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Heart Move Magic
34 minutes | Sep 4, 2019
Neosha Franklin on Building a Culture of Philanthropy
For our final episode in this first season, I sat down with Neosha Franklin, Marketing & Communications Manager at the St. Louis Community Foundation. We got to talking all things charitable giving in St. Louis. The Community Foundation works with donors who want to give back to St. Louis. Neosha’s job is to make the case for investors, donors and community members, that giving through the Foundation can actually make real and meaningful progress toward building a more equitable and vibrant region. As Neosha shares her journey, it becomes clear that she’s up for the task at hand. We talk about barriers to giving (especially for people of color), the power of leveraging your network, and she offers storytelling tips for a new generation of non-profit marketers. One of my favorite parts of the discussion was a deviation into an aspect of her story that Neosha doesn’t talk much about (and I certainly didn’t know about her)—her first job out of school. She was tasked with managing communications for a St. Charles County school district during a historic Missouri Supreme Court ruling. This important moment in St. Louis history around segregation and bussing was covered by This American Life in a phenomenal two part series. I highly recommend looking it up. Planning for the future is hard, and St. Louis has struggled to see the forest for the trees. Historically we’ve often trading long term impact for short term solutions. (just look to our long standing city / county divide) But Neosha and the team at the St. Louis Community Foundation are up for the challenge. They plan to leverage St. Louis’ culture of philanthropy to bring long-term vision to the region. St. Louis Community Foundation: https://www.stlgives.com This American Life - The Problem We All Live With, Part I: https://www.thisamericanlife.org/562/the-problem-we-all-live-with-part-one This American Life - The Problem We All Live With, Part II: https://www.thisamericanlife.org/563/the-problem-we-all-live-with-part-twoSpecial Guest: Neosha Franklin.
38 minutes | Aug 5, 2019
Tim Ward on Building Connection and Teaching Values Through Skateboarding
Today I’m talking to Tim Ward, the founder of Skate After School, a Phoenix-based nonprofit that provides after school programming in the form of skateboard instruction to underserved youth. Basically, Tim and his team use skateboarding to teach kids strong values, like teamwork and positivity. After visiting the organization’s Instagram page, you are immediately struck by a number of things. The first is the overall tone and positivity of the whole experience. There isn’t a competition over who is the best, but instead, the kids all encourage each other. The second, is the determination. Of course they fall but they get right back up and try it again. Over and over. Lastly, it seems like the adults (Skate After School volunteers, Tim, or once in a while, even a school principal!) are having a blast. I wanted to know more about how this organization that began as a community project nearly seven years ago, grew into a non-profit with a team of 30+ volunteers, serving roughly 240 students per week across eight low-income schools. Tim is an unlikely entrepreneur—he’s cautious and reserved. He puts his energy into high quality programming before he thinks about scale. More than anything though, he just really enjoys the kids. I think as marketers, we can often make things more complex than they need to be. Our search for differentiation leads us to complicated brand platforms and messaging platitudes tailored for each of our different audiences. Once in a while, it’s good to back up and remind yourself, like Tim, why you got into this in the first place. Look to your organization’s output—in this case, Skate After School’s kids—to do the talking for you. Skate After School's logo and branding was created by designer and illustrator, Michael Worful.Special Guest: Tim Ward.
29 minutes | Jul 16, 2019
Corey Smale on Seizing the Moment
In 2013, we signed the paperwork and opened the Almanac office in downtown St. Louis. We decided to host an opening party, and looked for inspiration from two trends happening in St. Louis at the time. The first, was the craft beer scene, which was booming, with new breweries opening every couple of weeks. The second was a super successful Kickstarter project that everyone was talking about. For a donut shop. We reached out to this new donut concept to see if they could help us tap into these two trends and create some donuts infused with different beer flavors—peach ale, chocolate stout—you get the picture. And they made it happen! The party—and the donuts—were a huge success and the rest is history. Well, the person who created those beer infused donuts is Corey Smale and the shop is of course, Strange Donuts. It seemed like overnight, St. Louis was experiencing full-on donut histaria. Everyone wanted to sample Strange’s fun and exciting flavors and combinations. In a short amount of time, Corey and his team organized donut festivals, launched a nonprofit, opened new locations (including selling their donuts inside Busch Stadium!), and grew an Instagram following of over 40,000 people. After Strange, Corey spent several years working on a chineese takeout concept called Good Fortune, complete with a run-up to the opening with pop-up dinners inside a gothic church turned skatepark. After years of planning, he decided to close the restaurant after only 10-months to focus on his health and his family. Our discussion covers Corey's entrepreneurial journey, including that moment of doubt that keeps many great ideas from ever seeing the light of day. Ok, enjoy!Special Guest: Corey Smale.
30 minutes | Jun 26, 2019
Enrique Von Rohr on the Intersection of Design & Health
This week on the podcast, I talk with Enrique Von Rohr, Director of Research & Technology and a Senior Lecturer in Communication Design at the Sam Fox School of Design at Washington University. I was interested in talking with Enrique because I learned about a pretty unusual course he was teaching, one where his students—who come from disparate schools throughout the university—partner with teams inside healthcare organizations to solve big healthcare challenges. If you’ve ever sat in an emergency room for hours wondering when you’ll be seen, or been bewildered deciphering a bill from a hospital, then you know that large swaths of our healthcare system are broken and could use some fresh thinking. Enrique talks about his interest in the intersection of design and health and gives us a window into what’s it take to run a mini agency inside a design school, complete with a team of designers, writers, business majors, anthropologists and...real clients on the other end!Special Guest: Enrique Von Rohr.
20 minutes | Jun 10, 2019
Kevin Farr on suspending belief in order to spark innovation
Today I’ll be talking with Kevin Farr. Kevin runs the innovation consultancy CNTRD, where he helps organizations understand, practice and sustain innovation. I’ve known Kevin for a couple of years and have always found him to be filled with energy and excitement. When we get together we dig into everything from quantum computing and ai, to creative process and team dynamics. Sitting with Kevin, you feel like you get to peek into the future, although as you’ll hear, he doesn’t think that’s the best way to understand what the future holds. I thought it would be interesting to have Kevin on the show to talk about how he works with his clients to suspend belief—to put aside their assumptions for a moment in order to reimagine what’s possible. We talk about what innovation really means and how organizations can embed these concepts into their teams. Kevin joined me in the studio after getting off a plane from Costa Rica where he was attending a conference in the jungle. Yes, that is a true statement. He’s wild, imaginative and engaging. And our conversations always bend my mind in ways that I’m grateful for later. Also, he brought me some tea that I’m pretty sure caused me to hallucinate.Special Guest: Kevin Farr.
29 minutes | May 27, 2019
Cindy Foley on the value of curiosity and creativity
Up next, my conversation with Cindy Foley, Executive Deputy Director for Learning and Experience at the Columbus Museum of Art. When we met Cindy, Almanac was working with the Museum, and Cindy’s approach to art connected with all of immediately. She makes the case that art’s critical value is to develop learners that think like artists; to be curious, creative, seek questions, develop ideas, and play. For this to happen, we need to stop defining creativity as an artistic skill. So if we want our kids to become the leaders we need, we MUST have spaces that allow for creativity to take place. As a designer, this whole idea of “who is creative” and “where do you get creativity” is a deep one for me, and I loved this conversation! Especially the part about getting comfortable with ambiguity, something that my systems mind struggles with. This conversation with Cindy was a ton of fun. She is excited and deeply passionate about the foundational work necessary to create a culture of curiosity and creativity. Check out the amazing Columbus Museum of Art. You can find Cindy on LinkedIn or on Twitter @cindymfoley.Special Guest: Cindy Foley.
18 minutes | May 14, 2019
Next up on the podcast, my interview with St. Louis—soon to be Portland—based photographer, Jay Fram. I’ve known Jay for more than a decade—as friends, studio mates and collaborators. Jay’s ability to craft evocative, honest portraits of real people and places has made him a favorite for our team and our clients. I wanted to talk with Jay because of all the photographers we’ve worked with, he has an uncanny ability to coax people out of their shells. Capturing people as they are is the best way I know to foster empathy and connection and THAT’s what we strive for in all of our work at Almanac. Jay’s images have been a key ingredient in some of the most successful brands we’ve created over the years. Jay is interesting (born in Puerto Rico, grew up on a fish farm in Oklahoma, for Pete’s sake!) full of humor and a fierce advocate for the storytelling strength of one great image. I think you’ll really enjoy hearing his perspective about where to put your resources when you need to connect with the right people. You can visit Jay's website: https://www.jayfram.com or follow him on Instagram @jayfram. To see Print Magazine's review of our work together for Places for People, visit: https://www.printmag.com/branding/award-winning-rebrand-places-for-people/Special Guest: Jay Fram.
27 minutes | May 14, 2019
Today I’ll be talking with Eric Scroggings, Founder and CEO of The Opportunity Trust, an organization working to ensure everyone who calls St. Louis home is prepared to thrive. As we all know, the world’s economy and job markets are changing, and like many cities who were at the top of their game during the height of the industrial era, St. Louis struggles to keep up. Eric and his team have big plans to address the issues holding us back and to amplify the bright spots. (And their are some bright spots!) So where are they starting? One of the thorniest and most important issues of all: St. Louis’ public education system. As you’ll hear, Eric is uniquely qualified to lead this charge. He’s the first in his family to go to college; attending Washington University in St. Louis opened his eyes to the opportunities that come along with a world class education. After graduation, he joined Teach for America and went to work in the New York Public School System. His time in New York schools was transformative and heartbreaking and also eerily similar to the things he sees in St. Louis education today. Eric’s got a long career in education and has come back home at an exciting time in St. Louis. My conversations with Eric are always deep and interesting and I’m struck by how strategic every single one of his decisions is. You can learn more on the Opportunity Trust website: https://theopportunitytrust.org/ I hope you enjoy!Special Guest: Eric Scroggins.
30 minutes | May 14, 2019
Ah, podcast number one. I’m really excited to kick this show off with an interview with Leslie Peters, who is one of my favorite people! She’s a speaker, author and guide who connects with people on the edge of growth. What does that mean? Basically, she works with leaders and teams during times of change. Perfect, right? Almanac and Leslie have worked together on a few projects over the years, and she’s not only gotten to know our company really well, but I would say she’s influenced the type of company we’ve become. She helped us map our core values a couple years ago, which has been transformational for us. And she also introduced us to the Cynefin framework--a system of problem-solving that helped us get comfortable with the kind of messy, unpredictable, human work that we love doing at Almanac. And, guess what, we’re going to talk about Cynefin today, because I think you will see your work in it, and it will give you several a - ha moments, just like it did for us. Leslie's website: https://www.elementspartnership.com. Leslie's book, 'Finding Time to Lead' on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Finding-Time-Lead-Practices-Outrageous-ebook/dp/B01N5F24RUSpecial Guest: Leslie Peters.
2 minutes | May 10, 2019
Heart Move Magic
Hey there, this is Nate Sprehe, CEO at Almanac. We’re a branding and digital agency in St. Louis working with purpose-driven organizations. And we’ve got a new podcast called Heart Move Magic. This podcast is an experiment on what it takes to create change. It started with an idea we had about how we could support and inspire the people we meet who are working so hard to make meaningful change in our society. (We see you and we know you are special!) But as much as it is for you, it’s also for us! We’re inspired by you and drawn to understand where all that courage and conviction comes from. Ideas are the easy part...and much too often they stay that way—just an idea. We’re much more interested in exploring that moment in time–that decision, where you say, “yeah, let’s do this thing!” AND THEN ACTUALLY DO IT! So, this podcast is for you...but it’s also about you. I’m going to be talking with some of my favorite people who have proven that they have what it takes to create a vision, and stick with that vision until it becomes reality. We’ll hear from people working to change large organizations, people tackling big societal problems like education, and people who simply look at the world in a different way...who see opportunities where others see roadblocks. This podcast has been a ton of fun for me. I hope you pick up ideas and concepts that are meaningful and help you keep going out there. And like I said, this is an experiment. We’ve never done anything like this before...We’re starting with 8 episodes and if you like them and want more, we’ll keep going. So let us know what you think. Whose story would you like to hear? What topic should we explore? Do I ask too many questions (ha)? We want it all. Send us an email at email@example.com. Our first three episodes drop on May 15th, so please subscribe on Apple, Stitcher, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. You can also get up-to-date on our website by visiting brandalmanac.com/podcast. I’m looking forward to sharing these people and their stories with you. Thanks for listening!
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