TODAY'S GUEST Christian Madsbjerg is a Professor of Applied Humanities at The New School and a co-founder of the pioneering Red Associates, a consultancy with offices in Copenhagen and New York City, which brings the human sciences to bear on strategic business problems, mostly dealing with companies in trouble.


Christian writes, speaks, and teaches on the practical application of the human sciences, latest as a Professor of Applied Humanities at The New School for social research. His work has been featured in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, The Washington Post, Der Spiegel, and Bloomberg Businessweek.


His latest book, Sensemaking: The Power of the Humanities in the Age of the Algorithm, was released in the spring of 2017 by Hachette Book Group, and is out in 16 languages.



In this conversation we talk about:

  • Growing up on a small island near Sweden.
  • His work with Lego, helping them identify harmful, false assumptions around play and childhood.
  • The critical value of the humanities in business, and why it's been overlooked for so long.
  • The value of slowing down.
  • His book, Sensemaking.
  • His skepticism around AI, big data, and design thinking.
  • And many other topics.


I'm a big believer in the power of the humanities, from anthropology to history, poetry to philosophy, to teach us critical tools and skills for the world of business. And I think this conversation will be eye-opening to many people.


It's one of a dozen or so weekly conversations we already have lined up for you with thinkers, designers, makers, best-selling authors, entrepreneurs, and impact investors who are working to change our world for the better. So follow this podcast on your favorite podcast app, or head over to to subscribe.


And now let's jump right in with Christian Madsbjerg.



[3:28] Life During Covid

[14:42] Early Childhood Observations

[16:27] A Path of Early Projects

[20:03] Rebuilding Lego

[27:28] Assumptions and Questions

[29:13] Introducing Humanities to the Business World

[34:38] Sensemaking and the Role of Humans vs Technology

[41:59] The Concept of the Human

[44:36] An Observation of Design Thinking

[49:10] How to Pay Attention

[51:08] H1B

[54:29] A Short Sermon