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Learn with Avthar #10: Veda Sunassee on Creating Africa’s Next Leaders, Reflection Techniques, Finding FulfillmentVeda is a leadership and education expert. He hails from Mauritius, and has spent most of his career building the next generation of young African leaders through his work at African Leadership Academy and African Leadership University. He was selected among the inaugural Obama Leaders in 2018 and was chosen amongst the 100 most influential Young Africans by African Youth Awards in 2019.TOPICS DISCUSSED:Veda’s journey from Mauritius to Princeton and how he found his strengths along the wayThe power of listening to your inner voice, the value of empty space and Veda’s favorite reflection practices and techniques that you can use today.Veda’s philosophy of leadership and entrepreneurship and frameworks he uses to become a better leader, like the Leadership Map and the PICS framework (passions, interests, causes and skills)Veda’s biggest lessons building some of Africa’s finest educational institutions (ALA and ALU), how to balance achievement and fulfillment and how to take an iterative approach to your lifeSHOW NOTESAfrican Leadership Academy - https://www.africanleadershipacademy.orgAfrican Leadership University - Your Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans - 5 Leadership - The Room Podcast -’s Instagram -’s Twitter -’s LinkedIn - LEARN WITH AVTHARLearn with Avthar is the podcast that helps you become a Learning Machine. Join entrepreneur and technologist Avthar Sewrathan as he talks with world class guests about self-mastery, startups, health and happiness. Avthar unpacks truths, lessons and mindsets that you can use to level up your life. Learn more and stay up to date at https://www.avthar.comAvthar's Weekly Wisdom Newsletter:​​Twitter:​​TikTok:
Learn with Avthar #9: Danny Miranda on Pursuing your Highest VersionABOUT DANNY MIRANDADanny Miranda is all about pursuing the highest version of himself and helping others do the same. He's the host of The Danny Miranda Podcast, where he's interviewed folks like entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuck, writer Polina Marinova, YouTuber Ali Abdaal and entrepreneur and author Kamal Ravikant. He's also the author of Tuesday Treasure, a newsletter that's nutrition for your brain.TOPICS DISCUSSED:Balancing striving with contentmentThe origins of Danny's mission to pursue the highest version of himselfHow Tony Robbins and Kamal Ravikant helped Danny to overcome depression and transform his lifeCore habits that Danny practices like meditation and journalling and why "reading your own book" is something we all should be doingWhat 75 hard is and how it helped Danny become stronger and more resilientThe power of having an accountability partnerKEEP IN TOUCH WITH DANNY MIRANDAWebsite - https://dannymiranda.comNewsletter - - - WITH AVTHAR SEWRATHANLearn more and stay up to date at:​Avthar's Weekly Wisdom:​Learn with Avthar Podcast:​Follow Avthar on Twitter:​
Learn with Avthar #8: Jordan Thomas on Grit, Discipline, Serving Humanity and degrees from Princeton, Oxford, Yale and Harvard (including the Rhodes Scholarship).ABOUT JORDAN THOMASJordan Thomas hails from Newark, New Jersey, USA. He graduated Princeton University with a degree in public and international affairs. He's a Rhodes Scholar, and earned his Masters degree from Oxford University in social intervention and policy evaluation.He's the Chief of Staff to philanthropist Ray Chambers and will enroll at both Yale Law School and Harvard Business School for a unique JD/MBA dual degree. Jordan is motivated to do work that most directly promotes equal opportunity, social mobility, and justice for all.TOPICS DISCUSSED:Jordan's journey from engineering to policy and how he found his strengths and developed self-awarenessWhy Jordan believes waking up early is a core habit which fueled his successHow Jordan developed grit and resilience and wants to take David Goggins soulWhy focusing on helping others is Jordan's secret to his successThe application writing techniques that got Jordan into Princeton, Harvard, Yale and OxfordBooks and speeches that most impacted Jordan’s lifeKEEP IN TOUCH WITH JORDAN THOMASJordan’s Twitter -’s Instagram - WITH AVTHAR SEWRATHANLearn more and stay up to date at:​Avthar's Weekly Wisdom:​Learn with Avthar Podcast:​Follow Avthar on Twitter:​
Learn with Avthar #7: Yaw Owusu-Boahen on No-Code, Career Hacks, Founder Lessons and Diversity & Inclusion in TechABOUT YAWYaw is a Ghanian-born, American entrepreneur. He currently directs the Immerse Pre-Accelerator for BIPOC founders, as a leader of the founder inclusion team at Bubble, a company which makes a No-Code application building platform.Previously, Yaw co-founded LMNS, an equal-opportunity hiring platform for digital marketers, and was a consultant at the prestigious Bain and Company. Yaw is a graduate of Princeton University, with a degree in Public Policy and International Relations.KEEP IN TOUCH WITH YAWYaw's Website -'s Twitter:'s LinkedIn:'s IG: - Intro2:42 - Yaw's journey from employee to founder8:24 - Where does self-belief and conviction in our abilities come from?15:11 - Exit strategies when leaving a company25:33 - Finding value in your current position29:00 - Creating an app for the New York Club scene33:06 - Lessons from a two-time founder37:33 - Problem-Founder-Fit44:15 - The LMNS story47:22 - The Hiring space is saturated52:38 - Choosing a partner is the most important business decision you will ever make55:10 - Entrepreneurship is not sexy58:56 - Conviction investors vs Sheep investors1:07:00 - Distribution and finding traction1:20:12 - Diversity and Inclusion in the tech industry1:24:16 - Accelerators, Pre-Accelerators and how they're bridging the diversity gap1:30:12 - What is No-Code?1:32:16 - How Bubble enables entrepreneurs to test their ideas faster1:53:55 - Quickfire questions1:58:03 - Tools, Resources and Frameworks from a two-time Founder2:00:28 - Finding your Authentic SelfCONNECT WITH AVTHARLearn more and stay up to date at: https://avthar.comAvthar's Weekly Wisdom: https://avthar.substack.comLearn with Avthar Podcast: https://avthar.buzzsprout.comFollow Avthar on Twitter:
Learn with Avthar #6: Shamay Agaron - The Neuroscience of Wellness, Wearables, and the Brain-Body ConnectionABOUT SHAMAYShamay Agaron is a Princeton-trained neuroscience researcher and science communicator. He's also the author of Friday Brainstorm, a popular newsletter that makes neuroscience accessible and actionable to everyday people.Friday brainstorm newsletter https://brainstorm.substack.comShamay's website: https://shamay.comTIMESTAMPS08:05 -Shamay's journey in neuroscience14:01 - The (un)surprising link between food and mood21:07 - Our environment's impact on our brains33:52 - Forget lo-fi, listen to soundscapes41:13 - Alternative wellness 49:20 - Gut-brain connection54:48 - Consumerism and health59:04 - Level up your health by BREATHING1:03:41 - The double-edged sword of quantified personal data1:36:50 - A Neuroscience Researcher's Top Book RecommendationsCONNECT WITH AVTHARLearn more and stay up to date at: https://avthar.comAvthar's Weekly Wisdom: https://avthar.substack.comFollow Avthar on Twitter:
Learn with Avthar #5: Nic VogeThis episode is with the person I call the most for learning advice: Nic Voge.I worked under Nic as a learning coach at Princeton University and he’s one of the most knowledgeable people I’ve ever met when it comes to learning and education in high performance, high intensity environments.About NicNic Voge holds a masters in Education focusing on learning and literacy. He’s worked with some of the worlds brightest students in the most demanding university environments, spending 10 years co-ordinating the study strategies program at University of California, Berkeley and 12 years at Princeton University, where he’s currently the Senior Associate Director of the McGraw Center for teaching at learning, where he oversees 180 tutors, graduate fellows, learning consultants and professional learning strategists.Nic is also a published author, with his book "Life Beyond Grades: Designing Intrinsically Engaging College Courses” published by Cambridge University Press in 2017.Episode Contents(2:37) How this learning and teaching expert found his strengths(8:29) What’s it like helping students at America’s best university?(17:44) Textbooks aren’t designed for students(23:31) Why “transfer” is the most value skill to learn(28:58) Learning coach vs tutor, Collaborative strategizing(40:48) Self worth theory and life beyond grades(47:58) How college changes your self image(51:51): Procrastination and Identity(1:00:00) Motivation Stacking(1:07:38) Can Extrinsic and Intrinsic rewards Coexist? (1:11:18) Quickfire questions(1:20:05) Success is an internal experience(1:22:20) Why is college so hard(1:47:03) Closing gratitude and get in touch with Nic VogeConnect with NicLinkedInPrinceton University McGraw Center for Teaching and LearningLife Beyond GradesLearn more and stay up to date at
Learn with Avthar #4: Andrés BronnimannI was excited to invite Andrés Bronnimann onto the podcast to celebrate the release of his first feature-length documentary entitled, "The Universality of It All". The film focuses on the topics of human migration, climate change and social inequality.I was also curious about what he learned from making the film, as well as his creative and entrepreneurial processes he picked up as an independent filmmaker with 30+ productions in 25+ countries.About Andrés:Andrés Bronnimann was raised in Costa Rica, by a Swiss father and Mexican mother. He's a graduate of United World College Costa Rica and was a Davis Scholar at Ringling College of Art and Design, in Florida, USA, where he earned a degree in film and business.Andrés' filmmaking portfolio is as diverse as his personal background, having worked for both social causes and large brands looking for an edgier media profile. His clients have ranged from Red Bull and Land Rover, to Projects for Peace. While pursuing freelance projects for other organizations, he also helped start an independent ad-agency, 'BE Latinoamérica', where he was CEO.Throughout his film career, he has traveled to more than 30 countries, creating music videos, web series and commercials for numerous brands, artists and organizations. Andrés has worn many hats in the film production pipeline, having been a producer, writer, manager and creative. "The Universality of it All" is his debut film, nearly two years in the making, where he was the only crew member.In the podcast we cover:Andrés' Hero's Journey about how he became a filmmakerThe tragic backstory and inspiration behind "The Universality of It All"How your life is a film, with you as both director and main characterThe importance of patience and perseverance as an independent filmmakerThe financial and emotional hardships that came with filming, producing, and promoting an independent filmThe business of creative endeavors: How to find your audience and serve unmet needsAvoiding the rabbit hole of researchConnecting macro and micro world issuesRespecting the ugly side of lifeThe intangible value of authenticity and gratitudeHow can we measure the social impact of media?Connect with Andrés BronnimannBronniTVFacebookLinkedInLearn more and stay up to date at
Sena is the perhaps the most interesting person I've ever met and I'm sure you'll agree after listening to this podcast.Sena Voncujovi was born in Japan and raised in Ghana. He comes from a family of African traditional healers and is a Bokor, one who has been initiated into the highest spiritual rank of Ifa. As a Davis United World College Scholar, he graduated from Middlebury College in the USA, with a bachelors degree in international politics, economics, and African Studies. He founded ReVodution: Voodoo Education to educate the world about African spiritual traditions and co-founded Jaspora to build a community for the African diaspora in Japan. He's currently a Yenching Scholar at Yenching Academy of Peking University.I first met Sena in 2012 in Costa Rica. Since then we've shared countless hours of insightful conversation. This podcast is one of the most interesting talks we've ever had. I learned so much about African spirituality, how Sena connects Africa and Asia through his work, as well as the lessons Sena learned as a founder of not one, but two organizations!In the podcast, we cover:Sena's experience as an African spiritual practitioner and his take on why Voodoo is misunderstood by Africans and the West.What does it mean to be a "Bokor"?How Sena leverages digital media to show the world the truth behind African traditional spiritualityThe story of Sena's multi-cultural upbringing and why his father, Christopher Voncujovi, is the most successful person he knows.How Sena's work and life connects Africa and AsiaThe book that influenced Sena's life the mostThe mindset that helped Sena become a clear, independent thinkerWhat it was like to attend a Black Lives Matter protest in JapanThe belief Sena changed in order to achieve his entrepreneurial goalsSena's experience at United World College Costa Rica and African Leadership AcademyHow Sena found his natural strengthsConnect with Sena VoncujoviFacebookTwitter @SVoncujoviLinkedInLearn more and stay up to date at
Agustin Zavala (Biotech_Bros) is a healthcare consultant for Bionest Partners. He's the host of the Biotech Bros podcast and managing director of Biosphere Capital Management. Agustin is a graduate of Princeton University, with a degree in molecular biology and is also a jiu-jitsu practitioner and all round awesome person.In the episode, Avthar and Agustin discuss:Agustin's creator's journey and why he started a biotech investing podcast and investment fundHow he views he's discovered his natural strengths and interestsHow Agustin listens to his audience and acts based on their feedbackWhy being consistent and taking small steps is your best bet to successHow content killed the resume and the value of being a content creatorHow to find business or project ideasThe Future of content, side hustles and monetizationLearn more and stay up to date at
Learn with Avthar #1 with Ramarea Tumisang — Ramarea (aka Tumi) was born and raised in the village of Kanye, Botswana. He's a graduate of the international school United World College Costa Rica and holds a bachelor's degree in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford University, where he's also completing his Master's in Decision and Risk Analysis. All this, along with his mentorship and efforts to support rational decision making with high impact organizations, have earned him the title of "The Wise Uncle of Botswana".In the episode, Avthar and Ramarea discuss:Their experience studying at the international school United World College (UWC)Their journey's to from South Africa and Botswana, to Princeton and Stanford Universities, respectivelyHow Ramarea settled on Decision and Risk Analysis at StanfordAvthar's journey to found, run and quit his startup, Afari.When should International students return to their home countries?3 Strategies for Success in school and lifeMistakes which brought the greatest lessonsRemembering who believes in youLearn more at www.avthar.comHere's a full bio of Ramarea Tumisang:Ramarea was born and raised in Kanye, Botswana. In 2013 he hopped onto his first flight, in pursuit of adventure and an education. He studied the International Baccalaureate Diploma at the United World College of Costa Rica. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford University, where he attended as a MasterCard Foundation Scholar. Ramarea currently studies Decision and Risk Analysis in the Department of Management Science and Engineering at Stanford.He believes he is in this world to love and to be loved. One of the ways he hopes to love, is through catalyzing the impact of initiatives and projects aimed at ending economic poverty. He plans to do this primarily by applying his engineering education to support rational and intelligent decision-making within high-impact organizations.Born and raised in Botswana, Ramarea has a bias towards organizations that work in or on Emerging Markets. He also hopes to help end economic poverty by investing in youth-owned businesses in Botswana and providing mentorship to academically gifted students from marginalized backgrounds.At a personal level, Ramarea has devoted his life to nurturing his love more than his violence, as his contribution towards the collective healing from patriarchal trauma. He remains active in the UWC movement; serving on the UWC National Committee of Botswana and volunteering as an adult mentor in the annual retreat on the Constructive Engagement of Conflict at UWC USA. In his spare time, Ramarea enjoys cooking, journaling, and spending time with loved ones. You can follow Ramarea on Facebook at:
"The lesson is to realize that I can be a well intentioned person, but still have a violent impact in the experiences of others. That has also made me really critical of my actions recognize that as man in this world there's a lot of privilege that the structure of society affords me."Guest Ramarea Tumisang and Avthar go DEEP on unpacking how good intentions can still lead to harmful outcomes, as well as how uncovering your previous conditioning toward things can help you see the world more clearly and prevent perpetuating the cycle of trauma.Clip from LWA #1 with Ramarea Tumisang. Learn more at
"If people who don't know me can believe in me that much... I should be able to believe in myself even more"Guest Ramarea Tumisang shares how remembering the people who believe in him helped him take risks beyond his personal fears and go from Botswana to graduating Stanford University in the USA.Clip from LWA #1 with Ramarea Tumisang. Learn more at
When should you quit? Why quit something that you've poured time and money into? Avthar details why he decided to leave the startup he founded and gives you a framework to help you decide when to quit: Objectives vs Tactics. Clip from LWA #1 with Ramarea Tumisang. Learn more at
When should international students who've studied abroad return to their home countries?In this clip from LWA #1, Avthar and guest Ramarea Tumisang discuss their experiences being Africans studying abroad in Costa Rica and the USA and when they're thinking about return back home to South Africa and Botswana respectively.Learn more at
Guest Ramarea Tumisang shares how being open to feedback, setting smart goals and remembering that he's human, helped him on his journey from a village in Botswana to graduating Stanford University. Avthar also shares how having a growth mindset, internal scorecard and learning how to learn, helped him on his journey from small-town South Africa to graduating Princeton University and succeeding in the technology industry. Clip from LWA #1 with Ramarea Tumisang. Learn more and stay up to date at
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