What does it take to flourish? We started Flourish FM to share cutting edge research from world experts on how to thrive, so you can take away big ideas and practical steps to enhance your life, the lives of others, and, ultimately, make the world a better place.
Flourish FM is hosted by Dr. Jon Beale and Dr. Nick Holton, and in collaboration with the Human Flourishing Program at Harvard University, the Department of Education at the University of Oxford, and The Shipley School.
Episode# 11: Flow & Flourishing Part 2: Flow in your work
This is the second in a two-part series on the relationship between flourishing and flow - the psychological state of optimal experience and performance. Research suggests that experiencing flow significantly enhances our well-being.
In this episode, we talk to Dr Jared Weintraub and Dr Gerrit McGowan about the role of flow in work and how to get more into flow in your work.
Dr Jared Weintraub is the founder of The Flow Group, LLC., an organizational and business development firm that works with individuals and companies to create and maintain happy, healthy, and productive workplaces. Jared holds a Ph.D. from Hofstra University, a Master’s degree from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, and a certification as a Senior Professional of Human Resources (SPHR). He has worked with start-ups, Fortune 500 companies, and organizations across various industries, providing internal and external consulting, coaching, and managing marketing and sales teams. He recently received his Ph.D. in Applied Org
anizational Psychology from Hofstra University, where he researched Flow Theory - how, when, and why individuals, teams, and organizations can get into “the Zone.” Most recently, this research has explored how we can use technology-based solutions to "nudge" behavior change in order to develop key competencies for flourishing at work. His over ten years of experience include: teaching undergraduate and graduate courses, designing and implementing training programs, employee engagement, performance management, needs assessment, employment law compliance, administration of benefits, and so on.
Dr Gerrit McGowan is a 4x startup founder, angel investor, and peak performance coach. He is the founder of the Syntegrity Group, Kula.com, Effectuate Apps, ICELab, the Most Awesome Founder Podcast, the WHU Accelerator, and numerous other short-lived ventures. But he is perhaps most recognised for inventing the concept of Cause-Related Loyalty Marketing and its SaaS implementations such as MyCoke Rewards Donate to Schools, Kellogg’s Points with Purpose, Red Robin Eat Up-Give Back Rewards, and JetBlue’s TrueGiving. When not building ventures, Gerrit is helping others build theirs - having coached over 1000 founders and nascent entrepreneurs across five continents. He is a All-Star Mentor for Techstars, CEO Coach for Alchemist Accelerator, mentor for APX, Founder Institute, Earlybird VisionLab, and advisor/investor/shareholder in numerous high-growth ventures. Throughout his career, Gerrit has led the development of over a dozen technology products; raised over $10m in funding; and supported startups that have raised over $100m in venture capital. His work has been honoured with two Canadian Institute of Planners Awards for Excellence; as a finalist for the Guardian’s Social Enterprise of the Year Award; and a SXSW Startup Showcase selection.
Key conversation points:
How Gerrit and Jared both came into research and work around the flow state
How flow takes various points along a spectrum of focused attention
How flow and flourishing at work are connected with important work outcomes
The interesting relationship between flow, stress and anxiety
The appropriate role of stress and challenge in flourishing and flow
Gerrit’s study of flow and burnout among entrepreneurs
The difference between work-life balance and work-life synergy
How to create more flow at in your team or organization
Episode # 10: Flow & Flourishing Part 1: The Flow State
This is the first of a two-part series on the relationship between flourishing and flow - the psychological state of optimal experience and performance. Research suggests that experiencing flow significantly enhances our well-being.
In this episode, we talk to Dr Carol Grojean and Dr Brent Hogarth about the flow state and its relationship to flourishing.
As a Leadership professional in the areas of Organizational Effectiveness, Project Management, and Transformational Change, Dr Carol Grojean has spent the past 20 years’ guiding large, complex, strategic initiatives. Carol is adept at designing and implementing programs which drive strategic business and organizational culture shifts through building trust and delivering results. With extensive business process, project, and program management skillset built on 3 Masters degrees and a Ph.D. in organizational systems psychology: leadership and social transformation as well as wilderness rite of passage guiding, council facilitating, and peace mediation training. Carol brings a unique and much-needed perspective on the human behavior in human systems, focused on building cultures where individuals at all levels can bring their distinct, creative talents to their roles while providing the necessary skills to the whole system values and vision.
Dr. Brent Hogarth is a Sport and Clinical Psychologist from Vancouver, Canada. He is an expert in training flow-state, mindfulness, and self-control for both sport and corporate athletes. Brent has significant training and experience providing performance enhancement and mental health counseling. This includes, but is not limited to, working with Olympic and professional athletes, serial entrepreneurs, members of the USA military, computer engineers, authors, hedge fund managers and more. Brent's clinical counseling experience is vast, and he sees everyone as having the ability to be a high-performer. He completed his Doctoral fellowships at the University of Texas, at El Paso, and Lehigh University, in Bethlehem, PA. After a short stint as a fitness trainer, he traveled to India where he lived in a Buddhist Monastery and completed a Yoga Teacher training Course. It was at this moment - sitting in meditation on the hills of McLeod Ganj, India - that Brent committed to becoming a psychologist. Dr. Hogarth is a Humanistic-Existential psychologist. His theoretical orientation is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). ACT uses acceptance and mindfulness strategies, together with commitment and behavior change strategies, to increase psychological flexibility. Psychological flexibility means contacting the present moment fully, and based on what the situation affords, changing or persisting in behavior in the service of clients’ chosen values.
Key conversation points:
The place of flow in human flourishing
Why focusing on integration of the self and experience is important for flow: “doing” vs. “being”, and integrating the “me” with the “we”
Why it’s important for getting into flow to not try to get into flow, but rather to “let go”
The importance of embracing and engaging in a process of struggle to get into flow
The importance of being aware of the potential dark side of flow
Episode#9: Pathways to Visible Well-being and Executing Strengths-Based Parenting
In this episode we talked to Professor Lea Waters about the pathways towards well-being and why ‘strengths-based parenting’ is important.
Lea is Founding Director of and Inaugural Gerry Higgins Chair in Positive Psychology at the Centre for Positive Psychology (now the Centre for Wellbeing Science), University of Melbourne. Lea holds affiliate positions at Cambridge University and the University of Michigan and serves on the Scientific Board at UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center. Lea is the Past President of the International Positive Psychology Association, serves on the Council of Happiness and Education for the World Happiness Council, is the Patron of Flourishing Education Japan and Ambassador for the Positive Education Schools Association. She is a registered psychologist and a full member of the Australian Psychological Society.
Key convo points are:
Lea’s tripartite account of flourishing as feeling good, functioning well and doing good.
The connection Lea draws between her account of flourishing and positive psychology - the scientific study of the conditions and processes leading to human flourishing.
Lea’s ‘SEARCH’ framework on the six pathways to well-being: Strengths, Emotional management, Attention & Awareness, Relationships, Coping, and Habits & goals.
Lea’s view that flourishing is the aim of education, and her research on how improving well-being in education supports the fulfillment of students’ learning.
Lea’s argument that to build well-being, we need to make well-being more visible, in similar ways to how we try to make thinking visible.
The age at which humans gain a sense of purpose in life.
What strengths-based parenting is and why parents should consider employing it.
Episode # 8: On growing roses in concrete, student well-being and a different vision for education
In this episode we are talking to Jeff Duncan-Andrade, Ph.D., a Professor of Latina/o Studies and Race and Resistance Studies at San Francisco State University. He is also a founder of the Roses in Concrete Community School, a community responsive lab school in East Oakland (rosesinconcrete.org) and the Community Responsive Education Group (communityresponsive.org). As a classroom teacher and school leader in East Oakland (CA) for the past 28 years, his pedagogy has been widely studied and acclaimed for producing uncommon levels of social and academic success for students. Duncan-Andrade lectures around the world and has authored numerous journal articles and book chapters on effective practices in schools. He has written two books and his third book with Harvard University Press is due for publication in spring 2022. In 2016, Duncan-Andrade was part of the great educators invited to the White House on National Teacher Appreciation Day by President Obama, and in 2019 he was chosen as the Laureate for the prestigious Brock International Prize in Education. In 2021, he was selected to join the Board of Prevent Child Abuse America. Duncan-Andrade has also been ranked as one of the nation’s most influential scholars by EdWeek’s Public Influence Rankings.
Key points we talked about:
Hear about how he’s navigating COVID as a father, professor and educational leader.
The childhood experiences that built him into the person he is today and field the things he cares.
The way unearned suffering cuts across so many groups. People are situated on the margins of society.
Consistent pursuit to keep his thumb of the heartbeat of research and narratives around educational reform and building a different type of educational experience. One that would eventually put well-being at the center of that educational experience.
Mention his school Roses in Concrete a different kind of school
Mention their definition of well-being for their students: ‘Youth Wellness’
The act of giving one’s child over to a school or teacher every morning
We’re measuring the wrong stuff
Keeping both individual and collective wellness in mind: ‘community-responsive youth wellness’
Tips from our expert as a part of the flourishing question
Epsiode #7: Applying the Ancient Greek philosophy of flourishing to our lives today
In this episode we talked to Professor Angie Hobbs about how we can apply the ancient Greek philosophy of flourishing to our lives today.
Angie gained a degree in Classics and a PhD in Ancient Philosophy at the University of Cambridge. After a Research Fellowship at Christ’s College, Cambridge, she moved to the Philosophy Department at the University of Warwick; in 2012 she was appointed Professor of the Public Understanding of Philosophy at the University of Sheffield, a position created for her. She now holds a position with this title at the University of Warwick. Her chief interests are in ancient philosophy and literature, and ethics and political theory from classical thought to the present, and she has published widely in these areas, including Plato and the Hero (C.U.P). Her most recent publication for the general public is Plato’s Republic: a Ladybird Expert Book. She contributes regularly to radio and TV programmes and other media around the world, including 24 appearances on In Our Time on BBC Radio 4. She has spoken at the World Economic Forum at Davos, the Athens Democracy Forum, the Houses of Parliament, the Scottish Parliament and Westminster Abbey and been the guest on Desert Island Discs, Private Passions and Test Match Special.
Angie was a judge of the Man Booker International Prize 2019 and was on the World Economic Forum Global Future Council 2018-9 for Values, Ethics and Innovation.
Key conversation points:
Why flourishing is about the best actualization and fulfillment of all our faculties.
Why flourishing means living the best life, both individually and as communities.
The values and virtues that best help us fulfill our faculties.
The relevance and importance of Plato’s and Aristotle’s accounts of flourishing to the world today and how we live.
Flourishing and the wholeness of our lives, in terms of lifespan, our characters, and our relations with others.
Why flourishing gives you a secure framework of what it means to live a full, rich human life, both for yourself and your community.
The role and importance of social connection in flourishing, particularly friendships and community connection.
The dark side of flourishing.
Episode #6: The importance of critical thinking for flourishing in an age of technology
In this epsiode we talked to Dr Tom Chatfield. He is a British author, philosopher of technology, and educator. He is interested in improving our understanding of digital technology and its uses in policy, education and engagement. He’s particularly interested in the teaching and practice of critical thinking skills, and has worked with schools, universities and companies around their development, as well as creating award-winning online courses for both academic institutions and businesses.
Key conversation points were:
Our relationship with technology and how this impacts our flourishing
How to reduce technology blurring the lines between work and leisure
How to use technology well, rather than being used by technology
Attention: what it is; its importance for living a good life; and the dangers of monetizing attention
The importance of collaboration and humility as virtues for thinking and living well
The importance of critical thinking skills for leading flourishing lives - in particular, avoiding coercion, reaching effective collaborative decisions, and identifying misinformation and disinformation
What an incredible trough!
Wow! Thank you technology that gives us the conduit to absorb scientifically backed information from such high caliber sources. Thank you Dr. Nick and Dr. Jon for sharing your incredible knowledge and beautiful mission ♥️
Sooo much value in each episode
In a time when there’s an overwhelming amount of surface level and anecdotal personal development content, it’s both refreshing and exciting to find a podcast that goes DEEP into the research but in a practical and conversational way. I’ve had to rewatch the first few episodes several times because it was full of insight!
I appreciate Nick and Jon’s willingness to have truly open dialogues with their guests, and to listen and engage with topics and ideas that might not seem to totally jibe with their own. Very interesting and thought provoking stuff!