Joe Hall is the founder and President of Ghetto Film School – an award-winning nonprofit that teaches and empowers the next generation of storytellers. In today’s episode, Joe reveals everything we need to know about his groundbreaking program, talks about how its approach differs from mainstream youth programs, and tells us why we need to stop perpetuating poverty and start cultivating America’s young creative thinkers.

Topics include:

  • Why shaping creative thinkers is in America’s national interest
  • Social control, institutionalized racism, and perceptions of art
  • How to really address the issue of diversity in the U.S.
  • Removing labels like “victim” and “disadvantaged”
  • Why teenagers crave authenticity and not poverty porn
  • Why you can’t teach a child unless you love a child
  • How the skills learned in Ghetto Film School transcend beyond film

In June 2000, Joe Hall founded Ghetto Film School to educate, develop, and celebrate the next generation of great American storytellers. Through his leadership, GFS opened The Cinema School in September 2009 – a select-admissions NYC public institution that is the nation’s first film high school. Both are located in the South Bronx neighborhood where Joe has lived and worked for the last 20 years. In 2005, NYC Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg presented Joe with the Mayor’s Award for Arts and Culture, alongside Wynton Marsalis and Poet, Laureate Billy Collins. Joe is a published writer on youth development and arts education, a documentary film producer, and holds a Master’s degree in social administration from Columbia University.

Learn more about Joe Hall:

Not only is Max Stossel an award-winning poet and filmmaker, he is one of the biggest forces behind digital activism. In today’s episode, we take on the role digital infrastructure plays in our daily routines and address the biggest social experiment of our time. During our conversation, we explore everything from social media and conflict resolution to the effect of runaway algorithms to brain hacking and the goals of technology companies.

Topics include:

  • Is what we click and what we want the same thing?
  • Feeding confirmation biases in modern content
  • Cultivating brand authenticity in today’s society
  • Social media and its role in conflict resolution
  • The role of the Time Well Spent movement in the human crisis
  • How to embrace technology in a responsible way
  • Why we need to stop tying our time to profits
  • The effect of Facebook emojis on our psychology
  • Runaway algorithms and their effects on information
  • The nature of truth and fact as popular opinion
  • Are the goals of technology companies the same as our goals?
  • Why notifications are designed like slot machines
  • How to build a more responsible relationship with technology

Max Stossel is an award-winning poet and filmmaker, and one of the leaders of Time Well Spent, a movement to align technology with our humanity. His work has spanned across 14 languages, has won two Webby Awards, shown at multiple film festivals, consistently gone viral, and influenced the way digital media organizations tell the stories of mass murder in the news. Before entering the worlds of poetry, film, and digital activism, Max was a media strategist with an extensive background in social.

Max ran social campaigns for Budweiser to increase average engagement, and was trained by Gary Vaynerchuk. Max went on to create social strategies for Dove and several other Fortune 100 brands. He has written on the subject for Quartz and The Huffington Post. The merging of these fields gave Max the unique ability to provide a fascinating perspective on modern content and culture. He is currently helping select brands tell their stories in his style via video, speaking at schools, corporations and events, and helping content-focused brands stop wasting their money and start focusing their content resources effectively.

Learn more about Max Stossel:

Today we’re talking to writer, producer, and veteran actor Anjul Nigam about his influential career in the entertainment industry. During the conversation, Anjul shows us how to take control of our destinies, talks about what it takes to succeed as an independent creator, reveals how to work with investors who lack experience in the entertainment industry, and much more.

Topics include:

  • Learning to take control of your career and moving away from work for hire acting
  • Recognizing the major impact of receiving financing for a project
  • Finding ways to use the resources at your disposal and making it work, creatively
  • Navigating the unique challenge of discovery as an independent producer
  • Getting creative with a small marketing budget to capitalize on exposure
  • How to implement a formal social media strategy and determine the target audience

Anjul Nigam is the actor, producer, and writer of Growing Up Smith. He is a veteran actor with over 30 years of experience working in the entertainment industry. Anjul is also the founder of Brittany House Pictures where he is producing the feature film comedy Good Ol’ Boy, aka Growing Up Smith. In addition to his work as a producer, Anjul is an established actor who recurs on Jimmy Kimmel Live, and is known for his long-term assignment as a co-spokesperson for the cell phone provider MetroPCS, appearing as “Ranjit” in the company’s highly popular ad campaign Tech & Talk With Ranjit and Chad.

On television, Anjul has recurred on or guest-starred in more than 50 prime-time series including Grey’s Anatomy, Children’s Hospital, Ghost Whisperer, and Lie To Me, just to name a few. In theater, Anjul has appeared alongside fellow-NYU alumnus Philip Seymour Hoffman in the controversial production of The Merchant of Venice under the direction of Peter Sellars, which played at the Royal Shakespeare Company in London and The Goodman Theatre in Chicago. Anjul has also appeared in the blockbuster movies Terminator: Salvation for Warner Brothers and Cloverfield for Paramount.

As a South Asian artist, Anjul is a respected pioneer for having broken barriers so that a career in the entertainment industry is deemed a viable profession for his community. He has been designated by Desi Club, a leading South Asian publication, as one of the “Top 50 Most Influential South Asians In the World,” and he has served as a keynote speaker and/or panelist at various engagements.

Learn more about Anjul Nigam:

Ashley Williams is the mastermind behind RIZZARR – a social media platform built for Millennials by Millennials. In today’s episode, Ashley breaks down what it really takes to create quality content for this powerful generation. She also talks about her previous life as an award-winning journalist, unveils everything we need to know about RIZZARR, and explores the biggest inspirations behind her groundbreaking platform.

Topics include:

  • How to look at content from different perspectives
  • Trends within the journalism industry and the role of content marketing today
  • How the reader is becoming more involved in content creation
  • What makes RIZZARR different from other platforms
  • Promoting discovery
  • Giving a voice to youth around the world

Ashley Williams is a leading Millennial strategist, consultant, and speaker for brands that want to reach Millennials — helping brands to create the right campaigns, craft the right messages, and produce events that bring brands and Millennials together. She is the founder and CEO of RIZZARR, the social media platform built by Millennials, for the Millennial creator. She is also the founder of Millennials Change, an event series created to inspire Millennials to make endless ripples that impact the world. Ashley is passionate about using journalism, social media, and live experiences to inform and empower her generation.

Before starting her journey into entrepreneurship, Ashley worked for NBC News, WBAL Radio, and USA TODAY. She graduated with honors from the University of Southern California, earning a B.A. in broadcast and digital journalism as well as minors in international relations and Spanish.

Learn more about Ashley Williams:

As the Co-founder and Chief Product Operator at OptiQlyPeter McCarthy helps everyone from independent publishers to industry giants realize the full sales potential of their books, ebooks, and online products. In today’s episode, he takes us behind the scenes at OptiQly, shows us how to manage increased competition in the online space, pores over the future possibilities of publishing, and much more.

Topics include:

  • OptiQly’s role in publishing today (and the future)
  • How merchandising books will continue to evolve
  • Gaining deeper insight and interpreting Amazon algorithms
  • Factors and platforms that help generate online products
  • Why books are often misaligned from their marketing

Peter McCarthy is the Co-founder and Chief Product Officer at OptiQly, where he oversees service and product development across the company. OptiQly helps marketers interpret dozens of signals and ranking factors that impact sales performance at online retailers, such as Amazon. Peter is a multi-channel marketer and digital strategist with over two decades in the cutting edge of web development, digital publishing, eCommerce, distribution, and digital marketing. He frequently writes, speaks, teaches, and comments on the latest developments in trade publishing, technology, and marketing.

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Today we’re speaking to Rick Lane (the former Senior Vice President of Government Affairs at 21st Century Fox) about how the world is truly transforming in the wake of automation and artificial intelligence. During the conversation, Rick shares his personal experiences in government affairs, and weighs in on the relationship between employment and the digital revolution.

Topics include:

  • The acceleration of technology into our daily lives
  • Embracing the positive outcomes of automation AI
  • The real role of policy
  • Finding common solutions and solving problems within the community
  • The benefits of social contracts
  • The future role of unions (and what it means for employees)
  • How to reevaluate success and happiness
  • The devaluation of certain trades and industries

As one of the company’s top lobbyists, Rick Lane played an integral role in shaping Fox’s legislative and regulatory strategy in Washington, D.C. for fifteen years. Rick joined News Corporation in 2001 as Vice President of Government Affairs and was promoted to Senior Vice President in 2004. Prior to joining News Corporation/21st Century Fox, Rick was the Director of E-Commerce and Congressional Affairs for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Previously, he worked as at the law firm of Weil, Gotshal and Manges as the Director of Congressional Affairs and for the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee.

During the 1990’s Rick also created the educational technology private-public partnership, Modern Educational Technology Center (METEC), and CyberSports, Inc, a for-profit corporation which created the leading college and university sports recruiting software. He has served in leadership positions on a variety of federal, state, local commissions and committees, including his participation as a member of the United States Trade Representative’s Joint Government-Private Sector Committee on Experts on Electronic Commerce. Rick also served on the Federal Trade Commission’s Advisory Committee on Online Access and Security and the Virginia Attorney General’s Online Safety Task Force.

Learn more about Rick Lane:

Hemanshu Nigam is the Founder and CEO of SSP Blue – an online security consultancy that helps everyone from entertainment giants to government agencies to private citizens deal with the biggest challenges in cyber safety. In today’s episode, we explore everything you need to know about keeping yourself (and your business) safe and secure. We also talk about ways to keep your devices hacker-free, and reveal how to avoid falling into cyber traps and attacks.

Topics include:

  • The best security practices for businesses
  • Upgrading to the latest operating systems
  • Cyber threats facing media companies in the entertainment industry (and how to prevent with them)
  • Why hackers are lazy and look for the easy ways in
  • How to educate Millennials about piracy
  • Organized crime and white hat, black hat, and grey hat hackers
  • Online vulnerabilities that affect customers (and how to deal with it)
  • Defining your weakest link
  • Why you should think like a community and act like an individual

Hemanshu Nigam is the CEO of SSP Blue and Co-Founder and CSO of Verie and founder of, your daily dose of online safety, security, and privacy news. SSP Blue provides strategic business and legal services around safety, security, and privacy centered on products, policies, public affairs, and government relations. A veteran of online security, he brings over 20 years of experience in private industry, government, and law enforcement. He has been asked by the White House and the United Nations to provide guidance and counsel on navigating the world’s most critical online protection challenges.

Hemanshu has served as the Chief Security Officer of News Corporation’s digital properties, the CSO of MySpace, and as a security executive in Microsoft. He was also the vice president of worldwide Internet enforcement at the Motion Picture Association of America. He began his career as Los Angeles County prosecutor specializing in sex crimes and child abuse before serving as a federal prosecutor against online crimes against children and computer crimes in the US DOJ. He is also a frequent contributor to CNN, HLN, CBS, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, Washington Post, New York Times,, Variety Magazine, Deadline, The Hollywood Reporter, and

Learn more about Hemanshu Nigam:

As the Director of Content Marketing at Livestream, Amber van Moessner has developed video content strategies for some of the biggest companies in the world, including Spotify and the Philadelphia Eagles. In today’s episode, Amber breaks down everything we need to know about live streaming, and reveals why media players should be creating content that places power back into the hands of the audience.

Topics include:

  • How to build human connection through live streaming
  • How to create engaging and high-quality videos
  • The demand for authenticity from Millennials
  • The risks involved with live video broadcasting (and how to overcome them)
  • The future of live streaming
  • The uses and benefits of the ROI calculator
  • Creating media for the audience

Amber van Moessner is the Director of Content Marketing at Live Stream, where she oversees content strategy and development, live video webinars, PR, social media, video, and events. Livestream is the only live video solution to offer not only a streaming platform, but software, hardware, and services as well. Amber is also speaker and writer who has previously crafted content strategy for The New Republic, Mic News, The Paley Center for Media, and Social Media Week.

Learn more about Amber van Moessner:

As the VP of Marketing and Business Development at Brightcove, Mike Green develops winning marketing strategies for the media industry’s biggest video cloud service. In today’s episode, he breaks down what it really takes to create exceptional, user-focused client experiences. He also talks about adapting to changes in consumer behavior, takes us behind the scenes at Brightcove, shares his thoughts on ad blocking, and much more.

Topics include:

  • Creating a user-experience from the customer’s perspective
  • How consumer trends effect ad blocking (and why it matters)
  • The real impact of future technologies
  • How to leverage social media platforms
  • Challenges with duopoly in the industry today
  • The ad supported model and access to information

Mike Green is the Vice-president of Marketing and Business Development for Brightcove’s Media Business. Founded in 2004, Brightcove is the leading provider of cloud video services for delivering and monitoring video across connected devices. They believe in video’s unmatched power to educate, inspire, entertain, and communicate and help customers focus on using video to move their business in meaningful ways. Mike looks after how Brightcove communicates with their industry leading media customers, like Time Inc and Viacom. He is responsible for the overall marketing strategy and execution, including partnership initiatives, marketing communications, demand generation and field marketing in the Americas.

Learn more about Mike Green:

In today’s episode, AMC Network’s Tom Ziangas explores how media players can harness trends and data to create better growth strategies. During the course of our conversation, we reveal how to use research to grab the viewer’s attention, uncover the biggest shifts in monitoring social activity, talk about the relevance of the big screen, and much more.

Topics include:

  • The real role of Nielsen ratings in research and alternative metrics
  • Making data actionable through human interaction
  • Driving people to programs using existing programs as proxy
  • The gravitation of media to the big screen
  • Best practices for researchers in the industry

Tom Ziangas’ efforts help AMC Networks strategize future growth; develop market and brand positioning; establish each network effectively in national and local marketplaces for ad sales and distribution; build powerful programming and scheduling strategies; and build Nielsen ratings. A research industry veteran, he joined AMC Networks in 2009 from Nielsen Media Research, where he held various posts during his 19-year tenure.

As SVP of Nielsen Expanded Media Services, he helped clients assess the value of their brands and sponsorships by tracking TV viewership, advertiser spending, consumer behavior and attitudes and consumer loyalty/product purchasing. As the SVP Sales & Marketing at NHI, he spearheaded a number of key initiatives. He mapped out the C3 initiative, incorporating their client feedback to implement a solution that would reflect the most accurate measurement for cable data.

Tom also worked with cable clients to include HD feeds for Nielsen reporting and provided clients with diagnostics and reports to better understand the HD and digital viewing environment. Prior to Nielsen Media Research, Tom worked at The Family Channel as a manager of sales development. He worked with agencies and their advertisers and was responsible for all ratings estimates for the network.

Learn more about Tom Ziangas: