Preview of Series 12

Sue Stockdale previews the guest-hosted episodes that will be featured in Series 12.  They are:

  • Dr. James Kisia: Using mentorship to cultivate leadership in Africa – Guest host Racheal Wanjiku Kigame from episode 12
  • Pierre Heistein: Recording the story of the Atuel River – Guest host Brendan Davis from episode 58
  • Cori Myka: Helping non-swimmers overcome fear of deep water – Guest host Rob Lawrence from episode 42
  • Andrew Freear: How Rural Studio creates sustainable impact – Guest host Josh Wasserman from episode 44

This series is kindly supported by Squadcast –the remote recording platform which empowers podcasters by capturing high-quality audio and video conversations.

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[00:00:00] Sue: Hi, I’m Sue Stockdale your host of Access to Inspiration – the podcast with a social mission to help you to be ‘inspired by people who may be unalike you’.  We hope their experiences and insights cause you to reflect on your own perspectives about the world and make you think. Starting a new year is always a good time to step into the unknown and try out new things. And you will recall that last year we published our impact report which was a first in the industry.

For this year we decided to ask some of our podcast guests to tell us who inspired them, and then gave them the platform to co-host an episode and chat to that person. It’s been an interesting experience; in that we did not know who they would pick or what the subject would be. I think a theme has emerged from the four episodes. But I want to know what you think. What underlying message do you think the guests express in their conversations?

At the end of the month, my co-founder Clive Steeper and I will record a short episode to share our thoughts but we would hear from you. Remember you can drop us a message or voice recording by hopping on over to Contact Us page at  accessto Here’s a taste of whats to come.

Our guest from episode 12 Racheal Kigame talks to her mentor Dr James Kisia, who explains what he saw in Racheal that encouraged him to mentor her:

[00:01:08] James: Kenya had a post-election violence in 2007, 2008, and Racheal was hired straight from college to be one of the people working in a camp in Nakuru. And when I met Racheal, she was very articulate about what they were doing, and she was clear about what her role was.. So for me, the one thing that is a major predictor of success for young people is curiosity and passion. These are very important things and I think I should add also creativity. What I saw with Racheal is that she was able to solve problems and within a short time, I encouraged the manager then to transfer her to a bigger camp. Where she would be even more challenged because when people are not challenged they usually will find challenge elsewhere. They move on to other organizations. But I saw someone who was passionate about what she was doing. I saw someone who had a curiosity questioned that that was a bit higher than most of the staff that that we had at that time. And I think from my experience, I think this person can go far and they need the exposure

[00:01:08] Sue : You’ll also find out from Racheal how she felt about being challenged to explore what she was capable of. In the second of our guest-hosted episodes, film, and TV writer-producer-director Brendan Davis, from episode 58, talks to Pierre Heistein about the documentary film Pierre made telling the story of Atuel River in Mendoza region, Argentina. And the resulting documentary received an overwhelmingly positive response from the local community.

[00:01:08] Pierre: imagine something, a place, a setting, an entity whether natural or not, I mean, it could be your shopping mall. It doesn’t matter, but something that really defined the culture of where they live, something that, the whole place comes together around and defines the identity of who you are. And as a person and as a culture, essentially what we formed by filming the river was that. This river is everything to where we live. People have very much different entry points to it. It could be, they love going fishing on the lake, or they love kayaking down the rapids, or they own a tourism company, or they’re a farmer and the river gets split off and irrigated onto their farm. I mean, there’re many, many different entry points to what your relationship with the river is. But essentially we are a manmade oasis in the middle of the desert. It is impossible to live here without having a deep deep connection to the river, whether you love it or not, whether you’re an environmentalist or not, it doesn’t matter. And so locally, what we did is we told the story about the thing that links everyone here together.

[00:01:08] Sue : Then we remain with the water theme for the third episode where podcaster Rob Lawrence speaks to Cori Myka and discovers how she helps adults overcome their fear of going into deep water, and for some its life changing.

[00:02:14] Cori: we take students to Hawaii and I mean the biggest hug I have ever had, it was my student, Rhonda, who after we went snorkeling from a boat, so in deep water in Hawaii, we’re snorkeling. I mean, that woman hugged me with every muscle in her body. She was so completely thrilled with herself that she did this thing. That was, as you said, completely unimaginable to her. So there’s those kinds of transformation, but then there’s also the transformation where people will tell us afterwards, you know what, I decided it was okay for me to quit that job or to change that relationship or they bring it to this other place, like, oh, I didn’t notice. What all was going on for me in my body, in some of these other areas of my life, I decided to try this other new thing. One of my students she’s told me about going on and she’s like, yeah, I’m learning how to do break dancing. Now I’m 40 something years old. I always wanted to do it. And she’s like, I’m doing it.

[00:01:08] Sue : And finally Josh Wasserman from episode 44 talks to Andrew Freear, director of Rural Studio about the unique program they run for students in Alabama.

[00:03:20] Andrew: It’s a program of Auburn University and it’s part of the School of Architecture and it was established 30 years ago next year by a couple of professors. Samuel Mockbee and DK Ruth. And fundamentally, it tries to get students out of the kind of academic ivory tower and get them to engage with real people. We’re here to educate architecture students and help them get a good design education. And the things that we’ve managed to do in Hale County are kind of, I hope, quite lovely byproducts of that work. So unlike a normal architectural education here, , basically 30 years ago , these two professors decided that they’d take a group of students to a kind of underserved underserviced part of West Alabama and see if it could help with quote unquote real projects. And it started out very much under the kind of welfare radar, helping folks who, who weren’t being helped by the social services and providing housing. And there’s a number of design build programs around the world, but in this case, architecture students get to not only design their projects, but they get to build their projects. And so, Essentially we’re using the students designs and that energy to support this local community.

[00:01:08] Sue : I hope you will be excited to listen to these upcoming episodes or read the transcriptions on our website at I look forward to connecting with you soon.

Sound Editor: Matias de Ezcurra (he/him)

Producer: Sue Stockdale (she/her)