32 episodes

Whether you are working hard or hardly working, join AEI Resident Fellow Brent Orrell as he explores national trends and public policies affecting the vitality of the American workforce and how to prepare yourself for success in our rapidly-changing economy. And whatever else happens, we promise it will take your mind off of your job.

Hardly Working with Brent Orrell American Enterprise Institute

    • Careers

Whether you are working hard or hardly working, join AEI Resident Fellow Brent Orrell as he explores national trends and public policies affecting the vitality of the American workforce and how to prepare yourself for success in our rapidly-changing economy. And whatever else happens, we promise it will take your mind off of your job.

    How to stop outsourcing your opinions and re-learn critical thinking

    How to stop outsourcing your opinions and re-learn critical thinking

    We live in times marked by the omnipresence of the internet and instantaneous access to the accumulated knowledge of humanity. This leads us into relying on quick, narrow answers to large, complex questions. Are we going too far in our reliance on experts and, in the process, forgetting how to think for ourselves?
    Brent talks to Think for Yourself: Restoring Common Sense in An Age of Experts and Artificial Intelligence (https://www.amazon.com/Think-Yourself-Restoring-Artificial-Intelligence/dp/1633699218)”. They discuss the need to reduce our reliance on experts living in the silos of their own professional fields, the importance of a liberal arts education, and the importance of staying focused on your mission.  

    • 45 min
    The Divided Brain: Perception, Social Life, and Interpersonal Neurobiology [REBROADCAST]

    The Divided Brain: Perception, Social Life, and Interpersonal Neurobiology [REBROADCAST]

    Most people know that the human brain

    is divided into two hemispheres: the left brain and the right brain. But what

    purpose does this division serve, and how does it influence perception,

    behavior, economics, and culture?







    In this

    rebroadcasted episode of “Hardly Working,” host Brent Orrell is joined by Dr. Iain McGilchrist, author of “The Master and His Emissary,”

    to discuss how the makeup of our brain influences our work and social lives.

    Dr. McGilchrist is a psychiatrist and professor of literature residing on

    the Isle of Skye in North West Scotland.

    • 37 min
    Building a more inclusive STEM workforce

    Building a more inclusive STEM workforce

    Recent research from the American Enterprise Institute found that women and racial and ethnic minorities feel unwelcome in STEM fields, unlike their white male counterparts. It is clear that more work needs to be done to ensure that STEM careers continue to attract and retain a diverse workforce.







    To discuss this and other findings of the report, Brent Orrell and Dan Cox hosted a webinar with Nicol Turner Lee, the Director of the Center for Technology Innovation at the Brookings Institution, and Audrey Van Belleghem, the Business Lead at Facebook.







    The slides from the event can be found below. This episode of Hardly Working is the recording of that event.















    Download this powerpoint

    • 1 hr 24 min
    How statistical modeling can make it harder to understand the world

    How statistical modeling can make it harder to understand the world

    While statistical models and probability scores can be useful for helping diagnose problems, they are not reliable information for predicting the future.







    Brent is joined in this episode by two eminent economists, John Kay, a fellow at St. Johns College, Oxford and the first dean of Oxford’s Said Business School, and Mervyn King, former Governor of the Bank of England, for a conversation about their new book, Radical Uncertainty: Decision-Making Beyond the Numbers.

    • 57 min
    Tamar Jacoby on the future of community colleges

    Tamar Jacoby on the future of community colleges

    Community colleges serve a variety of purposes in our communities. They provide educational pathways to a four-year degree and non-credit courses for upskilling that are tied to the demands of local employers. We need improvements in both tracks.







    Brent talks to Tamar Jacoby, President of Opportunity America, about her two most recent reports on these institutions: “The Indispensable Institution: Reimaging Community Colleges” and “Skills Wanted: CUNY As Engine of Economic Recovery”.

    • 42 min
    Future history: looking behind to shape what’s ahead

    Future history: looking behind to shape what’s ahead

    Can thinking through the arch of history assist modern thinkers in planning for the future? Or is the future uncertain and separate from the happenings of the past?







    Brent cohosts today’s episode with Albert Zambone, an Oxford University-trained historian of colonial America and the host of the Historically Thinking podcast. Together, Brent and Al interview David Staley, an associate professor of history at the Ohio State University and the Director of the Humanities Institute. They discuss futurism, what we can learn from the past, and whether COVID-19 will change the future of work.

    • 46 min

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