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Working Better

Kin + Carta Podcast Series

A podcast about problems worth solving

Working Better is a podcast about problems worth solving and the technology required to solve them. Hosted by innovator and technology expert, Scott Hermes, each episode will center around an issue, how technology fits into that issue, and a question. A single, specific question that acts as our north star for that episode.

Questions like:

  • Why can we file taxes online but not vote online?
  • Should business leaders be looking to school teachers for the best ways to keep their employees engaged remotely?
  • Can an app be racist?

These challenges have been stubborn to change and will require new thinking and meaningful action in order to actually make change happen. 

Each episode of Working Better will feature perspectives from business leaders, educators, journalists, authors, farmers, scientists, software engineers, designers, and researchers. And for some, Kin + Carta Labs will roll up their sleeves, prototype, and build a new solution.

Season 1 will run from September through January 2021 and you can expect a new episode every other Tuesday morning.


Episode 1 - Where Are All The Contact Tracing Apps?

Contact tracing apps were supposed to help the world minimize the spread of COVID-19, and although the idea had a lot of promise, in reality, it fell short of expectations. In this episode, we dive deep into the role of technology and COVID-19, why contact tracing apps haven’t lived up to the hype, and what it would take to introduce something that… you know... works?

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Episode 2 - How Is Social Distancing Affecting our Mental Health?

In this episode, we discuss how therapists and business leaders have approached this challenge. Of connecting with people. Of substituting genuine human interactions. Of practicing empathy, vulnerability, and trust as best we can given the circumstances, with the tools at our disposal.

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Episode 3 - Why Can't We Vote Online?

What if we told you the tiny European nation of Estonia has been voting online since 2005? In this episode, we take a closer look at the way the Estonian system works, the biggest obstacles to online voting in the US, and what it might take to transform one of the most important functions of our society.

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Episode 4 - Can an App be Racist?

Algorithms and AI affect so many aspects of everyday life. Although AI can deliver extraordinary value and insight, it can also hurt people. In this episode of Working Better, we dive deep into the issue of bias in AI to illuminate the stories, consequences, and complicated ethical questions that have experts pushing for progress.

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Episode 5 - How are Cities Being Reimagined?

As the threat of climate change continues to reveal itself, what does it mean for cities to be truly “sustainable”? What does human-centered design really mean, and how far are our cities from actually reflecting those ideas? Is the COVID-19 pandemic the thing that will spark new urgent changes to cities? Is this our Great Stink? Join us In this episode as we talk about how cities are being reimagined.

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Episode 6 - Should we prepare for “Shipageddon?

As online sales surge to record levels, can our supply chains handle a holiday shopping season unlike any other? In this episode, we examine the challenges facing retailers, shippers, and the millions of human hands working to get packages delivered on time. This week we’re joined by Andy Whiting, CEO of Better Trucks, to learn how his company is adjusting to uncharted territory.

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Episode 7 - What Does Responsible Business Really Mean?

We’ve become inundated with messages about brands “making the world a better place.” So who’s for real? Can businesses actually be a force for good? And if so, how can we know when they are doing what they say they will do? We put the spotlight on two organizations providing answers: B Lab, the nonprofit organization that has catalyzed a movement through its B Corp certification. And DoneGood, a company aiming to make it quick, easy, and affordable to use your purchasing power for good.

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Episode 8 - How Does Santa Get it Done?

We’re taking a new approach to a holiday bonus episode of Working Better. As we see it, the question isn’t “is Santa real?” but rather “how DOES he do it?” We break it all down with the type of needlessly detailed, exhaustingly thorough investigative reporting that we’d expect from our beloved host, Scott Hermes.

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Episode 9 - Are We Forgetting How to Play?

Play makes us more creative, more connected to one another, and more likely to find new solutions to old problems. But are we forgetting how to? In the latest episode of Working Better, we unpack the power of play with perspectives from researchers, designers and business leaders - including a deep dive with Dr. Bo Stjerne Thomsen from the LEGO Foundation!

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Episode 10 - Data vs Goliath Part 1: Do Facts Actually Change Our Minds?

As “Big Data” gets even bigger, so do the promises about our new data-driven world. But even with humankind’s knowledge at our fingertips, is it any match for the beliefs we already hold? Through the lenses of business, politics, and our everyday lives, this episode explores why human nature is a formidable foe against the data we hold so dear. We’ll highlight the psychology of misinformation, how data literacy is reshaping business, and what journalists, innovators, and educators believe we should do next in our pursuit of the truth.

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Episode 11 - Data vs Goliath Part 2: Has Technology Broken The Truth?

Over the past several years, we’ve witnessed how AI and other advanced technologies can be used to inflame conflict, warp our perceptions of reality, and even undermine the truth itself. How do we better protect ourselves against the dangers of these technologies? Have we misunderstood the problem? And what role should tech play in finding new solutions? We unpack it all in the latest episode of Working Better, including a deep dive conversation with Sam Woolley, author of The Reality Game: How the Next Wave of Technology will Break the Truth.

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Episode 12 - How Can We Reimagine Human Connection While Working Remotely?

How can we help people feel more connected while working remotely? For the final episode of season 1, we posed a challenge to the company and we’ll showcase and celebrate three different answers to that question. Not just theory, not frameworks. Real, working prototypes that our Labs team have developed and put in the hands of employees here at Kin + Carta, to actually bring people together.

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