Tiago Forte: The Future of Education

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My guest today is Tiago Forte, who runs an online course called Building a Second Brain.

This episode is different than most of my podcasts. It’s less of an interview and more of a conversation.

Tiago and I have collaborated closely for the past year. In February, we worked together to film and produce my online writing course called Write of Passage. And throughout the year, we’ve teamed up to improve every aspect of the student experience.

We recorded this episode from Arizona where we were hosting our Creative Process Workshop, which offers a radical new approach to writing in the Information Age, just like Write of Passage.

In this conversation, we reflect on the time we’ve spent working together, explore the key trends in online education, and talk about what we’ve learned by teaching more than 1,000 students combined.

Please enjoy my conversation with Tiago Forte.


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2:15 – the shifting bottleneck of online education

10:53 – discovering how much our own identities/how we perceive ourselves impact our actions

13:30 – changing identity on scale through online schooling

25:04 – the audio revolution and returning to Marshall McLuhan

28:20 – origin story of Write of Passage

35:23 – how feedback loops exponentially increases your output

41:50 – it’s easier than ever to create, so what has gotten harder

48:20 – the evolution of note taking

54:38 – C.R.I.B.S.

58:55 – to create takes courage OR the internet just magnifies humanity

1:04:49 – if you can easily describe what you are doing it’s probably not ambitious enough

1:13:05 – everything is “figureoutable”

1:19:20 – reaching quality through quantity

1:28:19 – Michigan and Ford factory visit

1:35:41 – the power of a weakness

1:41:40 – you cannot change your own identity without growth

1:44:52 – importance of constraints

1:50:40 – what’s the experience of playing with constraints and an example of an outcome?

1:56:32 – writing as thinking and re-writing as re-thinking

2:00:52 – “freedom to make a bad painting”

2:04:32 – the paradox of specificity: the more specific what you are known for is, the more opportunities you’ll attract