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News & Insight

View RALI news and insights to keep up to date with the latest on trend developments relating to future leadership capability and experience requirements and the future world of work.

New technology is changing our work and social lives at unprecedented speed and intensity. Leaps in technological advancement are nothing new, and innovation often results in incredible step changes in the home and the workplace: the printing presses of the 1400s widened access to books (and therefore knowledge) for the first time; the Industrial Revolution’s …

25th Oct 2018 | 01:10pm

About 35% of current jobs in the UK are at high risk of computerisation over the following 20 years, according to a study by researchers at Oxford University and Deloitte. Go to http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-34066941 and type your job title into the search box below to find out the likelihood that it could be automated within the …

2nd Mar 2018 | 03:55pm

Someone we know recently told us about a team-building event that proved anything but.
The chief executive who arranged it loved mountain biking. So he chose a venue to share his passion with his team. On the day, he shot around the track. Others with …

20th Jul 2019 | 06:00am

  • On his new podcast, The Portal, Eric Weinstein dives into student debt and the function of universities with Peter Thiel.
  • Weinstein floats the idea of a college equivalence degree (CED) through an online testing system.
  • Thiel notes that if you don’t pay off your student debt by age 65, the government garnishes your social security checks.


The last recession took many Americans by surprise. Unsustainable real estate practices were hidden — perhaps in plain sight, yet the housing crash gave the nation whiplash. The next recession is predicted to be caused by another debt crisis: students. Even with advanced notice we seem paralyzed in the headlights.

American students currently owe $1.6 trillion. Households with student debt owe an average of $47,671. Going to medical school sets the average citizen back $196,520; pharmacy school grads, $166,528. Want to be a dentist? You’re looking at $285,184 in debt. Incredibly, between 2014 and 2016, 3.9 million undergrads that borrowed money from the government dropped out, meaning that many don’t even have a degree to show for their debt.

The topic seems to be important for Democratic presidential candidates, such as Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. If one of them should win, they will be tasked with fixing a system that appears to be broken beyond repair. Moderate liberals might be taken aback by radical ideas on the debate stage, yet one thing is clear: immediate action needs to be taken for students (and former students) if we want to avoid the fate of 2007.

During the debut of The Portal, a new podcast by Eric Weinstein, the mathematician chats with Peter Thiel (Weinstein serves as managing director of Thiel Capital) about the student debt crisis. Education is an important topic for Weinstein: during a TEDxYouth talk he champions a system based on exploring and exposing wonder, which happens to be the goal of his podcast as well.

First off, the chat itself provides an important bridge in modern American culture, with Weinstein predominantly on the left side of politics and Thiel on the other end of the spectrum. Even in disagreement, the two men remain civil and open — a lesson in itself.

They mention the importance of polymaths, agreeing that being educated in a wide range of subjects is far more valuable than specialism. The problem is that in academia, specialization is rewarded while being a polymath is frowned upon. Anyone challenging a field, especially from the outside but also from within, is oppressed by the weight of consensus. As Thiel says:

“In a healthy system, you can have wild dissent and it’s not threatening because everyone knows the system is healthy. But in an unhealthy system, the dissent becomes much more dangerous.”

A radical take on education | Eric Weinstein | TEDxYouth@Hillsborough

While a university degree is seen as important, Thiel notes that going to a university ranked #100 instead of #1 should be questioned. Weinstein floats the idea of a CED: if you can prove you have the equivalent knowledge of a college graduate through an online testing system, you should be awarded the equivalence of a degree. While Thiel is concerned about the potential of a hack-free system, he appreciates the idea.

The discussion moves into student debt. In 2005, Congress passed the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act. Don’t mistake this for Elizabeth Warren-style protections. The bill, first drafted in 1997, was reintroduced by Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley in 2004, supported by banks and credit card companies — and virtually no one else (except perhaps Joe Biden, who voted in favor).

A key provision makes it nearly impossible for citizens to be absolved of student debt when filing for bankruptcy (save proof of “undue hardship”). Thiel notes that if you don’t pay off student debt by age 65, the government garnishes your social security checks. Basically, the only way out is paying it off — which, considering interest rates, is nearly impossible for many — or death.

Beginning your career in debt puts undue stress on everyone, especially young workers. Weinstein says, “It’s always dangerous to be burdened with too much debt. It limits your freedom of action and it seems especially pernicious to do this early in your career.”

He notes that university presidents, emasculated of the power of criticism, instead focus their efforts on fundraising. This creates a system dominated by financial growth and reward, not education. (Malcolm Gladwell tackles this topic brilliantly.) The benefit is not worth the cost. Weinstein continues,

“The bigger the student debt gets, you can sort of think, ‘What does the $1.6 trillion in student debt pay for?’ In a sense, it pays for $1.6 trillion worth of lies about how great the system gets.”


One possible solution reverses the 2005 bill by making student debt dischargeable in bankruptcy. Then they take a step further: part of that debt would be paid for by the university. Give them some skin in the game. You can’t harvest all the reward without taking on any risk.

In March, Education Secretary Betsy Devos announced she wants to cut the nation’s education budget by $7.1 billion. The proposal includes slashing after-school programs in impoverished areas. As Weinstein and Thiel argue during The Portal, the education system is already slanted toward the privileged; such an aggressive budget cut would only tilt it further.

Perhaps the system is already too broken. I was able to graduate from Rutgers, a state university, in the mid-’90s for under $30,000, tuition, fees, and housing included. Today such a figure barely covers two years of tuition. I can’t imagine being tens of thousands of dollars in debt for a degree I never achieved because it was too expensive, yet that’s the reality millions of Americans face today.

An education is a necessary relationship between children and young adults and the society in which they live. Profit-hoarding administrators and the politicians they buy have inserted themselves in the middle, ruining it for both sides. Perhaps, as was briefly floated during The Portal, we’ve outgrown the current model; the digital world might offer learning opportunities well beyond what any university can provide.

Then again, most of my education took place outside of classrooms, learning how to be an adult in the company of peers. Take that away and you create more self-righteous bubbles in both right- and left-leaning circles. The tension created on college campuses is an important stepping stone in a democracy. Strip that away and you destroy one of the most important aspects of education.

The solution above is one we need to consider: hold universities accountable for the services they provide at the prices they charge. If they refuse to to put skin into the game, we need to create alternatives.

Stay in touch with Derek on Twitter and Facebook.

19th Jul 2019 | 10:00pm

Count Citigroup’s Michael Corbat as one CEO who doesn’t believe that recession is coming any time soon.

“Near term, I don’t see the recession,� he says. “My biggest fear is that we’re in the process of talking ourselves into the next recession as opposed to the next recession really coming at us.�

Corbat in a position to know. He runs the third largest bank in the world with nearly $100 billion in revenues, about 30 million credit card customers, operations in 160 countries, and more than 200,000 employees. Citi is ranked at Number 30 on the Fortune 500 list of the biggest companies in America. And earlier this week the New York-based money center bank announced healthy quarterly results with earnings rising seven percent and revenues posting better than expected numbers.

While many business leaders, economists and stock market analysts still expect the U.S. economy to enter a recession, Corbat lists his reasons for optimism.

U.S. economy? “Pretty good shape.�

Job market? “Employment high, unemployment low�

Housing? “Rising prices� and “good stability.�

Consumer confidence? “Relatively high.�

What about business confidence? Corbat says he talks with business leaders frequently and he finds they have become “more conservative.�

“What does business really like? What does business react to? It reacts to certainty,� he explains. “It reacts to knowing what’s ahead because we’re not running business for 90 day quarters.�

Despite uncertainty about issues like trade with China, Brexit complications and threats from Iran, Corbat is still hopeful. “I’m excited about the future,� he says.

Watch the video above for more from my interview with Corbat.

19th Jul 2019 | 09:00pm

A zero trust model continuously authenticates a user’s identity and has its default set to trust no-one

19th Jul 2019 | 06:29pm

Review: Does Philips novel home lighting system actually enhance interactive entertainment?

19th Jul 2019 | 06:10pm

The tragic arson attack at Kyoto Animation in Japan left 33 people dead and even more wounded. One way to help the studio in its darkest hour is to support its work. Here are KyoAni’s most famous titles and where you can find them.

On Thursday morning, a man set fire to the three-story concrete building in Kyoto, Japan, that houses Kyoto Animation, one of the world’s preeminent producers of anime. The arsonist, who was reportedly convinced the studio had stolen his ideas, ultimately claimed the lives of 33 people and injured scores more.

Read Full Story

19th Jul 2019 | 06:00pm

The rationale for traditional education is that more learning gets you a better job, and a job gets you paid, which makes the learning a worthwhile investment.

But what happens after you get that job?

In some organizations, that’s the end of that. You might pick up experience and wisdom on the job, but the short-sighted organization may view ongoing learning as too expensive.

The insight is to realize that stuck employees are far more expensive than educated ones.

More and more organizations have come to understand that paying their employees to learn, to really dig and learn something, is a bargain. An inspired and insightful employee is going to produce far more value than one who’s simply being ignored.

And employees are beginning to understand that the time and effort they put into continuing education comes back to them for the rest of their careers, because once you learn it, it’s something you can use again and again.

We put together the kernel of a list of companies that actively reimburse their people for education. And a page with an invitation for L&D leaders to consider the altMBA as a tool for developing real skills among their key employees.

Better decisions, emotional labor and the confidence that comes from education are the future of work. Either you’re on that path or you’re falling behind.

19th Jul 2019 | 04:00pm

“I’ve shared that a lot more openly, and it’s been one of the best medicines that I’ve found. It’s liberating. Talking about grief has been something that’s unlocked a lot of happiness for me.”
— Nick Norris

Nick Norris (@nick_norris1981) is a graduate of both the United States Naval Academy and Basic Underwater Demolition / SEAL (BUD/S) Class 247. Upon completion of SEAL training in 2004, Nick assumed progressively higher positions of leadership within Naval Special Warfare. His deployed roles included combat advisor to Iraqi and Afghan military units, Cross Functional Team Leader, and Ground Force Commander during combat operation in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Nick was most recently assigned to Naval Special Warfare Basic Training Command — SEAL Qualification Training (SQT) as Officer in Charge prior to transitioning off Active Duty. Originally from Chicago, Nick received his Bachelor in Science from the United States Naval Academy in 2003 and his Masters of Science in Real Estate from The University of San Diego in 2013. He is on the board of directors of the C4 Foundation, which provides support and resources through science-based programs to active duty Navy SEALs and their families. Nick is the Co-Founder and CEO of Amavara, a sunscreen company that has invented a new mineral sunscreen technology to protect both consumer health and the environment.

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, Castbox, or on your favorite podcast platform.

#378: Nick Norris — Navy SEAL and Athlete on Training, Post-Traumatic Growth, and Healing


Want to hear an episode with someone who served with Nick on SEAL Team Three? — Listen to the most recent episode featuring Jocko Willink in which he discusses how to stop laziness and procrastination, behaviors that lead to failure, and much more. (Stream below or right-click here to download):

#275: Discipline Equals Freedom — Jocko Willink


This podcast is brought to you by Helix Sleep. I recently moved into a new home and needed new beds, and I purchased mattresses from Helix Sleep.

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LegalZoom is a reliable resource that more than a million people have already trusted for everything from setting up wills, proper trademark searches, forming LLCs, setting up non-profits, or finding simple cease-and-desist letter templates.

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QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…


  • Connect with Nick Norris:

Amavara Skincare | Instagram

Organizations to Highlight: 


Dear listeners, please note that timestamps will be added shortly. 

  • What is dynamic four-way, and how was it responsible for Nick’s first trip to Tokyo?
  • What on Earth is a MoonBoard, how long does it take to build one, and where’s the strangest place Nick has used one?
  • In climbing and wind tunnel flying, what separates the good from the great?
  • In wind tunnel flying, what constitutes “high-speed?”
  • Nick describes proximity flying — a sport too extreme even for him.
  • What are some of the differentiators Nick has observed in exceptional climbers versus people who (like me) are just permanent blue belts, and can these differentiators be developed?
  • What is bouldering, and how is Nick’s physique equipped for it?
  • How does Nick prepare — mentally and physically — for particularly challenging climbs?
  • How Nick uses visualization for optimal performance.
  • Of what past physical feats is Nick most proud?
  • What prompted Nick’s interest in becoming a Navy SEAL, how did he conceptualize the structure of the small goals it would take to achieve this particularly big goal, and when did it start to become a reality?
  • What aspect of BUD/S or the SEAL training/vetting process did Nick expect to be the most difficult?
  • What is stress inoculation, and where do people sometimes get it wrong?
  • How does Nick know (former guest and fellow SEAL) Jocko Willink?
  • What internal conflicts did Nick experience when he returned to civilian life in 2013, and how long did he search for a remedy before he found something that actually helped?
  • How quickly did Nick respond to PR TMS (personalized repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation) once it was applied?
  • Nick’s tips for better sleep.
  • An interesting aside: Why does Nick climb with headlamps in the middle of the night?
  • The rules Nick has established for himself around coffee consumption, and what I’ve observed about my own caffeination habits over the years.
  • One of the biggest bang-for-your-buck supplements we’ve found for coping with the “tired and wired” phenomenon.
  • Has PR TMS been a cure-all remedy, or does Nick still experience bouts of apathy, depression, or other internal conflicts that drove him to seek it in the first place? What was it about his initial visits that seemed to help as much as — or perhaps even more than — the therapy itself?
  • To understand the perspective of someone close to a returning veteran and issues they may have in common, what has the adjustment been like for Nick’s wife during this time?
  • Why do so many veterans — including Nick — struggle to recognize their own internal conflicts?
  • What telltale signs and symptoms alert Nick that he may be in for an emotional rough patch, and how might having a designated confidante in the room who can spot these signs help keep things relatively smooth?
  • The variables that magnify these symptoms are often simple — but so are their remedies.
  • The importance of being part of a strong community.
  • One trick I use to interrupt periods of self-isolation.
  • What factors contributed to Nick’s feelings of isolation, apathy, and depression when he left the military and entered the world of commercial real estate, and what has helped since?
  • Developing countermeasures to the abnormality of the modern condition can sometimes be as easy as reaching out to an old friend.
  • What would Nick say to someone who’s struggling right now with their own inner turmoil — especially to people whose professions traditionally frown on displays of vulnerability?
  • Could mental illness do with a rebranding, and could time prove it to be the rule rather than the exception?
  • How Nick sees his own issues as a currency for post-traumatic growth, and why many who have had similar experiences would never trade them back even if they could.
  • How expressing grief — rather than suppressing it — can give you access to greater joy, and the epiphany that prompted this realization for Nick.
  • A book many have recommended for coping with grief.
  • On the therapeutic benefits of finding something outside of family and work that really gets you excited on a visceral level.
  • A shoutout to the brave men and women with whom Nick has had the honor of serving.
  • Organizations that support returning veterans and their families.
  • Resources for people dealing with treatment resistant depression — including my new documentary, Trip of Compassion.
  • What makes Amavara’s patent-pending sunscreen so unique?
  • Closing thoughts.


19th Jul 2019 | 03:00pm