social change

29: Dana Haim

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In this episode, I talk to artist and textile designer Dana Haim about the magic of nature, losing our sense of time, remembering to be grateful, getting into an exercise groove, and the joy of making pom poms!

Dana’s mission is to spark joy through the creation of ethical, hand-made goods. She achieves this and then some through her instructional workshops across the U.S. and strategic partnerships with local organizations in Mexico and Colombia (where her family is from), which allow her to weave social and environmental consciousness into her craft.

“I feel most true to myself, and my inner child feels most alive, when I’m outside, surrounded by nature’s beauty.”

—Dana Haim

Dana received her BA in textile design from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and her MA in design for Textile Futures from Central Saint Martins in London.

You can learn more about her social good projects, whimsical wallpapers and one-of-a-kind hanging sculptures at Dana Haim HQ.

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Photos: Dana portrait. Multi-color Pom Pom Mobile. Martin Cole Memorial Quilt. Surreally Dreaming Deer Antler Mobile. All courtesy Dana Haim.


Music
Show Opener: Salt-n-Pepa, Pharrell Williams (with Justin Timberlake), Melanie and Kanye West (feat. Rhymefest)
Pom Pom Play Girl (Session Highlights) [Instrumental Mix With Backing Vocals] – The Beach Boys
Shake It Like a Pom Pom – Missy Elliot
Pom Pom – Mozart La Para
I Slept With Bonhomme At The CBC
Pom Pom – Matthew Dear
Show Closer: DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, Tricky, Dusty Springfield and Isaac Hayes

Reading List
The Celestine Prophecy: An Adventure, by James Redfield
The Wes Anderson Collection, by Matt Zoller Seitz

Watch List
Wes Anderson: The Criterion Collection

 

28: Tiffany Shlain

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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

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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.

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


Music
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
Engage
A Declaration of Interdependence
Life, Liberty & The Pursuit of Happiness

 

24: Sarah Corbett

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In this episode, I talk to cross-stitcher and activist Sarah Corbett about Mogwai, chocolate, embroidered hankies, cheeky puns, and sparking conversations about social justice one stitch at a time.

Sarah is the founder of Craftivist Collective, a global social enterprise that uses craft as a tool for gentle actions aimed at influencing long-term change.

“I didn’t fit into activism, and it didn’t come naturally to me, but I did want to fight for a better world in a more respectful and loving way.”

—Sarah Corbett

Want to get involved? Get inspired by Sarah’s Little Book of Craftivism, stitch the face of your favorite change maker, or show your local representatives you care by hand-embroidering a personal message, encouraging them to use their power and influence to make a positive difference.

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Photos: Craftivist Collective.


Music
Show Opener: Salt-n-Pepa, Pharrell Williams (with Justin Timberlake), Melanie and Kanye West (feat. Rhymefest)
Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft – Carpenters
The Craft – Blackalicious
Going Down to Liverpool – The Bangles
Two Rights Make One Wrong – Mogwai
Show Closer: DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, Tricky, Dusty Springfield and Isaac Hayes

Reading List
Craftivism: The Art of Craft and Activism, by Betsy Greer
The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, by Malcolm Gladwell
The ALL NEW Don’t Think of an Elephant!: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate, by George Lakoff
Blue Pills: A Positive Love Story, by Frederik Peeters

Watch List
To Kill A Mockingbird

 

21: Miki Agrawal

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In this episode I talk to serial social entrepreneur Miki Agrawal, founder of Wild, the New York City farm-to-table, alternative pizza concept, Thinx, a high-tech undergarment positioned to disrupt women’s behaviors around menstruation, and Tushy, a do-it-yourself bidet attachment for your toilet.

Miki is one of Forbes’ “Top 20 Millenials On a Mission” and a recent recipient of the Tribeca Film Festival’s “Disruptive Innovation Award.” She’s also the author of Do Cool Sh*t, a book on entrepreneurship and lifestyle design.

“It really matters that entrepreneurs are motivated through their businesses to change culture.”

—Miki Agrawal

Note: For every pair of lacy Thinx panties sold, seven reusable cloth pads will be distributed to girls who need them via their Uganda-based partner organization AFRIpads. Without this much needed support, millions of girls around the world are forced to miss a week of school every single month.

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Photos: Courtesy of Thinx.


Music
Show Opener: Salt-n-Pepa, Pharrell Williams (with Justin Timberlake), Melanie and Kanye West (feat. Rhymefest)
Plugg – Lunachicks
Entrepreneur – E-40 & Too $hort
Boogie In Your Butt – Eddie Murphy
Some Laid Back Cool Sh*t – Rob Swift
Show Closer: DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, Tricky, Dusty Springfield and Isaac Hayes

Reading List
Do Cool Sh*t: Quit Your Day Job, Start Your Own Business, and Live Happily Ever After, by Miki Agrawal
Losing My Virginity: How I Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way, by Richard Branson

Watch List
Thinx: For Women with Periods
Meet Tushy

 

An Ode To A Butcher

From the now defunct DESIGN 21: Social Design Network, an online community that explored the connection between design and society. It was a joint venture between UNESCO and Felissimo. I was the resident blogger.

Shhh… don’t tell: I have a crush on my butcher.

Yes, once-upon-a-time vegetarian me, I have a newfound respect for the meat slinger down the street. Avedano’s Holly Park Market (in San Francisco, California) is a butcher shop and specialty market with great food and quality service. They are true-blue devoted to the sustainability rally cry “local food for local people.” And they curate their shop with cheeky humor and panache.

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Each of the owners brings her unique skills to the block. Tia, an Executive Chef, is the in-house butcher. In addition to trimming meats, she creates the rotating menu of seasonal prepared foods that are available for nightly take-out. Fellow “restaurantrice” Melanie, is responsible for procuring many of the hard-to-find items offered in the market. And entrepreneur and former cook Angela brings bookkeeping and management experience to the day-to-day operations of the business.

Cicero’s Meats formerly occupied the space itself, a family-owned market that opened in 1901 and served the neighborhood for nearly a century. Many of the antique furnishings and equipment live on and have been incorporated into the refreshed design. Even Cicero’s original neon sign glows to see another century.

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And like a fulfillment of my Alice in Wonderland childhood fantasies of secret passageways, I recently discovered Avedano’s private dining space in back, The Udder Room. Available for intimate events, It’s warm and welcoming, long and narrow, paneled by wood and lit up by original mod lamps that hang just so from the ceiling.

Everything in Avedano’s is exceptional: grass-fed beef, wild-caught and responsibly farmed fish, seasonal local and organic produce, and handpicked gourmet pantry items, like first-rate olive oil, artisan cheese, homemade jams, premium coffee and to-die-for gelato.

Bonus items for sale and perusal include Meat Paper, Secret Eating Society zine, and meat jokes galore: meat-shaped throw pillows and cookie cutters, “I love you more than pork” lapel pins, and an ever-changing interior marquee that now proclaims “Praise the Lard.”

I’m blushing.