159 episodes

Six Pixels of Separation - Mitch Joel’s weekly conversation with business leaders, thinkers, innovators and cultural icons. The show is about insights and provocations on brands, consumers, technology, business and how connected we’ve all become.

Six Pixels of Separation Podcast Mitch Joel

    • Business
    • 4.3 • 92 Ratings

Six Pixels of Separation - Mitch Joel’s weekly conversation with business leaders, thinkers, innovators and cultural icons. The show is about insights and provocations on brands, consumers, technology, business and how connected we’ve all become.

    SPOS #927 – Scott Shigeoka On Unleashing The Power Of Curiosity

    SPOS #927 – Scott Shigeoka On Unleashing The Power Of Curiosity

    Welcome to episode #927 of Six Pixels of Separation - The ThinkersOne Podcast.
    Here it is: Six Pixels of Separation - The ThinkersOne Podcast - Episode #927. Let’s get much more curious in our work (and in our daily lives) to help bring this world closer together. Scott Shigeoka has spent his time exploring the power of curiosity. This has not only won him accolades but also transformed how we think about bridging divides in our increasingly complex world. His new book, Seek - How Curiosity Can Transform Your Life and Change the World, offers a look into curiosity as a force for positive change, earning praise from thinkers like Malcolm Gladwell and Adam Grant, and recognition as an Amazon Best Book of 2023. Scott’s unique perspective is shaped by a diverse background — from his roots in Hawaii to teaching groundbreaking courses at the University of Texas at Austin, and speaking for brands like Google and Pixar. His journey through curiosity began as a personal quest and has evolved into a universal call to action, underscored by his work at UC Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center. Our conversation also touches on the impact of the pandemic on curiosity, a time when questions and the search for understanding became more critical than ever. Scott discusses how embracing curiosity can empower us to navigate through crises with resilience and hope. He also delves into the challenges of cancel culture and scrutiny, which can stifle curiosity. Beyond individual growth, Scott explores how institutions like universities can serve as incubators for curiosity, promoting an environment where challenging discussions can occur without fear. The role of emotions in fueling or hindering curiosity emerges as a key theme, with Scott advocating for emotional intelligence as a complement to intellectual inquiry. As Scott splits his time between the vibrant San Francisco Bay Area and the tranquil Mojave Desert, he embodies the balance between action and reflection, making him an ideal guide for anyone looking to deepen their understanding of the world through the lens of curiosity. Whether you're a leader, educator, or simply someone looking to foster more meaningful connections, this conversation promises to offer valuable insights into making curiosity a dynamic part of your everyday life. Enjoy the conversation...
    Running time: 1:00:26. Hello from beautiful Montreal. Subscribe over at Apple Podcasts. Please visit and leave comments on the blog - Six Pixels of Separation. Feel free to connect to me directly on Facebook here: Mitch Joel on Facebook. Check out ThinkersOne. or you can connect on LinkedIn. ...or on Twitter. Here is my conversation with Scott Shigeoka. Seek - How Curiosity Can Transform Your Life and Change the World. Greater Good Science Center. Follow Scott on Instagram. Follow Scott on X. Follow Scott on LinkedIn. This week's music: David Usher 'St. Lawrence River'. Takeaways
    Hope and optimism are essential for fostering curiosity and a vision for the future. Cancel culture and the fear of scrutiny can hinder curiosity and prevent the exploration of different perspectives. Power dynamics play a role in curiosity, with those in positions of power needing to be curious about the perspectives of others. Emotions can impact curiosity, and it is important to create spaces where different perspectives can be shared without fear of judgment. College campuses can serve as laboratories for fostering curiosity and bridging differences. Curiosity has the power to change perspectives and create positive relationships. Chapters:
    00:00 - Introduction and Background 02:15 - The Science of Curiosity 04:54 - The Catalyst for Writing the Book 07:49 - Curiosity During the Pandemic 12:51 - The Importance of Curiosity in Healing 18:36 - The Role of Curiosity in Bridging Differences 19:13 - The Power of Asking Questions 21:31 - The Dive Model 28:38 - Scaling Curiosity and Bridging Differences 43:17 - The Importance of Hope and O

    • 1 hr
    SPOS #926 – Joanna Robinson Unmasks Marvel’s Superhero Business

    SPOS #926 – Joanna Robinson Unmasks Marvel’s Superhero Business

    Welcome to episode #926 of Six Pixels of Separation - The ThinkersOne Podcast.
    Here it is: Six Pixels of Separation - The ThinkersOne Podcast - Episode #926. A titan of pop culture commentary and a guiding voice in the realm of fandom is the best way to describe Joanna Robinson. With her profound insights into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and a finger firmly on the pulse of the entertainment industry, Joanna's expertise is unparalleled. Her recent book, co-authored with Dave Gonzales and Gavin Edwards, MCU - The Reign of Marvel Studios, offers a deep dive into the phenomenon that has reshaped global cinema... and turned nerds into the cool kids. Joanna's journey from a senior writer at Vanity Fair to becoming the "Queen of Game of Thrones," as dubbed by SyFy, showcases her unique ability to dissect and discuss complex cultural narratives, making her a beloved figure among fans and critics alike. Her transition to The Ringer, where she appears on shows like The Ringer-Verse and Trial By Content, further solidifies her status as a cultural critic par excellence. I am a comic book collector and lover of all things pop culture. This has not only become big business but a smart industry for all professionals to spend some time thinking about. Our conversation spans the intricate web of strategic decisions that led to the MCU's unprecedented success. From Marvel's acquisition by Disney to the delicate balance of interconnected storytelling and standalone tales, Joanna sheds light on the elements that keep audiences hooked. She also explores the MCU's cultural impact, particularly post-9/11, where a surge in superhero popularity reflected a collective yearning for escapism and heroism. Joanna points out the potential for content fatigue as Marvel's expansive universe grows ever larger across movies, TV shows, and streaming platforms. Beyond the MCU, Joanna and I delve into the broader comic book industry, contrasting Marvel's success with DC's franchise-building struggles and discussing the power of nostalgia in reigniting interest in iconic characters. Joanna emphasizes the untapped potential within Marvel's vast catalog, hinting at exciting directions the studio could explore in the future. MCU - The Reign of Marvel Studios is more than just a recounting of Marvel's rise to dominance - it's an invitation to understand the strategic, cultural, and creative forces behind one of the most influential entities in modern entertainment. Joanna's contribution, alongside her co-authors, offers invaluable insights for fans, aspiring creators, and industry observers alike. Enjoy the conversation...
    Running time: 59:46. Hello from beautiful Montreal. Subscribe over at Apple Podcasts. Please visit and leave comments on the blog - Six Pixels of Separation. Feel free to connect to me directly on Facebook here: Mitch Joel on Facebook. Check out ThinkersOne. or you can connect on LinkedIn. ...or on Twitter. Here is my conversation with Joanna Robinson. MCU - The Reign of Marvel Studios. Joanna’s amazing podcasts. Follow Joanna on X. Follow Joanna on Instagram. This week's music: David Usher 'St. Lawrence River'. Takeaways
    The success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is a result of strategic decisions made by Marvel and Disney, including the acquisition of Marvel by Disney and the interconnected storytelling approach. The cultural shift towards superheroes can be attributed to a desire for escapism and heroism, particularly in the aftermath of 9/11. Marvel faces the challenge of content fatigue as it expands its universe across movies, TV shows, and streaming platforms. DC has faced challenges in building successful franchises, while Marvel has excelled in creating interconnected storylines. Nostalgia plays a significant role in the success of superhero movies, as audiences connect with iconic characters and stories from their childhood. There are untapped potential assets in the Marvel catalog that could be explored in future pr

    • 59 min
    SPOS #925 – Russ Neuman On How AI Will Make Us Smarter

    SPOS #925 – Russ Neuman On How AI Will Make Us Smarter

    Welcome to episode #925 of Six Pixels of Separation - The ThinkersOne Podcast.
    Here it is: Six Pixels of Separation - The ThinkersOne Podcast - Episode #925. The transformative impact of artificial intelligence on business and society is going to be a technological shift unlike anything we have ever experienced. Russ Neuman, a distinguished scholar in new media and digital education, is currently a Professor of Media Technology at New York University, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. With a storied career that spans from the University of Michigan to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, Russ has been at the forefront of understanding and shaping the digital landscape. Russ' recent book, Evolutionary Intelligence - How Technology Will Make Us Smarter, delves into the complex relationship between humanity and artificial intelligence (a topic that is near and dear to my heart). How can we better navigate the myriad perspectives on AI, from its potential to disrupt employment and amplify polarization to its capacity for enhancing human decision-making and fostering societal advancement. In Evolutionary Intelligence, Russ offers a refreshing counter-narrative to the doom-laden discourse surrounding AI. Russ argues that, rather than fearing the emergence of AI, we should embrace its potential to augment human capabilities and address the cognitive limitations that have bounded humanity since its hunter-gatherer days. By integrating AI into our daily lives — from laptops to headsets — Russ envisions a future where computational intelligence complements human judgment, empowering individuals to adapt to rapidly changing environments. As we delve into Russ's latest book and his extensive research on media technology's impact on society, we have a challenging and thought-provoking discussion that might upend your preconceived notions about AI and offers hope for a smarter, more collaborative future. In an era where the buzz around artificial intelligence swings dramatically between utopian promises and dystopian warnings, Russ stands out with a refreshingly balanced perspective. Enjoy the conversation...
    Running time: 53:59. Hello from beautiful Montreal. Subscribe over at Apple Podcasts. Please visit and leave comments on the blog - Six Pixels of Separation. Feel free to connect to me directly on Facebook here: Mitch Joel on Facebook. Check out ThinkersOne. or you can connect on LinkedIn. ...or on Twitter. Here is my conversation with Russ Neuman. Evolutionary Intelligence - How Technology Will Make Us Smarter. Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development - NYU. Follow Russ on LinkedIn. This week's music: David Usher 'St. Lawrence River'. Takeaways
    AI elicits diverse and conflicting perspectives, ranging from doomsday scenarios to optimistic possibilities. Unemployment due to AI may be a gradual transition, and the impact on social unrest may be mitigated by the creation of new jobs. AI has the potential to amplify polarization and hate speech, but efforts are being made to identify and filter such content. The alignment problem in AI raises questions about control and the ability to ensure that AI systems align with human values. The future of work will involve collaboration between humans and AI, with AI augmenting human capabilities rather than replacing them. The redefinition of intelligence and the exploration of new models of decision-making are key to the future of AI. Mistakes and challenges are expected in the development of AI, but the hope is that we will learn from them and ultimately get it right. The impact of media technology on society is profound, influencing various aspects of our lives, including politics, culture, and communication. Artificial intelligence plays a crucial role in media, enabling personalized content recommendations, automated content creation, and data analysis. The future of media technology holds exciting possibili

    • 54 min
    SPOS #924 – Coco Krumme On The Illusion Of Optimization

    SPOS #924 – Coco Krumme On The Illusion Of Optimization

    Welcome to episode #924 of Six Pixels of Separation - The ThinkersOne Podcast.
    Here it is: Six Pixels of Separation - The ThinkersOne Podcast - Episode #924. In her new book, Optimal Illusions - The False Promise of Optimization, Coco Krumme embarks on a compelling journey to unravel the influence of optimization in our society. Coco's diverse pursuits - from running a craft distillery on a rural island to making sculptures and flying a small airplane - give her analysis a unique perspective (far removed from the standard academic fare on the subject). With that, she is an applied mathematician with an impressive background, including a Ph.D. from MIT and significant experience in academia and tech. Optimization, a principle initially rooted in mathematical theory, has dramatically reshaped our world. It dictates everything from the efficiency of airline schedules to the algorithmic matches on dating sites to how we figure out our best days. Optimal Illusions is a fascinating read, as Coco explores the history of optimization, highlighting its journey from America's founding principles to its application by oil tycoons, wildlife ecologists, Silicon Valley technocrats, lifestyle gurus, and beyond. This exploration reveals a complexity where the quest for efficiency - while yielding undeniable benefits - has also led to significant trade-offs, compromising resilience, limiting options, and narrowing perspectives. Coco's work in scientific computation provides her with an intimate understanding of the pitfalls of optimization's reach. She argues that while optimization may offer short-term gains in efficiency, it ultimately fosters a society that is less adaptable and more homogenous. The book challenges readers to consider the hidden costs of optimization - from the erosion of human creativity and flexibility to the potential for creating systems that are fragile and prone to failure. For anyone intrigued by the intersection of technology, society, and human behavior, this episode is for you. Enjoy the conversation...
    Running time: 46:16. Hello from beautiful Montreal. Subscribe over at Apple Podcasts. Please visit and leave comments on the blog - Six Pixels of Separation. Feel free to connect to me directly on Facebook here: Mitch Joel on Facebook. Check out ThinkersOne. or you can connect on LinkedIn. ...or on Twitter. Here is my conversation with Coco Krumme. Optimal Illusions - The False Promise of Optimization. Follow Coco on LinkedIn. This week's music: David Usher 'St. Lawrence River'. Chapters:
    00:00 - The Definition of Optimization 04:50 - The Negative Perception of Optimization 06:18 - Losses Caused by Optimization 10:05 - Figuring Things Out for Oneself 16:18 - Optimization Pre-Pandemic and Post-Pandemic 23:56 - Balancing Discipline and Optimization 26:48 - The Opposite of Optimization 28:50 - Teaching Kids about Optimization 36:08 - The Impact of Artificial Intelligence 45:00 - The Potential of AI and the Skepticism 55:35 - The Power of Optimal Illusions 56:35 - The Perito Moreno Glacier Experience

    • 46 min
    SPOS #923 – Andrew McAfee On Embracing The Geek Way

    SPOS #923 – Andrew McAfee On Embracing The Geek Way

    Welcome to episode #923 of Six Pixels of Separation - The ThinkersOne Podcast.
    Here it is: Six Pixels of Separation - The ThinkersOne Podcast - Episode #923. He’s a hugely respected thought leader and practitioner at the intersection of technology and business. Andrew McAfee offers a compelling exploration of The Geek Way in his latest book, which redefines our approach to innovation and leadership. As a Principal Research Scientist at the MIT Sloan School of Management and the co-founder of MIT’s Initiative on the Digital Economy, Andy has been at the forefront of how technological progress reshapes our world. Andy unpacks the essence of The Geek Way, revealing it as more than just a cultural shift. It's a transformative approach to achieving extraordinary results across industries. The book, characterized by an unwavering commitment to science, speed, ownership, and openness, emerges not only as a pathway to success but as a better model for realizing company goals and fostering innovation. As geek culture transitions from the fringes to the mainstream (look no further than Marvel movies), admired for its dedication to evidence-based decision-making and problem-solving, Andy highlights the profound impact of this mindset on business practices and societal progress. One of the most compelling aspects of Andy’s work is the application of The Geek Way to the realm of artificial intelligence. In an era where AI's potential to revolutionize industries is often met with equal parts enthusiasm and apprehension, Andy provides a balanced perspective. He acknowledges the transformative power of AI as a tool for economic progress while addressing the societal implications of job displacement, advocating for iterative learning and adaptation as keys to harnessing AI's benefits. His previous books include More From Less, Machine. Platform. Crowd, The Second Machine Age (with Erik Brynjolfsson - which I adored), Race Against The Machine and Enterprise 2.0. For leaders, innovators, and anyone curious about the intersection of technology and business, this podcast and Andy’s insights are indispensable. Enjoy the conversation...
    Running time: 1:04:06. Hello from beautiful Montreal. Subscribe over at Apple Podcasts. Please visit and leave comments on the blog - Six Pixels of Separation. Feel free to connect to me directly on Facebook here: Mitch Joel on Facebook. Check out ThinkersOne. or you can connect on LinkedIn. ...or on Twitter. Here is my conversation with Andrew McAfee. The Geek Way. Second Machine Age. Race Against The Machine. More From Less. Machine. Platform. Crowd. Enterprise 2.0. MIT’s Initiative on the Digital Economy. MIT Sloan School of Management. Follow Andrew on X. Follow Andrew on LinkedIn. This week's music: David Usher 'St. Lawrence River'. Takeaways:
    Geek culture has evolved from being stigmatized to being admired and accepted. The Geek Way is characterized by norms such as science, speed, ownership, and openness. The Geek Way can lead to better outcomes for companies and is more effective in achieving goals. Leadership plays a crucial role in driving the adoption of the Geek Way and overcoming challenges.  Visionary leaders are not essential for the 'geek way' to thrive in various industries. Artificial intelligence is a powerful tool that can accelerate economic progress. Concerns about job displacement and societal implications of AI. Letting go of personal hangups is crucial for embracing new opportunities and growth. Chapters:
    00:00 - Introduction and Geek Culture 03:34 - The Evolution of Geek and Geek Culture 09:44 - The Geek Way and Business Geeks 14:11 - The Geek Way and Big Tech 19:11 - The Geek Way and the Post-Pandemic Workforce 25:34 - The Geek Way and Technology Impact 30:53 - Geek Leaders and Their Characteristics 36:55 - The Geek Way in Other Industries 45:21 - The Heart of Science 46:09 - Geek Way in Solving Wicked Problems 47:38 - Geek Way in Prosaic Industries 47:46 - Artific

    • 1 hr 4 min
    SPOS #922 – John Winsor On Revolutionizing Work With Open Talent

    SPOS #922 – John Winsor On Revolutionizing Work With Open Talent

    Welcome to episode #922 of Six Pixels of Separation - The ThinkersOne Podcast.
    Here it is: Six Pixels of Separation - The ThinkersOne Podcast - Episode #922. When work changes, we look to people like John Winsor. John is a truly visionary leader and a driving force behind the open talent movement. As an entrepreneur, thought leader, and global authority on the future of work, open talent and remote work. John's contributions have significantly shaped our understanding and approach to modern employment paradigms. John's role as executive-in-residence at Harvard Business School's Laboratory for Innovation Science (LISH) underscores his commitment to exploring the cutting-edge intersections of AI, workforce transformation strategies, and the open talent ecosystem. Through his company, Open Assembly, John has cultivated a content-rich community and strategic advisory services that empower organizations, individuals, and platforms to co-create the future of work together. A pioneer in the open talent and innovation industry, John has spearheaded a global coalition to establish The Center for the Transformation of Work. This ambitious initiative aims to redefine work for a billion people by 2025, showcasing John's dedication to creating more accessible and equitable work opportunities worldwide. John's journey from founding the groundbreaking open advertising agency, Victors & Spoils, to his pivotal roles at Havas and Crispin, Porter + Bogusky (where we first met), illustrates a career marked by innovation and disruption. His expertise in co-creation and open strategy (like using user generated content and influencers long before everybody else) has not only transformed the advertising world, but also provided a blueprint for organizational success in the digital age. In his latest book, Open Talent - Leveraging the Global Workforce to Solve Your Biggest Challenges, John brings his decades of insights into the open talent model for all of us to discover. The book challenges traditional employment models and offers a radical roadmap for leveraging the global crowd. John is a prolific author, including books like Baked In, Flipped, Spark and Beyond The Brand. In this episode, John delves into the essence of open talent, examining its potential to reshape the way we think about work, the gig economy, and the critical role of culture and continuous learning within this new paradigm. He emphasizes the importance of an entrepreneurial mindset and the transformative power of networks in navigating the open talent landscape. From the impact of generative AI to addressing concerns about economic volatility, John's insights provide a comprehensive overview of the challenges and opportunities inherent in the shift towards task-based work. He also highlights the significance of community and team-building in an open talent framework. John's contributions to the discourse on the future of work offer an inspiring and pragmatic vision for embracing open talent. If you’re seeking to innovate, adapt, and thrive in business today, you’ve come to the right place. Enjoy the conversation...
    Running time: 1:00:25. Hello from beautiful Montreal. Subscribe over at Apple Podcasts. Please visit and leave comments on the blog - Six Pixels of Separation. Feel free to connect to me directly on Facebook here: Mitch Joel on Facebook. Check out ThinkersOne. or you can connect on LinkedIn. ...or on Twitter. Here is my conversation with John Winsor. Open Talent - Leveraging the Global Workforce to Solve Your Biggest Challenges. Baked In. Flipped. Spark. Beyond The Brand. Harvard Business School. Open Assembly. Follow John on Facebook. Follow John on Instagram. Follow John on X. Follow John on LinkedIn. This week's music: David Usher 'St. Lawrence River'. Takeaways:
    The future of work is shifting towards an open talent model, where individuals have the freedom to work on specific tasks and projects rather than being tied to traditional roles. C

    • 1 hr

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5
92 Ratings

92 Ratings

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Six Pixels of Separation brings together great conversation and tips around critical leadership and culture topics. There’s always a gem or two of inspiration I take from every episode.

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Mitch, host of the Six Pixels of Separation podcast, highlights all aspects of business, tech and more in this can’t miss podcast! The host and expert guests offer insightful advice and information that is helpful to anyone that listens!

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