9 episodes

Curiosity involves lots of questions. Or just enough, good questions.Curiosity That Matters is a series of conversation with thought leaders and experts working at the intersection of design, policy, innovation and impact. Each episode, we spend around 45 minutes discussing a framework, concept, mental model or approach that my guest either created or is an expert on.We cover topics such as collective imagination, expansive thinking, creative bureaucracy, nurture capital, dark matter in design & policy, the boring revolution and much more. We talk about the guests' journey and their curiosity, and delve deep into the topics at hand.As for the questions... I'm still working on mine

Curiosity That Matters Nadim Choucair

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 1 Rating

Curiosity involves lots of questions. Or just enough, good questions.Curiosity That Matters is a series of conversation with thought leaders and experts working at the intersection of design, policy, innovation and impact. Each episode, we spend around 45 minutes discussing a framework, concept, mental model or approach that my guest either created or is an expert on.We cover topics such as collective imagination, expansive thinking, creative bureaucracy, nurture capital, dark matter in design & policy, the boring revolution and much more. We talk about the guests' journey and their curiosity, and delve deep into the topics at hand.As for the questions... I'm still working on mine

    CTM 8: Incubating Curiosity & Behavioral Science with Bridget Gildea

    CTM 8: Incubating Curiosity & Behavioral Science with Bridget Gildea

    In this episode, host Nadim Choucair speaks with Bridget Gildea, a multidisciplinary consultant & behavioral scientist working at the intersection of applied learning, technology, behavioral insights, and public policy.
    We discuss the value of curiosity in policymaking and how to create the right conditions to foster productive curiosity.
    We explore the challenges in translating intention into action, highlighting strategies such as making desired behaviors more achievable, leveraging social norms, and fostering accountability.
    Bridget explains how curiosity can uncover the root causes behind policy challenges and lead to more effective solutions. However, bureaucracy and ingrained ways of working can unintentionally stifle curiosity. Bridget argues that modeling curious behaviors like asking thoughtful questions, approaching issues with "intellectual humility," and creating safe spaces for inquiry and reflection can shift mindsets. She also highlights the importance of translating insights into action, which she calls "productive curiosity."
    Bridget also discusses the role of reflective periods, collective intelligence, and methodologically sound convening in innovation within the for-good sector. She also touches on the influence of narrative and art in policy, the concept of 'social sculpture,' and the importance of addressing large existential threats like climate change.
    Overall, the conversation centers on cultivating curiosity to drive innovation in policymaking. It emphasizes curiosity's ability to challenge assumptions, spur collective problem-solving, and create meaningful change.

    Links:
    The Curiosity Incubator
    https://www.linkedin.com/company/curiosity-incubator/https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Il9TN2HG0Y4The EAST Framework
    https://www.bi.team/publications/east-four-simple-ways-to-apply-behavioural-insights/

    • 1 hr 30 min
    CTM 7: Collective Imagination with Sir Geoff Mulgan

    CTM 7: Collective Imagination with Sir Geoff Mulgan

    In Episode 7 of Curiosity That Matters, host Nadim Choucair engages with Sir Geoff Mulgan, a prominent author, thinker, and advocate for collective intelligence, social innovation, and public policy.
    Geoff shares insights from his multifaceted career spanning roles in the UK government and academia, reflecting on lessons learned from his political activism to his leadership at Nesta, the UK's innovation foundation.
    The conversation delves into Geoff’s latest book, Another World Is Possible, exploring the concept of collective imagination and its critical role in envisioning positive societal changes amidst challenges like climate change, technological advancement, and political inertia.
    Geoff’s stories range from his early days mobilizing musicians against Thatcher’s policies to modern efforts in reimagining future governance structures and societal support systems like mental health and climate action.
    This episode offers an in-depth conversation on the importance of collective imagination and innovation in addressing societal challenges, drawing on his vast experience in government, academia, and social innovation.

    More readings & content by Geoff:
    https://www.geoffmulgan.com/post/mesh-organisational-archicture-theoryhttps://www.geoffmulgan.com/post/imaginationhttps://creativebureaucracy.org/discover/videos/the-art-of-imagination/
    Geoff's interview with Boundaryless & New Statesment article
    https://www.boundaryless.io/podcast/geoff-mulgan/https://www.newstatesman.com/long-reads/2015/10/trotsky-blair-and-new-politicsAbout Geoff:
    https://profiles.ucl.ac.uk/76510

    • 53 min
    CTM 6: Huddles & Learning with Zahra Davidson

    CTM 6: Huddles & Learning with Zahra Davidson

    In this episode I speak with Zahra Davidson, the outgoing CEO of Huddlecraft, about peer learning, collective imagination, and letting go. Zahra left her post as CEO at the end of March 2024

    Zahra explains how Huddlecraft facilitates huddles - small peer learning groups united by a shared curiosity. She discusses the importance of crafting a personal learning question, embracing emergence and giving up control, and making learning tangible.
    She reflects on stepping back from leading Huddlecraft after 7 years and shares her curiosity around enjoying life amidst challenge. She describes Huddlecraft's work around collective imagination, and talks about the role of writing in making sense of her curiosity and processing ideas. As she prepares to leave her CEO role, she looks ahead to having more space and an open mind about what is possible next, following her curiosities with less attachment to specific outcomes.

    Learn more about Zahra's journey through this substack:
    https://zahradavidson.substack.com/

    Check this post by Huddlecraft about Zahra's last day:
    https://www.linkedin.com/posts/huddlecraft_after-7-years-of-building-huddlecraft-from-activity-7181245879440297987-mPMo?utm_source=share&utm_medium=member_desktop

    • 1 hr 1 min
    CTM 5: Agile Stability & The Entrepreneurial State with Rainer Kattel

    CTM 5: Agile Stability & The Entrepreneurial State with Rainer Kattel

    “Agile stability in the context of the entrepreneurial state” explores the role of the state in innovation and the economy.
    UCL Professor & IIPP Deputy Director Rainer Kattel, explains why innovation needs bureaucracy, and why the initial nimbleness and speed required to innovate needs a certain structure that provides stability for scaling innovations. 
    Kattel introduces the idea of “agile stability” – governments need stability for long-term functions but also agility to respond to new challenges. He provides examples like digital agencies that start small and experimental but later become institutionalized. Kattel argues we need to consciously design public organizations for innovation. He emphasizes that both capabilities and capacities matter – skills and leadership, but also infrastructure and resources. The discussion covers how to build these capabilities, the role of missions in focusing innovation efforts with specific examples.
    Overall, the podcast makes the case that realizing the promise of an “entrepreneurial state” relies on building dynamic and learning-oriented public organizations.
    Some other resources for you to learn more about How to Make an Entrepreneurial State: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29aosKq90mA
    For more on Mission-Oriented Innovation & UCL IIPP's work
    https://www.ucl.ac.uk/bartlett/public-purpose/publications/2019/dec/missions-beginners-guidehttps://www.ucl.ac.uk/bartlett/public-purpose/research/mission-oriented-innovationFor links to previous episodes mentioned:
    CTM3: Creative Bureaucracy with Charles Landry CTM1: Expansive Thinking with Christian BasonHow to buy the book:
    https://yalebooks.co.uk/book/9780300227277/how-to-make-an-entrepreneurial-state/

    • 48 min
    CTM 4: Boring Revolution with Indy Johar

    CTM 4: Boring Revolution with Indy Johar

    Our 4th episode features Indy Johar, founding director of Zero Zero and Dark Matter Labs, discussing the need for a “boring revolution” to transform the underlying systems and values that are driving our current crises.
    Indy argues we need to move beyond an extractive, ownership-based system to one based on shared value creation and recognizing our interconnectedness.
    Key themes include reimagining profit as a proof of value rather than extraction, investing in societal assets like collective intelligence, reinventing bureaucracy for the digital age, and designing new civic economies that are closer to where value is generated. Indy also discusses the invisible violence embedded in current systems, the need for a “great peace” and mutually assured thriving, decentralizing organizing for compound learning, the organizations of the future, and giving language to emergent realities many are sensing, 

    Key TakeawaysWe need a “boring revolution” to transform the deep codes, values and systems underlying today’s crises
    Must move beyond ownership, dominion and separation to embracing interconnectedness
    Profit should show value created, not just extracted; must invest in shared goods
    Reinvent bureaucracy and governance for complexity of 21st century
    Design new civic economies and organize for collective & relational intelligence
    Our system causes invisible violence; need a “great peace”
    Written and spoken language not sufficient to describe world we need, yet shapes and gives meaning to what many sense is happening 

    Below are links to articles, podcasts and other references I mention and I consulted in preparation for this episode:

    - https://www.linkedin.com/posts/amitpaul-changemaker_accounting-revolution-bureaucracy-activity-7068911355528933377-ms8I
    - https://futureofgood.co/mutually-assured-thriving-indy-johar-on-the-future-of-caring-for-one-another/
    -https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:7065052478186102784   ...  continue at https://youtu.be/IrJVjrPsPus?t=2734
    - https://www.thedeepdivepod.com/135
    - https://boundaryless.io/podcast/dark-matter-labs/
    - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vvmgf-8bVCo — Indy @ Creative Bureaucracy Festival
    - https://www.samrye.xyz/on-relational-infrastructure/
    - https://provocations.darkmatterlabs.org/dm-note-8-on-art-and-imagination-infrastructure-8b3cee1d32c6
    - https://provocations.darkmatterlabs.org/innovation-needs-a-boring-revolution-741f884aab5f
    - https://provocations.darkmatterlabs.org/how-do-democracies-innovate-in-a-complex-world-8f26342d164b
    - https://provocations.darkmatterlabs.org/dmls-manual-of-us-d41b1c235869
    - https://creativebureaucracy.org/discover/videos/the-boring-revolution-remaking-bureaucracy-for-this-century/
    - https://www.ft.com/content/b1604232-bfcd-49a5-99eb-9ac540d22748
    - https://www.futurebuild.co.uk/guest/indy-johar-co-founder-project-00-dark-matter-labs-senior-innovation-associate-young-foundation/
    - https://forthewild.world/listen/the-edges-in-the-middle-bayo-and-indy
    - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhueZVPI0hU

    • 1 hr
    CTM 3: Creative Bureaucracy with Charles Landry

    CTM 3: Creative Bureaucracy with Charles Landry

    Charles Landry is a renowned urbanist and author, and founder of the Berlin-based Creative Bureaucracy Festival

    Join us in this re-published episode to learn more  his concept of "creative bureaucracy" and the role of curiosity and imagination in public administration. Landry explains that creative bureaucracy is about fostering a culture within public organizations that is open to new ideas and solutions. He argues that many public servants are naturally creative and curious, but rigid hierarchies and risk-averse cultures often stifle this. Landry emphasizes the importance of cultivating imagination, as this allows people to envision alternative futures. He advocates for public servants to adopt an entrepreneurial mindset of experimentation and collaboration both within and outside of government.

    Overall, Landry makes the case that embracing creativity and curiosity results in more adaptive, human-centered public institutions capable of tackling complex issues. He views this as vital for shaping a better future.

    • 1 hr 1 min

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