Seeking a cure for the infodemic
Play • 32 min
Misinformation about COVID-19 has spread as fast as the virus itself. So is there a cure? UN communications chief Melissa Fleming and journalism entrepreneur Mark Little have some answers.
Economics Explained
Economics Explained
Economics Explained
The "Perfect" Little Economy of New Zealand
This is new Zealand, a picturesque nation whos economy looks to exclusively rely on throwing their tourists off cliffs in increasingly imaginative ways and being left off of world maps. But Australia’s little brother is so much more than that and it might truely be the world’s best managed economy. Everything from the world banks ease of doing business index, from multiple quality of life assessments puts new zealand in the top spot. Move aside Norway. What’s more is that it has achieved this remarkable prosperity despite not having a huge supply of natural resources, or acting as some tax haven for global businesses like so many other apparent economic miracles we have explored before. No New Zealand has got to where it is today by carefully managing a market economy and providing a safe, stable and confidence inspiring place to start a family, a business, and a career. Of course there are still some problems and we will certainly get to them but after exploring the Economy of Argentina last week, it’s now time to get out your pen and paper and take notes on how to actually run an economy. And to do this as always we are going to break the economy into some important categories. What are the primary drivers of New Zealand's economic prosperity? How has the nation been able to accommodate these where other nations fail to do so? And what are the challenges the nation might face to keep this success going? Once thats all done we can then put New zealand on the economics explained national leaderboard.
18 min
The Future of Everything presented by Stanford Engineering
The Future of Everything presented by Stanford Engineering
Stanford Radio
Mutale Nkonde: How to get more truth from social media
The old maxim holds that a lie spreads much faster than a truth, but it has taken the global reach and lightning speed of social media to lay it bare before the world. One problem of the age of misinformation, says sociologist and former journalist Mutale Nkonde, a fellow at the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society (PACS), is that the artificial intelligence algorithms used to profile users and disseminate information to them, whether truthful or not, are inherently biased against minority groups, because they are underrepresented in the historical data upon which the algorithms are based. Now, Nkonde and others like her are holding social media’s feet to the fire, so to speak, to get them to root out bias from their algorithms. One approach she promotes is the Algorithmic Accountability Act, which would authorize the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to create regulations requiring companies under its jurisdiction to assess the impact of new and existing automated decision systems. Another approach she has favored is called “Strategic Silence,” which seeks to deny untruthful users and groups the media exposure that amplifies their false claims and helps them attract new adherents. Nkonde explores the hidden biases of the age of misinformation in this episode of _Stanford Engineering’s The Future of Everything_ podcast, hosted by bioengineer Russ Altman. Listen and subscribe here.
28 min
Future Positive
Future Positive
XPRIZE Foundation
Smartphones In Healthcare And The Current Pandemic
Much of the fundamental research in computer science has been driven by the needs of those attempting to utilize computing for various applications, including healthcare. Today’s guest, Shwetak Patel describes a collection of research projects that leverage mobile phone technology in new ways to enable the screening, self-management and studying of diseases.    By using mobile phones as healthcare devices, we can enable access and scale, helping advance health and clinical science through the convergence of sensing, machine learning, and human-computer interaction.    Today’s episode was originally recorded at AI For Good, an annual global summit hosted by ITU and XPRIZE, and while some elements of the conversation are more timely to COVID’s spread in July 2020 at the time of recording, all of the technology is still relevant today.     Shwetak Naran Patel is an American computer scientist and entrepreneur best known for his work on developing novel sensing solutions and ubiquitous computing. He is the Washington Research Foundation Entrepreneurship Endowed Professor at the University of Washington in Computer Science & Engineering and Electrical Engineering, where he joined in 2008. His technology start-up company on energy sensing, Zensi, was acquired by Belkin International, Inc. in 2010. He was named a 2011 MacArthur Fellow. He was named the recipient of the 2018 ACM Prize in Computing for contributions to creative and practical sensing systems for sustainability and health.     Links: See for privacy and opt-out information.
1 hr 2 min
Working Scientist
Working Scientist
Nature Careers
The postdoc career journeys that date back to kindergarten
Many postdoctoral researchers can trace their career journey back to childhood experiences. In Pearl Ryder’s case it was spending lots of time outdoors in the rural area where she grew up, combined with the experience of having a sibling who experienced poor health. Ryder, a postdoctoral fellow at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in Boston, Massachusetts, and founder of the Future PI Slack group, says: “It made me realize how important health is, and that there’s so little that we understand about the world.” But is science, like some other professions a calling? Yes, says Christopher Hayter, who specializes in entrepreneurship, technology policy, higher education and science at Arizona State University in Phoenix. “There are professions that are a little bit different from your day-to-day job, something people gravitate towards, something bigger than themselves,” he says. “It is often referred to as a calling. I think we could say that about a lot of scientists. It’s how they define themselves: ‘I’m a scientist.’ ‘I’m going to cure cancer.’ ‘I’m going to discover the next planet.’ When students transition from doctoral students to postdoc they are really doubling down on that identity.” Michael Moore, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Davis, adds: “Being a scientist is overcoming a series of hurdles, and you need to see yourself as a scientist to get that internal motivation to keep going. You have to publish so much, get so many grants, teach so many courses. Having that identity and that motivation is really key to moving forward.” Gould’s guests discuss how to maintain that motivation despite the setbacks, and how a scientist’s professional identity and career path is underpinned by the networks, mentors and transferable skills acquired during a postdoc.   See for privacy and opt-out information.
24 min
The Future of Work With Jacob Morgan
The Future of Work With Jacob Morgan
Jacob Morgan
Essential Career & Life Advice From The CEO of U.S. Cellular
Laurent Therivel is the CEO of U.S. Cellular, the fourth largest wireless carrier in the United States with 5,000 employees across 23 states. Previously he spent 12 years at AT&T where he most recently served as CEO of AT&T Mexico leading 18,000 people. Becoming the CEO of a company during a pandemic comes with a unique set of problems. A role that usually requires a lot of face to face interaction with employees, customers, and vendors has been mostly limited to phone calls and online meetings. Laurent joined U.S. Cellular as their CEO in July of 2020. He says he’s had to heavily rely on data and analytics to see how their services are working for customers across the country, and that’s been difficult. Usually he would prefer to interact more to get a better feel for how things are going. This past year there has been a fundamental shift in the way we live and work and Laurent believes that this shift has allowed us to take trends that would have taken 10 years or so and accelerated them to be accomplished in a couple of months. Laurent shares that he feels he has been able to be more efficient in his role due to technology. Now instead of having to travel across the country to visit with his team he can do it all from his computer at home. He has also been able to meet with smaller groups inside the company for Q&As and discussions, which is much easier than meeting with a huge group every time he shows up at a location. So while this move was challenging for Laurent, he also has seen the silver linings and the positive impacts as well. What to do if you aren’t happy with your job or your company Most of us have had a time in our careers where we just aren’t sure if the role we have or the company we work for is the right fit. A time when you just don’t know what you really want to do in life. For people going through this right now Laurent gives two pieces of advice. First of all, he says, you have to do your homework. It is important to carefully distinguish the difference between a company and a role. What about your current situation do you not like? Do you and your boss not have a good working relationship? Does your skill set not match up with the work you are doing? What is it that is making you feel unhappy? Figuring this out can help you decide what to do. If it is a problem with your boss, maybe you can sit down and have a discussion with them to fix that relationship. If you don’t like the actual work you are doing or it doesn’t match up to your skillset, maybe there is another role for you inside the organization that could be better. Laurent believes people are too quick to say the company itself is not a good fit, but usually it is their role or a relationship with a boss or coworker. Really look deep at why you are feeling unhappy. He also says that people need to figure out what their worth is externally. There are two problems that come along with not accurately evaluating your external worth. A lot of times people feel stuck in a role because they limit themselves. Laurent says, “They remain stuck, when they could be doing something much more exciting and much more interesting and a much better fit with their skills. But because they don't believe in themselves and because they haven't taken the time to find their worth externally, they don't take the leap.” Other people over value their external worth. They may think they are doing exceptional work, and that they are really making an impact, but that may not be the case. So they come into work and complain, and they feel underpaid and undervalued, but really they are the ones not rising to their full potential. You really have to do your homework and be honest with yourself to figure out your external work and what your performance really looks like. Laurent’s advice for leaders who feel they are not progressing in a company For mid-level leaders who feel that there aren’t any opportunities inside of their organization to progress or rise up through the ranks Laurent shares his advice. He says this is a common scenario, there are a lot of leaders going through this. For this situation he says leaders have to be willing to develop their skill set laterally. He says, “Too often people say I feel stuck, I feel stagnant. And then you say, Okay, well, are you willing to move geographically? No, no, no, my family's here, you know, I can't move. Okay. Do you want to try a different role? Do you want to move laterally in the organization and try and build your skill set somewhere else? Well, no, I don't really want to do that. I think I'm good at accounting, or I'm good at logistics, or whatever it is, they're good at sales. Okay, so if that's the case, really what you're doing is you're waiting for your boss to retire or die, right? If that doesn't happen, then you don't know where to go.” You have to be open to lateral moves if moving up the rank isn’t a possibility at the moment. Don’t be the one to limit yourself. Laurent also stresses the importance of having open and honest conversations with your loved ones so you know the right decisions to make in your career. Don’t assume the reaction your spouse, significant other, or kids will have to a career choice. You never know until you talk with them. Advice for senior leaders who are burned out or bored People at any level of leadership tend to place limits on themselves. It is fairly common to hear senior leaders talk about how they feel burned out or bored with their role, but Laurent says a lot of times this is because they have limited themselves for one reason or another. Feeling bored or burned out may signal that it is time to try something else, but it can be hard to leave a role for various reasons. Sometimes senior leaders may have become used to living a certain way financially, so they stop themselves from pursuing their passions because it may not provide the same level of financial security. As Laurent says, “I find that that a lot of times, senior leaders in their career aren't willing to really make the difficult move, because they've convinced themselves that they have a lot less flexibility, a lot less optionality than they really do. Which is sad, because if you think about all of the hard work that you've put in, it should be to go create optionality later in your life, right? You should have the ability to go teach classes or be a mezcal importer, by the way, is what I want to do when I retire. So I think some of it has to do with, again, going back and having those conversations to make sure you know how much optionality that you really do have.” Figure out how much risk you are willing to take as well as what you truly value in life to decide where to go when you feel this way. How Laurent makes difficult decisions When it comes to making tough decisions Laurent says he uses a combination of analytics and advice. He doesn’t just go with a gut feeling. It’s all about taking a step back and looking at the issue impartially. Emotions do play a part in making decisions, but in this first step Laurent tries to separate emotions. It is also important, Laurent shares, to have a healthy dose of humility. “Everybody thinks that the problem that they're facing is unique and has never before occurred in this universe. And chances are, it's occurred hundreds of times. And so if you can develop a trusted set of friends, a trusted set of advisors, trusted set of mentors, that helps. And if nothing else, you know, there's one thing that people like talking more about than anything, which is themselves. And so we find people that have faced a problem like this and just reach out to them and say, hey, how did you think through this, and I think having the humility to do that, is, is critical to making an informed decision.” Leaders also need to be able to admit when they may not be the best person to make the decision. Laurent says there are times when he is…
1 hr 4 min
New Foundations
New Foundations
The Economist Intelligence Unit
The New Old
Increases in life expectancy and declining fertility are driving growth in both the number and proportion of older people globally. Some fear that ageing populations will put ever greater pressure on health systems, social care, housing and public finances. But should we be thinking differently about ageing? Is there an opportunity in a so-called silver economy? In this episode we explore how technology can support people to age better while reducing the burden on health systems, how longer lives call for a reimagining of our economy and society, and how frontier science is finding ways to further lengthen our life spans. With The EIU's Jeremy Kingsley and Elizabeth Sukkar, Andrew Scott from The London Business School, Lorenzo Chiari from the University of Bologna, and Michael Hufford, chief executive of biotech firm LyGenesis. This podcast is supported by Pictet Wealth Management and includes additional commentary from equity strategist Alexandre Tavazzi. Disclaimer: The findings and views expressed in the podcast are for information only and are not intended as an offer or solicitation or any legal, tax or financial advice. Whilst efforts have been taken to verify the accuracy of this information, neither The Economist Intelligence Unit Ltd., nor its affiliates, nor the Pictet Group can accept any responsibility or liability for the use of, or reliance by any person on, the information contained in this podcast. The findings and views expressed in the report do not necessarily reflect the views of the Pictet Group. The content of this podcast is not intended for persons who are citizens of, domiciled or resident in, or entities registered in a country or a jurisdiction in which its distribution, publication, provision or use would violate current laws and regulations.   See for privacy and opt-out information.
26 min
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