From 2015-2016, I produced and presented a weekly podcast for the European Commission’s Drop’pin website aimed at young Europeans looking to improve their employability:

Each week in the Drop’pin Podcast, be inspired by stimulating conversations with thought leaders and innovators from across Europe and the world on a range of fascinating subjects. Tell us which topics you’d like to hear discussed and who you’d like to be interviewed by emailing editorial@droppin.eu. Listen in and go far! #DroppinGoFar.

Here is a selection of some of those shows:

In the first episode of the new Droppin.eu podcast, we speak to Stephane Kasriel, CEO of Upwork, about the freelance economy. Freelancing has become a more attractive option for millions who are shunning the traditional workplace out of choice rather than necessity and entering into more flexible, on-demand work arrangements. The digital revolution has made alternative working models and employment relationships more commonplace. In fields as diverse as journalism and design to consulting and computer programming, digital marketplaces offer individuals new opportunities for generating income for those with in-demand skills. Upwork is the world’s largest freelance talent marketplace. It connects some four million businesses with more than 10 million freelancers from 180 countries. But there are downsides to this new way of working, notably insecurity. What does the rise of the gig economy mean for the future of work? And how can young people take advantage of this trend?

What impact will robots and machine intelligence have on the human future? How is society being shaped by machine influence? These are just two of the many questions that concern Nell Watson, a self-confessed “entreprenerd”. Nell is an engineer and a futurist who is an expert in Artificial Intelligence and a lecturer at the renowned Singularity University in AI and Robotics. Nell has had an unusual career, including teaching post-grad Computer Science at the age of 24, and later co-founding a successful graffiti arts company. In 2010 she founded Poikos, the ‘Instagram for body measurement’. Her patented technology ‘dematerialises’ the 3D body scanner, by providing accurate 3D scans of the body with only 2D camera hardware, such as that found within smartphones, or laptops. In this episode, Nell tells us about her journey from student to engineer to tech entrepreneur to futurist and gives us her tips for making it as an entrepreneur in the digital age.

The Brussels Beer Project has been making waves on the Brussels craft brewing scene over the last twelve months. Founded by two friends in their garage and kitchen, Sebastien Morvan and Olivier de Brauwere started out as hobby brewers, but soon saw the potential for disrupting the conservative European beer industry. With their signature beer product made from recycled bread, the duo has turned the closed business of brewing into a community-minded enterprise, working with a Brussels-based NGO to collect bread from local supermarkets that would otherwise be discarded and turning it into something both tasty and profitable. With backing from crowdfunders, who receive beer for life in return for their contribution, and community tastings to choose which beers to produce, The Brussels Beer Project is truly co-creative. In this podcast, Morvan explains why beer making should have a social conscience and why, at just 32, he’s lived, worked and studied in 10 countries, including Brazil, Argentina and the UK.

British author, James Wallman’s bestselling book, Stuffocation: Living More With Less is a provocative manifesto for change. It challenges the reader to move away from a mentality of materialism, from having more “stuff” than we know what to do with, to one of experientialism, to doing more and being happier and healthier for it. In the book, Wallman traces our obsession with stuff back to the original Mad Men who first created desire through advertising. He interviews anthropologists studying the clutter crisis, economists searching for new ways of measuring progress, and psychologists who link rampant materialism to declining wellbeing. And he introduces us to the innovators who are turning their backs on all-you-can-get consumption, and trading in materialism for “experientialism” – where they find more happiness, live more meaningful lives, and express status more successfully, through experiences rather than stuff. In this podcast, Wallman explains how we can make the transition from having to doing, and how we can apply the principles behind Stuffocation to our search for meaningful work.