This Anthro Life
This Anthro Life
Anthrocurious, LLC
This Anthro Life is the premiere go-to Anthropology Podcast that fuses human society insights with cultural storytelling. We equip you with a deep understanding of the human experience to revolutionize your decision-making strategies and social impact. Head over to to learn more. Spearheaded by acclaimed Anthropologist Dr. Adam Gamwell, This Anthro Life equips leaders, individuals, and organizations to shape a more compassionate future. We aim to broaden perspectives and fortify decision-making skills by fostering a profound understanding of culture coupled with the transformative power of storytelling. With curated conversations and thought-provoking discussions featuring humanity's top makers and minds, prepare to have your perspective transformed. This Anthro Life delves into various facets of human society—from examining the complexities of cultural identity to understanding the influence of technology on our everyday lives.🌍 Change Your PerspectiveExplore the complexities of life in a simple and engaging way. From AI and robotics revolutionizing the nature of work to emojis changing how we communicate, we delve into the forces shaping our world. No topic is off-limits—fossil fuels and their impact on our planet, the race to find alternative energy solutions, and so much more.🎙️ Captivating ConversationsGo beyond surface-level discussions with deep dives into fascinating topics. Dr. Adam Gamwell's interviews are thought-provoking, enlightening, and always entertaining. Carefully crafted questions ensure engaging conversations that are free from jargon, making them accessible to listeners of all backgrounds.✨ Key TakeawaysGain valuable insights from each episode that you can apply to your own life. Discussing wisdom gained from the edges of society, we extract impactful quotes and actionable ideas from our guests. Expand your horizons and develop a fresh perspective on the challenges we face as individuals and as a global community.🔊 Join the Community on SubstackSubscribe to "This Anthro Life" now for a weekly dose of eye-opening conversations. Share the podcast with friends and family who crave intellectual stimulation and diverse discussions. Be a part of the movement to change how we approach design, culture, business, and technology. Beyond offering an engaging outlook on human experiences, This Anthro Life lends its anthropological expertise to businesses, organizations, and individuals. We help them navigate challenges with effective communication techniques and innovative problem-solving strategies rooted in a nuanced understanding of human behavior and social structures. Get in touch.Join us on this captivating voyage of storytelling at the crossroads of culture, design, technology and business. We're excited to collaborate with you in shaping a more compassionate world through an enriched narrative of the human experience. Experience breakthrough perspectives on human experiences and come away equipped to make enriched decisions that contribute positively to your sphere. Join us as we shape a more connected, hopeful narrative - one human story at a time.This show is part of the Spreaker Prime Network, if you are interested in advertising on this podcast, contact us at
The Search for Dignity and Respect: An Exploration of Human Universals
How do narratives shape our understanding of shared human experiences like dignity and respect? And, in what ways can an emphasis on human universals through inclusive narratives help fulfill fundamental human desires for dignity and respect?In this episode of This Anthro Life, we explore these questions through a discussion with sociologist Michele Lamont and her research on narratives and society. Lamont's concept of "ordinary universalism" focuses narrative frameworks on common aspects of human dignity and respect rather than divisions. Evidence shows these universal needs are fundamentally sought. Generational attitudes found Gen Z prioritizes authentic self-expression and inclusion through exploring shared experiencesIn addition, Michele's research offers a unique perspective on societal trends through the lens of ordinary universalism. We also explore how Gen Z is leading the way towards a more inclusive culture and the role of narratives in driving philanthropic and political action. Michele’s examples demonstrate narrative's power to recognize structural barriers to dignity and mobilize action by cultivating understanding of our humanity. The episode emphasizes inclusive narratives to shape understanding and fulfillment of our common needs through storytelling.Join us for an enlightening discussion on understanding and embracing the perspectives of others. Timestamps: 00:01:07 - Discussing Erasure and Identity Recognition00:02:35 - The Power of Narrative in Social Fabric00:03:17 - Explaining Narratives to Non-Scholars00:07:24 - Public Sphere and Scaling Up Narratives00:13:28 - The Loss of the American Dream Across Classes00:14:24 - Gen Z's Rejection of the American Dream00:17:54 - Work-Life Balance and Gen Z's Values00:19:43 - The Role of Technology in Shaping Narratives00:21:26 - The Importance of Narrative in Policy and Philanthropy00:25:21 - Dignity and Respect as Fundamental Human Needs00:28:58 - The Shift from Individualism to Collectivism00:33:09 - Ordinary Universalism and Common Humanity00:36:15 - Political Language and Recognition00:40:17 - Side Hustles and Changing Work Identities00:46:38 - The Benefits of Embracing Inclusivity00:49:24 - Closing Thoughts and ReflectionsKey Takeaways:The concept of narratives is about how we perceive and understand the world through different lenses, which are influenced by social movements, media, and personal experiences.Gen Z is spearheading a shift towards a more inclusive culture and is seeking alternative narratives that go beyond the traditional American dream.The power of storytelling and narratives is crucial in changing hearts and minds for philanthropic and political action.The focus on dignity and respect is a fundamental need for individuals and communities, and it is essential to create a more inclusive and equitable society.The idea of ordinary universalism emphasizes finding common ground and recognizing our shared humanity, rather than focusing on divisions and competition.The role of philanthropies and organizations in scaling up narratives and promoting social change is crucial.The conversation also highlights the challenges of navigating differences and finding ways to coexist and tolerate diverse perspectives.The shift towards a more inclusive society requires a focus on inclusion in workplaces, education, and social interactions.Recognizing the humanity and worth of all individuals is essential for creating a more equitable and respectful society.About This Anthro Life This Anthro Life is a thought-provoking podcast that explores the human side of technology, culture, and business. Hosted by Adam Gamwell, we unravel fascinating narratives and connect them to the...
Dec 20, 2023
50 min
The Trillion Dollar Plan to Transform Waste: Dan Nienhauser’s Vision for a Cleaner Future
In the episode of This Anthro Life, the dialogue investigates waste transformation and how waste can be converted into useful energy and materials. Dan explains his work with Stellar Three focusing on pyrolysis technology that uses heat in an oxygen-free environment to break down plastics and other waste into synthetic gas, oils and carbon black. This process allows waste to be converted back into raw materials to make new plastics, chemicals and fuels.The conversation touches on the large scale of the global waste problem and opportunities to address it through diversified solutions tailored to different regional needs and economic contexts. Collaboration between organizations is emphasized to collectively advance solutions and public education around waste transformation is seen as important to gain broader support and participation in these efforts.Dan discusses various projects Stellar Three is working on around the world to implement this technology on a larger scale. He highlights how a single pyrolysis unit can service a small city and potentially power commercial developments through generating natural gas from waste. Machine learning and improved sorting technologies are also discussed to further optimize the waste transformation process over time.Don't miss the chance to learn about pyrolysis technology and its role in converting waste into synthetic gas, oils, and carbon black - listen to the episode of This Antro Life podcast now. Key takeaways:Pyrolysis is a promising technology for waste transformation using heat in oxygen-free conditions.Waste can be converted back into raw materials like plastics and chemicals through this process.Outputs can vary to suit regional needs like fuels in some areas and plastics in others.Projects are being implemented through modular units that can be scaled up and adapted over time.Improved sorting and machine learning can further optimize waste conversion efficiencies.Proper gas treatment is important to maximize value and minimize emissions.Waste transformation presents economic opportunities through new supply chains and jobs.Transparency is important to gain public trust in new waste solutions.Collaboration rather than competition is needed between organizations in this field.Significant investment is required but waste liabilities can be turned into energy assets.Timestamps:0:00:00 Waste energy and sustainability with industry expert Dan Nienhauser. 0:01:41 Waste transformation and circular economy.0:07:25 Waste management technologies and their potential to transform waste liabilities into energy assets.0:13:24 Converting plastic waste to fuel and chemicals. 0:19:15 Waste management and conversion technologies.0:24:20 Sustainable energy solutions and modularity in waste management.0:28:29 Plastic waste management and circular economy.0:32:46 Waste transformation and its potential impact.0:39:32 Waste transformation and its impact on communities and the environment. About This Anthro Life This Anthro Life is a thought-provoking podcast that explores the human side of technology, culture, and business. Hosted by Adam Gamwell, we unravel fascinating narratives and connect them to the wider context of our lives. Tune in to and subscribe to our Substack at for more captivating episodes and engaging content.Connect with Dan NienhauserWebsite: Linkedin: <a...
Dec 13, 2023
44 min
How to Ensure Human Autonomy in the Age of Algorithms and AI with Brian Evergreen
What does the concept of autonomy bring to mind for you?How has AI already begun reshaping how we work and make decisions? And do you think AI and algorithms should play a role in organizational decision-making? Why or why not? In the episode of This Anthro Life, the discussion delves into the intersection of human autonomy and the evolving landscape of AI. It emphasizes the need for diverse voices that prioritize human well-being, flourishing, and autonomy in the face of technological advancement. Brian's work, aimed at empowering leaders to prioritize people over profit and harness technology to enhance our humanity, underscores the importance of ensuring that AI serves humanity rather than subjugating it. The conversation also touches on the historical context of work, particularly during industrialization, where the focus was on efficiency over people. This highlights the need to reevaluate the role of AI in the workplace and consider how it can be harnessed to prioritize human values and autonomy. Brian's framework for autonomous transformation emphasizes the importance of envisioning the future before technologies, ensuring that people feel a sense of belonging and purpose in the face of technological advancement. It underscores the unique capabilities of humans, such as belonging, exploration, and envisioning future states, and emphasizes the complementary relationship between humans and machines. Key takeaways:The importance of envisioning what future state an organization wants to createExamples of working with companies to define their vision, challenges, and strategic approachThe role of autonomy in transformation and moving from digital to autonomous systemsHow AI is highlighting the need for a renewed focus on culture and the human experienceDifferences between leaders who view people as expendable vs. those who don'tThe time lag between deciding to use new tech and it being developed for productionHow leaders can focus on expanding revenue through new opportunitiesThe history of how work was set up during the industrial revolutionTransforming beyond viewing organizations like mechanical systems and people as cogsThe potential for technologies like AI to take work off humans' plates and elevate them to more creative rolesTimestamps:0:00:00 AI's impact on work and society with Brian Evergreen0:01:49 Chess and music experiences and their impact on leadership.0:06:29 Autonomy in workplace transformation.0:12:22 Work history and technological change.0:20:07 AI's impact on organizational culture and success.0:25:43 Balancing profit and doing good with AI.0:29:43 Profit, greed, and altruism in business.0:33:09 AI strategy and its implementation.0:43:23 Improving worker experience in a manufacturing setting.0:48:09 AI, human capabilities, and belonging in organizations.0:51:05 AI's impact on jobs and leadership.0:56:31 Leadership, technology, and decision-making.1:00:54 Autonomous transformation with Brian Evergreen. About This Anthro Life This Anthro Life is a thought-provoking podcast that explores the human side of technology, culture, and business. Hosted by Adam Gamwell, we unravel fascinating narratives and connect them to the wider context of our lives.Tune in to and subscribe to our Substack at for more captivating episodes and engaging content.Connect with Brian Evergreen<a...
Dec 6, 2023
1 hr 3 min
Everyday War: How Small Intimate Moments Shape Wartime Realities in Ukraine with Greta Uehling
How do civilians strategically engage with conflict while seeking everyday peace? How do power dynamics and asymmetries impact the ability of civilians to strategically engage with conflict while simultaneously seeking everyday peace, and what are the implications of these dynamics for broader peace and stability in war-torn environments?In this episode of This Anthro Life, we explore an insightful discussion with anthropologist Greta Uehling about her ethnographic research on civilians' experiences during the Ukraine conflict. Uehling introduces concepts like "everyday war" and "everyday peace" to examine how civilians strategically navigate and mitigate the effects of war through their interpersonal relationships and actions.The conversation challenges assumptions that war stops everyday life. Through stories of civilians like Alexander supporting her sniper father and "Pasha" finding community after displacement, Uehling demonstrates civilians' agency beyond preconceived notions of victimhood. She also discusses conducting ethical fieldwork in conflict zones and civilians' changing, contextual identities and relationships.Uehling highlights lessons from Ukraine on rebuilding societies relationally after war. The discussion questions how civilians decide which connections to preserve and considers media's role in shaping perspectives. Uehling's work provides valuable insights for understanding civilians' roles below geopolitical narratives and informs further research in wartime environments.Tune in to this episode of This Antro Life to gain nuanced, ground-level insights into civilians' experiences of war that challenge assumptions and inform more holistic approaches to conflict recoveryKey takeaways:Civilians play active roles in war beyond just victims, including as perpetrators, defenders, and community healers.Ethnographic research can provide nuanced perspectives on civilians' experiences of war that get obscured by other narratives.Concepts like "everyday war" and "everyday peace" show how civilians strategically engage with and seek to mitigate conflict.War impacts interpersonal relationships as civilians make difficult choices about which connections to preserve.Identities and relationships are fluid rather than fixed, changing based on one's environment and politicization.Zombification by restricted media shapes how civilians understand the conflict.Fieldwork in conflicts requires prioritizing civilians' well-being over eliciting trauma through interviews.Participant observation and embodied experiences can teach as much as direct questioning.Anthropology provides lessons for relationally rebuilding societies divided by war.Civilians deserve recognition as protagonists central to how wars unfold.Timestamps:0:04:20 - Discussion of the concept of "everyday war" and how it challenges assumptions about civilian life stopping during conflict0:11:21 - Choosing the title "Everyday War" to examine civilian life at a deeper level0:15:21 - Story of "eager" and how war impacted his interpersonal relationships0:18:34 - Exploring how politics shaped whether civilians maintained connections0:23:59 - Lessons on conducting ethical fieldwork like prioritizing anonymity0:31:45 - Story of "Pasha" finding community support after displacement0:36:12 - Role of "everyday peace" in mitigating conflict through preserving relationships0:41:24 - Discussion of how war impacts interpersonal relationships0:49:44 - Discussion of challenges of fieldwork in conflict zones0:56:19 - Discussion of civilians as central to how wars unfold1:00:45 - Example of collective, nature-based approaches to conflict recoveryAbout This Anthro Life This Anthro Life is a thought-provoking...
Nov 29, 2023
1 hr 6 min
The Future is Speaking: Unveiling the Power of Voice Technology with Tobias Dengel
What new possibilities do you see emerging with voice technology? How might it influence our interactions with businesses and services in the future and what if your voice could transform the way we interact with technology? Imagine a world where your voice can effortlessly interact with devices and transform the way we navigate our surroundings.In this episode of This Anthro Life, we explore the world of future technology with guest Tobias Dengel, a leading expert in digital transformation, and discuss the power of voice technology and its potential to transform how we interact with devices and the world around us. Dengel sheds light on the reasons why integrating voice technology into existing platforms is perceived as a safer approach compared to building entirely new platforms from scratch. He emphasizes the importance of leveraging the familiarity and trust already established with these platforms, enabling a smoother transition for users. Additionally, Dengel delves into the widespread adoption of voice assistants such as Alexa and Siri, highlighting their increasing presence in our daily lives. Furthermore, the discussion extends to the role of voice technology in banking applications, where it plays a crucial role in enhancing security measures and making our lives safer. The exploration of voice technology in this episode showcases its transformative potential and the various ways it is revolutionizing our interactions with devices and services.Tune in to discover Dengel's captivating insights and expertise as we envision the transformative power of voice technology.Key takeaways:Voice technology is evolving and becoming increasingly sophisticated, with the adoption of voice assistants like Alexa and Siri skyrocketing.Adding voice to existing platforms feels safer than creating new ones altogether, as users are already familiar with the platform and trust it.Voice technology solves the problem of faster communication, as humans speak three times faster than they type.The interface of voice technology needs to be redesigned to be more efficient, as listening to machines is slower than reading or interacting with visuals.The more human-like voice assistants become, the less users trust them, as they feel like they are being tricked.Multimodality is important in voice technology, as it allows for a combination of voice, visuals, and other forms of communication to enhance the user experience.Voice technology has applications in various industries, such as law enforcement, warehouses, retail, and safety in industrial settings.The combination of generative AI and conversational AI is where the magic happens in voice technology, allowing for more accurate interpretation and response.Conversational designers will play a crucial role in designing effective voice experiences, considering factors like speed, efficiency, and user preferences.Voice technology has the potential to reshape business processes and models, such as centralized restaurants, telemedicine, and global healthcare access.Timestamps:00:00:07 Voice technology is evolving.00:05:14 Design voice experiences in multimodal.00:09:37 Voice is a powerful interface.00:18:38 Conversational AI and generative AI.00:21:08 Context is crucial for conversation.00:28:31 The blend of generative AI and conversational AI is creating a user experience breakthrough.00:29:15 Voice experiences are becoming multimodal.00:34:06 Voice technology revolutionizes business processes.00:39:03 The future of technology is voice-based.00:43:30 Spread anthropological thinking to audiences.Tobias Dengel is a seasoned technology executive with over 20 years of experience in mobility, digital media, and interactive marketing. He currently holds the position of President at...
Nov 22, 2023
43 min
The Power of Collective Identity: Brad Deutser on Building Human-Centered Organizations
What is the importance of belonging in the workplace according to research? And what are some key actions that business leaders can take to create a fantastic work culture? In this episode of This Anthro Life, we delve into the topic of building a stronger sense of belonging and identity within organizations through dimensional leadership.Drawing from his extensive research involving more than 15,000 employees, Brad Deutser highlights the crucial role that belonging plays in fostering engagement, satisfaction, and retention. He unveils the five "Belonging Rules" that emerged from his work: harnessing the power of identity, listening without preconceived labels, prioritizing identity over purpose, challenging established norms, and demanding unwavering honesty. We also tackle the importance of addressing underlying power structures and norms to drive lasting change. A particularly compelling point raised by Deutser is the need to embrace diverse perspectives without necessitating complete agreement, as it is through this acceptance that true belonging can be achieved.Look no further! Our latest episode features an insightful conversation with Brad Deutser on identity, belonging, and fostering a sense of purpose in organizations. Tune in to This Anthro Life podcast for a dose of inspiration today!Key takeaways:Learn how belonging is a fundamental human need and one of the most important factors for employee engagement and performance.Explore how organizations should focus on identity over purpose to strengthen culture and give employees a sense of belonging.Discover why addressing power structures and norms is important for lasting, meaningful change in organizations.Understand how listening without labels and making judgments allows for deeper understanding between people.Consider how challenging norms and standards in a constructive way can spur creativity and innovation.Appreciate how embracing different perspectives without needing to agree creates an environment for belonging.Recognize that transparency and honesty builds trust within an organization.Experience how play, fun, and creative approaches to learning and development increase engagement.Gain insight into how dimensional leadership considers the human elements of change rather than just strategies.Reflect on how small acts of empathy and understanding can make a big difference in people's experience of work.Timestamps:00:00:00 Importance of belonging in organizations.00:06:35 Importance of incorporating play and fun in the workplace.00:10:25 Belonging is crucial in the workplace.00:15:23 Address power dynamics for lasting progress.00:21:46 Listen without labels for understanding.00:25:29 Listen and empathize with others.00:34:40 Choose identity over purpose.00:40:56 Expand your box for creativity.00:43:15 Challenge everything for creative growth.00:47:08 Belonging is essential for organizations.00:55:18 Belonging is essential for growth.00:55:30 "Anthropology is for everyone."Brad Deutser is a trusted counselor, executive coach, and leadership guru for CEOs and top corporate management. He is the bestselling author of "Leading Clarity" and his upcoming book, "BELONGING RULES," focuses on building unity and fostering performance. Deutser's research shows that employees' sense of belonging significantly affects job satisfaction, engagement, and effort. Belonging is more influential than organizational culture and strategy in predicting these outcomes. The book highlights the financial value employees place on belonging in terms of salary and turnover. Deutser and his team surveyed over 15,000 employees across various industries and occupational roles to gather their insights. Through his work, Deutser has impacted top businesses,...
Nov 15, 2023
55 min
Interstellar Dreams vs. Earthly Realities: Rethinking Space Exploration With Savannah Mandel
Have you ever wondered if reaching for the stars is humanity's most urgent priority? Is it the thrill of exploration, the endless possibilities, or our desire to ensure that our species has a plan B? In this episode of This Anthro Life, we tackle the captivating and fascinating world of Space Exploration and Space Industry with anthropologist Savannah Mandel. Savannah Mandel shares her research and experiences working in the human space exploration industry. She discusses her journey from being a starry-eyed lover of space as a child to developing more critical perspectives as her research progressed. She remains devoted to bringing anthropological research methods to bear, diversifying voices in the field, and furthering public understanding. We also touch on topics like decolonizing space, diversifying voices and perspectives involved in the industry, applying anthropological research to create real-world impact, and studying speculative futures. Join in for another episode that takes you on a journey beyond the stars and back down to Earth.Key takeaways:Learn about space ethics and anthropology by exploring how social scientists are studying the cultural, ethical, and social dimensions of humanity's journey into space.Explore the ethical implications of space exploration by examining important questions about equality, justice, environmental impact, and the effects on life on Earth.Examine the economic forces driving the space industry by examining the role of governments, private companies, billionaires, and other financial stakeholders.Understand the social impact of humanity's journey into space by considering how space exploration changes societies, cultures, and humanity's view of itself.Challenge conventional wisdom about space exploration by questioning assumptions made by governments, corporations, and the media about colonizing space.Question the grand visions of the space industry by analyzing the motivations and assumptions behind proposals for space mining, tourism, and colonization.Ground the study of space within a broader global context by connecting space exploration to issues like inequality, climate change, and social justice on Earth.Consider cultural, social, and political factors influencing space exploration by examining public opinion, cultural representations, and power structures.Discover how anthropology can shape the future of space by advocating for diverse voices and ethical, socially conscious policies.Apply anthropological research to create real-world change by informing decision-making and bringing new perspectives to the space industry.Timestamps:00:00:32 Questioning the relevance of space exploration.00:05:09 Questioning the ethics of research.00:12:09 Limited voices in space exploration.00:19:29 Space exploration should be optional.00:21:48 Importance of discussing space ethics.00:26:48 Anthropologists can be activists.00:32:17 Speculative research informs present realities.00:37:03 Science fiction influences society's future.00:42:00 Include diverse voices in space.00:48:01 Questioning expertise in space exploration.00:57:45 Writing process for aspiring writers.01:00:52 Take writing seriously as a business.01:03:06 Importance of anthropology in space.Savannah Mandel, a passionate anthropologist, delves into the realms of speculation, futurism, and industrial studies. With a pen in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other, she finds herself in her element. Her diverse experiences have shaped her into a versatile writer, both in non-fiction and fiction genres. When she's not engrossed in her research and writing, Savannah indulges in board games and even runs a time travel-themed role-playing game. Her captivating articles can be found in esteemed publications...
Nov 8, 2023
1 hr 5 min
Wisdom from the Edge: Writing Ethnography in Turbulent Times With Paul Stoller
Are you curious about the untapped wisdom that exists outside of traditional academic knowledge? Do you want to learn how stories, dialogue, and sensory experiences can enhance our understanding of the world? In this episode of This Anthro Life, we dive into the fascinating world of anthropology with esteemed anthropologist and author Paul Stoller. Paul shares his fascinating experiences studying healing practices and encountering unexplainable phenomena in Niger. We delve into the importance of storytelling, deep listening, and the need for ethnography to engage all senses. Paul further emphasizes the power of evocative writing, the value of passing down knowledge through generations, and the profound wisdom we can gain from unexpected sources. Tune in to discover the transformative potential of anthropology and how it can shape our understanding of the human condition.Key takeaways:Learn how immersive fieldwork pushes boundaries of understanding and challenges preconceptions through lived experiences in other cultures.Explore how storytelling is a core way that cultures transmit knowledge, values, and traditions across generations through oral histories.Discover how "deep listening" goes beyond words to sense meanings through tone, expression, and being to understand another person truly.Immerse yourself in vivid place descriptions that evoke memory and enhance the reader's experience of ethnographic scenes.Develop your skills in bringing field research to life through techniques like constructing compelling characters and authentic dialogue.Appreciate how wisdom exists in unexpected places beyond academic frameworks through the practical knowledge of indigenous elders.Understand how long-term relationships in the field unlock hidden dimensions of cultural knowledge only revealed through deep trust over time.Key Topics of this Podcast:00:01:30 Wisdom lies beyond comprehension.00:09:18 Ethnography helps understand troubled times.00:10:11 Lack of social trust and disrespect for nature have consequences.00:17:45 Indigenous wisdom is valuable.00:21:17 Writing ethnography with vivid descriptions.00:29:39 Deep listening enhances storytelling experience.00:32:06 Storytelling connects and reveals humanity.00:36:42 Ethnography's unique value proposition.00:41:03 Ethnography preserves and passes knowledge.00:44:02 Embrace vulnerability for deeper wisdom.00:47:33. Embrace sensory approach to engage.Our incredible guest, Paul Stoller, is an anthropologist who has spent years conducting fieldwork in West Niger. Through his experiences as an apprentice to healers in the region, Stoller has conducted anthropological research in West Africa for over 30 years, focusing on Songhai religion and spirit possession. Since 1992, he has also studied West African immigrants in New York City, exploring informal economies and immigration politics. Stoller has published 11 books, including ethnographies, biographies, memoirs, and novels. As a custodian of wisdom from the edge, Stoller emphasizes the importance of listening to knowledge and learning from it. With his unique perspective, he offers invaluable insights into the human condition, social relations, and the preservation of cultural heritage.About This Anthro Life: This Anthro Life is a thought-provoking podcast that explores the human side of technology, culture, and business. Hosted by Adam Gamwell, we unravel fascinating narratives and connect them to the wider context of our lives. Tune in to and subscribe to our Substack at for more captivating...
Nov 1, 2023
48 min
From Automation to Revolution: Exploring the Future of Conversational AI
Did you know that conversation, one of the oldest human technologies, is reshaping the future of how we interact with machines? We’re not talking Siri or Alexa here, but conversational AI, interfaces anyone can create and hyper automation that links together our intentions, tools and technologies. Join us in this episode of This Anthro Life as we delve into the fascinating world of conversational AI, hyper automation and composable software systems with the brilliant mind of User Experience (UX) pioneer Robb Wilson. Discover why embracing conversation and removing the barriers of complex software interfaces might just be the key to unlocking new opportunities and improved outcomes in the digital age.In this thought-provoking conversation, we explore the potential shift away from antiquated software interfaces and the exciting possibilities that conversational AI brings. From the potential of no-code approaches and decentralized business models to the interconnectedness of user experience, customer experience, and employee experience, we provide fresh insights on how automation can evolve how we work, interact with technology, elevate customer service, and foster creativity.Key takeaways:Learn how to create your own skills ecosystem and embrace a no-code approach to building AI interfaces.Understand the potential of conversational UI to revolutionize how we interact with technology.Explore the impact of hyper automation on customer service experiences and employee creativity.Conversational AI and hyper-automation could transform jobs by automating routine tasks and freeing up humans for more creative work.Decentralized organizations and composable UIs that allow access to all software through natural language could reshape business models.Total experience design must consider both customer and employee experiences to be effective.Responsible development of conversational AI could help create more empowering technologies.Automation provides the opportunity for humans to engage in more meaningful social interactions.The future of work and business will likely involve a blend of human creativity and machine automation.Our insightful guest, Robb Wilson, brings a wealth of expertise on hyper automation and composable systems. As the founder of, a company specializing in creating tools for companies to build their own Alexa-like ecosystems, Robb understands the power and potential of AI in transforming industries. Get ready to be inspired and informed by his insights!Key Topics of this Podcast:00:00:23 The future of technology is conversational.00:06:06 Relaxation and space foster creativity.00:09:42 Humans can adapt and find value in automation.00:14:58 Decentralization is the future.00:22:26 Automation creates space for connection.00:27:30 Total experience is transformative.00:30:26 Employee-first approach in business.00:35:15 Revolutionizing technology through conversational interfaces.00:41:00 The future of software interfaces.00:44:36 Explainability is crucial for trust.00:55:06 Machines should make human-like mistakes.01:01:11 Unlocking software through conversational UI.01:06:37 Automation enhances customer experiences.About This Anthro Life This Anthro Life is a thought-provoking podcast that explores the human side of technology, culture, and business. Hosted by Adam Gamwell, we unravel fascinating narratives and connect them to the wider context of our lives. Tune in to and subscribe to our Substack at <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer...
Oct 25, 2023
1 hr 8 min
Navigating Uncertainty: Lessons from the Frontlines of COVID-19 Testing
What can we learn from our handling of the COVID-19 pandemic to better prepare for future crises? Why is it crucial to build a diagnostic infrastructure for future crises? And what lessons can we learn from the collaboration between healthcare providers and the sports industry during the COVID-19 pandemic? In this fascinating episode of This Anthro Life podcast, surgeon-turned-CEO Jon Cohen shares the story of how he and his team led the nation in the creation of diagnostics testing for COVID-19. Jon has been at the forefront of the COVID-19 testing efforts, working tirelessly to build a diagnostic infrastructure and tackle the challenges posed by the pandemic. From setting up drive-through testing centers to providing testing for the NFL and the NBA, Jon has been involved in a wide range of testing initiatives. Join us as we explore the critical importance of testing during a crisis, the logistics involved, and the leadership lessons learned along the way.Bringing us to today, Jon highlights the immense need for mental health support and the limitations of traditional therapy methods, such as in-person appointments. He mentions that with the rise of telemedicine, individuals can now access mental health services through online platforms, including texting and video calls, at any time and from anywhere. With mental health struggles increasing, he advocates for expanded telemedicine to provide more accessible care. Dr. Jon R. Cohen is a leading healthcare executive with over 30 years of experience growing successful medical companies. As former CEO of BioReference Laboratories, he guided the firm to become a top COVID-19 testing provider during the pandemic. Renowned for his strategic vision and expertise in healthcare policy and technology, Dr. Cohen is currently CEO of Talkspace, a prominent telehealth platform expanding access to mental health services. Based in New York, he continues to drive meaningful improvements in patient care and the digital transformation of healthcare.Key Takeaways:The diagnostic industry is often overlooked and misunderstood, but it plays a crucial role in healthcare, especially during a pandemic.There is a need for better diagnostic infrastructure and coordination at the federal level to prepare for future crises, including dedicated testing centers.Trusting your inner voice and intuition is important in making critical decisions during a crisis. Prioritizing healthcare workers and frontline responders for testing is crucial, but determining who should be tested beyond that can be challenging without clear guidance. Leadership during crises requires making difficult decisions with incomplete information, owning up to mistakes, and prioritizing based on evolving situations.Key Topics of this Podcast:00:02:26 The podcast explores diagnostic laboratories.00:04:39 Unprecedented coordination in COVID response.00:09:22 Drive-thrus revolutionized COVID testing.00:13:29 Public-private partnerships are crucial.00:20:48 Listen to your inner voice.00:23:10 Trusting instincts in decision-making.00:28:08 Prioritizing testing for essential workers.00:36:48 Honesty and transparency in crises.00:41:45 Build a diagnostic infrastructure for future crises.00:47:00 Create a non-permission culture.00:47:56 Non-permission culture fosters effective organizations.About This Anthro Life This Anthro Life is a podcast that explores the ways in which humans interact, adapt, and create meaning within the different cultural contexts they find themselves in. Join host Adam Gamwell and his diverse array of guests as they dive deep into the fascinating world of anthropology, uncovering the hidden stories that shape our lives.Tune in now and find out more about how the lessons learned during the COVID can change the...
Oct 18, 2023
53 min
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