MetaLearn helps you learn Whether you’re building a business, learning a language or picking up a sport, you’ll learn the principles and techniques needed to succeed, as well as gaining insights from the thought leaders driving the global learning revolution.
RSS Feed Subscribe in Apple Podcasts




All Episodes
Now displaying: Page 1
Feb 13, 2018

The process of authoring and producing my first course, Make Me A MetaLearner, was a great learning experience for me.

It taught me a lot about the skills of research and writing and the importance of structuring educational content in a way that's easy to digest and understand for students. 

As a university lecturer I’ve spent plenty of time preparing lessons and delivering them to students, but authoring an online course was a completely different ball game for me.

Looking back, I can see that a big part of the process could be broken down into a number of key steps, which I had to figure out by trial and error. 

This episode is part of my process for reflecting on what I've learned and in it I'm joined by writer, videographer and all around MetaLearner Will Reynolds. We discuss:

- How to brainstorm ideas effectively and channel them into a skeleton structure
- How to manage the process of a prolonged piece of writing and stay productive
- How to build a system that makes your educational content easy to understand

So whether you want to author your own educational content or are just curious about what goes on behind the scenes here at MetaLearn, this episode has you covered.

Feb 7, 2018

Tom Stafford is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology and Cognitive Science at the University of Sheffield.

He’s also the author of the book Mindhacks, a book featuring 100 DIY mind experiments you can try at home, and he runs the excellent MindHacks blog dedicated to psychology and neuroscience news & views.

Tom has done some fascinating research into skill acquisition by studying the process of playing computer games (which can be tracked across the whole learning curve) drawing out some useful general insights that you can apply to any skill you’re learning.

In this conversation we discuss a range of topics including: 

- What Tom has discovered about the learning process through his research in cognitive science
- The tradeoff between trying new things (exploration) and doing what works (exploitation)
- The keys to teaching effectively and improving the classroom experience for students

So whether you’re looking for some cutting edge insights from cognitive science to apply to your learning or are curious about how it can improve the classroom experience, this episode has you covered.

Feb 2, 2018

Finding great teachers is a big part of learning anything. 

But for most people, the top experts are off limits.

They’re only available to the few who can afford to fork out for their services, or a select who have spent years working their way up in the industry have the privilege of meeting and working with them. 

So what if I told you that in 12-24 months you could be speaking to any teacher or expert you wanted? 

That you could create your own education, build your own curriculum and learn from the best in the world. 

You’d probably be interested. And you’d probably say I was crazy.

But in the last 18 months since launching the MetaLearn Podcast, that’s exactly what I’ve done. 

In this episode I'm joined by writer, videographer and all around MetaLearner Will Reynolds and we discuss:

- How to choose your niche and build a brand around your podcast
- How to reach out to guests, get the gear you need and interview them for your show
- How to edit and promote your podcast to share your learning with a wider audience

So whether you're looking to start your own podcast or are just curious about what goes on behind the scenes here at MetaLearn, this episode has you covered.

Jan 26, 2018

Tim Urban is the founder of the blog WaitButWhy and is one of the Internet’s most popular writers.

With brilliant stick-figure illustrations and epic analysis on everything from artificial intelligence to the future of the brain, Wait But Why, has gained a huge audience and number of famous fans such as Tesla, Space-X and Solar City CEO, Elon Musk.

Musk asked Tim to write about his companies and their surrounding industries, leading to a five-part series of posts discussing the importance of sustainable energy and transport, the future of space exploration and the implications of an AI augmented human brain.

In this episode we discuss:

- The future of the brain and the difference between human and computer intelligence
- How Tim learns from the smartest people in the world, including Elon Musk and his team
- What human super-intelligence means for you and the superpowers it could give you

So whether you’re curious about the future of the brain and what we humans will be able to do down the road or just want to get some tips on how to learn from the world’s smartest people, this episode has you covered.

Jan 17, 2018

This episode is a special one on equations that changed the world. 

And what better one to start with than Isaac Newton’s Universal Law of Gravity – an equation that ultimately helped us put a man on the moon!

In simple terms the equation reads:

Earth’s Gravitational Force = (G x M x m) / D squared 

Earth’s Force = (Gravitational Constant x Earth’s Mass x Mass of the Object) /  Distance between the Earth and Object Squared

What this equation allowed the smart scientists at NASA to do was to to establish with accuracy where exactly the moon was, which was no mean feat in itself. 

And by calculating the rate at which gravity diminished on the way to the moon, they determined what size rocket they’d need and the best route to get there.

Today’s guest, Kalid Azad, is the founder of Better Explained, one of the world's most popular maths websites that makes hard concepts easy to understand. 

After studying Computer Science at Princeton, Kalid spent a few years at Microsoft as a program manager, founded a Y Combinator startup, and currently works as a developer.

Kalid uses an intuition first approach to explain difficult ideas in a way that anyone can understand and this makes him the perfect guide.

In this episode we discuss: 

- Newton’s backstory and how it influenced his work
- The mechanics of the equation in a way that you can understand
- The implications of the equation for our view of the Universe

So whether you’re looking to find out more about Newton, dive deeper into the equation and its importance, or explore maths and physics in a way that’s fun and accessible, this episode has you covered. 

Jan 9, 2018

Tiago Forte helps people and companies improve their productivity and prepare for the future of work using design thinking and technology.

He does this through his consultancy and training firm Forte Labs, and as editor of Praxis, a members-only online publication on the future of productivity.

He has also produced a series of highly successful online courses on productivity and has written a book on the future of work.

In this conversation we get into:

- The fundamental pillars of a great note taking system
- How design thinking can be used to improve your productivity
- The actions you can take to prepare yourself for the future of work

So whether you’re looking to finally get organised in 2018 or want to future proof your career, this episode will give you plenty of awesome insights that you can apply right away. 

Jan 3, 2018

Today’s episode is a special one for several reasons. 

First, it’s episode 100 of the podcast! This is a big milestone so thank you for supporting the show and I’m looking forward to taking things forward in the weeks and months to come.   

Second, it’s the first day of 2018 – so Happy New Year and all the best to you and yours for the year ahead.

And third, this episode is my review of 2017, so in it I’ll discuss 5 key lessons I’ve learned in the year gone by. I’ll take story from my own experience that demonstrates each lesson and then try and draw some generalisable advice that you can apply to your learning and life. 

In this episode I discuss: 

- The 3 qualities of all exceptional learners I’ve discovered from my interviews
- How to identify great teachers and filter through the average ones
- The importance of accountability and how to set up systems that create it 

So whether you’re looking to pick up a new skill in 2018, want to find a great teacher or are just curious about what I’ve learned in the year gone by, this episode has you covered.

Dec 13, 2017

Nat Eliason is the founder of Growth Machine, a new content marketing business and the host of the Made You Think and Nat Chat podcasts.

He is also a keen writer, publishing his work on self-education and self-improvement at his site

I reached out to Nat a few months ago to discuss an opportunity that came up through the podcast and after that we had a few great conversations and I invited him on the show.

In this conversation we discuss a range of topics including:

- How to teach yourself anything with the sandbox method
- How to run and manage self-experimentation projects
- Career lessons from building a thriving blog, two podcasts and a business

So whether you’re looking to upgrade your learning, run a few more self-experiments in different areas of your life or build your career in the 21st century, this episode will give you all you need and more.

Dec 5, 2017

Ali Almossawi is a San Francisco-based author of books on critical thinking and computer science education.

He currently works as a data visualizer at Apple and was formerly a data visualization engineer on the Firefox team at Mozilla, a research associate at Harvard, and a collaborator with the MIT Media Lab.

Ali’s first book, An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments, has been read by 2.6 million readers and translated into 18 languages and has turned into a cult hit.

He has since followed that up with Bad Choices, a book where he breaks down the core principles of computer algorithms into twelve beautifully illustrated vignettes that will help make you a more creative problem-solver.

In this conversation we discuss a range of topics including:

- How to use algorithms to think smarter and make better decisions
- How to improve your critical thinking skills in a world full of noise
- How to make sense of the data deluge of the 21st century

So whether you’re interested to find out what it’s like to see the world through the eyes of a computer scientist or want to level up your critical thinking skills this episode will do all that and more.

Nov 29, 2017

Choosing what to learn is no easy task…if you’re doing it right.

But I believe that doing a bit of work in the selection process up front can save you a lot of trouble down the road. 

It can stop you from starting a project you won’t end up finishing…and it can help you focus on what’s most important to you! 

Ultimately, we all have a limited amount of time, money and energy and we have to allocate that as effectively as possible in a world of infinite options. 

In this episode I discuss:

- The major differences between passion and professional projects
- A simple framework for identifying the skill you should learn next
- The three skills everyone should be developing in the 21st century

So whether you’re overwhelmed with more projects than you can manage or can’t come up with what to learn next, this episode will give you what you need to take action and move forward.

Nov 22, 2017

Cecily Sommers is a futurist and global trends analyst, who speaks, writes, and consults on the emerging forces shaping our future. 

She is the author of Think Like a Futurist and the founder of The Push Institute, a non-profit think tank that tracks global trends and their implications for business, government, and non-profits over 5-50 year time horizons.

Cecily also has a fascinating, multidisciplinary background – she trained and performed as dancer for 25 years and has also worked as a chiropractor, a college anatomy instructor and a branding consultant.

In this conversation we discuss a range of topics including: 

- The universal principles behind mastering any skill or field of knowledge
- The 4 Forces shaping the 21st Century and what to do about them 
- The mental models and habits needed to think like a futurist 

So whether you’re looking for insight into where the world is going or want to learn more about the mindsets and skillsets needed to thrive in a rapidly changing world, this episode will give you all you need and much more.

Nov 14, 2017

Stephen Kosslyn is one of the world’s most respected cognitive scientists and the Founding Dean of the Minerva Schools at KGI.

Minerva is an innovative new university that has created a radical new model of higher education and seeks to prepare young people from all over the world for the 21st Century. 

Minerva is built on the premise that effective education requires continuous engagement, deliberate practice, and interdisciplinary understanding and teaches all of its classes online.

It currently runs a four-year undergraduate program and a two-year, part time graduate program, that teach students habits of mind and foundational concepts that transcend individual fields of specialism. 

Minerva was founded by former Snapfish President Ben Nelson in 2011 and after raising a large seed round they started a partnership with the Keck Graduate Institute to form Minerva Schools at KGI in 2013. 

Kosslyn moved to Minerva from Stanford University, where he was the Director of the Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Sciences, the world’s preeminent institution in the field.

Prior to Stanford, Kosslyn spent 30 years at Harvard University in a variety of positions, including Dean of Social Sciences.

In this conversation we discuss a range of topics including: 

- How Minerva applies the science of learning to its curriculum and pedagogy 
- The major misconceptions about the Minerva project and its key innovations
- The importance of community and the human factor in any learning program

Whether you’re interested in the application of cognitive science to the classroom or curious about the latest innovations in education this episode will give you everything you need and much more.

Nov 7, 2017

Seth Godin is one of the world’s most respected marketers, the author of 18 international bestsellers and the founder of the altMBA - an intensive 4 week workshop designed to level up leaders who want to make change in the world. 

Seth writes about the way ideas spread, leadership and change and his most notable books include Linchpin, Tribes, The Dip, and Purple Cow. He also maintains one of the most popular blogs in the world, where he posts daily.

In addition to his writing and speaking, Seth founded both Yoyodyne and Squidoo and was inducted into the Direct Marketing Hall of Fame in 2013.

In this conversation we discuss a range of topics including: 

- What Seth has learned from building a successful online education program
- Seth’s insights on creativity, including quitting projects and getting feedback 
- Seth’s advice on selling with integrity and the truths behind good marketing 

Whether you’re looking for creative inspiration, insight into an exciting alternative education program or the secrets to selling effectively, this episode will give you the spark you need to do all of that and much more!

Oct 31, 2017

Oli Barrett is an entrepreneur and speaker who makes valuable connections between people and ideas.

Oli has formalised his talents through his business Connector Unit, where people retain his services to map out networks and brings people and ideas together across sectors and industries.

He previously co-founded Cospa, a Social Innovation Agency and Startup Britain, which supports people to start and grow a company.

He’s also organised 11 trade missions to the US, India and Brazil helping British companies to explore business opportunities.

On top of all this, he’s received an MBE for his services to business entrepreneurship and is a regular MC and speaker at international events, hosting them from all over the world.

In this conversation we discuss a range of topics including:

- How to turn contacts into connections and build relationships that last
- The best strategies for effective communication in different contexts - The best time management techniques for juggling multiple projects

Whether you’re looking to build better relationships in your professional or personal life, hone your speaking skills or manage your day better, this conversation will help you do all that and much more.

Oct 24, 2017

Kyle Pearce is an entrepreneur, adventurer and the Founder of DIY Genius – a self-education platform that helps people learn faster online and offers courses in subjects from flow psychology to digital marketing. 

Kyle has spent the last decade launching startups and helping entrepreneurs automate their online businesses. His latest startup venture is Social Creators, where he trains people to build their brands and automate their sales process with chatbot marketing funnels.

When he’s not working, Kyle spends time biking, skiing and running retreats through his ecotourism organization Spirit Quest Adventures.

In this conversation we discuss a range of topics including: 

- How Kyle learns best and the skills needed to thrive in the 21st century
- How to access the flow state that produces optimal performance 
- Kyle’s travel experiences and what he’s learned from other cultures 

So whether you’re looking to learn more effectively online, build a mobile business, or get into flow to accelerate your learning this episode will give you all you need and more.

Oct 18, 2017

Jonathan Levi, an entrepreneur, angel investor, and online educator who hails from Silicon Valley.

Since 2014, Jonathan has been one of the top-performing instructors on Udemy, including a flagship course on speed reading, memorisation and accelerated learning techniques called Becoming A SuperLearner.

He has also snowballed this success into a top-rated podcast, Becoming SuperHuman, and numerous other online courses in a range of subjects from productivity to bitcoin.

In this conversation we discuss a range of topics including:

- The most common mistakes people make when trying to process and remember information
- The value of nootropics and cognitive enhancers in learning
- What Jonathan thinks makes great online education

So whether you’re looking to discover the techniques that will help you consume and remember information more effectively, experiment with nootropics or gain insight into the principles of good online education, this conversation has you covered.

Oct 13, 2017

Noah Kagan is the founder of AppSumo and, two multi million dollar companies that help entrepreneurs grow their businesses. Noah was employee no. 30 at Facebook and employee no.4 at Mint where he grew the company from zero to a million users.

He also writes about marketing and his business experiences at and has recently launched a Podcast, Noah Kagan Presents, and YouTube Channel.

Noah is all around learning machine and at the time of this conversation he’d just got back from a sabatical where he travelled around Europe, including a trip to Israel where he spent time learning Hebrew.

In this conversation we discuss a range of topics including:

- How Noah learns best and his experience learning a language from scratch
- The business lessons Noah has learned from building an 8-Figure business
- The secret behind getting your ideas heard in a world full of noise

So whether you’re looking to build or grow your business or accelerate your learning by seeing the world with fresh eyes, this podcast will give you all that and much more.

Oct 3, 2017

Dr. Alex Pattakos is a bestselling author, former Professor of Public and Business Administration and the founder of the Global Meaning Institute, which aims to help people discover meaning in their lives and work.

Alex has written best-selling books on the human quest for meaning including Prisoners of Our Thoughts, which was written at the personal urging of the world-renowned psychiatrist, Dr. Viktor Frankl, the author of Man's Search for Meaning and a survivor of the Nazi concentration camps.

By writing The OPA! Way, inspired by Greek philosophy, mythology, and culture, Alex reconnected with his Greek roots, and gained a deeper understanding of how people found meaning in their everyday lives despite being surrounded by economic and social crises.

In this conversation we discuss a range of topics including:

- The importance of finding meaning in learning and how to do it
- The lessons Alex learned from, the psychiatrist, Viktor Frankl
- The lessons that we can learn from the Greeks to live better

So whether you’re looking to find meaning in your learning or want to discover some of the strategies you can apply to develop greater self-awareness, then this episode will give you all that and more.

Sep 26, 2017

Matt Clifford is the co-founder of Entrepreneur First (EF), the world's leading technology company builder. EF invests in top technical people to help them build world-class deep tech startups from scratch in London and Singapore.

One of the biggest assumptions about entrepreneurs is that they’re born, not made, and that it takes a mysterious combination of natural talent and a big slice of luck for founders to be in the right place at the right time.

By building EF with his co-founder Alice Bentinck, Matt has challenged that assumption – because EF creates startups by helping them to find co-founders and commercialise their technology.

And their thesis has been getting validation, because since 2011, they’ve created over 100 startups worth over $400m including Magic Pony Technology (sold to Twitter for $150M), Tractable and StackHut.

In this conversation we discuss a range of topics including:

- The qualities aspiring entrepreneurs should be looking to cultivate
- The environmental characteristics that produce startup hubs
- What Matt has learned from creating over 100 startups in the tech space

So whether you’re looking to build a startup yourself or want to get some insight into the tech trends that will affect all of us in the future, this episode will give you all that and more.

Sep 21, 2017

While your brain doesn’t come with a user’s manual, there are things that we’ve learned over the course of the last two and a half decades that apply to most humans on the planet.

A continuous stream of new studies is shattering long-held beliefs about how the brain works and what happens when it doesn’t function properly - and - these advances are also reshaping the landscapes of many other fields, from psychology to economics, and education to law.

Sounds pretty grand doesn’t it? But why should you try to understand the brain if there are loads of smart people in white coats using microscopes and brain scanners doing it for you?

Well, the truth is that every action you take, every thought you entertain and every memory you hold is the result of chemistry and electricity working across that network of squidgy grey matter that sits in your skull. So it’s definitely worth gaining at least a basic understanding of it.

In this short episode, I'm joined by Will Reynolds - writer, videographer and all around MetaLearner. We discuss a range of topics including:

- The most common brain myths dispelled including the common 10% myth
- The 3 biggest insights from neuroscience about the brain discovered in the last 20 years
- The MetaLearning strategies that build on these insights which you can apply to your learning

So whether you’re looking to learn more about your own brain and how to use it better in learning and life, this episode has you covered.

Sep 14, 2017

My first video course, Make Me A MetaLearner launches today and I’m doing a special episode here to celebrate the launch!

This course is the culmination of all my work over the last few years here at MetaLearn and draws on the latest cutting edge research on how we learn, the conversations I’ve had with the world’s top learning experts and my own personal teaching and learning experience.

Make Me A MetaLearner is an interactive course with 100+ HD video lessons (over 5 hours of content) and an extensive workbook designed to help you master your learning and pick up a new skill in record time.

In this short episode I discuss a range of topics including:

- Why I made Make Me A MetaLearner in the first place
- The learning problems that I’ve faced on my journey
- How I designed Make Me a MetaLearner

I believe that MetaLearning is the ultimate 21st century superpower.

Because once you’ve mastered it, you can apply it to anything and everything.

And once you've discovered the power of becoming a MetaLearner and picking up new skills in record'll never want to go back!

Click here to check out the course and view the first 9 lessons for free.

Make Me A MetaLearner will be available from this Thursday 14th September until Thursday 21 September only for the introductory price of $197.

After a week, registration for the course will close, so make sure you enrol to avoid missing out until the next opening. 

Sep 5, 2017

Jonathan Cutrell is the founder and host of the Developer Tea Podcast and the Director of Technology at Whiteboard.

Even if you never write a line of code in your life, it’s important to understand how programmers think, given their importance in the modern economy.

Plus, developers have to be continuous learners with things changing so fast, which makes them even more interesting to us here at MetaLearn.

On his podcast, Jonathan helps software engineers develop the mindsets and skillsets they need to thrive in their careers and lives and unsurprisingly he’s also an avid learner himself with a number of awesome learning projects.

In this conversation we discuss a range of topics including:

- The core skills of a good developer and advice on learning to code
- How Jonathan got his pilot’s license and learned to fly planes
- Jonathan’s lessons from 300+ episodes of the Developer Tea Podcast

So whether you’re looking to learn how to code, start a podcast, or fly a plane, this episode will give you tonnes of actionable insights you can apply now.

Aug 30, 2017

George Spencer is the founder of Rentify an online letting agent disrupting the property rental market. 

Here in the UK, high streets are littered with letting agents charging sky-high fees for signing simple contracts, ripping-off tenants and landlords all the time – as if it wasn’t expensive enough already to rent! 

George previously worked as a PHP developer and had a spell in advertising before he decided to set up Rentify in 2011, after deciding he couldn’t put up with estate agents ripping people off anymore.

In this conversation we discuss a range of topics including: 

- How George learned enough about the property market to disrupt it
- How to develop core business skills including raising money and hiring
- The most common media myths about entrepreneurship

So whether you’re looking to start your own business, understand how to leverage technology to disrupt inefficient markets or hear some common media myths about entrepreneurship dispelled, this episode will give you all that and more.

Aug 27, 2017

Play is one of the most heavily neglected aspects of learning something new.

Because learning at school and university involved pressure, fatigue, the possibility of failure, lack of choice, set goals and unavoidable drudgery, we often associate learning anything new with these same qualities.

If only learning could be more like play. Energising rather than exhausting, practiced for fun rather than to pass exams and relaxing rather than pressured.

Well, the truth is that it can be that way for all of us, if we adjust our mindset and approach. Virtually any activity can be made into work and most, if not all activities can be enjoyable.

In this short episode, I'm joined by Will Reynolds - writer, videographer and all around MetaLearner. We discuss a range of topics including:

- How to find a balance between play and hard work
- How effective gamification is in improving the learning process
- How to reframe whatever you’re doing to make it more enjoyable

So whether you’re looking to make your learning more fun or you’re curious about the process of gamification and how you can apply it to your own projects, this episode will give you all that and more.

Aug 23, 2017

Rajeeb Day is a serial entrepreneur and the founder of Learnerbly a content platform that helps businesses develop their people by managing budgets, curating content and tracking learning through analytics. When it comes to L&D, most organisations are way behind the curve. 

They spend huge amounts of money on training programs that their people forget within a week and many of the workshops are dull and out of date for the current business environment. Rajeeb is on a mission to change that with Learnerbly by helping people learn better at work. 

Before Learnerbly, Rajeeb founded, a portal that connects students and graduates to work placements in startups and SMES. He’s also the Co-Founder of StartUp Britain and has been named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.

In this conversation we discuss a range of topics including: 

- The current state of the corporate L&D market and what Learnerbly are doing to improve it
- What Raj and the team at Learnerbly picked up from interviewing over 100 learning experts from the likes of Google, IDEO and Airbnb
- The lessons Raj has learned about entrepreneurship from building and growing 3 successful business ventures

Whatever size business you work in this episode will give you some great insights into the current state of L&D and where it can be improved as well as the skills needed to thrive in the 21st century world of work.

1 2 3 4 5 Next »