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Creative Entrepreneurship Learning Podcast Responsive

Charles Best at Responsive Conference 2017 – “DonorsChoose.org – A Purpose Driven Company”

I’m pleased to share this talk at Responsive Conference 2017 with Charles Best (@CharlesBest), founder and CEO of DonorsChoose.org.

Charles Best is an American philanthropist and entrepreneur. He is the founder and CEO of DonorsChoose.org, a crowdfunding platform for K-12 teachers serving in US schools.

Charles launched the organization out of a Bronx public high school where he taught history. DonorsChoose.org is one of Oprah Winfrey’s “ultimate favorite things” and was named by Fast Company as one of the “50 Most Innovative Companies in the World.”

This video was recorded at the 2nd Annual Responsive Conference in New York City in 2017. Learn more: http://responsiveconference.com

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Learning Love Podcast Responsive

Meg Poe at Responsive Conference 2017 – “The Most Popular Class at NYU on Love”

I’m pleased to share this talk at Responsive Conference 2017 with Meg Poe, professor at New York University.

Megan Poe is a psychiatrist and interpersonal psychoanalyst who teaches one of New York University’s most popular and fastest-growing classes. Her topic? Love! At this year’s Responsive Conference, she’ll explore with us what it takes to live, love, and work well.

In addition to her professorship at NYU, Meg has a private practice in New York City. Meg’s mission is to help people feel most present and alive in their creative flow and inner life. She specializes in helping adults create more-intimate, fulfilling relationships in their lives and work.

This talk was recorded live at the 2nd Annual Responsive Conference in September 2017. Learn more at http://responsiveconference.com

Categories
Creative Learning Podcast Responsive

Revolutionizing Education with Anthony Kim and Alexis Gonzales-Black

I am so excited for today’s interview with two guests. Today we are speaking with Anthony Kim (@Anthonx), the founder and CEO of Education Elements, as well as Alexis Gonzales-Black (@Gonzalesblack), a former guest on the podcast and speaker at Responsive Conference.

We are here today to talk about their new book, The New School Rules: 6 Vital Practices for Thriving and Responsive Schools. I had a blast conducting this interview and sitting down with them, and I hope you enjoy as much as I did!

Show Notes

1:30 How Anthony and Alexis met
4:30 Holacracy at Education Elements
7:00 Check ins and check outs
9:00 Balancing tensions
12:15 Assumptions versus known facts
14:15 Alexis’ background in education
15:30 Recruitment and retention
17:45 Inefficient processes in education
24:00 Team of teams autonomy
27:15 Tailor Responsive concepts to fit your personal teams
30:00 Sharing information transparently
32:30 School structures have not revolutionized enough
36:00 The New School Rules book structure
38:00 Planning and predicting
42:15 How to make change with mini experiments
45:15 Creating better work conditions for teachers
49:30 Safe enough to try
52:30 Contact Alexis and Anthony:
Website: The New School Rules
Amazon: The New School Rules: 6 Vital Practices for Thriving and Responsive Schools – If you like the book, please leave a review!
Linkedin: Alexis and Anthony
Twitter: Alexis, Anthony, The New School Rules
Anthony’s Website: Education Elements
Alexis’ Website: Thoughtful Org

If you enjoyed this interview you’ll also enjoy my first interview with Alexis Gonzales-Black, where we discussed her backstory, rolling out Holacracy at Zappos and much more.

And, don’t forget, tickets are on sale now for Responsive Conference 2018 – where both Alexis and Anthony will be onstage!

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Entrepreneurship Learning Podcast Robins Cafe

Adam Pisoni and Robin Zander – Live at Robin’s Cafe

This episode was recorded in front of a live audience at Robin’s Cafe with Adam Pisoni, co-founder and former CTO at Yammer, co-founder of the Responsive Org movement, and founder and CEO at Abl Schools.

If you missed it, I recommend starting with our first podcast episode back in 2016!

In conversation from stage and then Q&A with the audience, we discussed founding Yammer, the Responsive Org movement, and his efforts at Abl Schools to revitalize the U.S.education system. Exciting possibilities emerge when we reconsider that even behemoth institutions like the U.S. education system can become Responsive!

Adam has implemented a variety of future of work principles at Abl Schools. He has been very open about the challenges of building a diverse founding team at Abl Schools.

While there is a lot of conversation about fostering an inclusive company culture, very few Silicon Valley companies have an equal gender split between male and female employees, and even fewer have women or underrepresented groups at the highest levels of leadership.

We will explore the challenges and lessons learned at Abl Schools, and tactics any founder can apply in the effort to build a Responsive organization.

Show Notes

4:00 Intentions
7:00 Yammer and Conway’s Law
10:00 Starting Responsive Org
11:45 Theory of Responsive
13:30 Challenges of these changes
16:00 Iterate in the shape of your organization
18:00 Adam mentions:

19:15 Adams transition to education
21:30 Mindsets
24:30 Dropping out of high school
26:30 Education limitations
30:00 Diverse founding teams – podcast and article
36:15 Social emotional skills
40:00 Responsive Org tensions
46:45 Balancing success and time with experimentation
51:30 Egos and fear of failure
53:30 Integrative decision making
57:30 Value of experience
1:01:00 Diversity
1:04:45 Abl’s work in public schools
1:07:30 Measuring impact
1:10:00 Playing with boundaries of leadership and structure
1:15:00 Hiring that focuses on diversity
1:20:00 Purpose of diversity
1:24:30 VC’s reporting on diversity of companies they fund
1:26:15 Robin’s Book: Responsive: What It Takes to Create A Thriving Organization

Don’t forget to give a listen to my first podcast with Adam Pisoni, as well.

If you have enjoyed The Robin Zander Show – which just passed 50 episodes! – or benefited from any of the work I’ve done over the last several years, take a look at my new book Responsive: What It Takes To Create A Thriving Organization.

It is out on Amazon. I’m extremely proud of this book, and it’d mean the world to me if you’d check it out!

Categories
Entrepreneurship Physical Performance Podcast

How Charles Best Created DonorsChoose.org – A New Kind of Non-Profit

Charles Best (@CharlesBest), is an American philanthropist and entrepreneur. He is the founder and CEO of DonorsChoose.org, a crowdfunding platform for K-12 teachers in US schools.

Charles launched the organization seventeen years ago out of a Bronx public high school where he was teaching. Since then, DonorsChoose.org has become one of Oprah Winfrey’s “ultimate favorite things” and was named as one of the “50 Most Innovative Companies in the World” by Fast Company. For three years, Fortune magazine has also named Charles one of its “40 under 40 hottest rising stars in business.”

I’ve gotten to know Charles over the last year, and every time we dig a bit deeper in conversation, I’m impressed with how systematic he has implemented so many Responsive practices.

In this interview, we dive into how Charles built one of the first crowd-funding non-profits, and hustled his way to prominence. He shares surprising findings about where and why donors give to classrooms and what he hopes to accomplish with DonorChoose.org in the long run.

I hope you enjoy this interview!

 

Show Notes
2:30 Stephen Colbert’s engagement with DonorsChoose.org
7:00 New ways of funding for nonprofits
9:00 Connecting with celebrities
13:00 Core model is the same after 17 years but always experimenting
17:30 Charles’ decision to become a teacher
20:30 Challenges for Charles
22:30 DonorsChoose use of data and transparency
26:30 Founding story of DonorsChoose
31:00 Finding personal connections for donors
34:45 Charles’ and Robin’s passions
37:45 Humility as an organizational core value
41:15 Experiments within the organization
45:00 Charles’ enthusiasm
49:45 Charles’ book suggestions:

Teach Like a Champion by Doug Lemov
Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

Learn More:
DonorsChoose.org

Could you do me a favor? If you’ve enjoyed the Robin Zander Show, I would really appreciate a review on iTunes. Reviews help others find the podcast, and more importantly let me know that you’re enjoying what you’re hearing. Thank you!

You can also keep track of the podcast, Robin’s Cafe, and all of my projects via the newsletter.

Sign up here!

Categories
Creative Learning Podcast

Megan Poe Teaches the Most Popular Class at NYU – on Love

Megan Poe is a psychiatrist and interpersonal psychoanalyst  who teaches one of New York University’s most popular and fastest-growing classes. Her topic? Love! At this year’s Responsive Conference, she’ll explore with us what it takes to live, love, and work well.

In addition to her professorship at NYU, Meg has a private practice in New York City. Meg’s mission is to help people feel most present and alive in their creative flow and inner life. She specializes in helping adults create more-intimate, fulfilling relationships in their lives and work.

In this interview we cover a ton of ground –  why Meg’s class at NYC is so popular, the definition of self-love, and how Meg thinks about love both chronologically over a lifetime, and in different roles – mentorship, familial love, romantic love, and more. We discuss Megs background as a doctor, but also her exploration into sound healing and kundalini yoga – and how these influence her work today.

I really enjoyed this wide ranging conversation and can’t wait to see her onstage at the 2nd Annual Responsive Conference. I hope you enjoy today’s interview with Megan Poe.

 

Show Notes

3:00 Meg’s class on love at NYU
9:30 Collaboration
13:00 Teams and projects that bring people together
16:30 Dream analysis
21:30 Kundalini yoga
24:45 Kundalini rising
28:30 Working with students
33:30 Love that is not regarded as love
37:45 How Meg began looking at love
42:30 Self acceptance
48:00 Expanding our understanding of love
50:30 Lack of self love
52:45 Tools for self love
1:01:30 Mixing science and art
1:06:00 Med school
1:10:00 Find Meg:

Meg’s Website
2nd Annual Response Conference

Books Meg mentions:

Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity by David Lynch
The Art of Loving by Erich Fromm
Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke
The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell
The Artist’s Way Morning Pages Journal by Julia Cameron

 

 

If you enjoyed this episode with Megan Poe, I think you will enjoy the 2nd Annual Responsive Conference, which will be taking place this September in New York City.

 

Could you do me a favor? If you’ve enjoyed the Robin Zander Show, I would really appreciate a review on iTunes. Reviews help others find the podcast, and more importantly let me know that you’re enjoying what you’re hearing. Thank you!

Categories
Podcast

Teresa Gonczy: Why Kids Are The Future, Running Brick-and-Mortar Businesses, and More

Teresa

Every couple days I receive a text message containing details about my wife’s unborn child. Now to be clear: I don’t have a wife and she isn’t pregnant. But I do subscribe to the free service Text4Baby, and get simple things to do each day that one might to support the longterm health of a young child.

Now, why is this relevant? Apart from being a great way to end a first date – “Oh look! I should tell my wife to eat more spinach because she might be craving leafy greens” – I do this because I’m fascinated by early childhood development, and the little things we can do to ensure that each person reaches his or her potential.

Joining me today, I have the woman responsible for telling me about Text4Baby, and fellow early-childhood educator Teresa Gonczy (@teresaeg).

Categories
Podcast

Vivienne Ming, PhD on Maximizing Human Potential

VivienneMing

This episode of the Robin Zander Show is an interview with theoretical neuroscientist, technologist, and entrepreneur Vivienne Ming, PhD (@neuraltheory).

Vivienne was was named one of 10 Women to Watch in Tech in 2013 by Inc. Magazine and is the co-founder and Executive Chair of Socos, an educational start-up which applies cognitive modeling to deliver personalized recommendations to support learners.

When I first met Vivienne over tea in 2014 I was so excited by what Socos was doing that I volunteered to help. (I’ve since become director of operations at Socos.) In this interview we discuss the tools and philosophies by which Vivienne has shaped her life.

Vivienne is a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley’s Redwood Center for Theoretical Neuroscience pursuing her research in neuro-prosthetics. In her free time, Dr. Ming also explores augmented cognition using technology like Google Glass and has been developing a predictive model of diabetes to better manage blood glucose levels. She sits on the board of Our Family Coalition supporting LBGT families and speaks on issues of LGBT inclusion and gender in technology. Her work and research has received extensive media attention including the New York Times, NPR, Nature, O Magazine, Forbes, and The Atlantic.

Listen to the entire interview here:

Categories
Practical Philosophy

Why Habits Are The Future

Habits are the future of our health and livelihood.  While you might not think in terms of the word “habit” you probably recognize that you are pulled between nearly infinite information and how you chose to spend your time. Current educational systems are unable to change to teach to 21st century challenges quickly enough. The solution to modern problems are up to us, and the individual choices we make. Even more simply, the habits that each of us build into our daily lives are going to shape the future.

Habits
These are habits I’m cultivating. What’re yours? (Photo: Eren)

Consider the number of ways that you might receive communications each day: instant messages, text messages, Google+ messages, Facebook messenger, Snapchat. And we haven’t even begun to consider email or phone calls. The amount of information is enormous and we have very few tools for handling the influx. For those of us who decide that we aren’t 1. Going to completely cut ourselves off from the modern world or 2. Approach these problems with a lack of attention and let the industries that create these products and services dictate how we use them, there is only one option. We have to be the ultimate arbiters of how we consume information, what kinds of information we decide to process, and when we say enough.

Self Motivators Win

The future is going to be determined by those best at self-motivating, at moving themselves in the directions they want to go instead of letting their fates be decided by the tools they use, the world they grew up in, their current socio-economic status, or their health. In Average Is Over economist Tyler Cowen paints a stark vision of a future where people are divided into three categories: self-driven, those with money who can afford expensive personal coaches and boot-camp like schools, and the rest. Habits and learning are learnable skills, that we can all use to self-direct and self-regulate our educations, relationships with people and technology, and futures. Short of epiphanies, which I, for one, don’t know how to trigger, or magic pills, which I don’t believe in, simple interventions in our daily lives that have lasting impact are the quickest, easiest way to foster change and growth.

Simple Changes Have Substantial Impact

It has been repeatedly demonstrated in scientific studies that small adjustments can create life-long changes. A famous example is a study for which families of severely underprivileged toddlers in Kingston, Jamaica were educated in simple nutrition, social and motivational skills. Twenty years later those individuals were found to be indistinguishable from more wealthy populations (Gertler, Heckman, et al., 2014). Those simple interventions were able to effectively erase the fact that those children came from impoverished backgrounds.

Marshmallows and Delayed Gratification

Another example is the oft-cited marshmallow study, in which a child’s early-life ability to delay gratification has been shown to be predictive of life-long measures of success (Mischel, Ayduk, et al., 2010).

However, interventions, when poorly designed, can have contrary effects. In a lesser-known variant of the marshmallow study, prior to being given their first marshmallow the children were promised crayons or similar enticement by an adult who did not deliver on the promise. In all of the cases of this reneging on a promise, children ate their first marshmallow right way (Kidd, Palmeri, and Aslin, 2013). Children were trained to take what was available because they could not rely on a future promise, which has implications for the long-term future of those children.

Meta-Learning

Characteristics like the ability to delay gratification in the marshmallow study are a part of a broader theme, namely meta-learning and the ability to learn how to learn. Meta-learning encompasses learnable skills include creative problem solving, critical thinking, and collaboration. Education often fails to teach to these goals, instead focusing on training domain-specific knowledge under the assumptions that these more complex skills will come about naturally. Specific knowledge is valuable, but in the modern era information is abundant and relevant knowledge changes very quickly. What actually matters most is the ability to learn whatever new information may be important, and to use it productively.

Habits and Meta-Learning

Habits can be learned, practiced, and improved. Wether you are starting from a very basic perspective of looking for simple solutions to improve your health, or have already read Getting Things Done, mastered “Inbox Zero” and want to further optimize your efficiently systems, the skill of habit building is worth developing. You can never get too good at building better systems. Just like neural connections can be improved and myelinated in the brain through increased use, habits can be trained, strengthened, and improved. The end goal is empowered people, capable of making their own informed decisions and acting with clarity of purpose. This comes of an understanding of yourself and the learning process. All of which starts with small habits.

If this sort of post is interesting to you, please let me know in the comments!

I’m spending all of my waking hours working on these topics. My next book “Unstuck” will be coming out this November. I’m project managing, putting out fires, and studying meta-learning at the educational start-up Socos. I’m organizing Design for Dance, exploring the impact on learning, creativity, and health through dance in the workplace. Oh, and I’m training classical ballet 30 hours a week, which is about as on-the-ground as learning can get.