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The Life Itself Podcast

The Life Itself Podcast

By Rufus Pollock

Welcome to the Life Itself Podcast, we where sit down to have conversations with thought leaders and seek solutions to our current crises by exploring emerging culture and technology.
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Jordan Hall on the Potential of DAOs

The Life Itself PodcastMar 03, 2022

00:00
57:02
Jamie Bristow from the world of Corporate advertising to mindufulness in politics

Jamie Bristow from the world of Corporate advertising to mindufulness in politics

In this episode of the Ordinary Poeple walking an extra-ordinary path
Podcast, Life Itself Co-Founder Sylvie Barbier is joined by Jamie Bristow a leading expert on inner development and contemplative practices in public life.

Ordinary People is a podcast series that delves into the lives of individuals who have defied societal expectations and embarked on extra-ordinary paths despite their seemingly ordinary backgrounds. Join us as we dive deep into their lives, uncovering their motivations, beliefs, practices, and moments of transformation. We demystify hero worship and share accessible narratives of real individuals who have transcended societal expectations and norms. Each guest delicately navigates the balance between introspection and worldly engagement. Listeners are offered empowerment, kinship and inspiration for embarking on their own extra-ordinary journey.


Jamie talks about his journey from his troubling teenage years to teaching mindfulness to politicians. Jamie Bristow opens up about his troubling teenage years led by the dislocation and adaption of new cultures while their family moved between the UK and the USA. Exploring what led him to move away from his advertising career to being a mindfulness practitioner and teacher. Jamie’s life story highlights the importance of meditation, faith, and resilience in leading a mindful life. 

About Jamie Bristow (2023)

Jamie Bristow is a leading expert on inner development and contemplative practices in public life.

For eight years, he was Director of the Mindfulness Initiative and clerk to the UK’s All-Party Parliamentary Group on Mindfulness. In 2023, he joined the Inner Development Goals team to lead on public narrative & policy development. Jamie was formerly Business Development Director for Headspace and has a background in psychology, climate change campaign communications and advertising. A teacher of insight meditation, his mentors have included Rob Burbea, Stephen Batchelor and Christina Feldman. 

Learn more about Jamie Bristow and his work here: https://www.jamiebristow.com/


About Sylvie Barbier

Sylvie Barbier is a French-Taiwanese performance artist, entrepreneur and educator. She co-founded Life Itself to build a wiser future through culture, space and community.

The Once Upon a Time podcast series, shatters the myth that extraordinary lives are reserved for a select few. Join us as we dive deep into the lives of seemingly ordinary people who are walking extra-ordinary paths, uncovering their motivations, practices, and moments of transformation. We demystify hero worship and share accessible narratives of real individuals who have transcended societal expectations and norms. Each guest delicately navigates the balance between introspection and worldly engagement. Listeners are offered empowerment, kinship and inspiration for embarking on their own extraordinary journey.

If you found this conversation insightful please give it a like and consider subscribing to our channel. By doing so you will be helping us bring this necessary knowledge to a bigger audience. www.lifeitself.org

Nov 14, 202346:15
Joseph Henrich and Cultural Evolution: Implications and what's next Episode 4

Joseph Henrich and Cultural Evolution: Implications and what's next Episode 4

In this episode of the Life Itself Podcast, Rufus Pollock sits down with Professor Joseph Henrich to continue the discussion on the study of cultural evolution.

In this second part of the conversation continuing from episode 3, Rufus Pollock and Joe Henrich discuss the implications of cultural evolution in relation to modern challenges. They explore the potential for intentional experimentation in creating cultural norms that promote trust, cooperation, group cohesion and a sense of community and belonging. 

Rufus and Joe touch upon the idea that Western societies might be running on old values and norms cultivated by historical religious practices. They discuss the need to find ways to renew and revitalize these values, potentially by experimenting with intentional communities that incorporate elements of shared meaning, trust-building, ritual and cooperation. The talk moves on to discuss the idea that by allowing a variety of intentional communities to form and observing which ones thrive, societies could potentially find ways to address current challenges and promote positive cultural evolution.


This conversation forms part of the Cultural Evolution: A New Discipline is Born Series. You can learn more here https://lifeitself.org/learn/culturology

Joseph Henrich is a Professor of Human Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University. He is author of several books, most recently 'The Weirdest People in the World' and 'The Secret of Our Success'. His research focuses on evolutionary approaches to psychology, decision-making and culture, and includes topics related to cultural learning, cultural evolution, culture-gene coevolution, human sociality, prestige, leadership, large-scale cooperation, religion and the emergence of complex human institutions.


Rufus Pollock is an entrepreneur, activist and author. He has founded several for-profit and nonprofit initiatives including Life Itself, Open Knowledge Foundation, and Datopian. His book Open Revolution is about making a radically freer and fairer information age. Previously he has been the Mead Fellow in Economics at the University of Cambridge as well as a Shuttleworth and Ashoka Fellow. A recognized global expert on the information society, he has worked with G7 governments, IGOs like the UN, Fortune 500s as well as many civil society organizations. He holds a PhD in Economics and a double first in Mathematics from the University of Cambridge. Find out more about his work on his website: ⁠⁠rufuspollock.com⁠⁠.

Sep 01, 202345:17
Joseph Henrich and Cultural Evolution: Culture, Cultural Evolution and the Scaling of Societies Episode 3

Joseph Henrich and Cultural Evolution: Culture, Cultural Evolution and the Scaling of Societies Episode 3

In this episode of the Life Itself Podcast, Rufus Pollock sits down with Professor Joseph Henrich to continue the discussion on the study of cultural evolution.


In this episode the significance of family structures and the church takes center stage in their role towards shaping human societies. Joseph explains that different kinship networks influence behaviors, trust, and cooperation within societies and how the Catholic Church played an unintentionally role in shaping Western societies by implementing rules against cousin marriage and polygyny. These rules inadvertently fostered individualism, trust in non-kin relationships, and analytic thinking. These cultural shifts and networks of horizontal connections led to the development of "WEIRD" psychology – Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic, a topic discussed in Henrich’s latest book. These cultural transformations resulted in the development of different psychological traits that help to explain the remarkable economic success, innovations, and current challenges faced by Western societies.


This conversation forms part of the Cultural Evolution: A New Discipline is Born Series.

You can learn more here: https://lifeitself.org/learn/culturology

Joseph Henrich is a Professor of Human Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University. He is author of several books, most recently 'The Weirdest People in the World' and 'The Secret of Our Success'. His research focuses on evolutionary approaches to psychology, decision-making and culture, and includes topics related to cultural learning, cultural evolution, culture-gene coevolution, human sociality, prestige, leadership, large-scale cooperation, religion and the emergence of complex human institutions.


Rufus Pollock is an entrepreneur, activist and author. He has founded several for-profit and nonprofit initiatives including Life Itself, Open Knowledge Foundation, and Datopian. His book Open Revolution is about making a radically freer and fairer information age. Previously he has been the Mead Fellow in Economics at the University of Cambridge as well as a Shuttleworth and Ashoka Fellow. A recognized global expert on the information society, he has worked with G7 governments, IGOs like the UN, Fortune 500s as well as many civil society organizations. He holds a PhD in Economics and a double first in Mathematics from the University of Cambridge. Find out more about his work on his website: ⁠⁠rufuspollock.com⁠⁠.

Sep 01, 202301:00:04
Joseph Henrich and Homo Sapiens: The Cultural Species Episode 2

Joseph Henrich and Homo Sapiens: The Cultural Species Episode 2

In this episode of the Life Itself Podcast, Rufus Pollock sits down with Professor Joseph Henrich to continue the discussion on the study of cultural evolution.


In this episode they discuss the innate human inclination to develop and learn from culture and to transmit this knowledge across generations. This conversation emphasizes that our success as a species is attributed not only to individual intelligence but also our capacity to expand upon ancestral wisdom.


Join us in the conversation as Joseph shares insights around the pivotal role culture and social bonds have in the development and continuation of vital skills and ideas. Wider factors such as group dynamics, environments, and competition are further discussed along with the impact of cognitive processes on cultural transformation.


This conversation forms part of the Cultural Evolution: A New Discipline is Born Series.

You can learn more here: https://lifeitself.org/learn/culturology


Joseph Henrich is a Professor of Human Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University. He is author of several books, most recently 'The Weirdest People in the World' and 'The Secret of Our Success'. His research focuses on evolutionary approaches to psychology, decision-making and culture, and includes topics related to cultural learning, cultural evolution, culture-gene coevolution, human sociality, prestige, leadership, large-scale cooperation, religion and the emergence of complex human institutions.


Rufus Pollock is an entrepreneur, activist and author. He has founded several for-profit and nonprofit initiatives including Life Itself, Open Knowledge Foundation, and Datopian. His book Open Revolution is about making a radically freer and fairer information age. Previously he has been the Mead Fellow in Economics at the University of Cambridge as well as a Shuttleworth and Ashoka Fellow. A recognized global expert on the information society, he has worked with G7 governments, IGOs like the UN, Fortune 500s as well as many civil society organizations. He holds a PhD in Economics and a double first in Mathematics from the University of Cambridge. Find out more about his work on his website: ⁠rufuspollock.com⁠.

Sep 01, 202301:39:02
Dr Jeffery Martin on Fundamental Wellbeing-Part 3

Dr Jeffery Martin on Fundamental Wellbeing-Part 3

In this episode of the Life Itself Podcast, Rufus Pollock is joined by Dr Jeffery Martin. Jeffery is a founder of the Transformative Technology space, a serial entrepreneur, and a social scientist who researches personal transformation and the states of greatest human well-being. In this episode, Jeffery discusses Persistent Non-Symbolic Experience, more commonly referred to as Fundamental well-being. He discusses his research and key findings, and the protocols he has developed and tested to help people obtain "fundamental well-being" in a rapid, secular, and safe way. For notes, further resources, and to listen as a podcast, head to our website: About Dr Jeffery Martin For over 15 years Jeffery has conducted the largest international study on persistent non-symbolic experience (PNSE), which includes the types of consciousness commonly known as enlightenment, nonduality, the peace that passeth understanding, unitive experience, and hundreds of other terms. This resulted in the first reliable, cross-cultural and pan-tradition classification system for these types of experiences. It also led to the fundamental discovery that these were psychological states that had been identified and adopted for thousands of years by many cultures and belief systems. They were not inherently spiritual or religious, or limited to any given culture or population, and could be moulded in many ways to shape the experience. More recently, he has used this research to make systems available to help people obtain profound psychological benefits in a rapid, secular, reliable, and safe way. About Rufus Pollock Rufus Pollock is an entrepreneur, activist, author, and long-term Zen practitioner. He is passionate about finding wiser, weller ways to live together. He has founded several for-profit and nonprofit initiatives including Life Itself, Open Knowledge Foundation, and Datopian. His book Open Revolution is about making a radically freer and fairer information age. Previously he has been the Mead Fellow in Economics at the University of Cambridge and a Shuttleworth and Ashoka Fellow. A recognized global expert on the information society, he has worked with G7 governments, IGOs like the UN, Fortune 500s as well as many civil society organizations. He holds a PhD in Economics and a double first in Mathematics from the University of Cambridge. Find out more about his work on his website: rufuspollock.com. If you found this video insightful please give it a like and consider subscribing to our channel. By doing so you will be helping us bring this necessary knowledge to a bigger audience. www.lifeitself.org

Jul 07, 202301:38:44
Dr. Jeffrey Martin on Fundamental Wellbeing-Part 2

Dr. Jeffrey Martin on Fundamental Wellbeing-Part 2

In this episode of the Life Itself Podcast, Rufus Pollock is joined by Dr Jeffery Martin. Jeffery is a founder of the Transformative Technology space, a serial entrepreneur, and a social scientist who researches personal transformation and the states of greatest human well-being. In this episode, Jeffery discusses Persistent Non-Symbolic Experience, more commonly referred to as Fundamental well-being. He discusses his research and key findings, and the protocols he has developed and tested to help people obtain "fundamental well-being" in a rapid, secular, and safe way. For notes, further resources, and to listen as a podcast, head to our website: About Dr Jeffery Martin For over 15 years Jeffery has conducted the largest international study on persistent non-symbolic experience (PNSE), which includes the types of consciousness commonly known as enlightenment, nonduality, the peace that passeth understanding, unitive experience, and hundreds of other terms. This resulted in the first reliable, cross-cultural and pan-tradition classification system for these types of experiences. It also led to the fundamental discovery that these were psychological states that had been identified and adopted for thousands of years by many cultures and belief systems. They were not inherently spiritual or religious, or limited to any given culture or population, and could be moulded in many ways to shape the experience. More recently, he has used this research to make systems available to help people obtain profound psychological benefits in a rapid, secular, reliable, and safe way. About Rufus Pollock Rufus Pollock is an entrepreneur, activist, author, and long-term Zen practitioner. He is passionate about finding wiser, weller ways to live together. He has founded several for-profit and nonprofit initiatives including Life Itself, Open Knowledge Foundation, and Datopian. His book Open Revolution is about making a radically freer and fairer information age. Previously he has been the Mead Fellow in Economics at the University of Cambridge and a Shuttleworth and Ashoka Fellow. A recognized global expert on the information society, he has worked with G7 governments, IGOs like the UN, Fortune 500s as well as many civil society organizations. He holds a PhD in Economics and a double first in Mathematics from the University of Cambridge. Find out more about his work on his website: rufuspollock.com. If you found this video insightful please give it a like and consider subscribing to our channel. By doing so you will be helping us bring this necessary knowledge to a bigger audience. www.lifeitself.org

Apr 17, 202301:07:04
Esther Montmany on Conscious Parenting Part 3

Esther Montmany on Conscious Parenting Part 3

In this episode, Rufus Pollock sits down with Esther Montmany for part 3 in their mini-series on Conscious Parenting.

Esther Montmany has spent more than 20 years developing a unique approach to conscious parenting and education. She has worked with Mauricio and Rebecca Wild at their legendary school in Ecuador and led the children's program at Plum Village summer retreats as well as starting several initiatives of her own.

In this episode, Esther and Rufus explore the question, what are basic needs?

About Esther

Esther Montmany is an inspiration to all who have ever felt that perhaps society could work differently. She has lived in a wide range of intentional communities, from Scotland to India to Ecuador. Her deep interest in education as a process of inner growth, in harmony with others and with nature, means she has devoted her life to understanding human wellbeing and development. Having used her knowledge to educate her own children, she now creates gatherings to help families give to their own children the chance to grow with confidence and develop their potential. Over the past five years she has worked closely with the Plum Village Community, participating actively in the children’s program at the summer retreat for families.

About Rufus

Rufus Pollock is an entrepreneur, activist and author as well as a long-term zen practitioner. He is passionate about finding wiser, weller ways to live together. He has founded several for-profit and nonprofit initiatives including Life Itself, Open Knowledge Foundation, and Datopian. His book Open Revolution is about making a radically freer and fairer information age. Previously he has been the Mead Fellow in Economics at the University of Cambridge as well as a Shuttleworth and Ashoka Fellow. A recognized global expert on the information society, he has worked with G7 governments, IGOs like the UN, Fortune 500s as well as many civil society organizations. He holds a PhD in Economics and a double first in Mathematics from the University of Cambridge. Find out more about his work on his website: rufuspollock.com.

Jan 31, 202353:44
Esther Montmany on Conscious Parenting Part 2

Esther Montmany on Conscious Parenting Part 2

In this episode, Rufus Pollock sits down with Esther Montmany for part 2 in their mini-series on Conscious Parenting.  

Esther Montmany has spent more than 20 years developing a unique approach to conscious parenting and education. She has worked with Mauricio and Rebecca Wild at their legendary school in Ecuador and led the children's program at Plum Village summer retreats as well as starting several initiatives of her own.  

In this episode, Esther shares with us how to set up a positive environment for a child, drawing on real life examples. 

About Esther  

Esther Montmany is an inspiration to all who have ever felt that perhaps society could work differently. She has lived in a wide range of intentional communities, from Scotland to India to Ecuador. Her deep interest in education as a process of inner growth, in harmony with others and with nature, means she has devoted her life to understanding human wellbeing and development. Having used her knowledge to educate her own children, she now creates gatherings to help families give to their own children the chance to grow with confidence and develop their potential. Over the past five years she has worked closely with the Plum Village Community, participating actively in the children’s program at the summer retreat for families.  

About Rufus  

Rufus Pollock is an entrepreneur, activist and author as well as a long-term zen practitioner. He is passionate about finding wiser, weller ways to live together. He has founded several for-profit and nonprofit initiatives including Life Itself, Open Knowledge Foundation, and Datopian. His book Open Revolution is about making a radically freer and fairer information age. Previously he has been the Mead Fellow in Economics at the University of Cambridge as well as a Shuttleworth and Ashoka Fellow. A recognized global expert on the information society, he has worked with G7 governments, IGOs like the UN, Fortune 500s as well as many civil society organizations. He holds a PhD in Economics and a double first in Mathematics from the University of Cambridge. Find out more about his work on his website: rufuspollock.com.

Jan 31, 202301:12:46
Esther Montmany on Conscious Parenting Part 1

Esther Montmany on Conscious Parenting Part 1

In this episode, Rufus Pollock sits down with Esther Montmany who has spent more than 20 years developing a unique approach to conscious parenting and education.  

Esther has worked with Mauricio and Rebecca Wild at their legendary school in Ecuador and led the children's program at Plum Village summer retreats as well as starting several initiatives of her own. 

In this episode, Esther shares with us how she became interested in developing a conscious style of parenting, her journey in developing Conscious Parenting, and offers insight into what Conscious Parenting looks like in practice.  

About Esther  

Esther Montmany is an inspiration to all who have ever felt that perhaps society could work differently. She has lived in a wide range of intentional communities, from Scotland to India to Ecuador. Her deep interest in education as a process of inner growth, in harmony with others and with nature, means she has devoted her life to understanding human wellbeing and development. Having used her knowledge to educate her own children, she now creates gatherings to help families give to their own children the chance to grow with confidence and develop their potential. Over the past five years she has worked closely with the Plum Village Community, participating actively in the children’s program at the summer retreat for families.  

About Rufus  

Rufus Pollock is an entrepreneur, activist and author as well as a long-term zen practitioner. He is passionate about finding wiser, weller ways to live together. He has founded several for-profit and nonprofit initiatives including Life Itself, Open Knowledge Foundation, and Datopian. His book Open Revolution is about making a radically freer and fairer information age. Previously he has been the Mead Fellow in Economics at the University of Cambridge as well as a Shuttleworth and Ashoka Fellow. A recognized global expert on the information society, he has worked with G7 governments, IGOs like the UN, Fortune 500s as well as many civil society organizations. He holds a PhD in Economics and a double first in Mathematics from the University of Cambridge. Find out more about his work on his website: rufuspollock.com.

Jan 31, 202345:01
Dr Jeffery Martin on A Scientific Approach to Awakening and Fundamental Wellbeing

Dr Jeffery Martin on A Scientific Approach to Awakening and Fundamental Wellbeing

Rufus Pollock is joined by Dr Jeffery Martin. Jeffery is a founder of the Transformative Technology space, a serial entrepreneur, and a social scientist who researches personal transformation and the states of greatest human well-being.  

In this episode, Jeffery discusses Persistent Non-Symbolic Experience, more commonly referred to as Fundamental Wellbeing. He discusses his research and key findings, and the protocols he has developed and tested to help people obtain "fundamental wellbeing" in a rapid, secular, and safe way. For notes, further resources, and to listen as a podcast, head to our website: 

About Dr Jeffery Martin:  

For over 15 years Jeffery has conducted the largest international study on persistent non-symbolic experience (PNSE), which includes the types of consciousness commonly known as: enlightenment, nonduality, the peace that passeth understanding, unitive experience, and hundreds of other terms. This resulted in the first reliable, cross-cultural and pan-tradition classification system for these types experience. It also led to the fundamental discovery that these were psychological states that had been identified and adopted for thousands of years by many cultures and belief systems. They were not inherently spiritual or religious, or limited to any given culture or population, and could be molded in many ways to shape the experience. More recently, he has used this research to make systems available to help people obtain profound psychological benefits in a rapid, secular, reliable, and safe way. Find out more about his work on his website: drjefferymartin.com

About Rufus Pollock: 

Rufus Pollock is an entrepreneur, activist and author as well as a long-term zen practitioner. He is passionate about finding wiser, weller ways to live together. He has founded several for-profit and nonprofit initiatives including Life Itself, Open Knowledge Foundation, and Datopian. His book Open Revolution is about making a radically freer and fairer information age. Previously he has been the Mead Fellow in Economics at the University of Cambridge as well as a Shuttleworth and Ashoka Fellow. A recognized global expert on the information society, he has worked with G7 governments, IGOs like the UN, Fortune 500s as well as many civil society organizations. He holds a PhD in Economics and a double first in Mathematics from the University of Cambridge. Find out more about his work on his website: rufuspollock.com.

Jan 19, 202301:14:54
Thomas Steininger on Emergent Dialogue and Transcending Individualism

Thomas Steininger on Emergent Dialogue and Transcending Individualism

In this episode, Rufus Pollock sits down with philosopher, practitioner, and spiritual mentor, Dr. Thomas Steininger. Dr Steininger offers insights and reflections from over 30 years of spiritual practice and cultivation of emergent, co-conscious "We" spaces and practices. Rufus and Thomas explore emergent dialogue, the victories and shadow sides of individuation, and the integral and metamodern movements.

Watch on YouTube and view the episode transcript here: https://lifeitself.org/2022/12/08/thomas-steininger-on-emergent-dialogue-and-transcending-individualism/ 

Dr. Thomas Steininger has been cultivating transformative “We Space” practices for nearly 30 years. He is a philosopher, practitioner, and spiritual mentor and has dived deeply into the practice of meditation and into an exploration of the evolution of human consciousness, particularly the current transition from a hyperindividual “I” culture to a co-conscious “We.”  As an authority on cultural evolution and the different spiritual and religious currents that have formed our postmodern world, he brings this perspective into his work as publisher of evolve-magazin, the leading German magazine on consciousness and culture and as faculty at Meridian U. in California. He also co-founded and developed a process of emergent dialogue, an advanced practice in conscious communication.  

Rufus Pollock is an entrepreneur, activist and author as well as a long-term zen practitioner. He is passionate about finding wiser, weller ways to live together. He has founded several for-profit and nonprofit initiatives including Life Itself, Open Knowledge Foundation, and Datopian. His book Open Revolution is about making a radically freer and fairer information age. Previously he has been the Mead Fellow in Economics at the University of Cambridge as well as a Shuttleworth and Ashoka Fellow. A recognized global expert on the information society, he has worked with G7 governments, IGOs like the UN, Fortune 500s as well as many civil society organizations. He holds a PhD in Economics and a double first in Mathematics from the University of Cambridge. Find out more about his work on his website: rufuspollock.com.

Dec 08, 202201:52:35
Joseph Henrich and the Emergence of a (Rigorous) Culturology Episode 1

Joseph Henrich and the Emergence of a (Rigorous) Culturology Episode 1

Rufus Pollock sits down with Professor Joseph Henrich to discuss the study of cultural evolution. Joe gives an insight into how the discipline has emerged and the interdisciplinary nature of the field. He discusses some examples of areas of interest within the field, such as understanding innovation and  institutional evolution, scaling and cooperation. Rufus and Joe finish with a brief consideration of where on the "cultural evolutionary tree" we are today, laying the ground for a potential future follow up.

This conversation forms part of the Cultural Evolution: A New Discipline is Born Series.

You can learn more here: https://lifeitself.org/learn/culturology

Joseph Henrich is a Professor of Human Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University. He is author of several books, most recently 'The Weirdest People in the World' and 'The Secret of Our Success'. His research focuses on evolutionary approaches to psychology, decision-making and culture, and includes topics related to cultural learning, cultural evolution, culture-gene coevolution, human sociality, prestige, leadership, large-scale cooperation, religion and the emergence of complex human institutions.

Rufus Pollock is an entrepreneur, activist and author. He has founded several for-profit and nonprofit initiatives including Life Itself, Open Knowledge Foundation, and Datopian. His book Open Revolution is about making a radically freer and fairer information age. Previously he has been the Mead Fellow in Economics at the University of Cambridge as well as a Shuttleworth and Ashoka Fellow. A recognized global expert on the information society, he has worked with G7 governments, IGOs like the UN, Fortune 500s as well as many civil society organizations. 


Nov 30, 202201:11:07
Post FTX collapse reflections on crypto with Stephen Diehl
Nov 15, 202201:00:31
Exploring Social Transformation: Series Wrap-Up
Sep 28, 202254:06
Meet the MetaModerns: Emerging Movement with Alternative Approach to Social Change with Rufus Pollock

Meet the MetaModerns: Emerging Movement with Alternative Approach to Social Change with Rufus Pollock

In April 2022, Life Itself co-founder, Rufus Pollock, was invited by the New School at Commonweal onto their podcast to discuss his recent work mapping an emerging “metamodern” ecosystem centered on a radical, alternative approach to social change–one that is simultaneously paradigmatic, integrated, and engaged. Thank you to Commonweal for allowing us to share the conversation, and to Michael Lerner for hosting the conversation.

Rufus Pollock is an entrepreneur, activist and author as well as a long-term zen practitioner. He is passionate about finding wiser, weller ways to live together. He wants his child (and all children) to live in a world of love, abundance and wisdom. He has founded several for-profit and nonprofit initiatives including Life Itself, Open Knowledge Foundation, and Datopian. His book Open Revolution is about making a radically freer and fairer information age and has been translated into multiple languages. His next book, Wiser Societies, is about the cultural dark matter that enables societies be wiser (and weller). Previously he has been the Mead Fellow in Economics at the University of Cambridge as well as a Shuttleworth and Ashoka Fellow. A recognized global expert on the information society, he has worked with G7 governments, IGOs like the UN, Fortune 500s as well as many civil society organizations. He holds a PhD in Economics and a double first in Mathematics from the University of Cambridge. Find out more about his work on his website: rufuspollock.com.  

Michael Lerner is the president and co-founder of Commonweal. His principal work at Commonweal is with the Cancer Help Program, Healing Circles, Beyond Conventional Cancer Therapies, the Collaborative on Health and the Environment, and The New School at Commonweal. He was the recipient of a MacArthur Prize Fellowship for contributions to public health in 1983 and is author of Choices in Healing: Integrating the Best of Conventional and Complementary Therapies (MIT Press).

Aug 16, 202201:29:07
Jeremy Lent on Interconnection & Shifting Worldviews

Jeremy Lent on Interconnection & Shifting Worldviews

This week in our Exploring Social Transformation series, we are sharing a conversation we had back in September 2021 with acclaimed author of 'The Patterning Instinct' and 'The Web of Meaning', Jeremy Lent. This conversation was originally published as part of the Imaginary Society Forum, a forum curated by Life Itself in association with Untitled for the exercising of social imagination through practice and theory.

In this episode, Jeremy and Rufus dig into the myth of man's innate selfishness, how shifts in cultural consciousness have historically come about, what's coming next, and why we have reason to feel hopeful.

To view the episode notes and learn more about the Imaginary Society Forum head over to: https://lifeitself.us/2022/08/09/jeremy-lent-on-interconnection-shifting-worldviews/ 

Aug 09, 202201:29:35
Hypha DAO & Life Itself in Conversation

Hypha DAO & Life Itself in Conversation

Welcome to another episode of our Making Sense of #Crypto & #Web3 series. This week, Rufus Pollock and Theo Cox sit down with co-founders of Hypha DAO Alex Prate, Joachim Stroh, and Franz Joseph Allmayer to discuss how DAOs are aiming to revolutionize systems of governance and whether blockchain technology is indeed necessary to this effort.   

Explore our guide to crypto and web3 here: https://web3.lifeitself.us/

Aug 02, 202257:50
Geoff Mulgan on Reigniting Social and Political Imagination

Geoff Mulgan on Reigniting Social and Political Imagination

In episode 6 of our Exploring Social Transformation series, Theo Cox is joined by author, professor, former director of the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit and former Head of Policy at Downing Street, Geoff Mulgan.  

In this episode Geoff and Theo explore why social and political imagination is important, why there is a deficit in social imagination in today's society, and what we can do about this.

Geoff Mulgan is Professor of Collective Intelligence, Public Policy and Social Innovation at University College London. He’s the former chief executive of Nesta, and within the UK government has acted both as the director of the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit and Head of Policy at Downing Street. Geoff has also founded and co-founded a large number of organizations, from the think-tank Demos to the charity Action for Happiness. His latest book, 'Another world is possible: how to reignite social and political imagination', has just been released.

Jul 26, 202201:01:03
Samer Hassan & Rufus Pollock on Decentralization, Platform Monopolies and Web3
Jul 19, 202201:25:13
Hannah Close on Animism, Kinship, and the Social Change Ecosystem

Hannah Close on Animism, Kinship, and the Social Change Ecosystem

In episode 5 of our Exploring Social Transformation series, Theo Cox is joined by Hannah Close, a writer and photographer and curator for Advaya. Hannah engages in an insightful conversation on kinship, her experience of the social change ecosystem, in particular being a woman within this space, animism and Schumacher College.


Learn more: 

https://hannahlclose.com/ 

https://advaya.co/ 

https://campus.dartington.org/schumacher-college/

Jul 12, 202201:16:59
Rufus Pollock and Jeff Emmett on Regenerative Finance and Web3 for Public Goods

Rufus Pollock and Jeff Emmett on Regenerative Finance and Web3 for Public Goods

Regenerative Finance (ReFi) is about combining web3 finance tools with regenerative purposes like tackling climate change or cleaning up the oceans. In this episode of our Making Sense of #Crypto and #Web3 series, Rufus Pollock and Jeff Emmett discuss the promises and pitfalls of ReFi for providing public goods and nourishing the commons.  

Find out more about the project here: https://web3.lifeitself.us/  

Find the notes for this episode here: https://web3.lifeitself.us/notes/jeff-emmett-on-regenerative-finance

Jeff Emmett is a Token Engineering researcher and Communications Lead at BlockScience, and co-founder of the Commons Stack.  Drawing inspiration from mycelial networks and biomimetic processes, his goal is a toolkit for customizable regenerative economies that support purpose-driven communities. Author of Rewriting the Story of Human Collaboration and Challenges & Approaches to Scaling the Global Commons.

Jul 05, 202201:17:04
Stephen Reid & Rufus Pollock on Worker Cooperatives and DAOs

Stephen Reid & Rufus Pollock on Worker Cooperatives and DAOs

In episode 13 of our Making Sense of #Crypto & #Web3 series, Life Itself's Rufus Pollock sits down with Stephen Reid to discuss worker cooperatives, DAOs and the potential of blockchain technology to facilitate institutional innovation.

Stephen Reid is a teacher, technologist and coach devoted to the flourishing of Life on Earth. He has trained in the fields of complexity science, physics, software development, transformational coaching, meditation and plant medicine. He is currently teacher of the How to DAO, Tools for the Regenerative Renaissance, The Promise of Decentralisation and Introduction to web3 courses, and a member of the not-for-profit worker co-operative Dandelion Collective.  

Find out more about the Making Sense of Crypto & Web3 project: https://web3.lifeitself.us/

Learn more about Stephen: https://stephenreid.net/ 


Jun 28, 202201:09:14
Brendan Graham Dempsey & Nathen Fitchen on The Meaning Crisis & Metamodern Spirituality

Brendan Graham Dempsey & Nathen Fitchen on The Meaning Crisis & Metamodern Spirituality

In this fourth episode of our Exploring Social Transformation series, Nathen Fitchen and Brendan Graham Dempsey discuss the rise of the meaning crisis, how it has perpetuated throughout the world and its symbiotic nature to the environmental crisis and other crises we face today.   In addition, they unpack a potential antidote to the meaning crisis, metamodern spirituality. Through identifying the core characteristics of metamodern thinking and how one might engage in metamodern spirituality, this conversation is a perfect place to orient oneself with the metamodern ideology and to be inspired to find greater meaning individually and as a collective.

Brendan Graham Dempsey is the author of several books, his work focusing on the meaning crisis and the nature of spirituality in metamodernity. He also hosts a podcast called metamodern spirituality, is a public speaker, course facilitator and has released a series of insightful videos titled after postmodernism.

Learn more:

Brendans website - https://www.brendangrahamdempsey.com/ 

Metamodern spirituality podcast - https://www.brendangrahamdempsey.com/metamodern-spirituality 

Facebook group - metamodern spirituality - https://web.facebook.com/groups/492060442032036 

Book - Building the Cathedral https://www.amazon.com/Building-Cathedral-Answering-Meaning-Personal/dp/B0915PKWBY/ 

Our residency page - https://lifeitself.us/upcoming-residencies-gatherings/

Jun 21, 202201:04:05
Collective Practice and the Life Itself Open Residency with Valérie Duvauchelle

Collective Practice and the Life Itself Open Residency with Valérie Duvauchelle

In the third episode of our Exploring Social Transformation series, Eilidh Ross sits down with Life Itself Pioneer, Valérie Duvauchelle. Valérie discusses the value collective practice brings to a community and tells us what we can expect from the upcoming Open Residency at the Life Itself Bergerac hub. Valérie also offers some insight into individual activation and its central position in social transformation.

To learn more about the upcoming Open Residency and to apply head over to https://lifeitself.us/open-residency/

Jun 14, 202201:08:51
Embodying Collective Transformation with Karl Steyaert

Embodying Collective Transformation with Karl Steyaert

In the second episode of our Exploring Social Transformation series, Theo Cox sits down with visionary cultural catalyst, Karl Steyaert. Karl explains what it is to be a 'Champion of Human Wholeness', why inner transformation is central to wider societal transformation, and tells us about the series of residencies he will be facilitating in the Life Itself Bergerac Hub from September-November 2022. To learn more about the upcoming Embodying Collective Transformation Community Residencies and to apply, head over to https://lifeitself.us/embodying-collective-transformation/


Karl Steyaert has over 25 years experience facilitating personal and collective transformation across North America, Europe and Asia. His clients range from non-profits, intentional communities and ecovillages, to universities, governments and Silicon Valley tech companies. In 2013, Karl founded the Cultural Catalyst Network – a global community of changemakers integrating inner, interpersonal, and systemic transformation. More on Karl at www.karlsteyaert.com

Jun 07, 202201:11:22
Exploring Social Transformation & Life Itself Labs

Exploring Social Transformation & Life Itself Labs

We are excited to be broadening the scope of the Life Itself podcast to encompass the full spectrum of work Life Itself is involved with. In this episode, Life Itself team members Theo Cox and Eilidh Ross introduce this new era, discussing how our web3 project fits in with the wider social transformation work Life Itself engages with. Theo also introduces the newest branch of Life Itself, Life Itself Labs, discussing what Labs has already been up to and his aspirations for the future of the project.

To learn more about Life Itself Labs visit https://labs.lifeitself.us/

May 31, 202239:23
KlimaDAO & Life Itself: In Conversation Part One
May 17, 202201:42:04
Bitcoin as an Anti-Authoritarian Force
May 10, 202256:50
A Macroeconomics Perspective on Cryptocurrencies
May 03, 202201:01:08
Cory Doctorow on Blockchain, Crypto & Web3
Apr 26, 202201:14:06
Open Collective, Steward Ownership & Exit to Community with Pia Mancini
Apr 25, 202201:06:48
Collective Action Problems & Climate Change

Collective Action Problems & Climate Change

In episode #6 of our series of deep dives into #crypto and #web3, Rufus Pollock and Stephen Diehl explore the interaction of climate change and public goods problems. They focus on KlimaDAO as an example of an attempted solution to solve a public goods problem within the climate space using a Decentralized Autonomous Organization. To view the notes from this episode as well as references and key concepts, visit: https://web3.lifeitself.us/notes/collective-action-problems-and-climate-change 

To learn more about our Web3: Possibilities & Challenges series visit https://web3.lifeitself.us/

Stephen Diehl is a software engineer, writer and Web3 expert. He has written many articles about the topic on his blog at stephendiehl.com and has been featured in several podcasts on the topic.

To learn more from Stephen Diehl:

https://www.stephendiehl.com/

https://twitter.com/smdiehl

Apr 13, 202258:32
Fintech Incrementalism and Responsible Innovation
Apr 04, 202201:04:43
On Web3 and Post-State Technocracy with Stephen Diehl & Rufus Pollock

On Web3 and Post-State Technocracy with Stephen Diehl & Rufus Pollock

Episode #4 in our ongoing deep dive into #web3 and #crypto. This week, Rufus Pollock and Stephen Diehl explore a more utopian aspiration of crypto and web3: a transition from the existing US-led international order to a world in which blockchain technology and technocracy are the new foundations for global human governance. 

To view the notes from this episode as well as references and key concepts, visit: https://web3.lifeitself.us/notes/post-state-technocracy 

To learn more about our Making Sense of Crypto and Web3 project visit: https://web3.lifeitself.us/ 

Stephen Diehl is a software engineer, writer and Web3 expert. He has written many articles about the topic on his blog at stephendiehl.com and has been featured in major news outlets and podcasts.   

To learn more from Stephen Diehl: 

https://www.stephendiehl.com/

https://twitter.com/smdiehl


Mar 23, 202201:06:39
Are Cryptocurrencies Securities? The Nature of Securities & Their Relation to Crypto Tokens with Stephen Diehl

Are Cryptocurrencies Securities? The Nature of Securities & Their Relation to Crypto Tokens with Stephen Diehl

Episode #3 in our ongoing deep dive into #web3 and #crypto. Rufus Pollock and Stephen Diehl discuss financial products known as securities, their relationship to crypto tokens and the regulatory framework that exists around these structures.  


To learn more about our Web3: Possibilities & Challenges series visit https://lifeitself.us/web3/ 


Stephen Diehl is a software engineer, writer and Web3 export. He has written many articles about the topic on his blog at stephendiehl.com and has been featured in major news outlets and podcasts. 

  

To learn more from Stephen Diehl: 

https://www.stephendiehl.com/ 

https://twitter.com/smdiehl

Mar 16, 202201:02:59
Crypto, Traders and Unfettered Financial Markets with Stephen Diehl

Crypto, Traders and Unfettered Financial Markets with Stephen Diehl

Episode #2 with Stephen Diehl in our ongoing deep dive into #web3 and #crypto. We discuss the view that crypto are just risky assets and that unfettered and unregulated financial markets are desirable ("Free markets are good and the less regulation the more free ...").  To learn more about our Web3: Possibilities & Challenges series visit https://lifeitself.us/web3/ Stephen Diehl is a software engineer, writer and Web3 export. He has written many articles about the topic on his blog at stephendiehl.com and has been featured in major news outlets and podcasts.   To learn more from Stephen Diehl: https://www.stephendiehl.com/ https://twitter.com/smdiehl

Mar 10, 202256:43
Jordan Hall on the Potential of DAOs
Mar 03, 202257:02
Stephen Diehl on Web3, Bitcoin & Neometalism

Stephen Diehl on Web3, Bitcoin & Neometalism

This episode is about the narrative of Bitcoin and the Neo-Metallist thesis i.e. that a gold-standard was good and a Bitcoin standard would be even better. Alongside host and Life Itself Co-founder, Rufus Pollock, we invite Stephen Diehl, a software engineer, writer and Web3 critic, who has been outspoken on cryptocurrency, NFTs and Web3.

Learn more: https://lifeitself.us/web3

Feb 24, 202201:12:55
Richard D. Bartlett & Stephen Reid on Critical Exploration of Web3

Richard D. Bartlett & Stephen Reid on Critical Exploration of Web3

Just what is Web3, why are people so excited about it, and how likely is it to really change the world? In this episode, Life Itself co-founder Rufus Pollock talks with Rich Bartlett and Stephen Reid on the promises, possibilities and pitfalls of Web3.   

Learn more: https://lifeitself.us/web3/

Richard D. Bartlett Has operated in the space of decentralised governance for some time through projects such as Loomio, The Hum and Microsolidarity. He is also a Director and longstanding member of Enspiral - a network of people supporting each other to grow up and to get paid for doing meaningful work. Richard is a recent convert to the power of Web3 in supporting decentralised governance.   

Stephen Reid is a teacher and technologist devoted to the flourishing of Life on Earth who has trained in the fields of complexity science, physics, software development, meditation, psychotherapy, plant medicine, conscious sexuality and political activism. He is currently teacher of the How to DAO, Tools for the Regenerative Renaissance, The Promise of Decentralisation & Introduction to web3 courses, and a member of the not-for-profit worker co-operative Dandelion Collective, where he leads the development of the Dandelion platform for ticketed events and co-created gatherings.  

Feb 17, 202201:24:44
Liam Kavanagh on Introduction to Sustainable Wellbeing

Liam Kavanagh on Introduction to Sustainable Wellbeing

Sustainable wellbeing is an obvious organising principle for society: that we should live in a way that enables future generations to enjoy being alive as much as us (or more). Yet this ethos is not truly at the heart of either the environmental movement or the well-being movement – or society as a whole. Why is that? And can that change?

In this episode, Rufus Pollock talks with Liam Kavanagh, Lead of Life Itself Labs. We explore what sustainable wellbeing is: as principle, as a movement and as a political strategy. Finally, we look at why this is an approach whose time has finally come.

https://lifeitself.us/sustainable-wellbeing/

Key points:

  • “Wellbeing” is policy’s goal, but has associations of meek compromise, and also recent acceptance of inner routes to greater welfare
  • In times of crisis we need to be bold and unafraid of hard issues like land policy for community while still embracing scientific understanding and inner work.
  • More radical propositions will become politically viable as extreme weather accumulates
  • We need to prepare a plan for the time when people are ready to push it.
  • Some specific policies we can start with, now.

Further links

Dec 17, 202101:01:00
Sen Zhan and Liam Kavanagh

Sen Zhan and Liam Kavanagh

This week we're excited to be sharing an episode from our partner podcast, The Life Itself Hubcast, hosted and produced by Sen Zhan.

In this episode, Sen sits down with co-founder of Life Itself, Liam Kavanagh. Their conversation explores community, the notion of a "wiser world", perspectives from Tanzania, and Liam's book Collective Wisdom and Beyond. They finish with a Lightning Round on "The Hub Knock Life" - an up-close and personal sharing of day-to-day life as a resident in the Bergerac Hub.

Find more episodes from the Hubcast here: https://open.spotify.com/show/5ExBgcxpOyQEQOe9tXB0IE?si=13c09e8d932f4eb2 

Mar 29, 202101:14:09
Sen Zhan and Sylvie Barbier

Sen Zhan and Sylvie Barbier

This week we're honoured to be sharing an episode from our partner podcast, The Life Itself Hubcast, hosted and produced by Sen Zhan.

In this episode, Sen sits down with co-founder of Life Itself, Sylvie Shiwei Barbier. Their conversation explores Sylvie's Taiwanese French origins, the role of suffering and growth to home and belonging, and Life Itself and the Hubs. They finish with a Lightning Round on "The Hub Knock Life" - an up-close and personal sharing of day-to-day life as a resident in the Bergerac Hub.

Find more episodes from the Hubcast here: https://open.spotify.com/show/5ExBgcxpOyQEQOe9tXB0IE?si=13c09e8d932f4eb2 

Jan 14, 202101:18:05