The Social Ideas Podcast: the sustainable power of earthworms

The Social Ideas Podcast: the sustainable power of earthworms

The Social Ideas Podcast

The Social Ideas Podcast shares the impact of social innovation, its necessity and its capacity to challenge the status quo. Throughout this series, highly committed change makers in business, civil society, policy and academia will talk about their work, their ideas and their motivation to strive towards to a more equitable and sustainable world.

Dr Mary Murphy

Dr Mary Murphy

Dr Mary Murphy has spent more than twenty years splitting her time between the UK and South Africa, a country she fell in love with the moment she first stepped off the plane.

In the UK, Mary is a Post Doc researcher with the Faculty of Education and a Research Associate at Lucy Cavendish College, University of Cambridge, where she is working on an emerging field of research called hydro-sociology, which at its simplest is an understanding of the hydrological system and the human system as inherently linked.

Mary’s Peace Studies (Hons) undergraduate degree – which she studied in Northern Ireland – led her to a six-month internship at the Centre for Intergroup Studies (now the Centre for Conflict Resolution) in Cape Town, South Africa; whilst there, she spent time with gang members in an attempt to understand why gang violence was increasing just as South Africa was negotiating a way to its first democratic elections. She also had the opportunity to work with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which she says, ‘helped shape my values of justice and equality’.

This episode of The Social Ideas Podcast focuses on another aspect of Mary’s work and life; her socially innovative work with the humble earthworm and food waste in South Africa. Her determination to develop different forms of sustainability led to a partnership with a local hotel, whose staff were persuaded to install earthworm farms.


Find out more about Dr Mary Murphy – https://www.educ.cam.ac.uk/people/staff/murphy/

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