This Human Business-logo

This Human Business

Business & Economics Podcasts >

More Information


United States




Time for Business

Time is at the heart of the struggle over the culture of business. This episode discusses the conflict between mechanized clock time and alternative forms of time, as well as the consequences of the need for speed in corporate life.


The Unreal Business of Poetry and Fairy Tales

With business culture sinking lower and lower, we need tools to aim higher. Poetry and fairy tales help us to imagine what could be instead of leaving us in the morass of what is. Poet of business Fateme Banishoeib guides us through the mental experience of verse, while Gwion Bach escapes a sorceress to give an ancient business proposal his own form.


Business Roundtable Fiddles While The Amazon Burns

Two weeks ago, the Business Roundtable pledged to protect the human global community by pursuing environmentally sustainable business practices. This week, the Blackstone investment firm, a Business Roundtable member, has been caught making profits from the burning of the Amazon rainforest. Will the Business Roundtable step up and make good on its promises, or was the Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation just a bunch of meaningless hype?


The Technology of Racism in Business

There has always been racism in business, but now we are becoming of a new form of racism that's infecting the culture of commerce. Digital technologies are embedding racism into the most powerful technological systems that have ever existed, automatically spreading harch discriminatory judgments at a terrifying pace. Where did digital racism come from, and what can we do to stop it?


The Business of Human Emotion

Gone are the days when business leaders could say with a straight face that consumers and markets behave according to simple rational self-interest. Understanding emotion is vital to success in business, but how can businesses come to grips with emotion, effectively and ethically? What about this face scanning Emotion artificial intelligence we've all heard about? What do scientific studies have to teach us about attempts to automate the study of emotion, and what are the human alternatives?


Purpose Washing from the Business Roundtable

This morning, Americans woke up to a surprising headline from the Washington Post: - Group of top CEOs says maximizing shareholder profits no longer can be the primary goal of corporations - The story referred to a document signed by 181 CEOs called the Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation. Is it true, though? Does what does the document actually say, and what does it mean? This special episode reads through the document itself, and looks at the hard truth from the evidence of its...


The Fear of Amazon – A Preview of Emotion

Today, it was announced that an artificial intelligence system under development at Amazon called Rekognition is now able to detect fear, using digital devices that scan the human face for signs of emotion. It’s time to get serious about emotion in business. It isn’t just a warm and fuzzy issue. On Monday, August 19, a new episode from the podcast This Human Business will confront the dark side, the light side, the absurd side of emotion in business.


Addictive Technology and My Year without an iPhone

The positive side of digital technology in business is clear, but commercial culture has yet to come to grips with the addictive nature of digital experiences, not just for individual users, but for entire businesses as well. This episode scrutinize the ethical problems beyond the elevated status that digital technology has been granted in business culture, in the context of my decision to spend all of 2019 without a smartphone.


What is a Human Business?

Business leaders have begun to catch on to the idea that people outside of Silicon Valley don’t think of being human as some kind of pesky relic of an outdated biological past, a burden that should be transcended with technology. So, businesses have begun using the word -human- as a buzzword, a term that they add to their mission statements and promotional materials, though it’s pretty clear that they don’t have much of an idea about what being a human business is really all about. Let’s get...


Humanity in the Business Cult of Innovation - Trailer

New is what it’s all about. People will be quick to tell you that innovation is the thing that drives business these days. If it’s not new, it’s irrelevant, obsolete and vulnerable to disruption, the process through which innovative businesses invade the territories of those who have failed to innovate, pin them down and take them apart piece by piece until they die. The catch is that within the category of things that the business cult of innovation deems insufficiently innovative… is...


Gender and Business - This Human Business Episode 7

This final episode of the 1st season of This Human Business confronts the ugly reality exposed by the Me Too movement: The masculine default of business identity is hurting people and affecting the bottom line. Sexual assault, sexual harassment, and just plain sexism pervades business. How can we make it better - for women, for men, for everybody? How does gender fluidity relate to the practice of commerce? What do gender dynamics have to teach us about opportunities for the business of...


The Future of Business - This Human Business Episode 6

This episode of This Human Business considers the future of business, which is something that we cannot know, of course. When we're talking about the future of business, we're really talking about our concerns in the present and the legacy of the past.


The Business of Human Technology - This Human Business Episode 5

After years of hype, the digital revolution has finally led to the Great Techlash of 2018. Though Silicon Valley tycoons are still in love with their bots and their apps, the rest of us are realizing that the promises of technological utopia come with a dark side. We're growing skeptical of all the apps and automation. So, how can digital technology be humanized, to make it relevant and trustworthy again?


A Postmortem on the Cat of Artificial Intelligence

This week, This Human Business takes an unexpected turn with the news of the death of one of the businesses in this week’s intended episode about technology and humanity in business. That episode will come next week, but today, this stripped-down, mournful version of the ordinary podcast explores the strange businesss that sought to make artificial intelligence into a digital cat, its downfall, and the implications for business journalism.


Rituals in Commerce - This Human Business Episode 4

The digital industrial orthodoxy in business tells us that commerce is rational, mathematical. Cultural anthropologists looking at business know better. Business is filled with rituals, both for consumers and for people working in the corporate world. Enter the threshold and listen to this 4th episode of This Human Business to understand the elements of ritual, and how they can profit a business even as they make it more human.


The Mythology of Hermes, God of Commerce

This bonus episode of This Human Business tells the story of Hermes, the god of commerce and the caduceus, as he encounters giants, the underworld, and a very picky turtle. How is this mythology relevant to present day buiness? Listen in and find out.


Human Research - This Human Business Episode 3

At its foundation, the digital revolution in business isn't really about technological innovation as much as it is about the ideological triumph of the quantitative approach to research. If we're going to build a new model for a more human approach to business, we'll have start by finding alternative methodologies for business research. That's the topic of this episode... and hang on, because it gets kind of weird.


The Story of John Henry, A Data-Driven Man

This bonus episode of This Human Business tells the story of John Henry, the steel driving man who took on a machine in a race and won. What happened next serves as a warning for human researchers in our digital age of data-driven business.


The Power of Story - This Human Business Episode 2

We're living in the Information Age, they tell us, but even as business amasses hoards of data that would have been unimaginable just a few years ago, we seem to have lost track of the human story of commerce. Indeed, some designers scoff at the idea of business storytelling. Are they right? Is storytelling just a business fad?


This Human Business Episode 1 - A Beautiful Business

The inaugural episode of This Human Business connects with a group of people who have imagined a wonderful human future for commerce, at the House of Beautiful Business. But first, we confront the ugly truth about business culture: It's broken, alienating the human beings that it is supposed to serve. A full transcript of the podcast is available at