Whose Century Is It?

Ideas, Trends & Twists Shaping the 21st Century.

Latest Episodes

Seeing into the future

Whose Century Is It? June 01, 2017

Blind seers aside, it's easier to see where you're going, on the road and in life, if you can actually see. More than half of Americans wear glasses; in poorer and more remote regions of the world, it's estimated that some two billion people need glasses but don't have access to them, cutting into their ability to learn, work and live a full life. A social entrepreneurial effort called VisionSpring has reached millions of such people in Asia and Africa, selling glasses at affordable prices to customers who earn less than $4 a day. Host Mary Kay Magistad talks with VisionSpring's founder Jordan Kassalow, and president Ella Gudwin.

Radio Free(ing) Africa

Whose Century Is It? May 19, 2017

An unsung weapon against terrorism that has proven successful in Africa is the power of the airwaves — shortwave radio reaching people with reliable information, and programming that helps educate them, connect them and imagine a different kind of future. The ubiquity of cellphones allows people in conflict regions to call in, challenge abuses of power and have a voice. That's worked in the Congo, with Radio Okapi. It's working now in areas where Boko Haram has been active in West Africa, and the new Dandal Kura radio network is now broadcasting. Host Mary Kay Magistad talks with her old editor and friend David Smith, who helped set up both.

Soul searching in China

Whose Century Is It? May 04, 2017

A resurgence of interest in religion in China, after more than half a century of Communism and in the midst of China's rapid economic transformation and global rise, comes as new generations search for spiritual meaning and an ethical foundation. Host Mary Kay Magistad talks with former China correspondent colleagues Ian Johnson, author of "The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao," and Jennifer Lin, author of "Shanghai Faithful: Betrayal and Faith in a Chinese Christian Family," about how her own Chinese family, including Watchman Nee, the Billy Graham of China in the first half of the 20th century.

About the show

"Whose Century Is It?" is a biweekly podcast, exploring the ideas, trends and twists shaping the 21st century. Is this century China's, or once again America's, or someone else's entirely? It's too early to say; but creator and host Mary Kay Magistad offers interviews, stories and perspectives from around the world that provide informative — and often surprising — ways to think about the question. "Whose Century Is It?" is a coproduction between PRI's The World and Magistad, a former foreign correspondent and Asia hand who has reported from some 40 countries, on both sides of the turn of the 21st century.  

"Whose Century Is It?" is funded by a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation.