AHEAD OF THE CURVE features interviews with Good people in various industries who share stories of reflection, business, and personal growth. They're doing good things and have been ahead of the curve.
There's realness and some controversy. There's also humility, new ideas, and encouragement.
On this episode I speak with Marquise Stillwell who is an entrepreneur focused on culture and design and is the founder of the urban design firm Openbox. I’ve known Marqusie for a few years and always have truly thought provoking and honest conversations with him. Marquise is a genuine soul and brings unique methods of problem solving to the table when it comes to design.
Marquise and I talk about people centered design, his magazine Deem Journal, viewing empathy as a muscle, amplifying the stories of individuals in a given community, the importance of always being YOU, and putting purpose to your privilege.
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Hosted by Tatiana Swedek
Steffi Behringer is an Experiential Producer and Partner at the full-service creative and marketing agency Palette Group. Her passion is to create meaningful and unfiltered experiences that both educate and build community. She has worked with brands like Google, Under Armor, The Rockerfeller Center, NBA and more.
Over the past six months, Steffi has successfully brought her talent of creative production into the digital realm with events such as the Freelancer Cyber Summit and Allyship & Action Summit. On episode 7 of AHEAD OF THE CURVE, we discuss her start in the industry with BMW-Mini, her transition to the freelance world, the importance of building meaningful relationships, and how we must hold the advertising industry accountable through sustainable actions. Don't miss the Allyship & Action Summit on August 4!
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Hosted by Tatiana Swedek.
Our Comfort is Killing Us with Bobby Lyle
Bobby Lyle, Leadership Coach & Founder of NsightOut, and I discuss living intentionally, finding opportunity in challenging times, working on yourself in order to be of service to others, and why comfort is killing us.
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Lindsey Scannapieco is the Managing Partner of Scout and an urbanist at heart. She purchased her main project Building BOK 2 years after the 8-story vocational high school closed, with hopes of utilizing the existing space as a place for local creators and businesses.
In our conversation, we talk about adaptive re-use, Building BOK, their new community-driven events, how it takes time to build trusting relationships with community partners, what it means to be an ‘accessible’ space, frustrations with individualism in the U.S., and really looking at Philadelphia as a hub of opportunity.
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Host: Tatiana Swedek
I was excited to catch up with Anthony Demby, Founder of HumbleRiot. I appreciate the way he looks at the world. He is very true to himself and genuinely easy to talk to. Ant had just returned to Brooklyn from New Mexico where he spent 5 weeks "watching rabbits eat grass." We covered a lot in our chat: starting HumbleRiot, checking your Ego, navigating the world while two pandemics are taking place, allyship vs. performative actions, and traveling light as we co-build a new (and better) reality.
I discovered Chef Eric Rivera in a Wired article in November of 2019. This was pre-pandemic, obviously. Even then, I was heavily impressed by his non-traditional way of running a restaurant. Using technology as a tool efficiently, offering unique experiences, pay-ahead reservations. You don’t see that a lot.
From day one, ADDO has embraced creative cuisine while keeping a finger on the pulse of supply and demand. While Eric is frantically backlogging creative ideas, he’s still lightyears ahead of many restaurateurs who are stuck in the past. We talk about the struggle of being an early adopter, the need for customers to adjust their expectations, and accepting that change is (and has always been) the only constant. There’s also a lot of cursing.
Damon Lawrence is the Founder & CEO of Homage Hospitality and a hotelier I truly respect. I've known Damon for about a year and have always respected him. Definitely a professional crush of mine. A lot of aspiring hoteliers are pretty vapid, honestly, and aren't getting into the business for the right reasons. But, Homage speaks for itself.
When we spoke on Tuesday for Ahead of the Curve, I asked Damon if there was anything he wanted to cover that was especially top of mind for him. He said: "I think this is the perfect day to even do this because I feel free, personally. I had to do the dance of not being authentically 100% myself for such a long time."
We covered A LOT: the beauty and diversity of Black Culture in different American cities, brand call-outs, and the influx of long overdue capital attention following the murder of George Floyd. Like, really? This is nothing new.
No better person to kick off the Ahead of the Curve series than my friend and a mentor of mine - Bashar Wali. If you're in the hotel industry, you know Bashar. He's unapolagetically himself and criticizes the industry and brands because he truly cares. We talk about his departure from Provenance Hotels, where he served as President until last month, and why the Hotel industry lost it's way by focusing on things and aesthetics instead of people.
We also address how COVID has accelerated a much needed change in hospitality and why it's time for new innovation in the industry.