Skinner Layne is a Heartless Bastard: Why you should drop everything and spend a day with Skinner Layne

Sign up for the May 28th seminar here:


I had the opportunity to attend Exobase, a one-day seminar with Skinner Layne, while he was in Paris on May 14th, 2016. He’ll be back in Paris on Saturday, May 28th, giving the exact same talk, and I think any Parisian who is asking him or herself any kind of future career (or existential) question should jump on this opportunity.

Skinner is touring Europe to talk about his organization Exosphere which is described on his website as “a learning and problem-solving community that encourages people to shape the world they live in through learning experiences focused on 21st century skills, technologies, and trends.”

I don’t want to take any of the fire away from the deep plunge into reality that awaits you if you decide to attend the second Exobase seminar, but I did want to take the opportunity to give you my main reasons for encouraging you to go:


Reason to go 1) You need to prepare yourself for the creative economy. If you’re asking yourself what that means, that is because in France, as in many places, we are mired in a cultural context where experts seem to have many theories about the future, but no one is pragmatic or visionary enough to admit that it’s already happening right now. You already need to have changed your paradigm. Take this opportunity to bring yourself up to speed.

Reason to go 2) You don’t know who you are. You think you do, but once Skinner has taken a hammer to the mirror, you’ll need to ask yourself that question again, as well as the question of what kind of world you WANT to live in. Your values do matter. Skinner builds a complex and very persuasive argument on the solid foundation of his hopes for a better world.

Reason to go 3) What you do all the time could change your life. Skinner has an important message that you need hear: what you do every day is fundamentally more important for both your life and the future of humanity than anyone’s theories about society. In the talk he mentions journaling several times, and I hope he will convince a few more people to try a practice that could save them millions of dollars both in therapy and business strategy.

Reason to go 4) You need to find out whether you’re a heartless bastard or a narcissistic primadonna too. Skinner’s space and time personality test will give you a simple way of understanding why people do what they do, and how they are different from you. Once you’ve stopped wasting your energy on figuring other people out, you can take differences into account to effectively identify the people you need on your team, to get where you want to go.

Reason to go 5) What people need most today is flexibility. I could go on forever about this point because, as a coach working mainly with leaders, I wholeheartedly believe that we need to develop our agility more than anything else. I was delighted to hear this message coming through loud and clear. Skinner reminds us that we don’t know what’s going to be needed of us in the future, and that we need to learn how to learn and how to teach ourselves what we need to know.

Reason to go 6) It will be good for your love life. Yes, we’re mostly talking about professional futures here, but as with anything that has to do with the study of humans, it can be directly applied to your relationships. I’ve rarely heard a definition of love that was so spot on.

Reason to go 7) Because poetry. Skinner uses perfectly-timed, valiantly-delivered excerpts of literature to send you spinning in the direction of your own future. Just a little more Longfellow and Emerson, and you’ll have life figured out.

Sign up for the May 28th seminar here:

Special thanks to Adèle Galey, co-founder of Ticket For Change, for inviting me!

© Betsy Parayil-Pezard –






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