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What's in a Workplace (EP.09)
Episode 928th February 2020 • Work. Shouldnt. Suck. • Tim Cynova
00:00:00 01:57:32

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"What’s in a Workplace?" dives into the physical and virtual components and connections that form the structures around how we work. And increasingly, these components are changing what work looks and feels like. We discuss Convention versus Invention, Creating workplaces with commitments to anti-racism and anti-oppression, and why do many creative sector organizations often seem to park their creative instincts when it comes to designing their organizations.

Our guests on this episode: Rachel Casanova, Andrew Taylor, and Ramphis Castro discuss tools to help us in our daily work and then explore the philosophical when we think about what does it mean for social creatures like humans to work entirely distributed from each other. As always, we're joined by podcasting's favorite co-host at the close of the episode to get her thoughts on the topic (spoiler alert: hammock desks).

01:20 Rachel Casanova

35:20 Andrew Taylor

58:20 Ramphis Castro

1:37:00 Lauren Ruffin

Rachel Casanova is currently the Senior Managing Director of Workplace Innovation at Cushman & Wakefield. She has more than 25 years of diverse industry experience advising companies on how to transform their real estate assets to reinforce long-term business strategies, corporate culture, as well as integrated space, technology and performance goals. Prior to Cushman & Wakefield, Rachel founded Balansett, a workplace consulting practice, with clients spanning legal firms, professional services, technology, non-profits and architectural firms. During the course of her career, Rachel has addressed workplace-related advances from multiple vantage points—working within an end-user environment at Nortel Networks, serving as a design consultant at Herman Miller, and leading Workplace Strategy at Mancini Duffy, Perkins + Will and most recently, R/GA. As the Global Co-Leader of Planning + Strategy at Perkins + Will, Rachel supported clients with various workplace initiatives including activity based working, change management, occupancy strategy, and workplace/business alignment. As the Managing Director of the Connected Spaces practice at R/GA, she spearheaded the digital marketing and communications company’s efforts to use digital design to drive the physical experiences in workplaces. Rachel’s other major achievements include developing the Workplace of the Future initiative for KPMG in the US from 2004-2015. This effort included the development of the overarching strategy as well as the transition management approach and implementation for over 20 KPMG offices. Forward-thinking and creative, Rachel is passionate about the convergence of organizational behavior, the human experience, and real estate. She is frequently called upon as a subject matter expert and has contributed regularly to audiences in conferences and education seminars. Rachel has recently spoken at Worktech. RealComm, CoreNet, CRE Tech, Cornell University, NYU, IIDA, and Neocon.

E. Andrew Taylor is an Associate Professor in the Arts Management Program, and Chair of the Department of Performing Arts at American University, exploring the intersection of arts, culture, and business. An author, lecturer, and researcher on a broad range of arts management issues, Andrew has also served as a consultant to arts organizations and cultural initiatives throughout the U.S. and Canada, including the William Penn Foundation, Overture Center for the Arts, American Ballet Theatre, Create Austin, and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, among others. Prior to joining the AU faculty, Andrew served as Director of the Bolz Center for Arts Administration in the Wisconsin School of Business for over a decade. Andrew is past president of the Association of Arts Administration Educators, current board member of the innovative arts support organization Fractured Atlas, and consulting editor both for The Journal of Arts Management, Law, and Society and for Artivate, a journal for arts entrepreneurship. Since July 2003, he has written a popular weblog on the business of arts and culture, ''The Artful Manager,'' hosted by (

Ramphis Castro is a serial entrepreneur, investor, and philanthropist. He is the co-founder of ScienceVest, a venture capital fund for hard-tech and life science companies. He is an experienced technologist and product strategist that has led and supported venture-backed teams from idea to exit. He is a Kauffman Fellow and co-Chairs the NYC chapter of the Society. As a Fellow, his research focused on the funding gaps for radical science companies in the U.S., collecting interviews of over 200 stakeholders across the research & commercialization ecosystem in the U.S. He's worked extensively on grassroots startup ecosystem acceleration & support for the purpose of helping countries evolve into innovation-driven economies. In 2016, upon the invitation of the White House, he was part of the US delegation with President Obama on his historic visit to Cuba. He has a diversified personal investment portfolio of companies ranging from Artificial Intelligence, Drones, Wearables, EdTech, Productivity Software, eCommerce, MarketPlaces, FinTech to Consumer Apps, all of them evaluated through an impact or gender lens. He also designed and is on the investment committee for Parallel 18, a global accelerator based in Puerto Rico, where they now have a portfolio of 100+ seed/series A companies from over 40 countries across multiple verticals that have collectively raised over $95M in venture capital funding from investors from Silicon Valley, New York, and beyond. He is a Computer Engineer and Lawyer by training, serial entrepreneur by experience, and grass-roots ecosystem builder by conviction.