Natasha Tsakos on Performance Art, Disruption, and Creativity


“Tsakos is a talent of the next generation”
– Florida International Magazine

My guest this episode is Natasha Tsakos (@natashatsakos), TED speaker, recent graduate of Singularity University, and life-long performing and visual artist. Throughout this interview Natasha and I discuss what it means to be creative and to never stop exploring one’s own limits. Natasha has always been a performer, and describes using her imagination as an escape during her childhood. She graduated The New World School of the Arts in 2000, and has been performing on stages ever since. She has directed numerous one-woman shows, including this one on the TED stage in 2009:

Natasha has always had a rebellious streak. In college she needed to augment her academic arts education with street performance. Then, after graduating, she began self-funding her career through credit cards and creating art on any stage she could find, including one memorable show on the un-used stage of a strip-club on Miami Beach.

Vivienne Ming, PhD on Maximizing Human Potential


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:

Ryan Holiday on Practical Philosophy and Books to Live Your Life By


“Some lack the fickleness to live as they wish and just live as they have begun.”

– Seneca

This episode of the podcast features an interview with prominent strategist and writer Ryan Holiday (@ryanholiday). I became familiar with Ryan’s work when a friend recommended his reading list, which remains one of the few newsletters I’m consistently grateful to receive.

Beyond being a prolific reading (and recommender) of books, Ryan has published three books and consulted on media and marketing with best-selling authors and musicians. The Financial Times called Ryan’s first book Trust Me I’m Lying an “astonishing, disturbing book.” I have used ideas from his second book Growth Hacker Marketing in marketing my own books.

After dropping out of college at nineteen to apprentice under Robert Greene, author of The 48 Laws of Power, Ryan went on to advise many bestselling authors and musicians. He served as director of marketing at American Apparel for many years, where his campaigns have been used as case studies by Twitter, YouTube, and Google and written about in AdAge, the New York Times, and Fast Company.

I admire Ryan’s strategic thinking and application of  philosophy to solve practical life problems. In this interview we discuss how Ryan trained himself to become a media strategist. He has developed the marketing campaigns for best-selling authors including the controversial Tucker Max, Robert Green, Tim Ferriss, and Tony Robbins. This post by Tim Ferriss recounts some of the bigger marketing stunts Ryan did while he worked as Director of Marketing at American Apparel.

In the interview, we discuss Ryan’s most recent book The Obstacle is the Way and delve into the practical approaches to philosophy, and especially Stoics philosophy, that he lives his life by. I very much enjoy the no-nonsense approach with which Ryan tackles challenges.