Join us for commute-length conversations with original thinkers that will push your perspective and pull you into the marketplace of ideas.
We live in a paradoxical time where we have more comfort but less peace, more connectivity but less connection, more information but less wisdom. The purpose of this podcast is to explore these natural tensions with independent voices who will expand our thinking. This is the #ParadoxPodcast.
Trae Stephens (@traestephens) is a venture capitalist at Founders Fund with partners like Peter Thiel, Brian Singerman, Cyan Banister and Keith Rabois, where he invests across sectors with a particular interest in startups operating in the government space. He’s also Co-founder and Executive Chairman of Anduril Industries with Palmer Luckey, who founded Oculus, which was acquired by Facebook in 2014. Anduril is a defense technology company focused on developing autonomous systems for U.S. military and is by far one of the most interesting, and for some controversial, new startups in the last two years. In our conversation Trae described it as a real-life Stark Industries from Ironman.
Previously, Trae was an early employee at Palantir Technologies, where he led teams focused on growth in the intelligence/defense space as well as international expansion, helping large organizations solve their hardest data analysis problems. Prior to Palantir, Trae worked as a computational linguist within the United States Intelligence community. He began his career working in the office of then Congressman Rob Portman and in the Political Affairs Office at the Embassy of Afghanistan in Washington, D.C. Trae is a publishing a paper on Just War Theory In the Age of Technology later this month and you can follow him on Twitter @traestephens. Our conversation with Trae was a wide-ranging and illuminating. We hope you enjoy the episode.
James Beshara (@JamesBeshara) is a modern day renaissance man – an entrepreneur, angel investor, podcaster, author, musician. James is a prolific creator who operates with passion and he’s probably one of the most honest entrepreneurs I’ve ever met. James founded three startups including Tilt which was acquired by Airbnb in 2017 where he was Global Head of Airbnb Music. James has angel invested in dozens of startups like Gusto, Mercury Bank, Halo Top Ice Cream, Bolt and many others, including several multi-billion dollar companies, and is now a full-time angel investor.
This year, he launched the Below The Line podcast which is, without any exaggeration, my favorite new podcast of 2019. James is an advocate for mental health, a lover of philosophy, a beacon of honesty in the tech community and someone who always willing to help–he’s personally been very helpful in the launching of this podcast and now as our third guest. James has a book coming out next month called Beyond Coffee which you can check out at beyondcoffeebook.com and you call follow him on Twitter @JamesBeshara.
Check out the PodcastNotes for this episode: podcastnotes.org/2019/10/25/james…paradox-podcast/
Jennifer Fearing (@jenniferfearing) is one of the most successful, innovative, and admired lobbyists in California. She left a lucrative corporate consulting career to advocate on behalf of issues that are close to her heart, especially animal issues. Jennifer successfully ran the 2008 Proposition 2 campaign, also known as the Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act. She has led successful efforts to ban the sale of ivory and shark fin soup, to ban the use of hounds when hunting bears and bobcats, and championed numerous other issues related to animal welfare.
Jennifer spent eight years working for the Humane Society of the United States and in 2014 founded Fearless Advocacy, a lobbying firm dedicated to advancing the public policy agendas of causes she believes in. Clients include Pew Charitable Trusts, Pesticide Action Network, Defenders of Wildlife, the California Association of Nonprofits, Oceana, California Wildlife Officers Foundation and more. A graduate of UC Davis and Harvard’s Kennedy School, Jennifer has been featured on the Capitol 100, an annual list of the most impactful people in-and-around California government.
Michael Davidson (@MPDavidson) is the CEO of GenNext (@gen_next), an organization that recruits business leaders in the private sector, educates them on critical issues like economic opportunity, education and global security and empowers them to have a direct impact both inside and outside of government. Michael is a super sharp guy who cares about the restoring the marketplace of ideas, reviving civics, and solving the leadership deficit in this country.