21CV Podcast

Ep. 12 Live Episode! Roger Spitz

“I would love to see three focus areas for 21st first century skills. One is the foundational core skills, which presumably most schools and education deal with the literacy, numeracy, scientific, etc. The second area are competencies in terms of how can young citizens approach complex challenges and that’s everything to do with problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, collaboration. And the third piece is the character qualities which allow you to, to approach changing environments: initiative, curiosity, persistence, grit.” – Roger Spitz

Connect with Disruptive Futures Institute in San Francisco:

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In this special episode, we are releasing the recording of the first live 21st Century Visionary talk in partnership with and The Nebula challenge featuring the amazing and insightful Roger Spitz. 

Based in San Francisco, Roger Spitz is the founder of Techistential, the global Foresight, Strategy & Futures Intelligence platform. Roger is also founding Chairman of the Disruptive Futures Institute. He has two decades of experience leading investment banking businesses, advising CEOs, Founders, Boards, and Shareholders of companies globally on how to future-proof their business. As the former Head of Technology Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) with BNP Paribas, Roger advised on over 50 transactions across the world with an overall deal value of $25bn. Roger is also an advisor to a number of Accelerators, Incubators, and Venture Capital funds in Silicon Valley including Berkeley SkyDeck and Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center.

In this conversation, we covered Roger’s unique career trajectory how he got into Foresight and Futures thinking, His current work with Techistential and the Disruptive Futures Institute, The role of AI in the future, The AAA framework to future proof our careers, reforming the education system, the rise of generalists, Roger’s investing criteria, must-read books, and much much more!


0:00- 3:45 Intro and Roger’s bio

3:45- 8:00 Roger background and career trajectory

8:00- 9:45 The transition to futures thinking

10:00- 13:00 His current work and day-to-day

13:00- 20:00 The evolution of AI and the importance of the AAA framework for humans to stay relevant

20:00- 28:31 Future proofing our educations and the education system

29:00- 35:00 Roger’s investing criteria

35:20- 37:20 Successful pivots after COVID

38:00- 42:00 Emerging technologic trends

42:00- 46:20 How Gen Z should think about their future paths

46:40- 48:20 Lessons learnt from advising Berkeley Skydeck

49:00- 55:10 Must read books

55:45- 58:00 Roger’s vision for the future


Ep. 2 Michael Ioffe

“If you have a certain level of clarity about what you want to do and are very, very clear about what your mission is and how you’re going to accomplish it, those ideas tend to be naturally contagious”- Michael Ioffe

Today’s guest is Michael Ioffe. Michael is the 20 yr old founder of Arist, the text-based learning platform, recently named a Fast Company world changing idea and the social entrepreneur behind TILE, the world’s largest student-led conversation series. As a high schooler, he led the largest student protest in Oregon history to rebuild schools hit by the lead crisis and become the youngest high school teacher in Oregon history, teaching an innovation workshop class. As you would expect, Michael is a fascinating guy with tremendous insights and wisdom to share. We talked about the inspiration behind TILE and Arist, his journey starting out, challenges along the way, his role models, advice for young people starting out and much much more!

Connect with Michael Ioffe:

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0:00-3:00 Michael’s background

3:00-6:35 Starting TILE

6:35- 12:20 Scaling and growth

12.20- 16:35 Early struggles

16.20- 19.20 Student life and activism

19:20- 22:20 Mohammed Al-Adlani’s story hosting Tile events in Yemen and eventually escaping

22:20- 32:20 Beginnings of Arist and text message courses

32:20- 37:00 Mentors and early influences

37:00- 38:40 Doing by learning

38:40- 40:00 Staying motivated

40:00- 41:15 Creating value

41:15- 42:46 Vision for the future