28: Tiffany Shlain


In this episode, I talk to übermensch Tiffany Shlain about brain power, the science of character, what connects us as human beings, and the always important “weekly date night.”

Honored by Newsweek as one of the “Women Shaping the 21st Century” and singled out by NPR on their list of best commencement speeches ever, Tiffany is also the founder of The Webby Awards and a filmmaker whose work explores the intersection of humanity, technology, science and culture

“What’s covering the airwaves right now are all these political debates and all these things that separate us, and I’m always interested in what connects us.”

—Tiffany Shlain


Her feature length film Connected examines “everything from the Big Bang to Twitter” and her AOL Originals series The Future Starts Here was nominated for an Emmy in 2014.

While Tiffany is undoubtedly curious about all things tech, she still makes it a habit to unplug and power down. Along with her husband and two daughters, they turn off all screens every week for 24 hours. They’re now on their impressive 6th year of practicing Technology Shabbats.

To learn more about Tiff’s collaborative filmmaking efforts with enthusiasts from all over the world, visit Let It Ripple: Mobile Films for Global Change.

Tiffany Shlain

Photos: Top portrait of Tiffany by Lisa Wiseman. All other images courtesy The Moxie Institute.

Show Opener: Salt-n-Pepa, Pharrell Williams (with Justin Timberlake), Melanie and
Stream of Consciousness (Skratch Bastid Remix) – Afiara Quartet
Delirious – Prince
You Spin Me Round (Like a Record) [Original 7″ Mix] – Dead or Alive
I’ve Seen All Good People: A. Your Move, B. All Good People – Yes
Daily News – Maps & Atlases
Where Is the Line? – Björk
Show Closer: DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, Tricky, Dusty Springfield and Isaac Hayes

Reading List
Expanded Cinema, by Gene Youngblood
Art & Physics: Parallel Visions in Space, Time, and Light, by Leonard Shlain
The Alphabet Versus the Goddess: The Conflict Between Word and Image, by Leonard Shlain
Sex, Time, and Power: How Women’s Sexuality Shaped Human Evolution, by Leonard Shlain
Leonardo’s Brain: Understanding Da Vinci’s Creative Genius, by Leonard Shlain

Watch List
The Future Starts Here, AOL Series
The Making of a Mensch
The Adaptable Mind
The Science of Character
Connected the Film
Brain Power
A Declaration of Interdependence
Life, Liberty & The Pursuit of Happiness

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