In The insighta new podcast from The morning, senior writer Joël De Ceulaer asks a smart person every week to share a fundamental, well, insight with us. “The conversations will be in-depth, but also accessible.”
What exactly can we expect from The insight?
“Conversations about something with people who have something to say. Specifically, I invite a guest every week and ask him or her to share a fundamental insight with us. Some of these may be so-called life wisdoms, but I am also and above all looking for intellectual insights. To deep knowledge about people and the world, which my guests have gained during their thinking and which they want to share with us. It must be about important, non-banal insights that are timeless. We don’t talk about current affairs. The aim is to keep the conversations fresh for a long time.”
Which smart people are your guests? Who can take the lead?
“I will often invite academics, because they have to think professionally about people and the world, in a systematic way. Scientific research is a superior way of learning things. The guests will include economist Stijn Baert, historian Bruno De Wever and mathematician Ann Dooms. But I also invite thinkers who are not affiliated with a university. Guillaume Van der Stighelen, for example, who naturally also gained useful insights into human nature in his previous life as an advertiser. Or philosopher Tinneke Beeckman, who is an independent writer. She is my first guest. We are making a first series of ten episodes starting this week.”
Academics usually focus on a very specific field. As a mere mortal, can I benefit from their insights?
“That is the explicit intention. The conversations will be in-depth, but also accessible. I ask my guests to translate their sometimes complex thinking into an insight that everyone can learn from. Call it a kind of popular upliftment. I think it would be ideal if each episode lingers in the minds of listeners for days, if my guests provide us all with food for thought.
“Sometimes I miss that a bit on radio and television: intellectually in depth. That happened on Radio 1 in Internal kitchen, but that program no longer exists. Maybe we can fill that gap in the market. Although the difference with Internal kitchen Which The insight is not bound by the publication of a book or any other current cause. My guests only have to meet one criterion: they have to be able to teach us something interesting.”
Loyal readers of The morning know you as a seasoned interviewer, but not yet as a podcast maker. Why the choice for that medium?
“As a journalist I have indeed not specialized so much in a field, but in a genre: the interview. I actually make the interviews that I would like to read myself, which is a good guideline for any journalistic article. In this way I meet new people every week and I am constantly learning new things. Interviewing is a wonderful craft: you get private lessons for free and for nothing from thinkers and doers from all possible sectors.
“I’ve been thinking about making an interview series about the crucial insights of thinkers for several years now. Now that the podcast has gradually become established as a journalistic medium, I thought it was a good time to do it in that form. One has to move with the times and podcasting has a huge side benefit: I don’t have to type out the conversations afterwards – because that’s the least pleasant thing about this job. But of course I will also continue to interview for the newspaper.”
where can we The insight listen to?
“Of course via the website of The morning, but also via the now classic and well-known channels Spotify and Apple Podcasts. Each episode lasts about half an hour. I’m told that’s the ideal commute length.”
Listen to the first episode now. Philosopher Tinneke Beeckman: ‘It is not true at all that you can become anything you want’