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Now displaying: 2017
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.

Aug 20, 2017

The major problems people face when learning new skills can be broken down into different stages. And the chances are you’ve experienced one or more of them because I certainly have. 

Maybe you keep getting stuck right out of the starting blocks, or lose momentum after a few weeks. Maybe you burn out from doing too much too soon or struggle to fit the skill into your life after you’ve reached a target. 

While methods and techniques are important, a lot of these problems are emotional and psychological and we’ve all experienced them at one point or another. Most of the time, we know what to do, but we just don’t do it! 

After years of teaching hundreds of students as university lecturer and tutor, learning new skills myself and fielding your questions here at MetaLearn, I’ve broken these problems down into 5 stages and identified the solutions to them.

In this short episode, I'm joined by Will Reynolds - writer, videographer and all around MetaLearner. We discuss the 5 major problems including:

1) Not getting started
2) Not getting momentum
3) Burning out and giving up
4) Plateauing and losing interest
5) Integrating skills into your life

So whether you're looking to get over the first hurdle of getting started, want to break through a wall you’ve hit or just want to find a way to comfortably integrate a new skill you’ve learned into your life, this episode has you covered.

Aug 15, 2017

Gabriel Wyner is an author, ex opera singer and the founder of the Fluent Forever language learning method.

After reaching fluency in German and Italian through immersion experiences, Gabe tried to recreate those experiences for others by producing the Fluent Forever system that rapidly builds fluency in short, daily sessions.

After excellent feedback from his audience and the release of a successful book on the method in 2014, Gabe has been refining the system into an app that he’ll be funding on Kickstarter over the course of the next few weeks!

In this conversation we discuss a range of topics including:

- The three pillars of Gabe’s Fluent Forever language learning system
- The process Gabe uses to maintain the languages he speaks
- How learning languages can help you gain a better understanding of yourself

So whether you’re looking to pick up a new language, dive into an immersion experience or gain an insight into the process for building an app, this episode will give you all that and more.

Aug 11, 2017

Virtual reality has the potential to change learning and education immeasurably and so it’s important that we engage critically with the technology to maximise the benefits and minimise the costs.

From engaging with abstract ideas in a more visceral way to giving people immersive experiences that promote behaviour change and the development of soft skills, the potential of VR seems endless.

But while VR has the potential to revolutionise learning and education it’s important we don’t begin to see it as a magic pill that will solve all our problems and take our eye off the most important parts of learning.

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

- The current state of VR in learning and where it’s likely to go in the coming years
- The disadvantages of VR that we need to guard against
- The potential benefits of using VR to learn motor skills

So whether you're looking to understand more about the potential impact of this revolutionary technology on society or you're curious about how you might be able to apply it to your own learning in the future, this episode will give you all that and more.

Aug 10, 2017

Jo Cruse is the CEO of The Unreasonables, an organisation that delivers leadership programmes to the UK”s top schools. After a stint in communications and political campaigning, she taught Politics and Economics at one of the UK’s top schools, before embarking on a 9 month Macro adventure, interviewing social entrepreneurs from Alaska to Argentina.

When it comes to preparing students for the 21st century, schools and universities are behind the curve – not least because they provide a very structured environment, which leaves young people unprepared for a world that’s becoming more unstructured and chaotic by the day. 

Jo is on a mission to equip young people with the tools they need to thrive and take leadership of their own lives and careers, and she’s someone who practices what she preaches, having made a number big decisions in her career and personal life in recent years. 

In this conversation we discuss a range of topics including: 

- The most important skills that young people need to develop in the 21st century
- The lessons Jo learned about entrepreneurship and herself on her travels
- The tradeoff between social impact and the bottom line in business 

So whether you’re looking to arm yourself for the constantly changing environment of the 21st century, searching for some inspiration to take a new direction in your life or want to build a business with a social impact, this episode will give you everything you need and more.

Aug 3, 2017

Deliberate practice is more than just doing something over and over again – it’s carefully structured and goal directed and consists of repeated striving to reach beyond current performance levels.

Research on neuroplasticity tells us that this type of deliberate practice changes the structure of the brain and allows us to perform at higher levels.

But practicing the right way at the right time is more complex than just doing the thing – because you need to eliminate barriers to practice, prioritise for fast feedback and maintain a balance between quantity and quality.

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 manage the tradeoff between quantity and quality of practice
- How to reflect on your progress to calibrate accurately
- How to build learning habits so that the process of practicing becomes automatic, allowing you to focus on improving

So whether you're looking to play a new instrument, pick up a new sport or learn to code, this episode will give you the ideas you need to structure your learning and get those crucial hours of high quality work in so that you can make progress faster, more efficiently and more enjoyably.

Aug 1, 2017

Rob Twigger is a bestselling author and adventurer who has written several award winning books on everything from accelerated learning to studying martial arts in Japan to a biography of the River Nile.

The main reasons people consistently fail to learn new skills are never starting, giving up or getting distracted. And all of these suggest that our perception of how hard something is to learn is crucial to our progress.

Rob offers a compelling solution to this problem in his latest book Micromastery, which outlines the process of taking a small skill, doing it well, and using it to experiment and painlessly learn about a new area. So instead of learning to cook, learn how to make the perfect omelette.

By making the learning task small, self-contained and manageable, you can get the quick wins you need to build momentum and make progress. But micromastery is much more than just a learning technique – it’s a new way of looking at the world and learning about yourself, as you’ll discover.

In this conversation we discuss a range of topics including:

- The process of using micromastery to learn new skills quickly and enjoyably

- The difference between the Eastern and Western philosophies of learning

- How to learn about yourself and the world through travel and adventure


We also discuss Rob’s experience learning martial arts with the Tokyo Riot police, his expedition across the Great Sand Sea of the Egyptian Sahara and the polymaths who have inspired him the most.

So whether you’re looking to rediscover your curiosity, pick up new skills and have fun along the way or learn how to make the most of your travel experiences, this episode will give you all that and more.

Jul 27, 2017

One of the challenges of learning a new skill is that very often, you don’t know what you don’t know – and if you can't structure your learning or keep making the same mistakes without correcting them your progress will suffer and you may eventually give up.

This where experts come in – because they can help you plan your practice, focus on the right sub skills and accelerate your learning through regular corrective feedback.

But whether you’re looking for an expert online or in person, it can sometimes be a challenge to separate the wheat from the chaff. That’s why you need to know what to look for in an expert and have a good understanding of their teaching and learning process before committing.

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

- The different types of expert and how to choose the right one for you
- How to get objective feedback so that you can improve
- How to balance your needs for self direction and guidance to accelerate your learning

So whether you're looking to hire coach to help you learn a new skill, or just want to improve how you learn from an existing teacher, this episode will give you all that and more.

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