Ideas Roadshow Branches Into Podcasts, Creates Documentary Tackling COVID-19


Images via Ideas Roadshow

Ideas Roadshow has already created over 1,000 videos for its various educational databases and libraries. The company continues to prioritize content that informs and engages with an upcoming documentary on COVID-19, and is also expanding into podcasts, which are now available to airlines as part of their in-flight entertainment offering.

Ideas Roadshow has partnered with New Books Network, a specialist in author-interview podcasts, to launch the Ideas Roadshow Podcast on its platform. Starting this summer, it will produce additional podcasts on an ongoing basis for New Books Network.

We’ve long been of the view that our engaging and accessible conversations with leading experts work particularly well in a podcast format,” explained Irena Burton, co-founder and COO at Ideas Roadshow. “Our long and fruitful relationship with British Airways audio confirmed that it works particularly well for in-flight entertainment, but until recently we’ve been too busy with other things to try to create a podcast platform independently.”

Burton said the company already has over 100 podcasts available for IFE, as well as corresponding eBooks and video clips. “Some airlines have expressed interest in us curating various packages for them of audio, eBooks and video, which we are very happy to do,” she added. 

Its latest podcast releases include Coral Reefs: Science and Survival, a conversation with University of Warwick ecologist Charles Sheppard on the state of the world’s coral reefs and what can be done about it; Mindsets: Growing Your Brain, a chat with Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck about her work on how growth mindsets and fixed mindsets can affect one’s ability and success; and Religion and Culture: A Historian’s Tale, in which Queen Mary University of London medievalist Miri Rubin discusses the overlap between religion and culture in the Middle Ages and the present day.

However, the company is still heavily focused on producing video content, which it believes has only increased in popularity since the onset of COVID-19. Burton commented, “We are determined to create a spectrum of ideas-related documentaries through Ideas On Film, the imprint we created for our filmed non-fiction explorations. We will be producing a wide range of projects from full-length documentaries to intellectual biographies to animated features.”

One such documentary is COVID-19: An Exploration, which is scheduled to be released in November this year. “The decision to do a film on COVID-19 is largely driven by our personal sense of frustration that so many obvious questions related to the current pandemic were not sufficiently explored by the media: What is a virus? How do the vaccines work? How has this hugely intensified global research effort impacted our understanding of the human immune system? What have we learned from the last 18 months in terms of public policy and how prepared are we for a future pandemic?” 

Burton continued by outlining what makes Ideas Roadshow’s content different from that of other media outlets. “Our experiences have convinced us that top-level international scientists are, on the whole, a drastically underused resource, as most are very willing to freely offer their views on a wide number of issues so long as it will not be distorted to support some agenda,” she said. “We are convinced that there is a strong resonance with our approach to explore issues in an explicitly non-partisan, non-political way, simply motivated to try to understand what is going on.”