7 episodes

Welcome to Meet the Influectuals!


They're influential. They're intellectuals. Yes, you got it: they are the influectuals.


Sonia Jalfin and John Schwartz are on a quest to find out the best ways to communicate knowledge, ideas, and evidence. In each episode, they will meet a leading influectual who can help them on this mission.



This podcast is produced by Soapbox and Sociopúblico, two design and communications agencies working at the intersection of research and social progress. You can learn more about us at designbysoapbox.com and sociopublico.com.

Meet the Influectuals Meet the Influectuals

    • Society & Culture

Welcome to Meet the Influectuals!


They're influential. They're intellectuals. Yes, you got it: they are the influectuals.


Sonia Jalfin and John Schwartz are on a quest to find out the best ways to communicate knowledge, ideas, and evidence. In each episode, they will meet a leading influectual who can help them on this mission.



This podcast is produced by Soapbox and Sociopúblico, two design and communications agencies working at the intersection of research and social progress. You can learn more about us at designbysoapbox.com and sociopublico.com.

    AI & Research communications - Nick Scott

    AI & Research communications - Nick Scott

    How did we imagine the future of policy communications 10 years ago? How does the present compare?

    In this episode, Sonia and John join Nick Scott to explore the transformative role of AI in research communications, from audience engagement to redefining authorship. They discuss the importance of think tanks embracing continuous learning and collaboration to be prepared for this evolving and uncertain AI-influenced landscape.

    In Nick's words, 'buckle up because it's going to be an interesting ride'.

    Nick Scott is a senior digital leader, co-founder of WonkComms Network and former Head of Digital at UNISON and Médicins Sans Frontières.

    This podcast is produced by Soapbox and Sociopúblico, two design and communications agencies working at the intersection of research and social progress. You can learn more about us at designbysoapbox.com and sociopublico.com. Feel free to contact us with ideas for future episodes.

    • 39 min
    Future Ideas - Geoff Mulgan

    Future Ideas - Geoff Mulgan

    In today's context, it seems increasingly difficult to imagine a different, optimistic future. Sonia and John meet with Geoff Mulgan to discuss how to overcome this crisis of imagination in order to foster positive change. 

    They explore the potential and limitations of generative ideas, and the importance of bridging theory and practice to effectively translate creative ideas into successful, complex policies. What is the role of think tanks in this process? How can engineers and artists help shape a different future?

    Geoff Mulgan is Professor of Collective Intelligence, Public Policy and Social Innovation at University College London, and former Chief Executive of NESTA and The Young Foundation. 

    This podcast is produced by Soapbox and Sociopúblico, two design and communications agencies working at the intersection of research and social progress. You can learn more about us at designbysoapbox.com and sociopublico.com. Feel free to contact us with ideas for future episodes.

    • 41 min
    Pain and public policy - Lucía Macchia

    Pain and public policy - Lucía Macchia

    Understanding how the human mind works and processes information is crucial for communicators. In this episode, Sonia and John meet with Lucía Macchia to delve into the potential of behavioral science for disseminating research and influencing policy. 

    To explore the complex intersection of behavioral science and policy, they focus on a topic that most of us dread: pain. Lucía explains how economic and social distress can cause physical discomfort and why it's critical to measure and consider pain in public policy.

    Lucía Macchia is a behavioral scientist and Lecturer at City, University of London, Visiting Fellow at the LSE; and a Research Affiliate at the Wellbeing Research Centre at the University of Oxford.



    This podcast is produced by Soapbox and Sociopúblico, two design and communications agencies working at the intersection of research and social progress. You can learn more about us at designbysoapbox.com and sociopublico.com. Feel free to contact us with ideas for future episodes.

    • 28 min
    IFS: Communicating expertise - Helen Miller

    IFS: Communicating expertise - Helen Miller

    Tax policy issues can seem quite technical and obscure to most people. So how has the Institute for Fiscal Studies positioned itself as one of the most influential think tanks in the UK? Why do people care about what they have to say?

    In this episode, Sonia and John meet with Helen Miller, Deputy Director at the IFS, to find out how much of this reputation is owed to the IFS’s approach to communicating its expertise to the public and informing public policy. 

    If you care about growth or living standards, she says, then you have to care about this obscure piece of policy.



    This podcast is produced by Soapbox and Sociopúblico, two design and communications agencies working at the intersection of research and social progress. You can learn more about us at designbysoapbox.com and sociopublico.com. Feel free to contact us with ideas for future episodes.

    • 38 min
    Political process design - Chiara Rosselli

    Political process design - Chiara Rosselli

    Sonia and John are in London attending the On Think Tanks Conference at Chatham House. Among so many people with diverse –and sometimes conflicting– opinions, some pressing questions arise: Why does collaboration seem to be lacking in so many policy processes these days? How can we translate these dialogue instances into constructive decision-making processes? And how can process design methods help? In this episode, they turn to Chiara Rosselli for guidance.


    Chiara is the co-founder and executive director of Apropos, a collective of process designers, facilitators and political analysts working for better communication and collaboration in politics and policy.






    This podcast is produced by Soapbox and Sociopúblico, two design and communications agencies working at the intersection of research and social progress. You can learn more about us at designbysoapbox.com and sociopublico.com. Feel free to contact us with ideas for future episodes.

    • 33 min
    Public influence - Paul Constance

    Public influence - Paul Constance

    In today’s world of constant information and noise, it can be difficult to stand out. But some organizations and individuals have managed to become true thought leaders, shaping the way we think and talk about the issues of our time.



    So, what sets them apart? 



    Paul Constance is the perfect guest to help us answer these questions. Paul is a master of public influence. He worked for years as Chief of Strategic Communications at the Inter-American Development Bank, and now studies what he calls “slow policy” problems and consults for organizations that are working for very long-term change.



    If influectuals do exist, Paul certainly knows how to create them.









    This podcast is produced by Soapbox and Sociopúblico, two design and communications agencies working at the intersection of research and social progress. You can learn more about us at designbysoapbox.com and sociopublico.com. Feel free to contact us with ideas for future episodes.

    • 45 min

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