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American Enough with Vikrum Aiyer

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(Golden Globes Special): Is Hollywood Shifting from Commercial Impact to Social Impact?

The transforming of creative content in Hollywood... In an era where entertainment increasingly mirrors the despair contained within our daily news cycle, one studio in Hollywood is doubling down on creative content that seeks to unite Americans with hope & inclusivity. Co-Founder of Wayfarer entertainment, Farhoud Meybodi, joins the pod to discuss how their brand of TV, Film, and Web-driven content can both speak to the issues of our time, while using art to galvanize change. BIO Co-Owner...


Why are Paychecks Shrinking, if the Economy is Booming?

Why Most Americans Can't Afford a $400 Bill Rachel Schneider (Author of the Financial Diaries, and Entrepreneur in Resident at the Aspen Institute's FSP) followed 235 American families to understand why so many American's still feel financial duress even while our economy grows at a rapid rate. She joins to the pod to detail how experimenting with new policies, like short term cash infusions, can address wage stagnation in the country. Rachel Schneider is the Omidyar Network...


How New York Trains Workers For a World of A.I. – with Karen Bhatia

With all the promise & fret of automation, artificial intelligence, and robotics -- Karen Bhatia, Vice President of New York City's Economic Development Corporation, joins the pod to discuss how to leverage private dollars & public curricula to train workers for the jobs of tomorrow, today. Bio: Karen Bhatia is an innovative strategist and vision-led leader at the intersection of technology and entrepreneurship. Over 13 years of experience helping businesses start and scale. Integrate big...


How the City of L.A. Resists Anti-Immigration Policies in the Era of Trump

Dealing with changing Federal policy in immigration affairs departments in major US cities... Dr. Linda Lopez, Chief of Immigrant Affairs to LA Mayor Eric Garcetti, joins the pod to discuss how Cities can still connect immigrants to the promise of the American dream at the local level, even while the Administration attempts to water that dream down at the national level. Recorded on location at the 2018 Concordia Summit in New York. Linda currently serves in a senior leadership role with...


#GivingTuesday & Lyft: Are Tech Companies Leading the Way on Social Impact?

Lyft’s Head of Social Impact, Mike Masserman, joins the pod to talk about how a tech company can still invest in social good — even in an era of heightened government scrutiny across some of the world’s largest technology corporations. Mike Masserman is currently the Head of Global Policy & Social Impact at Lyft, where he works on initiatives related to civic engagement, autonomous vehicles, opening global markets, and smart cities. Michael was previously the Senior Director for Federal &...


The Unsung Heroes of The West Wing

Presidential speechwriters, Pentagon advisors, and the staff who help confirm Supreme Court justices don't often grace the front pages of newspapers or tabloids. But in their book The West Wingers, 18 former White House staff detail how their own personal stories helped shape the work of the nation. Editor Gautam Raghavan, and contributing writers Aneesh Raman & Stephanie Valencia, join host Vikrum Aiyer.


Automation and the Future of Work in America

New forms of work, through apps like Uber, and new forms of automation -- are sparking both new opportunities and considerable angst among American workers. CEO & Co-Founder of The Workers Lab, Dr. Carmen Rojas, joins the pod to discuss how to build a 21st century set of organizing principles around preparing and protecting workers, while balancing the innovations that are fueling this century's growth. Dr. Carmen Rojas is the Co-Founder and CEO of The Workers Lab, an innovation lab that...


What’s the Matter with Florida? Comparing the 2000 and 2018 Election Recounts

Bush v. Gore Florida recount attorney, and veteran campaign operative, Todd Elmer joins the pod to describe what the chaos inside an election recount looks like, while reflecting on the opportunity America has to protect the voices of voters in Georgia, Arizona, and Florida. Todd Elmer has built a 20 year career at the intersection of politics, law, communications, and artificial intelligence policy. Most recently, he served as part of the DNC’s national Deployment Project, which sent...


Banning Gender: How America is Attempting to Rewrite Definitions of Sex

The first openly transgender staffer to The White House, Raffi Freedman-Gurspan, outlines how Americans can stand up to a White House plan to rewrite definitions of sex in this country, and undercut protections for millions of non-gender conforming citizens. Raffi Freedman-Gurspan is the Director of External Relations at the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE), where she oversees public education and field organizing operations. She was both a Senior Associate Director for...


5 Issues to Watch as a result of Tuesday’s elections

As the nation turned out to the ballot box in record numbers for the November midterm elections... ...the world watched in awe as Americans were pitted against each other with threats of migrant caravans and the loss of healthcare. But what does the make-up of the new Congress (and the promise of newly minted elected officials) actually mean for Immigration? Privacy? Infrastructure? Or American civility?


What the City of Chicago is Doing to Re-Claim the American Dream

Chicago, immigrants, and American identity... Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has stood up to anyone who tries to point at a finger at an immigrant in Chicago and imply that they're not welcome in this country. Seemi Choudry, the Director of the Office of New Americans, is the muscle behind that backbone and has built new sources to help anyone afraid of losing their American identity, keep it, and reimagine the promise of this country.


How the Republican Party Courts College Campuses

Ahead of the November 6th elections, executive director of the College Republican National Committee (CRNC) Ted Dooley joins Vikrum Aiyer. on location at the Concordia Annual Summit in New York City, to discuss how the GOP engages college campuses across the country to be an "R" in the age of Trump. Ted Dooley is the Executive Director of the College Republican National Committee. Prior to that, he served as the organization’s National Co-Chairman, Regional Vice-Chairman, and was a...


What Jamal Khashoggi’s Murder Means for Free Expression in the United States

Politico's Daniel Lippman and seasoned investigative journalist Tim Burger join the pod to discuss what the gruesome death of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi and The White House reaction means for a free & open media at home, and around the world. Daniel Lippman is a reporter for POLITICO and a co-author of POLITICO's Playbook, the most indispensable morning newsletter for the biggest influencers in politics. He graduated from The Hotchkiss School in 2008 and from The George...


What the hell is blockchain? – with Sam Cassat, Chief Strategy Officer of Consensys

How blockchain could transform the world... As revolutions in technology continue to change the way we interact with the world, perhaps no one tool promises to change the way we move assets around the world other than Blockchain. The mystique of blockchain technologies and cryptocurrencies continue to be investigated by skeptics by are being leveraged by believers to change everything from the way we bank, to the way we vote, to the way we build governments. Sam Cassat, the Chief Strategy...


Keeping the American Promise – with Todd Schulte of FWD.US

Has our broken immigration and criminal justice systems locked too many people out from the American dream? Todd Schulte, President of, a bipartisan political organization that believes America’s families, communities, and economy thrive when more individuals are able to achieve their full potential, joins Vikrum Aiyer at the 2018 Concordia Annual Summit in New York City. In this episode: The Trump administration's political rhetoric vs. policy The objective of drastically fewer...


Does the Gain of a Supreme Court Justice Mean A Loss for the Court?

Brett Kavanaugh is now Associate Justice Kavanaugh. What does this controversial addition to the Supreme Court of the United States mean for the identity of the court, the country, and consent? Host Vikrum Aiyer offers some perspective, and heads to the streets and subways of the San Francisco Bay Area for public reaction.


Why build prisons when you can build people? – With Stanley Richards of The Fortune Society

How do we train and upscale workers for the 21st Century? And how can an entire pipeline of 7 million formerly incarcerated workers, seeking to be productive in society, "skill-up". contribute, and fill roles competitively in the labor market, connect with willing and welcoming company? Stanley Richards, Executive Vice President at The Fortune Society, a non-profit organization based in New York City, NY with a mission to support successful reentry from prison and promote alternatives to...


How 300 Americans Changed the Course of World War II

What MAGA Fans Can Learn from the Flying Tigers of World War II... Author & Historian, Samuel Kleiner, details the untold history of 300 brave mercenaries that shaped the course of WW2 before America even entered the war. His new book, "The Flying Tigers" details the early days of the war, and draws valuable insights about how American alliances just a few decades back can inform our identity on the world stage, today. BIO: Samuel Kleiner is a lawyer based in New York City. He was raised in...


Does America Care About Science? – with Kumar Garg

Kumar Garg on whether America can maintain its leading edge in scientific discovery if it routinely bucks the very investments & truths that have been core to American discovery... For nineteen months, The White House has not appointed a science advisor, has dismissed third party research outlining shifts in our climate, and has even entered into nuclear arms negotiations with North Korea without a physicists in the room. Former White House science advisor Kumar Garg joins the podcast to...


Run for Something – with Congressional Candidate Lauren Baer

Mom, Wife, and former foreign policy advisor to the Secretary of State jumps into a race for Congress... Lauren Baer joins the pod to reflect on what it means to be a candidate for office at a time where political divisions are at an all time high, and trust for Congress is at a new low. Lauren Baer was raised in Florida’s 18th Congressional District and calls Palm Beach Gardens home. An attorney and foreign policy expert, Lauren served as an official in the Obama Administration from...