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The Best of What I’m Reading, Watching, and Exploring

The slower days of August are a perfect time to catch up with the big, juicy peach-like ideas in life.

While the fiber-filling red apples of Fall are just around the corner, right now there is a bit of space to read and listen and dream and make the weird connections that deliver insights and breakthroughs in your life and work.

Like a Dairy Queen dip cone, you can coat yourself in creativity to help you be a better business leader, pro-social professional or maybe even just a happier, healthier human being.

With that in mind, I want to share with you the best of what I’m reading, watching and exploring.


All the Beauty in the World, written by former New Yorker staffer Patrick Bringley, is a lovely book written about his time as a security guard at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. It’s far more than your classic workplace memoir and inspired me to see the art in a new way and also to contemplate the stages and how work and those we work with weave in to support our deepest human longings for peace, belonging and even transcendence.


I had the pleasure of hosting a fireside chat at The Asia Society with Parag Khanna. In anticipation of that, I found this great Google Talk he did with another friend, Jack Hidary about how global population flows will change the world. One of those videos you can’t stop thinking about after and with some great graphics.

Academic text that wowed me

My extremely brainy neuroscientist friend James Andrade turned me on to the learning theory of connectivism. I’m still digesting the ideas of researchers Siemens and Downes who posit that our habit of seeking information enabled by technology and the decentralization of knowledge across networks is transforming the way we learn. 

The key takeaways for me are that 'networks equal learning' and intentional reflection on your personal learning network, along with careful curation of its diverse nodes, can give you a competitive advantage. I’m considering how to make this actionable for my clients as well. 


Roadrunner: A Film about Anthony Bourdain. My whole family loves to eat and this documentary about Bourdain went so much further than I expected. It inspired me to refresh my vision of what is possible later in life (he says he feels his best days are behind him in his mid-40s before he ever puts pen to paper and launched his video empire). It also made me consider the cost of the Icarus instinct. When does chasing your highest potential and greatest impact start to cannibalize your soul?

Black Mirror episode: Joan is Awful. We watched this episode about AI “stealing” one’s identity when it came out a few months ago. Then the Hollywood writer’s strike happened and the show was a great primer on why collective action against AI might be important. It’s not just for actors like Selma Hayek, it’s important for every one of us.


The Futurists with Brett King and Robert Tercek combines the banter of 1980s radio DJs with a weekly dose of future trends and the people who are making them real. My biggest challenge to them is to find more diverse voices!

Fun fact! My cousins in Seattle introduced us to donut peaches by the crate during our summer visits but they were first grown in the 1800s in…China! Right in my backyard. Don’t you just love the summer?


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