MetaLearn Podcast

The MetaLearn Podcast gives you the knowledge and skills needed to understand yourself and the world around you, so you can futureproof yourself and thrive in the 21st century. Host Nasos Papadopoulos interviews the world's top experts in every field, extracting the principles needed learn faster, think smarter and live better.
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MetaLearn Podcast








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Apr 21, 2021

Anton Howes is a historian in residence at the RSA and a visiting lecturer at King's College London. He is also the author of the book Arts and Minds: How The RSA Changed a Nation.

In this episode we discuss:

- The innovator's mindset and why it’s much rarer than you think- 
A vision for reviving the great exhibitions of the 19th century as a vehicle for progress
- How to research and write a book, as well as advice for getting your work read

This conversation will give you some great ideas for how you can innovate more in your life, your organisation, and even for society as a whole as well as some valuable insights into the creative process. 

Feb 17, 2021

Tom Vanderbilt is a journalist and author of the book Beginners: The Curious Power of Lifelong Learning. In this conversation we discuss:

- The pain and joy of being an amateur and why it's so important
- Tom's criteria for learning new skills and picking teachers
- The unexpected benefits of picking up new skills

The limiting beliefs that stop us from learning new things are often so difficult to overcome because they're invisible and in this conversation, we map the territory so you can break through and feel good about becoming a beginner again.

Feb 5, 2021

Anne Laure Le Cunff, founder of Ness Labs, an online school and community on mindful productivity. She's an ex-Googler, and holds a masters in Applied Neuroscience from King's College London, while her work has been featured in WIRED, Forbes, the FT and Rolling Stone.

In this episode we discuss:

- How Anne-Laure's personal values have changed over the course of her career
- Anne-Laure's system for consistently producing content online
- The concept of an anti library and how that relates to metacognition

This was a great conversation –– whether you're looking for some creative inspiration or techniques on publishing more, this episode has you covered.

Jan 28, 2021

Thomas Moore is a best selling author, international speaker and esteemed psychotherapist. This is Part 2 of my conversation with Thomas and in it we discuss:

- The movement of archetypal psychology and the art of creative collaboration
- The thinkers who have advanced our understanding of the human psyche
- How the pandemic has affected the soul aspects of our work experience

We also touch on the taboo around money in our society and how it relates to work. I hope you find Thomas' ideas as valuable as I have.

Oct 21, 2020

In this episode I'll reflect on my experience building the podcast over the last few years and share some of the lessons I've learned about the creative process from 150 episodes. I discuss:

  • How being willing to look foolish is the starting point of every great creative achievement
  • The importance of promoting your own work and how to get over resistance to doing it
  • The severe consequences of not doing creative work as a creative person

I hope these insights will prove useful for you. Thank you for listening to the MetaLearn Podcast!

Jul 22, 2020

Anna Gát is the founder of the Interintellect, a global community and talent platform for public intellectuals. In this episode we discuss:

- The moments that change lives – so called 'Damascus moments' that lead to personal transformation – and whether these moments can be forced.
- What it means to be an adult in an age where there are no clear transitions set out by society anymore and how we can manage that process ourselves.
- The notion of vocation – whether we all have something we're uniquely capable of doing, the process for discovering that and the need to harmonise your dreams with your practical reality.

I'm really impressed by what Anna is doing with the Interintellect and she's definitely spent a lot of time thinking about these questions in depth, so I'm sure you'll find this discussion valuable.

Jun 18, 2020

Anna Gát is the founder of the Interintellect, a global community and talent platform for public intellectuals. In this conversation we discuss:

- How to build a thriving intellectual community and the inspiration behind the Interintellect
- Why utility tyranny and over optimisation is so harmful and how to combat it
- The mindsets and processes involved in facilitating great conversations

We also talk about Anna's educational experience which included managing Hungarian rockbands, her favourite lockdown books and podcasts and much more.

Apr 15, 2020
Stephen Kosslyn is the President and CEO of Foundry College and one of the world’s most respected cognitive scientists with four decades of experience at Stanford and Harvard. In this episode we discuss:
  • The implications of the coronavirus for online learning, including the limitations of Zoom lectures
  • Why Foundry College chose the future proof skills they teach when forming their curriculum
  • The need for lifelong learning programs and how you should be learning throughout your adult life
So whether you want to understand the educational implications of the current crisis and the future-proof skills you should be learning or get insight into the current state of online education, this episode has you covered. 
Mar 19, 2020

Warren Shaeffer is the CEO and Co-Founder of Knowable, an audio-first learning platform. In this episode we discuss:

- How to launch a startup including finding a co-founder and building a product
- The audio revolution and why audio first learning has so much potential
- The importance of expertise and how to select for it on the internet

So whether you’re looking to supercharge your learning or find experts you can trust, this has you covered. 


Feb 26, 2020

Dr John Collins is an innovation consultant, technologist and entrepreneur. In this episode we discuss:

- How to become a polymath and productively spread time across projects
- The future of synthetic biology and the innovations emerging from the field
- John’s approach to tapping in to creativity individually and in groups

The conversation also covers the ethics of technological progress and the problems with linear thinking and will help inspire you to reconnect with your natural curiosity.

Nov 21, 2018

Richard Bowdler is the founder of StoryThis, a company that develops bespoke learning solutions for companies who want to maximise their investment in learning & development and he’s also building a technology platform to end unwanted forgetting and make the world a smarter place.

Rich is someone I’ve known for a couple of years now and I was really pleased to finally get him on the show – he’s got a fascinating background having experienced life as a Buddhist, Royal Marine Commando & Memory Expert. In his spare time he also runs an exclusive, invitation-only, peak-performance mind-body training programme for executives. 

In this episode we discuss

- The learning environment in the military and how it differs to school and university
- How Rich first came across memory palaces and how we can all use them to improve our learning and manage our knowledge
- The skills that Rich believes are essential to thrive in the 21st century, including the art of personal reinvention

So whether you want to boost your memory, reinvent yourself or you’re just curious about the learning environment in the Royal Marines, this episode will leave you with range of useful insights.

Oct 2, 2018

Fritjof Capra is a scientist, educator and author, best known for his groundbreaking work in the fields of Physics and Systems Thinking.

Capra first became widely known for his book, The Tao of Physics, which explored the ways in which modern physics was changing our worldview from a mechanistic one to a holistic one. 

Since then Fritjof has embarked on a multidisciplinary adventure, exploring the connections between the sciences, producing a remarkable body of work and teaching all over the world.

His most recent book, The Systems View of Life integrates the biological, cognitive, social, and ecological dimensions of life into one unified vision, which has implications for politics, economics and how we live our lives.

Fritjof also spent a decade studying the notebooks of the ultimate Renaissance Man – the artist, scientist and engineer, Leonardo Da Vinci – producing two books on the subject which show that Leonardo himself was a systems thinker long before the term was even invented. 

In this conversation we discuss

- How many of the problems in our world from climate change to financial security are just facets of a single crisis in perception
- How you can learn systems thinking and teach it to others
- The secrets behind Leonardo Da Vinci’s genius

This was a fascinating and wide ranging conversation – Fritjof has dedicated his career to these subjects so this episode will definitely challenge you and get you thinking about the world from different perspectives.

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 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 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. In this conversation we discuss:
- How to teach yourself anything with the sandbox method
- How to run and manage self-experimentation projects
- Career lessons from building a thriving blog, podcast and a business
So whether you’re looking to upgrade your learning or run a few more self-experiments this episode has you covered.

Nov 29, 2017

Choosing what to learn is no easy task if you’re doing it right. But doing a bit of work up front can save you a lot of trouble in the end. 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 multiple ideas or can’t come up with what to learn next, this episode has you covered.

Nov 22, 2017

Cecily Sommers is a futurist and author who speaks, writes, and consults on the forces shaping our future. In this conversation we discuss:
- 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 if you want to learn more about the mindsets and skillsets needed to thrive in a rapidly changing world, this episode has you covered.

Oct 24, 2017

Kyle Pearce is the Founder of DIY Genius – a self-education platform that helps people learn faster online. In this episode we discuss:
- 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 this episode will give you all you need and more.

Oct 13, 2017

Noah Kagan is the founder of AppSumo and, two multi million dollar companies that help businesses grow. In this conversation we discuss:
- How Noah learns best and his experience learning a new language
- The 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 with beginner’s mind, this episode will give you all that and much more.

Oct 3, 2017

Dr. Alex Pattakos is a bestselling author and the founder of the Global Meaning Institute. In this conversation we discuss:
- The importance of finding meaning in learning and how to do it
- The lessons Alex learned from his mentor, the psychiatrist, Viktor Frankl
- The lessons that we can learn from the Greeks to live a more meaningful life
So whether you’re looking to find meaning in your learning or want to develop greater self-awareness this episode has you covered.

Sep 21, 2017

While your brain doesn’t come with a user’s manual, there are things we’ve learned that apply to most humans. In this episode we discuss:
- The most common brain myths dispelled including the 10% myth
- The 3 key insights from neuroscience about the brain in recent years
- The MetaLearning strategies that build on these insights
So if 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! In this episode I discuss:
- 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. Check it out for yourself from the courses section on my site or from the link below

Aug 27, 2017

Play is one of the most heavily neglected aspects of learning something new. In this episode, we discuss:
- 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 want to learn more about gamification, this episode will give you all that and more.

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