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By Forge Collective
Intrinsic is a podcast about what makes life worth living. It’s about the innate value of each individual and the fundamental motivation that drives us.

What if we could align this value and motivation with our jobs? What if we could support ourselves and our families doing what we are good at and enjoy doing? How would that affect our society? What would such a society look like? These are the questions we’ll be asking in Intrinsic.

Intrinsic is produced by Forge Collective, an alliance of creators for radical honesty. Theme music and sound engineering by Jon Notar (
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Currently playing episode

Universal Basic Income and Housing: A Conversation with Scott Santens, March Gallagher, and Kevin O'Connor


Play It Again: Musicians' Survival Stories of the Pandemic
Intrinsic intern Charlie Peterson conceived and produced this episode focused on musicians and how they survived the pandemic. It was not all bad—many received unemployment and used the time to write new music or explored new ways to reach out to their fans. But nothing replaces the experience of playing in front of the live audience. Take a listen and find out how they are gearing up for the summer of post-pandemic.
June 14, 2021
The Persuasion of the Queen's Gambit: A Conversation with Executive Producer William Horberg
In this special and personal episode, executive film producer William Horberg shares his stories behind the films he produced, and how his wide range of interests in art and music have shaped his career. He and host Keiko Sono share the many intersections of their lives, from his neurodivergent son to a rock concert 4 decades ago, shining the light on how strangely interconnected we are.
May 30, 2021
Hudson Valley and Universal Basic Income
This episode was edited from the recording of a panel discussion hosted by the Intrinsic host Keiko Sono, on the two Universal Basic Income (UBI) pilots being conducted in the Hudson Valley, New York, and how a true UBI would impact the society. Guests: Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan, Hudson Mayor Kamal Johnson, Sparks of Hudson Co-founder Susan Danziger, and Hudson Pilot Director Joan Hunt.
April 23, 2021
Hudson Valley Performing Arts Now
Chris Silva (Executive Director, Bardavon Presents), John Barry (former Poughkeepsie Journal music reporter), and Brian Mahoney (Editorial Director, Chronogram) share their thoughts on how the performing arts and cultural scenes are, as we slowly emerge out of the pandemic.
April 10, 2021
Lifting the Community in Dark Times
Guests: Christine Hein and Michael Berg Christine is the Executive Director at People’s Place in Kingston, a not-for-profit organization feeding, clothing and responding to the needs of the people in Ulster County with kindness, compassion and the preservation of human dignity since 1972. She is one of the busiest people I know, as the needs for their services never let up. But she handles everything with grace and warmth that make you feel hopeful. Michael is the executive director of Family of Woodstock, serving the various needs that include intervention, prevention, food insecurity, and more, in the Hudson Valley. He is truly the face of the organization and of the true spirit of Woodstock. His compassion for humanity and justice is exemplary of the peace movement that began in the 60s and still lives on in the backstreets of Woodstock.
March 26, 2021
Universal Basic Income and Housing: A Conversation with Scott Santens, March Gallagher, and Kevin O'Connor
In this episode, we dive deep into the issues of affordable housing, homelessness, and how UBI could impact them. Scott Santens is one of the leading advocates for UBI on social media. March Gallagher is the Comptroller of Ulster County, where a UBI pilot was just announced a week after this episode was recorded. Kevin O'Connor is a CEO of RUPCO, a nonprofit that builds quality affordable housing in the Hudson Valley region of New York State. TZxaLzh25OLzImR9oosN
March 02, 2021
Universal Basic Income: Where We Are Now
Jim Pugh and Owen Poindexter hosted the Basic Income Podcast from 2016 to 2020, a wealth of information on and beyond Universal Basic Income. In this episode, we discuss where we are right now in the UBI movement, as we slowly emerge out of the pandemic into a new world. Jim Pugh is a co-founder of the Universal Income Project, working to drive a larger popular narrative around basic income. He is also the founder and CEO of ShareProgress, a social-good startup that helps progressive organizations use the power of data and technology to grow their base and win their campaigns. Owen Poindexter is a writer focused on sports, finance, and technology. His work has appeared in Wired, Slate, Forbes, The Athletic, GreenBiz Media, and In These Times, among others.
February 21, 2021
Local Business for a Better Future
Is it possible for a local business to scale up and stay sustainable, both socially and environmentally? For Hudson Valley's Bread Alone, it is. In this episode, Nels Leader and Jen Metzger dive deep into how local businesses could lead the way to a sustainable and equitable future and how the State government could and should help them. Nels Leader is CEO of Bread Alone Bakery and a trained Climate Leader for Al Gore's Climate Reality Project. At Bread Alone, Nels’ work has focused on expanding and professionalizing a 2nd generation family business, and creating lasting competitive advantage through commitment to people and the planet. Jen Metzger served in the New York State Senate from 2019 to 20, representing the 42nd District, a largely rural district in the Hudson Valley and the Catskills. Among many of her progressive achievements, she was an active member of the Senate's workgroup on the nation-leading Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), which was signed into law in July 2019. She introduced the Comprehensive Broadband Connectivity Act, which recognizes access to high-speed internet as a right of all New Yorkers. She also served as Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, focusing on programs and legislation to support family farms, expand New York markets for locally-produced farm products, reduce barriers to new and young farmers, and strengthen agriculture's role as part of the solution to fighting climate change.
February 09, 2021
Seeds and Chocolates: the Value of Earth Conscious Businesses
Our first guests of 2021 are Lagusta Yearwood and Ken Greene. They are both small businesses owners  based in the Hudson Valley, New York. Lagusta started as a catering service but now owns a small vegan chocolate company called Lagusta’s Luscious, a cafe in New Paltz, and co-owns a retail shop in New York City. She also recently authored a cookbook titled Sweet and Salty. And she does all these with high ethical standards and a fashion style I can only dream of. From her company’s website, her life’s work is to prove that a business doesn’t have to lose its heart to thrive. Her good friend Ken Greene started Hudson Valley Seed Library where people could obtain and exchange open-pollinated seeds. In time he and his partner Doug grew the library to the Hudson Valley Seed Company and the not-for-profit Seedshed. All of their seeds are heirloom or open-pollinated, and gardeners are encouraged to save their own seeds. They host an open call every year where artists submit designs for their seed packs, creating a vibrant intersection between art and gardening. Host: Keiko Sono Producer: Olivia Meynadasy Theme Music: Jon Notar
January 24, 2021
January and February Lineup
We are pushing our conversations to the next level! Upcoming guests include Lagusta Yearwood, owner of Lagusta’s Luscious, and Ken Greene, founder of Hudson Valley Seed Library; Jen Metzger, the State Senator from 2019 through 2020 in the 42nd district of New York State, and Nels Leader, the CEO of Bread Alone, a Hudson Valley based popular bakery; Ulster County Comptroller March Gallagher and Scott Santens, the go-to expert on Universal Basic Income on social media; Jim Pugh and Owen Poindexter, hosts of the Basic Income Podcast; Christine Hein, Executive Director of People’s Place in Kingston, and Michael Berg, Director of Family of Woodstock.
January 15, 2021
Beyond Political Hobbyism
To wrap up one of the wildest years in the history of the United States, I’m happy to bring to you a conversation I recorded with three of the most influential grassroots activists in Ulster county, New York—Kelleigh McKenzie, Lin Sakai, and Amy Fradon. This episode is a sequel to my earlier one in which I interviewed Eitan Hersh, author of Politics is for Power, and discussed how political hobbyism where people are engaged only through social media, mostly on national issues, is actually hurting our political system and our society by exacerbating the polarization. In today’s conversation, we show what a real political engagement looks like. Kelleigh is a musician who turned her passion for justice into being a full fledged political operative. After serving in a campaign to save a local movie theater and helping her friend in a town supervisor race, she became involved with a local grassroots group Ulster for Bernie in 2015 and became Sanders’ delegate in 2016 at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. The bittersweet ascent and loss of Bernie Sanders candidacy only fueled Kelleigh’s desire for change, and she plunged right into the belly of the beast, becoming a member of the New York State Democratic Committee in 2016, and in September of this year, she was elected as a chair of the Ulster County Democratic Committee, where she has already introduced many reforms to make the process more transparent and open. Lin Sakai cut her political teeth in Obama’s 2008 campaign, becoming his delegate that year and also in 2012. Ever since then, she’s been a vocal advocate for various local issues in ulster county including healthcare, pipeline construction, and election processes. Although she has been a member of the Democratic committees, she sees her role as more of an outsider pressuring the elected officials to honor the interests of their constituents. Amy Fradon leads an innovative program called Neighbor to Neighbor, in which she instructs a team of volunteers to engage in relational canvassing. This program has shown remarkable results in voter turnout and building a solid and meaningful network of voters as neighbors and friends, that outlasts a single election season and provides a living platform for engagement. Host: Keiko Sono
December 30, 2020
Podcasters Talk Podcasts
Why make podcasts? Doesn't the world have enough podcasts already? Three friends gather to answer these questions. Brett Barry, host of Kaatscast and owner of Silver Hollow Audio in the Catskills, New York, and Theresa Widmann, host of I Want What She Has and owner of Anahata Kingston, join Keiko Sono for a lively discussion on what podcasting means to them and exchange tips and ideas. This is a great episode for both veteran podcasters and those interested in starting one.
December 14, 2020
Beats and Leaps: Power of Performative Arts
What could be more fun for children and young adults than to pick up an instrument for the first time and play in a band on a real stage in just 3 months? To perform hard-beat breakdancing in a troupe? Or to learn dances from around the world in original, inspiring choreography? These guests make it happen. Livia Vanaver is a co-director of Vanaver Caravan, a dance company based in New Paltz, New York. Drew Andrews is a director of Energy Company, part of Center for Creative Education in Kingston. Jason Bowman is a director of Rock Academy in Woodstock, New York. Three of them share their stories of how their programs have inspired and given joy to so many children in the Hudson Valley for decades. Their stories reveal tenacity and ingenuity that allowed them not only to survive but thrive for so long, despite constant struggle to manage finance, outreach, and now pandemic. The key for their resilience is the openness for collaboration. You will feel the warmth and energy that is generated by working together and supporting each other through this episode.
November 30, 2020
Artist as Cultural Worker: Public School Teachers on Art, Music, and Education
Dan Shaut is a music teacher at Highland High School and Director of Bridge Arts and Education. Lara Giordano is a retired art teacher from Kingston High School and director of D.R.A.W., Department of Regional Art Workers. Why do they spend their time outside of their work and in retirement to dedicate to a further education of arts and music in the community? They share their frustration with the limitation of public school arts & music education and lack of cultural embracing of art as a way to live life as a human. They also share the joy of community-based art and music education as building of a shared economy and a way to keep the humanity alive. 
November 16, 2020
Passion, Politics, and Power: Conversation with Eitan Hersh
How do you gain political power? By helping your neighbors! Eitan Hersh, author of Politics Is For Power, elucidates how so many of us who think we are politically well-informed and engaged are actually political hobbyists, and may be exacerbating the problems we're trying to fix.  This episode is a playbook for anyone who wants to get off the couch and social media and start working on pragmatic solutions with real actions, while building a network and a working system that will lead to the systemic transformation we need.
October 29, 2020
Culinary Giants of New York
David Waltuck was the chef-owner of legendary Chanterelle, the pioneer of fine dining in downtown New York when it was very industrial and fringe. John Novi received a 4-star review from the New York Times critic Craig Claiborne 4 months after he opened his restaurant in the Hudson Valley in 1969. Ric Orlando, former owner of New World Home Cooking in Woodstock and Chef of New World Bar and Bistro in Albany, is a nationally famous local chef, thanks to his presence on Food Network and rock star appeal. All three operated restaurants that became iconic in their time, and all closed as the restaurant industry changed. This episode is part oral documentation of the particular history in New York, Woodstock, and Hudson Valley, part insider stories of the industry, and most of all, an ode to the art of cooking and love for the food.
October 16, 2020
Fiscal Sponsorship Bonus Episode: Information on Arts Mid-Hudson Grants
Lilia Perez, the grants and programs coordinator for Arts Mid-Hudson, shares additional information about their decentralization grants. Although these grants are available only to artists in Dutchess, Ulster, and Orange counties in New York, the information shared here applies to most grant applications.
October 02, 2020
Fiscal Sponsorship: Access Funds Behind the Non-Profit Barrier
What is fiscal sponsorship? It's a system that allows individuals and groups to receive grants and donations that are only available to not-for-profit organizations without having to incorporate themselves or file complex tax returns. It is an under-utilized tool that could open the doors to people with passion for art, the environment, social causes, or advocacy that do not have commercial market value, and make it possible to carry out large-scale projects or grow beyond what they can do on their own. Our guests are Colleen Hughes from Fractured Atlas, a non-profit whose sole purpose is to offer this service to artists; Lilia Perez from Arts Mid-Hudson, an arts organization that serves Dutchess, Ulster, and Orange counties in New York; and Susan Ragusa, a non-profit consultant based in Kingston.
October 02, 2020
A Cautionary Tale from Lacoste to the Hudson Valley
Cyril Montana and Thomas Bornot just released their documentary film Cyril contre Goliath in France. It's about Cyril's lonely fight against the fashion giant Peirre Cardin, who bought up more than 40 houses in his childhood village to keep as his collection. "What happens in Lacoste happens in the world," they warn us.
September 09, 2020
The Power Duo: Conversation with Nicole Fenichel-Hewitt and Chris Hewitt
How do we transition from the winners-take-all economy to the one that benefits us all and heals the planet? Chris Hewitt is the co-founder of Hudson Valley Current, a local currency system that is building a humanity-first economy. Nicole Fenichel-Hewitt is the Executive Director of the Art Effect, a comprehensive arts educational agency that serves children and youth in the Hudson Valley. There is something for everyone in this episode—we talk about art, education, society, economy, and the future. 
September 01, 2020
Intrinsic Trailer
Listen to the trailer for Intrinsic, a podcast about innate value and motivation of people, produced in the Hudson Valley, New York.
August 26, 2020