200 episodes

The Next Big Idea is a weekly series of in-depth interviews with the world’s leading thinkers. Join our host, Rufus Griscom — along with our curators, Malcolm Gladwell, Adam Grant, Susan Cain, and Daniel Pink — for conversations that might just change the way you see the world. New episodes every Thursday.

The Next Big Idea LinkedIn

    • Education
    • 4.5 • 1.2K Ratings

The Next Big Idea is a weekly series of in-depth interviews with the world’s leading thinkers. Join our host, Rufus Griscom — along with our curators, Malcolm Gladwell, Adam Grant, Susan Cain, and Daniel Pink — for conversations that might just change the way you see the world. New episodes every Thursday.

    SUPERCOMMUNICATORS: How to Connect With Anyone

    SUPERCOMMUNICATORS: How to Connect With Anyone

    According to Merriam-Webster, the word “conversation” has 36 synonyms, ranging from the alliterative (”confabulation”) to the arcane (”persiflage”). Why the linguistic profusion? Because conversing is a fundamental part — maybe the fundamental part — of being human.
    We chat with our families, friends, strangers, and co-workers, and we communicate in phone calls, text messages, emails, and, occasionally, postcards. When these tête-à-têtes go well, it is oddly thrilling; we become better versions of ourselves — warmer and wiser, funnier, and consistently insightful. Best of all, a good dialogue is a direct route to connection. “The bond of all companionship,” wrote Oscar Wilde, “whether in marriage or in friendship, is conversation.”
    But when a conversation goes poorly, when it stays on the surface (”what do you do for a living?”) or devolves into a sputtering mess of misunderstanding (”you’re overreacting!”), we don’t feel the invigorating pulse of connection. What we feel, instead, is the emotional equivalent of a busy signal.
    So, this hour, we’re asking: how can we have better conversations? And to help answer that question, we’re joined by Charles Duhigg, a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and the bestselling author of “The Power of Habit” and now “Supercommunicators: How to Unlock the Secret Language of Connection.” Charles, as you’ll hear, is something of supercommunicator himself, a lithe storyteller who’s as well-versed in evolutionary biology as he is in the latest psychology, and after studying the art and science of communication for the last few years, he’s concluded that anyone can become a great conversationalist. You just have to master a few simple skills. Tune in to find out what they are.

    Host: Rufus Griscom
    Guest: Charles Duhigg
    Book: “Supercommunicators: How to Unlock the Secret Language of Connection”
    *THE NEXT BIG IDEA CLUB*
    We all know that reading is the best investment we can make in ourselves, but figuring out what to read … well, that’s another matter. Which is why we started the Next Big Idea Club. We get the best new books — as chosen by our curators (Malcolm Gladwell, Adam Grant, Susan Cain, and Daniel Pink) — into the hands of curious people. Like you! Join us today at nextbigideaclub.com

    • 1 hr 6 min
    MIDLIFE: Once a Crisis, Now an Opportunity

    MIDLIFE: Once a Crisis, Now an Opportunity

    Growing old gets a bad rap, and it's not hard to see why. Your hair thins and your waist thickens. The shot clock ticks down on your career, and you realize, much to your dismay, that your youthful dreams of greatness — patents, prizes, and periodicals with your face on the cover — are unlikely to come true before the buzzer. And what do you see up ahead? A road sign. "Highway Ends. Last Exit: Retirement. One Mile." Retirement. Just a polite word for purposelessness. That's the cynic's view of aging, anyway. But does it have to be that way? Not according to Chip Conley ("Learning to Love Midlife"). He says midlife can be a period of renewal, hope, joy, and connection. If you're open to it. Are you?

    • 1 hr 3 min
    RADICAL CANDOR: Why Compassionate Honesty Is a Gift

    RADICAL CANDOR: Why Compassionate Honesty Is a Gift

    Honesty may be the best policy, but that doesn’t make giving honest feedback any easier. That’s why Kim Scott, a veteran of Google and Apple, wrote “Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity.” It’s a life-saving guide for anyone who’s ever had to dole out difficult but important feedback. Which means all of us.

    • 1 hr 9 min
    BLOCKCHAIN: Why Chris Dixon Still Thinks It Matters

    BLOCKCHAIN: Why Chris Dixon Still Thinks It Matters

    Seventy-two billion dollars. That, according to the Grifter Counter™, is the amount of money that's been swallowed up by crypto and blockchain scams and crashes. It's an enormous sum — but one that may not surprise you if you've kept up with the news. Bitcoin lost more than 60% of its value in 2022. FTX, once the world's third-largest crypto exchange, collapsed, and its founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, was later found guilty on seven counts of fraud and conspiracy. And it's not just crypto that has seen dark days. Remember NFTs? They were once touted as a revolutionary new form of digital ownership made possible by the blockchain. Today, however, 95% of them have lost all of their value. That's right. All of it.
    So it would seem like a suboptimal time to publish a book arguing that "blockchains and the software movement around them — typically called crypto or web3 — provide the only plausible path to sustaining the original vision of the internet as an open platform that incentivizes creativity and entrepreneurship." But that's precisely what Chris Dixon, founder of a16z crypto, has done with "Read Write Own: Building the Next Era of the Internet." Chris, who spoke with Rufus in a live taping of this show last week, says that while blockchains have been "maligned and associated with grift, casino culture, and fraud," they are tools that can be used for good. Today on the show, he makes that case.

    • 1 hr 5 min
    BIG BETS: A Practical Guide to Changing the World

    BIG BETS: A Practical Guide to Changing the World

    When Rajiv Shah was in his late 20s and didn’t know what to do with his life, he got a job at a fledgling nonprofit, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Before he knew it, he was a driving force behind a global vaccination program that immunized 900 million children and saved 16 million lives.
    At 36, he became the administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), managing a $20 billion budget, overseeing a staff of 10,000, and leading the U.S. response to global humanitarian crises.
    Today, as president of the Rockefeller Foundation, he’s finding innovative solutions to mitigate climate change and end energy poverty.
    What connects these experiences? At every step, Raj maintained a big bet mentality. What is a big bet? “A concerted effort to fundamentally solve a single, pressing problem in your community or our world. Big bets require setting profound, seemingly unachievable goals and believing they are achievable.” In this episode, he shares his methodology for creating large-scale change and making the world a better place.
    Host: Rufus Griscom
    Guest: Rajiv Shah
    Book: Big Bets: How Large-Scale Change Really Happens

    • 54 min
    CLIMATE OPTIMISM: Can We Still Build a Sustainable World?

    CLIMATE OPTIMISM: Can We Still Build a Sustainable World?

    A few weeks ago, USA Today ran a story with the headline "It's over: 2023 was Earth's hottest year, experts say." But is it really over? Hannah Ritchie, a data scientist at the University of Oxford, doesn't think so. In her new book, "Not the End of the World," she says that if we zoom out and look at the data, "we can see something truly radical, game-changing and life-giving: humanity is in a truly unique position to build a sustainable world." She's on the show today to tell us why she's urgently optimistic about our planet's future, what smart people get wrong about climate change, and the most effective ways to lower your carbon footprint.
    Host: Caleb Bissinger
    Guest: Hannah Ritchie
    You can learn more about Our World in Data here, and check out Hannah's newsletter, Sustainability by Numbers.
    Want to come to our event in New York City on Jan. 31? Buy a ticket here.
    As a listener of this show, you can get 20% off a Next Big Idea Club membership. Just use the code PODCAST at nextbigideaclub.com

    • 59 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
1.2K Ratings

1.2K Ratings

Shauna NI ,

Big dish;small bites

Thanks for tackling a huge wuestiob in such a way that I could folloe the logic. Blockchain id complicated for me - but you managed ti educate me ob it. THANKS

migomama ,

My favorite podcast

I get so much knowledge from each episode and I love how Rufus hosts and talks. Not like most podcasts that are more or less opinion shows where the hosts love to mainly hear themselves, in this podcast it this is all about diving deep into one book per episode with the author. The books discussed are non-fictional and science driven , so there is plenty that can be learned from . 👍

realitystrikesback ,

I used to eat chubby Hubby

Until the people you vote for changed it to hubby Hubby to further shoving their agenda down my throat

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