asset management. She's a passionate advocate for the South Devon Primary and invented the Democracy Meter, which you're also hear about in the conversation.

Ben Long is an author and educator and currently helps his partner run her ceramics business in Devon. He didn't join us on the podcast - partly because I think two extra voices is enough to contend with - but he's a core part of the work of South Devon Primary.

And that work is practical, active, really intelligently targeted and if it were taken up around the country, could do more, I think, to shape the outcome of the next general election than anything else I've found. Listen, enjoy - and then make this happen as near to wherever you live as you can.

South Devon Primary Website
Zero Hour
Anthea Simmons on LinkedIn
West Country Voices on Twitter
Simon Oldridge on LinkedIn
Simon on Twitter
South Devon Primary on Twitter
Ben Long on Twitter:

Simon - Twitter thread w Local MP


05/31/23 • 70 min

profile image

1 Listener

plus icon
share episode

Jo Chidley is one of those forces of nature, unconstrained by the way things are usually done. As the co-founders of Beauty Kitchen, she and her partner refused venture capital, keeping their business free to become a B-Corp and to put people and planet ahead of profit. She's dedicated to producing the best outcome for the people who work for her as well as for the people who buy her products. And in the process of finding the best ways forward, she came across the horror of single use packaging and the devastation it's causing both in terms of the extraction and the post-use pollution. So Jo founded 'Re' to find ways to bring 'reuse' back into the 'reduce, reuse, recycle' triad. Now, she's invited to Davos to speak about the way this could transform the vast global packaging industry.

So in this week's podcast, we talked about why this is essential to transforming our world, and how it could work. Jo has ideas that seem (and are) innovative now, but ten years from now, will be the way things are done. With enthusiasm, integrity and a great deal of humour, she offers solutions to the meta-crisis that rely on each one of us changing behaviour - and she's devoting her life to making it possible - indeed inevitable - that we do.

Jo Chidley is a circular economy expert, chemist, herbal botanist, and co-founder of Beauty Kitchen and Re.

Founded in 2014, Beauty Kitchen is the highest scoring B Corp in the UK beauty industry and it's changing the face of the beauty industry with its aim to create the most effective, natural, and sustainable beauty products in the world. Jo went on to found Re, a company devoted to reducing the mountains of waste from our global $1tr annual single use packaging industry. As one of the pioneers of sustainable beauty, Jo and her company have accelerated the transition to Reuse through sustainable innovation by implementing Cradle to Cradle design into Beauty Kitchen’s circular approach. Jo's been instrumental in developing the world’s first closed-loop solution for beauty packaging and powered the service behind the ground-breaking Re programme which is resuable packaging for personal care brands & retailers. Beauty Kitchen is recognised on the UK’s 50 Most Disruptive Companies list and has won numerous industry awards, including ‘Who’s Who in Natural Beauty’.

Jo has won multiple industry awards, including the Natwest Everywoman Award in the Brand of the Future Category and was recognised as one of the 10 most influential people in Natural Beauty in the UK. She’s been featured in the likes of ELLE, Woman & Home magazine and BBC News and is a founding member of the Global Advisory Board for Sustainable & Natural Cosmetics. Jo was voted Nr 2 in the 2018 Who’s Who of Natural Beauty.

The Beauty Kitchen
Jo on Linked In
wet uplink
The Ethical Consumer


02/01/23 • 60 min

profile image

1 Listener

plus icon
share episode

In the midst of nonviolent direct action, is a red thread, holding the liminal space between the old and the new, between action and re-action, between hope and extinction. The Red Rebel Brigade is a distinctive feature of XR Actions and here we have a glimpse from the inside. More at

Red is the colour of our life blood. It joins us to the land and all the web of life. It was chosen as the original colour of the silent life-dancers of Extinction Rebellion as an explicit symbol of this life blood - and although other colours have been used, notably black for oil and blue for the sea - the feature of a red line of silent individuals threading between police and activists has become a key component of XR Actions across the world.

For those not involved in the Red Rebel Brigades, their presence can feel transformative. To understand better the deep, shamanic connection with the land and the sensing-into-spirit that is an integral part of Red Rebel actions, we interviewed Sophie Miller, founder of the Cornish Red Rebels in the UK and key activist in many other actions over the past eighteen months.

Anyone who is interested in becoming part of the world wide movement of Red Rebels can find out more on their web page:


11/25/20 • 54 min

plus icon
share episode

How can we take the radical, renegade, rule-breaking, revolutionary ideals of the golden age of Pirates and transmute them to gold in our world? Alex Barker, author of 'How to be More Pirate' lays out the maps to the treasure of change.

The concept of radical, renegade, revolutionary insurgency based on the model created in the Golden Age of Pirates was given wings by Sam Conniff's best selling book, BE MORE PIRATE.

In the wake of its success, Sam needed to find ways to help the many people the book inspired. And for that he needed help. Enter Alex Barker, Primary Pirate, visionary, breaker of rules and maker of gatherings on and offline. Alex and Sam between them have steered Pirate groups from industries as far apart as car manufacturing (Mercedes), Social Media Mega-Giants (Google) and nationally owned health care providers (the UK's NHS).

But we can go deeper than simply breaking the old, fossilised structures of industries... we can change the entire system. Because, as Sam says, 'problems will not be fixed by fixing the problems... what's really needed is an overhaul of the engine that's causing the problems. In other words, the business model.'
And, as Alex says, 'I want to see many more new crews forming outside of formal structures, so that while the old models fall, new ones are already emerging.'
Accidental Gods seeks to be part of that emerging eco-system of new ways of being. And to get there, we need new ways of thinking - and ways we can each break out of the moulds that have cast us. Alex Barker offers a map to the treasure of change. Follow us!

The book:
The Workshops:
Rethink Humanity Paper:

As we said at the end of the podcast, Mike Raven and Ross Thornley of AQAI have kindly agreed to let Accidental Gods subscribers and members access their Adaptability Quotient test.

The link is here:


12/02/20 • 61 min

plus icon
share episode

It's our Birthday... and it's the December Solstice, the time of transition and potential transformation . In honour of which, we are crafting a new tradition: a PodBoom shared with Della Duncan of UPSTREAM podcast and Nathalie Nahai of THE HIVE.

So, it's our Birthday - and it's that time of year when every pundit endeavours to look back at the year just gone and ahead to the one that is coming. And we thought we'd like to establish a parallel tradition, where we bring together our favourite podcasting-friends and explore the ways we think. So we set up a structure that will be repeatable in future years... where we give each other gifts of a book, podcast or something else that has brought us real insight, and then we explore each other's existential questions. And we have fun. So that you can have fun too.

Della Duncan is a Renegade Economist who hosts the UPSTREAM podcast challenging traditional economic thinking and uplifting stories of sustainable, just, and equitable economic systems-change around the world. Della is also a Right Livelihood Coach, a Senior Fellow of Social and Economic Equity at the International Inequalities Institute in the London School of Economics, the Course Development Manager of Fritjof Capra’s Capra Course on the Systems View of Life, and an Alternative Economics Consultant.

Nathalie Nahai is host of THE HIVE podcast. Nathalie is an international speaker and author of the best-selling book, Webs of Influence: The Psychology of Online Persuasion, which has been translated into seven languages.

Her work explores the intersection between persuasive technology, ethics and the psychology of online behaviour, and clients include Google, Accenture, Unilever and Harvard Business Review, among others.

Nathalie gives keynotes, workshops and webinars on the psychological dynamics behind evolving consumer behaviours, teaching people how to ethically apply behavioural science principles to enhance their website, content marketing, product design and customer experience.

A member of the BIMA Human Insights Council, she also hosts The Hive Podcast, Seeking The Self and several Guardian podcasts, and contributes to national publications, television (BBC, Sky, CNN), and radio (BBC Radio 4) on the impact of technology in our lives.

From Nathalie:

From Della:


Podcast: Upstream Conversations that I mentioned

From Manda:



12/21/20 • 74 min

plus icon
share episode

How can we rebuild our cities to become place of community, connection and coherence? How can we build multi-generational tribes that thrive and support each other in the hearts of our urban areas? Mark Lakeman of the City Repair project explains the changes he has made - and continues to make.
Mark Lakeman is the founder of the City Repair Project, as well as the founder and Design Director at communitecture, architecture & planning. Both organizations are Portland, Oregon-based world-changing initiatives that transform social, political, and physical infrastructure in order to embed permanent transformative effects. He has also been lead instructor for the Planet Repair Institute’s Urban Permaculture Design Course for a decade. Mark’s work has been published by El Mundo, Dwell, Architecture Magazine, New Village Journal, Sotokoto, The Utne Reader, Permaculture Activist and many more. With City Repair, in 2003 Mark was awarded the National Lewis Mumford Award, and his collaborative work has been featured at the Global Venice Biennale Exhibition. Additionally, in 2017, Mark’s work in City Repair was awarded “Social Design Circle” global recognition by the Curry Stone Design Prize.

Here, he talks to Accidental Gods podcast about his life's extraordinary journey from city architect to city repair - and how the world might look in 2030 if we got it all right.


City Repair Project:
Building Convergence:
Creative Mornings:

Village Building Convergence:

Mark Lakeman:

Planet Repair:


11/04/20 • 62 min

plus icon
share episode

Show more

Toggle view more icon


How many episodes does Accidental Gods have?

Accidental Gods currently has 228 episodes available.

What topics does Accidental Gods cover?

The podcast is about Evolution, Society & Culture, Spirituality, Activism, Climate Change, Shamanism, Nature, Podcasts, Economics, Education, Science, Philosophy, Agriculture, Farming, Spiritual and Politics.

What is the most popular episode on Accidental Gods?

The episode title 'The Sacred Depths of Nature: exploring the interface of science, spirituality and religion with Ursula Goodenough' is the most popular.

What is the average episode length on Accidental Gods?

The average episode length on Accidental Gods is 61 minutes.

How often are episodes of Accidental Gods released?

Episodes of Accidental Gods are typically released every 7 days.

When was the first episode of Accidental Gods?

The first episode of Accidental Gods was released on Dec 24, 2019.

Show more FAQ

Toggle view more icon



out of 5

Star filled grey IconStar filled grey IconStar filled grey IconStar filled grey IconStar filled grey Icon
Star filled grey IconStar filled grey IconStar filled grey IconStar filled grey Icon
Star filled grey IconStar filled grey IconStar filled grey Icon
Star filled grey IconStar filled grey Icon
Star filled grey Icon

No ratings yet