Co-producer Ben Beck interviews host Christian Pearson in this introductory podcast. They discuss goals, expectations, and outcomes of Inside the Cambodia Project podcast.

Inside the Cambodia Project Episode 1 Podcast Transcript: Introduction to the Podcast

with Christian Pearson

[00:00:00.410] – Christian Pearson
Hello. I’m Christian, and you’re listening to inside the Cambodia project, an educational podcast where we discuss cutting edge research on sustainable business in an emerging market.

[00:00:17.330] – Ben Beck
This is Ben Beck. I’m one of the co producers for Inside the Cambodia Project, and today, I’m turning things on their head. I I’m going to interview you, Christian, the podcast host, to see what this podcast is all about. So, first, I wanted to ask you, who is your audience for this podcast? Who are you expecting to reach?

[00:00:37.020] – Christian Pearson
Great question, Ben. I’m glad you asked that. Honestly, this podcast Inside the Cambodia Project, I really hope it reaches people of all ages and of all audiences. But specifically, I do think we cater more to those interested in research, what we’re doing research in Southeast Asia, specifically, we’re looking into sustainable development. And we’re also pretty invested in this idea of corporate social responsibility. And so for that reason, we’re not a podcast for everybody. But then again, if you’re into us, then we promise we’re going to come up with the best content we can.

[00:01:23.610] – Ben Beck
That’s wonderful. So you mentioned sustainable business, maybe with sustainable development that you called it. What does that mean to you? Is this companies trying to produce their goods in a green, friendly way, a sustainable way? What does that mean? Sustainable development?

[00:01:38.280] – Christian Pearson
Yeah. So when I said sustainable development, typically what that makes me think of is we’re working with a lot of smaller businesses in Cambodia. Right? Like in a lot of emerging markets and developing countries. You’re not going to have these huge metropolitan dynasties, these businesses that just are everywhere. Instead, in fact, over 90% of the businesses in Cambodia are these small, grassroots businesses where it’s just people trying to make a living. Right. And so when I think of sustainable development, what that means to me is these businesses have the potential to change not only the lives of the employees, but also the community and the country as a whole, if they are sustainable. The problem that we find in so many countries is these businesses never really get anywhere. They start and then they kind of flop or they’ll die down in a couple of years. So it’s moving the focus from a survival focus to a progression. Right. And trying to help these businesses really expand and grow so that they can employ more people, so that they can have an impact in their community and ultimately, so that they can have better lives.

[00:02:58.250] – Ben Beck
There’s so many businesses that have had impact for good. A lot of those are what are called B corps or benefit corporations. We’re not going to go into that now, but I’m glad that you brought up that word impact, and we’ll discuss that a lot more in a later podcast, I’m sure. I did want to ask you another question about the podcast. What are your goals with this podcast? What do you hope to get out of it?

[00:03:21.710] – Christian Pearson
That’s a great question, Ben. As far as what I want to get out of this, I’m going to be honest. I’ve never done a podcast before, so I’m hoping that I can grow, I guess, my skill set and maybe my confidence a little bit.

[00:03:35.500] – Ben Beck
Okay, what can we get out of this?

[00:03:38.870] – Christian Pearson
What will we get out of this? Well, I think my goals for the podcast are that we’ll be able to learn more about what it is we’re doing right as we exchange ideas and as we bring different experts and guests onto the podcast. But also, I really do hope that for the people that listen to this podcast, this will be a way to communicate the Cambodia project. That’s why it’s called inside the Cambodia project. We really want to give them an insider’s perspective because I’ve had my friends ask me about, oh, what are you researching? What are you working on? And it’s so hard to give a concise yet expository elevator pitch about what we’re doing. There’s just so many moving parts. It’s very complex, and it is really important. And so I hope that this podcast will be a way for us to communicate our findings and our ideas to those who are interested.

[00:04:38.110] – Ben Beck
That’s a wonderful goal, and I feel kind of the same way as you do. We’ve got several collaborators from great universities across the nation. We have some collaborators in Cambodia, and we’re exploring and discovering so many things. It’s hard to share all of this through an email, right? Like keeping in touch or an infrequent Zoom meeting. And so I hope this podcast can be a place to keep everyone in the loop. I think it’ll be interesting for people outside of this research to explore and get ideas and inspiration to for what they’re working on.

[00:05:13.990] – Christian Pearson
Yeah, I agree.

[00:05:15.260] – Ben Beck
So, the last question I have for you, what are the expectations of this podcast? What do you really expect the format, the progress of this podcast to be over time?

[00:05:29.610] – Christian Pearson
So, in preparation for this podcast, I have done some research, and I’ve done a little listening to some notable podcasts myself. I think that what I expect this podcast to be, I think it’s going to be more episode like. So we’ll probably release an episode here and there. And ultimately, I think it’s going to be very conversational right. I do hope that we can bring on some experts that are invested in what we’re doing in corporate social responsibility in Southeast Asia, in Cambodia specifically, and other themes and topics that we’ll bring up in the future. But I do hope that we have the opportunity through this podcast to really meet some great people and hear what they have to say. Because I really am a believer in the fact that I don’t actually know all that much, but other people do. And when we bring them together, when we bring people together through inside the Cambodia project, hopefully that will be a way that we can inspire listeners and other people in our lives to make the world a better place.

[00:06:45.150] – Ben Beck
That’s great. I think those are good goals, good expectations for the podcast. I know I said that was my last question, but I’m going to hit you with another one. So for those that are listening, Christian is a student at Brigham Young University. He’s a research scholar in his own right already, but he’s also a world traveler. And that’s one thing that interested in me first working with him on this research is that he has good international experience. So thinking of your most recent trip, was it Taiwan?

[00:07:17.140] – Christian Pearson
Yeah, I went to Taipei.

[00:07:19.040] – Ben Beck
What was something interesting that occurred there? What was a fun or interesting eye opening moment for you?

[00:07:25.140] – Christian Pearson
Okay, well, I’ve already told you about this a little bit, but honestly, one of the biggest culture shocks going to Taipei and Taiwan was the food. And I feel kind of stereotypical, and I hope it doesn’t come off that way. But I know everyone always says, oh, the food in Asia is so different. It really is, though. And I don’t think we understand. It’s just a palette.

[00:07:50.290] – Ben Beck
It’s not panda Express, then?

[00:07:51.670] – Christian Pearson
No, it’s not Panda Express. It’s not Bf Chang’s. It is so different than that. And one of the weirdest things to me was our hotel, right? I expected there to be a nice continental breakfast because it was a nice hotel. And it doesn’t matter where you go, usually the breakfast is like that one. There’s those comfort foods that we as Americans crave, right? We look for the eggs and the bacon and the pancakes and your toast. None of that. I’m not even kidding. None of that was there when I woke up my first morning in Taiwan. Instead, we had rice. There was jellyfish, fish, red bean paste, steamed buns, all sorts of things, but nothing that was even remotely familiar. The only eggs they had were actually hard boiled in tea. They’re called tea eggs, and they were pretty good. And I’m not going to lie. Like I said, it was a culture shock. But I do just want to say that as I continue to travel, one of the best parts of traveling is getting to know the people, right? And I feel like something that maybe people that go on vacations don’t really get to fully experience is knowing the people by knowing their culture, right?

[00:09:23.160] – Christian Pearson
Knowing the foods they eat, the places they actually go shopping, things like that. Things you wouldn’t see when you go to a resort or you go to Disneyland in Paris, France or something like that. It’s really living like the locals live. That’s my favorite part of traveling, is seeing how they live and being able to kind of see the world through their eyes. I know I can’t remember who it was, but someone talked about how, don’t give me a man who’s read all the books, give me a man who’s traveled. And that’s the kind of person I want to talk about because I feel like a well traveled person is a well educated one.

[00:10:05.190] – Ben Beck
That’s such a good perspective. Thank you, Christian, for your time. Thank you for letting me interview you this one time.

[00:10:12.280] – Christian Pearson
Of course.

[00:10:12.820] – Ben Beck
I really appreciate you hosting this podcast as well. Thank you.