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Opening up about his journey through entrepreneurship and mental health, this special two-part conversation with Deb Golden and Andy Dunn reveals why resilience in the face of disruption is essential for growth in both business and life. In Part One, we uncover Andy’s path to pioneering digital fashion commerce in the 2000s, the advantage of showing up in service to a vision, and the art of navigating risk on the road to success.
Since we’ve got our Innovation Festival going on this week, here’s a quick roundup of business and tech news: United Auto Workers (UAW) deal—the 32-hour week likely not to be a part of it UN General Assembly meets this week: there was a huge climate change protest on Sunday Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s visit with President Biden: to ask for help on a 10-point peace proposal and address the food security crisis Drew Barrymore apologized for her decision to resume production despite the ongoing Writers Guild of America strike and reversed her decision TikTok Shop is the latest social media platform to pivot to e-commerce Orcas are attacking people now . . . ? Or still. But now it might not just be playing and could be actual hunting And then we chatted with Chip Wade, CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group. He told us how he grew up in the hospitality industry and his tips for staying cool in a hot kitchen. USHG operates Gramercy Tavern, Union Square Cafe, and Blue Smoke, among other restaurants.
Check out this roundup of interviews from the past year! We're highlighting some of our favorite interviews at this year's Innovation Festival. Tune in for marketing advice from e.l.f and SKIMS and learn how Seth Rogen turned a hobby into a company.
On this episode of Lead Through Disruption, Deb Golden rides shotgun with professional race car driver Toni Breidinger. From falling in love with go-karts at nine years old, to making history as the first Arab American female driver in NASCAR, Toni has spent her life leading through disruption. In this conversation, Toni takes us behind the scenes of her journey to the top of her sport, the mental and physical demands of her high stakes profession, and the crucial connection between passion and grit.
So many CEOs make waaaay more than their workers. To use just one famous example, Apple CEO Tim Cook made more than $99 million in 2022. That’s 1,117 times the company’s median worker pay of $84,000 a year. ‘Fast Company’ deputy digital editor Morgan Clendaniel explains why CEO pay has increased exponentially over the years and discusses how that plays a significant role in overall income inequality. Want to find novelty in your desk job? Michelle Khare discusses trying out all kinds of different jobs on her YouTube channel’s ‘Challenge Accepted,’ which just won Show of the Year at this year’s Streamy Awards. Having gone to Butler Academy, clown school, and worked as a runway model, Michelle says she’s learned that challenge and failure can still lead to personal growth. Another takeaway: The best managers are those who have done the job firsthand: Management training is ‘something we collectively need to address across corporate America.’ And check out the music video of ‘Back on 74’ by Jungle: For more info on Fast Company’s CEO Fair Pay Report, check out: FAST COMPANY INNOVATION IS NEXT WEEK! LAST CHANCE TO BUY TICKETS:
On this episode of Lead Through Disruption, Deb Golden meets with serial space entrepreneur, author, and changemaker Jane Poynter, going behind the scenes of her mission to fundamentally change humanity’s perception of Earth. Join us as we discover how Jane has leveraged disruption to challenge the status quo. From her two-year journey inside the world’s first human-made biosphere to the founding of Space Perspective three decades later, Jane continues to advance innovations in sustainable space travel.
OpenAI is reportedly nearing $1 billion in annual sales. There’s an AI arms race among big tech companies. AI is everywhere and on everyone’s mind, so we’re breaking it all down. Fast Company senior writer Mark Sullivan explains who the major players are—from Nvidia to Anthropic—why ChatGPT has had such a strong impact on society, and how Congress will decide to regulate AI. Eleven Madison Park chef and owner Daniel Humm talks about the difficulties of running a fine-dining restaurant and why he decided to make the menu completely plant-based during the pandemic. The restaurant is celebrating 25 years in the global fine-dining industry with the new book, Eat More Plants, penned by Humm. And we discuss Walmart’s search for a new CEO with healthcare experience. Don’t forget to check out our Fast Company Innovation Festival!
In the premiere episode of Lead Through Disruption, Deloitte US Chief Innovation Officer Deb Golden sits down with Stephanie Mehta to discover her journey through journalism, from her earliest days in the newsroom, to her ascendance as Fast Company’s editor-in-chief, to her pivot into executive leadership as CEO and Chief Content Officer for Mansueto Ventures. Join us as Stephanie shares battle-tested principles for finding your voice, empowering your people, building resilience, and shattering glass ceilings.
YouTube paid $14 billion for the rights to the NFL Sunday Ticket. For the next seven years, NFL viewers will be able to watch live football games from their living rooms—on YouTube. Fast Company senior writer Ainsley Harris explains the reason behind this purchase: YouTube consumption is heavily fragmented. Everyone is watching YouTube, but very few people are watching together. Sunday Ticket is a cornerstone type of content and NFL games pull in millions of people. This move speaks to the long-term investment that YouTube is making in both live sports and live NFL games. “We’re in an era of reckoning hypocrisies.” When Seth Rogen got into pottery a few years ago, he started sculpting ashtrays. Few people were putting a lot of thought into the lifestyles of people who smoked weed. But now, people are actually celebrating it. So, Rogen decided to create well-designed accessories, like ashtrays and grinders, to address the pent-up desire from weed smokers to decorate their space with nice things. “Crafting products that speak to your personal tastes and lifestyles is validating.” Say goodbye to your old soda cans. And then we look into that rumor regarding The New Yorker article about Tiger Global. Check out our upcoming Innovation Festival:
Late last year, everyone thought we were headed for a recession. But now we’re doing great. What’s going on? James Surowiecki, author of The Wisdom of Crowds and a Fast Company contributing writer, explains how “Bidenomics” is actually helping boost the economy. Courtney Tracy calls herself the truth doctor on TikTok. This came about after she’d dealt with a serious life event in 2019 and thought she needed to hide her struggle. She realized that if an up-and-coming licensed therapist was going to hide her mental health problems, what does that say about mental health overall? That we should hide it, be embarrassed about it . . . really? She was struggling, and she thought the world needed a therapist who was significantly struggling. So she called herself the truth doctor and, in fact, told the truth about her struggles to encourage other people to be honest with themselves and tell the truth about their struggles. And we’re sorry to hear about Britney’s divorce . . . Don’t forget to check out our upcoming Innovation Festival at: And apply for MIC!
The Women’s World Cup is coming to an end this weekend! The international soccer championship is down to its final week in which Spain and England will be facing off in the final match. Fast Company senior editor Amy Farley and staff editor AJ Hess catch us up on the drama and break down what this tournament means for pro women’s sports. Also, SKIMS cofounder and CEO Jens Grede explains how Kim Kardashian is like the Michael Jordan of the influencer generation and why the pumpkin spice latte is so important. And Broadway’s back, baby! Our personal fave is Spamalot. Don’t forget to sign up for our upcoming Innovation Festival on September 18-21:
It’s looking like the future won’t be spent in the office. Based on a recent Deloitte study, 66% of mid- to executive-level financial services professionals do not want to come back to the office full-time. Writer and journalist Shalene Gupta breaks down the numbers and explains the impact that this will have on future pathways toward leadership. And historically, financial advice has been “male, pale, and stale,” according to Vivian Tu. The popular FinTok influencer explains why she’s passionate about teaching financial literacy. In addition to her proprietary “STRIP” method for achieving financial independence, she recommends setting up a “money date” with a close friend. Find out how much they make and pay for rent, and what their various expenditures are, she suggests. Tu says we need to ask each other these questions so we can set realistic expectations. “That’s real intimacy. Get financially naked with your friends!” And then we chat about periods, because they’ve been a taboo subject for so long, and . . . mustard Skittles, because that’s a thing. Fast Company Innovation Festival is coming up! Check it out here: Find out more about Vivian Tu’s forthcoming book:
The new visual platform, Spill, is not trying to become the next Twitter—it’s aiming to create an entirely new social media platform. Spill’s cofounder and CEO Alphonzo “Fonz” Terrell said he wants to create a fun, safer, and more rewarding space for its users, especially black, female, and queer folks. In order to create a safer and more inclusive community, Spill is building its algorithms based on specific data sets that will not just flag certain terms, but also look at who’s saying those terms. This will create a context-based model for content moderation. While the app is in its beta phase, it’s still invite-only; but since they’re moving at the “speed of culture,” Terrell said they’re aiming to scale up as soon as possible. There is already a vibrant kaleidoscope of diverse channels where “Spillionaires” are interacting and engaging with one another. Then we talk about the resale industry with Charles Gorra, founder and CEO of Rebag. He explains how the market has shifted and consumers have gotten past the “ick” factor of resale. Now it means you’re a smart shopper and you’re contributing to a circular economy: “It’s not consumption anymore, it’s investment.” And finally, we chatted about 46,000-year-old worms that may give researchers insight into how to “elongate” humans’ lives . . . maybe. Our show today was produced by Mariam Kiparoidze with help from Avery Miles and Blake Odom. And special thanks to Max Ufberg for stepping in to host this week! Mix and sound design by Tad Wadhams and our executive producer is Josh Christensen.
AI is poised to upend the music industry, and Fast Company Associate Editor David Salazar joins us to discuss what AI generative music is and how the music industry is combating it. Antidiabetic medication Ozempic is all over the news these days, but it's not as new as it seems. Beyond the TikTok trends and celebrity shout-outs, it's been used to treat diabetes for years. But now talk of this medication has reached a fever pitch. Found CEO Sarah Jones Simmer talks about how her company prioritizes comprehensive weight care management, the ongoing discussion about Ozempic, and the very complicated history of weight in this country. Basically, how do we thread the needle between self-acceptance and positive body image and the existing health challenges, like the skyrocketing rates of diabetes? Then we discuss Barbenheimer because, well, we have to.
The thing about the Barbie movie is that saying those three words together just seems inherently ridiculous. And one of the best things Mattel has done is really kind of lean into that. Starting with the Technicolor shots of Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling on set to the colorful trailers that really churned up the enthusiasm for the movie, Mattel created the momentum that has led to a laundry list of product tie-ins, including the Xbox console that actually looks like a house or a makeup station. Fast Company Senior Staff Editor Jeff Beer explains how this Blockbuster movie's marketing campaign stands out . . . and that having fun is at the core of the global brand's approach. Then to something more serious — Human Rights Watch Executive Director Tirana Hassan talks about how the organization is using technology to push back on misinformation and disinformation, and even how AI can benefit the organization in its investigations.
We have to talk about the new Twitter on the block: Threads. How does it work? And more importantly, how does it compare to Twitter? Fast Company Senior Staff Editor Max Ufberg is back to explain what Mark Zuckerberg’s newest platform is, the drama between the two companies, and how Threads' algorithms won't promote hard news or political discourse. And e.l.f. Beauty CMO Kory Marchisotto talks about the company’s successful media strategy on TikTok . . . and why it decided to make a Chipotle-inspired, guac-themed eye-shadow palette.
When you have a chronic illness or debilitating condition, you start turning to alternatives for answers. This is what one of our colleagues did. Fast Company Video Producer and host of the new docuseries “Future Me,” Emma Wheylin, takes us through her biohacking journey. She tried out the Peak Brain Institute and the BallancerPro where she learned a lot about lymphatic drainage. Yaz chatted with Fast Company Senior Staff Writer Liz Segran and Senior Editor Amy Farley about what the direct-to-consumer Daily Harvest’s recall and lawsuits reveal about how unregulated food startups are. They dove into how this resulted in several hospital visits, emergency surgeries, and thousands of dollars in healthcare costs. It came down to a novel ingredient called tara flour. Also, for more info about Fast Company premium, check out:
Pedestrian and cyclist deaths have hit their highest levels in 40 years. There’s one major way we could bring those numbers down and that’s if we got rid of the law that allows drivers to turn right on red. Yaz spoke with Fast Company contributing writer David Zipper. David is a visiting fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School, and he focuses on road safety, climate change, and the future of micromobility, among other things. And Fast Company Executive Editor Mike Hofman sat down with Jason Del Rey about his latest book, “Winner Takes All.” In it, he explores the rivalry between Amazon and Walmart and the traditional retail giant’s attempts to reinvent itself. For more on the right-on-red ban, you can read David's article here:
After World War II, the U.S. had to change the way it communicated if it was going to keep up with the Soviets in the Cold War, especially once Sputnik was launched. It was the vision of a Missouri boy called Lick that would solve those communication issues and spark the creation of the internet.
To discuss this year’s just-announced list, ‘Fast Company’ staff writer Pavithra Mohan joined us for a behind-the-scenes look. For a bit of context, the Queer 50 is an annual list that ‘Fast Company’ puts together of the most impressive LGBTQ women and nonbinary folks in business and technology. Covering a range of industries, this year’s list focuses on leaders within the Queer community who are both activists and advocates, fighting for trans rights, reproductive justice, pay equity, inclusion, and other compelling issues, which involve the latest in AI, VR, and AR tech, too. Yaz also sat down with one of our honorees, Folx Health CEO Liana Guzmán, to chat about affirmative healthcare in a time where LGBTQ rights are being eroded.
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