Category Archives: Entrepreneurship

13. Sparking Connection Through Storytelling with Marsha Shandur

When we are attracted to those who are successful or inspire us. It’s their innate ability to tell a story. That’s the attribute that charms us and creates a spark.

A spark is likely to catalyse a physical or emotional connection. And it’s from this connection that the storyteller can truly showcase their message, their brand and their goal.

This is a conversation on how we best illuminate ourselves in the presence of others. From making new friends or business acquaintances, to delivering a sales pitch, performing at a job interview or speaking at a keynote. We are somehow telling a story in every aspects of our lives. As children, we even learn through stories.

A well-told story illuminates not only the message but the qualities of the storyteller. Tangential stories have this immense ability in drawing connection. Sharing a random thing that happened at the coffee shop in the morning, to the DIY disaster that happened over the weekend. We open ourselves up to being vulnerable. This drives an innately human attraction. From which, relationships and trust are established.

Vulnerability is currency. And is the opening gambit to my conversation with Marsha Shandur. We begin today’s conversation by asking each other to introduce ourselves. As expected, we fumbled. Our anxiety over such a simple question got the best of us. It not only provides a comical opener to what was an immensely fun conversation but also provides a foundation for shaping an entertaining and value-filled dialogue.

Marsha Shandur is a storytelling coach. In her own words, she helps people fall into platonic business love with you. Marsha’s past-life covers a diversity of accolades. From being a DJ on Xfm to producing the music for – the E4 hit show – The Inbetweeners and Made in Chelsea! She also co-authored the book Off The Mic: The World’s Best Stand Up Comedians Get Serious About Comedy.

As a coach, she empowers her clients to tell their stories. But it’s not necessarily about the story. It’s all in the delivery. This is where Marsha shines. 

In 2012 Marsha was scheduled to run the New York City Marathon. Hurricane Sandy was forecast. The NYC marathon was cancelled. But after months of preparation, Marsha wasn’t quite ready to abandon the run. So she embarked on an unplanned solo marathon around London.

Aptly named the Marshathon!

This was an impromptu event. Marsha tied the laces on her running shoes and headed out for her solo marathon. There was no thought around the physical logistics. The media coverage or charity fundraising. It’s amazing what one can achieve once you’ve not only committed but started the race. Planning and executing in real-time.

It was this story that sparked a connection between myself and Marsha. How Marsha and I connected is a prime example of how stories can influence. A well-told story ignites a spark. It catalyses a chain reaction of events that not only connect people but can also leave a lasting impact. 

This conversation covers just as much terrain as Marsha’s run across London. We share anecdotal stories that have us in fits of laughter. The energy in this conversation is all-consuming. Marsha is the embodiment of her message. An immensely fun individual – with not only a wealth of diverse experience – but with a gift to captivate an audience. One which Marsha is keen to share. 

Marsha reminds us of how every aspect of our existence is underpinned by storytelling. An insight into her Russian heritage provides a lens that allow us to explore how stories shape cultural identities. Historically stories have not only provided a means of passing down information – thus preserving an identity – but also shaping the style of a narrative.

We have limited bandwidth from which we can experience the world. We live through stories and we allow others to live through ours.

That’s the real spark of human attraction.

QUOTES

When we tell stories, we show people who we are. Emotion is the most important part in telling a story. – Marsha

We crave belonging more than anything else. Even more than happiness.” – Marsha

Often we don’t apologise, because we feel so much shame around admitting we are wrong.” – Marsha

Everybody has my trust from the outset. You don’t have to earn it. You just have to maintain it.” – Bobby

I’m gonna hate you first. And if you judge me and find me not good enough. It doesn’t matter, because I already hate you.” – Marsha

That’s the thing about vulnerability. Feeling vulnerable; if you can be cynical and judgy about everyone else. It’s like an armour between you and them.” – Marsha

If I ask a really good question, and somebody responds with – Bobby that’s a really good question – my mind goes into self-congratulatory mode and I stop listening to the answer.” – Bobby

RESOURCES

Be sure to check out Marsha’s Secret Web Page for a whole raft of resources referenced in this conversation. Supplementary links to other resources, and how to follow or connect with Marsha are below.

Marsha Shandur: Website | Instagram | LinkedIn | Twitter | YouTube | Email
Secret Web Page: Bobby’s Secret Web Page of Resources
News Article: Woman Completes London Marathon Solo Run
Website: World Domination Summit in Portland
Video Talk: The Anatomy of Trust by Brene Brown
Book: Tricks of the Mind by Derren Brown

RELATED EPISODES

Episode #11: Deconstructing a Difficult Conversation with Nicole Posner

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The best way to support the podcast is to share this episode and have this conversation.

I also have an affiliate programme with organisations that I either work closely with or I’m aligned to their mission. For a complete list of my partners, affiliates and even any discount codes, please visit my partners page at bobbyjagdev.com/partners

CHECK IN WITH BOBBY

Visit me at: bobbyjagdev.com

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12. Bravery in the Face of Ethical Uncertainty with Olivia Gambelin

The human condition is a complex and unpredictable amalgamation of multiple intelligence characteristics. 

Our ability to make effective decisions requires us to make linguistic, spatial, emotional and ethical judgements. Artificial Intelligence doesn’t yet cover everything we perceive to be intelligence. 

Computer-based data models, assumptions, algorithms and even ethical frameworks are provided by humans. Containing the same intentional and unintentional bias as their creators.

Humanity is accelerating into an age of AI. Increasing our dependency on decision-making machines across the entire spectrum of societal functions, from science to education. Social media on the other hand is indirectly influencing our personal decision-making process. From shaping our political views to the people we like, to the products/services we buy.

How suitable are ethical models in governing platforms, code and architectures to ensure we maintain societal balance?

AI is changing the shape of society. A society made up of a multiverse of cultures. All with their own distinct moral codes and ethical constructs. So how do we apply ethical models to technology when one size surely can’t fit all?

Living in Europe, with so many languages and cultures on my doorstep and an ancestral connection to the Indian subcontinent. I’ve always been fascinated by the construct of culture, from languages to traditions to ethics. In light of our digital acceleration, my curiosity for how we apply ethics to technology whilst maintaining cultural balance is also accelerating.

So, I enlisted the support of Olivia Gambelin – an AI ethicist – to widen the aperture of my lens and qualify what I did or didn’t understand. Olivia is the founder of Ethical Intelligence.

When I first reached out to Olivia, what I didn’t quite expect was this shared passion for the construct of culture. Especially when viewed through the lens of AI and ethics.

I instantly knew we could shape a truly unique conversation. 

In doing so we start today’s conversation by unpacking Olivia’s Italian-American heritage. We travel through conversation to an Agriturismo in Tuscany. Olivia’s love for Italy and her memories of her Nonno are truly wonderful to listen to. 

Olivia’s story around the Agriturismo isn’t just the opener to our conversation but provides a real insight into her persona. One centred around embracing the fear of the unknown but immersing herself with absolute focus. To do so requires bravery. In a field dominated by the male humanoid, a female mindset – one who speaks about culture with such honesty and adoration – is crucial in influencing the ethical models desperately needed to minimise the disruption on society.

Culture is the bedrock of this conversation. It creates a foundation based around linguistics and language that sets up a deep-dive into the different types of ethical models. Culture also provides us with a lens to help define the relationship between the terms philosophymorals and ethics.

There are various touchpoints to the Netflix documentary The Social Dilemma and recent events such as the UK exam fiasco and even personality assessments that provide much-needed context to a complex topic of conversation.

We close the conversation by pondering self-aware fictional characters and robot rights. Olivia’s insight will surely provoke your thoughts in this space. 

I felt honoured to have shared this conversational experience with Olivia. She talks openly about her heritage and the challenges of shaping the role of an AI ethicist. A role that is shaping our ethical landscape. From our social media feeds to machine driven decisions that are directly influencing the construct of our lives.

GLOSSARY

Deanthropomorphisation is the removal of a thing’s anthropomorphic nature; making something less human in form or character.

Deontological ethics is when an action is considered morally good because of some characteristic of the action itself, not because the product of the action is good. 

Consequentialism is results-based ethics. Of all the things a person might do at any given moment, the morally right action is the one with the best overall outcomes.

Virtue ethics deals with the honesty and morality of a person. It states that practising good habits such as honesty, generosity makes a moral and virtuous person. It guides a person without specific rules for resolving the ethical complexity.

QUOTES

How do we create a standard that is structured enough, but adaptable enough so it doesn’t clash with cultural values? – Olivia

Technology is a mirror of humanity back onto itself” – Olivia

I want to be the best version of those multiple versions of myself.“ – Bobby

All of those facets of myself are completely authentic. Different cultures allow me to highlight different aspects of myself. – Olivia

Culture is an output of different morals and different ethics.” – Bobby

We each have our own cultures. We live through those cultures. We have values through those cultures. It’s not a bad thing that there’s a bit of chaos there.” – Olivia

Computer-based personality assessments are people covering their backs on accountability. I didn’t hire this person because computer said no.” – Bobby

We need to embrace and approach technology with bravery.” – Olivia

RESOURCES

Website: Ethical Intelligence
Latest Training Workshop: The Equation
Website: Olivia Gambelin
LinkedIn Profile: Olivia Gambelin
Twitter: Olivia Gambelin
Article: Brave: what it means to be an AI Ethicist by Olivia Gambelin
Article: Everything that went wrong with the botched A-Levels algorithm
Research Paper: Robot Rights? Let’s Talk about Human Welfare Instead – Abeba Birhane and Jelle van Dijk
Book: Quality Land – Marc-Uwe Kling
Film: iRobot
Film: WALL-E
Documentary: The Social Dilemma on Netflix

RELATED EPISODES

Episode #9: Turning Ideas into Positive Impact with Mauro Cozzi

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The best way to support the podcast is to share this episode and have this conversation.

I also have an affiliate programme with organisations that I either work closely with or I’m aligned to their mission. For a complete list of my partners, affiliates and even any discount codes, please visit my partners page at bobbyjagdev.com/partners

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9. Turning Ideas into Positive Impact with Mauro Cozzi

There is sufficient venture capitalist funding for every business to become a positive impact business. With this in mind, what is the formula for launching a successful startup?

  1. Generate ideas
  2. Test ideas
  3. Execute on an idea
  4. Fail 
  5. Rinse and repeat

Fairly simple right? But the secret sauce in the success of a startup is largely dependent on three ideals:

  1. A founding team blended by years of solid friendship or individuals that can quickly find a cadence with one another
  2. A team that complements each other and can rise from adversity stronger than where they started 
  3. A compelling answer to why the business exists and how it has the potential to change the world

These are one of many lessons I learnt from my conversation with Mauro Cozzi. Mauro alongside Eduardo Gómez and Ben Peddie are the founding team of Emitwise.

Emitwise empowers companies to accelerate their carbon to net-zero targets by using AI to automate how businesses measure, report, and reduce their carbon emissions throughout their operations and supply chain. Emitwise went from ideas on post-it notes in a kitchen to having some of the largest corporations in the world using their solution. 

All this in 12 months!

The ambitious founders quickly identified the need to recruit the right people and expertise. It’s not only the right blend of experienced individuals, but how the co-founding team engages, that has been pivotal to their rapid success.

Mauro, Eduardo and Ben are building a moonshot. One with a viable business model and the ability to support real, sustainable climate action.

Mauro and Eduardo’s friendship stems back to High School in Chile. Even at an early stage, they were ideating solutions to help tackle the climate challenge. Inspired by a physics class that explained climate change principles and the feedback loop that exacerbates global warming. 

They were on a mission to make a real positive impact.

In this episode, we focus on Mauro’s story from his origins in Argentina and travel via conversation around Latin America, North America and the UK.

We also breakdown:

  • The mechanics around ideation. How idea’s should be tested and why noise around issues/challenges is largely irrelevant when pitching for investment.
  • How Mauro, alongside his dorm room friends Maciej Szpakowski and Przemek Zientala first got a taste for entrepreneurship at a University Dragon’s Den Programme
  • How Mauro’s first experience in the startup world landed him on the acclaimed Berkeley Skydeck accelerator programme in Silicon Valley
  • How Silicon Valley contributes to shaping core values and promoting a mindset change in young entrepreneurs 
  • Why Mauro’s first startup failed and how this contributed to Eduardo and Ben accidentally co-creating a new opportunity

There is a serendipitous nature to this story.

Mauro’s journey has a degree of randomness. Lots of disparate pieces that on their own are difficult to stitch together. But when viewed through the lens of Jazz Fusion – yes, I suspect you weren’t expecting that twist – there is a relationship, a series of events coupled with a degree of improvisation that can create a musical masterpiece. 

One that has the potential to change the world.

QUOTES

Activism ‘in a pat yourself on the back type of way’ is a privilege. Activism in having real meaningful impact is a responsibility. – Mauro

You are here to build a moonshot.” – Mauro

Ignore whether you believe in climate change or not, it’s the biggest game of Russian roulette the world has ever played – Elon Musk.“ – Mauro

The most important thing about a business is the why. Everything falls out of the why.“ – Mauro

I’m not any kind of exceptional person, I was just told I could do something different and I listened.“ – Mauro

“Every day on a constant basis we are reminded of the companies’ mission and vision. To accelerate the transition to a net-zero world.“ – Mauro

By flexing the idea muscle you’re only going to make it stronger.“ – Bobby

RESOURCES

Website: Emitwise
Twitter: @emitwise
LinkedIn Profile: Mauro Cozzi
LinkedIn Profile: Eduardo Gomez
LinkedIn Profile: Ben Peddie
Twitter: @mauro_cozzi
Twitter: @eduardo_a_gomez
Twitter: @benjaminpeddie
Website: Berkeley Skydeck Accelerator
Website: Future Worlds Dragons Den
eBook: The Business Benefits of Carbon Accounting
Blog Post: The Ultimate Guide to Becoming an Idea Machine
Website: Snarky Puppy – A Great Introduction to Jazz Fusion


RELATED EPISODES

Episode #5: The Sustainable Enterprise with Mike Mcilroy
Episode #6: Phreaking Out with Matthew Dytkowski
Episode #8: Going Green on Nuclear with Zion Lights

SUPPORT THE PODCAST

The best way to support the podcast is to share this episode and have this conversation.

I also have an affiliate programme with organisations that I either work closely with or I’m aligned to their mission. For a complete list of my partners, affiliates and even any discount codes, please visit my partners page at bobbyjagdev.com/partners

CHECK IN WITH BOBBY

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6. Phreaking Out with Matthew Dytkowski

Matthew Dytkowski takes you into the world of Phreaking. A subculture of phone hacking enthusiasts who exploited loopholes in the telephony system. Matthew and his friends soon redirected this passion for networking and comms into establishing an accidental startup. They built and sold one of the first Internet Service Providers in Świebodzin, Poland.

Since relocating to the UK, Matthew is now using his passion for technology to design and build bespoke enterprise-class infrastructure for a diverse set of industries. In this episode, we are reminded of why edge/on-premise computing is still a highly active industry.

WHAT CAN YOU LEARN FROM THIS EPISODE?

  • The motives behind one of the oldest forms of hacking and some of the methods used by Phreaking enthusiasts
  • How a group of friends networked together a physical community and the mechanics behind how they supplied fibre internet access at a time when most people were still using dial-up modems
  • An engineer’s view of bespoke enterprise appliance builds to support the movie industry, machine learning and prototyping to support advanced manufacturing
  • Why and how on-premise computing is still at the heart of many business requirements
  • A day in the life of Matthew and how Broadberry is uniquely positioned to – genuinely – harvest an intrapreneurial culture

QUOTES

“Everyone knew each other, that network not only connected our computers but all of our families.” – Matthew

“I want to show people value because I believe whenever you’re running a business, what you should be selling is not the product, but the solution to the problem.” – Matthew

“Let’s not forget, 80% of today’s worlds data is unstructured, so machine learning helps you structure the data and deliver an outcome.” – Matthew

RESOURCES

LinkedIn Profile: Matthew Dytkowski
LinkedIn Post: Storage Spaces Direct – 1 Million IOPS Cluster
Web Link: Whatever Happened to the Phone Phreaks
Web Link: Broadberry Data Systems

EBOOK RELEASE

My next eBook is scheduled for release on 1st Dec 2020. PRE-ORDER your FREE copy of the Top 5 Cloud Migration Mistakes and How to Avoid Them.

All of my eBooks are available at bobbyjagdev.com/ebooks

SPONSORS

This episode is sponsored by SIOS Technology Corp.

SIOS provides a wide range of High Availability and Disaster Recovery solutions for both Windows and Linux environments across physical/virtual on-premise and cloud/hybrid-cloud platforms. SIOS has a variety of purpose-built availability solutions to maintain system uptime, protect your business from local or regional failures and also manage planned maintenance windows with minimal or no business downtime. I recently hosted an expert webinar where I spoke about the mindset shift required for developing High Availability requirements in the cloud. The game has changed and the cloud is presenting a unique set of challenges. 

Email me directly at bobby.jagdev@gmail.com and I would be happy to facilitate a personal introduction.

Visit SIOS at: go.bobbyjagdev.com/sios
Follow SIOS on social media: LinkedIn | Twitter

SUPPORT THE PODCAST

The best way to support the podcast is to share this episode and have this conversation.

I also have an affiliate programme with organisations that I either work closely with or I’m aligned to their mission. For a complete list of my partners, affiliates and even any discount codes, please visit my partners page at bobbyjagdev.com/partners

CHECK IN WITH BOBBY

Visit me at: bobbyjagdev.com

Follow me on social media: LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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