Whether you’re feeling burnt out from marathon Zoom meetings or looking to learn something new, this week’s roundup covers it all.  

Chosen by Ann Gordon-Tighe, Strategist

Podcast: In Front of Our Eyes

The murder of George Floyd was a defining moment in 2020, and the trial of Derek Chauvin and the other officers involved is viewed by many as a litmus test of our collective progress on racial justice since the reckoning of last year. In Front of Our Eyes, produced by the Minnesota NPR branch, digs into both the developments in court and the larger implications of this pursuit of justice in the local, national and international context.

Chosen by Jillian Nason, Director of Client Services

Book: Think Learn Succeed by Dr. Caroline Leaf

Recently, I’ve thought a lot about ways to continue learning, improving my cognitive and intellectual performance, and I started listening to more podcasts about strengthening my brain and expanding on its capabilities. This led me to Dr. Leaf’s book. It’s given me some great insight into how I can take more control of my thoughts and ultimately improve my capacity to learn.

Backed by recent and current scientific research, it’s a good read for anyone looking to help free the mind of chaotic and unproductive thinking or even if you just want to have a better understanding of why we think the way we do.

Chosen by Emily Mack, Senior Associate

Article: “Stanford Study into ‘Zoom Fatigue’ Explains Why Video Chats Are So Tiring” by Rich Haridy

Video conferencing (or “Zooming”) has become an integral part of life over this past year. Along with the benefits of being able to stay connected comes with drawbacks, like extreme levels of exhaustion and stress.

Zoom fatigue is real. The psychological and physical impacts of spending hours each day on video conferencing platforms has caused some serious consequences for many. Stanford University recently published the first peer-reviewed article explaining why this happens and what steps you can take to help manage and prevent burnout as we head into the second year of the pandemic.

Chosen by Alana Williams, CEO

Podcast: The Prof G Show with Scott Galloway Episode: Crypto, NFTs, and Blockchain ft. Raoul Pal

I found the first half of this episode fascinating as it helped me understand how our lives will be impacted by digital currency. The hosts suggest that ‘the internet of value’ will disrupt everything as society learns a completely new way of selling and buying. From democratizing real estate purchasing to being rewarded with digital tokens, this podcast greatly opened my mind to what will hold more value in the future – goods or influence?

Chosen by Anthony Fisher, Junior Associate

Podcast: A Grey Matter Episode: Sleep Basics

How many hours of sleep is typical? Why is a good night’s sleep important? Mental fatigue is on the rise, partly due to difficulties of finding an appropriate work-life balance and an increase in artificial light exposure through screen time. The podcast introduces Dr. Chelsie Rohrscheib, a neuroscientist, to discuss the different stages and aspects of sleeping. Of particular interest, is that your genetics play a role in whether you’re an early riser or a night owl.    

Chosen by Dayna Tumbach, Project Manager

Podcast: Tiny Victories

This podcast invites listeners to adopt a tiny victory frame of mind and shares tales of fleeting joys and minor accomplishments. Each 15-minute episode pushes back on the notion that you have to “go big or go home”—sometimes just going is the victory.

I recommend listening to the episode titled “Second Acts: For Shakira It’s Skateboarding…You?” celebrating Shakira’s latest hobby and the “second acts” that the hosts envision for themselves.  

Chosen by Cameron Dykstra, Senior Research Associate

Book: A Life in Computer Games by Sid Meier

This is an absolutely entertaining read on the achievements of one of the world’s finest game designers, known for creating the strategy game series Civilization. If you’re a fan of the games, you’ll enjoy reading about the game creation and how Meier’s design philosophy evolved from the early days of the gaming industry to now.

Even if you don’t know a thing about computer games or programming, Meier’s story is interesting in its humble exploration of the creative process and his own personal growth as a creative. As he says at the end of the memoir – “make sure all of your decisions are interesting ones.”

Chosen by Chris Henderson, Chief Strategist

Movie: Shin Godzilla (2016)

I am a major fan of giant monster movies, especially the Godzilla series, right from the 1954 original on to the most recent Godzilla vs. Kong. Yes, they are big and dumb, but they can also contain some real insights. Such is the case with the 2016 Japanese Godzilla reboot ‘Shin Godzilla.’ It has all the hallmarks of a Toho Godzilla feature – smashing Tokyo; semi-crummy special effects; the great theme song; acting as an allegory for the trauma of unleashing atomic weapons upon humanity; etc. 

But ‘Shin Godzilla’ also acts as a hilariously biting political satire, criticizing inflexible red tape and crass political conventions at a time when an unprecedented threat is upon humanity. Sound familiar?

Chosen by Jenny Black, Brand and Content Strategist

Article: Domino’s Admitted Their Pizza Tastes Like Cardboard and Won Back Our Trust by Cynthia Than

For 15 years, I’ve been a devotee of Domino’s Pizza; so much so that my husband and I receive a personalized Christmas card from the company every year (don’t judge me). But the pizza that we ordered last weekend isn’t the same as the pies from back in 2009 when the company completely changed their 49-year-old original recipe after a YouTube video of Domino’s employees went viral and the CEO started to take public opinion more seriously.

This article explores how by coming to terms with their shortcomings and being open to radical change, Domino’s Pizza was able to achieve an almost impossible comeback.

Chosen by Tracy With, COO

Podcast: WorkLife with Adam Grant

Each weekly episode of WorkLife with Adam Grant (Organizational Psychologist) centres around extraordinary people at work – from the team at Pixar who broke boundaries with The Incredibles, to Olympic athletes who cheer for their rivals. In immersive interviews that take place in both the field and the studio, Adam vividly brings his observations to life, revealing key insights in a friendly, accessible style.

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