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The Z-X Spectrum

The Z-X Spectrum

By Lizzie Hodgson & Brandon Relph
The Z-X Spectrum brings youth marketing thought leader Brandon Relph (Generation Z) and speaker, and consultant, Lizzie Hodgson (Generation X) together as they take an intergenerational view of the impact of tech and digital on work, education… and life.

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TikTok Boom: The Power of Short Videos
In this Season Finale,  Brandon and Lizzie are joined by journalist and writer Chris Stokel-Walker. They discuss his upcoming book TikTok Boom - and reflect on the reach and influence of the platform, the Chinese government, and algorithms.   Learn more about Chris: and @stokel   Learn more about Brandon Relph:  Learn more about Lizzie Hodgson:
July 08, 2021
How To Train Your Algorithm: The Future of Broadcast Production and Media.
For this fascinating episode, we are joined by Dr Alex Connock. An academic and entrepreneur in digital video, Alex is Associate Fellow at Oxford University’s Said School of Business, entrepreneur in residence at INSEAD, director at UK5G, UNICEF UK, and The Halle Orchestra. He is also an Academy full member at BAFTA and Senior Tutor at the National Film and Television School. Alex founded Missile Digital Studios in 2018, after running Endemol Shine North and co-founding Ten Alps (now Zinc Media) with Bob Geldof. Delving into topics including the impact of tech on broadcast media, and how creativity has always moved with the times, we also explore: How has the media industry changed over the last 20 years What virtual production is The impact of AI on production - and why the human element is still an important factor Unreal Engine and the MetaHuman: Are we moving into post-actor/human times? (Hint - no). Which media companies are exciting Alex the most at the moment Learn more about Dr Alex Connock: Learn more about Brandon Relph: Learn more about Lizzie Hodgson:
July 01, 2021
Dressed to thrill: The Power of Ethical Fashion
Katy Woodrow Hill is currently the Head of Brand at Depop.   Depop is the fashion marketplace app where the next generation come to discover unique items. With a global community buying, selling and connecting to make fashion more inclusive, diverse and less wasteful, Depop is on a mission to transform fashion.   Prior to joining Depop last year she was a partner at creative youth agency Livity where she took the company to new highs. Throughout her career, Katy has always been at the forefront of social media and understanding young audiences, working with some of the largest most recognisable brands in the world.   For more info see:   Katy Woodrow Hill: @woodrowhill (Twitter, Instagram etc)   Brandon Relph: / @brandonrelph (Twitter, Instagram etc)   Lizzie Hodgson: www.Lizzie / @lhdgsn (Twitter)
June 24, 2021
Food for thought: The changing face of the hospitality industry
Food for thought: The changing face of the hospitality industry   In this episode, we chat with Mark McColloch to explore the impact the pandemic has had on the hospitality industry, whether apps are changing the way we socialise and eat, and the undervalued power of social for marketing.   About Mark: Mark is currently a virtual CMO for the Hospitality and Leisure sector.  Prior to this he was the CEO of a Multi-Award winning Food & Drink Creative Agency after a career spanning the likes of Pret A Manger, Yo Sushi and amongst others.   What he doesn’t know about marketing in this sector, isn’t worth knowing!   Learn more about Mark McColloch: @Supersonic_Inc   Learn more about Brandon Relph:  Learn more about Lizzie Hodgson:
June 17, 2021
"Down The Rabbit Hole with Conspiracy Theories"
In this episode, we are joined by Dr. Jenny Rice (Associate Professor of Writing, Rhetoric, and Digital Studies at the University of Kentucky) to explore what we would call conspiracy theories - so a belief that some covert but influential organization is responsible for an unexplained event. And there are plenty to chose from - Sandy Hook, QAnon, Moon landings, even Covid-19 - to some these are all elaborate hoaxes.  Jenny is an expert in ‘conspiracy narratives’ - which we’ll dig into in the podcast.   Her book - Awful Archives: Conspiracy Theory, Rhetoric, and Acts of Evidence - looks at these topics, particularly the role evidence - or bad evidence - and how it plays out in the fringes of public discourse—pseudo-science, the paranormal, conspiracy theories about 9/11, the moon landing, UFO sightings, and Obama’s birth record. These are all topics of conspiracy theories that millions across the world really believe in.   In this episode we explore:  • What is a conspiracy theory, or conspiracy narrative? • Where do they originate from - what’s the earliest record you know of? • Why has here been what appears to be an explosion of conspiracy theories into mainstream society over the past few years? • Why are you so interested in conspiracy narratives? • From COVID-19 deniers and QAnon to Sandy Hook and 911, what are the conditions that have allowed these once fringe ideas to flourish? • Is there any one reason - or is it a perfect storm powered by social media, political unrest and global uncertainty? • What risks do these ideas pose to society? • How can we best navigate a conversation with someone who might believe in conspiracy theories in real-life or online?   Learn more about Dr Jenny Rice: @jennyrice   Learn more about Brandon Relph:  Learn more about Lizzie Hodgson:
June 10, 2021
The Rise Of The Planet Z: How Young People Are Changing Things Forever
In this specially recorded podcast of The Z-X Spectrum, Brandon and I took to the main stage at Brighton Summit, a one-day event that brought over 400 delegates from across the region together to explore all things business.  Our guests were Lola Ray from social disruptor Make (Good) Trouble and George Hodgson (no relation) from fashion and mental health brand Maison De Choup, two trailblazers aged under 25. In our panel discussion, we explored how the workplace will change with the emergence of a blended workforce of four generations, all with vastly different experiences and expectations. Lola and George also explained why inevitable change will accommodate Gen Z, not the other way round.  LINKS: Brighton Summit:  - Lola Ray: - Make (Good) Trouble: George Hodgson: - Maison De Choup: - Twitter: - LinkedIn: - Instagram: - Web: ----- Brandon Relph: Lizzie Hodgson:
November 05, 2019
"Blue Peter Is A Safe Space And Positivity In The World"
In this episode of The Z-X Spectrum, we chat with BBC show Blue Peter presenter, Richie Driss. Having only joined the show this year (2019), we explore how Richie came to have the job of presenting on the world’s longest-running children’s TV show - 60 years and counting - and dive into the role TV has in young people’s lives today. It’s a challenging media landscape for any broadcaster - both here in UK and globally -  so how is Blue Peter engaging young people and why does this flagship show mean so much to generations of people?  We also touch on what being a role model means to Richie - and where his passion for content creation and presenting came from in the first place. Just a note on the quality of the recording: We had a few technical issues with our equipment which meant we had to record directly from the laptop and not mics. But it doesn’t detract from the topics we cover. So hope you enjoy! ------------ Richie Driss: Instagram: Twitter: Blue Peter:
October 15, 2019
"Who Wouldn't Apply For A Job Where You Get To Sign The Nation's Banknotes?"
In this episode of The Z-X Spectrum, we sit down with Sarah John, Chief cashier of the Bank of England. Hot off the heels of our interview with Meri Williams, Chief Technology Officer at Monzo, the online bank (you can hear that episode here) Sarah spoke to us about the future of cash - and the important role she believes it has in society, and in central banking.  We explored the impact of going cashless to vulnerable groups - older people and those on low incomes especially - and whether cash will ever become a thing of the past. We also discussed how we educate children and young people about the value of money. Should cash continue to be a viable option in society? A shorter than usual interview - we were so lucky to get some time at the Bank of England with Sarah who is exceptionally busy - but one that packed a lot in! So hope you enjoy it. More about Bank of England:
September 24, 2019
MONZO BANK: "Our Intent Is To Make Money Work For Everyone"
In this episode of the Z-X Spectrum podcast, we interview Meri Williams, CTO of Monzo Bank, the digital-only bank that's really shaking up the banking industry.   In our chat, we explore Monzo's tremendous growth: at date of the recording they were at 2.8 million customers. But their growth isn't just in account terms. Their teams of engineers are getting big too.  So how do you scale a company so rapidly? How do you onboard effectively? And how do you create a truly transparent, people-first culture?  We also deep dive into diversity and inclusivity - or DandI as Meri refers to it, and explore wider issues including how hopeful she is for young people as they adapt to an ever-changing world, but also touch on her concerns regarding misinformation being weaponised to radicalise people. All hugely pertinent topics.   Learn more about Monzo:  Twitter:  Twitter: Website:  Learn more about Meri Williams:  Twitter:  Website:  NEXT EPISODE: Sarah Johns, Chief Cashier from Bank of England. 
September 18, 2019
Kids Taking A Stand: Live Recording at The Children's Media Conference
In this episode we took to the stage to record a special edition of The ZX Spectrum at The Children’s Media Conference 2019 in Sheffield. We were joined by four hugely inspirational young people as panelists, each of them an activist in some shape or form. How are young people and the media responding to a new sense of purpose and action amongst the young? How can media organisations build activism into the content they are creating int his rapidly changing landscape? Should they be responding to the changing landscape? In the session (edited for the podcast) called “Kids Taking A Stand”, the panelists covered a range of topics, including: - What is activism, and why does it matter? - How young people are responding with a new sense of purpose and of activism to issues and problems they are inheriting - If activism has a stigma in the mainstream media, and how working with young people can help change in that perception - We also discussed wider issues around visibility of diverse young people in front of and behind the scenes in media - including young people from working class backgrounds. Our panellists were: Alvin Owusu-Fordwuo: As well as being a university student and an intern at Google Android Marketing, Alvin also run a social enterprise, called the advantage group. It’s aim is to transform the lives young people from underrepresented groups. Ella Meek is a 13-year-old plastic waste activist and campaigner for her charity, Kids Against Plastic. She’s also presenter of Sky Kids programme called FYI. Dan Lawes is founder and CEO of Youth Politics UK, a national organisation with the main aim of giving young people the skills to bring about positive social change. Noga Levey Rapoport is an environmental campaigner and an active member of the UK student climate network.  For Brandon and I, it reinforced our belief that we need to include diverse young people in many more discussions and ideas, especially as it is they who are going to have to deal with the consequences of the decisions taken by older generations. The Children’s Media Conference is the only gathering in the UK for everyone involved in developing, producing and distributing content to kids and young people, and we’re really grateful to the organisers for giving Brandon and myself the opportunity to bring The Z-X Spectrum to this major event. 
September 10, 2019
"Maths Has To Be Part Of The Climate Crisis Answer"
In this episode we chat to Iggy Bassi, CEO of Cervest - a platform that aims to empower smarter decisions and sustain Earth’s natural capital, while democratising science for a climate-smart future. Iggy sheds light on his powerful vision to use AI, data and intel in real-time in the race against the accelerating climate crisis by creating a resilient, resource-smart supply ecosystem. We also explore the role governments, companies and people have in putting nature first for the future of all. A hugely complex, but urgent topic. LISTEN. RATE. SHARE. Thank you! Cervest Cervest Twitter  Iggy Bassi   ------- Brandon’s Twitter Brandon LinkedIn  Brandon's site Lizzie’s Twitter Lizzie’s LinkedIn Lizzie's site COMING SOON!
September 03, 2019
"Machines are going to replace us in increasing numbers of tasks..."
In this episode we’re joined by Calum Chace - a columnist, is an author and speaker on artificial intelligence.  His books - ”The Economic Singularity" addresses the coming wave of cognitive automation; ”Surviving AI" looks further ahead to the arrival of strong AI, (aka human-level AI, or artificial general intelligence) which will lead to superintelligence. Unsurprisingly, we cover some BIG topics: AI, work, capitalism, machines… future of humanity. Conversations cover: The Economic Singularity: The moment in the future when we need a different firm of economic structure because machines render almost all humans unemployable. How the world of jobs is going to change, increasingly quickly: Machines are going to replace humans in increasing numbers of tasks and jobs, so we’re going to have to change what jobs or tasks we do multiple times over our lifetime. This means retraining and re-skilling more and more profoundly. The need to widen the AI and work conversation to wider society. Why we must stop comparing the impact of AI and machine learning to the Industrial Revolution: Changes will be far more seismic. Universal Basic Income: Calum shares his thoughts on why he’s not in favour of it. Instead we make the costs of everything really cheap... aka the Abundance Economy. AI, equality and social cohesion: How will we know if AI has resulted in good or bad outcomes on society… and who say’s what’s good or bad? LISTEN. RATE. SHARE. Thank you! Calum Chace's work Calum Chace Twitter ------- Brandon Relph LinkedIn  Brandon's site   Lizzie Hodgson Twitter Lizzie Hodgson LinkedIn Lizzie's site  
May 28, 2019
"Where Do We See The Connections Between Data And Care In Childhood?"
A fascinating chat with Liam Berriman, Lecturer in Childhood and Youth Studies (Social Work and Social Care) at University of Sussex. About Liam:  A sociologist by training, Liam completed a BA in History and Sociology and an MA in Social Research, at Goldsmiths, UoL. During his Masters he carried out research on how working class parents negotiate children's internet access. In 2015 he was appointed as a Research Lecturer in Digital Humanities & Social Science in the Sussex Humanities Lab, working on collaborative projects around digital culture, archives, computational ethnography, toys and the history of computing.  An Associate of the Sussex Humanities Lab, he supports the Digital Lives and Memories strand. In 2018 he was appointed Lecturer in Childhood and Youth Studies in the Department of Social Work & Social Care, primarily contributing to the MA Childhood and Youth Studies and BA Childhood and Youth programmes and co-leading an elective on the 'Everyday Digital'.      In this episode we explore the following: - Impact of gaming on the shape and feel of wider tech - and nostalgia that it brings. - The self-identification online by young people. - How burden of responsibility around tech is wrongly put on shoulders of young people, not the tech orgs. - Whether gov policy can keep up with pace of change in tech - particularly when online and digital structures are becoming part and parcel of everyday life, driven by private companies.  - What’s happening with data around children and young people: where do we see connections between data and care of children? - Children in the social care system: New machine learning to attempt to predict young people who might be at risk… a bit like Minority Report. Learn more about Liams work: University of Sussex:  Publication: Researching Everyday Childhoods Time, Technology and Documentation in a Digital Age: Everyday Childhoods blog: Online Harms White Paper: Liam's Twitter: ------ Lizzie Hodgson's Twitter: Lizzie Hodgson's LinkedIn: Lizzie's site:  Brandon Relph's LinkedIn: Brandon's site:  
May 17, 2019
EU Article 13 & Copyright: A Step Forward Or Step Too Far?
We cover some big topics in this episode: EU Article 13 Copyright Directive, Intellectual laws, fair use of content, publishers, Facebook, Google, Instagram, Twitter, ISPs, distribution, personal responsibility and education.  We then move on to Article 11, discussing the role of the traditional press in democracy. How does good investigative journalism thrive in a world where the vast majority of people won’t personally pay for fair and balanced news? It costs money to pay for good journalism, but we need checks and balances on those in power.  And where does Brexit leave us in all of this? So many things to get our heads around.  Fortunately we’re joined by Samatha Oakley, an IP expert from So Law. She sheds some light on the issue… sparking a great discussion. And even if we don’t see eye-to-eye on everything, she educated us no end. Thank you Samantha!  Learn more about So Law:  Connect with Samantha on LinkedIn: Find Brandon Relph on LinkedIn:   Read more about Brandon: ——— Follow Lizzie Hodgson on Twitter: Find Lizzie Hodgson on LinkedIn: Read more about Lizzie: 
April 12, 2019
"We'll See With Bitcoin The True Validation Of 1-2-1 Communication"
In this episode we chat with Mark Ash, the hugely interesting and inspiring CEO of Pure360, an email marketing platform based in Brighton, UK.  About Mark: With 20 years experience in the digital marketing sector, Mark has a rounded understanding of all things digital. He started his career in the hey-day of digital advertising at DoubleClick in 1999, developing his expertise in display advertising, web analytics and email marketing, working with a variety of clients such as P&G, Dell, Nokia and Sainsbury’s amongst many others. In this episode we explore the following: - With so many marketing channels available, how email marketing stays relevant to build brand loyalty. - The changing landscape: in the future all transactions will be conducted from the body of an email. AKA: the email becomes the web browser. - Democratisation of consumer data. - How Bitcoin and AI - when used correctly - will bring true validation of 1-2-1 communication. - Company values: a delicate balance - authenticity, creativity, emotional intelligence and adaptability is key. - What a company like Pure360 is doing to prepare for Generation Z - from personalisation to on-boarding at the company itself. - Why curiosity and being open to learn new things is so relevant today’s ‘jigsaw’ workplace: continuous learning. - Why a progressive, inclusive culture matters in a company, and how, as CEO, Mark ensures he and his colleagues get it right. - The role of empathy and purpose in work. Learn more about Pure360:  Follow Pure360 Twitter: Find Mark on LinkedIn: ——— Follow Lizzie Hodgson on Twitter:  Find Lizzie Hodgson on LinkedIn:  Read more about Lizzie:  ——— Find Brandon Relph on LinkedIn:  Read more about Brandon:
March 28, 2019
Deconstructing our TEDx talks
 In this episode, we delve further into our recent TEDx Brighton talks, unpicking some of the core themes. We explore: -  The ‘escalator ‘of life: how our blockers can become moments of clarity - Why we need to stop judging others  - Role of empathy in work... and life - Why there is no such thing as a self made person - Understand what it means to be human in an increasingly technological world. We also segue from Artificial Intelligence into:   - How 9/11 was generational watershed moment - Attention span of Gen Z - What skills young people will need to navigate an increasingly complex world - including creativity and curiosity - Why the education matters... but the system needs a radical overhaul You can check out the full TEDx talks here: Lizzie’s talk: Brandon’s talk: Learn more about Brandon: Learn more about Lizzie: @lhdgsn Check out last our special International Women’s Day episode with Caroline Walmsley, co-founder and CEO of Further My Future.
March 21, 2019
IWD 2019: Progress Has Been Made. More Has To Come.
It’s our International Women’s Day 2019 episode!  In it we talk with the hugely inspirational Caroline Walmsley, CEO and co-founder of Further My Future. Caroline, Brandon and Lizzie discuss: Attitudes towards apprenticeships Skills and experience Importance of role models - and modelling behaviours - for young women… and young men Reflecting on how equality attitudes have changed in the past couple of decades The damaging narrative of ‘having it all’ for women Why IWD matters and why we can’t be complacent about equality Role of men: they are just as important and are part of the solution Simple steps we can all do to improve equality for more: the power of conversations, discussions, understanding. About: Further my Future is an application designed to connect young people to careers information about apprenticeship opportunities and employers to connect with young people seeking apprenticeship opportunities. Learn more about Further My Future: Follow Caroline Walmsley Twitter: Find Caroline on LinkedIn:   ——— Find Brandon Relph on LinkedIn:  Read more about Brandon:  Follow Lizzie Hodgson on Twitter:  Find Lizzie Hodgson on LinkedIn:  Read more about Lizzie: 
March 08, 2019
Artificial Intelligence And The Future Of Work
 In this episode of The Z-X Spectrum, we consider this BIG question: Do you think 2045 could be one long gap year? Focus: The podcast covers issues like Universal Basic Income, purpose, education, government and equality.  About: It is a recording of a special ThinkNation and Economic Singularity Club event where we explored Artificial Intelligence and the future of work.  The event was a collaboration between Calum Chace and Ed Charvet from the ESC and supported by ThinkNation. Calum is a columnist, author and speaker on artificial intelligence. Ed is Chief Strategy Officer at Logicalis. He also chaired the discussion. The panel discussion was made up of young people - including Brandon from this podcast - and industry thought leaders.  The focus of the discussion and subsequent audience workshops was to explore the possibility that by 2045, machines will have become so capable that they will have replaced humans in pretty much all of the work that we do now. If that does happen, what might the ripple effect be? What will the positives or negatives in this scenario?  After the panel debate, members of the audience were divided into workgroups where they collaborated and considered their responses to the question: “Do you think 2045 could be one long gap year?”  They developed a consensus within their group, and formulated a two-minute address, delivered by a representative or a few representatives of that group. Panelists: Lois Shearing:  Content Marketing Graduate for one of Atlassain's Platinum solution partners, Adaptavist.  Rob O'Connor: Amazon Alexa development, Accenture  Arohi Jain: Head of Research at The Future Society  Kieran Cranston: Youth worker and on Fixup Seminars' Grad2Greatness programme  Alison Collington: Project Manager for Fiver and Tenner Challenges, Young Enterprise  Brandon Relph: One of the UK's leading entrepreneurs and co-host of The Z-X Spectrum.  ------  Lizzie Hodgson, co-presenter of The Z-X Spectrum and director of ThinkNation, designed and ran the workshop.  Thanks to venue: The Conduit 
March 06, 2019
You Can’t Be What You Can’t See: Why Young Enterprise Matters.
After a bit of a break, The Z-X Spectrum podcast is back where Co-host Brandon Relph and I explore tech, digital and intergenerational perspectives.  In this episode we talk with two hugely inspirational women: Young Enterprise Deputy CEO Sharon Davies, and Tenner and Fiver Challenge Project Manager, Alison Collington.  We discuss enterprise, work, future of education, young people, the intersection of technology and what skills we're going to need to thrive in an uncertain future.  Learn more about Young Enterprise: Tenner Challenge:  Fiver Challenge:  Follow Sharon Davies on Twitter:  Follow Alison Collington on Twitter:  Find Sharon on LinkedIn: Find Allison on LinkedIn:  ——— Find Brandon Relph on LinkedIn:  Read more about Brandon:  Follow Lizzie Hodgson on Twitter:  Find Lizzie Hodgson on LinkedIn:  Read more about Lizzie: 
February 27, 2019
Brighton Pride, Big Companies and Brittany Spears.
After returning from Brighton Pride 2018, Brandon and Lizzie discuss the implications of big brands on Pride festivals, how the LGBTQ world has changed and what comes next. LINKS: BRANDON RELPH: LIZZIE HODGSON:
August 17, 2018
Young People: Patience, Perspective, Perseverance.
Genuinely fascinating conversation with podcast co-host Brandon Relph and recent university graduate, Rebecca Longhurst. FOCUS: We discuss young people in work/employment, the 'work ethic', impatience, social media, anxiety, commitment, robots and machine learning, social aspect of work, and explore if some young people are missing the value of experience and grafting, but still expect to get the 'promotion' in an instant? LINKS: REBECCA LONGHURST: BRANDON RELPH: LIZZIE HODGSON:
August 03, 2018
Your Consumption Of Content Becomes A Premium.
In our first podcast, The Z-X Spectrum, we kick off with Brandon’s choice of subject: The Love Island effect. Pretty much deconstructing the whole phenomenon, we explore what impact the UK’s ITV2 show has on social media, streaming and traditional media, product placement, consumerism, the podcast - and ethics - asking is the Love Island pure escapism, or a little more complex? We also touch on Facebook and their Cambridge Analytics fine, advertising in the ‘Hey Alexa’ world, buying yourself out of all advertising and newspapers… even Dr Who gets a mention. Plus how this year’s other huge TV event, the World Cup, created a sense of unity in England after a period of feeling quite the opposite. Hope you enjoy! You can learn more about Lizzie Hodgson at: You can learn more about Brandon Relph at:
July 19, 2018