Amanda Renteria: How to Create Impact in the Public & Private Sectors

Amanda Renteria

Raised in a farmworking family, Amanda Renteria has worked for Goldman Sachs, the City of San Jose, and two senators; has been a teacher and coach at her old high school; has run for Congress; held a top position in Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign; directed operations for the California Department of Justice and this year, ran for Governor of California.

She has the insights to show — many of them arising from her own life story — as you’ll hear in this interview with Dastardly Cleverness host Spencer Critchley.

Saving Democracy: Bipartisan Views from Presidential Campaigns, Congress, National Media & More

Tiny American flag being held above a crowd at a political rally

LIVE episode: "Saving Democracy," featuring former Congressman Sam Farr, former Barack Obama and Kamala Harris adviser Debbie Mesloh, USC and UC Berkeley Professor and former top Republican consultant Dan Schnur (now a No Party Preference voter), former California Assembly Republican Leader Kristin Olsen, local elected official and presidential campaign veteran Zach Friend, and host Spencer Critchley. It was an in-depth and enlightening conversation, about topics that ranged from the frightening to the inspiring.

Joe Sanberg: We Can — And Must — End Poverty in 30 Years

Joe Sanberg

Joe Sanberg co-founded Aspiration, a socially responsible, online bank and investment firm. Aspiration invites customers to pay whatever they think its services are worth — even if that’s nothing.

He's a prime mover behind the California Earned Income Tax Credit, which has helped 800,000 low-income California families in its first two years of existence.

He established the Working Hero political action committee. Working Hero supports candidates who are committed to ending poverty.

And he believes we can end poverty in 30 years, and must, if democracy is to survive.

Find a Purpose or Face the Pitchforks: This Ad Agency Bets on Doing What's Right

Drew Train of Oberland

Drew Train was a rising star on Madison Avenue, working at the legendary J Walter Thompson agency for clients like HSBC, one of the biggest banks in the world.

But at night, he was going to Occupy Wall Street rallies.

That's because he thought something had gone very wrong with business: it was extracting more from the world than it was putting back, and benefiting the rich over everyone else.

Eventually, he couldn't stand the tension between his day job and his values, and he ended up leaving JWT to co-found, with Bill Oberlander, a new agency dedicated to purpose-driven marketing: Oberland.

What If Everyone Were Guaranteed a Paycheck?

Natalie Foster of the Economic Security Project

What if everyone got paid - even if they didn’t have a job? That’s the idea behind universal basic income, or UBI. Its advocates say we need it to protect humans who are losing their jobs to robots — and as one of the best ways to end poverty.

In this episode, Spencer Critchley talks to Natalie Foster of the Economic Security Project, which she started with Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes and Roosevelt Institute Fellow Dorian Warren to advocate for a UBI for all Americans.

How to Communicate for Impact: Lessons from Presidents, CEOs & the Grassroots

Sean Smith of Porter Novelli

We sometimes think that good communicators are just born talented, like a Jefferson or a Lincoln. And it’s probably true that the great ones have a special gift. But it’s also true that anyone can learn to communicate better.

To explore how, Spencer talks to Sean Smith, who has worked on presidential campaigns for Bill Clinton, John Kerry, and Barack Obama, served at the Department of Homeland Security, and is now at global PR firm Porter Novelli.

Why Do We Vote the Way We Do? New Findings Hold Surprises

Professor Mirta Galesic of the Santa Fe Institute

New podcast episode: Spencer Critchley talks to Santa Fe Institute researcher Mirta Galesic about how and why we vote. Mirta says complex social systems — offline and online — may explain a lot about the surprise election of Donald Trump, hyper-partisanship, media echo chambers, and many other aspects of the current state of democracy. For example, as she and her partners found in a just-published study, if you want to know how people will vote in an upcoming election, you may get better information if you ask them how their friends will vote.

North Korea & WMD: How to Think About the Unthinkable

David Schmerler

Spencer talks with David Schmerler, a Middlebury Institute of International Studies researcher who keeps track of North Korea and its weapons of mass destruction.

David says his work can be like a spy novel, or a video game — and in fact he even helped create a Minecraft simulation to help people understand what’s at stake. But knowing the difference between fiction and reality is crucial — for him, and for all of us.


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