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Author: Howard Gray

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Tickets features the visionaries, producers and operators behind some of the world’s most exciting and innovative live experiences.

Joining the dots between disciplines, Tickets seeks to find out what goes into bringing amazing ideas, companies and concepts to life.

In this our second season we’re exploring the future of education, and how emerging forms of technology and entertainment are changing the ways we learn and interact. Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/tickets/support
26 Episodes
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Believe it or not, some of the key fundamentals of university haven’t changed much in over a thousand years. But with the US student debt crisis continuing to make headlines, employers’ talent needs rapidly evolving, and software still eating the world, traditional higher education - like other industries before it - is now undergoing change like never before. Today on Tickets I’m joined by Daniel Pianko. Co-Founder and Managing Director at University Ventures, a New York based venture capital firm focused on the future of higher education and the pathways that lead from education to employment.  In this wide-ranging conversation Daniel shares his insights into the importance of the live experience in learning, the knock-on effects of urbanization, and why having a great product can matter a lot less than you think. Episode overview 02:30 Daniel’s origin story  08:00 4 areas of interest for an education-focused fund 10:00 The future of medical school 17:00 University - from DMV to Uber 21:30 The future of work - now, not tomorrow 28:00 Flipped classrooms and using VR in education 33:00 Soft skills and how we teach 37:00 Hybrid spaces and the knock-on effects of urbanization 52:00 Advice for the incumbent university presidents 56:00 New innovations and advice for entrepreneurs in education About Daniel Daniel Pianko is co-founder and managing director at UV. With over a decade of experience in the education industry, Daniel has built a reputation as a trusted education adviser and innovator in student finance, medical education, and postsecondary education. A frequent commentator on higher education, Daniel’s insights have been featured in national media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, TechCrunch, Inside Higher Ed, and The Chronicle of Higher Education. Daniel began his career in investment banking at Goldman Sachs, and quickly became intrigued by the potential of leveraging private capital to establish the next generation of socially beneficial education companies. After leaving Goldman, Daniel invested in, founded, advised, or managed a number of education-related businesses that led to the creation of UV. Prior to founding UV, he established a student loan fund, served as chief of staff for the public/private investments in the Philadelphia School District, and worked as a hedge fund analyst. At UV, Daniel leads the firm’s investments in the pioneering Ponce School of Medicine in Puerto Rico, University of Nicosia/St. George’s University of London Medical School, Vemo Education, Qubed Education, Examity and Galvanize. He serves on a number of nonprofit boards, including the Board of Trustees of Harlem Village Academies. Daniel graduated magna cum laude from Columbia University, and holds a M.B.A. and M.A. in Education from Stanford University. He is the proud father of three children. --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/tickets/support
Imagine the world’s most awarded advertising school. Perhaps you’re picturing it housed in an imposing campus of magnificient Edwardian buildings made of stone and marble, or a gleaming high rise in midtown Manhattan. In fact you’ll find it on the top floor of a former church and nightclub in a South London neighbourhood. Its unexpected characteristics don’t end there - from the curriculum design to the class size, the mentors to the learning outcomes. It’s called the School of Communication Arts, and its Dean is Marc Lewis. In this entertaining and enlightening conversation, we talk about Marc’s personal journey from comedy clubs and tech startups to the world of education, coming back from a mental health crisis, and what it means to find your Telos. And there is a little bit of swearing, so listener discretion is advised. Episode overview 03:00 Marc's origin story - from stealing car radios, to copywriting and comedy clubs 17:00 Selling a company, and finding Telos 23:00 SCA v.10 27:00 How v2.0 got going in 2010, and being equipped for diversity 35:00 Inside the curriculum Wiki 42:00 Customizing learning design 51:00 AI, technology...and why didn't cover it in this episode About Marc Marc Lewis was a scholarship student at SCA when it last existed in the 1990s. He left to work for Leo Burnett as a writer, but ended up creating technology companies. Marc’s start-ups created over £50m in shareholder value. but he fell out of love with money and wanted to do something more meaningful. A heart-to- heart conversation with Sir John Hegarty and Rory Sutherland led to the re-opening of SCA in 2010. John and Rory became founding Governors. Marc runs the SCA learning experience. If he’s not in SCA, then he’s teaching at a Chinese or a French ad school, or out bringing live briefs into the classroom. --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/tickets/support
Pause for a Cause

Pause for a Cause

2019-02-2500:56

We're taking a brief pause. But Ticket shall return... --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/tickets/support
Back in the late 2000s a number of community-driven internet companies began to change the way new products and services were brought to life.  But even the most forward-thinking of those companies’ founders may have been surprised at where their platforms are now being utilized. One example is in the Interaction Design Program at the School of Visual Arts in New York. Over the last 7 years, over 100 students have taken on the challenge the make $1000 by design, launch and complete a crowdfunding campaign that benefits a community they’ve worked with over the course of the semester.  Today on Tickets I’m joined by the teachers of the 1k challenge, Gary Chou and Christina Xu. As the challenge completes its 7th edition, they’re now sharing what they’ve learned so far via Teach the 1k - a workshop to help other entrepreneurship educators run their own 1k challenges. In this conversation we talk about the importance of constraints for creativity, the benefits of communities of practice, and the fear of putting our work and ourselves out there on the internet. More information: http://teachthe1k.com Gary & Christina online: http://christinaxu.org https://garychou.com  Background: https://postindustrialdesign.school/background/ https://medium.com/@garychou/infrastructure-and-interdependence-417e926c539c --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/tickets/support
Think about talent agents and the first image that comes to mind may be something similar to the character of Ari Gold in the TV show ‘Entourage’; fast-talking, fickle, and more focused on the action toys and awards than the quality of the art. But beyond the caricature, there’s of course far more to this kind of work than meets the eye - and a growing range of talent with important ideas to share with the world. On this episode of Tickets I’m joined by David Lavin, founder and CEO of The Lavin Agency.  The agency represents some of the world’s leading intellectual talent; from bestselling authors Salman Rushdie and Margaret Attwood, to Apple founder Steve Wozniak, and Welby Altidor, former creative director of Cirque du Soleil. During this conversation we get into what really makes for a compelling speaker, where there’s space for new ideas in education, balancing risk and reward, and who’s really worth booking for the $10,000 keynote. About David David Lavin is the founder and president of The Lavin Agency—one of North America’s largest intellectual talent agencies. His roster of exclusive keynote speakers includes Margaret Atwood; Salman Rushdie; Nicholas Thompson, the Editor in Chief of Wired; Angie Thomas, the #1 bestselling author of The Hate U Give; and Angela Duckworth, the #1 bestselling author of Grit. And many other interesting people! The Lavin Agency consists of 35 staff, with offices in New York, Toronto, Vancouver, and Boston. It was founded in 1989, in Toronto, after David spent a few years as a successful live events promoter. David was Canada’s youngest chess master. He has lived in Barcelona, London, Paris, Berlin, San Francisco, New York, and Ibiza. His thoughts on the speaking industry have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, New York magazine, The National Post, and Hazlitt, and at the TED conference. Every year, David also hosts the invite-only Brain Candy conference—a gathering of exclusive Lavin speakers, staff, and a few close friends of the agency. https://www.thelavinagency.com/ --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/tickets/support
Over the last 10 years Adobe’s annual 99U conference has captured the imaginations of creative thinkers from around the world through its 2 day programme of talks, workshops and collaborations, featuring a who’s who of both industry leaders and rising talent. And alongside the New York conference, 99U has now grown into a year-round online resource for building a creative career. Today on Tickets I’m joined by Adobe’s Head of 99U Andrea Rosen.  In this conversation we talk about the future of work, how anybody can tap into their own creativity, and where to find some hidden opportunities for creative innovation. Episode overview: 02:30 The beginnings of 99U 08:00 The secret sauce in the conference production 11:00 What 99U’s audience are gravitating to in 2019 19:00 Creativity: lowercase and capital case thinking 29:00 Creatives taking a seat at the strategy table 34:00 Andrea’s favourite talks from 99U 42:00 Why now for ‘the creative future’ at 99U in 2019 --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/tickets/support
Spend some time around the world of startups and it probably won’t be long until you hear someone mention the term startup studio.  It’s recently become a bit of a buzz term for consultancies, ad agencies and brands, but New York company Betaworks have been working in and around this area for over a decade. As well as their work building and investing in companies, Betaworks have recently opened Studios, their own membership space in the city’s Meatpacking district. James Cooper is the company’s head of creative, working across a diverse range of projects from GIF sharing platforms to spatial design, voice recognition to meditation.  We talked about how we can use technology to escape technology, what Betaworks look for when programming live events, the future of the shared experience, and the benefits to looking outside to find inspiration in an always-on digital world. Episode overview 04:00 Going from digital to physical products 07:00 Why now for building a brick & mortar space? 10:00 The thought process behind Studios’ live event programming 18:00 The role of a creative director in a startup studio 25:00 Inside Betaworks’ ‘Camp’ accelerator program 33:00 The future of the shared experience; from games, to meditation, live quizzes and beyond 37:00 Where James finds inspiration, and how he stays on track  40:00 Advice for people wanting to build something new About James James has been Head of Creative at start-up studio Betaworks since 2013. His role is to explore creative opportunities for betaworks products and tell the betaworks brand story. Some of the betaworks brands include the no.1 game, Dots, which has been downloaded over 150 million times and won many industry awards. Other betaworks products include GIPHY, the search engine for Gifs recently valued at $600M, Poncho, the most popular bot on Facebook and recent star of Apple's, 'Planet of the App's and Dexter, a bot building platform. James also produced ‘The Intern’, a hit podcast about working in betaworks and the tech world.  Recently James launched betaworks Studios, a club for builders. Studios is a physical space where the new generation of builders can find one another and learn the secrets of sustained innovation betaworks has uncovered over the last ten years. Before betaworks, James was a creative director in the ad world where he has won many awards including two gold lions at Cannes. He was a Creative Partner at Anomaly and ran Dare - named Digital Agency of the Decade in London and sold for $50m in 2007.  --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/tickets/support
In a world that’s now full of influencers, thought leaders and keynote speakers, how do you know who’s worth paying your attention, or your money, to? What sets the best education experiences apart from the rest? And how do you know if your new business idea is worth pursuing? Today on Tickets we delve into the answers to these questions and much more with Rob Fitzpatrick. Rob has been working in entrepreneurship and education for over 10 years as a founder, author and educator.  His first book ‘The Mom Test’ has become a staple of the startup world, and next up is ‘The Workshop Survival Guide’ - debunking many of the myths about experiential learning, and giving a helping hand to those wanting to deliver workshops that...work. We talk about Silicon Valley accelerator programs, the importance of design in education, and the hidden reasons behind getting hired. Episode Overview 05:00 Getting it right (and sometimes wrong) in the Y Combinator accelerator program 10:00 From boardrooms to warehouses - bootstrapping a new venture 15:00 Writing: from 0 to 100 21:00 Being aware of the trade offs in entrepreneurship 25:00 The best ways to get started with building entrepreneurial skills 33:00 Best practices for workshop design 41:00 In a world full of business thought leaders, who’s worth reading, and who’s worth hiring? 47:00 Secrets of getting hired as a workshop teacher --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/tickets/support
It’s that app with the owl. That app where you can instantly start learning anything from Spanish to Swahili, Hebrew to Hawaiian. But what’s behind the enormous success of Duolingo, the language learning app that now has over 300 million users around the world? Laura Nestler is Duolingo’s global head of community, bringing together learners and teachers from a multitude of countries and cultures. On this episode of Tickets we get into the art & science of building global communities, the unexpected secrets behind preserving a Duolingo streak, and compare notes on London’s best cocktail bars and fried chicken shops... Episode overview: 05:00: Duolingo’s beginning from a Captcha and a ReCaptcha 15:00: How much does an owl need to cry for you to come back to Duolingo?(!) 20:00: How to grow a community internationally (and Londoners' lack of eagerness...and Mexican food spots) 29:00: The growth of Duolingo's in-person events 40:00: Getting a new community off the ground: from 1, to 9, then 90 --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/tickets/support
What have Harry Potter, Steve Wozniak, Los Angeles County School Board and the Indian Prime Minister got in common? They’ve all been part of the story of Kano, a London based computer company intertwining technology, education and entertainment. Today on Tickets I’m joined by Kano’s co-founder Alex Klein. We talk about the future of collective experiences, overcoming the dark times as an entrepreneur, the key ingredients of a compelling Kickstarter campaign, and how a 6 year old’s question was the catalyst for what has become one of the most exciting new computer companies around. Alex’s thoughts on using creativity to mobilise and empower people are inspiring - I hope you enjoy this conversation as much I did. 02:30: Kano's origin story 08:00: 3 key factors for a successful Kickstarter campaign 12:30: Assumptions in the early days of Kano 15:30: What's in the box 20:00: Blending education and entertainment 25:00: Working with teachers and schools 29:00: Alex's advice for entrepreneurs starting out 33:00: New forms of audience building and creating shared experience 37:00: What's in store for Kano in 2019 --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/tickets/support
In the Spring of 1987, a group of music fans and journalists organised a small live event in Austin, Texas. They were pleasantly surprised by its success - around 700 people showed up. That first edition of South by SouthWest has become a 10 day conference and festival with over 28,000 attendees heading to Austin each March. It’s now one of the most recognised and respected live events on the planet, and its core tracks of music, film, technology and education inform as well as reflect what’s happening in modern culture. Today on Tickets I’m joined by Todd Hansen, SXSW’s head of conference programming. In this conversation, Todd shares insights into the programming team’s process, what makes for a compelling keynote, and how to handle one of the world’s most famous entrepreneurs showing up at 1 day’s notice. We also reminisce about a surprise gig from a member of purple royalty straight out of Todd’s hometown of Minneapolis.  Episode overview 03:00 SXSW’s history 12:00 Programming for a rocketship 18:00 Predicting trends 25:00 Getting found, getting noticed 32:00 Embracing serendipity 40:00 This year’s highlights, and the role of technology in our lives 45:00 The long drive from Minneapolis About Todd Hansen Todd Hansen has spent his career chasing what interests him. The chase began by playing in bands in the ever-creative Minneapolis music scene, and with those relationships in play: a record label was born.  Co-founding a record label gave rise to other fast-paced pursuits in the  consulting and entrepreneurial worlds. Later, he started a couchsurfing platform for bands, pre-AirBnB, called Better Than The Van, and soon after that created an intensely popular Tumblr called Rich Kids of Instagram.  Today, he is the Head of Conference Programming at SXSW, and leads a team of content curators across twenty-five tracks of programming. He's always fascinated by culture, tech and the human condition, and ever-inspired by those creating and collaborating in the arts and sciences: the framework builders of our future.  Todd Hansen is a history nut, who asks, "What's next?'. The chase continues. --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/tickets/support
We're back! Tickets returns for its second season this November. Here's a brief introduction to this season and a bit of back story on how we got to now. --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/tickets/support
On the guest list today is James Beshara, global head of concerts at Airbnb. James leads Airbnb’s growing presence in the world of music experiences, providing guests, hosts and artists with new opportunities to share and enjoy live music. Inevitably it was at our season finale that we finally encountered a ton of of technical problems. Luckily James was more than accommodating - letting us overrun so we got a decent amount of time to chat and rescuing the episode by setting up the recording on his side as my laptop was misbehaving so much.  Listen on for James’s insights into the way Airbnb think about experiences, the importance of intimate concerts, and where to find the best green room in LA.  Episode overview 04:00 Airbnb concerts’ start point 08:30 The growth of music consumption in digital vs live 12:00 Scaling human connection through music 14:00 Learnings from Tilt into Airbnb 17:00 The Airbnb concerts business model -from early stage artists to international headliners 22:00 Differentiating in a crowded market 27:00 A pop up green room in Los Angeles --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/tickets/support
What do you get if you combine circus performance, immersive theatre, and electronic music? The answer is Elrow, a global events brand based in Barcelona. The party started at a venue in the city in 2010, but this business goes back to the mid 19th century, staying in the same family for nearly 150 years. On the guest list today is Victor de la Serna, Elrow’s global talent director, overseeing programming for events around the world.  In this highly entertaining conversation, we talk about the importance of thinking about the long game, how to stay ahead in a competitive market, and when mud and rain aren’t as bad as they seem. Episode overview 04:00 The family business from 1870 to today 22:00 Why Barcelona is such a hotspot 24:30 The secret behind the ‘Tickets’ name 27:30 The tipping point for Elrow from local party to global brand 35:00 Elrow’s themes 46:00 Staying ahead in a competitive market, and maintaining work/life balance 51:00 Taking over one of London’s busiest shopping districts --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/tickets/support
Think about the last trip you booked. You may have done it all from your mobile phone. Flights - Kayak or SkyScanner. Hotels? Expedia, Tablet, or maybe Hotel Tonight Transfers - well, Uber and Lift make it easy But what about a tour, an exhibition or an attraction at your destination? Even if the booking is online you may still need a paper ticket to gain entry. It’s a headache for both consumers and businesses alike. On the guest list today is Leith Stevens of Redeem, a Colorado based startup building digital ticket solutions for experiences around the globe. In this conversation Leith gives us an insight into the inner workings of the tourism industry, the most interesting shifts in the ticketing business, and valuable advice for startups in all industries looking to go and build the right thing. Episode Overview 04:00 How technology has impacted travel and tourism - from flights to hotels and tours 13:00 Lessons learned from startup 1 to startup 2 16:30 Disney’s Magic Band and the growth of multi-day passes for attractions 21:00 The fragmented tours and attractions market in 2018 23:30 A branding and digital marketing challenge 25:30 Starting Redeam - failed experiments and successful anchors 31:30 Trends in the ticketing business 35:30 Growth in the timeslot model 39:20 Resellers, distributors and secondary markets 41:30 Taking a trip to the Mexican cenotes --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/tickets/support
As the retail apocalypse looms large, the hospitality and entertainment industries are sitting up to take note, and the world of commercial office real estate is coming under threat like never before. The big question is what happens next. On the guest list today is Bart Higgins, a partner at the international innovation consultancy WhatIf. Bart runs the firm’s 4D Experience practice, helping companies across retail, workspace, hospitality and entertainment identify new business models, create better experiences and build their internal capabilities. In this conversation Bart shares his insights into what other industries can learn from retail’s struggles, the future of the company town, and how real estate owners can reimagine the experiences they provide. Episode overview: 05:00 Lucky breaks and designing a workplace for Wired Magazine 13:00 Reimagining retail store design - people, place and technology 19:00 Lessons from Little Waitrose and Whole Foods 27:00 The new commercial opportunity in the world of work 30:00 The office apocalypse, the 3 models of real estate ownership, and 3 big shifts 37:00 The future of the company town 42:00 Advice for real estate developers 45:00 The emergence of an important new hybrid role 47:30 Managing tension between old and new working styles 52:00 Thinking human 55:00 Iron Maiden and supermarket shocks --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/tickets/support
Make a list of the most respected international festivals and Sonar is bound to feature. Starting in 1994 as a 3,000 capacity event in Barcelona, Sonar has grown to host over 120,000 attendees in the city each year and now has a presence in locations as diverse as Istanbul, Buenos Aires and Hong Kong. On the guest list today is Ventura Barba, CEO of Sonar’s parent company Advanced Music. Having known the Sonar founders since that very first edition, he spent time at BMG and Yahoo Music before reconnecting with the founding team in 2009. In this conversation we talk about how Sonar take their concept into new cities around the globe, the importance of featuring new technologies, and how brands are deepening their partnerships with festivals. Episode overview: 02:30 Sonar from 1994 to 2018 07:30 Expanding around the world and thinking about creative networks first 16:00 Sonar’s technology focus 26:00 Going out of your comfort zone to enable longevity 28:00 Brands as co-creators --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/tickets/support
On the guest list today is Mia Tramz, Editorial Director of Enterprise and Immersive Experiences at Time Magazine. Following a degree in Visuals Arts at Columbia University, Mia began her career as a photo editor before branching out into VR through her role running Time’s Life VR initiative. In this conversation Mia talks about how she tackles telling compelling VR stories across over 30 brands, what’s it like to run a startup within a large organisation, the 4 levels of VR immersion, and reveals a life-changing night in the company of Gwen Stefani and Weezer. Episode overview: 09:00 Taking a visual arts degree into photo editing and VR 12:00 Approaching VR across 30+ brands 19:00 Advice for startups interacting with brands and agencies 22:00 The 4 levels of immersion and the roadmap for VR and AR over the next few years 33:00 Identifying and hiring talent 40:30 The most exciting tracks for storytelling in VR 44:00 Productivity tips and staying ahead 47:00 90s concerts from Weezer to Hedwig and the Angry Inch --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/tickets/support
On the guest list today are Will Prince and Charlie Marshall, principals at Parc Office, a New York based experience design practice. Blending digital technology with physical environments, Parc’s projects include Google’s Cultural Institute, flagship store design for Adidas, reimagining Le Meridien hotel in Istanbul, and creating a modern day fashion Museum for Gucci in Florence. Listen on for the duo’s insights into the impact of Instagram, how they assess new technologies, customising experiences for local audiences, and tales of jet-lagged Parisian bar crawls. Episode overview 09:00 Parc’s founding principles 14:30 Positioning and meeting market needs 21:00 What clients are thinking about today 28:00 Retail strategies 35:00 Innovation and the trough of disillusionment 45:00 Choosing technologies and learning from failure 55:00 Designing for the hospitality industry 62:00 The dive bar experience --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/tickets/support
The numerous challenges facing venues of all shapes and sizes have been well documented over the past few years. So how do you go about creating a new place for arts and music in one of the world’s most competitive real estate markets? Dhruv Chopra is one of the three co-founders of Elsewhere, a 24,000 sq ft space in New York that opened at the end of 2017. After a childhood playing in a wide range of bands, Dhruv spent 5 years as an investment manager at Capricorn, before making the move to start his journey with Elsewhere. Listen on for Dhruv’s insights into fundraising, managing risk, making the most of data, and the 3 key pillars for local talent to thrive. Episode highlights: 09:00 The start of Popgun promotions (now the in-house promotion team at Elsewhere) 16:00 Taking Elsewhere from idea to opening night 23:00 Utilising data and handling construction 29:00 The logistics of operating a venue 33:00 Being friends and founders 42:00 The future of art and music spaces 51:00 The 3 key pillars to support creative talent --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/tickets/support
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