The Making of Wasted Tales, A Circular Economy Podcast

Podcasts have skyrocketed in popularity over the past year. As a medium that is highly compatible with busy lifestyles and that affords a break to sore eyes from ever-increasing screen time, what is not to love? As humans, the art of storytelling is intuitive and transcends across cultures, it is a way that we grasp new concepts and learn about life, often from a very young age. With exponentially growing audiences who are keen to listen for the purpose of education or entertainment, podcasts are the publishing platform for anyone with a story to tell.

The making of Wasted Tales

As a center of expertise focused on the circular economy, Mission Zero aims to empower learners to co-create sustainable futures. The transition from a linear to a circular economy is no easy feat, met with an abundance of obstacles to adapt to, and to overcome. With countless tales to tell about the progress being made, lessons being learned, and challenges being faced, the idea of starting a podcast based on Mission Zero’s research projects came to life.

Initial ideas

The idea of starting a podcast was raised by one of our professors, Kim Poldner. As a fast-growing content type, the market for circular economy podcasts may seem saturated… to some. Mission Zero is all about embracing and trusting in creativity as a solution to wicked problems. Our podcast is no exception to our out-of-the-box approach. We wanted to bring something different to the table.

Inspired by an existing podcast called “Everything is Alive”, we saw the perfect opportunity to provide an alternative perspective to the circular economy discourse. “Everything is Alive” is a podcast where inanimate objects are interviewed, giving the audience an opportunity to understand the inner lives of things they would typically overlook. This was a concept we found highly attractive in amplifying the conversation around the circular economy, while offering a different perspective and something fresh that listeners would want to hear. So, then came the birth of “Wasted Tales”.

Wasted Tales?

In Wasted Tales, we aim to bring you into the lives and minds of materials in the circular economy. It is written to be a playful and humorous podcast, which aims to make our research findings and processes accessible and relatable for all.

To build up exciting stories, we put ourselves into the shoes of these materials or objects. We get to know their feelings, emotions, and their life world. In this way, we aim to enable listeners to get to know and reflect on how they treat materials in their own lives, and how our society and economy in general treats materials in a linear and wasteful manner.

This process involves lots of brainstorming, and time spent with our characters. We think like them and aim to see the world the way they do. The stories then tend to come to life almost on their own, because these materials really do have unique stories to tell, and often have very intuitive and unique characters to them.

Why we do this

We want to provide a different perspective by personifying and giving life to inanimate objects or materials and making them the key characters in our stories. In doing so, we are able to reflect on what these materials experience and what they would feel if they were to be alive, what that means for us humans, and the lessons we can learn from them

 In all of our podcast episodes, we try to highlight the research projects we undertake in Mission Zero. By sharing the resources we use to come up with each script, we also want to encourage learners to look further into the current realities of our linear economy, and the strides being taken towards a circular and regenerative future. We want to showcase our research processes and findings to increase conscious awareness of our current systems and the harmful effects they can have on our environment.

Where to find Wasted Tales

Wasted Tales can be found on your favourite podcast platform. For updates on new episodes, and Mission Zero projects please follow our social media channels below.

Linkedin: Mission Zero THUAS

Instagram: mission_zero_thuas