Qatar Foundation’s Doha Debates Course Correction podcast launched its second season with a series of weekly episodes examining polarising issues ranging from lockdown politics to reparations to “cancel culture”, with programme host Nelufar Hedayat having bridge-building conversations with people she disagrees with.

Each episode addresses one polarising issue, and Hedayat will engage with people whose opinions are very different from her own — and try to keep an open mind. In addition to these challenging conversations, Hedayat works to understand the wider context of divisive issues by engaging with activists, authors, scientists, and even a former head of state, identifying solutions and bridging gaps for herself and for listeners.

Hedayat’s Course Correction guests include a speaker described as the “godfather of fake news”, a Swedish doctor who opposed pandemic lockdowns, and a lawmaker with strong views on what can constitute feminism.

In each podcast episode, Hedayat strives to identify solutions and overcome differences on divisive issues such as pandemic politics and the limits of free speech.

The 12-episode second season of Course Correction follows last year’s debut season, which attracted a quarter of a million downloads in 206 nations and territories.

Hedayat said that the series provides bridge-building tips for all its listeners. “For me, making Course Correction season two has been a thought-provoking experience in which I’ve sat across from people that I fundamentally disagree with—and even find hard to stomach.

“Yet I take a deep breath and I open myself up to the opportunity of learning, to at least see what they see. It’s very much a muscle I’m learning to strengthen and flex,” she said.

This season of Course Correction is produced by Doha Debates with production assistance from Foreign Policy magazine.

Amjad Atallah, managing director of Doha Debates, said, “This new season of Course Correction tackles polarisation itself across a multitude of issues in unique, compelling ways. These podcast episodes are enlightening and engrossing, regardless of where you stand, made all the better with the production and promotional support provided by our partners at Foreign Policy.”

New Course Correction episodes will be released every Wednesday over the next 11 weeks.

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