Own Your Power Over Tech

Own Your Power Over Tech

Evan Selinger is a philosophy professor and author focused on the unique intersection of philosophy, technology, and privacy law. His work, which includes co-authoring the book Re-Engineering Humanity, helps people wrap their minds around the implications of our relationships with technology—a vision of where we are today and where we’re going—and he hopes to create an optimal future for us and for the generations to come. In our conversation, Evan shares the “meta-skill” of world-building, including our fundamental abilities of choice (free will) and a salvo for us to be more thoughtful about when and how we outsource our humanity to technology. Throughout, he displays a judicious eye for the ways our thoughts and blind spots, actions and inaction, end up shaping our world—and he encourages us to pause. This pause can come in the form of a mindful moment (“breathing room”) or simply the consideration of the full, weighty context of social and technological issues at play.


Show Notes


Embrace Complexity

Embrace Complexity

Cities are magnificently complex, and Arun Jain’s interdisciplinary approach to urban design reveals how we can plan and craft our urban settlements without playing God. He urges us to embrace complexity in all its forms with measured confidence and a sense of humility, forming a pragmatic basis for us to strategically intervene in evolving urban and social systems that defy our ability to control them. Urban designers and planners address interrelated issues and opportunities, balancing how we learn, move, communicate, work, and play within the context of evolving man-made and natural systems. With over three decades of global experience, Arun has contemplated and contributed to these kinds of projects, comprising over $14 billion in investment.

Driven by the larger context in which our quality of urban life must improve, Arun’s work has included creating a national policy structure and ecology sensitive development tool for the island country of Palau and working across traditional professional silos to foster community enhancing synergies during his tenure as Portland, Oregon’s first Chief Urban Designer.

Arun speaks about capitalizing on what he calls nexus points, where they naturally occur during the evolution of cities, and the challenges around artificially inducing such positive societal pivots. He feels we can improve and adapt more efficiently and with greater sensitivity by creating frameworks, or “good bones” in communities and cities. He feels that imperfect and enduring cities are far more interesting than artificial constructions: reflective of life itself – messy and incomplete, yet always full of future potential, possibility, and hope. Cities like us, are always better as works in progress.


Show Notes


Anchor the Day

Anchor the Day

As a sought-after speaker, coach, and mindfulness teacher across the globe, Laurie Cameron offers a richly poetic perspective on anchoring our days to what matters in order to increase joy and alleviate suffering. She has dedicated over twenty years to the science and application of human flourishing and adult development—working at the intersection of emotional intelligence, positive psychology, compassion, and neuroscience—and recently authored The Mindful Day, published by National Geographic, which goes beyond meditation into important territory for creative thinking, innovation, storytelling, and executive leadership. In addition to speaking and writing, Laurie is the Founder and CEO of PurposeBlue, an organization that brings evidence-based mindful leadership programs to large companies, universities, and federal agencies. She has also received the Five Mindfulness Trainings in a quiet sunrise ceremony from Thich Nhat Hanh and was given the dharma name Fresh Lovingkindness of the Heart. Listen to our conversation for a wealth of life-giving insights: how we can enrich a hello or goodbye at work, what she calls “micro-connections,” leveraging metaphors and analogy to spark creativity, initiating calm in any situation, and more.


Show Notes


7 Future Skills for Everybody

7 Future Skills for Everybody

This special episode with Ben Olsen is like a reader’s digest of the past ten weeks of interviews, featuring seven key takeaways from conversations with leaders in business, psychology, activism, and human wellness. As diverse as their experiences are, what do they have in common? What habits propel them forward each day? What skills are they using to meet the future? Ben also offers a meditation on five interlocking principles for personal evolution and deeper connection, rich with insights from his own life.


Lead with Compassion

Lead with Compassion

Scott Shute is at the heart of LinkedIn‘s quest to create a culture of compassionate leadership, serving as VP of Global Customer Operations and Head of Mindfulness Programs. In both of his roles, Scott is working every day to align himself, his coworkers, and the company with a deeper understanding of member needs—and human needs in general—through data analysis, intentional listening, and swift action, in order to elevate LinkedIn’s collective wisdom and impact in the world. As a mindful leader, he has cultivated his mastery of meditation and awareness from his early days farming with his family in rural Kansas to leading thousands in meditation in Silicon Valley and beyond. Here we learn about the secret driver of his work and creative pursuits, including art photography and yoga, that is also the key to our happiness—with beautiful depth and a simple application that we can all put into practice.


Show Notes


Take Action for Equity

Take Action for Equity

Trish Millines Dziko is a loving force, and she’s fiercely wise in skills like cultural fluency and helping others become woke to systemic inequality in our educational pathways in the US. She is Co-founder and Executive Director of Seattle’s Technology Access Foundation (TAF), a successful and sustained experiment in holistically providing STEM education for students of color all the way from Kindergarten through post-high-school internships at tech companies in the area. TAF has been changing lives for over 20 years with tens of thousands of students and graduation rates that are among the best out there. Trish has made a career of busting down closed doors, being the first diversity officer at Microsoft and the first to create a public/not-for-profit partnership school in Washington State. Her mission is to energize whole generations to become co-conspirators in a truly equitable, creative, and loving future. Trish so embodies her mission to give true access to people of color that, like me, I think you’ll leave our conversation here full of hope, practical wisdom, and a sense of having been initiated into what she calls “The Work.”


Show Notes

  • Learn more about the Technology Access Foundation
  • TAF Presents a new podcast: This Is The Work on Apple Podcasts
  • Treehouse is a program that strives for a world where every child that has experienced foster care has the opportunities and support they need to pursue their dreams and become productive members of our community
  • A beautiful feature on David D. Harris, who is Startup Advocate for the City of Seattle after a five-year tenure as the STEM Program Manager at TAF Academy.
  • Read about the Refugee Women’s Alliance
  • Subscribe to The Plug, the first daily tech newsletter covering founders and innovators of color
  • Horn of Africa Services, a peer org of TAF, is a nonprofit that serves the East African immigrant and refugee community in Seattle


Go to the Movies

Go to the Movies

Valuing our cultural creations is a balancing act that requires wisdom and courage. Cultural educator and Vox film critic Alissa Wilkinson shares with us the future skills we can all hone for a fuller engagement with art and life. Alissa’s essays and reviews encourage us to be more attentive in our consumption—but not in the ways we might typically consider. Alighting on subjects as varied as C.S. Lewis, Alien: Covenant, The Good Place, and Breaking Bad, Alissa and I explore what it means to be a “critic,” how art can connect us through time and space, and how we can stay one step ahead in a new age of “creative machines.” We wrestle with how data literacy can change what we consider valuable—from diversifying the Oscars to the problem with Rotten Tomatoes. And we cover apocalypse anxiety! As co-author of the book How to Survive the Apocalypse: Zombies, Cylons, and Politics at the End of the World, Alissa offers insights to how we think about end times, and how to live with our connected individuality.


Show Notes


Meet Your Future Self

Meet Your Future Self

Every thought about the future is a creative act, adding to the process by which we imagine, experience, and become our future selves. Coach and mindfulness expert Stephanie Hardwick gives us a pragmatic set of perspectives and tools for thinking about our future: showing us the power of thinking to shape our circumstances, avoiding what she calls “happiness shaming,” and building better responses to the stressors of life—from the everyday traffic jams to our most difficult questions of belonging and self-worth. She has led Ben and others through coaching to practice these tools, and you’ll get to experience her guidance through our conversation. Stephanie’s aim is to help others discover the truth that underneath our multitude of thoughts and concerns is an immense and compassionate core just waiting to be noticed. Find out what Stephanie calls the most important question you can ask yourself, and follow along at the end of our episode with her guided meditation to meet your future self.


Show Notes


Raise the Dead

Raise the Dead

Life after death—right here on earth—is now a reality for a growing number of patients who were once technically declared dead. As a world-renowned expert in resuscitation science and an Emergency Room physician at Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego, Dr. Zack Shinar is a hands-on practitioner of ECMO, or Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation, a life support procedure that involves pumping one’s blood outside the body. Zack walks us through his first encounters cheating death with ECMO and how it has become a regular work day for him to do so. Find out how he’s influencing the worldwide medical community and creating unique educational experiences to expand the impact of resuscitation science from his podcast ED ECMO to an annual conference he co-founded called Reanimate. We discuss future skills like interdisciplinary curiosity, statistical literacy, and effective decision-making for both doctors and patients. Hear how attending one of Zack’s Reanimate Conferences gave one man the skills to bring his own son back to life.


Show Notes


Listen with Everything You've Got

Listen with Everything You’ve Got

Unearthing your true capabilities as a learner and a leader begins with listening, and Karen Kocher, head of 21st Century Jobs, Skills, and Employability at Microsoft, is a world-class listener. We find out through her stories of learning from both her family and her global network of thought leaders about how we too can make a “dollar feel like a million,” as a colleague of Karen’s said about her time as Chief Learning Officer at Cigna. Karen’s mastery of impact and efficiency comes from her boundless curiosity and optimism that says we are all innate learners, and so we are all capable of greatness—we just need nudges from signals beyond ourselves in order to develop an ear and a hunger for what’s different and innovative. Listen in on how Karen’s lessons on leadership come together in heartfelt care for her team member’s individual and collective purposes.


Show Notes