Curious Minds: Innovation in Life and Work show

Curious Minds: Innovation in Life and Work

Summary: Learn from inspiring innovators who are rethinking life and work in a changing world. Each week, Gayle Allen discovers how these entrepreneurs, writers, scientists and inventors, achieve their most fascinating and inspiring breakthroughs. Have fun taking a peek into their Curious Minds!

Join Now to Subscribe to this Podcast


 CM 079: Jennifer Mueller on Leading Creative Change | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 46:30

Think we want creative ideas? Think again. While most of us are swimming in creative ideas, the research shows that we tend to go with what we already know. This love-hate relationship with creativity discourages innovation and causes people and organizations to stagnate. Jennifer Mueller, author of the book Creative Change: Why We Resist It . . . How We Can Embrace It, has spent years studying how leaders and organizations handle creative change. She understands why we resist creativity and how to recognize this tendency. She also gives us strategies for promoting creativity in our organizations and for pitching our creative ideas. Jennifer is an Associate Professor at the University of San Diego, and she has served on the business school faculty of Wharton, Yale, and NYU. Her work has been featured in The Atlantic, Fast Company, the Wall Street Journal, and Harvard Business Review. In this interview, we discuss: How our discomfort with uncertainty can cause us to kill creative ideas How generating creative ideas is easier than moving ahead with them The novelty of creative ideas is what makes them so difficult to accept How leaders really want ways to determine which creative ideas have value, not more creative ideas Why it is hard for leaders to admit they do not know whether a creative idea has value We prize correct solutions over a creative ones because of the uncertainty involved How creativity is uncertainty unleashed in a particular moment Why a how-best mindset limits our ability to stay open to creative ideas What a bias against creativity looks like and how we can reduce it Whether we are rejecting a creative idea or how it makes us feel and why this matters Why a successful medical inventor avoids using the term incubator for his startups Why we should treat innovation like a process rather than an outcome How coaching and encouraging trumps teaching when it comes to creative ideas How and why we need to evaluate creative ideas differently from other kinds of ideas How strength in decision-making works against being open to creative ideas Why the ways we communicate creative ideas makes all the difference The important role pattern matching plays in connecting experts to our creative ideas How convincing others of our creative ideas may mean helping them feel failure How pointing out that no one else is doing it as a way of supporting our creative ideas actually reinforces the status quo Why we need to broaden how we think of creativity in schools Why millennials are more anxious about creativity and less motivated to elaborate on creative ideas than previous generations How little we actually know about who has the potential for successful leadership and how this limits creativity in organizations Key skills leaders need to learn and demonstrate to support creative change How any new idea needs to be socialized before it can live in an organization What change circles are and the important role they play in supporting innovators How strengthening our capacity for creative change allows us to solve global problems Links to Topics Mentioned in this Podcast @JennSMueller Thomas J. Fogarty Spencer Silver

 CM 078: Scott Sonenshein on Succeeding With Less | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 33:55

Why do some succeed with so little, while others fail with so much? Scott Sonenshein, author of the book, Stretch: Unlock the Power of Less and Achieve More than You Ever Imagined, thinks it happens because we get caught up in a mindset of chasing. A Professor of Management at Rice University, Scott is also a strategy consultant for organizations in healthcare, education, manufacturing, and technology. Drawing on research from psychology and management, Scott makes a case for doing more with less, what he calls stretching with what you have — and it is a far cry from being cheap or refusing ever to spend. In this interview, we talk about: How waiting for the perfect tool gives us an excuse to delay working on our goals Why chasing after resources can cause us to get caught up in destructive comparisons Looking beyond the conventional uses for a particular resource and why that matters How reflecting on scarcity can help us get more out of the resources we already have How a mindset and culture of ownership lets us solve problems more creatively How stretching with the resources we have is a skill we can teach and learn How a culture of belief in people to solve problems creatively makes all the difference Why stretching is a far cry from being cheap and more about being frugal Why more expertise, knowledge, and practice does not equal greater problem solving How we approach problems more narrowly when we look only for expertise How and why outsiders bring a fresh perspective to problem solving Ways we can cultivate an outsider perspective in ourselves How, when we overplan, we count on a world that may or may not exist Why, in turbulent environments, successful organizations are both fast and accurate The power of running lots of small experiments to learn How we can leap without looking by doing and gathering data without learning from it How sticking to our plans at any cost can work against our own best interests The creativity the comes from unthinkable combinations How stretching makes a difference in how we live our lives Links to Topics Mentioned in this Podcast @ScottSonenshein Not Impossible by Mick Ebeling Ron Johnson If you enjoy the podcast, please rate and review it on iTunes – your ratings make all the difference. For automatic delivery of new episodes, be sure to subscribe. As always, thanks for listening! Thank you to Emmy-award-winning Creative Director Vanida Vae for designing the Curious Minds logo, and thank you to Rob Mancabelli for all of his production expertise! LinkedIn @GAllenTC

 CM 077: Emily Esfahani Smith on Creating a Meaningful Life | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 38:40

Research shows that happiness is elusive. So how can we achieve a deeper, longer lasting sense of joy? Emily Esfahani Smith, author of the book, The Power of Meaning: Crafting a Life that Matters, studies the powerful distinction between meaning and happiness and why it matters. An editor at the Hoover Institution, a policy think tank at Stanford University, and a columnist for The New Criterion, her writing  has also been featured in the Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, and the New York Times. Her research reveals four pillars, or themes, associated with meaning. The stronger these pillars are in our lives, the more meaningful our lives will be. In this interview, we talk about: Why we should strive for meaning over happiness How meaning helps us think longer term The fact that meaning helps us connect to something larger than ourselves The four themes of meaning — belonging, purpose, storytelling, and transcendence Why belonging is the most important pillar of meaning How belonging helps us see how we matter, helps us feel valued, respected, cared for Why purpose is all about what we can contribute to others How the story we tell about our lives is a way of crafting our identities How transcendence helps us connect to something larger than ourselves How we can help each other have a healthy sense of belonging at work through the social cues that we send, like making eye contact and smiling How purpose and belonging overlap when we become more focused on service Why we need to act on our talents and strengths to recognize our purpose Narrative identity arises from the stories we tell about our lives and our experiences We have agency in shaping the story of our lives in ways that help us move forward Paying attention to our current future selves – who we want to become How astronauts rethink their values and their ambitions as a result awe experiences What growing up in a Sufi household taught Emily about meaning vs happiness Links to Topics Mentioned in this Podcast @EmEsfahaniSmith The New Criterion The Hoover Institution Pursuing Pleasure or Virtue by Veronika Huta and Richard M. Ryan Shawn Achor The Gratitude Diaries by Janice Kaplan Carlos Eire Jeffrey S. Ashby Sufism Rumi Whirling Dervish If you enjoy the podcast, please rate and review it on iTunes – your ratings make all the difference. For automatic delivery of new episodes, be sure to subscribe. As always, thanks for listening! Thank you to Emmy-award-winning Creative Director ...

 CM 076: Lisa Feldman Barrett on Rethinking Our Emotions | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 45:55

When we get angry or excited, our emotions can seem automatic. But are they? For decades, scientists have described these feelings as hardwired, beyond our control, and associated with certain parts of the brain. But recent breakthroughs in neuroscience and psychology are upending this classical view, with revolutionary implications for how we understand ourselves and the world. In her book, How Emotions are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain, Lisa Feldman Barrett, a Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Northeastern University with appointments at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, helps us rethink what it means to be human, with repercussions for parenting, our legal system, and even our health. Lisa received an NIH Directors Pioneer Award for her groundbreaking research on emotion in the brain and has been studying human emotion for over 20 years. In this interview, we talk about: The fact that our emotions are not hardwired but are made by our brains as we need them Old, inaccurate ways of thinking about emotions and the brain, like emotions as associated with specific parts of the brain How variety is the norm when it comes to expressing and feeling emotions How having emotional granularity helps us feel, express, and understand our own and others emotions more deeply The fact that our brains are not reacting but rather are predicting and constantly guessing what will happen next based on past experiences How the predictions our brains make, based on past experience, yield the thoughts, perceptions, emotions, and beliefs we hold and feel How the brain of a baby is awaiting instructions for how to wire itself by capturing experiences it can draw on in the future How baby brains look very different from adult brains because they have not yet had the experiences an adult has had How our present and future selves are conjured from our past The fact that our emotions are not universal or identical by have variations and shades based on the situation How we actually have not one anger but many angers and happinesses and so on Why we must have knowledge of an emotion in order to experience it How the easiest way to gain knowledge of an emotion is through emotion words How an extensive emotion vocabulary benefits us socially and academically and helps us see varied emotions in other people, gives us greater empathy The fact that we can combine past experiences in brand new ways to create new knowledge if we have not yet had those actual experiences The fact that emotions are abstract concepts rather than physical properties and that they can guide us toward a particular goal of say using anger to overcome an obstacle If a tree falls in a forest and no human is there does it make a sound? No! If we have no concept of a tree then we would not hear the sound of it falling in a forest. Why we cannot understand unfamiliar languages or music How our brain is constantly anticipating sights, sounds, tastes and taking in information from the world and our bodies based on past experience How granularity in color perception is similar to what it means to have emotional granularity Why staying physically healthy is tied to being emotionally healthy How awe experiences help us gain perspective and regulate our physical and emotional health

 CM 075: Andy Molinsky on Overcoming Your Fears | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 29:30

Do successful people possess talents that we lack? Or do they just do things that scare the rest of us? Andy Molinsky wants to help us embrace difficult challenges that can lead to growth. He is the author of the book, Reach: A New Strategy to Help You Step Outside Your Comfort Zone, Rise to the Challenge, and Build Confidence, and a Professor of Psychology and Organizational Behavior at Brandeis International Business School. Andy has spent his career studying how people learn to have difficult conversations, take on new roles, overcome shyness, and achieve the success they crave. He often writes on this topic for Harvard Business Review, The New York Times, Fast Company, The Economist and The Financial Times. In this interview, we talk about: Concrete steps you can take to step outside your comfort zone The connections Andy made between what immigrants face and what we all face when we enter a new, challenging situation How so much of learning new things and taking on new, stimulating challenges is about stepping outside our comfort zones What we gain by stepping outside our comfort zones Why it is about everyday acts of courage, like making smalltalk with supervisors, speaking up at meetings, connecting with someone who holds a different point of view How reaching helps us grow and advance in our lives and jobs to take on new roles, achieve goals and dreams, and help others The techniques we use to avoid reaching, like playing the avoidance game The excuses we make when we try to avoid reaching and how they harm us How perfectionists can avoid reaching The important role scaffolding plays as we take on new challenges and opportunities How we can customize or personalize aspects of a situation to feel more empowered The props, behaviors, costumes, and poses we can employ when we reach How fear is about trying to predict the future rather than living in the present How reaching is so often a process of self discovery The epiphanies we have when we reach — easier than we thought and better than we imagined we would be How a friend or colleague can remind us of how well we did the last time we reached in this way Why sticking with it when things get hard means all the difference How we can build small wins into our plan to help us gain perspective and resilience Why reaching is really about learning, not failure Why it is all about adopting a learning orientation How keeping a diary can help us track our learning journey Why reaching is about much more than taking a leap — it includes planning, practicing, trying out tools and techniques The fact that we are not alone when we feel uncomfortable reaching — most of us feel this way How so many of us feel like imposters when we reach Links to Topics Mentioned in this Podcast @AndyMolinsky Global Dexterity by Andy Molinsky Emotional Agility by Susan David Lev Vygotsky Carol Dweck If you enjoy the podcast, please rate and review it on iTunes – your rat...

 CM 074: Lisa Kay Solomon On Designing Strategic Conversations | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 37:16

Leaders face an onslaught of new challenges that demand increasingly innovative solutions. Yet their approaches to finding them often get stuck in either blue-sky brainstorming or bottom-line decision making. Instead, leaders need a path that blends these two approaches — a middle road that engages not only the minds of their teams, but also their hearts. To address these challenges, Lisa Kay Solomon co-authored the book, Moments of Impact: How to Design Strategic Conversations that Accelerate Change. Lisa is an innovation, leadership, and design expert and Principal Faculty and Managing Director of Transformational Practices at Singularity University. Her writing has been featured in BusinessWeek, the Wall Street Journal, and Forbes. In this interview, we talk about: Why we need to bring the human side — our hearts and minds — to strategic conversations How designing strategic conversations is an important leadership skill How strategic conversations differ from brainstorming and decision making Why strategic conversations are about more than getting the right answer Why these kinds of conversations are about the future of our organizations, of challenging the status quo, and of multiple perspectives, whether that involves new products and services, entry into new geographic regions, new business models, or new ways of staffing How strategic conversations can help us build understanding and help us see what success looks like The power of staying in the exploration space, staying expansive in our thinking Why these conversations are about mindsets, emotions, new ways of thinking, and new possibilities versus logic, right over wrong, or defending particular points of view Why strategic conversations require leaders to develop greater self-awareness and an understanding of their biases Why strategy is emotional How our education and schooling tees us up to think of strategic planning as all about the correct, numeric answer The important role design thinking, empathy, and supposed soft skills play in strategic conversations Why designing strategic conversations is a craft, not a crapshoot The importance of engaging multiple perspectives rather than just identifying participants — paying attention to diverse ages, people outside the organization, visualizations, etc Why we should prepare participants before bringing them together, so that we set them up for success How background readings, information on who else will be in the room, meeting goals, etc, can help participants do their best work Why we want to design backwards when bringing people together for strategic conversations The importance of asking what participants will be thinking or saying to friends before, during, and after strategic planning meetings Why framing the issue of the strategic conversation is so important and so challenging How framing the issue is like providing the picture on the puzzle box because it is about setting the parameters How we can reframe discussions of market competitors by asking who is delivering value in new ways to our customers Why a school considering adding a high school asked should we do it versus can we do it Why leaders need to get comfortable bringing emotion into the room How setting the agenda is about making it an experience, getting people invested, and engaging emotionally, rather than just about getting things done Why we should value discussing our fears, what we care about, and what makes us nervous about the issues we are discussing

 CM 073: Joi Ito on Navigating Our Faster Future | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 48:31

How can we stay on top of changes that are not only getting faster, but more complex? We need strategies to take advantage of breakthroughs in fields as diverse as data mining, artificial intelligence and machine learning, since they are changing the ways we work, research, and live. To navigate this change, Joi Ito, Director of the MIT Media Lab and author of Whiplash, shares insights from research at the Lab and offers us nine strategies for surviving our faster future. In this interview, he does a deep dive on creative problem solving, teams, diversity, and learning. He talks about: How the Media Lab got started and the current focus of its work The importance of the white space between and beyond disciplines How the Media Lab has shifted from operating as a container to operating as a node How neuroscientist Ed Boyden embodies the multi-disciplinary approach of the Lab How pull over push problem solving is about finding and using the resources you need when you need them How the 2011 Japanese earthquake became a focal point for pull over push problem solving The power of diverse teams – and diverse tools – for creative problem solving The sweet spot of disagreement and diversity among productive teams When it comes to diversity, why we need to ask, are we looking to the other or just another? How innovative cybersecurity folks are designing systems that assume failure rather than seeking to avoid it and how this is about resilience over strength Why we need to think about the interaction among objects – the systems in which they operate – in order to innovate for greater success The role nuance and complexity play in thinking about open source How machine learning and artificial intelligence are impacting fields like cryptocurrency and genetic engineering The fact that policies and regulations are behind where machine learning and artificial intelligence are taking us Why lawyers need to learn more about tech and scientists need to learn more about ethical and legal issues Kevin Esvelt and his work at the Media Lab in genetic engineering and his focus on responsible ways of deploying these tools in conjunction with everyday citizens Why we cannot wait on ethicists and policymakers but must get scientists on board instead How our education system is the opposite of what robots and artificial intelligence are ensuring we need when it comes to creativity and innovation Why the Media Lab emphasizes the 4Ps of play, passion, projects, and peers and how that differs markedly from what U.S. schools are about Why our education system and our schools need to be as dynamic and open to change as the fields that will have the greatest impact on us and them How we might look to the ed system in Finland regarding assessment and project-based learning The value of the Montessori approach The value of looking at countries like India and others where they are experimenting with schools and learning The power of informal, interest-driven learning Why we should be spending more time on getting people engaged in their learning Why he believes learning is a social and cultural problem, not a tech problem, and why we need to create a culture of learning How he thought programming and coding would be more about mindset and creativity than employment Why he believes we need to nudge human-machine interactions in the right direction Links to Topics Mentioned in this Podcast @Joi

 CM 072: Bill Taylor on Innovation in Everyday Organizations | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 49:31

Can extraordinary innovation happen in ordinary organizations? Yes, if you know how. In his latest book, Simply Brilliant: How Great Organizations Do Ordinary Things in Extraordinary Ways, Bill Taylor shines a spotlight on innovation in organizations such as banks, fast-food joints, and nonprofits. And he shares how they do it. Co-founder of Fast Company and bestselling author of the books, Practically Radical and Mavericks at Work, Bill has written for the NYTimes, the Guardian, and Harvard Business Review, and he blogs regularly for HBR. In this interview, he talks about: How Silicon Valley companies make up less than 10 percent of businesses How having a compelling lighthouse identity helps ordinary organizations stand out The 4 key elements of a lighthouse identity What it looks like when innovation meets the ordinary world of banking The fact that we want to do business with companies and brands that are fun Why being ordinary is not an option for every day organizations How an investor seeks out missionary over mercenary businesses The role teaching and psychology play in a fast-food standout What happens when leaders read and discuss books together Why an every day company requires its leaders to teach What it looks like when company expansion is driven by employee growth How big and rapid growth can decrease what makes a young organization so special The incredible role thought leadership plays in extraordinary organizations What Bill learned by spending a training day with employees from Quicken Loans How being bold, exciting and compelling in the marketplace requires we be that way in the workplace How the most successful organizations prioritize ideas and people Steps experts can take to see their work with fresh eyes What jazz can teach leaders about provocative competence What it takes to find our next ideas and why that is more important than ever How a wildly successful company prioritized learning to get unstuck Needing to ask: When is the last time you did something for the first time? Why we need to spend less time being interesting and more time being interested How being interested is about seeking out big ideas and small sources of inspiration Needing to ask: Am I learning as fast as the world is changing? Why the future is shaped by tough-minded optimists The importance of asking how to help more people benefit from the wealth of the few Links to Topics Mentioned in this Podcast @williamctaylor Metro Banks Willy Wonka John Doerr of KPKB Pals Sudden Service Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award The Art of Sun Tzu The Innovation Formula by Amantha Imber

 CM 071: Ibram Kendi on Rethinking Racist Ideas in America | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 39:45

Innovators often invent the future and some do so by rethinking the past. For example, innovative historical researchers not only help us understand what happened yesterday, they improve how we respond to those issues today. Ibram Kendi is one of those researchers. In his book, Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, he uncovers the history of racist ideas in America. A Professor of African American History at the University of Florida and winner of the 2016 National Book Award, his research reveals that racist policies fuel ignorance and hate, rather than the other way around. His findings challenge what many of us were taught to believe about racism in America today and the strategies we use to address it. Highlights from our conversation include: How racist ideas stem from racist policies that reinforce power structures History shows that 200+ years of educating and persuading away racism has been less impactful than eliminating racist policies How uplift suasion has worked against blacks by making them believe they are responsible for the racist ideas of others Why there is a very real mutual interest in working against racism, sexism, homophobia, and poverty to eliminate one and all of these isms How eliminating racist policies and disparities are key to eliminating racist ideas The fact that racist ideas connote racial hierarchy while anti-racist ideas connote racial equality How misleading statistics and unscientific approaches reinforce negative stereotypes around predominantly black neighborhoods How the academic achievement gap is a racist idea Three perspectives on our ongoing historical debate on race – segregationism, anti-racism, assimilation – and what they mean for blacks How W.E.B DuBois helped us recognize that black striving for suasion and uplift maintains false notions of black inferiority How Angela Davis taught us about the complexities of our identities in terms of gender, race, class, sex, age, etc How scientific racism served to reinforce notions of black inferiority How even after scientific racism was disproven by biologists and geneticists those in power wanted to fixate on any tiny percentage of difference to reinforce superiority How the debates we are having today about race are not new and are informed by a long history of racist policies in the US that allow those in power to argue that blacks are inferior How the US government sought to use deportation to evict freed slaves Links to Topics Mentioned in this Podcast @DrIbram Jefferson Davis Weapons of Math Destruction by Cathy ONeil How the Academic Achievement Gap is a Racist Idea by Ibram Kendi Cotton Mather Thomas Jefferson William Lloyd Garrison W. E. B. DuBois Double consciousness Angela Davis

 CM 070: Francesca Gino on the Benefits of Nonconformity at Work | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 36:21

Employee engagement is at an all-time low, but why? Francesca Gino, an expert on employee engagement and productivity, advises that if we do only one thing to fix it, we should encourage our employees to stop conforming and be themselves. When she and members of her research team introduced small interventions that encouraged people to be more authentic, the results were dramatic. Francesca is a Professor at Harvard Business School and author of the recent Harvard Business Review article, Fostering Rebel Talent at Work. She has won numerous awards for her work in psychology and management, and her research has been featured in publications like The Economist, The New York Times, and Scientific American. She is also author of the book, Sidetracked. Highlights from our conversation include: Why being ourselves at work increases engagement, creativity, and productivity How authenticity at work increases employee engagement and retention How opportunities to reflect on our strengths and unique qualities as early as onboarding increase our engagement and desire to stay on Why engagement goes up when we ask employees to share strengths during onboarding Concrete ways to encourage new employees to add to organizational culture How reflecting on who we are increases happiness and engagement Simple ways we can be authentic at work without waiting for permission The importance of asking why we do things this way How an award-winning chef helps his employees be authentic at work How it takes courage to be authentic and why it breeds success How leaders can model non-conformity for their employees What leaders can say to encourage employees to voice dissent How leaders can make clear when conformity is the rule The one quality a high-powered search firm seeks in candidates above all others How curious people can be better decision makers and creatives Why asking people to read a variety of books may hold the key to fostering creativity How her own experience coming to the U.S. from Italy led her to the research she does That rebel talent is something we can learn to embrace and cultivate How leaders can start small to help their employees be themselves at work Links to Topics Mentioned in this Podcast @francescagino 360-degree feedback HBR The Conversational Firm by Catherine Turco Massimo Bottura and Osteria Francescana elBulli Mellody Hobson and Ariel Investment Egon Zehnder Pixar and Ed Catmull IDEO If you enjoy the podcast, please rate and review it on iTunes – your ratings make all the difference. For automatic delivery of new episodes, be sure to

 CM 069: Lipson and Kurman on Our Driverless Future | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 35:46

Self-driving cars are just around the corner. Are you ready? With the advent of machine learning and related tech, autonomous cars are more technologically mature than most of us think. Yet old-school policies and regulations are lagging behind, making it difficult for large scale adoption to take place. Essentially, driverless tech has become a people, rather than a technology, problem. To help us sort out the complicated landscape on our horizon, Hod Lipson and Melba Kurman wrote the book, Driverless: Intelligent Cars and the Road Ahead. Lipson, a roboticist at Columbia University who specializes in artificial intelligence and digital manufacturing, and Kurman, an expert on the impact of technology on the economy and our daily lives, lay out the advances in technology that got us here and the benefits and challenges that lie ahead. Highlights from our interview include: The staggering number of lives self-driving cars will save How the maturity of driverless tech has outpaced updates to policies and regulations How traditional models of car insurance do not hold up to what autonomous cars require How a safety standard comparing driverless tech to humans is key How driverless tech can reduce noise and idling pollution Ways parking spaces and garages can be repurposed with fewer cars on the road The fact that city planners are focusing on public transportation and neglecting driverless tech and its impact on transportation budgets The important safety challenge of an incremental versus an all-out shift to driverless tech How driverless tech is now able to out-perceive humans at the wheel The role DARPA played in advancing driverless accelerating driverless tech How a shift from rules-based to machine learning birthed driverless car tech How sensors and software feed information to driverless cars How a combination of sensors and software help driverless tech overcome individual vulnerabilities in tech How gaming software held the key to advancing driverless tech The role ImageNet played in advancing image perception needed for driverless cars The fact that deep learning includes machines learning what we may not have words for Why we need to be talking about the impact of driverless tech on jobs How driverless tech can reduce isolation and increase mobility for the elderly and visually impaired How networked driverless cars can amass thousands of lifetimes of experience very quickly as they learn from one another in ways humans cannot How the shift to self-driving cars is less about the tech and more about the human issues of policies and regulations How driverless tech will usher in new businesses we cannot even imagine or predict Links to Topics Mentioned in this Podcast Creative Machines Lab at Columbia University DARPA Grand Challenge The Grid by Gretchen Bakke Lidar GPUs ImageNet Deep learning Qualia If you enjoy the podcast, please rate and review it on iTunes – your ratings make a...

 CM 068: Michelle Segar on Exercise for Life | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 34:35

If you struggle with exercise, Michelle Segar has a secret for you: Stop blaming yourself! Blame the system! After years of studying the science of motivation, Michelle Segar, Ph.D., Director of SHARP — the Sport, Health, and Activity research and policy center at the University of Michigan — has created a framework for rethinking exercise that swaps out prescription for meaning. Filled with practical tips and strategies, Michelle’s bestselling book, No Sweat: How the Simple Science of Motivation Can Bring You a Lifetime of Fitness, is informed by years of putting these findings into practice with people just like you. Some of the things we discuss in this interview: How systems determine our success in sustaining physical activity Why exercise is about so much more than weight loss Why finding the right whys make all the difference in our health and wellness How reflecting on how we feel when we move can help us sustain activity Why relying on willpower is such a short-sighted strategy The important role of emotions and decision making in activity for life Why meaning trumps should every time when it comes to changing our behaviors How we approach eating following a workout we enjoy versus a workout like work How exercise recommendations became so prescriptive Fewer than 1 percent of American adults know how much exercise is recommended How small of a role logical and rational behavior play in our choosing to exercise Why we need a new kind of fitness prescription based on how we live and feel How we help others when we prioritize our self care How a go-to activity resource prevents us from wasting time and energy Why reflecting on the immediate benefits of physical exercise fuels us long term The importance of finding exercise we love Getting past the idea that movement only counts when we sustain it for periods of time How awareness of our current situation empowers us to take ownership for what we want it to be Why negotiation skills can reap big benefits in helping us create time for physical activity Links to Topics Mentioned in this Podcast @MichelleSegar Paulo Freire Dan Ariely Behavioral economics Reward Substitution Self-determination theory No Sweat Resolutions Quiz 2015 USA Best Book Awards SHARP at the University of Michigan If you enjoy the podcast, please rate and review it on iTunes – your ratings make all the difference. For automatic delivery of new episodes, be sure to subscribe. As always, thanks for listening! Thank you to Emmy-award-winning Creative Director Vanida Vae for designing the

 CM 067: Mick Ebeling on Achieving the Impossible | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 30:13

Have you ever felt powerless to improve the lives of those less fortunate than you? Mick Ebeling believes that the key to helping many is to start by helping just one. He shares details and examples of this in his book, Not Impossible, The Art and Joy of Doing What Couldn’t be Done. Mick explains that through this philosophy, we not only solve an immediate problem, but we also learn more about what else we can do. Thought leader, speaker, and founder of Not Impossible, Mick and his team are crowdsourcing solutions through tech to help people around the globe. Along the way, he is helping us to see how powerful each one of us is to create change in the world. Here are some of the things that came up in our conversation: How it all started when Mick connected with LA graffiti artist Tony Quan The value he places on tech to meet human and social needs The power of committing first and then figuring it out – where it leads The important role diverse team members play in solving real-world problems How taking the time to see others in your world can lead to incredible change After 7 years with ALS Tony got to draw and communicate again with the Eyewriter What happened when Tony could no longer blink? He used brain waves. The inspiring story of 3D printing and Project Daniel The story behind the powerful quote  to preach always and when necessary, use words How Mick wound up taking charge on printing out 3D limbs What we learn and the impact we can have when we help start by helping one person How he got to his philosophy of helping one to help many Why his organization strives to keep innovative tech prices low How emotion plays a key role in determining which projects to take on The role of inspiring stories in picking projects and spreading the words How we do not need expertise to effect change in the world Ask why something needs to happen rather than how – why that is key Every single thing that surrounds us today was once impossible How not knowing what you cannot do is so freeing Important Links @MickEbeling Mick Ebeling TED Talk Tony Tempt One Quan Time Magazine Top 25 Inventions EyeWriter Cameron Rodriguez Optical character technology Open source The BrainWriter Consumer EEG Devices Project Daniel Dr. Tom Catena Richard Van As Maker Faire Gait Trainer If you enjoy the podcast, please rate and review it on iTunes – your ratings ma...

 CM 066: Cathy O’Neil on the Human Cost of Big Data | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 37:20

Algorithms make millions of decisions about us every day. For example, they determine our insurance premiums, whether we get a mortgage, and how we perform on the job. Yet, what is more alarming is that data scientists also write the code that fires good teachers, drives up the cost of college degrees and lets criminals evade detection. Their mathematical models are biased in ways that wreak deep and lasting havoc on people, especially the poor. Cathy O’Neil explains all this and more in her book, Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy. Cathy earned a Ph.D. in mathematics from Harvard, taught at Barnard College, and worked in the private sector as a data scientist. She shares her ideas on the blog and appears weekly on the Slate Money podcast. Here are some of the things that came up in our conversation: The shame she felt as a data scientist working for a hedge fund during the financial crisis How most of us trust and fear math to the point where we stop asking questions How a faulty algorithm cost a high-performing teacher her job How value-added models of evaluation miss the mark How a mathematical model is nothing more than an automated set of rules The fact that every mathematical model has built-in blindspots What is hard to measure typically does not get included in an algorithm The cost to colleges and applications of leaving price out of college ranking algorithms Crime prediction models can fail because of incomplete data The big error in the findings of A National at Risk report and how we still pay for it How poverty lies at the heart of the achievement gap What allows big data to profile people efficiently and effectively Where we may be headed with individual insurance costs because of big data Why we need rules to ensure fairness when it comes to health insurance algorithms Data scientists have become de facto policy makers and that is a problem The set of questions all data scientists should be asking The fact that FB serves up an echo chamber of emotional content to hook us How data is just a tool to automate a system that we, as humans, must weigh in on Why healthy algorithms need feedback loops Why we have a problem when we cannot improve a model or reveal it as flawed Why we need to stop blindly trusting algorithms Questions we should be asking to demand accountability of algorithm designers Important Links @mathbabedotorg Sarah Wysocki U.S. News & World Report college ranking system PredPol Rise of the Robots by Martin Ford A Nation at Risk The Achievement Gap If you enjoy the podcast, please rate and review it on iTunes – your ratings make all the difference. For automatic delivery of new episodes,

 CM 065: Tim Wu on Reclaiming Our Attention | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 53:53

What is the hidden impact of constant demands on our attention? How does it affect how we think, how we act, and how we live? We have clickbait on our mobile devices and computer screens, ads on buses, and commercials on radio and TV. But as Tim Wu, author and Professor at Columbia University Law School points out, this is a fairly recent development that has turned into a constant monetization of our attention.    Tim is the author of three books: Who Controls the Internet?, The Master Switch, and most recently, The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads. He has written for the New Yorker, the Washington Post, Forbes, and Slate magazine. He points out that this constant barrage of messaging actually shapes who we are, often without our realizing it. Highlights from our conversation include: How does what we are exposed to determine what we decide? The connection between early war propaganda and the rise of advertising How the science of advertising was built on engineering demand Why early suffragettes were hired to sell cigarettes How the Paris poster period led to an early revolt against the attention merchants How Consumer Reports grew out of frustration with ads The original remote control took the shape of a gun to blow away commercials Bringing TVs into our homes meant attention merchants now had more access 1950s provided a captive prime time TV programming audience for advertisers How advertising convinces us that to be individuals we need to buy things How novelty and unpredictability makes things addictive How idealistic tech founders work against own values in reliance on ads Tech innovation of today focused more on getting inside our minds and featuring ads Why harvesting captures so well how our attention is sought and used How such a tiny sector of the economy has such a big impact on us and how we live How spending time with others is actually a revolt against advertising Where are the sacred spaces in our lives? What is the role of public virtue in decision making today? Selected Links to Topics Mentioned Tim Wu @superwuster William James Benjamin Day Herbert Kitchener George Washington Hill French Poster Period Singletasking by Devora Zack Timothy Leary Mad Men Coca-Cola Commercial Charlie Brown Christmas Special Space Invaders You’ve Got Mail Addiction by Design by Natasha Dow Sch...


Login or signup comment.