Tickets features the visionaries, producers and operators behind some of the world’s most exciting and innovative live experiences.
Joining the dots between disciplines, Tickets seeks to find out what goes into bringing amazing ideas, companies and concepts to life.
In this our second season we’re exploring the future of education, and how emerging forms of technology and entertainment are changing the ways we learn and interact.
Pause for a Cause
We're taking a brief pause. But Ticket shall return...
Gary Chou and Christina Xu on entrepreneurship education and harnessing the power of networks
Back in the late 2000s a number of community-driven internet companies began to change the way new products and services were brought to life.
But even the most forward-thinking of those companies’ founders may have been surprised at where their platforms are now being utilized.
One example is in the Interaction Design Program at the School of Visual Arts in New York. Over the last 7 years, over 100 students have taken on the challenge the make $1000 by design, launch and complete a crowdfunding campaign that benefits a community they’ve worked with over the course of the semester.
Today on Tickets I’m joined by the teachers of the 1k challenge, Gary Chou and Christina Xu.
As the challenge completes its 7th edition, they’re now sharing what they’ve learned so far via Teach the 1k - a workshop to help other entrepreneurship educators run their own 1k challenges.
In this conversation we talk about the importance of constraints for creativity, the benefits of communities of practice, and the fear of putting our work and ourselves out there on the internet.
Gary & Christina online:
David Lavin on representing some of the world's leading intellectual talent
Think about talent agents and the first image that comes to mind may be something similar to the character of Ari Gold in the TV show ‘Entourage’; fast-talking, fickle, and more focused on the action toys and awards than the quality of the art.
But beyond the caricature, there’s of course far more to this kind of work than meets the eye - and a growing range of talent with important ideas to share with the world.
On this episode of Tickets I’m joined by David Lavin, founder and CEO of The Lavin Agency.
The agency represents some of the world’s leading intellectual talent; from bestselling authors Salman Rushdie and Margaret Attwood, to Apple founder Steve Wozniak, and Welby Altidor, former creative director of Cirque du Soleil.
During this conversation we get into what really makes for a compelling speaker, where there’s space for new ideas in education, balancing risk and reward, and who’s really worth booking for the $10,000 keynote.
David Lavin is the founder and president of The Lavin Agency—one of North America’s largest intellectual talent agencies. His roster of exclusive keynote speakers includes Margaret Atwood; Salman Rushdie; Nicholas Thompson, the Editor in Chief of Wired; Angie Thomas, the #1 bestselling author of The Hate U Give; and Angela Duckworth, the #1 bestselling author of Grit. And many other interesting people!
The Lavin Agency consists of 35 staff, with offices in New York, Toronto, Vancouver, and Boston. It was founded in 1989, in Toronto, after David spent a few years as a successful live events promoter.
David was Canada’s youngest chess master. He has lived in Barcelona, London, Paris, Berlin, San Francisco, New York, and Ibiza. His thoughts on the speaking industry have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, New York magazine, The National Post, and Hazlitt, and at the TED conference. Every year, David also hosts the invite-only Brain Candy conference—a gathering of exclusive Lavin speakers, staff, and a few close friends of the agency.
University Ventures' Daniel Pianko on new opportunities in higher education
Believe it or not, some of the key fundamentals of university haven’t changed much in over a thousand years.
But with the US student debt crisis continuing to make headlines, employers’ talent needs rapidly evolving, and software still eating the world, traditional higher education - like other industries before it - is now undergoing change like never before.
Today on Tickets I’m joined by Daniel Pianko. Co-Founder and Managing Director at University Ventures, a New York based venture capital firm focused on the future of higher education and the pathways that lead from education to employment.
In this wide-ranging conversation Daniel shares his insights into the importance of the live experience in learning, the knock-on effects of urbanization, and why having a great product can matter a lot less than you think.
02:30 Daniel’s origin story
08:00 4 areas of interest for an education-focused fund
10:00 The future of medical school
17:00 University - from DMV to Uber
21:30 The future of work - now, not tomorrow
28:00 Flipped classrooms and using VR in education
33:00 Soft skills and how we teach
37:00 Hybrid spaces and the knock-on effects of urbanization
52:00 Advice for the incumbent university presidents
56:00 New innovations and advice for entrepreneurs in education
Daniel Pianko is co-founder and managing director at UV. With over a decade of experience in the education industry, Daniel has built a reputation as a trusted education adviser and innovator in student finance, medical education, and postsecondary education. A frequent commentator on higher education, Daniel’s insights have been featured in national media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, TechCrunch, Inside Higher Ed, and The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Daniel began his career in investment banking at Goldman Sachs, and quickly became intrigued by the potential of leveraging private capital to establish the next generation of socially beneficial education companies. After leaving Goldman, Daniel invested in, founded, advised, or managed a number of education-related businesses that led to the creation of UV. Prior to founding UV, he established a student loan fund, served as chief of staff for the public/private investments in the Philadelphia School District, and worked as a hedge fund analyst.
At UV, Daniel leads the firm’s investments in the pioneering Ponce School of Medicine in Puerto Rico, University of Nicosia/St. George’s University of London Medical School, Vemo Education, Qubed Education, Examity and Galvanize. He serves on a number of nonprofit boards, including the Board of Trustees of Harlem Village Academies.
Daniel graduated magna cum laude from Columbia University, and holds a M.B.A. and M.A. in Education from Stanford University. He is the proud father of three children.
Marc Lewis on running the world's most successful advertising school
Imagine the world’s most awarded advertising school.
Perhaps you’re picturing it housed in an imposing campus of magnificient Edwardian buildings made of stone and marble, or a gleaming high rise in midtown Manhattan.
In fact you’ll find it on the top floor of a former church and nightclub in a South London neighbourhood.
Its unexpected characteristics don’t end there - from the curriculum design to the class size, the mentors to the learning outcomes.
It’s called the School of Communication Arts, and its Dean is Marc Lewis.
In this entertaining and enlightening conversation, we talk about Marc’s personal journey from comedy clubs and tech startups to the world of education, coming back from a mental health crisis, and what it means to find your Telos.
And there is a little bit of swearing, so listener discretion is advised.
03:00 Marc's origin story - from stealing car radios, to copywriting and comedy clubs
17:00 Selling a company, and finding Telos
23:00 SCA v.10
27:00 How v2.0 got going in 2010, and being equipped for diversity
35:00 Inside the curriculum Wiki
42:00 Customizing learning design
51:00 AI, technology...and why didn't cover it in this episode
Marc Lewis was a scholarship student at SCA when it last existed in the 1990s. He left to work for Leo Burnett as a writer, but ended up creating technology companies.
Marc’s start-ups created over £50m in shareholder value. but he fell out of love with money and wanted to do something more meaningful. A heart-to- heart conversation with Sir John Hegarty and Rory Sutherland led to the re-opening of SCA in 2010. John and Rory became founding Governors.
Marc runs the SCA learning experience. If he’s not in SCA, then he’s teaching at a Chinese or a French ad school, or out bringing live briefs into the classroom.
SXSW's Todd Hansen on live event programming and spotting talent & trends
In the Spring of 1987, a group of music fans and journalists organised a small live event in Austin, Texas. They were pleasantly surprised by its success - around 700 people showed up.
That first edition of South by SouthWest has become a 10 day conference and festival with over 28,000 attendees heading to Austin each March.
It’s now one of the most recognised and respected live events on the planet, and its core tracks of music, film, technology and education inform as well as reflect what’s happening in modern culture.
Today on Tickets I’m joined by Todd Hansen, SXSW’s head of conference programming.
In this conversation, Todd shares insights into the programming team’s process, what makes for a compelling keynote, and how to handle one of the world’s most famous entrepreneurs showing up at 1 day’s notice. We also reminisce about a surprise gig from a member of purple royalty straight out of Todd’s hometown of Minneapolis.
03:00 SXSW’s history
12:00 Programming for a rocketship
18:00 Predicting trends
25:00 Getting found, getting noticed
32:00 Embracing serendipity
40:00 This year’s highlights, and the role of technology in our lives
45:00 The long drive from Minneapolis
About Todd Hansen
Todd Hansen has spent his career chasing what interests him. The chase began by playing in bands in the ever-creative Minneapolis music scene, and with those relationships in play: a record label was born.
Co-founding a record label gave rise to other fast-paced pursuits in the
consulting and entrepreneurial worlds. Later, he started a couchsurfing platform for bands, pre-AirBnB, called Better Than The Van, and soon after that created an intensely popular Tumblr called Rich Kids of Instagram.
Today, he is the Head of Conference Programming at SXSW, and leads a team of content curators across twenty-five tracks of programming. He's always fascinated by culture, tech and the human condition, and ever-inspired by those creating and collaborating in the arts and sciences: the framework builders of our future.
Todd Hansen is a history nut, who asks, "What's next?'.
The chase continues.
Great collection of doers
Just finished the first season. I can’t imagine how many figurative doors hbureau had to knock on to get this caliber of experiential creators but the effort was worth it. You won’t likely have heard of the people interviewed but you’ll know what they did. And thanks to this podcast, you’ll know how they did it. I don’t care what you do or want to do for a living, if it involves pleasing people in person, this podcast is for you!