How This Works

How This Works

A monthly rendezvous into a wide array of subjects with over 100 expert guests. Our second season is underway, offering even more captivating conversations on a plethora of subject matters. New episodes drop the last Tuesday each month — follow, subscribe, review, spread the word, join our exploration!


November 3, 2023 67 mins
Karen's personal and professional journey exploring different forms of art, including classical music and site-specific contemporary performance art Empathy and storytelling in design, perspective taking, and understanding the difference between empathy and caring The struggle with showing empathy towards oneself and the importance of non-judgment The concept of being an "asshole" in social situations and intentional adjustment The...
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Zolt Levay is a photographer who has produced astronomical images from the Hubble Space Telescope and has spent a career describing the process of producing engaging color images from Hubble data. Now, he has his sights set on matters closer to home, working on more terrestial matters. During this conversation, Skipper and Zolt talk about how images are produced from the Hubble Space Telescope, the importance of being curious, how...
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May 19, 2022 51 mins
The last time we talked with Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, it was Dec 2020. Now, it's May 2022 — 17 months later. A lot has changed and in some ways it feels like nothing has changed. This time around, we get into current details around coronavirus/COVID, what's happening now/the current state, and what the future looks like. We recorded this episode over two sessions and along the way we get into many topics, including the notion of reinf...
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June 15, 2021 68 mins
Recorded in their child's bedroom on a weekday, Laura and Skipper chat about his academic background in writing (English literature, playwriting) as well as his professional background as a product design director (think desktop and mobile apps among other mediums) and how that plays into storytelling, most recently resulting in the creation of How This Works, this podcast. They also talk about their life together — newsflash: they...
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June 7, 2021 45 secs
Tomorrow, we're recording the last episode of the first season where we turn the tables and Skipper's wife Laura asks him the questions. Go to Instagram @howthisworksshow ( to reply directly to the story or email us at ( Thanks so much!
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June 1, 2021 83 mins
Skipper talks to Sarah Sudhoff about how she works as an artist, her background as a photographer, arts administrator, and photo editor — and how all of that plays into her work today. Recorded late on a Sunday night, Skipper and Sarah talk about her identity as being half Cuban, how she got her first camera in the fifth grade, how being in a military family influenced her world and personality at a young age, being both the scienc...

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April 20, 2021 74 mins
This week, Skipper chats with Piper Payne, an audio mastering engineer. Currently based in Nashville, Tennessee, Piper starts off the episode with her professional introduction and then tells us "who she actually" is, including her being originally a Midwesterner, having three dogs, being an Aries, and her love of cheeseburgers. We talk about how if she wasn't a mastering engineer, she might be in some form of construction or maybe...
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April 6, 2021 60 mins
This episode of How This Works addresses adult subject matters and contains adult language. This week, Skipper chats with Kait Scalisi, a certified sex educator who founded Passion by Kait. They engage in a wide-ranging conversation that explores so many areas — including shame, communication, and how pleasure is really powerful as a healing force. And there's so much under the surface as well, like how some people carry their disa...
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March 30, 2021 50 mins
This week, Skipper chats with Sally McRae, a pro runner for Nike and NordicTrack among others. Based in Bend, Oregon, Sally starts off by talking about how she often gets mistaken for a bodybuilder, a cross fitter, and even a cage fighter. She also gets into many more details of her life, including growing up in a family of seven, playing soccer and starting to run because "she knew she had the speed" and then as a way to stay in ...
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March 23, 2021 67 mins
Today's episode features a conversation with two sisters — Kat Hantas and Nicole Emanuel — about 21Seeds, their company that makes all-natural, infused tequila. They talk about what they did before starting the company — film work and corporate finance, respectively — when Kat's doctor instructed her to stop drinking fermented spirits like wine, beer, and sake to drink distilled spirits like blanco tequila instead. And after eight...
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March 16, 2021 58 mins
This week, Skipper chats with Laura Sicola, a leadership communication and influence expert, speaker, author of "Speaking to Influence: Mastering Your Leadership Voice" (bookshop link (, a coach, and host of the podcast, "Speaking to Influence: Communication Secrets of the C-Suite" ( But this conversation isn't just for managers or people in the C-...
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March 9, 2021 56 mins
Today's episode features time with Cassandra Carlopio, a meditation/sleep consultant currently collaborating with The Breathe Institute and trained as a clinical psychologist on the Gold Coast of Australia. We talk about the importance of sleep, address some of the falacies associated with meditation, and she graciously leads us through a short guided meditation. We also talk about how she loves the mountains and beach equally, her...
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March 2, 2021 62 mins
Ben Falk chats with Skipper on this episode of How This Works from his farm/home/homstead in Vermont about permaculture and sustainability. We start with Ben in utero at the base of El Capitan in California, visiting national parks with his family (instead of going to Disneyland), rock climbing, and then doing backcountry trips which formed his foundational relationship with his work now. We also talk about the difference between d...
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February 23, 2021 73 mins
In today's show, Kacie Lett Gordon deconstructs the notion of having it all in our current times — she's working through that for herself with a number of other women on her podcast Fuck it All. We start out by talking about being a bit nervous about being on a podcast as a guest and a podcast as a host, external and internal roles, the difference between honesty and authenticity, and how different people get their energy in diffe...
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February 16, 2021 48 mins
This episode's subtitle should be, So many movies, so little time. We start in Chris' childhood where he describes sneaking into his parents' room to watch Hitchcock's "Psycho" around the age of five, making short films in high school with his friends including a zombie sequel to "Xanadu" (which became a cult college favorite), feeling underwater after "Another Day in Paradise", leaving Los Angeles (and writing) before beginning to...
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February 9, 2021 58 mins
In this episode, Carl talks to Skipper about his work as an architect, how the term sustainable design isn't good enough anymore, how linear perspective was developed in 1413, and his work on Banning Ranch Park and Preserve. Starting with being born in Roswell, New Mexico, living in Turkey, and then settling in California, their conversation gets into how sustainable design (the idea of using less) really needs to shift to the idea...
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February 2, 2021 72 mins
This show with Thejus Chakravarthy ranges over a wide variety of topics but along the way we find out about his professional and life experiences in making change in the world. We start with his origins crowning in a cab in Mumbai, India, the ease in which his right shoulder dislocates after a show once upon a time with his hardcore band Lovers and Killers, the joy of Royal Farm (RoFo) fried chicken, and the brilliance of a 'hot no...
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January 26, 2021 67 mins
On this episode, we talk to Nova Stanley — who's 17 — about his work as an artist, about his attending one of the top fine arts high schools in NYC during a pandemic, and his experience as a transgender male. Along the way, we get into so many topics — how Nova only snaps with his thumb and little/pinky finger (on both hands), how he comes from a family of artists and creators, getting inspiration from nature and his sisters (versu...
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January 19, 2021 59 mins
Stephanie Krivitzky, currently in New York City, talks to Skipper about how she gets things done, starting with family discussions around the dinner table and then into her current role as creative director at Misen, a cookware company. The conversation hits so many points, starting with her frustration with baths, how the notion of logistics eventually fed into the concept of getting things done, how hustling and freelancing built...
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January 12, 2021 51 mins
Starting under mentorship with James Beard winner Barbara Lynch, Nicolai Lipscomb has chefed at some of the best restuarants in the world, full stop — Arzak, El Celler Can Roca, at Fundacion Alicia with scientists and nutritionists under the direction of Ferran Adria and Pere Castells, the list goes on and on. And so this conversation with Skipper Chong Warson ranges the globe, starting in Half Moon Bay, Calif. to bungee jumping ou...
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