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21st Century Visionary

21st Century Visionary

By Sanat Singhal
21st Century Visionary is the go-to podcast for young entrepreneurs, leaders, and changemakers aiming to create the future. The podcast is hosted by Sanat Singhal, a 17-year-old kid with a vision to connect young people with the content and community to dream an inspiring vision for society and make it a reality. So every episode, we feature the stories of young people executing on their inspiring visions for society or seek guidance from thought leaders and experienced veterans who have impacted our lives.
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Ep. 16 Live Episode! Young Entrepreneurs Panel at Nebula Summit ft. Michael Ioffe, Wes Woodson and Avni Barman
Hello and Welcome back to the 21st Century Visionary podcast, the one and only podcast designed to empower young people to thrive in the 21st Century. I am your host Sanat Singhal. Today’s episode features a live youth entrepreneurship panel discussion I moderated at the Nebula Summit. The panel featured 3 inspiring entrepreneurs, the founder of Arist, Michael Ioffe, chief storyteller at the hidden company Wes Woodson, and founder of GenShe Avni Barman. We talked about their journeys, the spark behind their ventures, key resources they utilized, finding mentors, networking, leveraging your youth and inexperience, building community, finding your why, their vision and much more!  Huge shoutout to Nebula Youth Camps for organizing this amazing event! This upcoming Sunday, October 4 at 4 pm PST, I am hosting a live AMA with serial entrepreneur Art Norins, who founded the global tech service Nor1 and serves as the CEO of AI company RS11. It will be streamed live on Twitch, Youtube and Facebook so you can ask questions there. Learn more and RSVP at
October 1, 2020
Ep. 15 Aradhita Parasrampuria on using bacteria to create sustainable dyes, self-learning microbiology as a fashion student and the future of sustainable fashion
Today's episode features sustainable fashion visionary Aradhita Parasampuria. As a researcher at Genspace Z, the world’s first community biotechnology lab, Aradhita created genetically modified competent Escherichia coli to stain fabric as a replacement to synthetic dyes. The genetically modified colorfast bacterial dyes that she created use up to 431 times less water than synthetic dyes. This was also the topic of her senior thesis at Parson School of Design, from which she graduated with honors this spring. Finally, she happens to be my cousin’s sister! It was fascinating to dive deep into her story, how she got the idea for creating bacterial dyes, the process of developing them without any scientific background, networking, sustainable fashion, and much more!  
September 23, 2020
Ep 14. Audrey Pe on Starting Witech at age 15, Public Speaking as an Introvert, and Making your own Opportunities
"I believe that in order to get really good opportunities you shouldn't wait for them to come to you, you should make them for yourself." - Audrey Pe Audrey Pe (@audreyisabelpe) is an incoming freshman at Stanford University and the founder and executive director of WiTech (@witechorg) -- a nonprofit organization based in the Philippines that aims to educate, inspire, and empower youth to break gender barriers and use tech to make a difference in society. Through WiTech, she has been working on projects at the intersection of technology and education since she launched the organization at age 15. She is now 19 and finishing up the remainder of her gap year. In quarantine, her time has mostly been spent going on partnership calls, speaking at webinars, and coordinating with WiTech’s 11+ chapters in 4+ countries on how to break the gender and accessibility gaps in tech. Her work with WiTech has garnered her recognition as a 2019 Global Teen Leader, 2020 Pinterest Council of Courage member, 2018 Zonta Young Women in Public Affairs District awardee, 2019 Zonta Women in Technology Asia-Pacific District Scholar, Opportunity Desk 30 Under 30 Changemaker, 2020 Women in IT Advocate of the Year Finalist, and 2019 Women in Tech Global Aspiring Teen Award Finalist. A two-time TEDx, ASEAN and UN speaker, she has delivered over 30+ talks and has also been featured in local and international publications like Forbes, Esquire, and Elite Daily. In this conversation, we talk about starting Witech, how she pivoted her blog to become a community organization, securing partnerships with brands like Accenture to host events, experience speaking to thousands of attendees at tech conferences as an introvert, learning from failure, turning inspiration into action, recruiting for student organizations, forming a team, recommended books, and much more!
September 16, 2020
Visionary College Series: Inside Babson College ranked the #1 entrepreneurship university, ft Sumukh Setty and Jason Shatsky
This is the first episode in our visionary college series, where we cover the entrepreneurship education and community at the #1 entrepreneurship school in the US, Babson College. I talk Sumukh Setty, the former President of E-tower (Babson's premier entrepreneurial community) and past podcast guest, and Jason Shatsky, another senior at Babson University, and the current president of E-tower. In this conversation, we talk about why they chose Babson, get an inside look into E-tower, learn about Jason’s experience transferring to Babson, advice for getting into this selective university, unique opportunities, potential downsides of the school, things they wish they knew coming in and much much more!
September 5, 2020
Ep. 12 Live Episode! Roger Spitz on Future-Proofing our Education, Careers and Businesses in the 21st Century
Welcome back to the 21st Century Visionary podcast, the one and only podcast designed to bring young people the content and community to dream and execute on their inspiring vision for society. 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 Techistenial 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!
August 19, 2020
Ep. 11 Yashvardhan Sharma on overcoming a speech impediment, life-changing advice from an ancient philosopher, and favorite books
Welcome back to 21st Century Visionary, the one, and only podcast featuring the stories of young entrepreneurs and leaders to provide you with the knowledge and inspiration to take action on your vision for society. This is the second part of a two-part conversation with Yashvardhan Sharma. In this conversation, we dive into Yash's personal story. Yash opens up about a severe speech impediment he had from a young age, the social anxiety that came with it, and how he overcame all of that by drawing lessons from a 2000-year-old philosophy. We also get into why he decided to take a gap year, productivity hacks, favorite books, his vision for the future, and much more!
August 9, 2020
Ep 10. Growing a publication from 200 to 200,000 global viewers with $0 in advertising Part 1, feat Yashvardhan Sharma
"Last month, we hit 140,000 people. I could not have imagined that we would hit that milestone in the entire history of the website."- Yashvardhan Sharma.  Welcome back to 21st Century Visionary, the one and only podcast that covers the stories of young entrepreneurs and leaders to provide you with the knowledge and inspiration to take action on your vision for society. Today I am talking with Yashvardhan Sharma. Yash is the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of the Tidings Blog, a student-run blog with articles on economics, economic history, and history. To date, they have published over 100+ academic articles reaching over 200,000 people around the globe. He is also the Founding Head of Operations at The Kudrat Initiative, a recycling and upcycling non-profit that has recycled close to 1,000lb of paper. He graduated high school in India and is currently taking a gap year to work on his ventures. In this first part of a two-part conversation, we covered everything that goes into building a successful publication including the early beginnings, assembling and motivating a global team, maintaining objectivity and credibility, finding interviewees, guerilla marketing strategies, and creating systems. With that please enjoy this value-packed episode with: Yashvardhan Sharma.
July 28, 2020
Stephanie Su on hosting the largest all-women hackathon, partnering with Uber, hosting virtual workshops and the importance of empathy
Today’s episode features the amazing Stephanie Su. Stephanie Su is a rising Bay Area high school senior passionate about technology, business, and design. She is the Lead Director of Superposition, a non-profit bridging the gender gap in tech through creating an empowering community and educational opportunities including the Bay Area's largest all-women and non-binary hackathon. As Lead Director, Stephanie has expanded Superposition beyond a 24-hour hackathon and reached 60,000+ individuals in 47 countries. She also serves as Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director of Ad Astra Youth, a non-profit empowering youth leader by fostering student initiatives through consultations, mentorship, and community-building. Outside of working on Superposition and Ad Astra, Stephanie helps lead Project CreateAFuture, debates competitively, and studies CS and math. In this conversation, we covered the different aspects of leading Superposition including leading a team of over 10 members, securing partnerships with tech companies such as Uber and Facebook, increasing event attendance tenfold from the previous year, and hosting virtual workshops to a global audience. We also touched on her other initiatives Project Create a Future and Ad Astra as well as her advice for other young leaders. 
July 18, 2020
Rohan Gupta on investing at age 12, connecting with famous investor Tim Draper, teaching finance concepts in India, and starting StreetFins
Today's episode features the young finance wizard Rohan Gupta. Rohan was 12 when he made his first investment in stocks. Since then, his passion for investing has only grown as he headed his school’s investment club, bringing in guest speakers such as renowned investors Tim Draper and Howard Marks. He went on to found StreetFins, a platform aimed at simplifying finance for the younger generation by creating educational content. As part of this initiative, he hosts the podcast Finance simplified where he interviews successful investors and professors on various Finance topics. Rohan is currently a rising freshman at the University of Southern California. We talk about his first investment, the role of psychology in investing, connecting with famous investors, teaching Finance, starting Streetfins, favorite books, his vision for the future, and much much more!
July 3, 2020
Ep 7. Megan Cui and Mingjie Jiang on running a non-profit, Adapting to COVID-19 and the CS-Ed landscape
Today we are joined by Megan Cui and Mingjie Jiang, co-founders of the organization Execute Big. Execute Big is dedicated to helping more students, leaders, and schools dream big and execute big through providing travel grants for students to attend hackathons, doing event consulting, and conducting research. Before founding Execute Big, Megan and Mingjie helped organize Hack Chicago and Hack Cincinnati, the Midwest's largest high school hackathons. Megan is currently a rising sophomore at Harvard University, studying economics and computer science. Mingjie is a rising freshman at UC Berkeley intending to study computer science. This was an extremely interesting conversation where we talked about their personal stories, the CS education landscape, adapting to COVID-19, and their advice for other young people.
June 26, 2020
Ep 6. Wes Woodson on the power of storytelling, partnering with Nike, and starting a movement
Today's episode features Wes Woodson and is co-hosted by Wonho Do, a friend, and an incoming freshman at the NYU Stern School of Business. Wes is the chief storyteller of the hidden company and the founder of Feet2Feet. Through the hidden company, Wes has sparked a movement presented through the form of street-wear clothing, to encourage people to be themselves, unapologetically. Feet2Feet is an organization dedicated to providing footwear to the underprivileged. They have been able to partner with Reebok and many individual donors to distribute over 400 sneakers to shelters. Wes graduated from Babson College this year with a degree in Global Business Management. We talk about his entrepreneurial roots, the power of storytelling, building a clothing brand, authenticity, overcoming self-doubt, and much much more! With that, please enjoy my wide-ranging conversation with the inspiring  Wes Woodson.
June 13, 2020
Ep 5. Hassan Sohail on winning the Diamond Challenge, being inspired by diapers, and the Biological Revolution
" I have a weird attachment to synthetic biology, which is achieving biological immortality. I want to be a part of this revolution right now and leave a mark as a huge figure who made an impact through the biological revolution. But, the main plan is leaving the world better than we found it." Today's guest is Hassan Sohail. Hassan is the young co-founder of Solvify, which is aimed at addressing the global water scarcity and food insecurity problems. He has helped develop an intelligent super absorbent nano-powder to do just that. In 2018, Hassan and his cofounder Hasham won the social innovation prize at the Diamond Challenge, an international business competition. We talk about his origin story, the scientific underpinnings of his idea, pitching to investors, favorite books, future plans, the next technological revolution, and much much more!
May 29, 2020
Ep 4. Victor Luo on non-profit fundraising, leading older employees as a 20 year old, and reframing failures
"When you're a younger founder, you should really own it... I can tell you that there are certain things that don't come into play with age like your work ethic, your determination, your grit, or will to not give up. I think that (those traits) definitely contribute to a startup's success far more than experience." Today's guest is Victor Luo. Victor started his first company NEAT at the age of 15, to provide educational opportunities to impoverished rural children in China. Neat provides scholarships to students facing financial hardships so they can finish high school. He went on to found the tech company Bound which creates software to help companies run smooth and punctual meetings. At the age of 20, Victor took a gap year to join Bound full time as the co-CEO, leading a time of 8 employees. We talk about his story, guerrilla marketing tactics, managing a team, his favorite reading hack, learning from failure, and much much more!
May 13, 2020
Ep. 3: Atte Leskinen on partnering with Nokia, education technology , and building a global brand
"It doesn't really matter who you connect with at first. But actually  talk with people to get to know what they're interested in. What do you think what's needs to be? What needs to be fixed? Get to know your playing field."- Atte Leskinen Todays guest is Atte Leskinen. Atte is the 20 yr old Finnish cofounder and head of international relations of Start North, an organization aimed at revolutionizing education by offering an innovative and youth based education community. We talk about his story, networking tips, concretizing a vision, 5g technology in education, building a global brand and much much more. Enjoy!
May 2, 2020
Ep 2. Michael Ioffe on overcoming rejection, problems with scaling, and learning through text messages
"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. Please enjoy my conversation with- Michael Ioffe.
April 24, 2020
Ep 1. Sumukh Setty on finding mentors, "the student card", and empowering others
Sumukh Setty- Finding mentors, "the student card", and empowering others| "It is about how do I create the most value through systems and projects that could impact a lot of people."- Sumukh Setty Sumukh is a venture fellow at Rough Draft VC and is the founder of Teendemy. Rough Draft is a student-run venture capital firm, backed by General Catalyst. Teendemy is bridging the gap between academic education and professional success. Sumukh is currently studying Business Administration at Babson College.
April 12, 2020
Coming Soon: 21st Century Visionaries
Welcome to the 21st Century Visionary Podcast. I am your host Sanat Singhal, a high school junior in the Bay Area focused on making an impact.  Every episode we talk to a young person with a compelling vision for society working on making it a reality. We will dive into their journey; how they got started? What tactics and lessons did they use? What is their vision for the future? The first season will center on young entrepreneurs and their journey building their companies. Our Episodes drop every other week. Stay tuned and Stay Safe!
April 11, 2020