Paradigm Shifts Radio Circa 2010


WMBR is the MIT campus radio station, broadcasting on 88.1 FM. Paradigm Shifts was a new hour-long show airing every-other Thursday and hosted by MIT and Stanford Business School Alum, Rohit Sakhuja.

This was Paradigm Shifts website.
Content is from the site's 2010 archived pages.

P a r a d i g m    s h i f t s

Rohit Sakhuja

hosted by Rohit Sakhuja
Airs every other Thursday at 7:00 p.m.


Paradigm Shifts brings you ideas about changing the way we work, live and play in the 21st Century. We talk to leaders in society to understand their stories, and how they see our world unfolding. Beginning with the May 27th episode, tune in for special summer The Human Spark episodes.

WMBR is the MIT campus radio station. We broadcast on 88.1 FM between 20 and 24 hours per day, 365 days a year. We transmit at 720 watts, effective radiated power from the top of the Eastgate Building in Kendall Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Our programming includes a wide range of music shows, public affairs programs and eclectic audio entertainment. The current website for WMBR is found at

t h e    h u m a n    s p a r k


Episode 16: October 7, 2010

Paradigm Shifts & the Human Spark: The Year in Review

We have picked 10 interviews that at least give a flavor for the different types of people and ideas we have spoken to and about over the last year. On the first half of the show we will hear highlights from entrepreneurs we have spoken to in the business and the non-profit worlds including Chip Conley, the boutique hotelier, Robin Chase, the founder of Zip Car to David Isay, a radio producer who developed the concept of Story Corps for people to interview and make recordings with close family and friends.

During the second half of the show we hear from leading thinkers on their ideas on solutions to some of the major societal challenges of our day from MIT Professor and former chief economist of the IMF Simon Johnson arguing that we need a system on Wall Street that makes executives more accountable for the business decisions they make to MIT Professor and Educator Mitch Resnick how to teach students to inspire a love of learning.

As we listen to these different ideas, can we say anything about a formula for what it takes to produce a paradigm shifting idea? What kinds of ideas make for paradigm shifting ideas and is there a particular type of person who is likely to produce a paradigm shifting idea?

Rohit Sakhuja, Host of Paradigm Shifts Radio

Rohit Sakhuja is the host of Paradigm Shifts Radio on WMBR at MIT. He has been the executive director of the MIT Energy Innovation Project and previously has worked for almost a decade in the international capital markets at JP Morgan and Credit Suisse primarily focused on financing opportunities in the developing markets both in New York and in London. He has a passion for paradigm shifting ideas of many different kinds and enjoys interacting with people who are working on and thinking about these ideas. Rohit has a BS and MS from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an MBA from Stanford's Graduate School of Business.


Episode 15: September 2, 2010

Chip Conley's Joie de Vivre

In the mid 1980's, when Chip Conley graduated from Stanford Business School, he wanted to pursue not a job or a career as most MBA's do, but rather a calling. There were plenty of well known hotel chains all over the country, but what about a boutique hotel chain each with its own unique personality for a particular type of traveler? In our discussion, Chip describes how he and his team came up with Joie de Vivre's first boutique hotel in San Francisco, a 1950's motel designed for musicians playing in rock bands and how he expanded the boutique hotel concept to include a high end hotel and spa in the financial district in downtown San Francisco and even an upscale campground for families. In the final part of our discussion, Chip touches on the fine balance of creating a successful profitable business with the goal of creating hotels that each have a unique personality and are also a work of art.

Chip Conley, Founder & CEO of Joie de Vivre

Chip Conley is the founder and CEO of Joie de Vivre, California’s largest boutique hotel company consisting of over 40 award-winning hotels, spas and restaurants. Also a best-selling author, Chip illustrates the theory that transformed his business in his latest book PEAK: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo from Maslow. He has been honored by the San Francisco Business Times as the “Most Innovative CEO” in the Bay Area and his company's transformational leadership practices have been featured in Fast Company, Fortune and the Wall Street Journal. Chip received his BA and MBA from Stanford University and was bestowed an honorary doctorate in psychology from Saybrook Graduate School in 2009.


Episode 14: July 8, 2010

The Story of StoryCorps

StoryCorps was founded as a way to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, preserve and share the stories of our lives. Since 2003, StoryCorps has collected and archived more than 30,000 interviews from more than 60,000 participants. Each conversation is recorded on a free CD to share, and is preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. In our conversation, Mr. Isay describes why he founded this project and what types of conversations he was hoping to inspire to take, and why recording a 40 minute conversation often brings out experiences or reflections from a person's life that even their closest family members did not know.

David Isay, Founder of StoryCorps

David Isay is the founder of StoryCorps and the recipient of numerous broadcasting honors, including five Peabody Awards and a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship. He is the author and editor of numerous books that grew out of his public radio documentary work, including two StoryCorps books: Listening Is an Act of Love (2007) and Mom: A Celebration of Mothers from StoryCorps (2010)—both New York Times bestsellers.

An Entrepreneur's Perspective on Success

We hear tonight the insights of successful entrepreneur Steve Belkin. How did he start his first business and how did that lead to creating the affinity credit card? What does he look for in an industry when he is determining whether or not to start a business? What types of people make for great entrepreneurs and what types of people are better off working in established businesses? And is it that passion and single-minded focus on the venture that in Steve's view is the key determinant of the success of an entrepreneur?

Steve Belkin, Founder of Trans National Group
Steve Belkin is the founder of privately held Trans National Group (TNG), a direct marketer of financial, travel and other services to affinity groups like the American Medical Association. Since founding the company in 1974, Mr. Belkin has reinvested profits from his businesses to create more affinity-based subsidiaries such as insurance and is credited as the creator of the affinity credit card. TNG now has more than 250 employees and has sales of more than $200 million annually and has started more than 20 companies under the TNG umbrella. He is also the largest individual owner of the professional sports teams the Atlanta Hawks and the Atlanta Thrashers.

Episode 13: May 27, 2010

The Edge of Education

Why has the return on assets of American business has fallen by a factor of 4 over the last 40 years? Are our skills and talents becoming obselete, because things are changing so quickly? What skills do we need to have to survive and thrive in the 21st century? And how well is our education system and overall our society fairing on preparing the next generation of Americans for this rapidly changing and uncertain world that we are facing in the decades to come?

John Seely Brown, Deloitte’s Center for the Edge

John Seely Brown is a visiting scholar and advisor to the Provost at University of Southern California (USC) and the Independent Co-Chairman of the Deloitte’s Center for the Edge. Prior to that he was the Chief Scientist of Xerox Corporation and the director of its Research Center known as Xerox Parc —a position he held for nearly two decades. He co-authored the book The Only Sustainable Edge which is about new forms of collaborative innovation and most recently The Power of Pull: how small moves, smartly made can set big things in motion, both with John Hagel. He is an avid reader, traveler and motorcyclist.

Teaching Duet

Students in a rural village in China could benefit from great teaching anywhere in the world with the internet, but that on-line lectures on their own were not likely to be sufficient to make great learning happen. Six years later, we hear about Professor Larson's approach to what he calls a "teaching duet" which combines distance and classroom based learning. Can this type of approach bring world class education resources to millions who did not previously have access?

Dr. Richard Larson, MIT Professor and Founder of Blossoms

Dr. Richard Larson is a Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) and in the Engineering Systems Division (ESD). The majority of his career has focused on operations research as applied to services industries. Dr. Larson has served as Co-Director of the MIT Operations Research Center, Director of MIT's, Center for Advanced Educational Services and is the founder and director of the Learning International Networks Consortium (LINC), a global community of scholars, researchers, students, practitioners, and supporters.



Episode 12: May 13, 2010

The Story of Grameen Phone

We talk with Professor Iqbal Quadir about the story of how he conceived and organized Grameenphone starting in the early 1990s. Mr. Quadir’s vision of a large-scale, commercial project that could serve all of Bangladesh's urban areas and 70,000 villages led him to organize a global consortium including Telenor AS, the primary telephone company in Norway and an affiliate of micro-credit pioneer Grameen Bank in Bangladesh. To date, Grameenphone has built the largest cellular network in the country with investments of more than $2 billion and a subscriber base of nearly 23 million. Its rural program is already available in all these villages, providing telephone access to more than 100 million people. We also explore with Professor Quadir more generally the extent to which social progress in developing countries can be addressed by private enterprises.

Iqbal Quadir, Director, Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship at MIT

Professor Iqbal Quadir is the founder and director of the Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship at MIT and Professor of the Practice of Development and Entrepreneurship at MIT. The Legatum Center helps MIT graduate students to develop ideas and plans for commercial enterprises in low-income countries that address the needs of ordinary people. The Center was established in 2007 with a generous gift to MIT by the Legatum Group, a global investment firm. Before joining MIT, Mr. Quadir taught at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Mobile Payment & Mobile banking: The cell phone as a credit card?

Over the course of the last 15 years, the cell phone has gone from a very niche product to over 4 billion users around the world, 4 times as many as the internet has and more than 3 times as many bank accounts in the world. What were the factors that contributed to such phenomenal success in such a short period of time? What other things can the cell phone be used for other than communications in both developed and developing countries. We specifically explore the idea that the phone can be used as a debit card or credit card and how well that is working in developed and developing countries.

Olivier Cognet, VP of Strategy, Product Marketing and Go-to-market, Nokia Mobile Financial Services

Olivier Cognet is the Vice President of Strategy, Product Marketing and Go-to-market, for Nokia Mobile Financial Services which delivers mobile financial and payment services to consumers, merchant, corporate in partnerships with banks, operators and distribution network. Mr. Cognet has spent the last 20 years developing an experience and businesses in telecommunications and internet networking at companies including Nokia, Cisco Systems, Ascom. He has also served as a professor of telecom science, Internet and networking at the University of Paris Jussieu and SUPELEC. Mr. Cognet is a graduate of Ecole Superieure d'Electricity in France.


Episode 11: April 15, 2010

The World Wide Web: Where Do We Go from Here?

The World Wide Web (WWW) has revolutionized the computer and communications world like nothing before. The invention and wide spread adoption of the world wide web has set the stage for widespread information dissemination and collaboration between individuals all over the world but not physically in the same location. Where did the initial idea for the world wide web come from? What have we accomplished so far with the web and where do we go next from here? If networks are built to be completely open, can we restrict access to information? And how can we modify our models of how we pay for information to continue to support good quality journalism?

Tim Berners-Lee, Inventor of the World Wide Web

Sir Tim Berners-Lee is credited as the inventor of arguably the most revolutionary technology of our day, the world wide web. He wrote the first web client and server in 1990 when he was working as a physicist at CERN (The European Organization for Nuclear Research). He is a Professor in the School of Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he also heads the Decentralized Information Group (DIG). He is also the Director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), a Web standards organization founded in 1994 which develops interoperable technologies (specifications, guidelines, software, and tools) to lead the Web to its full potential. During 2009, Tim also advised the UK Government on its "Making Public Data Public" initiative.

The Human Impact of the Digital Age

With all of the available technology we have today, the question Chris Anderson and his writers at Wired are constantly asking is what the impact these technologies will have on our lives and how will they change the way we work, live and play? How will new ways to measure, capture and represent data change the way we think about our health, our finances or even a societal problem like climate change? And as we think about the improving capabilities of computers and software, what jobs are best done by machines and what jobs will always need to be done by humans? And finally given Chris' role as the editor of a magazine, we explore how the publishing industry might evolve in the coming years.

Chris Anderson, Editor-in-Chief of Wired Magazine

Chris Anderson is editor in chief of WIRED magazine, a position he took in 2001. During his tenure, the magazine has been nominated for nine National Magazine Award nominations and has won the prestigious top prize for general excellence three times (2005, 2007 and 2009). Anderson is the author of The New York Times best- sellers, The Long Tail and FREE: The Future of a Radical Price. In April 2007, Anderson was named to the "Time 100," the news magazine's annual list of the most influential people in the world. Previously, Anderson was at The Economist, where he served as U.S. business editor, Asia business editor and technology editor. He began his media career began at the two premier science journals, Nature and Science, where he served in several editorial capacities.



Episode 10: April 1, 2010

Health Care Reform

Last week, probably the most significant domestic legislation of the last 50 years, health care reform, was signed into law by President Obama. What specifically has been broken about our health care system in America? How much will covering more than 30 million additional Americans cost us over the next 10 - 20 years? What does this bill tell us about reducing costs over time and paying for medical outcomes rather than purely a fee for service basis? Where does the private insurance system need reform and how far does the bill get us there? And was health care reform the right first priority on the domestic agenda for President Obama to focus on?

Jon Gruber, MIT Professor Department of Economics

Dr. Jonathan Gruber is a Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he has taught since 1992. He is also the Director of the Health Care Program at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He was a key architect of Massachusetts’ ambitious health reform effort and in 2006 became an inaugural member of the Health Connector Board, the main implementing body for that effort. During 2008, he was a consultant to the Clinton, Edwards and Obama campaigns on their health care strategy and was called by the Washington Post, “possibly the (Democratic) party's most influential health-care expert.

Telemedicine in New Mexico

In 2003, Dr. Sanjeev Arora realized that patients with hepatitis C in New Mexico were waiting 6 to 8 months to get treatment. There simply were not enough specialists trained to treat most patients with the disease before it became too late. His answer was what has become Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes). With a PC, a webcam and some software, primary care clinicians in rural areas can work with specialists in medical centers to treat patients locally, significantly increasing the number of patients who can receive treatment from specialists. Project Echo recently won one of 3 awards out of 307 entrants from 27 countries for disruptive innovations in medicine sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Sanjeev Arora, Founder Project ECHO

Dr. Sanjeev Arora is a professor of medicine and the executive vice-chair of the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center in Albuquerque, NM. He has been involved in management of viral hepatitis for over 15 years, and led the development and implementation of the Hepatitis C Disease Management Program at UNMHSC. In addition he is the director and founder of Project ECHO and developed the model as a platform for providing medical services remotely.



Episode 9: March 18, 2010

Have We Lost The American Edge?

The 20th century was clearly the century of America --- we have improved our standard of living by over 7 fold since 1900. In the last half of the 20th century, it seemed that no nation could match the economic, political or military might of the United States. The best and the brightest from all of over the world wanted to make their lives in America. But today there seems to be constant attention in the media, that we have lost our edge. Manufacturing and service jobs have been going overseas for some time, but are sunrise industries such as new drugs for cancer or alzheimers, or manufacturing clean technologies such as solar panels and electric car batteries also slipping away from us? Have we lost the American edge of the 20th century, and if so what can we do to get it back in the 21st century?

John Kao, President Kao & Company

John Kao is known as an authority on the intersecting subjects of corporate innovation and transformation, national innovation strategy, digital technology’s impact on the enterprise, and the future of business. The Economist dubbed him Mr. Creativity. John was trained in philosophy (Yale College) psychiatry (Yale Medical School, Harvard Medical School) and business (Harvard Business School). He has taught at Harvard Business School from 1982-96 and has also held faculty appointments at the Media Lab at MIT. He is a recent author of the book Innovation Nation: How America is losing its innovation edge, why it matters and and how we can get it back?

Another Financial Crisis?

Financial Crises happen around the world and have been a natural part of business cycles since banks have existed. Even since 1990, we have had crises in Mexico in 1994, Korea and Thailand in 1997, Russia in 1998 and Argentina in 2001. How similar or different is the financial crisis in the U.S. from those that happened in developing countries in the last couple of decades? How far of the way are we through this crisis? What grade would we give the Obama administration for its response? How worried should we be now given the state of the economy and the banking sector and are there things that our regulators could or should be doing to prevent another crisis from happening again?

Simon Johnson, Professor of Entrepreneurship at MIT Sloan School of Management

Simon Johnson is an expert on financial and economic crises. He is a Professor of Entrepreneurship at MIT Sloan School of Management. He is also a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, D.C., a co-founder of (a widely cited website on the global economy), and a member of the Congressional Budget Office's Panel of Economic Advisers. From March 2007 through the end of August 2008, Prof. Johnson was the International Monetary Fund's Economic Counselor (chief economist) and Director of its Research Department. Professor Johnson is the co-author, with James Kwak, of the book 13 Bankers coming out at the end of March.


Episode 8: February 18, 2010

What Is Great Music?

World-renowned Boston Philharmonic conductor Benjamin Zander has two great passions in life: classical music and leadership. What makes for great music? Why are pieces by Bach, Beethoven and Mozart listened to hundreds of years after they were first performed whereas others are popular for only a short period of time? Is classical music something that only the "connoisseur" can appreciate, or can anyone learn to enjoy it? We explore how Maestro Benjamin Zander explains to the audience how to appreciate classical music and specifically Mahler Symphony Number 9, which is to be performed in Cambridge and Boston on February 25th, 27th and 28th.

And then can we apply the principles of what makes for great orchestral music to what makes people perform at their best at any task? What is the job of the "conductor" of any organization and how does that "conductor" push people to go beyond what they even thought was possible let alone achievable? And can we motivate people to do their best work through believing in the possibility of what they could accomplish rather than the fear of losing to their competition?

Benjamin Zander, Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, Conductor

Benjamin Zander has been the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra since 1979. With the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, Zander has released five critically acclaimed recordings of works by Stravinsky, Beethoven, Mahler, Shostakovich and Ravel. He guest conducts all over the world, often appearing with the Philhamonia Orchestra in London. Mr. Zander also recently made his debut with the Israel Philharmonic.

His recording of Mahler's Symphony No. 3 was awarded the 2004 Critic's Choice by the German Record Critic's Award Association. His recording of Mahler's 9th Symphony and his most recent release, Bruckner's 5th Symphony with the London Philharmonia have been nominated for Grammy Awards.

Mr. Zander also has an extensive career, lecturing to organizations on leadership. He has become recognized as one of the seminal teachers of the era. He has appeared four times as a keynote speaker at the World Economic Forum in Davos, where he was presented with the Crystal award for outstanding contributions in the Arts and international relations. His book The Art of Possibility, co-authored with his partner, psychotherapist Rosamund Zander, has been translated into seventeen languages.



Episode 7: February 4, 2010

Segment 1:
Aging: The Opportunity of the 21st Century

In 2011, the first of 78 million baby boomers will start turning 65. Life expectancy in the United States is at an all-time high of nearly 78 years. The oldest old, those who are age 85 and over, are the fastest growing segment of the population. And given that public pensions and social security are less likely to be a reliable source for maintaining our lifestyles through retirement, how will we finance this "longevity bonus" that our parents and our grandparents did not enjoy? And given the demographics trends in the United States, is this market one of the greatest opportunities for innovators in America in the coming decades --- in financial services, real estate, health, leisure and even in education?

Joseph F. Coughlin, Founder & Director, MIT AgeLab

Joseph F. Coughlin is founder and Director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology AgeLab and focuses his research on how the convergence of baby boomer expectations and technology will shape the future of public policy and drive innovation. Dr. Coughlin is one of Fast Company Magazine’s ‘100 Most Creative People in Business’ and was named by the Wall Street Journal as one of ‘12 Pioneers shaping the future of aging and how we will all live, work, and play tomorrow’. His work has been featured in the New York Times, The Economist, CNN, Business Week, BBC, Asia News, Fortune, Wired, Época, and many other media outlets.

MIT AgeLab Presents: The Business of Retirement Living
In Part IV of this series, Dr. Joseph Coughlin of the MIT AgeLab is featured in an interview conducted by Rohit Sakhuja on WMBR MIT Radio's Paradigm Shifts program.

Related: My father was a big fan of Joseph Coughlin. He was always telling me to read or listen to Coughlin's latest publication. My father woud intone in his deep voice: "Coughlin's research provides insights on how demographic change, technology, social trends and consumer behavior will converge to drive future innovations in business and government. Listen and learn!" And I did. Unfortunately my father who died from complications due to his excessive drinking after the death of my mother from a random shooting did not live long enough to read about BREAKING THE WALL OF LIVING LONGER, BETTER. How Technology and Innovation Will Invent a New Future of Old Age or to listen to Coughlin's TED Talk on TEDxBoston - Joe Coughlin - Aging as an Extreme Sport. I think my father would have gotten a kick out of Will Robots Care for You in Old Age?. I also believe that my father might have embraced the drug, Baclofen, which has evolved from being prescribed to treat multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injuries, and is now being considered as a medication for alcohol abuse. Although it has not yet received approval by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) as a safe and effective treatment for alcohol or drug use disorders, preliminary open-label studies from Italy have demonstrated effectiveness of baclofen in reducing alcohol use among the alcoholics. According to the website LifeBac, doctors in Europe prescribe baclofen as the primary treatment for people who drink excessively. In addition, results from a clinical study conducted by Brown University show alcohol-addicted participants receiving baclofen were able to abstain from drinking for longer periods of time than those who didn’t receive the drug. Over the years Coughlin's research has provided insights on how demographic change, technology, social trends and consumer behavior will converge to drive future innovations in business and government. Likewise, technology, social trends, and consumer behavior have prompted changes in how alcoholism is perceived. Unlike 12 step programs in the US that require abstinence such as AA, doctors in Europe are trying a new approach. This new approach includes the belief that alcoholism is not a disease, but a symptom of larger psychological issues. Unlike the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)and many doctors who still defines Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) as a “chronic relapsing brain disease”. Fortunately there are many forward thinking people such as Joseph Coughlin who delight in revealing their insights and encourage innovation.

Segment 2 :
Teaching Creative Thinking

Silicon Valley is a model as a culture of innovation in the U.S. and around the world. Innovative companies from silicon valley including Apple, Google, eBay, Cisco and Yahoo together have a market capitalization of over $500 billion. And many of these companies have emerged from Stanford University. Are these entrepreneurs who come up with "the next big idea" simply borne with this talent or can a process be taught for coming up with breakthrough ideas in our universities? And if so, how do we teach this way of thinking?

George Kembel, Co-founder/Executive Director, Design School at Stanford University

Mr. Kembel is a co-founder and the Executive Director of the Design School at Stanford University. He has also won national and industry awards for entrepreneurship and excellence in design. He has built two design-centered corporations: Engaje, a design consulting and product development company; and DoDots, a venture capital funded software technology startup. As a former entrepreneur, Mr. Kembel also helped lead new investments for a $2.5B venture capital firm in Silicon Valley