Ahead of Our Time is a new weekly podcast featuring interviews with the leaders and rebels of today who are mastering the skills of tomorrow. Guests include game-changers in social transformation, conflict resolution, artificial intelligence, comedy, and more. Every week, guests will answer questions about our future: what skills do we need to survive and thrive in the coming decades? How do some people rise above the rest to achieve great things? And, most importantly, how can we live meaningful lives in a rapidly changing world? Ahead of Our Time is hosted by Ben Olsen, an expert and educator in 21st-century skills. Listen and subscribe on iTunes and SoundCloud.

Our Host

Ben Olsen is obsessed with the skills of the future. Before big data was big, Ben was teaching and innovating in analytics by blending disciplines like philosophy, communication, design, and computer science, while peering into what’s next in data and technology. With thousands of students around the world in his online and in-person courses and his constant focus on how we’ll live and work in tomorrow’s world, Ben’s conversations invite us to hear from our leaders and rebels of today with a breadth and depth beyond category or industry.

Ben is an educator in 21st-century skills, jobs, and employability at Microsoft. Prior to Microsoft, Ben founded and directed analytics practices at multiple consulting firms, where he also held critical leadership and engineering roles in companies as diverse as Juniper Networks, Costco, and T-Mobile. He is also a partner at the digital agency, Fizzy Inc, as well as a member-investor at Seattle Angel Fund. He has created multiple MOOCs through Microsoft’s partnership with edX, including Analytics Storytelling for Impact and Ethics and Law in Analytics and AI.

He taught Data Visualization at The University of Washington, and recently taught a 6-month graduate program on data science through Seattle Pacific University. He has spoken across the United States on all aspects of analytics and has delivered keynote addresses for organizations as diverse as TDWI and Apra. Ben blogs on LinkedIn, where he’s written articles on Storytelling, Leadership, Decision-Making, and more.