Leading the conversation on social issues...at the pub

Shouts to Stuff for this quick writeup on our last Pubcast. Once a month Smash Palace hosts us for a podcast style chat about local/global issues. Everyone is welcome and we've already had two great meet ups where we learned about public green space plans in Christchurch, Emperor penguins and climate change. Next up we've got Pubcast #3: Sam Stubbs on investing KiwiSaver capital in NZ and of course Smash on beer and snacks. Come join!

Leading the conversation on social issues ... at the pub

Maddison Northcott, Jun 21 2019

James Tapper has launched The Monthly Pubcast at Smash Palace in central Christchurch.

James Tapper has launched The Monthly Pubcast at Smash Palace in central Christchurch.

The answer to all the world's problems could be solved over a beer at the pub.

Or at the very least, a Christchurch man hopes to make a start.

The Monthly Pubcast founder James Tapper is helping break down social issues into bite-sized, digestible content, arranging those in the know to explain complex topics like climate change, urban farming and saving money to listeners from the comfort of Smash Palace, a humming High St pub.

Tapper hopes the vibe will be similar to listening to a podcast live with friends.

Tapper hopes the vibe will be similar to listening to a podcast live with friends.

He's hoping to inspire conversation and empower listeners to chat about "things that matter".

"There's something about being in the pub that seems to encourage people to put their necks on the line and actually ask questions," Tapper said.

The pubcast, the brainchild of Tapper and Kane Stewart, was inspired by former Christchurch mayor Garry Moore's Tuesday Club – a forum for the public to engage with the city's innovators and leaders.

Tapper hoped to follow the same set-up but aimed the talks at a younger demographic.

"Often, you've listened to a podcast or watched something about a topic and you bring it up with mates and they say 'oh, I haven't heard it', so that's the end of it.

"This way, everyone's heard the same thing and the conversation can go from there."

The pubcast sits alongside Tapper's other project, consulting agency Benefaction, which aims to help businesses consider social responsibility and how they can invest in social change.

Branding itself as a mash-up between a social impact consultancy and a marketing agency, Benefaction has worked with prominent Christchurch companies including Bacon Brothers and Benny's Barbour Shop to "do good", such as Benny's book-a-yarn scheme.

Seminars usually included a twenty minute chat, followed by a question and answer session.

Essentially, it's like listening to a podcast live with friends, Tapper said. The success of true crime investigative series Serial pulled podcasting into the mainstream with millions of episodes available online but most people tended to consume information alone, limiting the opportunity for change and chat, Tapper said.

Peter Wells, the driving force behind Ōtākaro Orchard, opened the first pubcast with a frank conversation on food and the urban agriculture revolution to about 50 people in mid-May. He was followed by ecologist Michelle LaRue, diving into climate change and the human impacts on Antarctic penguins and seals.

Running on the second Monday of the month, the next event is scheduled at Smash Palace for July 8 with Simplicity's Sam Stubbs talking about investing locally and making the most of KiwiSaver.