Where Genius Grows

Navigating a rapidly evolving world: - What does it mean to find your voice? - How is our world changing? - What keeps society together?
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Now displaying: Category: Our Changing World
Oct 23, 2020

"If I could tell every parent in the United States right now something from a teacher: 'You're doing fine. Whatever you're doing today is enough. And I don't think parents are hearing that enough. And it's true. Your child is learning. We promise.'"

— Anne Huntington

Anne Huntington and Emily Newman founded Beyond the Classroom Consultants to guide parents through the process of making informed educational choices for their elementary aged children. As young students and school districts across the country wade into the uncharted waters of remote learning, Emily and Anne offer practical perspectives to make life easier for parents.

May 15, 2019

"When we don’t understand ourselves well enough and when we don’t understand the ways we trip up consistently, we act as though we haven’t tripped up, and that gets us into even more trouble."

— Jennifer Garvey Berger

Jennifer Garvey Berger writes in her new book Unlocking Leadership Mindtraps about unhelpful patterns of behavior that we fall into without noticing that we’ve fallen into them. These are behaviors that treat the uncertainty, ambiguity, and change around us as though the world were more understandable, more predictable, and more constant than it is. In this conversation you'll discover some of the counterintuitive ways we can act that would be much more helpful, given the complexity and dynamism of the world.

Jennifer's latest book:

Unlocking Leadership Mindtraps:

If you enjoyed this, you'll absolutely love the first Where Genius Grows conversation with Jennifer in episode 56.

Jan 10, 2019

“The complexity we face is actually an evolutionary pressure. We evolve or we die. And we’re there. We’re there as a species, we’re there in organizations, and we develop or else. And that’s harsh, but it’s also a spiritual bootcamp. It’s a kind of evolutionary pressure on us to evolve into more complex ways of knowing, understanding, and relating, and so on. And so you can not not be in a gap. It just is the territory. And that normalizes it. It levels the playing field. There’s nothing wrong with you because you’re facing limits and meeting limits."

— Bob Anderson

Bob Anderson is the founder and chairman of the Leadership Circle and the Full Circle Group. His new book with Bill Adams, Scaling Leadership, shares surprising information about how senior leaders view leadership. In this conversation we discuss which strengths create the most effective leadership and which strengths undermine it. Bob contends that, no matter where we are, we always find ourselves in a feedback rich environment. Our challenge is to harvest the bounty of feedback and grow.

Sep 29, 2018

“If you have been to a hockey game or a baseball game . . . you see a phenomenon where at some point in the proceedings a military person is recognized for their service. Always for their service. And I’m not meaning to denigrate the service that the military make, and certainly a very significant service. However, they are not the only people who are giving service to the country and to the community. Development workers often go to equally miserable places and they don’t bring guns, and they’re not wearing helmets, and they don’t have a long supply chain to take care of them. They’re living on the frontlines in khakis and a baseball cap and they get killed as frequently as military people get killed. I would love to see a day in which the Washington Capitals, or the Nationals, recognize a humanitarian relief worker for the service that they’re making to their country and to the world and for the risks that they’re taking to do that.”

— Jerrold Keilson

Jerrold Keilson is a historian of international development. This conversation details Jerrold's project to capture in a way that is immediately useful to people active in, or just entering, the field of international development the vast body of knowledge held by development pioneers who possess decades of experience. How can accessing this experience acting on it make a better world for all? Listen in and find out.

Sep 5, 2018

"We live in a world where your attention is the most valuable thing you have to offer. It’s in some ways even more valuable even than the money in your pocket, or even more valuable than your vote. The things you choose to allocate your attention to — the shows you watch, the news you consume, the social media platforms that you engage on and the conversations that you take part in there — those are going to be the things that shape the world around us."

— Arik Ben-Zvi
Arik Ben-Zvi is the executive managing director of the Glover Park Group, a strategic communications and government affairs firm with a global presence. In this conversation we discuss the critical faculties and the moral compass we must cultivate to navigate an increasingly complex mass media and social media landscape.
Aug 31, 2018

"We’re really interested in the plot of our lives, but we’re not as interested in the way the plot unfolds — the meaning underneath the plot. And if we were to get more interested collectively in not just what’s happening to me but making sense of what’s happening to me, that is a question that can keep you engaged forever. That question never gets old. You can ask it about anybody else in your life and it brings you closer."

— Jennifer Garvey Berger

Psychologists long assumed that our minds stopped growing after post-adolescence. Over the past four decades the field of adult developmental psychology has shifted this paradigm by mapping out how our minds continue to develop in complexity over the course of our entire lives. This is a conversation with leading theorist and practitioner Jennifer Garvey Berger about what we can do to meet the challenges of an increasingly complex world by actively developing sufficiently complex habits of mind.

Jennifer's books:
Changing on the Job:
Simple Habits for Complex Times:

If you love this conversation, you will find episode 46 with Bob Anderson fascinating.

Aug 10, 2018

“How do we change our economic thinking so that we start to become people who are living in a way that’s compatible with a sustainable planet?”

— Gray Cox

To look at the world and everywhere see strife and material consumption that our planet is unable to sustain can be demoralizing. But particularly as we stare at the prospect of likely peril, College of the Atlantic professor Gray Cox asks us to take heart and consider the simple habits of mind that are drawing us toward the brink of ecological collapse. How can we make subtle shifts in our very rationality — one person at a time — and thereby transform, and increase the odds of, continued life on earth?

Feb 7, 2018

Do we want to build a secure and resilient system for powering . . . our country? And do we want to attack the biggest challenge of collective action in the course of human civilization? And those are the two questions that we have to answer.

— Michael Wu

Michael Wu is the founder and CEO of Converge Strategies. In this interview we discuss how thoroughly the power grid permeates every aspect of contemporary life. Michael describes the array of threats facing the power grid today — both familiar one and those that we can only imagine. He explains the difficulty of allocating resources to counter high-risk, low-frequency threats, and what we must do to build a more resilient, clean-energy power grid.

Jan 11, 2018

It's a really interesting moment in the world where there's large emerging markets that will transform the way the rest of the world looks. And so staying engaged and aware and open to change and to  new technology and innovation, while also remaining focused on the human aspect of it — of how is it actually improving your and other people's lives? — will become increasingly critical.

— Melissa Frakman

Melissa Frakman is an emerging markets fintech advisor. Melissa discusses why India holds such promise for technology companies, what the Indian government is doing to make this wave of innovation possible, and how this happens in India will set the stage for how we do business around the world in the 21st century.

Dec 11, 2017

As state after state passes laws regulating the use of cannabis, a booming industry has sprung up. Many people believe that this momentum — which they see as analogous to sweeping tides of civil rights legislation — will ultimately result in the passage of federal laws. Cannabis lobbyist and attorney Joshua Sanderlin believes that this optimism is misplaced and fails to account for the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution. However, Joshua also offers clear pointers on how to mobilize the groundswell of support required to make changes to federal law.

Oct 28, 2017

Emerging technology is disrupting social norms. On October 24th, 2017 fintech investor Melissa Frakman, DC Tech Search president Adam Solomon, and RIAA head of research Josh Friedlander joined host Gideon Culman to discuss current disruptions, future threats and opportunities, and actions we can take ride the increasingly rapid waves of innovation.

Sep 2, 2017

"We're now in a situation where we need diversity and we need people who like to break things on the good guys' side . . . to understand the mindset of the people who are doing these things to us."

— Michael Echols

Michael Echols is the CEO of the International Association of Certified ISAOs and the CEO of Max Cybersecurity, LLC. In this interview Michael paints  a picture of how technological innovation is transforming the landscape of our lives as safety concerns, policy, and leadership lag behind. What new threats are we unable to imagine and how are these threats and our responses to them disrupting our society's norms?

Jul 12, 2017

As we become increasingly enmeshed in the technology all around us — our phones, our tablets, human contact, dating, our hours of leisure — how do we break free? And while we drop the ball on facing this question, what kind of behavior are we modeling for our kids? Tech<br>eak founder Ali Maresh discusses what we can do to loosen the stranglehold that our devices have on our everyday lives.

Further reading Ali recommends:
"The Shallows" by Nick Carr -

Jul 3, 2017

Josh Friedlander is the head of research at the Recording Industry Association of America. In this interview we discuss shifts that the music industry has undergone in recent decades, including how new talent is identified, how sales have evolved from a strict ownership model to a more flexible model with an emphasis on access, and what jobs exist in music today

This conversation about music serves as a useful starting point to think about the accelerating rate of change in any industry that touches our lives daily in both obvious and imperceptible ways.

Jun 21, 2017

I have come to think that the word "Blockchain technology" is just a really great way to part an investor from his money.

— Adella Toulon-Foerster

There’s a lot of buzz these days about virtual currencies and Blockchain technology. How are we to approach this tide of monetary innovation? As the range of options we have to transmit monetary value continues to expand, legal professional Adella Toulon-Foerster urges us to be curious, to stay informed, and to become familiar with the everything that is out there.

Jun 16, 2017

If you don’t embrace it, you’re going to get left behind.

— Garreth Fitzsimons

Garreth Fitzsimons manages American operations for e-learning company Olive Learning. In this interview Garreth discusses how e-learning, gamification, as well as augmented and virtual reality technologies are changing the ways we acquire new skills and knowledge.

Jun 8, 2017

Cryptocurrency is for people who don’t trust their governments . . . with good reason.

— Geoffrey Mason

Geoffrey Mason is an intellectual property lawyer who is a senior partner for the Cogent Law Group. In this interview Geoffrey discusses ways in which cryptocurrencies differ from each other and explores its role vis-à-vis the nation state.

Learn how cryptocurrency is transforming our economy and what you can do to keep up with its evolution.

May 31, 2017

You cannot find safety in a degree. You cannot find safety in a particular job anymore. It just doesn't exist.

— Adam Solomon

Adam Solomon runs the IT talent acquisition firm DC Tech Search. In this interview Adam talks about current trends into tech hiring. As artificial intelligence ushers in a wave of automation that is making even the most skilled professionals redundant, is it time to rethink society's relationship to work?

Glean ideas in this episode for what you'll need to navigate the upheaval of a rapidly transforming 21st-century labor market.

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Feb 23, 2017

Online harassment degrades and can violently suppress our freedom of expression. When we equate online abuse with bullying, we miss its complex and dynamic underpinnings.

Soraya Chemaly (@schemaly), director of the Women's Media Center Speech Project, illustrates how online abuse, particularly of girls and women, mirrors age-old antisocial behavior that occurs offline. She presents this as a social problem that we can't expect victims to solve individually.

Learn in this episode what role you can play to influence your own online communities to promote equality and democracy, addressing challenges to these values in real-time. 

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Jan 5, 2017

Never miss another episode of Where Genius Grows. Get each new one delivered straight to your inbox by signing up here: *

At the beginning of 2017 there are over 500,000 unfilled tech jobs in the United States. How will applicants learn the required skills to succeed in these jobs? How will employers avoid overlooking qualified candidates? How will applicants from underserved communities gain access to the training they need to compete for these jobs? *

Tess Posner (@tessposner) is the managing director of TechHire, an initiative by Opportunity@Work to connect 100,000 people to tech jobs by 2020. In this interview she describes the steps TechHire is taking to accomplish this feat and how you can participate. Tess also offers her vision of a well-rounded 21st-century education, balancing ever-evolving technical expertise against an understanding of what it means to be human. *

Further readings Tess recommends include: *
- "The World is Open" by Curtis Bonk: *
- "The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies" by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee: *
- "Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future" by Martin Ford: *
- "Savage Inequalities" by Jonathan Kozol: *
- "The Brothers Karamazov" by Fyodor Dostoevsky: *
- "The Apology" by Plato: *
- "The Republic" by Plato: *
- "The Wealth of Nations" by Adam Smith: *
- "The Federalist Papers" by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay:

Dec 13, 2016

By now we've all heard of Bitcoin, but what is it and how does it work? How is cyber currency changing the way we conduct financial transactions?

Jesse Posner (@JessePosner) is a securities lawyer turned programmer. In this interview Jesse provides a primer on cyber currency, covering both its great promise and tremendous pitfalls.

For further reading, Jesse recommends: 
Satoshi Nakamoto's white paper
- The forum Bitcoin Talk:

Dec 8, 2016

When you're dining out with your friends, it's fun to get lost in the conversation. Nothing brings you back to reality as reliably or as fast as the drawn out hassle of negotiating the check.

Software developer Serge Amouzou (@SergeAmouzou) doesn't believe that paying at a restaurant should dampen our mood. Serge is the founder of Delect (@GetDelect), an app designed to simplify and improve your restaurant experience. You will enjoy Serge's predictions about how dining technology will very soon cut wait times, improve service, and allow restaurants to tailor your night out explicitly to your preferences.

Download the Delect app:
- for iPhone
- for Android