Today we launched a new podcast

I am extremely bullish on the future of audio.

It breaks down barriers and opens the door to personal connections with listeners from around the world. With the invention of wireless headphones and the radical advances in part driven by Apple’s air pods, the number of people who now listen to audio while engaging in another activity has dramatically increased.

The way we listen is also changing and the way we interact with what we hear sends a unique message to our brain. I have found that if I listen to the same podcast twice while doing different activities, I will pick up different nuggets of information in each circumstance.

So, next time you are asked to listen to someone’s podcast… maybe ask a few questions and get to know the story behind the audio file that is now invading your personal space.

Here’s a bit of background around how I came to meet Jens in 2020.

One of the things that I am most grateful for is the people that I have had the opportunity to meet through and on my journey so far. If you read the CN&CO blog you will know that we have a series about the company we keep, here we share the details of the lives of people we know, showcasing the extraordinary diversity of our society and proving that people truly are at the heart of everything we do.

Earlier in the year I was introduced to Jens Heitland and today I had the opportunity to chat to him in a short podcast where we shared some thoughts about innovation, entrepreneurship and a reverse mentor project (The XYZ Playground) we launched today.

Jens, among many other achievements has been the Global Head of Innovation at IKEA. Currently he is working to connect one million entrepreneurs around the world in 2021 through Heitland Innovation.

Through his work he is also exploring a few interesting business models and connecting with people around the globe. I was introduced to him through a mutual friend, Yusuf Abraham who is a phenomenal design guru and entrepreneur. Yusuf and I met during my time working at EasyEquities in 2017 when Yusuf joined the team on his journey.

During the chat with Jens, I was reminded of the importance of being open to learning and just starting. Our ambition is to create a platform where leaders of today can learn from the leaders of tomorrow.

We started the XYZ Playground with 10 individuals from different parts of the world in October 2020. I look forward to sharing more about what we have planned over the coming weeks. Thanks Jens for the time and let’s see what dots we can connect, models we can build and change we can drive.

Over the coming months we are going to explore a few opportunities and challenge some traditional thinking, stay tuned. I am excited to connect with and learn from the ten others in a virtual group, prototyping ideas and growing.

Amazing how connections can come from simply having a conversation and being willing to learn, this is something that a mentor and very good mate, Carel Nolte, instilled in me during a conversation in early 2015 while having a drink and looking out over the Sandton Skyline in Joburg.

Appreciate the “now” and realise that it’s highly unlikely that we will ever have all the answer to the future that lies ahead.