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Bill Ryerson on Post-growth Australia Podcast

Cody Peluso Jun 08, 2023

On June 8, 2023, Bill Ryerson, President and Founder of Population Media Center (PMC) was the special guest on the Post-Growth Australia Podcast. This June marks the 25th anniversary for PMC and Ryerson talked the audience through the “stories behind the stories” of PMC’s many award-winning, popular projects.

Over the past 25 years, PMC’s impact has been nothing short of extraordinary. PMC’s groundbreaking initiatives have reached tens of millions of people in over 50 countries, igniting conversations and fostering meaningful change. We have transformed lives, shattered stereotypes, and empowered individuals to become agents of positive transformation. This podcast with Bill Ryerson breaks down how PMC has done it.

PMC seems to forge ahead, and make Hollywood-worthy productions across the globe and enact change in attitudes and behaviors around family planning and contraception, regardless of the social or political inertia…It is almost as if they exist on a heightened plane of existence compared to the rest of population-related groups.

Michael Bayliss, Sustainable Population Australia

Post-Growth Australia Podcast

Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of Population Media Center with Bill Ryerson

In this podcast with Sustainable Population Australia about Entertainment-Education, Bill Ryerson discusses:

entertainment-education for social good

Entertainment-education has emerged as a powerful tool for social change, transcending mere entertainment. In the realm of family planning, it has the potential to influence individuals’ attitudes, knowledge, and behaviors, fostering informed decision-making and promoting healthy reproductive choices.

PMC’s fictional stories span telenovelas, television shows, video games and other forms of media because well-crafted narratives can captivate audiences, offering relatable characters and realistic scenarios that resonate with their experiences. And entertainment-education has a uniquely powerful ability to challenge social taboos and reduce stigma associated with family planning.

By showcasing diverse perspectives in stories with a variety of characters, and portraying positive outcomes of responsible decision-making, entertainment can help break down barriers and inspire dialogue within families and communities. This, in turn, empowers individuals to make choices that align with their values and desired family size, while reducing unintended pregnancies and promoting overall well-being.

These stories can also empower women and girls by highlighting rights, agency, and access to reproductive healthcare. By featuring transitional characters who make informed choices about family planning, entertainment-education can challenge traditional gender roles and inspire viewers to seek education, career opportunities, and reproductive autonomy. This, in turn, contributes to gender equality and fosters healthier, more equitable family dynamics

Entertainment-education offers a compelling and effective approach to address family planning and a host of related health and social issues, allowing individuals and communities to access accurate information, challenge social norms, and make informed choices. By leveraging the power of entertainment, we can foster a more informed society, where family planning is seen as a fundamental aspect of personal well-being, family stability, and overall societal development.

How PMC addresses global sustainability

In the context of global sustainability, PMC’s media programs often highlight environmental challenges, such as deforestation, climate change, wildlife conservation, sustainable fishing practices or water scarcity. In the midst of an entertaining story, audiences can also be educated about the impact of these issues and sustainable practices, like conservation, renewable energy, or responsible resource management, can be explored in accessible ways.

You can see more about how PMC includes global sustainability issues in entertainment-education programs around the world in this five minute video.

Bill Ryerson is such an interesting guy and Population Media Center is such an impactful organization. So much of what he says about learning through personal experiences and stories is what I tried to do with students in my classroom. Getting young adults to learn through stories that resonate with them was by far the best way to get them to truly learn. Thank you PMC for telling transformative stories, globally. It is how we all learn.

Listener Response – Retired Teacher, South Carolina, USA