26 episodes

AwokenWord is a long-form, conversation style podcast hosted by writer, poet, and music composer, Anuj Rastogi. Through nuanced and thoughtful dialogue with an incredible array of guests, Anuj explores the worlds of society, culture, art, music, science, current events and all things that comprise the human experience.
"I want to challenge and evolve ideas, intuitions and convictions. This world, is quite simply, nuts, and often terrifying. Yet, this same world is incredibly beautiful, inspiring and mesmerizing. I want to get to know people who are interesting, who hold varied opinions and have life experiences different than my own.
This podcast is my humble attempt to bring a grain of sand of goodness, conversation and inspiration to the beach of human experience. This podcast is my love letter to the world, and to what it means to be human."
~ Anuj Rastogi

AwokenWord Anuj Rastogi

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 14 Ratings

AwokenWord is a long-form, conversation style podcast hosted by writer, poet, and music composer, Anuj Rastogi. Through nuanced and thoughtful dialogue with an incredible array of guests, Anuj explores the worlds of society, culture, art, music, science, current events and all things that comprise the human experience.
"I want to challenge and evolve ideas, intuitions and convictions. This world, is quite simply, nuts, and often terrifying. Yet, this same world is incredibly beautiful, inspiring and mesmerizing. I want to get to know people who are interesting, who hold varied opinions and have life experiences different than my own.
This podcast is my humble attempt to bring a grain of sand of goodness, conversation and inspiration to the beach of human experience. This podcast is my love letter to the world, and to what it means to be human."
~ Anuj Rastogi

    #026: Dr. Yasser Khan - "Humanitarian in Gaza"

    #026: Dr. Yasser Khan - "Humanitarian in Gaza"

    Anuj sits down with Dr. Yasser Khan - a Canadian opthamologist who was among the first in the world to visit Gaza in the midst of the recent Israel-Hamas war, to help injured civilians and see the dire conditions first hand. Yasser shares his humbling experiences and perspectives on being a humanitarian, in one of the most important conversations yet on AwokenWord.


    Dr. Yasser Khan is an internationally renowned ophthalmic surgeon, humanitarian and entrepreneur. He is a leading ophthalmologist in oculoplastics, orbital and cataract surgery with over 20 years of experience. Dr. Khan is devoted to national and global humanitarian medical work. He is a founder and CEO of GIVE − Global Initiative for Vision and Eyecare. GIVE’s primary aim is to develop social and entrepreneurship solutions to empower local populations and treat blindness. He has worked in this capacity in over 40 different countries and in Northern Ontario with the indigenous communities. He is an associate Professor at McMaster University and the University of Toronto. He teaches cutting-edge and innovative surgical techniques to surgeons nationally and globally. In January 2024, Yasser was among the first few people in the world to travel to Gaza in the middle of the war to volunteer as a physician helping to save injured civilians.
    Special Guest: Dr. Yasser Khan.

    • 1 hr 48 min
    #025: Jennifer Boger - "The AI Mirror"

    #025: Jennifer Boger - "The AI Mirror"

    Kicking off Season 3, Anuj sits with Dr. Jennifer Boger for an entirely different, human conversation on AI, technology and finding our way in an a rapidly accelerating future.


    Dr Jennifer Boger has an unrelenting passion to create technologies that are more sustainable and appropriate from multifaceted perspectives, such as the environment, society, and industry. She is the Chief Scientific Officer at ESG.AI, an Adjunct Professor in Systems Design Engineering at the University of Waterloo, and a Professional Engineer. Jennifer is adept at blending state-of-the art knowledge from computer science, engineering, and ethics to develop internationally renowned intelligent technologies. She is the co-founder of the concept of zero-effort technology and is spearheading the ‘Ethical by Design’ framework for supporting collaborative development of responsible technologies. She has given keynote presentations at several international conferences, is a board member on leading organisations and journals, and has authored over 100 peer-reviewed publications.
    Special Guest: Jennifer Boger.

    • 1 hr 56 min
    #024: "Analog Intelligence"

    #024: "Analog Intelligence"

    A special episode where Anuj shares his reflections on 2023, ahead of another impromptu conversation with his son about AI ethics, and the struggle between good and bad.

    • 37 min
    #023: Martin Ryan - "Artificial Intelligence. Real Ethics"

    #023: Martin Ryan - "Artificial Intelligence. Real Ethics"

    Anuj sits down with Martin Ryan to discuss the moment in time we find ourselves in on the rapidly evolving landscape of AI. Nearly one year since the public launch of Chat GPT, AI has seen an unprecedented level of attention in the public conscience, along with unparalleled growth.


    Martin is innovation strategy and human-centered design leader with 15+ years of cross-sector and cross-domain experience. Leading from a place of sincere concern and regard for the interaction between humanity and technology, Martin helps organizations navigate through the ambiguous but disciplined process of designing what's next for the people, markets and societies they serve; while keeping the moral, ethical and social implications at the forefront.


    Anuj and Martin discuss the recent advancements in AI, and the sheer challenge of trying to regulate and govern a technology that is scaling in complexity beyond the pace we can handle. They explore the questions of shared values, the impact of break-neck paced technological advancement, the interplay with capitalism, and the coming shift of society as we give more and more of our intimate selves to technology.
    Special Guest: Martin Ryan.

    • 1 hr 41 min
    #022: My Son - "No War"

    #022: My Son - "No War"

    A very special & humbling episode. This morning, Anuj cuddled in bed with his 9-year old son, and had the most human, humbling and honest conversation about the situation in that has broken out in Gaza & Israel since October 7, 2023, and what he wants for the world of tomorrow.

    • 13 min
    #021: Mugabi Byenka - "Beyond Skin"

    #021: Mugabi Byenka - "Beyond Skin"

    Anuj sat down with poet & author, Mugabi Byenkya. Audio of this conversation was thought lost, however resurrected in the end to share this wide sweeping dialogue.


    Mugabi shares key experiences from his life living around the world, how his parents gave him a foundation for strength, and what it's been like to move through life's challenges, adversities and triumphs. Anuj & Mugabi explore biases, assumptions and reflect on the role poetry and art have played in their lives. Mugabi's positivity (and laugh) are infectious, and his travels, both internally and in the world continue.




    Special Guest: Mugabi Byenkya.

    • 2 hrs

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
14 Ratings

14 Ratings

Shvetamlouis ,

Simply amazing!

I can't help but rave about the podcast's brilliance. Anuj’s skillful hosting transforms each episode into an intellectual and emotional adventure. The conversations are like a symphony of ideas creating a mesmerizing narrative that challenges my thinking and inspires introspection. AwokenWord isn't just a podcast; it's a soul-stirring journey, a genuine love letter to the intricacies of being human. Highly recommended for anyone seeking profound insights and a deep connection with the world.

FindingPerspective ,

Wonderful Storytelling

Anuj is a very captivating host and he is great at creating quality conversation. His conversations are very philosophical and they really entice the listeners to think beyond the surface. The guests on Awokenword are very interesting and provide some interesting perspectives on life. I really enjoy listening to this podcast and I recommend it to everyone.

Hermit13! ,

The world needs more of this!

Honest conversations, coming from a place of good intent. Each and every guest has been an incredible source of thought provoking insights...I’ve learned so much from their experience. The host, Anuj navigates through diverse conversations bringing out something completely new and unexpected from each guest. Highly recommend if you are commuting!

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