I first got to know today’s guest through my work at Socos, alongside Vivienne Ming. Over the last several years, I’ve heard a name mentioned in a variety of unlikely contexts – by Chris Anderson, the CEO of TED, Perry Chen, the Co-Founder of Kickstarter, and Beth Comstock, the Vice Chair at GE.
My guest today is Sunny Bates, a behind-the-scenes master connector of many of the most innovative companies, personalities, and artists that you’ve heard of, and many that you haven’t.
Sunny sits on the board of Kickstarter, the MIT Media Lab, and TED. She advises companies like GE and Credit Suisse on new initiatives and is the go-to resource when companies like P&G and The Guardian need a new breakthrough.
As you’ll hear, Sunny is deeply committed to culture and the arts. I was startled to learn that she had hosted world-famous musician, Amanda Palmer, and blogger, Maria Popova, to her home for a house party.
In this interview, we discuss how Sunny has built an incredible network of innovators, spanning more than 40,000 people, how her enthusiasm for spontaneous encounters led to her role at Kickstarter, among others, and some of the trends she is most excited for in the future.
2:30 Sunny’s connections
5:30 Building a network
10:30 Adding value to other’s work and lives
13:30 We learn quickest alongside an expert
16:45 Exploring our creative side
22:00 Looking at the big picture
24:30 A career as a series of projects
29:00 Trends in the future of work
34:45 Acknowledgment and gratitude
38:00 It’s never too late to give thanks or apologize
44:00 Books: The State of Affairs by Esther Perel
46:30 Website: sunnybates.com