Learn the skills and ideas needed to thrive in an uncertain future.
The Future Skills Podcast with Ludvig Sunstrom and Mikael Syding
New episodes every Monday.
We do three types of episodes:
- Practical Episodes (5-20 min) learn one big idea to improve your life.
- Expert Episodes (25-45 min) an expert shares the tools and tricks of their trade and explain how you can use this skillset to succeed in your own.
- Deep Discussions (+50 min) with interesting and successful people.
The goal of Future Skills is that you should be able to listen to 2-3 of the shorter Practical Episodes while taking a walk or commuting to work and come away from it with fresh new inspiration for improving a specific part of your life (career, health, finances, social network).
The Expert Episodes take your career to the next level and the Deep Discussions provide a top-level perspective on what’s going on in the world (and how to prepare for accelerating change).
Listen to the Episodes:
(Note: The links take you to our written summaries)
Episode 40 – Seth Godin: On the Future of Marketing and Business – If you want to become a better marketer, tell better stories. Seth also tells us what it was like to work with Isaac Asimov, and two big economic ideas: Ronald Coase’s Nature of the Firm, and Ted Levitt’s Marketing Myopia.
Episode 39 – Tyler Cowen – Economist & Master Generalist – on economic outlook, social change, future cities, how to become a generalist, 8 cities he is bullish on, Chinese GDP growth, re-reading books, 5 economic thinkers you should know, and much more.
Episode 38 – Q&A with Listeners from our Newsletter – we cover questions such as: Switching career, the future of biohacking, how to study better, and Anus Laptops from Nigerian Princes.
Episode 37 – Mattias Ribbing: Learning Strategies from a Grandmaster of Memory – Thinking in pictures vs spaced repetition, biohacking and healthy foods, and considerations for the future school system. Also read part 2 of our summary.
Episode 36 – How to Think Different (like Arnold & Stephenie) – How did Arnold Schwarzenegger dominate the Bodybuilding world? How did Stephenie Meyer create a $3 Billion dollar franchise of “Vampire Romance”? By breaking the rules. We talk about 3 ways to differentiate your thinking from the crowd.
Episode 35 – Herd Animals, Stoics, Independents, and Contrarian – These are the four modes of being. The dilemma is this: you never want to be a Herd Animal, but you cannot be a Contrarian (successfully) in more than a few areas. Our advice: Upgrade yourself to Stoic in as many areas as possible. That’s the low-hanging fruit.
Episode 34 – Erik Townsend: Macro Economics, What Makes the World Work – Erik is an IT entrepreneur turned hedge fund manager, and host of Macrovoices. We discuss: Capitalism vs Socialism, financial advice, being a hedge fund manager, the global race to dominate Cryptocurrency (currently led by China and Russia) and the creation of a new reserve currency. And a lot more. If you’re into big picture thinking, listen to this episode. Also read part 2 of our summary.
Episode 33 – Walter Kiechel: Lords of Strategy – We discuss Walter’s book Lords of Strategy (one of the Tomes of business strategy). Some questions we ask: Why does strategy consulting work? Why do companies hire these consultants? What is the Jungian Shadow of strategy? Why was Germany a great market for strategy consultants?
Episode 32 – Walter Kiechel: A Life in Media – Walter helped run Fortune Magazine and Harvard Business Publishing, two of the world’s most prestigious media outlets. What did he learn in his +30 years experience in the media industry? How do media companies run? How have they changed from local monopolies to newsletter subscriptions to Internet business models?
Episode 31 – Investor Beginner Mistakes You Really Want to Avoid – Learn why celebrating high stock prices is wrong; why next year’s, any year’s, Price/Earnings ratio is irrelevant; why one strategic shareholder selling to another rarely means anything useful… and a few more things Mikael Syding picked up on his way from total beginner to the head of The European Hedge Fund Of The Decade.
Episode 30 – The 2x Rule – The 2x Rule is a practical application of the Experience Curve. It’s a guideline for how you can plan your career. The 2x Rule states that you should be willing to take half the entry salary of a prestigious company in order to maximize on learning for some time while you are still young.
Episode 29 – The Experience Curve – Stop thinking linearly. Start thinking exponentially. Everyone who’s read economics know about scale effects. Like economies of scale or economies of scope. But a lot of people don’t know about the scale effects of experience and learning…
Episode 28 – Dr. Elkhonon Goldberg: A 50-Year Journey of Neuroscience – This episode is heavy in the history of neuroscience. We talk about the history of neuroscience, his mentor Alexander Luria, his three books, his acquaintance with Oliver Sacks, where he thinks the field is going in the future, and whether he thinks it’s possible to model the human brain and create a General AI.
Episode 27 – The Best Physical Tools We Use – Just a bunch of basic (but useful) stuff we own, use, and recommend.
Episode 26 – The Best Online Tools We Use – Ditto as above.
Episode 25 – Survivorship Bias: 6 Reasons we Misinterpret Success – Survivorship bias is increasingly ruling the world, and causing serious delusion in popular culture. Most people are not perceptive enough to look past it, and it gives them a messed-up worldview and unrealistic expectations of what life should be.
Episode 24 – Best of Myers-Briggs (Most Popular Personality Test) – We discuss the world’s most popular personality test, and how to think about each of the four different functions. Perhaps using your auxilliary process is the ultimate form of Breaking out of Homeostasis.
Episode 23 – Alexander Bard: On Tribal Archetypes & Societal Problems – Controversial Philosopher Alexander Bard returns to the show to discuss a plethora of topics; ranging from psychedelics, to rites of passage, to the Giants of psychoanalysis: Freud, Nietzsche, Jung… as always, Bard is all over the place (in a good way).
Episode 22 – Create a Review File [Best Commonplace System] -This episode draws on an idea from Ludvig’s Ultimate Commonplace System. The Review File is like a book summary book, only more extreme. It’s based on two learning methods: Spaced repetition and availability bias. Collect all the best materials related to your work, studies, investing, creative projects, etc – then review it before you start working (to prime yourself).
Episode 21 – Prof. Barry Schwartz: Decision-Making in a Complex World – In this discussion you will learn when too much choice is a bad thing, in which areas people prefer more choice to less, why we can’t always trust what people say, how Barry does his research (and the process behind his books and TED talks – viewed by 20 million people), and how he found his own niche as a scientist and intellectual.
Episode 20 – How to Be an Investor – Mikael expounds on his favorite topic. In this episode we learn the 5 fundamentals of investing (the process to follow to speed up the learning curve). The most important of these five is that you find a strategy that suits your personality and run with it.
Episode 19 – Get More Important Work Done – with Sebastian Marshall – Learn what a “Keystone” is–and how you can use it to stay on top of your work. Sebastian talks about the 3 metrics for improving your productivity (to get more work done each day) and why you don’t want to have 2 tools competing for the same purpose.
Episode 18 – Ikigai: How to Live with Purpose – Ikigai: This is an important concept that is blatantly missing from the Western World. Look it up. It’s a Venn Diagram.
Episode 17 – Hormonal Optimization – with Jay Campbell – A kick to the groin changed Jay’s life when he was just 29, leaving him with deficient testosterone levels. We go over myths and truths about testosterone, estrogen, and other hormones, according to the latest science. With dieting, exercising, and hormonal optimization Jay recovered, kept playing basketball at a high level and retained a modelling career (recently appearing on the cover of Iron Man Magazine).
Episode 16 – Avoid Chronic Stress: How to Take Your Blood Pressure – Extremely basic advice, and yet most people don’t know how to do it. Most people don’t own a blood pressure gauge. It costs less than $100. This is something you should be able to do yourself, and not rely on a doctor to do for you.
Episode 15 – The Top 3 Health Tests You Should Do – Which are the most important preventive health tests? What are their benefits? How often should you do them? What do they cost? Learn the answer in this short episode.
Episode 14 – Poker Pro Annie Duke: When Can You Trust Your Gut Feeling? – Annie is best known for her career as a professional poker player. We discuss why Betting is the ultimate transferable skill, how playing poker is like trading the markets, when you can/cannot trust your instincts, and much more.This episode is really about the Learning Process, about Mastery, and about becoming a better thinker and decision-maker.
Episode 13 – Gaussian Transformation: From 1 to 45 Employees in 3 Years (SAS Business with Casey Gauss) – Casey tells us how they’ve been able to grow Viral Launch so fast, 3 things he wished he’d learnt earlier in life, the software and systems he uses to run the company, and why he insists on a strong culture (in a physical office), even though Viral Launch is a 100% online company.
Episode 12 – How to Create Innovation Labs and Find Your Entrepreneurial Type (With Ola Ahlvarsson) – Ola says 7/10 innovation labs done in-house fail, and that those that succeed are: Separate, Shared, Seen, Slim, Strategic, and have a Structure. The 5 entrepreneurial types are: the Virtuoso, The all-or-nothing entrepreneur, the better-safe-than-sorry-entrepreneur, the serial entrepreneur, and the “Mr Sleeves Down” entrepreneur.
Episode 11 – Use it or Lose it; Making the Most of Your Biological Prime Time – Do you know when your best time every day is? Do you know how long it lasts? If you don’t, this is the #1 most powerful productivity advice that exists. There is no exception. Listen to this episode for practical advice on making the most of this limited time each day.
Episode 10 – Serial Entrepreneur Ola Ahlvarsson Wants to Build a New Society Based on Self-Improvement – Ola is a really interesting guy. He’s founded more than 20 businesses, worked with many of the world’s biggest brands, and is a champion in multiple martial arts. Our conversation is all over the place (from business to politics, Nazis, dictatorships, psychology, self-improvement, etc), but quite enjoyable.
Episode 9 – Transferable Skills: How to Build a Safe and Steady Career – The 2008 crisis was a hell-hole for the financial industry, as we all know. But did you know it was almost as bad for the legal profession? 60% of graduates (J.Ds) couldn’t get a job upon graduation. Industry disruption is bound to happen everywhere sooner or later; to protect yourself you should learn transferable skills.
Episode 8 – The 4 Capitals of Creation: Foundation of Future-Proof – They are: Social capital, Financial capital, Cultural capital, and Influence capital. How do you get them? In which order? How to prioritize? We talk about that. When you think about your progress in life, think of how you improved in one or many of these capitals. This is a powerful framework.
Episode 7 – The Stress-Hunger-Sleep Feedback Loop – It’s a TRAP! You must avoid the following feedback loop from becoming part of your homeostasis: (1) Bad Sleep >> (2) Higher Cortisol Levels >> (3) Lower Impulse Control, Tired and Hungry >> (4) Eat Sugar and Consume Stimulants for Fast Energy and Focus >> (5) Become Fatter and More Stressed >> . . . Bad Sleep [AGAIN]. . . .
Episode 6 – Alexander Bard: How to Grow Up and Become an Online Success – Philosopher Alexander Bard tells us the truth about online success, how to find the best people for you to collaborate with, and what happens when you combine the Nanny State with Consumer Society — and throw in a lack of proper rites of passages. Online chaos! Like the “Me-Too” trend.
Episode 5 – Are You an Initiator or a Refiner? – These are two different personality traits. You can think of them as being polar opposites on a spectrum. Depending on which one you are, it has a big impact on how you should manage your career and what kind of work you are best suited for.
Episode 4 – Are You a Maximizer or a Satisficer? – This is both a decision-making rule *and* a personality spectrum. People who are Maximizers will dig themselves deep into details and make sure what they’re doing is done properly; they are perfectionists by nature. People who are Satisficers will just make do; they’ll do the minimum for moving the project forward, and want to move forward fast. A team should consist of both types.
Episode 3 – Lone Maverick Billionaire Martin Sandquist on: Finance, Crypto & Being an Infinite Learner – Martin is the founder of Lynx Asset Management, one of the biggest hedge funds in Europe, with+70 employees. The genius finance billionaire tells us about his “30/30/30/10” time-management method (and why he spends a lot of time in the bathub), the 4-step formula he has observed in most extraordinary businesses, and why he insists on keeping his ideas to himself.
[Note: Pick up an eBook we made with 27 of Martin’s best Lessons on entrepreneurship, finance, books to read, and the Future Skills he advises young people to learn.]
Episode 2 – How to Double Your Creativity (For Less Than $30) – Short, practical advice everyone can (and should) do. Buy a calendar and record your mood for 2-4 weeks to see if you have higher energy levels/more creativity on certain days. If you can find a pattern, it can lead to a HUGE increase in productivity.
Episode 1 – Do You Have a Commonplace? Every Knowledge Worker Should – Show premier. If you are a knowledge worker (like us), we insist that you start a commonplace. This episode explains how to go about it.
Quality Quality Quality. These guys know their stuff and aren’t afraid of saying what needs to be heard–even if it’s controversial. I love the multiple formats.
~iTunes review, Kyleschen
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