The 7 Podcasts About the Future of Work You’ll Wish You’d Listened To

Future You will thank Past You :)

Enjoyable podcasts, even if you’re wearing earbuds designed in California, but clearly inspired by the Marquis de Sade

The future of work is a broad topic, friends.

It involves cubicles, computers, collaboration, sure. But also how we interact with those things. How we get to work. When we work. Where we work. Open the lens wide enough and you’ll quickly realize that the concept of “how we’ll work” is inseparable from “how we’ll live”.

And that’s the tenor of the list below. We’ve pulled together seven of our favorite and most edifying podcasts about the future, period. Each covers a different area of work and life. Each provides lessons from large and small organizations alike. Each is excellent, entertaining, and worth your time. Download them. Future You will thank Past You.

a16z

The official podcast of Andreessen-Horowitz
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iTunes link]
You’d think a podcast by VCs would be insufferable. Nope. Andreessen-Horowitz publishes consistently excellent conversations with a rotating cast of future thinkers — from Fei-Fei Li (director of the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab), to journalist Evan Osnos, to former Pfizer CEO Jeff Kindler. Topics run from AI, to fintech, to immigration and managing uncertainty.

Listen: during your hour-long commute
Favorite episodes: Infrastructure … Is Everything, Open vs. Closed, Alpha Cities, and the Industries of the Future, and When Humanity Meets AI

“There are actually nine network effects.”

IDEO Futures

Where entrepreneurship meets design
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iTunes link]
A great, 30-minutes(ish) podcast featuring one-on-one interviews with entre- and intra-preneurials, like Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky from Google Ventures (on how to answer critical business questions through design, prototyping, and testing ideas) and designers Shoshana Berger and Meija Jacobs (on creating the conditions for female entrepreneurship).

Listen: whenever you have time for a focused 30 minutes
Favorite Episodes: John Lilly on Blitzscaling, productivity tools and design in VC // pair with this piece on Blitzscaling from the Harvard Business Review.

“You have to move faster, because competition from anywhere on the globe may beat you to scale.”

Back to Work

Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin discussing productivity, communication, work, barriers, constraints, tools, and more.
[iTunes link]
Long. Digressive. Recursive. Very geeky. But delightful in its deep dives into Star Trek, media consumption, and how kids are different these days. Almost doubles as a parenting pod. Best move is to subscribe to the newsletter, which includes copious episode notes and links.

Listen: in the background while working
Favorite Episodes: The Mayor of Chocolate Sundaes, on how and why users want fewer intermediary steps in their communications (e.g., Slack vs. email).

Exponent

Ben Thompson and James Allworth on tech and society
[iTunes link]
Sometimes rambling but always insightful, Exponent expands on Ben’s excellent Stratechery posts about how technological change is affecting our culture. Great for deep dives on the latest topics (Microsoft buys LinkedIn, Google vs. Apple, Pokemon).

Listen: on an hour-long commute
Favorite Episodes: Ballots Vs. Guillotines, on Brexit and the implicit contracts of capitalism, and Bending Trees, on how the arc of change must take into account current conditions.

“There needs to be a real pivot in mindset towards direct empowerment and support of people, and if anything a check on the overwhelming power of these industries.”

Review the Future

Taking an in-depth look at the impact of technology on culture
[iTunes link]
Not strictly about work, but definitely about technologies that will affect our work: economic singularities, the threat of cheap weapons, brain-to-brain interfaces, and more.

Listen: when you want to scare yourself about humanity’s prospects
Favorite Episodes: ConsScale and the Threat of Cheap Weapons

Future of Work

Jacob Morgan on the changing nature of work
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iTunes link]
In-depth interviews with executives from companies like EMC, VMware, and Cisco. It won’t blow your hair back with its energy levels and production values, but Jacob has great access to business leaders. The podcast definitely gives you insight into how intrapreneurship works at scale.

Listen: when you’re specifically interested in the company featured in an episode
Favorite Episodes: My Co-Worker Is a Bot: How Robotic Process and Automation Will Transform the Workplace

Future Thinkers

A podcast about the future of humanity and the exploration of consciousness
[iTunes link]
Ok, this one’s out there. Way out there. Transhumanism out there. But the topics explored give insight into rapidly approaching possible futures that will effect how we live and work — e.g., brain emulation, existential threats to humanity, and techno-social systems and human needs.

Listen: during your first cocktail of the evening
Favorite Episodes: Hakuna Matata, Space Pharaoh! Quantum Mechanics, Space Exploration, and Enlightenment


Other delightful podcasts

Informative pods that don’t make our regular rotation, but which we occasionally enjoy and recommend.

Planet Money on the Future of Work
Episode #536: The Future of Work Looks Like a UPS Truck
Episode #704: The Open Office
Episode #625: The Last Job
Episode #621: When Luddites Attack!

Collaboration Superpowers
Interview pods of people and companies doing great things remotely. Mostly oriented towards small teams, but contains lessons that are useful for large orgs as well.

Connected Futures
Conversations with executives from large organizations and futurists about digital transformation.

Worklife Hub
Conversations with business leaders in human resources, chiefly in Europe.

Virtual Not Distant
An empathetic series about managing remote teams, including topics like “tracking your team’s mood” and, everybody’s favorite topic, “work rules without pants”.


Got some favorites of your own? Holler at us in the comments.