Skip to content
DALL·E 2023-10-15 20.36.02 – A modernist painting of the border wall in the Białowieża Forest with muted colors.

Least Cost Paths

AI is empowering civilians to challenge their governments in all kinds of ways.

Words: Laicie Heeley
Pictures: DALL-E
Date:
album-art

Sorry, no results.
Please try another keyword
  • On Sunday, the people of Poland cast their votes in an election that some have called a battle for the country’s soul. When we released this episode, we were still watching for the various parties to confirm the parliamentary coalitions that would lead to the final result. But experts tell us no matter who wins,[...]
00:00

On Sunday, the people of Poland cast their votes in an election that some have called a battle for the country’s soul. When we released this episode, we were still watching for the various parties to confirm the parliamentary coalitions that would lead to the final result.

But experts tell us no matter who wins, one thing is likely to stay the same: Poland’s hardline approach to refugees from its eastern border with Belarus.

So today, we head to that border, where scientists are studying the impact of rising militarization and anti-refugee activity on the region. It’s not always easy — because the Polish border guard isn’t always keen to hand out the answers these scientists would love to add to their analysis. But Eliot Higgins, the founder of investigative website Bellingcat, says civilians have an edge these days when states won’t answer our questions. We have an unprecedented amount of information at our fingertips — and we’re using it to challenge our governments around the world in all kinds of ways.

Listen and subscribe now on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, Pocket Casts, or wherever you get your podcasts to receive a new episode every two weeks.

A Note:

We’re heartbroken by the sudden Hamas attack on Israelis and by the Israeli airstrikes and devastation in Gaza. Donate to Doctors Without Borders as it continues to offer impartial medical care to those most impacted by war.

Guests:

Katarzyna Nowak, University of Warsaw; Michał Żmihorski, Mammal Research Institute; Maciej Kisilowski, Central European University; Eliot Higgins, Bellingcat

Additional Resources:

Threats to Conservation From National Security Interests, Katarzyna Nowak, Dinah Bear, Anwesha Dutta, Myles Traphagen, Michał Żmihorski, and Bogdan Jaroszewicz, Conservation Biology

Recognizing Opposition Movements is Riskier Than It Seems, John Reid Wilcox, Inkstick Media

Monitoring the Environmental Consequences of the War in Ukraine, Jon Letman, Inkstick Media

Can National Reconciliation Defeat Populism? Maciej Kisilowski, Anna Wojciuk. Project Syndicate.

Thanks to Sławomir Makaruk for additional field production.

Laicie Heeley

Editor in Chief

Laicie Heeley is the founding CEO of Inkstick Media, where she serves as Editor in Chief of the foreign policy magazine Inkstick and Executive Producer and Host of the PRX- and Inkstick-produced podcast, Things That Go Boom. Heeley’s reporting has appeared on public radio stations across America and the BBC, where she’s explored global security issues including domestic terrorism, disinformation, nuclear weapons, and climate change. Prior to launching Inkstick, Heeley was a Fellow with the Stimson Center’s Budgeting for Foreign Affairs and Defense program and Policy Director at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation. Her publications include work on sanctions, diplomacy, and nuclear arms control and nonproliferation, along with the first full accounting of US counterterrorism spending after 9/11.

LEARN MORE

Hey there!

You made it to the bottom of the page! That means you must like what we do. In that case, can we ask for your help? Inkstick is changing the face of foreign policy, but we can’t do it without you. If our content is something that you’ve come to rely on, please make a tax-deductible donation today. Even $5 or $10 a month makes a huge difference. Together, we can tell the stories that need to be told.

album-art

Sorry, no results.
Please try another keyword
  • It took two years, after holdups from Turkey and Hungary, but Sweden has officially joined NATO. A move not everyone in Sweden is super psyched about. But this country’s history isn’t quite so peaceful as it might seem. So, can a peace-loving nation with a war-loving legacy keep the peace… when someone starts a war[...]
00:00

SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTERS