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Democracy with a very big D

In an extra special live edition of Mothers Of Invention, US Senator Bernie Sanders and Mary meet for the first time! Moderated by Thimali, they discuss reentering the Paris Agreement, reimagining global governance and planned migration. With help from our guest Mother, Sacajawea Hall of Cooperation Jackson, we learn what justice looks like when led by communities most affected by social, economic and racial inequity. Recorded at I.NY Festival in partnership with I.NY and The Sanders Institute.


We May Be Small But Our Impact Is Huge

The climate crisis has made our young people a marginalized group. But the youth climate movement is being led by no ordinary generation. They are passionate, educated and organized. In our season finale, six days before the US election, Mary, Maeve & Thimali recognize the importance of these critical perspectives from global North and global South youth. In an unprecedented episode, we learn about their hopes, their fears, their ambitions, and their strategies and visions for the future.

This week is a specialsode with two inspiring guest co-hosts, Xiye Bastida (co-founder of Re-Earth Initiative and indigenous climate activist) and Pooja Reddy (comedian and co-host of the PBS show, Kutti Gang).


The Very Nature of Ownership

Extractive capitalism has caused so much destruction to our planet. So with all we've learnt this season, how can we rethink the value of natural resources, and the people who work hard to bring them from the land to our homes? And how does it contribute to our new visions and value systems for a regenerative future? Could 'climate justice for all' in fact be in our reach? In this episode we talk to Bina Agarwal in Delhi & Omar Freilla in the South Bronx about the power of going local.


 We Are The People Of The Beans

We learned in our last episode that food insecurity will cause huge swathes of climate migration by the end of the century. Regenerative agriculture may be the answer as it improves the health of soils, native ecosystems and crop productivity. But indigenous peoples have long known the answers to many of our agricultural concerns. So how do we integrate ancient and modern farming practices to both sequester carbon and ensure food security all over the world? Could large-scale farms nurture our soil? And what could small-scale farming do to bring justice to compressed, marginalized communities?


This week, Mary, Maeve & Thimali meet Zoraida Calle in Colombia, and Vivien Sansour in Palestine. They explore the ways they are breathing new life into dead land, and bringing hope back to damaged communities.


Microbial Magic

We sometimes forget that the most sophisticated carbon sequestration infrastructures in the world are thousands of years old! Reforestation may reduce fossil fuel emissions, but replanting monocultures won’t solve the problem. Our ecosystems are ancient, complex and not easily replaced. What are some of the oldest and newest techniques around for protecting and regenerating our planet’s biodiversity? 


Mary, Maeve & Thimali talk to Mina Susana Setra in Jakarta, Indonesia, and Jane Zelikova in Colorado, USA, in this week’s episode. We learn what it takes to preserve indigenous jurisdiction over forests, and how to nurture our soils back to good health.


Universal Language

We search high and low for the most inspiring Mothers mitigating climate change all over the world. This late into the climate crisis, it’s now time for us to embrace adaptation as a solution, as communities reconsider the fight for their ancestral homes. 


Island peoples and coastal communities are looking for safe ground to begin new threads of heritage for their children. Given that climate migration is set to be the biggest phenomenon of the century, when 180 million people migrate away from their homes, what internal and cross-border protections will safeguard environmental migrants? And how are those families preserving their cultures and traditions as they move away from their homelands? 


We welcome Mary’s friend, Ursula Rakova, executive director of Tulele Peisa on the Carteret Islands, who is helping locals migrate to safe land. Along with Executive Director of the Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy, Colette Pichon-Battle of Louisiana, USA who shares the work being done by local communities in the Bayou.


Million Dollar Questions

The IPCC uses the Industrial Revolution as the keystone for human-induced climate change. But there is a different marker for black, brown and indigenous peoples who have also been measuring climate change for generations. European colonization brought not only systemic violence, but irreparable, environmental damage to small-scale agrarian and subsistence societies all over the world. 


In no coincidence, those same former colonies are some of the most deeply ravaged by climate change. Today, the UN’s Green Climate Fund and Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss & Damage seek to reconcile these inequalities. But how did native people adapt to natural changes in climate before colonization? And if justice is unlikely to be served by humility, how can colonial impact be quantified, argued and won? 


Archaeologist and Penn State professor, Kristina Douglass talks about her life’s work on colonization and climate in Madagascar. And in the Philippines, Lidy Nacpil, of the Asian People’s Movement on Debt & Development shares her life after Marcos and the fight for reparations on the global stage.


We Are Really Big Huggers 

We moved heaven, Earth and Covid, and we are back! Mary, Maeve & Thimali are doing just fine, but didn’t quite make it through unscathed. In our inaugural episode of the new season, they invite us into their home studios in Dublin and New York to share their tales of lockdown and what they’ve learnt along the way.


But with too many emergencies stacked on top of each other and no time to pause on the climate crisis, how do we cope? How do we visualize what happens next?


In our first episode of 2020, we unpack what compassion in women’s leadership has shown the world during the crisis; we take a look at the Black Lives Matter uprising and the lessons in accountability and self-care it has addressed; and imagine a new regenerative future that includes us all. 


The WHO guided us through the emergency, but what can the climate crisis teach us about pandemics to prevent them from happening in the first place? What can we learn from our natural environments and indigenous wisdom?


Daiara Tukano is from a Northern Amazon indigenous community in Brazil. She describes her Covid experience and identifies the opportunities to review global health. And co-executive director of the Green New Deal UK, Fatima-Zahra Ibrahim tells us more about her new project, Build Back Better.


We’re Back! And We’re Not Backing Down!

Arrrrrrggghh! Where are we???!! Well. It turns out we still live on the same planet Earth we lived on before, but 2020 took an extended lunch break to smoosh all the facts in our face.


Whether we're talking systemic racism, extreme-right leadership, global pandemics, or the climate crisis... it's mad, sad, exhausting and unjust. And so much more unfair for some than for others. But then again, what kind of feminists would we be if we didn't remember who we are, search for each other's hands, grip on tight, and jump in together anyway? So what do we fight for and how do we get there?


Climate justice is racial justice is gender justice. That's how.


Mothers of Invention is back! This year, Mary, Maeve & Thimali are (kinda) reunited for a season no one is going to forget. From their home studios in Dublin & New York, Season 3 is getting ready to bestow an unparalleled line-up of radical Mothers from every continent on the globe!


This season, Mothers of Invention will explore the world's most critical climate issues of our time - reparations, immigration, agriculture, biodiversity, new economics and more!


Together we rethink the value systems we're getting ready to leave behind and reimagine a future that includes us all. And how do our Mothers take care of themselves to get it done? We look at the value of nature, home, self-care and meditative moments to help us keep on pushing through.


We are smart! We are resilient! We are compassionate! And we've got each other! We're back for the fight because the climate crisis is a man-made problem with a feminist solution!

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The Arctic and it’s melting glaciers are the first images to mind when we think about climate change. But what do we know about the millions of indigenous peoples, who are fighting back against not only shifts in climate, but invasions for mineral extraction, shipping and fishing in their territories?  Dalee Sambo Dorough, chair of the Inuit Circumpolar Council, guest hosts this week episode with Mary & Maeve, from Anchorage, Alaska.


Episode 2 Notes:

The Arctic’s indigenous peoples have been fighting back against the colonization of their territories, natural landscapes, and communities for centuries. This week we focus on two indigenous voices in the Arctic. Dalee Sambo Dorough of the Iñupiat Inuit, is the chair of the Inuit Circumpolar Council living in Anchorage, Alaska. She leads the conversation in the studio to share updates on the great legal battles taking place in the Arctic today, and how they’re playing out national and internationally. And we head to Alberta, Canada, to meet Eriel Tchekwie Deranger who is Athabaska Chipewyan of the Denesuline people. Eriel takes us on a vivid tour of the landscapes she grew up with, and the landscapes colonizing entities are leaving behind.



The fashion industry is now reported to be the fifth-largest polluting sector in the world, but with a growing ambition to both revisit ancient practices and develop futuristic technologies, can fast fashion quickly adapt and reverse its reputation into one of positive change? Eco-fashion designer, Thao Vu of Kilomet109 guest hosts this week’s episode from Hanoi, Vietnam, as she, Mary and Maeve discuss what it would take for big business to scale up sustainability principles for good.

Episode 2 Notes:

As a result of long supply chains and energy intensive production, the fashion industry is now the fifth-largest polluting sector in the world constituting 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions. In this week’s episode, we take a look at the $2.5 trillion dollar industry to explore the potential of a triple bottom line: people, profits and planet. This week’s guest host is Vietnamese-born, Thao Vu, an eco-fashion designer and founder of label, Kilomet109. Her return to traditional dying practices, handmade silk production and waste management is opening up conversations on how to rethink what we expect from our clothing. And Céline Semaan is a Lebanese-Canadian sustainability literacy consultant and educator for the fashion industry based in New York. She talks us through the concepts of slow fashion and circularity, and whether it really can affect change in the industry.



Reecha Upadhyay of Purpose Climate Lab India joins Mary & Maeve from Delhi as co-host for this week’s episode on city life. Cities currently consume almost 70% of the world’s energy and account for more than 70% of global CO2 emissions. As mayors and their citizens take on the responsibilities of their nation’s leaders in the fight for climate justice, cities start to show their potential as a solution to the global crisis.


Episode Notes:

City resident and co-founder of Help Delhi Breathe, Reecha Upadhyay, tells us how she rallied tens of thousands of voters to pass legislation that will help cap air pollution killing millions every year. She discusses biomimcry with Clare Miflin, who shares her epiphany that nature doesn’t create any waste and that perhaps our misuse of materials is a design flaw. We hear how Clare took her thought to the NYC’s Department of Sanitation and developed the Zero Waste Design Guidelines. And we take a trip to Freetown, Sierra Leone to visit Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, to hear how she watched her beloved city become ravaged by war and disease, before putting it on a path to future green thinking and economic potential.



Episode Notes:

This week we loan out Mary to International Rescue Committee’s podcast, Displaced, for a chat with Ravi Gurumurthy & Grant Gordon. If you came for Maeve but don’t know about Mary, this week’s specialsode is a chance to hear the story of her venture into climate justice from the very beginning.


Mary & Ravi discuss how people all over the world are being forced into displacement by climate change. We hear who her heroes are, and why none of us should stop believing that we can still do something about climate change.



As we imagine new ideas for our natural resources, a new green economy presents us with a second chance at making good with both the earth and our communities. What will it take to transition to renewable energy, and what can we learn from both indigenous peoples and new technology? Navajo climate activist, Wahleah Johns, joins Mary & Maeve in the studio this week to share how she’s been getting it done.


Episode 4 Notes:

75% of unelectrified homes in the United States are located on the Navajo Nation, despite housing the nation’s largest coal field power plant which currently powers the entire Las Vegas strip.


Indigenous climate activist Wahleah Johns shares her journey to establishing the Navajo Green Economy Act, bringing solar power to families on the reservation, and creating vital green jobs for the community.


Wahleah discusses youth organizations with founder of TierrActiva Peru, Majandra Rodriguez Acha. Majandra recounts her memories of the Bagua Massacre, a bloody protest of the US-Peru Free Trade Agreement which gave permission to explore oil, gas and logging in the Amazon on indigenous land. In Paris, we catch Israeli inventor, Inna Braverman as she wins the C40 Women4Climate Tech Challenge. She shares her story of survival during the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster, and how it inspired her to reinvent wave power.



Co-hosting our episode this week is Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, a lifelong ocean conservationist who creates solutions with social justice in mind. Ayana, Mary & Maeve take a wade through the work our oceans have been doing while we’ve been sleeping. As sea levels rise and overfishing destroys our marine life, is this the inevitable truth, or are there still big solutions to come?


Episode 3 Notes:

The ocean has absorbed 90% of the heat trapped by greenhouse gases, and 40% of our carbon dioxide. We take a trip to Male in the The Maldives to meet former president Mohamed Nasheed and discover what he sees in the future of the archipelago nation as it battles with threatening sea level rises. Ayana introduces us to Jill Pegnataro from Greenwave, a 3D seaweed farming model making bold changes off the coast of Connecticut in the United States.



This week’s episode is co-hosted by Rhiana Gunn-Wright, one of the lead policy writers of the Green New Deal. She joins Mary & Maeve in the studio to discuss public opinion on climate change in the United States, where it’s crucial that citizens and politicians take a role in environmental action. In a moment in history when its politics are so polarized, will climate justice be the great unifier?

Episode Notes:

​We put Rhiana in conversation with Anna Jane Joyner, the daughter of a televangelical priest from North Carolina whose college funds were cut off by her parents when she began to work in climate justice. Anna Jane discusses the concept of stewardship, and how she’s asked her community to use it to consider the Earth’s wellbeing. We discuss the statistics that tie the political spectrum back together from Jennifer Marlon at the Yale Program on Climate Change Communications.



Wow. It’s barely been been four months since Season One ended. As we roll into Season Two, we’re making friends with the cricks in our necks as climate justice warriors keep stacking up the headlines. The 2018 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 24) was held in Katowice, Poland in October, and at the centre of it all stood 15 year old Greta Thunberg- a climate activist from Sweden who gave a speech that could define a mic drop. Climate change may have made young people a marginalized group, but they’re not going to sit and take it. They have lit the wick of a youth movement never before seen in history.

Episode Notes:  Mary & Maeve recap the groundbreaking climate events of 2018. They meet our youngest mother yet- 13 year old activist and organizer, Alexandria Villasenor, on why skipping school to protest climate change from a sleeping bag at the gates of the UN has been worth the frostbite. Professor Pauline Dube talks to us about co-authoring the IPCC Special Report 1.5 which outlines how we can cap climate change within 12 years, and then what it felt like to have it rejected. Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim talks to us from the World Economic Forum in Davos on how to convince people in expensive heels and suits why the best way to rebalance our relationship with nature is not artificial intelligence but indigenous intelligence.



Everyone loves a good legal drama — even Mary, a former lawyer, devours The Good Wife — and over the last three years environmental law has become stranger than fiction as both lawyers and their often unexpected plaintiffs have found powerful new teeth in order to take the world’s Governments and multinationals to court for failing to act on climate change… and guess what? They’re winning.


Episode Notes: Mary and Maeve are laying down the law. Two years ago, 886 ordinary Dutch citizens sued their government over climate change... and won. Tessa Khan, a Bangladeshi-Australian lawyer is in the studio to talk new legal strategies for climate action. Her and her partners are helping to sue not one, but six governments around the world for failing to protect their citizens and across the US, it’s the next generation who are rising to take Trump to court.



Mary and Maeve are talking about money, money. Fighting climate change might be a moral necessity but women are learning to hit vested interests where it hurts the most, in the pocket. They hear from South Africa where the anti-apartheid movement demonstrated the power of the boycott in the 80s before flipping the same tactics to the climate fight.  In the US, a wave of organised student campaigning on campuses is helping popularise the divestment movement but it was Standing Rock when indigenous women’s leadership took divestment into the big time, with billions of dollars now moving out of fossil fuels.

Episode Notes: This week’s Mothers of Invention are:


Yvette Abrahams (South Africa)

Yvette Abrahams has worked across climate justice, gender rights, food security, economics, indigenous plant research. Her activism began in the anti-apartheid struggle in her native South Africa.


May Boeve  (US)

May Boeve is the Executive Director of, an international movement using online campaigns, grassroots organising and mass public actions to oppose fossil fuel projects, and build 100% clean energy solutions that work for all.


Tara Houska  (First Nation, US)

Tara Houska, Ojibwe from Couchiching First Nation, is an attorney and National Campaigns Director of Honor the Earth.


Follow the series on all social media using @mothersinvent to find out more, support the women in the series and get your hands on bonus material throughout the season.



This week Mary and Maeve turn up the volume on the women who are helping us consciously-uncouple from our toxic relationship with single-use plastic, a material created to be used for mere minutes but designed to last for thousands of years.

This week’s Mothers of Invention are:

Judi Wakunga and Alice Kaudia

Kenyan politicians who created global headlines when they unleashed a $38,000 USD fine on anyone found using, making or distributing plastic bags.

Chelsea Briganti

American self-taught materials engineer and entrepreneur about to unleash 55bn edible straws onto the world.

Rachelle Strauss

British founder of #ZeroWasteWeek - a global online campaign against household waste born from one family kitchen.


Sian Sutherland

British co-founder of A Plastic Planet and creator of the world’s first fully-functioning plastic-free supermarket aisle in Amsterdam.

Katharine Wilkinson

Lead writer of ‘the most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming’, Project Drawdown.

Follow the series on all social media using @mothersinvent to find out more, support the women in the series and get your hands on bonus material throughout the season.


This episode explores the impact of climate change on public health, traversing political, scientific, radical and spiritual realms with our Mothers of Invention.


Mary and Maeve learn how all of our access to the very basics - clean air, clean water, livable temperatures - are at risk as well as the mental health implications of the destruction of the natural world. We meet a Black Lives Matter activist who believes that black neighbourhoods would be safer with less police and more trees. We speak to Siwatu Salama-Ra, a prolific environmental justice campaigner currently incarcerated in Detroit, Michigan and we spend time with a Traditional Custodian of the Fitzroy river in western Australia, currently at risk from fracking and industrial developments to consider our spiritual connection with nature.

This week’s Mothers of Invention are:

Sarra Tekola 

Black Lives Matter activist, scientist and academic working on a PhD in Sustainability at Arizona State University. Co-founder of Women of Color Speak Out.

Dr Anne Poelina

Nyikina Warrwa Traditional Custodian and academic working to promote new economy opportunities and green collar jobs for Indigenous people.

Dr Stella Hartinger

Doctor and researcher exploring the global health impacts of climate change and fossil fuel pollution. Contributor to the Lancet Countdown report.

Siwatu-Salama Ra

Climate justice activist. Co-Director of the East Michigan Environmental Action Council, building community power through environmental justice education, youth development, and collaborative relationship building. Learn about the campaign to free her from prison at

Follow the series on all social media using @mothersinvent to find out more, support the women in the series and get your hands on bonus material throughout the season.



This episode serves up an all-you-can-eat investigation into food and its connection to climate. We meet Mothers of Invention in India, Nigeria and the US who are revolutionising the way we understand, protect, grow, and cook food around the world.


Mary and Maeve learn that cows must not be given their own nation, discuss their good intentions to go vegetarian but also hear that this is an opportunity for the world to scale back from industrial farming for the good of all.

This week’s Mothers of Invention are:

Dr Vandana Shiva 

World-renowned author, activist, pioneer, scientific advisor, food sovereignty advocate and seed saver. Eco-feminist. Blew our minds.

Learning more about Dr Shiva’s work and agroecology at


Dr. Katharine Wilkinson 

Lead writer of the most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming (no big deal) Bestselling author, speaker and strategist, now working to spread the book’s message as Vice President of Communication & Engagement at Project Drawdown,

Blessing Ekanem 

A Business Development Associate working with Solar SIster in Nigeria, where she works with local women in Akwa Ebom to bring clean energy solutions and the opportunity to mitigate climate change, to the communities most affected.


Neha Mistra 

Co-Founder of Solar Sister, a social enterprise connecting the dots between energy justice, climate justice and women’s rights. The organization is currently supporting women in communities across Nigeria and Tanzania to deliver trusted clean energy access to their doorsteps.


Follow the series on all social media using @mothersinvent to find out more, support the women in the series and get your hands on bonus material throughout the season.



This episode comes to you direct from New York City where Maeve lives and Mary was is the midst of the UN General Assembly - and now Climate Week. Governments, diplomates, business leaders and climate change gather to assess progress, make commitments and push for solutions to avert the climate crisis and deliver on the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Mary and Maeve set up in a Manhattan studio, for a special dispatch from the week joined by a flurry of Mothers of Invention. Kumi Naidoo, the new Director General of Amnesty International, passes by the studio at the start of the week, to share his perspective of environmental justice and human rights. Costa Rican diplomat Christiana Figueres and President Hilda Heine of the Marshall Islands also dropped by early one morning to report back on their weeks, which countries have committed what, and where we still need more action.

This week’s Mothers of Invention are:


Kumi Naidoo

Lifelong activist, anti-apartheid campaigner, former head of Greenpeace and now Director General of Amnesty International.


Christiana Figueres

International diplomat working on policy and multilateral negotiations. She was appointed Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in July 2010, six months after the failed COP15 in Copenhagen.


President Hilda Heine 

Hilda Heine is a Marshallese educator and politician, currently serving as the eighth President of the Marshall Islands.  She announced the Marshall Islands’ progressive zero emissions target at the start of this year’s Climate Week.

Follow the series on all social media using @mothersinvent to find out more, support the women in the series and get your hands on bonus material throughout the season.



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