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November 9, 2023 33 mins

At the advent of a transformative time in technologic history, skills like empathy, compassion, collaboration, and curiosity are becoming more crucial than ever. In this episode, J.B. and Molly speak with magician-turned-technologist Ryan Modjeski, the driving force behind the top-grossing literacy app, Reading Rainbow's Skybrary, as well as UNICEF KidPower and most recently, Empatico. Ryan shares advice on building empathy and emotional skills at scale and the power those can have in creative problem solving. He also reveals some illusionist secrets that have surprising application to user experience and technology.

"The culture I try to build is one that is unafraid to try and the only real sin is making the same mistake over and over again." - Ryan Modjeski

00:01 Intro
01:24 Social-emotional learning and empathy
08:43 Hire, Fire, Boss!
12:55 Skills for a better tomorrow
15:49 Empathy at scale
22:11 Embracing diversity on teams
23:41 UX tricks from a former magician
31:00 Final thoughts

Keep up with Ryan at @rmodjeski on Twitter / X and learn more about Empatico at

Mentioned in this episode:
- Dance, Dance, Dance by Haruki Murakami
- The Power of Moments by Dan & Chip Heath
- The War for Kindness by Jamil Zaki

Follow Unserious in your podcast app, at, and on Instagram and Threads at

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