Introducing The Unlearn Project, our new podcast about changing common sense.

The way the world works has changed. Things you thought you knew like automation will make our work easier, music is something to listen to, large companies can’t innovate, or data is the new oil are no longer true. Hosts Sandra Peter and Kai Riemer set out to unlearn old wisdoms and discover new ones. From Sydney Business Insights at the University of Sydney Business School.

You can follow The Unlearn Project on Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle Podcasts, Podcast Addict, OvercastPocket Casts, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts.

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You should also check out our weekly podcast The Future, This Week unpacking the news that’s changing the future of business.

Is there something you think we need to unlearn? Send your ideas to We read your emails.

Music by Cinephonix.

Sydney Business Insights is a University of Sydney Business School initiative aiming to provide the business community and public, including our students, alumni and partners with a deeper understanding of major issues and trends around the future of business.


We believe in open and honest access to knowledge. We use a Creative Commons Attribution NoDerivatives licence for our articles and podcasts, so you can republish them for free, online or in print.

This transcript is the product of an artificial intelligence - human collaboration. Any mistakes are the human's fault. (Just saying. Accurately yours, AI)

Sandra About a year ago, we came across this story from a tech company called Kickstarter. They automated part of people's jobs to make their lives easier.

Kai Yet surprisingly, instead of making them happier, their work turned out to be more stressful and less enjoyable.

Fred Benenson Suddenly, you know, somebody says like, 'Oh, yeah, I guess the robot is getting to approve all the good projects'. And then people just kind of sit there, you know, drinking their coffee. And they're like, 'that's funny'.

Sandra People at Kickstarter were as surprised as we were.

Kai Yeah. Wasn't automation supposed to make all our lives easier?

Sandra Turns out, the common wisdom that's held for ages: robots coming to do all the hard work, the heavy lifting...

Kai While we would get to do all the creative, fun, interesting work.

Sandra Turns out, that common wisdom is no longer true.

Kai Robots have all the fun. And what we're left with is the hard stuff, the stressful stuff.

Sandra So actually, cognitive automation makes things harder...

Kai Dun dun daaaaa....

Sandra The robots are coming to make our jobs harder. We started wondering just how many other things that we take for granted that have actually changed and we haven't even realised?

Kai The answer is quite a few. And so we set out to find them.

Sandra Enter the Unlearn Project, our new podcast about changing common sense.

Kai It is about those topics, ideas, concepts, where the world has changed without us even noticing.

Sandra Like automation making our jobs harder, not easier.

Kai It's not just about learning something. It's about something we all thought we knew, but that is now no longer true.

Sandra It's about letting go of knowledge and ideas that no longer fit how the world works.

Kai It's about unlearning.

Sandra And we'll tackle many topics over the next episodes. Like why it's no longer true that large companies do not innovate and that their businesses will soon be disrupted by small firms.

Kai Size matters and small is the new big.

Sandra Why the robots are coming to make our jobs harder.

Kai What music is for...

Sandra Yeah, even that's changed!

Kai Why data is not the new oil, and why there is no such thing as the Internet.

Sandra And heaps more.

Kai There will be research, and there will be people:

Ole Obermann Global Head of Music at ByteDance and TikTok.

Fred Benenson I was the VP of Data at Kickstarter.

Kimberlee Weatherall University of Sydney Law School.

Keith Chen Behavioural Economist, and Professor of Strategy and Economics.

Harry Michael You might know me from my hit song, Astronaut in the Ocean.

Rachel Botsman An author of two books and a Trust Fellow at Oxford University.

Hank Shocklee I'm a producer, sound engineer, sound designer.

Pasha Grozdov I'm a content creator at TikTok.

Antoinette Traub Supply Technician, South Pole Research Station.

Shem Malmquist A Boeing 777 captain.

Alvy Ray Smith Co-founder of Pixar.

Ola Henfridsson I'm a Professor of Business Technology.

Sue Finley Explorer and a treasure hunter at JPL.

Sandra I'm Sandra, Peter.

Kai I'm Kai Riemer.

Sandra Welcome to the Unlearn Project.

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