Learn more about Venkatesh and Ribbonfarm
A friend of mine inspired me to do this episode. We were having coffee and I rattled off a few names of folks that I read or listened to and he hadn’t heard of a few of the names. He encouraged me to share my influences so that others could learn from their wisdom.
The point of the exercise is to hopefully enable you to discover new people to follow and learn from. So I’m not going to mention the countless individuals in my personal life who teach me the most.
If I did, my dad would be at the top of this list. There are many others who don't actively share their knowledge through media and prefer more private lives.
Tyler Cowen, Dan Carlin, and Nassim Taleb
Ben Thompson, Gary Vaynerchuk, Warren Buffett, and Scott Galloway
Culture & Vision
Venkatesh Rao & Taylor Pearson
Health & the Natural World
Learning and Reading
Barry Ritholtz, Josh Brown, Ben Carlson, and Michael Batnick.
I am also constantly on the hunt for more people from whom I can learn. Who are some of your biggest influences?
Tucker Matheson and Pichon Duplan are management consultants at PriceWaterhouseCooper. They are passionate about helping college students, and recent grads, understand how to get the most out of their degree. They’ve brought their diverse backgrounds together to create one voice in their first book.
Fast Forward: What Is Your College Degree Worth?
The Challenge; Think of one thing you’ve been interested in doing and go make it happen.
Connect with Tucker & Pichon
If you liked this interview, check out episode 131 with Larry Gioia where we discuss how to make more quality connections.
“I was not able to fully appreciate the beauty of my detours until I was able to share them. As a performer, all I’ve wanted to do was give back to the world. But now I have an even greater gift to give: a story to tell.”
Amy grew up believing that her entire life would be dedicated to the performing arts. Now, she identifies as a survivor and “thriver” of sexual abuse, 27 surgeries, coma, organ failure, and the PTSD that comes from ten years of trauma – or what she now calls her “beautiful detour.”
At 18, years old, a blood clot caused Amy’s body to go into septic shock. She was in a coma for six months, and after a total gastrectomy, was unable to eat or drink a drop of water for six of the past ten years. After 27 surgeries, she was miraculously reconnected with the intestines she had left. To persevere through those tumultuous years took great inner and outer strength.
She has learned that the human spirit feeds off of hope, and hope is fuel we can cultivate ourselves. Ultimately, she learned that with resourcefulness, creativity, and unwavering curiosity, we can transform any adversity into personal growth and a resilience that is uniquely ours.
Connect with Amy
If you liked this interview, check out episode 184 with the Drinking Partners Ed Bailer and Day Bracey, where we discuss comedy and the business of comedy.
Grant Oliphant is president of The Heinz Endowments. For nearly two decades, Grant held several senior management posts with Heinz family foundations, including vice president for programs and planning at the Endowments, his position before taking over the helm at The Pittsburgh Foundation in 2008. He also served as press secretary to the late U.S. Sen. John Heinz from 1988 until the senator’s death in 1991.
If there’s a major project happening in Pittsburgh, chances are that Oliphant is pulling the strings. His six-year tenure atop The Pittsburgh Foundation saw that organization increase its assets by a third in the middle of a recession; even more impressively, that foundation oversaw the recruiting and hiring of Mayor Bill Peduto’s senior staff through its Talent City initiative. Oliphant quickly has made his presence known at Heinz, which shortly after his arrival in May 2014 jettisoned a controversial connection to the Center for Sustainable Shale Development.
Since then, he’s overseen the P4 Conference on urbanism in April, became the primary force in development of the 178-acre Almono site in Hazelwood, brokered the sale of the August Wilson Center for African American Culture to Heinz and other foundations and forged close ties to the Peduto administration.
Grant’s Challenge; Work to move your worldview from “me” to “we”.
Connect with Grant
If you liked this interview, check out episode 107 with Bill Peduto where we discuss the evolution of Pittsburgh or episode 130 with Ray Gastil where we discuss the challenges of city planning and reorganizing Pittsburgh’s communities.
Head over to goingdeepwithaaron.com/callahan for more information.
Vote for Carl Morgenstern in 2017.
Kyle Crawford is the CEO & Founder of Fundraising Genius, where he combines his love of design, technology, and social good into one of the most innovative organizations for people raising money. He has advised leaders from universities, foundations, tech companies, and nonprofits. He’s also presented on design, data, and social innovation at conferences of all sizes.
In 2015, Kyle built the gamified social innovation community, Dwilly, where he personally curated more than 3,000 innovative solutions to pressing social issues from a global audience of fundraisers, entrepreneurs, engineers, social workers, and designers. Prior to that, he worked in healthcare philanthropy managing the design and data for an innovative and hugely successful 25-site statewide HIV care model that has since been replicated and funded as a national model for linking and retaining people living with HIV/AIDS in medical care.
Kyle’s Challenge; Set up a scheduled, anonymous donation. Don’t tell anyone that you’ve done it.
Connect with Kyle
If you liked this interview, check out episode 114 with Dan Bull where we discuss getting the previously incarcerated back to work.
Raised in the home of a Pittsburgh entrepreneur, Michelle Flynn developed an interest for new creative development leading her to burghTV – Pittsburgh’s Snapchat Story and 2017 Winner of Pittsburgh's PR Disruptor of the Year. She uses her training as a professional theatre and film actress to host the channel showing off Pittsburgh's hidden gems. When not snapping for burghTV, Michelle can be found chatting with her fellow sales and marketing co-workers at Truefit – a Pittsburgh-based software product innovation firm.
Prior to her involvement with Truefit, Michelle served as a student liaison for Kent State University (her alma mater) surpassing record quotas for reconnecting alumni to the University and leading to increased alumni involvement and donorship. A proud member of the National Society of Leadership and Success, Michelle continues to work in the hopes of sharing her story with this professional organization
Michelle’s Challenge; Do something different, outside your comfort zone, like an acting class.
Connect with Michelle
If you liked this interview, check out episode 88 with Sunny Lennarduzzi where we discuss Snapchat, YouTube and being your own boss.
Born and raised in Cleveland, OH, Ed Bailey’s family noticed his quick wit early on in life. While that wit sometimes landed him in trouble, it often was the source of great entertainment for those who bore witness. After high school, the University of Pittsburgh brought him to Pittsburgh, PA where he would make a name for himself as a comedian. During his brief career as a comedian, Ed has been able to capture the attention of some of the most recognizable figures in comedy such as Eddie Griffin and Hannibal Burress which is a testament to his ability to relate to anyone while on stage. His talents have also landed him a successful podcast that he co-hosts with comedian Day Bracey called Drinking Partners on the Epicast Network.
A polygamist, simultaneously married to bacon and booze, Day Bracey once led a mostly private life, in fear of persecution from a conservative right winged christian society who wouldn’t understand his inability to choose between two loves. Armed with his sword of common sense and shield of free thought, Day Bracey now roams the Earth, striking down ignorance and BS wherever they may rear their ugly heads. A guerrilla against a well established army of stupidity, his methods of attack have been described as surprising and borderline radical, but precise and well planned. Also, he tells poop jokes.
Ed’s Challenge; Go support a local artist.
Day’s Challenge; Read a history book day.
Connect with Day
Connect with Ed
Listen to the Drinking Partners Podcast
If you liked this interview, check out episode 123 with Tucker Max where we discuss writing NYT bestsellers and writing your own book.