Stanford Profs Name 12 Must-Listen Podcasts

From taxes to touchdowns, some suggested podcasts to fill your feeds. Photo by Elena Zhukova/Stanford

The pandemic may be (once again) winding down, or should we say entering another trough. That means folks are on the move again, including (perhaps especially) MBA students. With most schools’ campuses reopened for in-person classes, many are spending more time in the car or on the train again. At Stanford Graduate School of Business, Insights by Stanford Business polled GSB faculty asking for their top picks based on what they’ve been listening to in their free time, and the professors came back with a wide-ranging list of shows.

Among them, Michele J. Gelfand, the John H. Scully professor in cross-cultural management and professor of organizational behavior, recommends EconTalk, Sean Carroll’s Mindscape, and The Big Idea: “I love EconTalk with Russ Roberts. He is a generalist and his guests cover many disciplines and topics. He is also a phenomenal interviewer. Another favorite: Sean Carroll’s Mindscape. He’s a theoretical physicist from Caltech and his reach is wide and deep. Finally, I love David Edmonds’ The Big Idea — wildly entertaining and nuggets of wisdom in every episode!”

Most of the suggestions, however, are non-business-related. Chenzi Xu, assistant professor of finance, recommends Alistair Horne’s The Seven Ages of Paris: “Horne is a historian of Europe and has written many books on many different periods, but this particular one is his love song to Paris. It recounts all the major events in French history, but does so through the lens of how they impacted Paris’s architectural footprint. Anyone who has been or who would like to go to Paris would appreciate the city much more having listened to this.”

MBA candidates and students looking to shore up their knowledge before applying to B-school should check out Poets&QuantsBusiness Casual, with new episodes weekly.

At Darden, adversity, grit led duo to create first-generation student coalition

Graduate students Ivana Brancaccio, right, and Jesse McCain are the co-founders of the First-Generation Graduate Student Coalition. Darden photos

Ivana Brancaccio of Las Vegas, who is pursuing her MBA from the Darden School of Business, spent part her undergraduate years at American University interning for U.S. Senator Harry Reid.

Her parents make their living by making draperies and worked hard so that their daughter and son could go to the best schools, but they “fell on hard times when the housing crisis hit our home city of Las Vegas.”

“Growing up, I remember my dad would tell me that he never wanted me to work with my hands,” she said. “He wanted me to work with my mind.”

“Similar to Jesse’s story, my father also suffers from a back injury that is related to his work after years of installing and working with heavy materials and hardware,” she said.

An undergraduate student during the financial crisis, Brancaccio said she remembered “feeling pressured to graduate early.”

“Opportunities like studying abroad seemed very elusive to me at the time,” she said. “I graduated undergrad in three years so that I could go home and work as soon as possible and repay my student loans.” school.

London Business School celebrates £100m raised by alumni startups

The London Business School Incubator celebrates its 12th year with the news that more than 100 businesses have now been developed and supported through the program, with an overall staggering £100M raised in seed capital.

“This is a phenomenal figure which points to the many diverse skills, talents and business ideas cultivated by the LBS Incubator, and also speaks to the power of the LBS brand,” says Jane Khedair, director of the Institute of Entrepreneurship and Private Capital.

In a year where the need for sustainability and the importance of Environmental, Social and Governance — ESG — investment has never been more significant, the LBS Incubator prides itself in nurturing a growing number of startups that have sustainability at the forefront of their business plans.

These 8 courses show how B-schools are getting more progressive

Business schools don’t generally have the most progressive of reputations. Not only are many programs woefully lacking in diversity, critics have accused business schools of focusing on data and profits to the exclusion of other important things, such as ethics and people. Martin Parker, a professor of organization studies at the University of Bristol and no stranger to business school life, went so far as to accuse B-schools in 2018 of fostering a “culture of short-termism and greed.”

But business schools, much like the broader business world, are also under pressure to change. Cultural movements like #MeToo and Black Lives Matter have exposed continuing inequalities in the corporate world, while Covid-19 has forced companies to confront thorny ethical and psychological questions about everything from remote work policies to vaccine mandates. And business leaders are embracing the idea (if not always the practice) of conscious capitalism, which holds that companies are responsible not just to their shareholders but to their employees, customers, suppliers, and broader communities.


Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.