• Data shows a global audience is tuning in to hear world leaders speak on World Economic Forum podcasts.
  • The COVID-19 Pandemic has changed many aspects of life, and research shows this affects how people around the world listen to audio.

Approximately 80 million Americans tune in to their favourite podcasts each week, according to Edison Research. That is 28% of the U.S. population over the age of 12, a 17% increase from 2020. In the UK, 14.6 million people will be podcast listeners in 2021, research from eMarketer shows. Across a group of 20 countries studies for the Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2020, 31% of people regularly listen to podcasts.

The World Economic Forum has tapped into this growing demand from listeners. Through our Radio Davos podcast the Forum is talking to the people who have the ideas, the passion, and the power to make change happen in a way that could benefit all of us. And our Meet the Leader series is where the world's top leaders, change-makers and experts share the projects that excite them and the habits they can’t work without.

We have delved into the archive and combed through the stats to present the top podcasts which have attracted the highest number of listens. You will see these are presented in reverse order, so make sure you read all the way to the end of this blog to learn which episode of Radio Davos (and its predecessor World Vs Virus) is the most listened to. And listen back to these episodes to find out if the predictions made in 2020 have become reality.

Number 10: Can climate action survive COVID-19? Jennifer Morgan from Greenpeace tells us it can, and must

Jennifer Morgan, head of Greenpeace International, explains why the fight against climate change must not be considered an unaffordable luxury as we struggle with COVID-19. And Yale's happiness professor, Laurie Santos, gives her tips on mental wellbeing.


Number 9: Battleground New York

Doctor and bestselling author Matt McCarthy shows us life on the front line in New York City. Also: a submariner shares his tips for surviving lockdown.


Number 8: Numbers Game: How long is a lockdown?

The World Health Organization tells us how long is a lockdown, and YouTuber Molly Burke describes living under the threat of COVID-19 when you're blind.

Number 7: Economist Nariman Behravesh on the havoc caused by COVID-19

When we spoke to IHS Markit Chief Economist Nariman Behravesh in October 2020, he told us the economic crisis caused by the pandemic will be with us for at least another year. Nearly a year has passed since that conversation, but listeners are still tuning in to consider whether his forecasts were right.

Number 6: Radio Davos speaks to Gita Gopinath

The 'Great Lockdown' that is ravaging the global economy is quite unlike the financial crash of 2008 and requires a different and even bigger response, the IMF Chief Economist told Radio Davos in May 2020. In this episode we also learn about a survey of 350 business leaders that reveals what they see as the biggest risks from the pandemic in the next 18 months.


Number 5: The Spanish Flu of 1918

It infected one-third of the world’s population and killed 50 million people, but for most of us the Spanish Flu is little more than a footnote of history. Author and science journalist Laura Spinney tells us what we have still to learn from the 20th Century's worst pandemic.


Number 4: Wikipedia's Jimmy Wales’ advice to young entrepreneurs: to succeed - 'get comfortable with failure'

The co-founder of Wikipedia - the world’s fifth most popular website - had a Q&A with entrepreneurs from the World Economic Forum’s UpLink programme in May 2021. His top piece of advice: don’t be scared to try.


Number 3: Coping with working from home – tips from an organizational psychologist

Adam Grant, bestselling author, podcast host and professor of management and psychology at the Wharton School, has advice for employers and employees on coping with COVID-19 lockdown, finding JOMO (the joy of missing out), and how we might achieve 'post-traumatic growth.'

Number 2: World Water Day with Matt Damon and Gary White

Hollywood star Matt Damon is a leading figure in efforts to get clean water and sanitation to the poorest people in the world. Damon and co-founder of charity Water.Org Gary White tell us why water is fundamental to tackling global inequality.


Number 1: Unprecedented: The economic impact of COVID-19 with Economist Nouriel Roubini

Economist Nouriel Roubini spoke to Radio Davos in March 2020 and explained why the economic impact of the COVID-19 coronavirus will be different than anything we have seen before. In this episode, we also hear from a mental health expert who gives tips on managing stress and staying sane.

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