Future Skills

Future Skills Podcast

The podcast that gives you the business and career skills you need to future-proof yourself. Hosted by Mikael Syding, partner at Futuris, The European Hedge Fund Of The Decade, and Ludvig Sunstrom, author of Breaking Out Of Homeostasis We do 3 episodes: 1) short episode: big idea or practical tip. 2) long episode: in-depth discussions with scientists, businessmen and public intellectuals. 3) medium episode: Experts share their best ideas and how they use them to build skills, companies, relationships, or make money. Guests include: Martin Sandquist, Alexander Bard, Ola Ahlvarsson, Tyler Cowen, Seth Godin, Martin Ford, Dr. Philippa Malmgren, Annie Duke, Barry Schwartz, Erik Townsend, Walter Kiechel, and more...

47: Season 1 Finale – Synopsis of Lessons from our 15 Guests
We conclude Season 1 of Future Skills with an extra-long discussion about the top tips and ideas we learned from the following 15 guests: Martin Sandquist – Finance Billionaire Barry Schwartz – Psychology Professor Tyler Cowen – Economist Walter Kiechel – Fortune Magazine & Harvard Business Review Seth Godin – Author & Marketer Ola Ahlvarsson – Serial Entrepreneur Elkhonon Goldberg - Neuroscientist Erik Townsend – Hedge Fund Manager Alexander Bard – Future Philosopher Mattias Ribbing - Memory Champion Case...

46: Gold and Tesla Beyond The Blockchain with Erik Townsend
In today’s episode we pick up the talk from episode 34 with investor, author, podcast showrunner and technology entrepreneur Erik Townsend. Once again we cover a lot of ground, including Erik's views on decision making & strategy, technological progress such as automation, and his current views on gold, oil and Tesla. We also talked about the process of writing and publishing his book "Beyond Blockchain" Not least we talked about Erik's views on cryptocurrencies and what could come after Bitcoin. ===== In t...

45: Futurist Martin Ford on: the 23 Leading Architects of AI
❄ Merry Christmas! ❄ In today's Christmas episode we talk to futurist Martin Ford, popular speaker and author of bestselling books Rise of Robots and now Architects of Intelligence. This episode can be seen as the finale to the last three (#43 - robotics and #44 - global problems). We discuss where the future of AI, robotics, and other high-tech fields seems to be headed, based on the existing research and the lay of the land. Most important - Martin clarifies what might be reasonable to expect in terms o...


44: The 5 Global Problems and 5 Big Technologies
We discuss 5 global problems (water, food, climate, energy, health and 5 big technologies that may be used in solving them (AI, automation, biotech, nanotech, 3D printing/additive manufacturing).  We call this the 5x5 Matrix: Click for image (if it doesn't show below). 3 more problems are discussed: Education, depression, and migration. We also discuss a list of future industries. Roughly 10 are mentioned out of a total list of 32. Subscribe to our newsletter for episode summaries for another 10 industries...

43: Why Robotics is the New Auto Industry
Alternate headline: "How You Can Own a Little Robot Butler, Like Rocky in 1984" We delve into Mikael's strong interest for robotics and automation. Mikael makes a strong case for why robotics will be "the new auto industry", with lots of other industries converging into one massive industry. And how YOU can position yourself to get in early, working for or with robotics makers (for example by visiting your local robotics company...) Also discussed in this episode: "RaAS" - Robotics as a Service, "Intelligen...

42: Dr Philippa Malmgren. How to manage the next big thing (Dr P is a robot entrepreneur, presidential advisor, author...)
Today we talk to Dr Philippa Malmgren Pippa, short for “Philippa”, is a tech entrepreneur and a geopolitical consult. She has authored several books, including “Signals”, and “Geopolitics for investors”. In this conversation we focus on her most recent book “Leadership Lab” and learn about important neglected skills of good leaders and why managers keep getting blindsided by well-known trends. We talk about important megatrends like Big Data and the internet of (surveillance) things and how to adapt to tech...


41: Q&A Part II, investment scaling, struggles, motivation, knowledge integration
We answer questions from listeners and subscribers to our newsletter.   The following questions are answered in the episode:   What is the distinction between perseverance vs. bull-headedness? What websites do you often visit? What have you had to give up to get where you are today? What motivates you? What was the biggest factor that helped you being successful, other than yourself? How do you distinguish between superficial and actual knowledge; how do you know if you are really learning something? How ...

40: Seth Godin - On the Future of Marketing and Business
We talk to Seth Godin, who is a serial entrepreneur, author, and one of the world’s biggest experts on marketing. Seth has written as many as 18 bestselling books. His writing is about the post-industrial revolution, the way ideas spread, marketing, leadership and how change happens. His new book is called This is Marketing. Seth is also the founder of the altMBA and the Marketing Seminar—two very successful online workshops. And, he has one of the world’s most popular blogs. Seth has had a really interest...

39: Tyler Cowen - Economist and Master Generalist on: Economic Outlook, Social Change, and Future Cities
Tyler Cowen is an American economist, academic, and writer. He is the author of books like The Great Stagnation, Average is Over, The Complacent Class, and more. He occupies the Holbert L. Harris Chair of economics, as a professor at George Mason University, and is co-author, with Alex Tabarrok, of the popular economics blog Marginal Revolution. Cowen and Tabarrok have also ventured into online education by starting Marginal Revolution University. He currently writes a regular column for Bloomberg View. ...


38: Q&A with Listeners from our Newsletter
We answer questions from listeners on our newsletter. The following 11 questions are answered in the episode: 1) How can I change careers and become a real estate copywriter? 2) Will biotech become a big industry? Does Free Will exist? 3) Should you work in finance? How can I study better? How does one become a renaissance man? 4) What 3 top things would you recommend for business and career for a college freshman? 5) How do you develop an international career? What is the best job for an international care...

37: Mattias Ribbing - Speed Up Learning, Think Pictorially, and the Future School System
Grandmaster of Memory Mattias Ribbing joins us today. He is an author, educator, and 3-time Swedish champion of memory sport. He’s also become a Grandmaster of Memory internationally. Mattias sits down for a conversation about mnemonics, biohacking, self-improvement, minimalism, and his thoughts on improving the school system. The first half of the episode is about learning and the human brain: How to think in pictures (the way the brain processes information fastest) The benefits of thinking pictorially (...

36: How to Think Differently (Like Arnold & Stephenie)
How To Avoid Herd Mentality. Stephenie Meyers broke all the rules and created a $3 Billion Dollar franchise (just with movies), sold 120 million books, and in the process, created a new genre: “Vampire-Romance”. So don’t underestimate her powers. We talk about how to get started diverging from the crowd. Before you can be a real contrarian, you need to practice being one in small things.... like daring to walk into forbidden places, going to places other tourists aren’t, and walking in the middle of the r...


35: Herd Animals, Stoics, Independents, and Contrarians
There are 4 modes of being: Herd Animal, Stoic, Independent, and Contrarian. You can look at it visually like this: Herd Animal------------------------Stoic------Independent------------------Contrarian Herd Animal = Go with the crowd, fit in, be nice, and stampede in collective panic. Stoic = Self-centered and serene, focused on one’s own world and work. Independent = Going with/against crowd, but without any strong emotion attached. Contrarian = Taking a stand for something and against the crowd for profit...

34: Erik Townsend: Macro Economics - What Makes the World Work
Erik Townsend is a retired software entrepreneur turned hedge fund manager and host of Macrovoices Podcast. Throughout his career, Erik has capitalized on his ability to understand complex systems and anticipate paradigm shifts far in advance of the mainstream. A teenage computer protégé, he spent most of his high school years at MIT's Artificial Intelligence laboratory, where he taught himself several computer programming languages. Erik became an independent software development and design consultant to ...

33: Walter Kiechel: Lords of Strategy (Part 2)
In this second episode with Walter Kiechel, we continue where we left off last time in our discussion about Strategy, and Walter’s popular book “The Lords of Strategy”. In case you didn’t listen to the last episode, Walter has over 30 years of experience in the media industry and among other things --- he's been the Managing Editor of Fortune Magazine and the Editorial Director of Harvard Business Publishing (which includes the famous Harvard Business Review). You can get in touch with Walter through the Lo...


32: Walter Kiechel: A Life in Media (Part 1)
We talk to Walter Kiechel III. This episode will be particularly interesting if you'd like to get into the media business and understand how it works. Walter has more than 30 years of experience in the media industry; first as a business journalist, then as an author. Walter has served as the Managing Editor of Fortune Magazine and the Editorial Director of Harvard Business Publishing (which, of course, includes the famous Harvard Business Review). He’s also authored the two books “Lords of Strategy” and “O...

31: Investor beginner errors you really want to avoid
In thís episode you'll learn: why celebrating high stock prices is wrong why next year's, any year's, Price/Earnings ratio is irrelevant that one strategic shareholder selling to another rarely means anything useful ... and a few more things, Mikael Syding picked up on his way from total beginner to the head of The European Hedge Fund Of The Decade.   * Subscribe to Future Skills on: iTunes | Android | Stitcher | Spotify * Leave a review on iTunes to help us reach more people. * Join our newsletter for...

30: The 2x Rule
The 2x Rule is a practical application of the Experience Curve. It's a guideline for how you can plan your career. The 2x Rule states that you should be willing to take half the entry salary of a prestigious company in order to maximize on learning for some time while you are still young. In this episode we talk about: - What the 2x rule is - How you can use it - 3 bad career choices - And 4 areas where (future industries) where the 2X Rule might apply most - And the risks it entails As a final tip, if you ...


29: The Experience Curve – How to Plan Your Career Better
Stop thinking linearly. Start thinking exponentially. Everyone who has read economics knows about scale effects. Like economies of scale or economies of scope. But a lot of people don’t know about the scale effects of experience and learning... The Experience Curve states that things become cheaper and more effective to produce over time as you get better at it. The experience curve explains why specialization works so well. This is originally a concept from management consulting, invented by Bruce Henderso...

28: Dr. Elkhonon Goldberg: A 50-Year Journey of Neuroscience
Elkhonon Goldberg, Ph.D., is an author, scientist, educator, and clinician, internationally renowned for his clinical work, research, writings and teaching in neuropsychology and cognitive neuroscience. He is a Clinical Professor of Neurology at New York University School of Medicine. Diplomate of The American Board of Professional Psychology in Clinical Neuropsychology and Director of Luria Neuroscience Institute. A student and close associate of the great neuropsychologist Alexandr Luria, Elkhonon Goldber...

the science brain neuroscience neuropsychology

27: Our Favorite Physical Tools For Better Health And Productivity
In this week's episode Syding and Sunström recommends a wide array of physical tools and gadgets for improving your life, and making sure you stay healthy, happy and productive longer. Mikael's two favorite things are noise cancelling in-ear headphones and a Kindle Paperwhite (B&W) e-reader. Ludvig recommends a physical almanack and a whiteboard ========== If you liked this episode, be sure to check out these as well: From  episode 16 -- Avoid Chronic Stress. Blood-pressure monitor. Use about once per week...


26: The Very Best Online Tools We Use
These are tools and resources we use. All free and readily available. Everything from Noisly (ambient sound) to Inflation Calculations. The top advice we give is to try: (1) Have I been pwned (2) Just Delete Me, and (3) Unroll.Me. This will really do wonders if you get lots of spam email. Email us at [email protected] if you want to recommend a tool/resource to us! Much obliged, -Jabba Da Hut ========== *Subscribe to Future Skills on: iTunes | Android | Stitcher | Spotify *Join our newsletter fo...

25: Survivorship Bias: 6 Reasons We Misinterpret Success And Misunderstand Reality
In Survivorship Bias we go over 6 practical tips: (1) Remind yourself of the concept of Survivorship Bias. It's very tricky and (2) it's only becoming "stronger" due to social media and network effects (3) Train yourself to be more Contrarian/Stoic, and less pop-culture, (4) Acknowledge success is often the result of a complex combo of things (5) avoid unrealistic expectations, like comparing yourself to 20-year old billionaires whos success you *don't understand* and (6) Choose whom to follow/study/learn f...

24: The Best of Myers-Briggs - the world’s most popular personality test (and what it means for you)
We describe and discuss a useful metacognition tool: The Myers Briggs Test which is based on Carl Jung’s ideas about 4 Functions. Jung’s functions are based on Input and Output, Information and Decision. How do you gather intel and how do you make your decisions. Fact-based and reasoning, e.g., or intuition and feeling? Use the tests for inspiration on beginning your introspective journey. Use the tests for realizing what others might see in you. Use the tests for checking if what you are thinking is the sa...


23: Alexander Bard on rites of passage, psychedelics, AI, sex robots, matriarchy, religion, writing, reading and success
Alexander Bard is most famous for his music career, where he's put together successful groups like Army of Lovers and Bodies Without Organs, and for being the top judge of Swedish Idol. More importantly, however, Bard’s also a futuristic philosopher—one of the most well-informed when it comes to understanding how the Internet and social media is impacting the rest of the world (business, government, public debate). Together with Jan Söderqvist, he's written the 4 books: Netocracy, (recommended), The Digital...

22: Create a Review File [For Your Work, Studies, Investing & Creativity]
This episode draws on an idea from Ludvig’s Ultimate Commonplace System. The Review File is like a virtual book summary book, only more extreme. It’s based on two learning methods: Spaced repetition and availability bias. Your Review File is where you collect all the best materials related to your work, studies, investing, creative project, etc… and you want to review it every now and then over the long-term to make sure the best ideas stick to your brain, and become internalized. 4 Examples of a Review Fil...

21: Professor Barry Schwartz: Psychology & Decision Making in a Complex World
Barry Schwartz is a professor of Psychology, serving as visiting professor at the University of Berkeley, in California. His numerous TED talks have been viewed and listened to more than 20 million times.  They include:  “Paradox of Choice”, “Loss of Wisdom”, “Practical Knowledge”, and why the way we think about “Work is Broken”.  He has also written several popular books, where The Paradox of Choice is the best-known one.   In our discussion with Barry, we go over things such as:  When too much choic...


20: How to Be an Investor
We cover the fundamental 5 steps to become an investor—based on Mikael’s personal guidelines. Here’s a summary of the steps: 1 Psychology is more important than maths in investing 2 Read books and insightful articles about investing, not testosterone dripping online stock forums 3 Find a strategy that suits you. Refine it in company with likeminded truth-seekers 4 Use real money; it’s the only way to truly stress test your emotions and your strategy-psychology fit 5 Create a feedback loop of continuous impr...

19: Get More Important Work Done—Tools and Systems with Sebastian Marshall
In this expert episode, our guest is Sebastian Marshall, founder of Ultraworking.  Sebastian is also an author. You may recall we talked about the Japanese concept of Ikigai in our last episode. Sebastian's first book was called Ikigai.  Here’s what we cover:  -The different online tools and systems that Sebastian uses -- and also that me and Mikael use. And perhaps more important, the thinking that goes behind it.   -You'll learn what a "Keystone" is--and how you can use it to stay on top of your w...

18: Ikigai, How to Live with Purpose
Look up the Japanese concept Ikigai.  We talk about how the word ”Passion” has lost its meaning from being overused and why Ikigai is a much better concept—and something that the Western World is missing. We also rant about herd mentality, the Law of Attraction, and “putting out positive intentions on the Blockchain”.  Ikigai can be thought of as the combination of (1) what you love, (2) what the world needs, (3) what you can be paid for and (4) what you are good at.   Then there are intersections be...


17: Hormonal Optimization and Preventive Health with Jay Campbell
Welcome to another expert episode! Today our guest is Jay Campbell.   Jay Campbell is a Champion Men’s Physique Competitor and the bestselling author of ("The Testosterone Optimization Bible”).  In this episode: We’ll go over some of the myths and truths about testosterone, estrogen, and other hormones, according to what the latest science has to say about it.   We start out talking about how a kick to the groin changed Jay’s life when he was just 29, leaving him with deficient testosterone levels. An...

16: Avoid Chronic Stress – Take Your Blood Pressure (here’s how)
Hi friend – in this episode we talk about how to monitor your blood pressure. It’s not difficult at all once you know how to do it. Then you can do it once in a while to get a sense of whether chronic stress is building up in your body. This is another example of Boundary Testing. Meaning: it won’t give you an indicator of just how good your health is, but it *will* tell you when to be worried. FYI: Those stats are: Diastolic pressure +120 | Systolic pressure +100 | Heart rate +100 beats per minute. =======...

15: The Top 3 Health Tests You Should Do (Stay in Peak Condition & Prevent Illness)
Which are the most important preventive health tests? What are their benefits? How often should you do them? What do they cost? These are questions answered in today’s episode of Future Skills. Why should you do preventive health tests? Because they will often let you know if something is SERIOUSLY OFF, then you can (hopefully) fix it before your health declines. This is sometimes known as "Boundary Testing"   ========== Subscribe to Future Skills on: iTunes | Android  | Stitcher | Spotify Join our newsle...


14: Poker Pro Annie Duke: Betting–the Ultimate Transferable Skill
Today we talk to Annie Duke. Annie is best known for her career as a professional poker player, where she has won a World Series of Poker bracelet, the World Series of Poker Tournament of Champions, and the NBC National Poker Heads-Up Championship. She has more than 16 money finishes and has won more than $4 million in tournament poker. She’s also a mother of 4 children and the author of the new popular book: Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don’t Have All the Facts ͟Here are some of the ...

13: Gaussian Transformation: How to Go from 1 to 45 Employees in 3 Years
Today we talk to Casey Gauss. Casey is the founder of Viral Launch. Viral Launch is an online business that helps Amazon Sellers sell more stuff on Amazon. He dropped out of college when he was 21. At the time, his family was going through a really tough time and were living on his little brother’s pizza-delivery paychecks. So he spent all his time Coding and (after failing a few times) built an Online business. When I met Casey he wore hats every day. One day, we sat next to each other in the bus. It was t...

12: How to Create Innovation Labs and Understand Your Entrepreneurial Type with Ola Ahlvarsson
In this expert episode, we have serial entrepreneur Ola Ahlvarsson [Personal site | Wikipedia] back on the show to tell us how to run successful innovation labs - and to explain his framework of the 5 entrepreneurial types, and how you build a team around your talents. Ola says that 7/10 innovation labs done in-house fail, and that those that do succeed are: Separate, Shared, Seen, Slim, Strategic, and have a Structure. The 5 entrepreneurial types are: the Virtuoso, The all-or-nothing entrepreneur, the bett...


11: Use it or lose it; making the most of your Biological Prime Time
In this episode of Future Skills we talk about what Biological Prime Time is, why it's so important, how you can identify your peak productivity or peak creativity time of day, and how to make the most of it through smart tweaks of your daily habits Try to figure out when your BPT is. For many people, it will be about 1 hour after waking up. There are different times, but this is most common. Use your BPT for the top tasks;#1 priority, like writing an essay or a book. That stuff is very hard to do outside ...

10: Serial Entrepreneur Ola Ahlvarsson Wants to Build a New Society Based on Self-Development
Ola Ahlvarsson is a really really interesting guy (Personal site | Wikipedia). He's founded more than 20 businesses, worked with many of the world's biggest brands that you know of (like McDonalds, Google, Microsoft, Merck, Procter & Gamble, Twitter, IBM.... etc) He's also an avid martial artist, with a Black Belt in Karate, and he's become the European champion in Goju Ryu Karate, the Swedish champion in Kung Fu and in Taekwondo, and the world champion in WAKO kickboxing. Two notable businesses that Ola ru...

9: Transferable Skills: How to Build a Safe and Steady Career
The 2008 crisis was a hell-hole for the financial industry, as we all know. What most people don’t know, however, is that it was almost as bad for the legal profession. 60% of legal graduates (J.Ds) couldn’t get a job upon graduation. Finance and law are stereotypical industries where you are so specialized that—if the industry takes a hit—you will be in trouble. And then there's ecosystemic risk. Industry disruption is bound to happen everywhere sooner or later; to protect yourself you should learn transfe...


8: The 4 Capitals of Creation
The 4 capitals are the foundation of becoming Future-Proof. What are they?  Financial capital (Uncle Scrooge)  Social capital (Godfather)  Cultural capital (Richard Feynman)  Influence capital (Oprah Winfrey) Tip: When you think about your progress in life, try to be concrete. A good way is to use this outline, and think of how you improved in one or many of these capitals. Noble indulgence homework: Watch "The Defiant Ones" and consider how weird Jimmy Iovine’s career trajectory has been. Then consider...

7: The Hunger Sleep Stress Feedback Loop
It’s a TRAP! Once your sleep takes a hit, you can adapt to it, but it will transfer to other parts of your body’s hormones, and it will create a downward spiral that goes like this: (1) Bad Sleep >> (2) Higher Cortisol Levels >> (3) Lower Impulse Control, Tired and Hungry >> (4) Eat Sugar and Consume Stimulants for Fast Energy and Focus >> (5) Become Fatter and More Stressed >> . . . Bad Sleep [AGAIN]. . . . Then if you continue for more than 2-3 days, it will become your body’s new "Steady State" (Homeosta...

6: Alexander Bard: How to Grow Up and Become an Online Success
Alexander Bard is most famous for his music career, where he's put together successful groups like Army of Lovers and Bodies Without Organs, and for being the top judge of Swedish Idol. He’s also a futuristic philosopher — one of the most well-informed when it comes to understanding how the Internet and social media is impacting the rest of the world (business, government, public debate). Together with Jan Söderqvist, he's written the 4 books: Netocracy (recommended), The Digital Empire, The Body Machines, ...


5: Are You an Initiator or a Refiner?
These are two different personality traits. You can think of them as being polar opposites on a spectrum. Depending on which one you are, it has a big impact on how you should manage your career and plan your days. If you’re neither, then you’re probably in the middle. That could mean you’re an Executor. An Initiator is someone who has a lot of ideas and can begin new projects easily. An Initiator needs a team — badly. A Refiner is someone who maybe doesn’t have too many original ideas, but can improve on s...

4: Are You a Maximizer or a Satisficer?
Maximization vs satisficing: This is both a decision-making rule *and* a personality spectrum. People who are Maximizers will dig themselves deep into details and make sure what they’re doing is done properly; they are perfectionists by nature. People who are Satisficers will just make do; they’ll do the minimum for moving the project forward, and want to move forward fast. A team should consist of both types. In this episode we cover: -The differences between the two -Examples of both types in the many of ...

3: Lone Maverick Billionaire Martin Sandquist on: Crypto, Finance, Entrepreneurship, and Being an Infinite Learner
Martin Sandquist is the founder of Lynx Asset Management, one of the biggest hedge funds in Europe. They're classified as a CTA (commodity trading advisor) and have +70 employees. Martin is no longer active in Lynx. He now spends most of his time managing money and trading on his own. In this conversation you'll learn: Martin's 30/30/30/10 time-management method The 4-step formula that explains most extraordinary business success Why Martin doesn't call people up for his trades and insists on keeping his id...


2: How to Double Your Creativity (for less than $30)
Inspired by Richard Koch's 80/20 Principle book, we discuss a little-known method for becoming more creative by measuring your mood. Everyone can use it, but it will be more effective for (1) those who have wild mood swings or wide variations of energy levels and/or (2) control their own time.   Competition: 10 people will win a 15-min coaching session and will receive 3 bottles of ArcticMed (Europe's best omega-3 fish oil, which we both use). The coaching will be done by Skype and you get to pick our brain...

1: Do You Have a Commonplace? Every Knowledge Worker should have one
We explain what Future Skills is about and then we discuss why you should have a commonplace. Commonplacing is a mental practice used by many of the greatest thinkers in history, and it will teach you to become a more structured thinker. We both keep commonplaces ourselves.   Competition: 10 people will win a 15-min coaching session and will receive 3 bottles of ArcticMed (Europe's best omega-3 fish oil, which we both use). The coaching will be done by Skype and you get to pick our brains on any topic of yo...