Category Archives: Podcast

13. Mary Cohen

The Iowa Idea: Mary Cohen

Who we are as people helps us relate to others.

In this episode of The Iowa Idea Podcast, I sit down with Dr. Mary Cohen who is an Associate Professor and Area Head of Music Education at the University of Iowa. Mary researches music-making and wellness with respect to prison contexts, writing and songwriting, and collaborative communities. Mary discusses her journey to explore the idea of prison choirs and creating a community prison choir in Iowa. The Oakdale Community Choir is comprised of inside singers, those in the prison, and outside singers, community volunteers from outside of the prison.

Mary talks about the community benefits of looking at justice through the lenses of transformative and restorative justice. Exploring the healing that might take place as we look to improve outcomes for all involved in these complex issues. We discuss the problematic incentive system associated with the U.S. prison system.

As of May 2020, 154 original songs have been created, and they have had 174 inside singers and 149 outside singers participate in the choir.

This episode highlights the importance of community, collaboration, and creativity, especially the notion of social cohesion through creativity.

I’d like to thank Mary for joining me for this discussion. I hope you enjoy the episode.

About Mary

Mary L. Cohen, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor and Area Head of Music Education at the University of Iowa with a joint position in the College of Education and the School of Music. She researches music-making and wellness with respect to prison contexts, writing and songwriting, and collaborative communities. Since 2009, she has led the Oakdale Prison Community Choir, comprised of male inmates and women and men from the community.

She facilitates songwriting with choir members. As of May 2020, 154 original songs have been created, and we have had 174 inside singers and 149 outside singers participate in the choir. Some of these songs along with the choir newsletters are available at http://oakdalechoir.lib.uiowa.edu/. Her research is published in venues such as the International Journal of Research in Choral Singing, Journal of Research in Music Education, the Australian Journal of Music Education, Journal of Historical Research in Music Education, Journal of Correctional Education, the International Journal of Community Music, and the International Journal of Music Education, and numerous book chapters.

 Education, Journal of Correctional Education, the International Journal of Community Music, the Choral Journal, and a number of edited books.

Credits

Additional resources mentioned in this episode:

Choir performance at the beginning of the episode is “The Light That Shines Within” by Paul Soderdahl. © 2017 Paul Soderdahl, licensed under Creative CommonsAttribution-ShareAlike 4.0

Episode produced by Spark Consulting Group (www.inspiredbyspark.com) in Iowa City, with support from Executive Podcast Solutions (https://www.executivepodcastsolutions.com/)

The Iowa Idea Podcast music was written and performed by Paisley Bible.

12. Dominique Limoli

The tragedy of the commons.

In this episode of The Iowa Idea Podcast, I sit down with Dr. Nicki Limoli, Assistant Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at The University of Iowa. Our conversation covers Nicki’s journey to becoming a research scientist and complex systems of communication that can be found in bacteria, as well as approaches to learning, creativity, collaboration, and community.

Bacterial genomes have allowed us to see a broader picture of bacterial communities and how those communities thrive on diversity and yet can collapse through cheating and “the tragedy of the commons” -and how we see an “arms race” between pathogens and humans.

We dig deeper into culture and collaboration among scientists and across labs and the role of mentors and mentorship including ways to generate and test good hypotheses, including the importance of synthesis and the ability to ask interesting questions. We explore how a focus on perfection can impede research and learning. Nicki shares the importance of persistence and belief in your ability to contribute something special — “it’s on purpose, it’s not an accident.”

I really appreciated Nicki sharing how her personal cancer diagnosis, in a time of pandemic, is shaping and reshaping her relationship with her peers and community.

I’d like to thank Nicki for joining me for this discussion. I hope you enjoy the episode.

About Nicki

Dr. Limoli is an Assistant Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at The University of Iowa.

Research Summary

(from her University web page) Our research focuses on understanding interactions between microbial species during airway infection in individuals with cystic fibrosis. Data from our lab and others reveal interspecies interactions can alter microbial metabolism, motility, antibiotic tolerance, and production of virulence factors. We seek to understand the cellular mechanisms driving these interactions in order to modulate polymicrobial community behavior and improve patient outcomes. We utilize live-cell imaging, bacterial genetics, and molecular biology approaches to interrogate polymicrobial interactions at the population and single-cell level, in both in vitro models of infection and in ex vivo patient samples.

Education

BS, Biological Sciences, Ohio University

PhD, Biomedical Research, Emphasis in Microbial Pathogenesis, Ohio State University

Postdoctoral Fellow, Emory University

Postdoctoral Fellow, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth

Education/Training Program Affiliations

Medical Scientist Training Program

Credits

Episode produce by Spark Consulting Group (www.inspiredbyspark.com) in Iowa City, with support from Executive Podcast Solutions (https://www.executivepodcastsolutions.com/)

The Iowa Idea Podcast music written and performed by Paisley Bible.

11. John Sweeney

“Be sure to laugh today”

I think improv is an essential mindset for innovation and design. In this episode of The Iowa Idea Podcast, I sit down with John Sweeney. John, along with wife Jenni Lilledahl, are the co-owners of The Brave New Workshop (BNW). The Brave New Workshop is the nation’s longest running satirical and improv comedy theatre. John and the Brave New Workshop have developed corporate training and education programs that help leverage an improv mindset to develop an innovative mindset.

I’m a big fan of improv as a way to cultivate better social-emotional intelligence in organizations. John and I explore his journey to innovation, how he helps organizations utilize improv, and how he prepares for his keynote speeches.

From a design and craft perspective, I really appreciated how the Brave New Workshop developed new lines of business by listening to their customers and how John continues to work on his craft. Taking a “humbly serve” attitude to approaching his business and performance. By not taking himself too seriously, he’s able to extend the work and vision of Dudley Riggs. The spirit of service and support from Dudley’s philosophy of providing a “safe haven for the freaks.”

I’d like to thank John for joining me for this discussion. I hope you enjoy the episode.

About John

John Sweeney is changing the face of business through powerful, interactive keynotes that wow every single time. John shines a light on the important role mindset and everyday behavior play in an organization’s ability to capitalize on change, drive employee engagement, and build customer relationships. For 18+ years he has been helping forward-thinking global companies look beyond the skills and tools they invest in and truly move the needle by including mindset and behavior in their strategy. John shines in front of executive level audiences, and is consistently ranked as the top speaker – both in style and substance. Not to mention that he is hilarious. You can see clips from some of John’s talks here.

About The Innovative Mindset

The Innovative Mindset calls the accepted definition of innovation into question, urging you to consider how innovation might function as a behavior that you perpetuate, rather than an inflexible theory or corporate-defined initiative. By asking yourself what it takes to be innovative—and by being honest with yourself about the answer—you can incorporate innovation into your life much in the same way that you would a behavior to help you lose weight, increase your strength, learn to play the piano, or improve your relationships.

About The Brave New Workshop

Founded in 1958 by Dudley Riggs, the Brave New Workshop (BNW) has grown to include the longest running satirical and improv comedy theatre in the U.S., a pioneering institute for personal development, a thriving corporate training business, and top business speakers. BNW’s unique and interactive learning experiences transform people’s thinking and behavior for the better through a laughter-filled methodology stemming from 20+ years of helping Fortune 500 clients deliver meaningful training that moves the needle for their people. More and better ideas, more collaboration, more discovery, less fear — that’s what the BNW stands for. Their world-class facilitators deliver live and virtual thought-provoking sessions helping professionals discover how to increase their organizations’ ability to perform and thrive in complex, unpredictable, business environments.

Credits

John’s character and fundraising for Smile Network International – Jiggly Boy

Brave New Workshop’s overview of improv – https://vimeo.com/164371000

Episode produce by Spark Consulting Group (www.inspiredbyspark.com) in Iowa City, with support from Executive Podcast Solutions (https://www.executivepodcastsolutions.com/)

The Iowa Idea Podcast music written and performed by Paisley Bible.

10. Dave Hill

“Be kind. Work hard. Have fun. Entertain yourself and be a hero to your fifteen-year-old self.”

In this episode of The Iowa Idea Podcast, I sit down with Dave Hill.

Dave and I talked about his approach to his various creative endeavors. From a design perspective, I really appreciated how context matters for each medium he’s working in and how Dave will iterate on new comedy bits. When it comes to music, Dave likes to think of scenarios involving fictional bands to help him write new material. I was also impressed with the number of collaborators Dave involves in his projects and how he strives to create genuine moments on stage when he blends comedy and music.

A quick note about language. As Alex Dezen described in Episode 1 of the podcast regarding curse words. Iowa Writers’ Workshop instructor Ethan Canin, said well placed curse words are like a cherry on a sundae. Well listeners, there’s a few delightful cherries in this episode.

Dave was very generous when my nerves got the best of me and I failed to remember the differences between death metal and black metal. We exchanged stories, about Husker Du, Cheap Trick, Neil Hamburger, and our love of hockey, including the sub-genre of hockey player socks. I hope that we can get Dave to Iowa City for a show at The Mill or to enjoy Mission Creek in the not-too-distant future.

I’d like to thank Dave for joining me for this discussion. I hope you enjoy the episode.

About Dave

Dave Hill is a comedian, writer, musician, actor, radio host and man-about-town originally from Cleveland, Ohio, but now living in New York City in a totally sweet apartment with a party deck and everything. He is the author of three books, Tasteful Nudes, Dave Hill Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, and his most recent, Parking the Moose (available in soft cover next month). He has written for The New York Times, GQ, Salon, The Paris Review, McSweeney’s, The New York Observer, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, VICE, Guitar World and a bunch of other places. Comedy legend Dick Cavett called Dave “a major figure among American comic writers, past and present,” which is pretty much the coolest thing that has ever happened as far as Dave is concerned.

Dave has appeared on such TV shows as Inside Amy Schumer and Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, hosted for HBO and Cinemax, and performed live comedy around the world. He hosts The Goddamn Dave Hill Show on the WFMU radio station in Jersey City every Monday night. Dave is a frequent contributor to public radio’s This American Life. He is also a musician who currently sings and plays guitar in the psych/garage rock band Painted Doll, the extremely extreme Norwegian black metal band Witch Taint, and the power pop band Valley Lodge, whose song “Go” is the theme to HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.

Credits

Thank you to Dave for taking the time to join the podcast.

Dave’s Books – https://www.davehillonline.com/books

Dave’s Music – https://www.davehillonline.com/music

Dave’s Podcasts – https://www.davehillonline.com/podcasts

The Pride of Cleveland – https://800pgr.lnk.to/DaveWE

The Black Metal Dialogues – https://www.theblackmetaldialogues.com/intro.html

Dave’s music and comedy on this episode used with permission from Dave himself.

Valley Lodge – “Go” from the album “Use Your Weapons”

Witch Taint – “Interlude: Black Metal vs Death Metal” from the album “Sons of Midwestern Darkness”

Dave’s Message for My Mom – https://v.cameo.com/mbL1lZHeM6

Episode produce by Spark Consulting Group (www.inspiredbyspark.com) in Iowa City, with support from Executive Podcast Solutions (https://www.executivepodcastsolutions.com/)

The Iowa Idea Podcast music written and performed by Paisley Bible.

9. Kade Schemahorn

“Making things easy to use is not enough. It takes time to make something meaningful.”

In this episode of The Iowa Idea Podcast, I sit down with Kade Schemahorn. Among the many topics we discussed, we explored design ethics and design responsibility. I’ve been lucky enough to work alongside Kade on a number of projects. I’ve always appreciated his thoughtful approach to design and collaboration. So, I was delighted when he agreed to join me on The Iowa Idea Podcast.

Kade talked about what he took away from his time at the Austin Center for Design (AC4D). We discuss how we were influenced by Jon Kolko, especially his first book Thoughts on Interaction Design. As it relates the the craft of design, one principle Kade carries with him from AC4D is the notion of “do it again.”

We cover the importance of being persistent and curious as one works on their craft and the challenges faced in complex design projects. As Kade says in our interview, “I’m always surprised it doesn’t come easier… every project is a slog, but most of it is related to taking on more complex challenges.”

I’d like to thank Kade for joining me for this discussion. I hope you enjoy the episode.

About Kade

Kade Schemahorn is a user experience designer interested in how designers can become better stewards of technology and how we can make products and services that better align with our values.

In 2015, he participated in a program at the Austin Center for Design where he earned a certificate in interaction design and social entrepreneurship.

After AC4D, Kade spent a year at the experience design agency, Handsome, putting his training in design research into practice for clients across a wide variety of industries.

Most recently, Kade has devoted his attention to researching and understanding other design researchers like himself, helping to build a digital system for storing and sharing user research so that organizations can make more informed decisions to better serve people.

Credits

Thank you to Kade for taking the time to join the podcast.

Episode produce by Spark Consulting Group (www.inspiredbyspark.com) in Iowa City, with support from Executive Podcast Solutions (https://www.executivepodcastsolutions.com/)

The Iowa Idea Podcast music written and performed by Paisley Bible.

8. Ed Nehring

“We approached it like we were never going to be invited back.”

In this episode of The Iowa Idea Podcast, I sit down with friend Ed Nehring. Ed has ben a fixture of the Iowa City music scene since the early 1980’s. Some of his bands have included Red Throb, The Day Glow Bomber Boys, Los Marauders, The Rough Housers, and Hott.

Ed is one of my absolute favorite people to talk with and learn from. I’m honored that he joined me on the podcast. Our conversation talks about Ed’s journey as a musician and performer. Ed describes how his first encounter with a Devo record made him physically ill and yet remains one of his favorite records. Ed’s approach to his life and his craft is a continued examination  and application of his principles. Ed demonstrates a relentless approach to being true to himself.

Our conversation spans Ed’s early love of rock and roll, punk rock mayhem, to what he learned from studying Zen Buddhism, and how he made music his meditation. Ed is careful to separate a dedication to craft from the pursuit of being famous.

We discussed Ed’s approach to practice and rehearsal and why exploring details and communicating is imperative when collaborating. Ed talks about his philosophy to craft as an approach to “sort yourself out” and the importance of separating your on-stage persona from who you are in real life. As Ed says in our interview, “it’s hard to be that honest with yourself.’

Thanks for checking out The Iowa Idea Podcast. I hope you enjoy the episode.

About Ed

Ed Nehring has been a fixture of the Iowa City music scene since the early 1980’s. Some of the bands that Ed has been involved in were Red Throb, The Day Glow Bomber Boys, Los Marauders, The Rough Housers, and Hott. His journey from punk rocker to dedicated improviser is one of self-discovery and a commitment to expressing himself freely. Ed’s passion led him to transform his basement into the Sacred Garden, a performance space dedicated to the exploration of improvised music.

From IMDB’s description of “Music of the Moment”:

Since “Music of the Moment” was filmed over a period of five years, there are marked changes among the characters’ ideas and commitments toward improvised music. Nehring’s dedication to the music as a practice of self-awareness and true expression deepens as the film progresses. In fact, it deepens to the point it becomes religious in nature and Nehring no longer feels compelled or comfortable performing publicly. Ironically, after five years of filming, it is Nehring’s deepening awareness that turns out to be the natural and obvious ending of the film. The film culminates with a spectacular night of performances at the Sacred Garden that encapsulates the spirit and theories of improvised music. The Sacred Garden has since long been gone and the spirit has moved on, but for those lucky enough to experience this unique anthropological study of a movement, it will remain.

Credits

Thank you to Ed Nehring for taking the time to join the podcast.

Additional music from:

  • “I’m a Marauder” by Los Maunders (Teen Beat Records)
  • “Read Your Mind” by Hott

Episode produce by Spark Consulting Group (www.inspiredbyspark.com) in Iowa City, with support from Executive Podcast Solutions (https://www.executivepodcastsolutions.com/)

The Iowa Idea Podcast music written and performed by Paisley Bible.

7. John Kenyon

“There’s always something new being created.”

In this episode of The Iowa Idea Podcast, I sit down with John Kenyon, executive director of The Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature organization. John grew up in Des Moines and graduated from the University of Iowa and lives in Iowa City.

I enjoyed being able to talk with John about Iowa City’s role as a City of Literature, the organization’s approach to programming, and, as a non-profit, how to manage resources effectively, as well as the many facets of this literary community. John talks about his journey in exploring journalism that led him to The University of Iowa and how the that industry has changed over the past few decades. As a student, John worked worked at The DI, The Daily Iowan. Shortly after recording this interview, the Society of Professional Journalists named The Daily Iowan the Best All-Around Daily Student Newspaper in the country. John and I also cover the role of collaboration in building resilient communities.

From the City of Literature website “how could a small city in the center of the American heartland have such a wide-ranging impact on creative writing? The answer is that Iowa City, for its size, may be the most literary city on earth. It has a unique set of influential literary institutions, which explore new ways to teach and support writers. At the same time, it has long been, quite simply, a place for writers: a haven, a destination, a proving ground, and a nursery.”

Thanks for checking out The Iowa Idea Podcast. I hope you enjoy the episode.

About John

John Kenyon is the executive director of the Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature organization. Prior to that, he spent 20 years in journalism in the Corridor, most recently as editor of the Corridor Business Journal. He is a Des Moines native and a graduate of the University of Iowa. He lives in Iowa City with his wife, Mary, and their two sons.

Iowa City was named the third City of Literature in the world in 2008 by UNESCO, and today it is one of 39 international Cities of Literature, and part of the 246-member UNESCO Creative Cities Network. The nonprofit Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature organization manages the designation on behalf of the city. In that role, the organization advocates on behalf of the community’s literary assets, produces programming to enhance the literary culture, and interacts with UNESCO and the other members of the Creative Cities Network.

Credits

Thank you to John Kenyon for taking the time to join the podcast.

Episode produce by Spark Consulting Group (www.inspiredbyspark.com) in Iowa City, with support from Executive Podcast Solutions (https://www.executivepodcastsolutions.com/)

The Iowa Idea Podcast music written and performed by Paisley Bible.

6. Kurt Nelson

“Context Matters.”

In this episode of The Iowa Idea Podcast, I sit down with Kurt Nelson, PhD. Kurt earned his bachelor’s degree and his MBA at The University of Iowa. He is a business owner and co-founder, along with Tim Houlihan, of Behavioral Grooves, one of the world’s top podcasts on behavioral science.

In honor of Behavioral Grooves podcast, I force Kurt to answer “coffee or tea?” Turns out, with most things in life, context matters. We discuss his road to becoming a behavioral scientist and podcaster; and how working on honing one’s craft can improve their approach to business.

We cover the endowment effect and how it can hamper our decision making. We explore ways to mitigate our own ego and biases to make better decisions. We get to dig in to Annie Duke’s “Thinking in Bets” approach to making better decisions and being a more socially mature collaborator.

I enjoyed being able to nerd out with Kurt, discussing how design and behavioral science lenses can help us better collaborate, iterate, and improve our decisions. I really appreciated Kurt taking the time to join the podcast and sharing “the importance of not holding ourselves and our ideas on a pedestal.”

Thanks for checking out The Iowa Idea Podcast. I hope you enjoy the episode.

About Kurt

Kurt is a sought-after speaker and recognized leader in human motivation and behavior change. For over 20 years, Kurt has worked with global companies to apply behavioral science principles to drive change in their organizations.

He is founder and president of The Lantern Group, a behavioral change and communication agency.  He also is the co-founder, with Tim Houlihan, of the Behavioral Grooves podcast, where they interview leading academic and business executives from around the world and explore how they apply behavioral science to their work and lives.

All his work focuses on understanding ways to positively influence how people behave. Kurt has his MBA from The University of Iowa and his Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Capella University.

Credits

Thank you to Kurt Nelson.

Episode produce by Spark Consulting Group (www.inspiredbyspark.com) in Iowa City, with support from Executive Podcast Solutions  (https://www.executivepodcastsolutions.com/)

The Iowa Idea Podcast music written and performed by Paisley Bible.

5. Mike Monteiro

In this episode of The Iowa Idea Podcast, I sit down with Mike Monteiro, the co-founder of Mule Design. Mike has authored three books on design and speaks frequently about the craft of design and the importance of ethics. As Mike says, “designers are ultimately responsible for what they put fourth in the world.”

Mike has recently started Quarantine Book Club with Erika Hall.

Thanks to Mike for joining me on The Iowa Idea Podcast, and thank you for taking the time to listen.

I hope you enjoy the episode.

About Mike

Mike Monteiro is the co-founder and design director of Mule Design. He prefers that designers have strong spines. Mike writes and speaks frequently about the craft, ethics, and business of design.

He loves design so much he wrote three books on the topic, Design is a Job and You’re My Favorite Client, both from A Book Apart. In 2019, he wrote Ruined by Design. Mike received the 2014 Net award for Conference Talk of the Year for his inspirational polemic on responsibility, “How Designers Destroyed the World.”

Credits

Thank you to Mike Monteiro.

Episode produce by Spark Consulting Group (www.inspiredbyspark.com) in Iowa City, with support from Executive Podcast Solutions  (https://www.executivepodcastsolutions.com/)

The Iowa Idea Podcast music written and performed by Paisley Bible.

4. Charity Nebbe

“We’re all human.”

In this episode of The Iowa Idea Podcast, I sit down with the host of IPR’s “Talk of Iowa,” Charity Nebbe. We discuss her approach to her show, the importance of collaboration, and the impacts of the current pandemic at the local and national level. We touch upon Iowa City’s connection to Katherine Applegate’s “Wish Tree.” As proud Iowans and political nerds, we try to make sense of what happened to the Iowa Caucus in February –  what problems were revealed, and what might happen in the future.

In this episode, Charity shares the importance of being present and truly listening to those that you’re interviewing, and synthesizing feedback from mentors, and how context matters and how to make eye contact with your listener, even over the radio. We talk about the power of an authentic voice and personality, and as Charity says “you can’t sell what you won’t buy.”

Thanks to Charity for joining me on The Iowa Idea Podcast, and thank you for taking the time to listen.

I hope you enjoy the episode.

About Charity

From the Iowa Public Radio website.

Charity Nebbe grew up in rural Iowa just outside of Cedar Falls.  She began her career in public radio at WOI Radio in Ames, Iowa when she was a student at Iowa State University and has been working in public radio ever since.  Early in her career she created Chinwag Theater a nationally syndicated public radio show that she produced and co-hosted with well known author Daniel Pinkwater.  She spent ten years at Michigan Radio in Ann Arbor and in 2010 returned to Iowa.

Charity is now the host of Iowa Public Radio’s Talk of Iowa, heard weekday mornings at 10.  She is also the host of Iowa Ingredient on Iowa Public Television and the author of the children’s book “Our Walk in the Woods,” published in 2008. Charity is the chair of the advisory board for Let Me Run Eastern Iowa Corridor, a character development and running program for boys.

Credits

Thank you to Charity Nebbe.

Photo Credit Cameron McCoy

Episode produce by Spark Consulting Group 9 (www.inspiredbyspark.com) in Iowa City, with support from Executive Podcast Solutions – https://www.executivepodcastsolutions.com/

The Iowa Idea Podcast music written and performed by Paisley Bible.