A World of Possibilities-logo

A World of Possibilities

WFMT Radio Network

A World of Possibilities is an award-winning one hour weekly radio program that penetrates behind the headlines to uncover the deeper meanings of events. It offers in-depth analysis, informed commentary and an exploration of new approaches to our most challenging problems. Our aim is to open minds and inspire new possibilities.


Chicago, IL


A World of Possibilities is an award-winning one hour weekly radio program that penetrates behind the headlines to uncover the deeper meanings of events. It offers in-depth analysis, informed commentary and an exploration of new approaches to our most challenging problems. Our aim is to open minds and inspire new possibilities.




Mainstream Media Project 854 9th Street, Suite B Arcata, CA 95521 (707) 826-9111


Fractivists: Slowing the Gas Rush

In the past few years, natural gas fracking has become a near-household word as landowners in the path of drilling have mounted efforts to slow its rapid pace of development in the U.S. and worldwide. We continue our coverage of this crucial issue with a program about citizen efforts across partisan lines to raise questions about the downsides of fracking and promote what they consider to be cleaner, greener alternatives.

Ruin and Resilience in Northern Uganda

War has shaped the lives of people in northern Uganda for the past two decades. Impunity for widespread crimes and grave violations committed during the war is pervasive, and there has been very little victim/community input into top-down plans to implement justice and accountability. Yet sustained peace depends on recreating communal solidarity, building advocacy networks, giving rape survivors, ex-child soldiers and orphans a voice and enabling them to be agents of recovery. For the last...

911 + Ten: From Unity to Enmity

Journalist Laurie Garrett was there, in the streets with her notepad and her camera just minutes after the World Trade Center came under attack on September 11th, 2001. She’s written a new book -- a ten-year effort -- called I Heard The Siren's Scream. This hour she’ll share with us her recollections of the 911 attack and what it meant for New Yorkers and for all of us...how it still shapes our relationships to each other as Americans.

Conversations With the Earth

Global climate change is here. And only now, as our nation is ravaged by hurricanes, floods and droughts, is this new reality becoming all too obvious. But indigenous people in isolated communities around the world have been sounding the alarm for decades. This week we’ll meet indigenous messengers from Alaska and Peru who say it’s not too late to use traditional knowledge to reconnect with Mother Earth. And we’ll learn about a powerful new exhibition at the National Museum of the American...

Cooling Our Jets: Reversing the Climate Meltdown

The science of man-made global climate change is irrefutable. New heat records, drought worse than the Dust Bowl, epic floods, hurricanes and tsunamis: the signs of ecological collapse are everywhere. Yet politicians financed by climate change deniers continue to delay action, fearing its effect on bottom-line profits. What, then, can we do to reverse course without wrecking our economies? Today we’ll speak with two eminent scientists, a conservation biologist and an environmental engineer,...

Bot, will you be my friend?

Is your best friend a bot or a Facebook pal? How much time do you spend in online interaction with digital beings and how much face-to-face with real ones? MIT professor Sherry Turkle, author of Alone Together, poses penetrating questions about the dangers of embracing our human inventions as if they were themselves human. Why do we turn to the simulation of intimacy in place of the stimulation of real contact? Are we afraid of the complications of real relationships, the melodramas of...

Two Grains of Sand

The crunch is on. Nature and humanity are both running off the rails and governments stand seemingly helpless before the juggernaut. But all is not lost. Into the breach are stepping new players, inventing strategies to transform the way we do things on many levels at once. And they’re forging surprising alliances in the process. In this program we’ll hear about two initiatives that seek to move the needle on issues of increasing urgency, one by influencing governmental policies on climate...

Crosswinds: A Community Wind Farm Divides an Island

When residents of an isolated island off the coast of Maine found their utility bills rising to three times what mainlanders paid, their local energy cooperative turned to wind as a clean and affordable energy alternative. It seemed like the perfect solution, but residents now find themselves bitterly divided over noise. Wind advocates are asking what needs to be done to deal with the downsides of what has long been viewed as a benign source of renewable energy.

Vanishing and Re-emerging: Reviving Biological and Cultural Diversity

Around the world, languages, cultures and ecosystems are disappearing at an alarming rate, erasing richness vital to our survival. Based on interviews conducted at a major international conference on biocultural diversity held at the American Museum of Natural History in New York in April 2008, this program examines how diversity is also re-emerging even as the old ways are dying.

Hong Kong, China's Green Gateway?

Hong Kong has always been a world unto itself. But today it's a city uncertain of its identity. As mainland China surges to the front rank of the global economy, its vast industrial base has upstaged Hong Kong. Many civic leaders are now asking what's left for Hong Kong to do that makes use of its unique gifts and strengths. In this program we hear two civic leaders share their far-reaching visions of how a densely industrialized capital of high finance could become a model for urban green...

Full Circle Innovation

In its breakneck pursuit of modernization, China has given nature a back seat to its turbo-charged industrial development. Now, with drought, desertification, and extreme pollution, China's leaders are beginning to realize that better treatment of its natural capital is vital to the country's survival. Today we'll speak with a leading Chinese landscape architect who is redefining the relationship between humans and nature with an ingenuity that sets a new standard for innovation itself and...

Take Me For A Ride In Your E-Car!

These days we think of electric vehicles as futuristic inventions, coming our way just a little before commercial flights to the moon. But actually, they preceded the infernal combustion engine by more than half a century. Now, as we choke on the exhaust, we turn once more to electricity. Only this time, the momentum is building not in Detroit but in Shanghai, Hong Kong, and California.

Better Together? Chinese Innovators on Green Tech Partnerships

Like "Made in Japan" a generation ago, the "Made in China" label has long been viewed by Americans as a low-cost, low quality knock-off of a costly original designed and manufactured in more advanced nations. But these days China is transforming itself from the world's factory into the world's laboratory. That's creating vast new opportunities for green innovation. Two leading Chinese entrepreneurial innovators in renewable energy ask why the nation that pioneered many such technologies is...

China's Great Green Wager

China today is the most polluted nation on earth. But it's also on its way to becoming the most environmentally advanced. And it's no coincidence. Long seen as the Great Replicator, China is now becoming the Great Innovator in all things environmental. Join us as we explore how the world's most populous nation is betting that the next economy will not be gray but green.

The Gas Rush

Host Mark Sommer continues his journey across the communities lying above the Marcellus Shale Play, a gigantic natural gas deposit stretching under the Northeast United States. In this program we hear the conflicting ideas and conflicted emotions of those living and working in the Southern Tier of New York State, where gas "fracking" is proposed but not yet underway.

Slow Money: Reducing Velocity, Increasing Value

Each day, billions of shares flash through stock markets worldwide. Fortunes are made and lost at the flick of a keystroke, wreaking havoc on millions of people far from the trading floor. Meanwhile, both value and values are wantonly destroyed. Today we'll hear from two pioneering economists, one of them a Nobel Prize winner, who seek to slow the pace of business in order to reclaim value and values.

Gross National Happiness: From Private Wealth to Public Well-Being

"Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." This most famous phrase from the U.S. Declaration of Independence places happiness at the front and center of the role of government. Today we'll hear from the Minister of Happiness in the Royal Kingdom of Bhutan, where Gross National Happiness, rather than Gross National Product, is the preferred measure used to guide national policy. We also hear from a Seattle city councilman who's been inspired by Bhutan's example to propose similar indices...

Fractured Bedrock, Fractured Communities

Nine thousand feet beneath the surface of several Northeastern states lie vast deposits of shale impregnated with natural gas. The Marcellus Shale play, as it is called, is being touted by energy analysts as one of the largest in the world. For a chronically hard-pressed region in a season of recession, the promise of mailbox money just for signing a simple lease to subsurface rights is almost irresistible. Almost, that is, until they've signed and discover the implications of their...

Food and Forests: Reviving Diversity

As we seek ways to make both our economies and food supplies more sustainable, we would do well to look at what worked for hundreds of years before modern technology gave us both greater productivity and greater vulnerability. In this program we visit with specialists from around the world who are combining the newest techniques of sustainable agriculture with ancient practices of subsistence forest farming to create food production systems robust enough to weather the unpredictable extremes...

Transforming Misfortune

It's clear now that the economic collapse of 2008, the second "September shock" after 2001, will have a more enduring impact than most of us once supposed. Today we'll meet two individuals who've pursued and long advocated ways of life based not on lifestyles of the rich and famous but on our enduring capacities for creativity, imagination and love. And, they've traced how what we choose to do as individuals can reshape the nature of the larger world.