Digital Squared

Human-First Storytelling Powered by Technology

October 31, 2023 Tom Andriola Season 2 Episode 3
Human-First Storytelling Powered by Technology
Digital Squared
More Info
Digital Squared
Human-First Storytelling Powered by Technology
Oct 31, 2023 Season 2 Episode 3
Tom Andriola
On this episode, Tom talks with Tim Kashani, a long-time entrepreneur blending the worlds of technology and the arts. His career has taken many interesting turns - as a Broadway producer, director, investor and co-founder of several companies, including Apples and Oranges Arts and Humani3. Together they discuss his unique career, his bold vision of AI to unite humanity, and why human-first storytelling through technology is an important part of our future.

Show Notes Transcript
On this episode, Tom talks with Tim Kashani, a long-time entrepreneur blending the worlds of technology and the arts. His career has taken many interesting turns - as a Broadway producer, director, investor and co-founder of several companies, including Apples and Oranges Arts and Humani3. Together they discuss his unique career, his bold vision of AI to unite humanity, and why human-first storytelling through technology is an important part of our future.

Welcome to Digital squared, a podcast that explores the implications of living in an increasingly digital world. We're on a mission to inspire our listeners to use technology and data for good. Your host, Tom Andriola is the Vice Chancellor for Information Technology and data and Chief Digital Officer at the University of California at Irvine. Join us as Tom and fellow leaders discussed the technological, cultural and societal trends that are shaping our world.

On this episode of digital squared, I talked with Tim Kashani, a longtime entrepreneur blending the worlds of technology and the arts. His passion for both enabled him to occupy a unique space in business where he can help and empower storytellers who are poised in his new era of generative AI. His career has been a diverse Road, as a Broadway producer, director, investor and co founder of several companies. Together, we discuss his unique career, his bold vision of AI to unite humanity, and why human first storytelling through technology is an important part of our future. I

Tim, welcome to the podcast.

Thank you. Nice to be here.

Absolutely. Tim, you've always been on the cutting edge of your career, when did you realize that that's where you wanted to play. And that's what you wanted to do. 

I don't know if I've even realized it yet. As a child, I always love to take apart my toys and see how they worked. I have a fascination with anything that's new, I want to discover it, I want to learn it, I want to dissect it, and then see how I can use it, not just how it works. So I guess probably the age of two would be the answer to your question.

So that makes you the consummate student, right? How does one Stay curious. And I think that's one of the things that we lose as we become adults, I think there's something lost when we do so you've been able to figure out a formula to maintain that.

I love learning. It's something that I found as a youngster, and I've carried it through. I've often said, If I could clone myself, I probably have 20 different professions. Anytime I'm invited into somebody's new world, immediately my brain starts going and thinking, wow, that's really cool. I wonder if I can do that. I'm getting to a point in my life now where there's not that many decades left to be able to learn everything. But whether it's technology, the arts, medicine, climate, there's so many amazing areas that are going to change who we are and what we are. And all of them are fascinating. It's one of the reasons I love being a member of the TED community, I go every year to Vancouver, and you get to see talks from people from multiple disciplines that are not from my field. And many times those are the ones that resonate with me the most.

I noticed something in my career, the more senior you become in an organization or an in a particular business, the more cross pollination from other types of industries and businesses that you need. You need those varying perspectives, to understand similarities and differences that help you manage the organization and the business that you're responsible for. It's amazing how many people don't recognize that as they come up and say, I need to become more expert in my field of medicine, or in my profession of manufacturing. I'm like, No, you need to spend a greater percentage of your time listening to other people, other perspectives going deep on maybe a science, because that's where your breakthrough ideas and your perspectives broaden. So you can get the right focus that you come back to. And it's amazing how many people if you don't get that, intuitively, I have always surprises me. 

 I 100% agree. It's interesting, because many people say they want to move up to leadership, and then they get there. And they realize that it's not quite the thing that they thought it was when they get to that point. My philosophy is exactly the same as yours. It's a little unfortunate for us, and that even though we might want to be experts across every area, you can't, therefore you find people that are focused on areas, and I tried to surround myself with the smartest people I can and make them look good, because then that helps me in whatever endeavor I'm working on. And I will further to say that a lot of times people will ask, especially as you get to be our age...What's the secret to producing a Broadway show? Or what's the secret to launching a new piece of software? I said, if you're the one that's leading it, it's solving one problem at a time. And sometimes you're solving 12 at a time but you are there as a leader to facilitate everything moving forward. And to your point, the more that you can look across multiple verticals, horizontals disciplines, the easier it is for you to find resources when it comes to solving whatever prop I'm not sitting in front of you at that time.

So take us through your career bringing this kind of innate curiosity to everything that you do, the consummate orchestrator of the subject matter experts to create the incredible outcome. Your career has not been climbing a ladder, I would describe it as more rock climbing from the ledge to ledge right, what was the I wanted to jump from here to here ledge type of moments for you that kind of looking back to are just kind of things that you'll always remember. 

When I think back to as a kid growing up, I found that by earning money, I was able to do the things that I wanted to do. So I had jobs. Starting at eight, I would do anything, I'd mow lawns, I, the old deliver the papers, you name it, I would talk to the trash truck driver and say, Can I ride with you, and they'll throw me some money for doing it. And then I would invest it in things that I was passionate about. So when I've fell in love with playing the guitar, I saved my money to get the guitar, I wanted the one that I felt that I could play. And then that got me into a rock band. Same with filmmaking. And for me school was there. And I would find teachers in the system that I connected with the ones that wanted me to do the same thing over and over once I'd done it once, that just didn't work for me. So I would get the good grades, because I knew if I got the good grades, they stay off my back. So I'd figure out what each teacher needed for me to get the grade. But the big aha moment for me came when I wanted to go to film school at USC. And I couldn't afford it. So I looked at the University of California system, which I could afford, they didn't have film. So I came to UCI and I studied computer science, because I was tinkering in high school with the trs 80. And writing programs and having fun with that. And I thought, wow, this is fun. And it seems like computers might be worth something in the future. And while at school, I went full in, I just want to suck it all up in the first class there, you were told that half of us weren't going to be there by the end of the year. And that struck into my athletic competitive background, I grew up playing all three sports and I've road crew at UCI. And so I said, I'm going to do the best I can at that simultaneously, I got bad, I couldn't take a dance class. So I take a dance class, I won the debt, but it's also the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. And that opened up a whole other area of the arts. For me, I had music already. But now dance and theater. And I find a way to manage my time. I won't even call it a secret because many people have written great books about this. But I find that I have to segment out blocks for the different things. But if you say you want to learn something, you've got to give up other things in order to do that. So it's a weight and balance system. And now as I've gotten older, I also look at what's my legacy? What can I give back, I've been given so much with my education and the friends that have supported me, I feel a responsibility to give back to the next generation education, mentorship, all of the above, you find once you start doing it makes you grow. So that's the way I come full circle to your question is, how do I find this, I learned through multiple generations now how they approach things, how they look at what the future is going to be, even what they consider problems are different than what I and my friends consider problems when we were their age. So it's a fascinating trajectory we're on.

And one of the things I saw in your background that fascinated me -- Because someone once told me that real opportunity sits at the intersection of two things, right? It could be healthcare and technology, right. But it could be AI and manufacturing. You created an incubator called the theater accelerator that was around music development was a little bit about that opportune because it is fascinating to me when I read the description of that,

that came out of a dinner, as many things do in life. I didn't sit down and create a business plan and think how do we solve this problem? I was at a dinner at a TED conference in Vancouver with some friends and they're all venture capitalists. And I've invested in one of their funds. And they were all complaining how difficult it is to work in the VC world with figuring out which founders to invest in and supporting them properly so that they can get to the next level all the things that the venture capital world does. And they said and then on top of it so many of them fail. So do you think that's bad? Try producing a Broadway show. It takes seven to 10 years to get a show to Broadway you've spent nearly 10s of dollars. And even once you get it there, you only have about a 10 to 15% chance of breaking even. And they said that's true to startups. This is the difference in startups as you find that out earlier, because you have Angel Investing Series, or seed, then you go into Series A, B, C, and D. So I said, Imagine if series D or E was the most risky part in the equation? And like, No, that's wrong, because each series The risk is supposed to go down. And I said that the Broadway landscape is exactly the opposite. And they said, why is it and so the reason is, we're not treating artists like entrepreneurs, we need to include them in this lifestyle trajectory. So they can focus on what they do best, but also think about it as a community. And secondly, we need to create funding mechanisms. So they're not doing this constant start and stop of writing something than waiting for the next tranche of funding. And I also can add to technology. I said, Imagine if you have enough funding, just to launch your website, and then the day that you launch the website to the new company, you don't have any money anymore. Nobody would fund that. So my friend Jim Scheinman says, what's the solution? How do we do this? I said, I don't know. We need something like a Y Combinator 500 startups for artists. And he goes, Great, go do it, or what are you waiting for? And he said, We'll invest, we'll put together a fund, and we'll do it. So I came home, told my wife because we partner on everything. And she's always good at having a critical eye as to what's all this take what's gonna work. And then we decided, sure, we'll do it. And the fascinating thing about it is, we found that when we were going to the community to talk about it, we either got one of two reactions. One was, that's amazing. That's what I've been waiting for. The other is, you're trying to exploit the artists, nobody wants to do this, the system works fine as it is. And the system doesn't work fine as it is for the current artists. Because it's a Broadway or bust model. And there's only 40 theaters, so you're on a big resource constraint. So what we found is that going down the for profit line, where you take 7% of equity, and even though they were getting funded, we're gonna do health insurance, everything we talked about, it was going to be a non starter when it came to agents and managers and all of the current people that the system was working well for, so they were trying to kill it. And then I said, well just give it away. We'll run it through our nonprofit. And nobody could then say we can't do it. And that's what we did. So back in 2016, we ran a pilot, and then we launched our first class in 2017. It's started as two weeks now, it's three weeks, it's all done virtual on Zoom, we were using Zoom long before it was the end thing to use.

The panoramic wasn't the driver to turn it into kind of a virtual

not at all, the driver was financial. Because it's very expensive for people to come to certain geographic locations. So if we ran it in California or New York, what we found is that, when you really want to get into including more voices into an ecosystem, you've got to ask all the hard questions. So my first thought was, well just pay for their travel, and will pay for the housing, problem solved, check. And then you start to talk to some of the artists and they say, I have a job as well. And I can't afford to take the time off, or I'm raising children, or there were a lot of other areas that came up that we said, Yes, we can try to solve those with money. But why make it difficult on the artist, why not let them stay in an area, we work around their schedule. So we would do a two hour virtual session each day for everybody. But then we would do office hours that would work around their schedule. And everybody can usually find two hours in a day to commit to something. So yeah, we launched it, the whole thing ends with a very fun, we call it Singh tank, which is of course a spoof of that show. All the judges have a virtual dollar to invest in it. The goal is not to win that the goal is for them to, again, take control of their career as much as possible in an industry without very little control. But most importantly, it's teaching all the things that aren't normally taught in traditional educational systems. I have a real passion for trying to get this into high schools and into colleges. Because there's a lot of teaching of the craft. But we have a ton of universities that are churning out singers, dancers, writers, directors, producers, you name it. And there's just not that many jobs. So it used to be they could then get their masters and go teach but now there's not a lot other openings for that too. But there is many other ways of distribution. When you look at YouTube, tik, Tok, Instagram, whatever is coming out next as

big a whole creator economy is now exactly great platform for them. I think it's an amazing story. So when someone says, Is Tim an artist, or is he a technologist, I just say yes, yeah. Because that that really does describe the how you've blended these, what most people would say, are two very different worlds different sides of the brain, you have this kind of integration that you've created. That is just unique. You've been a great alumni and contributor back to UC Irvine, I have to get you to talk about this class that you were part of that you taught with Professor, Professor at Vander Hoek. It's such a great story, I was able to come to the kind of the final presentation by the class, take us through that story, because it was not what you all expected. And that's part of the fun of the story.

It is and that's what I love in the technology company that I founded. We started off by building systems. And that was fantastic. And then I in 1991, had the honor of going down to South Africa and working with Nelson Mandela's people, when they were coming into office, Microsoft had sat me down to go talk to them and work with them. And I just learned that I loved education. But I didn't love the step by step approach that many people do, which is open up a book, click on this. I love an environment of we're starting here. We want to get somewhere here. Let's figure it out. It gets my adrenaline going because we don't know how it's going to turn out. The class you're speaking of. Andre Professor Vander hook and I we're talking about games. And we're talking about the climate. And we're talking about technology. We're talking about VR and AR technologies. And we said let's prototype a class where we don't set a lot of rules, we'll call it climate XR, we will give them some technology background in extended realities. But we'll also bring in people like Professor Tomlinson to talk about the landscape of climate and all of the different areas behind it. And then we will have them come up with some prototype ideas. And we ran that in the fall quarter 15 students came up with five ideas, and they work flowed them through and they were all have absolutely fantastic. That final day of class, Andre and I looked at each other and said, every one of these could move forward. But there was one in particular that not only was the idea good, but the team all had availability to move the next quarter to work on it or the majority of the team. And they recruited a couple of their other friends premise behind it at the time it has since morphed a little bit was team toxic was their name, climate 2035 was the impetus for it. And it was generated as an escape room, where you work for this factory that you think is doing wonderful things for the world only to find out that they are actually destroying the climate because that's more profitable. And they want the polar ice caps to melt because the shipping routes work better. They did it in the Austin Powers tone, which is very fun, because we told them look, the games can't be boring. And they also can't be preachy. Because nobody wants to play games that tell your you're not a good person. Instead, they wanted to let you be the person that's working for this factory and look at who, what why you are also it wasn't about massive changes all at once. They said they want the butterfly effect, they want to know that there's little things we can all start doing. So that was the premise. We moved it forward in the next quarter, we really got a nice structure for it. We began a smaller group about seven to 10 was the people working on it. And then for the spring quarter, we said we need a couple more people to work on this. So Andre put it out to the school and they told their friends and also we had 45 people sign up. And I remember getting the email from owners like what are your thoughts like we can do one of two things and he agreed we could either interview people and quote pick the top ones or we could just run the class. And we knew we'd have to jump in and help with some of the structure for it. So we did luckily the core group was still there. We had an amazing project manager on the team Nathan who kept things going. My son was in the class he ended up managing 19 programmers that was a whole new skill for him to work on.

You should tell your son that I think I might have been 30 years old when they finally gave me the opportunity to set number of technical people. So he's way ahead, he's way ahead of the game. 

It was just great to watch. And Andre and I both felt the same way, which is we're the airbags in the car, meaning that they're going to crash, they're going to make mistakes, we just don't want them to make it fatal. The whole class we would do on Discord. And then once a week live, and there was many discord channels, they broke it up into departments, whether it's art, music, programming, they self divided, I was beyond blown away with how far they were able to go in that amount of time, while also doing three to five other classes, some of them. And then most of them didn't take it for credit, they were just doing it because they were excited about working on something in a group that had a positive aspect that had comedy, that they could learn new skills, most of them are learning virtual reality for the first time. And that excited them too, because they realize this is a skill that's going to be very useful. And finally, many of them got that aha moment that wow, this is good if I'm interviewing for jobs to talk about all the problems we're running into, and how we're solving them. So now we're gonna, we're going to finish it, we're going to polish it up, we're gonna release it, I'm going to conference called countdown on climate this summer, just talking about this model. And now it's gonna be part of the standard curriculum at UCI where it's cross disciplinary for people to sign up for. Because our view has always been that one of the things that we can do is to get this generation at least thinking and talking about it in a way that is in their language, because they're going to have to figure this out, we're going to help but they're really going to bear the burden of what's going on.

Yeah, I think it touches on all the things that at least I hope that our institution of higher education need to do, right. There's learning there's knowledge, right. But there's also then the practical real life skills that also came through when I was when I was sitting there listening to the team, which was bigger than any class project team that I had ever seen. And he was just thinking about that poor project manager, how overwhelmed he must have felt at times, but it was amazing to see how much they got it. And I hope that as you said, I hope all of them learn how to tell that story of the experience, because it's what the employers on the other side are looking for everything that they'd want to see the passion, the critical problem solving the working as a team, to figuring it out as you go, right. And unfortunately, we don't challenge our students enough, while they're here to really figure it out as you go and become comfortable with being uncomfortable. I think that was the other thing was they accepted a level of I don't know, but just start throwing some energy at that really reflects how most of us managed through our careers. So I just thought it was great. And I wanted to make sure we gave the opportunity for you to share it with our audience. So you got a new gig coming that you've started. Now let's venture studio, can you give us a glimpse into what that's going to be?

Of course, so much of it is built on everything that we've already been talking about. It's an extension of it. And it's work that I've been doing for the last 20 years just codifying it now, which is to if we look at the technologies that are coming down the pipeline, artificial intelligence, extended realities, web three, those are the three big ones that many people are painting a dystopian future about. And understandably, there are a lot of challenges associated with them. And if they go down the wrong path, I do think it could be catastrophic. But I am a glass is half full person. And I say rather than obsessing about what can go wrong, let's lead by showing with what can go right. So the concept of the venture studio is hitting on what you've talked about earlier, which is the intersection of multiple technologies. For example, artificial intelligence itself, sits in a computer right now. And we can unplug the computer if we need to. I know that's oversimplifying. Once we start moving into robotics and extended realities, where we are putting this technology more and more directly connecting to all of our senses, or we are interacting with it. That's where things can go. Really pear shaped, as they say in the UK. So we make it very simple, is we want to use story, the human aspect of story as the central point in everything we build. Meaning, I want to show how using technologies Like the AIS and XR, ours can actually move us forward in solving things, whether it be climate, whether it be community, meaning finding ways to unite rather than divide, or whether it be our individual who we are in our health. We all thought that social media would bring us closer, it would democratize, and there has been some of that's happened. But we've also seen the other side of it. And for me, as we move into this new frontier of these technologies can get deeper and deeper into your psyche. Therefore, we need to find ways for it to work positively. I'll give you an example of exactly the kind of thing we're working on right now. Imagine you come home from a day, it's been a challenging day. And what would you do normally come maybe you'd flip on the TV, listen to an audio book, or you just chill out. Right now, a lot of what you're doing relies on you knowing what you want, but then being able to find it simultaneously. Once your AI assistant starts to sense that you've have a challenge, or you need something in the curation of the kinds of stories that are then going to empower you, it could be showing you a movie, that's an old favorite of yours, it could be playing some certain kind of music, it could be connecting to a friend that you haven't connected to in a while. Or or in the future, not only is it going to show you what's existing, it's going to create it for you. When you look at the whole world of generative AI where we are creating the text for stories, the imagery for stories, the sound, we are not really that far away from your personalized versions of what inspires you, and why I want to spend so much time working on this because it can also be used the opposite way. Meaning not inspiring you but controlling you when you look at groups that try to indoctrinate people into certain ideologies that are not necessarily the best for humanity. How can we as humans lead? So we're building right now those mechanisms, so we Greenlight stories, and then we use the technology is around them to build it. And then we share it. Because it's not about monopolizing. I want to be the leader only in this tech, I want to be the one that's facilitating it, get this in the hands of high school students, college students, and really get this in the hands of artists that want to see the world change so that we're not relying on the tech companies to dictate exactly the paths were on, they become partners in the journey, not the ones that are leading the journey.

So there's a democratization component that you're talking about here. And we've got to give this to the masses, there's a literacy element that we need to bring up for the masses. This is where web three, for example, in terms of the decentralized control of things is important. Am I reading that right and China?

percent, I know I am also guilty of doing this, sometimes you think you are the one that has more knowledge, and you should decide for other people what needs to happen. There are certain guardrails and regulations that I feel are very important to be put into place. It's not my area of strength. So I support people that are working on that. I also feel though, that this technology is moving so insanely fast, that if we say we just need to stop it, now, we might stop it in one little area around the globe, it's going to continue to go. So my view is going back and just finding as many groups because there are 1000s, if not hundreds of 1000s of amazing nonprofits that are trying to do great things for the world. If we can even help them by five to 15%, through the use of these technologies, continue their missions, then we're starting to use all of this for good, because it's always a double edged sword. When you think about all that we can do now with our phones that we couldn't use to do that. That's great, but at the same time, it's now such an incredible part of us. When you lose your phone, you pretty much feel like you've just lost half of your brain that has gone away. And thus the underlying component is getting always first from the human side of it. Let's create inspirational pieces. similar in many ways to when you look at what Pixar did when they found it. Yes, they invented a lot of technology to create the digital and nation that they do. But the storytellers also wanted to tell a very uplifting, universal story in doing so. Now imagine amplifying that structure and not doing it just as one company.

you were getting into this last question I wanted to ask you, because you have a unique way of looking at this. I'll paint it before I posed the question to you. And why I look at the period we're sitting at right now is like, what the introduction of the internet was, rather than what the introduction of the iPhone was. The iPhone, to me is an example of a new piece of technology enabled us to do things to integrate things, but it was very much a technology play. When the internet came to pass, I was one of those whiz kids running around saying you need to pay attention to this new technology. But it's also a medium, it's a medium to reach people. And you mentioned earlier, it was communicating with us even though it was very passive as compared to what we'll see today. And I remember the first couple of projects that I ran, we had this team that was put together. And the team was a technologist, the advertising person, the marketing person, and a business person. And then I was the project manager. And it was like having someone speaking French, German, Japanese, and Swahili. There was no common vocabulary. But I had so much fun being that kind of integrator, when you say integration as an advertising professional, that's very different than the use of integration when you're a technology professional. But what we were delivering to our clients at that time was the power of the integrated solution. We were looking through different lenses to create the solution for tomorrow. That was the power. That's what our clients were paying us for. To me, that wasn't what the iPhone was about. Right? It is what I see happening right now we can interact with technology in a way, like you said, chat up T responds back to me and has a conversation with me in a way that the Google search bar never has. Right? It's just giving me something different. And so I think we are at three steps into this 10k race. So here's the question, Tim, being someone who's been in the creative field, as well as understanding the power and opportunity of technology, how do we not lose our humanity through this? Because I think that's where some of the fear comes from. I don't my own spouse has this. I do not want to interact with that I want to work with the human. How do we not lose our humanity as we try to take advantage of all this greatness that's sitting on the table in front of us now?

That is the billion trillion dollar question, isn't it? We are going to morph as humans as we've always morphed when new technology comes into play. My thought for everybody that's interested in this field is start by understanding what motivates us as humans. We like to think we're logical creatures, we are emotional creatures. There are many great books that write about this, the science of storytelling is something I read recently that I really enjoyed. There's neuro marketing, you can name it, where it effectively says most of our decisions are made with our, quote, gut instinct, or, as you mentioned earlier, our right brain or creative side. And then we use our logical brain to then either say yes or no to it. And many times the logical brain can actually lead us down the wrong track, because it's talking us out of what we know is really best for us at our core. The way we don't lose our humanity is by relentlessly looking at the usages of this technology, and as a group, forcing it down the pipelines that can immediately benefit and unite people. To me, that's one of the biggest challenges we're facing, especially in the United States right now. It's very difficult to have conversations regarding anything because the current media system the way they are, they understand how human beings work, and they use languages to put you into your teams or your tribes. If we continue to use these technologies to reinforce that mechanism, we are going to lose a lot of what it means to be human we've seen in the past when it comes to civil wars and other areas by riling people up. But again, if we start thinking about how we can inspire people to be the best at what they are, and we have the tools in fact, we use these in theater accelerator, we first show people the Eastern approach of the chakra system where my wife teaches this where you have your person sitting there and they've got the seven chakras and talks about the yogic Understanding of you start with a base, and you've got to have a solid base, you've got to have your foundation of security, food and safety. And then as you move up, you get into a point where you become much more spiritual, much more aligned. And then we show Maslow's needs hierarchy right next to it. That's the Western version. So if I was to look at an understanding where we know that we each have different ways that we're inspired. So if we can use these personalization engines, and think about these large language models, as partners that we're feeding, and feed it data, be very cognizant about understanding things like racial bias and other components that can be very detrimental. If we're all actively growing up these new technologies, as if they are human beings, that we want to be the best human being, and we want to be the best human being. That to me is our one shot of getting this right.

That's awesome. I really want to thank you, Tim, for joining us today, sharing your experience, showing us how the integration of Arts and Science and Technology can come together and create good, I really look forward to continue to get to work with you. And thank you so much for being on the podcast.

Thank you. It's been a pleasure. And I love these kinds of conversations. And I know I'm going to hear from people telling me how wrong I am. And I welcome that, because that's the only way that we grow on this. I can't leave without saying I completely agree with you, though, when you talk about this moment in time that we're in, where you're comparing it to the internet, versus say, for example, the iPhone, which the iPhone was just built on other technology, it just did it better. I'd say this is even a bigger time right now. So those of us that have lived through the transition that we saw before, we should be the one saying I'm just going to sunset and get out of this, we should be bringing as much of our community building as we can with what you're doing with things like your podcast. So thank you for everything you're doing here, too.

Yeah, I think we're entering an exciting period, I'm excited for what the future holds. And much like you tapped into and talked a little bit about with our students, we know that this world's going to be transformed by them. And the value that we can bring is the experiences that we've had in our lives to date, to bring the wisdom, figure out how to give it to them so that they can drive the path forward. Right, we're going to benefit from everything that they do. But I'm one who's investing a lot into working with our students. And I think I've told you, I have this concept called reverse mentoring. Technology is a young person's game. And I'm not a young person, by their definition. So I actually let them guide me, I let them teach me I have my mentors right now on large language models. Why? Because they intuitively have been spending more time learning about this in the classroom playing with it. And we talk about the knowledge that they have and the passion to try to do something interesting and cool with it. With me talking about here's a real problem that business leaders or organizational leaders are thinking about right now. Because it's their job to be trying to figure out how to solve this or how to stay relevant with this. How would you take what you've learned and help that person, if I put them in front of you tomorrow, that's the value I can bring, which is to prepare them to that's going to be the conversation that is going to happen somewhere down the road. And it's already happening in some of the conversations that you're helping facilitate right now. So I think it's really fun to be at this stage, I am not going to the sidelines. But I definitely am not going to be the quarterback in this game. Right. I'm going to help train the quarterbacks that take us down the field. So it's going to be a lot of fun. So we all better buckle up. 

I 1,000% agree, I just have to end by saying some people love to say, Oh, this younger generation, they don't get this or they don't get that. They are incredible. It's not only this class, it's whenever I'm at the UCI campus or other college universities, there is something about their level of supporting each other that did not exist. When I grew up. And I grew up through the 80s where it was all about you and you succeeded. If you became wealthy or you became this, their metrics are different, and they want each other and they're there for each other in a way that I didn't see growing up. So that's why I have a lot of hope. I just finished doing a thing in New York with 96 high school students from across the US that are brought to New York to put on a show at the Minskoff theatre and they all lifted each other up that entire week.

I agree with you I have witnessed the same thing. So when I read these articles about Gen Xers, writing things about Gen Z, my reaction is you haven't spent enough time sitting alongside Gen Z rather than sitting there judging Gen Z but my experience has been variable -- watch the same they are a lean in generation. They are a for all of us generation. And I think that's going to serve us really well. So I totally agree with you on this point. Tim, thanks again for joining love having you. We're gonna have you back at some point and to talk about the venture studio once you've got more stories to tell because you are the master storyteller.

Thanks so much for having me. I've really enjoyed our conversation and happy to come back with me