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Tracking Wonder Podcast

Arts & Culture Podcasts

The Tracking Wonder podcast, hosted by Jeffrey Davis, is all about helping agile creatives and curious entrepreneurs advance their most important ideas even amidst inevitable challenges. Each week brings you in-depth conversations with leaders, stories from change-makers, and provocative ideas from artists and scientists - all designed to inspire you to shape your best work with more possibility, impact, and - yes - wonder.

The Tracking Wonder podcast, hosted by Jeffrey Davis, is all about helping agile creatives and curious entrepreneurs advance their most important ideas even amidst inevitable challenges. Each week brings you in-depth conversations with leaders, stories from change-makers, and provocative ideas from artists and scientists - all designed to inspire you to shape your best work with more possibility, impact, and - yes - wonder.


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The Tracking Wonder podcast, hosted by Jeffrey Davis, is all about helping agile creatives and curious entrepreneurs advance their most important ideas even amidst inevitable challenges. Each week brings you in-depth conversations with leaders, stories from change-makers, and provocative ideas from artists and scientists - all designed to inspire you to shape your best work with more possibility, impact, and - yes - wonder.




S3 EP7: Epilogue: The Quest to Shape a Life That Ripples with Impact

We’ve spent this season on the podcast exploring the beauty of an excellent life. And our listener-heroes have some difficult questions about the process of daring to excel. You asked: What role does FEAR play in advancing our best work? Is the rise of entrepreneurship bringing with it a destructive rise of SELF-CENTEREDNESS? How do you protect the INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY of your brand’s frameworks? Today, Jeffrey tackles the themes of fear, self-interest and intellectual property in the...


S3 EP6: The Art of Life Design — with Marc & Angel Chernoff

What happens when the personal and professional life we have planned comes unraveled with a series of setbacks? Is there a way to reframe the most stressful period of our lives as an opportunity? Marc and Angel Chernoff contend that the way we spend our days is the way we spend our lives, and when they came up against back-to-back tragedy, the couple ruthlessly examined their everyday habits. And one by one, they started to incorporate new daily rituals. Little things that got them closer...


S3 EP5: Designing for Excellent Wow — with Meow Wolf Founder Vince Kadlubek

As humans, we yearn for artistic experiences that disrupt the day-to-day and wow us with a greater reality beyond our to-do list. That’s what draws us to the wonder of film and literature and art exhibits. In the absence of such experiences, we fall down the rabbit hole of digital distractions, scrolling Instagram for the unpredictability, the excitement of discovery we’re not getting from our physical environment. But what if we didn’t have to go to a gallery or a theater to encounter...


S3 EP4: Excelling at Tech, Entrepreneurship and the Art of Not-Knowing — with Sequoia Blodgett

Corporate culture perpetuates the idea that we need to fake it ‘til we make it, pretending to have all the answers and projecting confidence in our abilities—whether we feel it or not. But what if there are advantages to not knowing? What if living rich, creative entrepreneurial lives requires that we let go of what we think we know, step into new territory and expand our mental map of the world? Today, Jeffrey considers the benefit of naïveté in creativity and entrepreneurship with...


S3 EP3: Mastering the Entrepreneurial Self — with John Jantsch

We are barraged by digital distractions to the point where it can warp our perspective. It’s profoundly challenging to hear ourselves think, let along carve out an identity of our own. So, how can we step out of this Matrix-like web of endless bombardment and live our own version of an excellent life? How can we learn to listen to and rely upon our own point of view? What does that take? Are there skills of self-reliance we can practice? Today, Jeffrey explores the art of mastering the...


S3 EP2: The Art of Finishing Our Best Work — with Charlie Gilkey

Do you have an abundance of ideas for potential projects? But never enough time to reach the finish line? What holds you back? Is it really that there aren’t enough hours in the day? And what’s the cost of not finishing the projects that matter? What if you could take steps today to act on your most essential ideas—and get closer to your vision for an excellent life? Today, Jeffrey explores the idea of finishing our most important work with Charlie Gilkey, the Business Growth Strategist...


S3 EP1: Prologue: The Beauty of an Excellent Life

Have you spent years building your one business or brand, honing your craft, refining your core skill set to build out a set of services around your distinct expertise? Or do you experiment with multiple fields, crossing boundaries to pursue excellence with your diverse background? Fearlessly shifting shapes and testing your versatility in new spaces? Is your motivation to excel at your work born from a need to be the best? Or are you driven by something deeper? Today, Jeffrey introduces...


Season 3: The Beauty of an Excellent Life (Trailer)

Some social critics argue that the Internet Age has ushered in a culture of mediocrity and amateurism. But maybe there’s another story. Maybe these bewildering times prompt in us a new kind of drive. Almost all of us want to get better at something, whether it is being a better business owner or painter, prototyper or parent. Inherent in this desire to improve is the drive to excel: A daring to flourish in our work, our creativity, and our humanity. Is it possible that if we dared to...


S2 EP8: Epilogue: The State of Wonder 2018 — with Jeffrey Davis, Erin Haworth, Britt Bravo & Laine Nickl

This season on the podcast, we explored the idea of designing our lives and work for more curiosity, more purpose, more openness… More WONDER. We went behind-the-scenes of wonder-making in films, video games and art exhibitions and studied experience architecture in our families and our brand communities. But have you ever wondered how Jeffrey and his team design the podcast itself or the business of Tracking Wonder as a whole? Today, Tracking Wonder team members Jeffrey Davis, Erin...


S2 EP7: Designing Brand Communities for Belonging — with Charles Vogl

We long to belong. The desire to be a part of a community is a fundamental human yearning, yet broad swaths of Americans have never felt more isolated. In fact, four out of ten report regularly feeling lonely, and very few have more than two people they consider confidants. Why is this happening? What can we do about it? Is there an opportunity for businesses and organizations to fill the void? And if so, how do we design for belonging in brand communities? Today, Jeffrey takes a deep dive...


S2 EP6: Designing a Life & Business for Creative Mastery & Meaning — with Srinivas Rao & Marty Neumeier

We have spent the last several weeks exploring how to design memorable moments for our customers and communities, our audiences and even our families. But how do we design a life of wonder for ourselves? How do we juggle our own creative calling with the needs of our clients and communities? Is there a way to approach marketing as a craft, making it part of our path to mastery? How do we realize our best creative selves, pursuing mastery and meaning in every aspect of our lives? Today,...


S2 EP5: Designing for Stillness and Genius in Film, Video Games — with Mark Osborne & Tracy Fullerton

Perhaps you want to bring more magic into the world in the form of an animated film or video game. Inevitably, such a significant undertaking will face big challenges. What gives filmmakers and game designers the drive to persist over the years it takes to complete such substantial projects—when there is no guarantee or reward or recognition? Today, Jeffrey goes behind-the-scenes of wonder-making with filmmaker, animator, director and producer Mark Osborne, whose film The Little Prince...


S2 EP4: What If We Could Explode Every Day? — with Julianne Swartz & Denise Markonish

In a cultural moment characterized by divisiveness, we ache for community. We go through our days surrounded by people, but we have forgotten how to connect. Does art have the capacity to foster the kind of openness and connection we need right now? Is it possible that a provocative experience of unfamiliarity or disorientation might help us engage with each other? What if we could learn to follow the artist’s example and explode every day with wonder? Today, Jeffrey studies art as a...


S2 EP3: Making Time to Savor Life, Family, & Business — with Laura Vanderkam & Tom Hodgkinson

We live in a culture of busy, wearing our overwork like a badge of honor. We complain that there aren’t enough hours in the day—and blame our jobs and our kids for the fact that we can’t enjoy life. We even feel guilty when we make time for fun. Busy is a virtue. Idleness is irresponsible. But what if we have a greater responsibility to be our best selves for the people around us? Is it true that we don’t have time to pursue activities that bring us joy? Or is that simply the story we’re...


S2 EP2: Experience Design to Build Wonder at Work— with Chip Heath & Chris Flink

The #2 hotel in Los Angeles cannot compete with the Hyatts or the Hiltons of the world when it comes to expensive amenities. What makes the Magic Castle special is the staff’s ability to design surprising experiences, like a red phone by the pool coined Popsicle Hotline. By breaking the script, the Magic Castle inspires delight in their guests—and consistently ranks higher than high-end, luxury hotels in the city. How can we follow the lead of the Magic Castle and create a workplace of...


S2 EP1: Can We Design for Wonder at the Clap of a Hand?

‘It doesn’t take long for our feet to wear a rut born of habit in our daily, default path. But if we’re fortunate, during any given day, something surprising startles our heart long enough to arrest the bustle and disrupt our rut.’ The question is, do we have to wait for that something surprising to happen spontaneously? Or can we build the experience of awe into our daily lives? Can we design for wonder? Today, Jeffrey introduces us to his working premise for Season 2: Wonder is not an...


Trailer: Tracking Wonder (Season 2) with Jeffrey Davis

Welcome to season 2 of Tracking Wonder! This season we're tracking the theme of designing for wonder. Wonder is not an accident. Wonder is designable. Join us each Tuesday, and learn how innovators design work, customer experience, and life for more openness, curiosity, and surprise.


S1 EP12: Cracked Open to a Greater-Than-You Purpose

The most fulfilled innovators and influencers who lead lives of mastery and meaning—at some point get cracked open by wonder, get cracked open to a purpose greater than themselves. Today, Jeffrey reflects on Season 1 of Tracking Wonder, looking back at his conversations with leaders, change-makers, artists and creatives to identify the wonder switch in each of their stories, those moments when they were opened up to a greater-than-you purpose that drives the work they do today. Jeffrey...


S1 EP11: Branding & Creativity with a Higher Purpose with Marty Neumeier

You have to have a purpose bigger than profits. The landscape of branding has changed over time, and with the advent of two-way communication via the internet, a mission statement that prioritizes a financial responsibility to shareholders simply won’t cut it anymore. People want to support—and be a part of—the companies that aspire to a higher purpose and align with their own personal values. How does a brand go about identifying its purpose? How do you do good AND do good business at the...


S1 EP10: The Challenges of Long-Term Love & Creative Work with Susan Piver

As entrepreneurs and creatives, we know the feeling of pouring our whole heart into our work. Of devoting all our attention to the project at hand in pursuit of something greater than ourselves. How do we balance that quest for our best work with the desire to nurture our long-term, loving relationships? How do we make room for the people we love—and love us back? What if the qualities necessary to sustain our long-term, loving relationships are the very same qualities we use to sustain our...