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The Dan Smolen Podcast

Business & Economics Podcasts

The Dan Smolen Podcast helps people navigate the future of work to do work that is profound, protects the planet, empowers people, and is fun to do–meaningful work.

The Dan Smolen Podcast helps people navigate the future of work to do work that is profound, protects the planet, empowers people, and is fun to do–meaningful work.


United States


The Dan Smolen Podcast helps people navigate the future of work to do work that is profound, protects the planet, empowers people, and is fun to do–meaningful work.






Is the Future of Work Funny?

A stand-up comedian and workplace culture expert answers the burning question: Is the future of work funny? David Horning is the principal of Water Cooler Comedy. He works closely with organizations to inject humor into the workplace, to help them build strong, positive, and enduring cultures. As a young child, David discovered that he could make family, friends, and teachers laugh. Later on, he found inspiration listening to Monty Python, George Carlin, Jim Gaffigan and others to do his own...


Pivot From College to Career

Future of Work Sherpa Dan Smolen interviews Andrea Koppel, who is helping people pivot from college to career. Andrea is a former CNN correspondent, PR and nonprofit sector corporate executive. She draws on those amazing professional experiences to empower 1 million students to turn their degrees into careers they will love. Each week, she hosts and executive produces the Time4Coffee Podcast which features the stories and unique experiences of top career professionals. Her guests have all...


Get Unstuck for the Future of Work

Future of Work Sherpa Dan Smolen meets a tech career strategist who helps people get unstuck for the future of work. Raj Subrameyer arrived in the US for graduate study. He was an introverted South Indian student who pursued the lofty career goals that others expected him to follow. Raj says he applied for over 1,200 jobs and got but a handful of interviews. That's when he decided to focus on his own happiness; he began a process of discovery which got him unstuck to start his own business....


The Pandemic and the Workplace

Future of Work Sherpa Dan Smolen meets with Rob Citronberg MD to discuss the pandemic and the workplace. Dr. Citronberg is Advocate Aurora Health Care's Executive Director of Infectious Disease and Prevention. What is more, he leads his healthcare system's Covid-19 response and addresses the needs of hospitalized Covid patients. Beyond his hospital responsibilities, Dr. Citronberg also counsels members of the business community on their return to the workplace. Main interview segment starts...


CTE is Key for Future Work

Future of Work Sherpa Dan Smolen believes that Career and Technical Education or CTE is key for future work. As students across the U.S. return to the classroom, more school systems are delivering STEAM instruction and career and technical education or CTE. STEAM and CTE are key for future work. Provided together, they help students to gain access to well-paying jobs that don’t require a 4-year college degree. This is indeed a positive development. But getting public school educators to...


Turn Crisis Into Career Opportunity

Podcaster and Future of Work Sherpa Dan Smolen believes that times like these are perfect to turn crisis into career opportunity. It takes a steeled spine to log onto the New York Times' website and read so much grim news. However, it is in times of deep crisis that people can connect with the dream of doing meaningful work. Right now, we can turn crisis into career opportunity. Throughout Dan's life, he has known people who set course on meaningful careers born out of crisis: Rob Glassman...


Code Red for Humanity’s Future Work

Future of Work Sherpa Dan Smolen discusses how the Code Red for Humanity's future work will deal with existential crisis. The UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concludes that humans have changed Earth in ways both dire and irreversible. The IPCC calls this a "code red for humanity." Without intervention, during the next 20 years, human activity will cause Earth to get 1.5 degrees Celsius hotter. In the United States, that means a 2.7 degree Fahrenheit increase in the average...


Simone Biles’ Future Work Masterclass

Podcaster Dan Smolen is in awe of Gymnast Simone Biles' future of work masterclass. By far, the biggest story to emerge from the Tokyo Olympic Games has been mindfulness of elite athletes. And American Gymnast Simone Biles is the face of mindfulness at these games. Biles exited team competition when her mind and body fell out of sync. Apparently, there is a name for such disconnection: the twisties. What is more, Biles confirmed her Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) diagnosis....


Crisis and the Future of Work

Crisis and the future of work are now intertwined. And, the effects of climate change and the pandemic altered the work that we do and hope to do. During each day, practically everyone in the workforce addresses issues. Often, these are time and place-related included in the job spec. For instance: a marketing manager's task is in overcoming customer loyalty erosion. However, in the first seven months of 2021, the work we do became existential. With fires on the West Coast, and the Covid-19...


Future Work in Local Food Production

Podcaster Dan Smolen sees future work in local food production. We have a serious food problem. And, according to the International Monetary Fund, the price of food has jumped 47 percent in the past year. Our once reliable agricultural model scaled a food pipeline driven on abundant water, millions of acres of rich farmland, a huge supply chain, and cheap labor. However, the pandemic and climate change destroyed that model. Most of the food that we eat travels long distances to reach our...


Healing an Emotionally Distressed Workforce

Future of work podcaster Dan Smolen says that the time has come for healing an emotionally distressed workforce. Gallup's latest workforce study is out, and it indicates that workers across the globe are suffering. And Jim Clifton, the Chairman and CEO of Gallup, minces no words: “What if the next global crisis is a mental health pandemic? It is here now.” Gallup concludes that the global workforce is enduring a second pandemic. People who work suffer mental and emotional distress at...


Do Our Best Days Lie Ahead?

Future of work podcaster Dan Smolen asks: do our best days lie ahead? Lately, some workplace observers have taken me to task for the tagline of this podcast: our best days lie ahead. With pandemic restrictions eased, we are in the midst of the biggest workforce and workplace disruption in over 100 years. Now, a career professional must come to an understanding of "new normal," whether they office at home, remotely from another venue, at a traditional co-location, or at a hybrid combination...


The Future of Work Sherpa

In this episode, Dan discusses becoming the future of work sherpa: Months ago, I challenged myself to come up with a succinct value statement to explain the scope of my work. I also sought to differentiate myself from other experts in future of work. And that is how I arrived at the notion that I am the future of work sherpa whose mission it is to help people connect with work that is profound, protects the planet, empowers people and communities, and is fun to do—meaningful work. Although I...


The Case for Workplace Empathy

Few professionals demonstrate the case for workplace empathy better than Hannah Jew. Hannah Jew (last name pronounced "Joe") is an empathy building brand strategist for Scotts Miracle-Gro, the nation's leading lawn and garden care company. Empathy is central to how Hannah does her job; it helps drive value for consumers who rely on her company's products to grow flowering plants and food from seed. During the pandemic, nearly 21 million people embraced gardening. And Hannah used her...


Project Leadership Drives Future Work

For many in the active workforce, project leadership drives future work. As dramatic shifts in work behavior unfolded during the pandemic, one key insight popped out as truly meaningful. Project leadership drives future work. To help us explore the growing importance of project leadership, we turn to Rich Maltzman for guidance. He is a master lecturer of project management at Boston University's Metropolitan College. Rich is also one of the world's leading authorities on project management,...


Practical Philosophy for Future Work

Cristina DiGiacomo applies practical philosophy for future work benefit. An author, podcaster, and practical philosopher, Cristina draws on ancient insight to help people solve contemporary problems. And as the founder of MorAlchemy, she guides people to lead happier, more purposed lives doing meaningful work. Skeptics may not recognize the immediate value of practical philosophy for future work. But, for every stressor, difficult workplace relationship, and vexing business problem Cristina...


Swaying to the Future of Work

Career professionals are swaying to the future of work, to thrive in their roles and workplaces. During 2020, the intense stressors of remote work sent many professionals to a panic state. But 17 months since the pandemic started, those professionals may now languish. They handle their responsibilities well and don't feel despair, but they don't necessarily thrive. According to workplace futurist Denise Brouder, swaying to the future of work helps people remain effective on the job...and...


Act on Future Work Opportunities

When we act on future work opportunities, we help make our career dreams come true. Paired with dreams, exploration, and strategy, action helps us to achieve career success. These four components weave together like DNA, in countless combinations, to create a pathway for people to seek and do meaningful work. In this episode, Dan Smolen recalls how his early career ambition benefitted from a big relocation: "My first big career break also fulfilled the desire that my wife and I had to move...


Strategize for Future Work Success

Strategize for your future work success to find and do the work of your dreams. Paired with dreams, exploration, and action, strategy helps us to achieve career success. These four components weave together like DNA, in countless combinations, to create a pathway for people to seek and do meaningful work. In this episode, Dan Smolen recalls an experience from his junior year of college. Back then, he engaged with Associate Professor of Advertising Howard Cogan. Howard was also a successful...


Explore Future Work Opportunities

Explore future work opportunities to live your dreams of doing meaningful work. Paired with dreams, strategy, and action, exploration helps us to achieve career success. These four components weave together like DNA, in countless combinations, to create a pathway for people to seek and do meaningful work. In this episode, Dan recalls the impact of Seventh Grade Career Day on his lifetime of work. And his guest, Professor Anne Holton of George Mason University, provides thought-leadership on...