Episode Date November 18, 2021
Featured Guest John Kay
Featured Book "The Secret of Our Success" by Joseph Henrich

Episode Summary

John Kay reading from Joseph Henrich’s The Secret of Our Success and discussing the role of collective intelligence in societal development.

Briefly, at The Australian National University, I was a member of AIESEC, an international group of economics students. There were good moments, but I eventually had the realisation that these weren’t really my people; they just didn’t have a similar lens on the world, to me. So, I assumed that all economists were the same, until a few years ago when I read a wonderful book called Obliquity. It was wise, grounded, human, provocative, and had, at its heart, the insight that we rarely figure out – the hard, complex things – and it was written by an economist.

After some time in academia, John Kay realised that he possessed a unique skill, one that was uncommon in the typical economist. John has already appeared on this podcast, featured as an author in someone else’s read. He’s a British economist, and truthfully, a philosopher. He is what a real influencer looks and sounds like.

John reads two pages from ‘The Secret of Our Success’ by Joseph Henrich. [reading begins at 11:15]

Hear us discuss:

  • The significance of social learning in the world: “You’ll never see two chimpanzees carrying a log together.” [16:52]
  • The process of shifting foundational beliefs: “It’s not that they’re worse people, it’s that the environment in which they operate has been a different one.” [18:12]
  • Finding inspiration and hope. [22:47]
  • Reducing polarisation. [24:39]

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John Kay | Website

John Kay’s books | Obliquity: Why Our Goals Are Best Achieved Indirectly | Radical Uncertainty: Decision-Making Beyond the Numbers

Joseph Henrich | The Secret of Our Success: How Culture Is Driving Human Evolution, Domesticating Our Species, and Making Us Smarter

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Michael Bungay Stanier

Michael Bungay Stanier

I'm the author of five books that have collectively sold more than a million copies. I'm the founder of Box of Crayons, a learning and development company that helps organizations move from advice-driven to curiosity-led. I'm the host of the *2 Pages with MBS* podcast.

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