How Republicans Are Beating Democrats Online, With Mark Barker & Jordan Ruden

Mark Barker and Jordan Ruden of Craft & Commerce

Mark Barker and Jordan Ruden are the co-founders of digital marketing agency Craft & Commerce, and are experts in the use of online media to persuade people, whether to back a cause or vote for a candidate.

They say the Trump campaign's mastery of that is a big reason why Donald Trump won in 2016 — and why he may win again.

Republicans now seem to get social media, email, and the rest of the online world better than Democrats do, even though Democrats like Howard Dean and Barack Obama were online pioneers.

Mark and Jordan have fascinating insights into how Democrats lost their lead, how Republicans took it over, and what it means for how we all communicate.

Tracy Palandjian: Changing How Change Happens, With Pay for Success

Tracy Palandjian

Tracy Palandjian has the kind of background that sets a person up for a lucrative career in business or finance. She graduated magna cum laude from Harvard with an economics degree, and then graduated with high distinction from Harvard Business School, where she was a Baker Scholar, an honor given to the top five percent of the graduating class.

But she ended up choosing a different path: using the power of money and her financial skills to help solve big social problems. Her nonprofit, Social Finance, has helped direct more than $100 million toward challenges in criminal justice, early childhood education, workforce development, health, and homelessness.

Jake Harriman: Fight Terrorism By Ending Extreme Poverty

Jake Harriman of Nuru International

For more than seven years, Jake Harriman was a US Marine. He was deployed in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa, and served two combat tours in Iraq. He earned the Bronze Star.

Jake believed wholeheartedly in the mission of fighting terrorism. But in Iraq he started to question how that should be done. He came to see the greater enemy as extreme poverty: while terrorist leaders may be evil or insane, their foot soldiers are often motivated by desperation. That insight led him to create Nuru International, which has the goal of ending extreme poverty in our lifetime.

Jennifer Park: What If Government Just Did What Works?

Jennifer Park of Results for America

We hear so many stories about government spending big money without getting results. Now, many government organizations have embraced a new approach that’s driven by the smart use of data. It has a lot in common with the way coach Billy Beane turned around the Oakland A’s baseball team, as was described in the book "Moneyball," by Michael Lewis. In fact, it’s is often called “Moneyball for government.”

Spencer's guest this time is Jennifer Park, who’s with a nonprofit called Results For America. In their conversation, Jenn focuses on What Works Cities, a collaboration with Michael Bloomberg’s Bloomberg Philanthropies and other partners.

Elin Kelsey: How Optimism Can Help Save the Oceans

Elin Kelsey

“We recognise and respect the many challenges facing our oceans, yet too often 'doom and gloom' stories are the only kind of ocean news we hear.

"The evidence suggests that if we do not balance the bad news with good, and the problems with solutions, we will not motivate people to act.”

That’s a quote from the website of Ocean Optimism, a movement to inspire action to save the oceans not by highlighting what’s going wrong, but by sharing stories of what’s going right. Our guest this time is Ocean Optimism’s founder, Elin Kelsey.

Jacob Martinez: How Digital NEST Helps Youth Take Flight

Digital NEST founder Jacob Martinez

Jacob Martinez is the founder of Digital NEST, an incubator for young tech talent in the farming towns of Watsonville and Salinas, California.

Digital NEST graduates graduates have been hired not just by local companies but by multi-nationals like software maker Adobe, and the NEST has attracted donations from major venture capitalists. As we hear in this episode, Jacob thinks the success of Digital NEST can be replicated in small towns up and down California, and maybe even across the country.

Alex Gershenson: The Huge Potential of Making Corporate Buying More Sustainable

Alex Gershenson, CEO of SupplyShift

Most of the stuff we buy is made of raw materials and components traded back and forth all over the world. It’s a huge web of what are called supply chains, worth trillions of dollars a year—and it has huge environmental and social impacts.

A company in Santa Cruz, California called SupplyShift helps corporations manage their supply chains to make them sustainable. This episode: an eye-opening conversation with SupplyShift’s CEO, Alex Gershenson.

Patrice Maginnis: How Tech—High & Low—Is Changing the World of the Blind & Visually Impaired

Patrice Maginnins

Patrice Maginnis has experienced life as someone who can see, and as someone who can’t. She was born with retinitis pigmentosa and gradually went blind, losing all usable sight at age 60.

After a career on the music faculty of UC Santa Cruz, she now helps people adapt and thrive at the Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired. That often involves some surprising high tech solutions—like creative uses of smart phones—and some decidedly low tech ones as well—like the power of a welcoming community.

Saving Democracy: The Way Forward

Small United States flag being held above a crowd at a political rally

This time: a live recording of a terrific panel discussion featuring very smart people from across the ideological spectrum who have national experience in politics and media.

Amanda Renteria, Mike Madrid, Debbie Mesloh, Dan Schnur, Kristin Olsen, and Zach Friend joined host Spencer Critchley at Cabrillo College in Aptos, California on March 21, 2019 to go way beyond the usual talking points and offer deep insights into where we are — and how we go forward.


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