YANSS 207 – How a slight change of plans often leads to a major change of mind

Maya Shankar and her team recently reached out, noting that their new show, A Slight Change of Plans, which explores how various, fascinating people have changed their minds, often after something unexpected, shared the same interests and goals as You Are Not So Smart.

A Slight Change of Plans is hosted by Maya Shankar, a cognitive scientist “who studies how our minds work and how we change.”

Here’s the official description of the show: “There are few things in life that are as complex and messy—and potentially magical—as change. On A Slight Change of Plans, you’ll hear intimate conversations that give an unvarnished look into how people navigate changes of all kinds and use that change to ultimately grow. Maya uncovers little-known personal stories and reflections from familiar names like Hillary Clinton, Tiffany Haddish and Kacey Musgraves, and extraordinary stories from real-life inspirations, like a young cancer researcher in the throes of a stage 4 diagnosis and a Black jazz musician who convinced hundreds of KKK members to leave the Klan. Their stories and circumstances couldn’t be more different, but they all share one thing in common: life threw them a (slight) change of plans.

One of her guests, Megan Phelps-Roper, was recently a guest on this show, and Daryl Davis is one of her guests who You Are Not So Smart has long-wanted to feature. So, as podcasters do from time-to-time, Maya wondered if she could come on this podcast to promote her podcast, and seeing as our interests and obsessions and work and overall mission aligned so strongly, the answer was, “Absolutely!,” and this is that episode.

Maya Shankar

Maya Shankar is currently the Senior Director of Behavioral Economics at Google and is the creator, host, and executive producer of A Slight Change of Plans. Maya previously served as a senior advisor in the Obama White House, where she founded and served as chair of the White House’s Behavioral Science Team — a team of scientists charged with improving public policy using research insights about human behavior. In 2016, Maya served as the first behavioral science advisor to the United Nations under Ban Ki-moon.

Maya completed a post-doctoral fellowship in cognitive neuroscience at Stanford, after receiving a Ph.D. from Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship and a B.A. from Yale in cognitive science. She has been profiled by the New Yorker and has been featured in the New York Times, Scientific American, Forbes, and on NPR’s All Things Considered, Freakonomics, and Hidden Brain. Maya is a graduate of the Juilliard School of Music’s pre-college division and is a former private violin student of Itzhak Perlman.

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Links and Sources

Download – iTunes – Stitcher – RSS – Spotify – Patreon –  SoundcloudOmny

Previous Episodes

Maya Shankar’s Website

A Slight Change of Plans Website

Daryl Davis’ Website