Show cover of Cohere Podcast

Cohere Podcast

Cohere will go beyond discussions of online community, social networks and social media and look at the bigger picture - perhaps the biggest picture: the complex, digitally augmented global community we now all belong to, whether we like it or not! The Big Idea: Complex human networks have sprung up globally, driven in large part by exponential technologies such as AI, automation, and space-based internet. Imagine what will happen when three billion more people come online in the next five years! For organizations, a planet-wide network of logged-on human beings brings both limitless opportunities and unprecedented threats. As we increasingly use social technologies to augment human experiences, the Cohere podcast asks, what’s the best path forward? How should we navigate, evaluate, and administrate a complex technological landscape so we can protect, promote, and empower our human networks? How will we ensure that digital communities deliver on the promise of enhancing our lives, both individually and collectively? And what steps must we take to ensure our approach to community development is sustainable, democratic, and morally sound?

Tracks

Shaping Tomorrow Together: Scott Smith and Susan Cox-Smith on the Dynamics of Futuring
 In the Cohere podcast episode, hosts Bill Johnston and Dr. Lauren Vargas, along with guests Scott Smith and Susan Cox-Smith, delve into the shift from traditional forecasting to the dynamic practice of futuring, as explored in their works How to Future and Future Cultures. They discuss the importance of evolving strategic frameworks to foster anticipation and adaptability, particularly in navigating complex crises. The conversation highlights the role of online communities in driving innovation and building future resilience. Through insights and case studies like the UNDP Future Trends and Signals System, they advocate for viewing "future" as an active process and emphasize the critical role of communal networks in shaping responsive and anticipatory cultures. "It's incredibly important for futures to be opened up to a wider group of people because you can't have better futures just for one." Susan Cox-Smith Mentioned in this episode: Links to relevant materials mentioned during the episode How to Future: Leading and Sense-Making in an Age of Hyperchange Future Cultures: How to Build a Future-Ready Organization Through Leadership UNDP: Signals Spotlight 2023 Report About our guest(s):  Website: https://changeist.com/  Books: https://changeist.com/books  Future Cultures: https://www.futureculturesbook.com/  Author Bios and Contact Information: https://www.futureculturesbook.com/authors      Call-to-Action(s): If you liked this episode, check out: Art School Every Day with Dave Gray: Insights from School of the Possible and Imagining Tomorrow Through Community with Rob Hopkins Subscribe to the Cohere Podcast For more reflections about the intersection of community and design, subscribe to the Cohere Podcast wherever you listen to podcasts. Leave a review of the Cohere Podcast Have you listened to the Cohere Podcast? We would love to hear your thoughts! Leave a review and let us know what you think about the show. Your feedback helps us improve and make the podcast even better. ADD EMAIL Share your thoughts about future guests / topics of exploration: ADD EMAIL Check out #BookDNA for a list of books, articles, and whitepapers featured on the Cohere Podcast  
38:24 4/2/24
How the Humanistic Values in Organizational Development Can Guide Communities with Dr Sharon Varney and John Hovell
In the latest thought-provoking episode of Cohere, hosts Bill Johnston and Dr. Lauren Vargas welcome two distinguished and returning guests. First up, we have Dr. Sharon Varney, a dynamic force in the realm of leadership and organizational development. With a rich background spanning complex organizations across manufacturing, utilities, travel, banking, oil and gas, Sharon's encounter with complexity theory in the early 2000s sparked a profound shift in her approach to leadership and change practice. Her academic journey, combined with her hands-on experience, has led to groundbreaking work in leadership and organizational development across various sectors. Sharon is also closely associated with Henley Business School, where she continues to advance the intersection of academia and practical application. Her book, ‘Leadership in Complexity and Change,’ draws from her award-winning doctoral research and offers a hopeful, practical guide backed by a robust academic foundation. Joining Sharon, we have John Hovell, a visionary leader at the intersection of Knowledge Management (KM) and Organization Development (OD). As the Managing Director and co-founder of STRATactical, John is renowned for his innovative approaches to combining OD and KM strategies to address contemporary challenges. His work on creating conversational leadership through the synergy of Knowledge Management, Organization Development, and Diversity & Inclusion offers fresh insights into how organizations can foster more dynamic and inclusive environments. Today, we're eager to explore the nuances of Organization Development, or OD, and discuss how OD principles can shape community dynamics in a meaningful way. With Sharon's expertise in navigating the complexities of leadership in changing environments and John's forward-thinking strategies on knowledge management and organizational development, today's episode promises to be a rich tapestry of ideas and insights. So, stay tuned as we dive deep into these fascinating topics, offering you perspectives that are as enlightening as they are practical. Dr Sharon Varney on LinkedIn John Hovell on LinkedIn
46:49 3/12/24
Art School Every Day with Dave Gray: Insights from School of the Possible
On this episode of the Cohere podcast, co-hosts Bill Johnston and Dr. Lauren Vargas interview Dave Gray, Chief Possibilitarian at School of the Possible. They delve into being a "possibilitarian," exploring how this mindset fosters innovation and openness to new ideas. Dave shares the  School of the Possible founding story, an experimental learning community that challenges conventional education models. The discussion covers how critical thinking and creativity are encouraged and the practical application of knowledge to solve real-world problems. Listeners will discover how embracing possibility can transform learning and personal growth. "Art school is very different than a lot of other types of education. It's focused on making and creating and doing things with your hands and making things happen in the real world. So, in one sense, there was a whole approach to learning that I picked up in art school. And also, when you graduate from art school, it's not like there's a lot of people waiting with jobs for you. You have to apply those creative thinking skills to designing your life, thinking about What is it that you want to create in the world? How are you going to make your way in the world? And it's really interesting to watch all of my peers and colleagues, all trained in creativity, all figuring it out in different ways. It all stems from this idea of "what are you going to create and what are you going to make?" In a lot of types of education, you can just solve the problem in a way that everyone before you solved the problem.  When you're in an art school, you're not allowed to solve problems in the way they've been solved before. You're required to think about a different way or a new way."  Mentioned in this episode: Links to relevant materials mentioned during the episode Website: https://schoolofthepossible.com/  Substack: School of the Possible YouTube: Art of the Possible About our guest(s):  Chief Possibilitarian at School of the Possible Author, The Connected Company and Gamestorming LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/davegray/  Call-to-Action(s): If you liked this episode, check out: How Hopeful Stories Can Shape a Better Future with Ed Finn and Imagining Tomorrow Through Community with Rob Hopkins Subscribe to the Cohere Podcast For more reflections about the intersection of community and design, subscribe to the Cohere Podcast wherever you listen to podcasts. Leave a review of the Cohere Podcast  
30:01 2/17/24
Teasing Out the Best Insights and Ideas From a Volatile 2023
As we begin 2024, Lauren and Bill would love to hear from you! Please send your suggestions, feedback, and ideas for topics and guests to hosts@coherepod.com.  Welcome to our special year-end 2023 review of the Cohere podcast. This year, we marked a significant shift in our approach. We moved away from the constraints of seasonal formats, embracing topical series that have allowed us to delve deeper into various themes, synchronizing seamlessly with our ongoing work and research. Let’s walk down memory lane and revisit some of the most insightful moments from this year's episodes. Venessa Paech sheds light on the evolving definition of AI and its interplay with power dynamics. John Hovell joined us to discuss the essence of conversational leadership. A key part of this conversation was defining what conversation truly means. Meena Palaniappan's insights into impact measurement, resilience, and behavioral change in human-centered social networks were compelling. Esteban Kolsky joined us to discuss how we might navigate the customer experience landscape.  In our episode with Ed Finn,Ed Finn, the founding director of the Center for Science and the Imagination at Arizona State University we discuss how to build imaginative capacity. Social learning theorists, the Wenger-Trayners, joined us to help us explore the concept of learning partnerships in communities of practice. Dr. Mihaela Vorvoreanu came on the show to help us unpack trust and fabrication in large language models. This conversation is crucial for understanding generative AI. We explored the rich history and the exciting future of the Maker Movement with Dale Dougherty. Jeremiah Owyang helped us consider how we might navigate the AI surge. Jeremiah tackles the rapid evolution and acceleration of digital technology cycles. Dr. Rob Hopkins to help us imagine tomorrow and to teach us how to travel to a better future. We ended the year looking back at the hype of cryptocurrency and exploring what is still happening in this space with Reneé Barton. Reneé offers insights into cryptocurrency market trends. We thank our listeners for joining us on this enlightening journey and look forward to another year of engaging and insightful conversations in 2024. Stay tuned! Again, please send us your feedback, ideas and suggestions to hosts@coherepod.com.
47:48 1/16/24
Decoding Crypto Adoption with Reneé Barton: A CRADL Report Deep Dive
In the last episode of 2023 for the Cohere podcast, co-hosts Bill Johnston and Dr. Lauren Vargas welcome Reneé Barton, Manager of Impact Research at the Crypto Council for Innovation. They delve into the CRADL report, the crypto industry's first in-depth ethnographic study, which illuminates the varied motivations behind crypto adoption and highlights opportunities for industry refinement. Barton elaborates on the meticulous research methodology that captures diverse user experiences, revealing overlooked use cases and challenging assumptions about crypto's role in equitable wealth distribution. The conversation also touches on the hurdles of user experience in crypto adoption, potential risks, and the practical application of the research for stakeholders. The episode concludes with insights on future explorations and where to access CRADL's pioneering work. Mentioned in this episode:  CRADL.org CRADL: Looking ahead to 2023 LinkedIn   About our guest(s):  Renée Barton is passionate about connecting research and analysis to the design and implementation of policies, programs, and places that equitably leverage, distribute, and create access for all to the benefits of technology. She looks beyond data and econometric analysis to understand how people and communities engage with the policies, products, and places that shape their lives.    As the Manager of Impact Research at the Crypto Council for Innovation (CCI), Renée leads research to provide evidence-based insights on the real-world value of crypto on the lives of people and their communities. By sharing insights, expertise, and facts about the global crypto ecosystem, CCI supports governments and institutions worldwide in efforts to shape inclusive policy and regulation that fosters innovation and grows access for all to a new ecosystem of tools and services. As a researcher and project lead at the Crypto Research & Design Lab, funded by the World Economic Forum’s Crypto Impact Sustainability Accelerator, Renée led primary ethnographic research to help organizations and policymakers understand why people are turning to crypto.   In her prior capacity as a consultant she has advised a range of public and private entities including governments, universities, philanthropic organizations, major tech companies, startups, and minority-serving venture funds, on topics including economic development, the structuring of policies and programs, and implementation strategy at the intersection of technology, communities, and inclusive growth.   Call-to-Action(s): If you liked this episode, check out: Developing a Transformational Community to Lift Families Out of Poverty with Jorge Blandón and Making Sense of Crypto with Kent Langley For more reflections about the intersection of community and exponential technologies, subscribe to the Cohere Podcast wherever you listen to podcasts. Share your thoughts about future guests / topics of exploration. Check out #BookDNA for a list of books, articles, and whitepapers featured on the Cohere Podcast.
29:38 1/4/24
Imagining Tomorrow with Rob Hopkins: Cultivating Community and Shaping the Future
 In this episode of the Cohere podcast, co-hosts Bill Johnston and Dr. Lauren Vargas interview Rob Hopkins, Ph.D., co-founder of Transition Network and author, on the power of community imagination in shaping our future. Dubbed a "guest from the future," Rob shares his insights on creating spaces for collective dreaming and the journey towards a healthier relationship with the internet. They discuss the ingredients for successful community initiatives, the role of imagination activists, and overcoming barriers to our creative potential. With storytelling as a pivotal theme, Rob also touches on the concept of 'embodied futuring.' The conversation concludes with a teaser into the intriguing research for his upcoming book.  
41:02 11/30/23
Community Ecosystem Development: A Conversation on the State of Practice
In this episode of the Cohere podcast, hosts Bill and Lauren engage in a reflective conversation about the ongoing transitions and emerging trends in community practice. Drawing from their extensive experience, they discuss the evolution of community roles, exploring how a broader approach to community ecosystem development is taking shape.  
32:45 11/2/23
Navigating the AI Surge: A Conversation with Jeremiah Owyang on Tech Cycles, Community Engagement, and Sensemaking Tools for Business
On this episode of the Cohere podcast, co-hosts Bill Johnston and Dr. Lauren Vargas sit down with Silicon Valley veteran Jeremiah Owyang to discuss the evolution of digital technology and the rise of AI. Owyang traces his career back to community leadership roles in tech, emphasizing the importance of transferable skills acquired over decades-long technology cycles. He attributes his pivot to AI as a natural progression in tech, noting that we are amid a surge of interest in AI technologies. Owyang shares how he stays updated in the field, cultivates space for him and others to explore exponential technologies through gatherings like Lllama Lounge and discusses how businesses can leverage AI to improve communities and engagement. The conversation also touches on Owyang's recent collaboration on sensemaking tools, specifically an AI classification framework that ties into the theory of multiple intelligences. He addresses businesses' fundamental misconceptions about AI, which hinder its adoption and closes with advice for business leaders keen to transition from basic AI experiments to meaningful strategies. In this episode, we discuss the following:  [02:04] Introducing Jeremiah Owyang and tracing his career journey [03:37] Discussing the 10-year cycles of technology [09:01] Showcasing the power of gatherings like the Llama Lounge [14:20] Exploring the recent explosion of interest in AI [21:16] Considering how to make sense of AI [25:12] Examining the intersection of community and AI [37:18] Sharing advice for leaders who are ready to move beyond the “LLM 101” experiments   Mentioned in this episode:  Twitter / X: https://twitter.com/jowyang  LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jowyang/  Jeremiah's Tech + Business Newsletter https://jowyang.beehiiv.com/ Story of the Llama Lounge (the AI Startup Event Series)  
42:13 9/21/23
The History and Future of the Maker Movement with Dale Dougherty
In this episode of the Cohere podcast, co-hosts Bill Johnston and Dr. Lauren Vargas welcome Dale Dougherty, the founder of Make: Magazine and Maker Faire, and a person who played a key and critical role in the launch of the Maker Movement. Dougherty shares his career journey and his belief that everyone is inherently a maker. The conversation takes a deep dive into the history and future of the Maker Movement, discussing the importance of community in both digital and real-life maker experiences. Dougherty also outlines plans for the return of the Bay Area Maker Faire, revealing a new location and expanded schedule. For those new to making or interested in starting their own maker space, Dougherty offers advice and encouragement. Finally, he expresses his excitement about the current moment in the Maker Movement, hinting at the promising future of this global community of thinkers, builders, and dreamers. In this episode, we discuss the following:  [04:26] Introducing Dale Dougherty and discuss his career journey [08:55] Discussing the return of the Bay Area Maker Faire [12:56] Exploring the history of the Maker Movement [22:06] Examining the role of community [25:10] Showcasing the power of Makers  [29:39] Considering the role of technology and generative AI [36:32] Sharing advice for someone new to Maker Faire and Making Mentioned in this episode:  https://makezine.com/ https://makerfaire.com/ Purchase tickets to the Bay Area Maker Faire About our guest:  DALE DOUGHERTY is the leading advocate of the Maker Movement. He founded Make: Magazine 2005, which first used the term “makers” to describe people who enjoyed “hands-on” work and play. He started Maker Faire in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2006, and this event has spread to nearly 200 locations in 40 countries, with over 1.5M attendees annually. He is President of Make:Community, which produces Make: and Maker Faire.   Call-to-Action(s): If you liked this episode, check out: The Role of Communities in Navigating Disruption - With Charlene Li and Building Communities with Purpose and Integrity with Carrie Melissa Jones For more reflections about the intersection of community and movements, subscribe to the Cohere Podcast wherever you listen to podcasts. Share your thoughts about future guests / topics of exploration. Check out #BookDNA for a list of books, articles, and whitepapers featured on the Cohere Podcast.  
43:35 8/31/23
Responsible AI: Appropriate Trust and LLM Fabrication with Mihaela Vorvoreanu, PhD
On this episode of the Cohere podcast, co-hosts Bill Johnston and Dr. Lauren Vargas dive deep into AI ethics with Mihaela Vorvoreanu, Director of UX Research and RAI Education for Microsoft's Aether. The conversation primarily focuses on "appropriate trust" in AI, emphasizing the need for accountability in AI systems. Vorvoreanu boldly challenges listeners to rethink Large Language Models (LLMs) not merely as information retrieval systems but as systems of fabrication. She further confronts the exaggerated notion of AI as super capable and superhuman, shedding light on the common errors made by LLM-based systems and the implications for users. This episode offers invaluable perspectives on AI ethics, vigorously questioning the hyperbole surrounding AI and making the field more comprehensible to a broader audience. In this episode, we discuss the following:  [2:00] Introducing Mihaela VorVoreanu, PhD and Aether, Microsoft’s initiative for AI Ethics and Effects in Engineering and Research [8:00] Discussing the concept of responsible AI [11:44] Challenging terms such as “hallucinogenic” [12:24] Reframing LLMs as systems of fabrication [30:48] Sharing information about the direction of Aether’s research  Mentioned in this episode: Advancing human-centered AI: Updates on responsible AI research Microsoft HAX Toolkit https://aka.ms/haxtoolkit Overreliance on AI: Literature Review https://aka.ms/overreliance_review Responsible AI Maturity Model https://aka.ms/raimm About our guest(s):  In her current role, Mihaela leads research and education aimed at advancing the practice of RAI. Before joining Microsoft, she had an accomplished academic career, most recently at Purdue University, where she established and led the undergraduate and graduate UX Design and research programs.  https://www.linkedin.com/in/mihaelavorvoreanu/  Call-to-Action(s): If you liked this episode, check out: Examining Our Collective Relationship With AI - a Conversation With Venessa Paech. For more reflections about the intersection of community and artificial intelligence, subscribe to the Cohere Podcast wherever you listen to podcasts. Share your thoughts about future guests / topics of exploration. Check out #BookDNA for a list of books, articles, and whitepapers featured on the Cohere Podcast.
34:52 7/10/23
Evolution of Learning: Moving Beyond Communities of Practice with the Wenger-Trayners
Episode Summary: In the latest episode of the Cohere podcast, social learning theorists Etienne and Beverly Wenger-Trayner delve into an engaging discussion with co-hosts Dr. Lauren Vargas and Bill Johnston. The guests explore the evolution of communities of practice, their forthcoming CoP Guidebook, and their unique workshops and retreats. They provide insights into their ongoing research project, a tripartite book series designed to update and expand their social learning theory. The inaugural volume, published in 2020, focuses on value creation within social learning spaces. The subsequent volumes, currently in development, will concentrate on expanding social learning across temporal and spatial dimensions and the personal journey of actively participating in the learning process. Memorable Quote: “One thing I should say is, To be absolutely honest, I speak for myself, but who cares about communities of practice? Honestly, I don't, and I don't believe that Etienne does. I don't care about community practice, what we care about is developing social learning capability of people, of groups, of organizations, of our planet. Otherwise, sorry guys. We've had it. So what keeps us up at night or what drives this restless energy is wow, how can we speed up the learning loops if things are moving so fast? Everything's so unexpected. Unless we get so much better and quicker at developing learning loops into what's working and what's not working. Unless we get quicker at that, we're out mate. And so that's the driving restlessness and the communities of practice are one part of that." Beverly Wenger-Trayner   In this episode, we discuss the following:  [0:15] Introducing Etienne and Beverly Wenger-Trayner [2:30] Defining Communities of Practice (CoP) [19:03] Discussing the role of AI in social learning [28:23] Moving beyond CoPs [36:45] Sharing information about upcoming books and events   Mentioned in this episode:  [Book] Communities of practice within and across organizations - a guidebook [Book] Artificial Intelligence and Tutoring Systems: Computational and Cognitive Approaches to the Communication of Knowledge by Etienne Wenger [Book] Learning to Make a Difference: Value Creation in Social Learning Spaces by Etienne and Beverly Wenger-Trayner [Book] Systems Convening: A crucial form of leadership for the 21st century by Etienne and Beverly Wenger-Trayner [Website] Events from Etienne and Beverly Wenger-Trayner [Website] Resources from Etienne and Beverly Wenger-Trayner   About our guest(s):  Etienne and Beverly Wenger-Trayner are internationally renowned social learning theorists and consultants. Their pioneering work in social learning is influential in such diverse fields as learning theory, business, government, international development, healthcare, and education. Their consulting practice specializes in contexts where there are large-scale social learning challenges. They founded the Social Learning Lab, where they host series of events oriented to theory, practice, and leadership. The co-edited volume Learning in landscapes of practice expands the theory beyond single communities. Systems convening sheds light on a crucial form of social-learning leadership. They are preparing a guidebook for communities of practice. They have started a book series called Learning to make a difference and recently published the first volume. It introduces the concept of social learning space as a new foundation for the theory, and their value-creation framework as a tool for both conceptualizing and cultivating social learning.   https://www.wenger-trayner.com/    Call-to-Action(s): If you liked this episode, check out: Exploring Conversational Leadership with John Hovell and The Golden Age of Online Communities & the WELL with Gail Ann Williams. For more reflections about the intersection of community and social learning, subscribe to the Cohere Podcast wherever you listen to podcasts. Have you recently discovered the Cohere Podcast? We would love to know your first impressions. Leave a review and tell us what you like about the show, and what you think could be improved. Share your thoughts about future guests / topics of exploration. Check out #BookDNA for a list of books, articles, and whitepapers featured on the Cohere Podcast.
42:09 6/13/23
How Hopeful Stories Can Shape a Better Future with Ed Finn
On this episode of the Cohere podcast, co-hosts Bill Johnston and Dr. Lauren Vargas chat with Ed Finn, the founding director of the Center for Science and the Imagination at Arizona State University. As an associate professor in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society and the School of Arts, Media, and Engineering, Finn provides fascinating insights into the Center's endeavors, the collaborative imagination and writing project 'Hieroglyph,' and the pioneering Imaginative Collaboration Framework. Throughout the discussion, Finn emphasizes the influential role of hopeful stories in shaping collective visions for the future and shares examples demonstrating how these narratives can drive innovation, learning, and societal transformation. Mentioned in this episode:  [Book] Future Tense Fiction: Stories of Tomorrow by a partnership of Slate, Arizona State University, and New America [Book] Frankenstein: Annotated for Scientists, Engineers and Creators of All Kinds edited by David H. Guston and Ed Finn [Book] Hieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better Future edited by Ed Finn and Kathryn Cramer [Book] What Algorithms Want: Imagination in the Age of Computing by Ed Finn [Article] ‘Collaborative imagination: A methodological approach’ by Ed Finn and Ruth Wylie [Website] Center for Science and Imagination [Website] Center for Science and Imagination - Events [Website] Center for Science and Imagination - Podcasts [Website] Center for Science and Imagination - Teacher Resources [Website] Hieroglph   About our guest(s):  Ed Finn is the founding director of the Center for Science and the Imagination at Arizona State University where he is an associate professor in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society and the School of Arts, Media and Engineering. He also serves as the academic director of Future Tense, a partnership between ASU, New America and Slate Magazine, and a co-director of Emerge, an annual festival of art, ideas and the future. Ed’s research and teaching explore imagination, digital culture, creative collaboration, and the intersection of the humanities, arts and sciences. He is the author of What Algorithms Want: Imagination in the Age of Computing (MIT Press, spring 2017) and co-editor of Future Tense Fiction (Unnamed Press, 2019), Frankenstein: Annotated for Scientists, Engineers and Creators of All Kinds (MIT Press, 2017) and Hieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better Future (William Morrow, 2014), among other books. He completed his PhD in English and American Literature at Stanford University in 2011 and his bachelor’s degree at Princeton University in 2002. Before graduate school, Ed worked as a journalist at Time, Slate, and Popular Science.   Call-to-Action(s): If you liked this episode, check out: Exploring Immersion with Ed Rodley and The Role of Friendship in Enhancing Virtual Experiences with Joi Podgorny For more reflections about the intersection of community and futures literacy, subscribe to the Cohere Podcast wherever you listen to podcasts. Share your thoughts about future guests / topics of exploration. Check out #BookDNA for a list of books, articles, and whitepapers featured on the Cohere Podcast.  
51:54 5/19/23
Navigating the Customer Experience Landscape with Esteban Kolsky
In this episode, Bill and Lauren engage chat with esteemed customer experience analyst and researcher Esteban Kolsky. They delve into the complex world of customer experience, discussing the importance of community, the hype around generative AI, and how to sift through the noise to identify critical signals, trends, and patterns. This conversation highlights what is needed to develop the mindset required for staying attuned to what matters in a constantly evolving customer experience landscape. Memorable Quote: “Organizations still have the idea that communities need to be managed and created by the organization. Mm-hmm. They don't understand the communities. They don't understand independent communities. They don't understand, even if they understand that they exist, they don't know what to do with information and with the people in there.” In this episode, we discuss:  [16:03] The Role of Community in Customer Experience [25:00] Generative AI: Cutting Through the Hype [44:20] Navigating Through the Noise   Mentioned in this episode:  [Book] The Art of the Long View: Planning for the Future in an Uncertain World by Peter Schwartz [Book] The Most Human Human: What Artificial Intelligence Teaches Us About Being Alive by Brian Christian About our guest(s):  With an impressive 30-year career in enterprise technology, Esteban Kolsy has done it all - from entry-level positions to executive roles. He's a veteran in the field, boasting 20 years of experience as an analyst and influencer. Having recently taken a step back from his role as a vendor executive, Esteban is now contemplating one more orbit later this year.   https://www.linkedin.com/in/estebankolsky/    Call-to-Action(s): If you liked this episode, check out: Link to other relevant Cohere episodes For more reflections about the intersection of community and customer experience, subscribe to the Cohere Podcast wherever you listen to podcasts. Did Cohere Podcast inspire you to take action or change your perspective on something? If so, please share your experience by leaving a review. Your review will not only help us but also encourage others to tune in. Share your thoughts about future guests / topics of exploration. Check out #BookDNA for a list of books, articles, and whitepapers featured on the Cohere Podcast.  
49:38 4/28/23
From human-centered social networks to the Plentiverse with Meena Palaniappan
In this episode, Bill and Lauren engage in a conversation with Meena Palaniappan, the Founder, and CEO of Atma Connect, as she discusses her journey of building Atma Go, a tool for community change that operates on a hyperlocal level in Indonesia, Puerto Rico, and Ukraine. Palaniappan introduces the concept of the ‘plentiverse,’ which contrasts the metaverse, and emphasizes the potential of technology in creating collective action and enabling every individual to become a change-maker in constructing a better world. This conversation showcases how Atma Connect is empowering individuals living in low income and vulnerable communities to take the lead in shaping their communities. Memorable Quote: “What we really need is an algorithm for cohesion and connection - this is what needs to be built. AtmaGo has been an incredible hyperlocal tool for community change. And, now we are focused on building a new infrastructure for global collective action that creates real measurable change in communities, and new ways for money to flow to this real world impact.” In this episode, we discuss:  [01:30] About Atma Connect [05:00] How Atma Connect served communities in Indonesia and Puerto Rico during the pandemic [08:29] How Atma Connect launched platform in Ukraine [13:49] How Atma Connect is helping communities measure impact [24:30] Meena introduces the concept of the ‘plentyierse’ [34:03] Meena unpacks the components of the ‘plentiverse’   Mentioned in this episode:  [Report] Ashoka ASPIRe: Leveraging Platforms for the Good of All [Article] Thinking and Acting Like a Platform Will Help Social Entrepreneurs Create Impact at Scale [Article] Can Twitter be “Nice”? [Impact Report / Dashboard] Atma Connect [Website] Atma Connect [Facebook] Atma Connect [Twitter] Atma Connect   Atma Connect's goal is to connect over a billion people around the world living in vulnerable communities, so they might take collective action, advocate with governments and lead the way to the future we need. Atma Connect is always looking for volunteers and advisors to work on product design and management challenges, as well as network business models. Atma Connect is an international non-profit. You can make a donation to support their work here.  About our guest:  Meena Palaniappan is the Founder and CEO of Atma Connect, an award-winning organization building the infrastructure for impact at scale. She is an Ashoka Fellow, Fulbright Fellow, named in Ideas that are Changing the World, and an awardee of the Million Lives Club.  https://www.linkedin.com/in/meenapalaniappan/    Call to Action(s): If you liked this episode, check out: Building a Human-Centered Social Network with Meena Palaniappan and The Role of Friendship in Enhancing Virtual Experiences with Joi Podgorny For more reflections about the intersection of community and human-centered design, subscribe to the Cohere Podcast wherever you listen to podcasts. Have you listened to the Cohere Podcast? We would love to hear your thoughts! Leave a review and let us know what you think about the show. Your feedback helps us improve and make the podcast even better.  
31:31 4/4/23
Exploring AI as a Force Multiplier / Announcing AI & Community Research
In this podcast episode, Lauren and Bill revisit their conversation from the beginning of the year and discuss the trends, drivers, and forces they are paying attention to as they enter a new season. They dive into the recently released 2023 Tech Trends report from The Future Today Institute, which covers 14 different areas impacting technology. They highlight the generative AI trend, which is becoming a force multiplier for technological progress and an enabler of other technologies. They discuss how generative AI is being incorporated into consumer applications, such as Canva, Microsoft's image creator applications, and Notion for assistive writing. They also explore the ethical implications of forcing humans to consume machine-generated content and how using these tools can help build more creative muscles and foster considered thinking.  Lastly, they announce Wave 3 of AI & Communities Research Project! You can participate here: https://structure3c.typeform.com/to/thGzcKnQ 
23:21 3/23/23
Exploring Conversational Leadership With John Hovell
The convergence of knowledge management and organizational development with conversational leadership and ‘communityship’ As a leader in the convergence of Knowledge Management (KM) and Organization Development (OD), John Hovell is the Managing Director and co-founder of STRATactical. He is a practitioner, speaker, and author of OD/KM strategies and their application to current challenges. More specifically, John is the author of Creating Conversational Leadership: Combining and Expanding Knowledge Management, Organization Development, and Diversity & Inclusion. Lauren met John through one of our podcast’s previous guests, Dr. Sharon Varney, as I attended their “Advancing your change and organizational development practice” course. - Welcome, John! KEY resource from this episode: Creating Conversational Leadership: Combining and Expanding Knowledge Management, Organization Development, and Diversity & Inclusion by John Hovell   Books from this episode: Conversational Leadership, an online book by David Gurteen Humble Inquiry, Second Edition: The Gentle Art of Asking Instead of Telling by Edgar H. Schein and Peter A. Schein Humble Leadership: The Power of Relationships, Openness, and Trust by Edgar H. Schein and Peter A. Schein Knoweldge Services series, published by De Gruyter Saur, Edited by Guy St. Clair Rebalancing Society: Radical Renewal Beyond Left, Right, and Center by Henry Mintzberg The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: 30th Anniversary Edition by Stephen R. Covey Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book That Changes Lives by Dan Millman   Other resources from this episode: ‘Be the Change’ by Patricia Shaw Dialogue Mapping Human Systems Dynamics Institue ‘Gratitude for Spiritset’ by John Hagel ‘Mindset and Heartset’ by John Hagel ‘The Self as an Instrument– A Cornerstone for the Future of OD’ by Dr. Mee Yan Cheung-Judge   Where to find John: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/johnhovell1/  STRATactical Space for Learning: “Advancing your change and organisational development practice” course
38:53 2/24/23
Examining Our Collective Relationship With AI - a Conversation With Venessa Paech
Venessa Paech is an internationally regarded online community strategist with over 25 years of experience building community online. Venessa is also a PhD candidate studying the intersection of AI and community, and a global authority on communities and community management. In the first Cohere episode of 2023, Venessa joins Bill Johnston and Dr. Lauren Vargas to discuss the quickly evolving role of AI in our digital experiences, how AI is currently playing a role in online communities, and what the future may hold regarding our collective relationship with AI. Key Quote: "It's still a relationship business. It's just we now have relationships with tools and machines in a new way:  in a more anthropomorphized way and in ways that mimic our own thinking and behavior sufficiently that we do need to recontextualize them. So how do we do that in a way that still prioritizes and centers the human work of what we're doing and brings us to those core community protocols of: How are we building a healthy, thriving, constructive space for constituents? is it accessible? Is it productive in meaningful ways? Is it relevant? And honoring the context, always honoring our context, which is one of the biggest problems we do see with so many different sorts of automated and or AI tools, is they tend to flatten and standardize context because that is how they operate. … But for community, which is typically a smaller, more intimate, and more nuanced sort of cluster of relations and ties, that does not work.”    Resources From This Episode: All things In Moderation Conference: https://www.allthingsinmoderation.org/call-for-papers  SWARM (Australia’s Community Management Conference): https://swarmconference.com.au/  Australian Community Managers: https://www.australiancommunitymanagers.com.au/  A Mental Health App Tested ChatGPT on Its Users. The Founder Said Backlash Was Just a Misunderstanding. Download the 2022 ACM State of Community Management Report Books: Atlas of AI: Power, Politics, and the Planetary Costs of Artificial Intelligence by Kate Crawford Building Brand Communities: How Organizations Succeed by Creating Belonging by Carrie Melissa Jones and Charles Vogl Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution by Howard Rheingold The Accidental Community Manager: A Guide to Building a Successful B2B Community by Adrian Speyer Virtual Reality: The Revolutionary Technology of Computer-Generated Artificial Worlds-And How It Promises to Transform Society by Howard Rheingold Venessa’s scholarship: https://www.venessapaech.com/publications  Where to find Venessa: https://www.venessapaech.com/   https://www.linkedin.com/in/venessapaech/
47:17 2/6/23
A New Home for the Cohere Podcast and an Outlook on 2023
Hi everyone, welcome to 2023, and Lauren and I are here today to give you a quick update on our plans for the Cohere podcast!  This year we are breaking away from the concept (and constraints) of the idea of seasons. We will be pursuing topical series instead, which will help us cover a wider range of topics and synch more naturally with our work and research. Our new home for the podcast: https://www.coherepod.com  
17:39 1/13/23
The Role of Friendship in Enhancing Virtual Experiences with Joi Podgorny
Joi Podgorny returns to the Cohere podcast to discuss her unique perspective on the state of the Metaverse with hosts Bill Johnston and Dr. Lauren Vargas. In season 1, in the early stages of the pandemic, Joi and Bill explored the part communities, and in particular VR-based communities, might play during the lockdown and socially-distanced period of the pandemic.  On this episode, Joi returns to revisit the conversation in Season 1, talk about her new role with Together Labs, and discuss how kids have weathered the pandemic in virtual worlds and in real life. Of particular note is Joi's perspective on the science of Friendship, and how the three pillars of Friendship (proximity, familiarity, and positivity) are guiding principles in her work.  
39:32 12/9/22
Our Intention is Not to Obsess Over Twitter
On this episode of the Cohere podcast, Bill Johnston and Dr. Lauren Vargas talk about the state of social media generally and twitter in particular. Discussing twitter as one of the canaries in the social media coal mine, Bill and Lauren look back to the dawn of social media and discuss the concerns that early community leaders expressed when "social media" sucked all of the oxygen out of the room in the mid 00's. We look at the longstanding and uneasy relationship between social media and community and discuss the ways our current circumstances might be an opportunity to evolve to better shared digital experiences.
40:27 11/18/22
Exploring Immersion with Ed Rodley
On this episode of the Cohere podcast, Bill Johnston and Dr. Lauren Vargas chat with cultural professional Ed Rodley about innovative experience design. Ed shares how his experience as a museum technologist has prepared him to explore and challenge the concept of ‘immersion’. This season, we are identifying the critical mindsets, skill sets, and toolsets community professionals need to hone for the next iteration of the Internet. Ed introduces the concepts of the ‘magic circle’ and ‘story worlds’ to illustrate ‘immersion’ is not a one-size-fits-all experience.      
61:04 10/28/22
Designing Comfortable Digital Spaces with Melanie Kahl
On this post-Summer break episode of the Cohere podcast, Bill Johnston and Dr. Lauren Vargas welcome design and strategy leader Melanie Kahl to discuss how we might design more comfortable shared digital spaces.  Using Melanie's recent article "Cozy in the Crowd" as a jumping off point, Bill and Lauren speak with Melanie about her career, her design and strategy practice, and how we might translate real-world customs, design patterns and affordances into the digital world to create more comfortable shared spaces.
47:31 9/20/22
Exploring the Open Metaverse with Vincent Boon
Community pioneer Vincent Boon returns to the Cohere podcast to discuss his latest project with Bill Johnston and Dr. Lauren Vargas - the OpenMeta DAO. The OpenMeta DAO is gathering a community to ensure the future of the metaverse is human-centered, fair, and interoperable. Both the overall mission of the OpenMeta DAO, as well as the OpenMeta DAO itself are fascinating.  In this episode, Vincent discusses the connection between online communities and the metaverse, the basics of DAOs, how the OpenMeta DAO operates, and what the future holds for community leaders in the Metaverse. Resources from this episode: https://twitter.com/OpenMetaDAO http://discord.gg/OpenMetahttps://www.openmetadao.com/
47:35 6/23/22
Making Sense of Crypto with Kent Langley
On this episode of the Cohere podcast, technologist and co-founder of OpenEXO Kent Langley joins Bill to discuss the current realities of crypto. Kent and Bill cover a range of topics, from the origin of blockchain, to how blockchains actually work, and current misconceptions about crypto. They then delve into questions about the relationship between crypto and communities and networks.
43:02 5/16/22
Community Cycles and What's Different (and the same) This Time
This week Lauren and I take a side trip from our Season 3 theme of Metaverse to talk about the cyclical (at least to date) nature of online community investment. In this unfiltered episode, we share how this cycle has helped shape our careers and explore questions that seem to come up in every cycle: With each subsequent era, why do we have to relearn and re-invent basics? Why do most organizations still struggle with community? Why haven’t standards emerged? Why is the enterprise community platform space so static? Why do personalities and institutions almost immediately emerge during an upcycle that want to dominate vs develop  
51:50 4/13/22
Do DAOs Hold the Secret of Orchestrating Collaboration?
In this episode of the Cohere podcast, Bill Johnston and Dr. Lauren Vargas discuss the early promise (and obvious issues) with DAOs (Distributed Autonomous Organizations). Bill and Lauren have an in-depth discussion to try and separate the value and future utility of the DAO model vs. the current hype.  DAOs have been described as "digital flash mobs with money" by Raihan Anwar, manager of the Friends with Benefits DAO, and a "virtual entity that has a certain set of members or shareholders who have the right to spend the entity's funds and modify its code" by Vitalik Buterin, Founder of Ethereum. Bill and Lauren explore:  The definition of DAO Current examples and use cases The components, or key moving parts of a DAO What questions remain about DAOs? Resources from this episode: Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) Canon The different flavors of DAOs in Web3 YOUR DAO GUIDE – THE MOST IMPORTANT DAO CATEGORIES DEFINING THE SPACE All the Questions About DAOs You Wish You Could Ask with Danny Greene from MeebitsDAO The Future of Work is Not Corporate — It’s DAOs and Crypto Networks DAOs May Be the Future of Work, but Don’t Bet on Them Being the Next Big Asset Class DAOs can solve important dilemmas but more education is required Building and Running a DAO: Why Governance Matters The man who got fired by his DAO
45:32 3/28/22
What Role Might NFTs Play In Future Communities?
Do organizations have the digital competence and skills to distinguish between a short-term trend (that might turn out to be a scam) and a long-term iteration of its digital activities? In this episode, we discuss why NFTs are a phenomenon, and the information and questions community builders may want to consider, including: NFTs are all the rage - what is the source of this phenomenon? What do we need to KNOW about NFTs? What issues do NFTs solve? How might NFTs be understood, used, managed, and/or created in an online community setting? What questions remain about NFTs?  
35:29 3/9/22
Exploring a Betterverse
The current Metaverse is a mirage. The pursuit of the Metaverse vision could lead us to a better Internet. On the first episode of Season 3 of the Cohere podcast, we (Bill Johnston and Dr. Lauren Vargas) frame of this season’s topic: the Metaverse. As they did with “community”, Facebook’s announcement of the company’s move to focus on the Metaverse, and rebranding to “Meta”, set off a frenzy of conversation, speculation, and investment. Made in a move remarkably similar to their 2017 announcement that Facebook was a “community” company, it remains to be seen if Meta follows through with creating their version of the Metaverse. It is interesting to note that Zuck’s “Community” announcement from 2017 appears to have been taken down at some point in the past year (archive.org version here). But this season of Cohere isn’t about Meta. It’s also not (solely) about VR, AR, XR, or related Web3 technologies - it is about the combinatorial effects all of these technologies and trends interacting to shape the next generation of the Internet, and more importantly, how we create a better Internet that is safe, equitable, accessible and inspires the best of human nature instead of exploiting the worst.
33:40 2/7/22
Announcing Season 3 of the Cohere Podcast
Season 3 of the Cohere podcast is just around the corner. In Season 2, Dr. Lauren Vargas and Bill Johnston explored the role networks play in our lives - from the obvious to the subtle. In Season 3, Lauren and Bill focus on the topic dominating the discussion of our collective digital future: the Metaverse. The discussion will go beyond the hyperbolic (and eye roll-inducing) to have a forward-looking yet practical discussion of what our connected future looks like in a world of ambiently available digital networks - and what this means for us as individuals, citizens, societies, and as part of globally connected humanity. Stay tuned for new episodes starting the second week of February!
04:38 1/27/22
Leadership in the Midst of Constant Change
On this episode of the Cohere podcast, Lauren and Bill talk to Dr. Sharon Varney, author of the new book "Leadership in Complexity and Change", and leading researcher and practitioner in the field of Complexity Science.  In the early 2000s, Drd Varney came across complexity theory. "That’s how the world really works", she thought! And so began her journey into academia as she explored what that meant for leadership and change practice. Now Sharon brings those insights into her leadership and organization development work in many different sectors. Sharon continues to enjoy a close working relationship with Henley Business School. Working at the interface of academia and practice, she is constantly striving to advance the leading edge of informed practice. Her new book, ‘Leadership in Complexity and Change’ addresses complexity straightforwardly without dumbing it down. It draws on her award-winning doctoral research and the practical application of key ideas by a wide range of managers and professionals in diverse sectors from retail to healthcare, finance, charities and government bodies. It is unashamedly hopeful, ultimately practical, with a robust academic pedigree. In the episode, we discuss a working definition of complexity science, explore the nature of change as it relates to organizations, how anyone within an organization is actually participating in ongoing change (whether they realize it or not), and how we all can be more mindful and intentional about leadership in the midst of constant change. Key Quotes: “Drawing on complexity science helps us understand the world a bit more fully and that can help us make some different choices, perhaps more deliberate choices about what we say and do in our everyday lives.” “T​hose who are really inside-inside, are the ones who are making change happen. They are the ones who understand the context. They are the people who will either create change or, or not.” “You can't outsource change. We change from within organizations. So you can put in a new structure, that's actually the easy part, but whether the new structure will deliver the benefits that were hoped for, or different ways of working, or whether you are changing a whole team out and bringing in new people will actually change the culture - you don’t know that. There are absolutely no guarantees for that. So, you've made a change. It cost a lot of money. It costs a lot of emotional energy and you may or may not have gotten any benefits from it. So insider actions and insider words are how change actually happens. It's actually quite mundane and sometimes we don't notice it because we're expecting it to come in a big, shiny, package with a large price tag attached to it.” “If we're trying to work on change in organizations, we need to ask ourselves who's in the conversation and who's in the community - they can be really helpful questions because then it draws attention to, and who's not who, whose voices are we not hearing?” “Diversity is really important because differences create novelty and innovation. That's what complexity science will tell us. It is micro-differences - coming in with a different experience of life of, of the world, just might cause us to react in a different way. It's differences that create something new.” Resources from this episode:  ‘Leadership in Complexity and Change: For a world in constant motion’ by Dr Sharon Varney Find Dr Sharon Varney online: Twitter @DrSharonVarney  LinkedIn Dr Sharon Varney   Website: spaceforlearning.com General resources mentioned in this episode: Henley Business School The Henley Forum ‘A complexity perspective on organisational change: making sense of emerging patterns in self-organising systems’ by Dr Sharon Varney Professor Ralph D. Stacy Flight of the Starlings: Watch This Eerie but Beautiful Phenomenon | Short Film Showcase [Video]  Books mentioned in this episode: ‘Images of Organization’ by Gareth Morgan ‘Information Ecologies: Using Technology with Heart’ by Bonnie A. Nardi and Vicki O’Day ‘Embracing Complexity: Strategic Perspectives for an Age of Turbulence’ by Jean G. Boulton, Peter M. Allen, and Cliff Bowman ‘Artificial Intelligence: A Guide for Thinking Humans’ by Melanie Mitchell
43:44 12/6/21