Knowledge Mindfulness Porch

Laila Marouf

Step into the extraordinary realm of the "Knowledge Mindfulness Porch," a podcast that transcends boundaries and ignites the fires of inspiration within you. Guided by visionary Dr. Laila Marouf, the founder and Chief Knowledge Officer of the Knowledge Mindfulness Group, hoping these transformative conversations will elevate your understanding and ultimately, you’re thinking and propel you towards profound growth. Here, the fusion of "Aha" moments and awe-inspiring journeys merges into the very essence of knowledge mindfulness itself. Laila and her extraordinary diverse guests delve deep into the transformative shifts unfolding within the world and within themselves. They unravel the enigmatic threads of change, questioning how these intricate dynamics impact every facet of our multidimensional lives. Join Laila on the "Knowledge Mindfulness Porch", for an odyssey of knowledge mindfulness discovery and practice. Let your mind, heart and spirit soar as you immerse yourself in the boundless depths of wisdom, embracing the transformative power that knowledge Mindfulness brings in and brings out. read less
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Episodes

Dance, Culture and Empowerment with Ode Dixon (Part Two)
Mar 20 2024
Dance, Culture and Empowerment with Ode Dixon (Part Two)
In Part 2, Ode Dixon shares uplifting advice for educators worldwide. Laila asks Ode to elaborate on what originally inspired her to start Deep Rhythm and what its core mission aims to achieve. Listeners will learn how Ode's dedication to restoring dignity after injustice through arts and culture education came about. Tune in to hear her guidance for teachers and leaders everywhere seeking to empower and elevate their communities. This Knowledge Mindfulness Porch conversation will motivate humans to transform learning spaces with social awareness and activate their talents for good.About Ode Dixon: Ode is a Nigerian-American social entrepreneur, educator, and repat known for her work in the field of nautical exploration, career-readiness education and Pan Africanism. She is the founder and president of Deep Rhythm Inc., a US-registered 501c3 organization that studies the impact of the transatlantic slave trade on communities along the West Africa coast, designs and implements programs that encourage the restoration of these communities. She is the executive director of Afronautika Ventures, a Nigeria and Ghana-based organization that offers boat cruises along the intercoastal waterways of the Badagry Creek of Lagos and the Volta River of Ghana and pioneering oceanic cruises along the bight of Benin.She and her husband homeschool their children with educational programs that maximize their interests and capabilities. She is a dancer and the creator of several dance programs, including “Afrojuju for Flow Fitness and Fun” NACA 2020 and “Dance Your Angst Off”. Ode Dixon retired from her 12-year nursing career that spanned from bedside nursing to executive trainer, to fully focus on entrepreneurship and her socio-economic projects.She has been involved in various last-mile economic recovery initiatives, including the Afronautika Cruise and Craft Fair of Povita, a heritage cruise and shore excursion showcasing Africa’s local art forms and a history of disruption and artistic excellence. And just recently, Reeds of Harmony, a photo and video essay journaling the mat-making process of Deborah Avoseh of Iworo, Badagry.Ode is also committed and involved in the growing movement of Afrocentrism and the advancement of African cultures. She is known for her unapologetic outlook on the future of Africa and her belief in the power of equity, equality, and justice to solve most of Africa’s challenges and her relationship to the rest of the world.
Dance, Culture and Empowerment with Ode Dixon (Part One)
Mar 13 2024
Dance, Culture and Empowerment with Ode Dixon (Part One)
Laila hosts a captivating guest on this week's Knowledge Mindfulness Porch: changemaker and community builder Ode Dixon. As founder and president of Deep Rhythm, Ode designs socio-economic programs to restore communities impacted by historical injustice. An educator, homeschool parent, dancer, and nurse for over a decade, Ode created healing dance curriculums that empower youth confidence and capabilities. Her work, from documenting endangered cultural arts to investing in women entrepreneurs, represents values of human dignity, justice, and equality. Tune in as Laila and Ode have an uplifting discussion about the power of the arts, nurturing future generations, leadership, and using one's talents to drive social change. Ode's wisdom and inspirational work epitomize the podcast's themes of mindful knowledge and purposeful action.About Ode Dixon: Ode is a Nigerian-American social entrepreneur, educator and repat known for her work in the field of nautical exploration, career-readiness education and Pan Africanism. She is the founder and president of Deep Rhythm Inc., a US-registered 501c3 organization that studies the impact of the transatlantic slave trade on communities along the West Africa coast, designs and implements programs that encourage the restoration of these communities. She is the executive director of Afronautika Ventures, a Nigeria and Ghana-based organization that offers boat cruises along the intercoastal waterways of the Badagry Creek of Lagos and the Volta River of Ghana and pioneering oceanic cruises along the bight of Benin.She and her husband homeschool their children with educational programs that maximize their interests and capabilities. She is a dancer and the creator of several dance programs, including “Afrojuju for Flow Fitness and Fun” NACA 2020 and “Dance Your Angst Off”. Ode Dixon retired from her 12-year nursing career that spanned from bedside nursing to executive trainer, to fully focus on entrepreneurship and her socio-economic projects. She has been involved in various last-mile economic recovery initiatives, including the Afronautika Cruise and Craft Fair of Povita, a heritage cruise and shore excursion showcasing Africa’s local art forms and a history of disruption and artistic excellence. And just recently, Reeds of Harmony, a photo and video essay journaling the mat-making process of Deborah Avoseh of Iworo, Badagry.Ode is also committed and involved in the growing movement of Afrocentrism and the advancement of African cultures. She is known for her unapologetic outlook on the future of Africa and her belief in the power of equity, equality, and justice to solve most of Africa’s challenges and her relationship to the rest of the world.
Visionary Leadership and Empowering Youth with Rana Al-Nibari (Part Two)
Feb 21 2024
Visionary Leadership and Empowering Youth with Rana Al-Nibari (Part Two)
In part two, Rana opens up about what brings joy to her life on a personal level. An advocate for youth empowerment, she previously served as CEO of INJAZ, a non-profit focused on workforce readiness training and financial literacy education in Kuwait. During her tenure, Rana helped create a massive impact by preparing the country's future workforce. Laila asks Rana to elaborate on her experience leading INJAZ and driving their mission of youth empowerment. Listeners will learn how Rana helped shape young minds through innovative education—instilling essential skills and inspiring students to reach their full potential. Tune in for an uplifting discussion about finding purpose, leading change, and making a difference in the community. Rana's story will motivate listeners to become forces for good and empower those around them.About Rana Al-Nibari: EMBA degree holder from London Business school, Rana A. Al-Nibari is currently serving as Director General of the Kuwait Institute of Banking Studies, a leading training institution with a focus on enabling human capital development in the Banking and Finance Sector. Prior to that Rana served as General Manager of The Scientific Center Kuwait (TSCK) for a period of five years, a center that aims to promote Science & Environmental education and foster increased understanding through interactive exhibits. Rana also served as the CEO of Injaz-Kuwait for five years, an international member nation of Junior Achievement Worldwide, with a mission to empower young people to own their economic success. Rana contributed an abundance of board experience in strategic planning, business development and business operations.Under her leadership INJAZ Kuwait has flourished reaching a significant amount of student’s yoy thus creating a massive impact on the life of students in Kuwait by educating Kuwait’s future workforce- the youth on entrepreneurship, work readiness & financial literacy.Rana A. Al-Nibari also served in Global Investment House for nearly eight years climbing her way to Vice President of Business Development and was responsible for the company’s MENA region subsidiaries. She has also served as an independent board member of Kuwait domiciled funds. Rana has also represented numerous companies as a board member in numerous jurisdictions including, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Oman. Today Rana serves as a member of the Project Evaluation & Financing Committee under the National Fund for Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Development. These experiences gave her unique skills set that she has echoed in her current endeavors.
Visionary Leadership and Empowering Youth with Rana Al-Nibari (Part One)
Feb 14 2024
Visionary Leadership and Empowering Youth with Rana Al-Nibari (Part One)
Rana Al-Nibari, Director General of the Institute of Banking Studies in Kuwait, joins Laila for an enlightening conversation on the Knowledge Mindfulness Porch. As head of Kuwait's premier financial services training institution, Rana has spearheaded innovative education programs to develop the next generation of banking and finance leaders in her country. Rana, an influential leader and change agent, is committed to economically and socially empowering youth and driving prosperity in Kuwait. Tune in to hear Laila and Rana discuss fostering creativity, pursuing your purpose, and making a difference in the world around you. Rana's story of visionary leadership and her thoughts on unity and understanding across divides will surely inspire listeners to be forces for good in their communities.About Rana Al-Nibari: EMBA degree holder from London Business school, Rana A. Al-Nibari is currently serving as Director General of the Kuwait Institute of Banking Studies, a leading training institution with a focus on enabling human capital development in the Banking and Finance Sector. Prior to that Rana served as General Manager of The Scientific Center Kuwait (TSCK) for a period of five years, a center that aims to promote Science & Environmental education and foster increased understanding through interactive exhibits. Rana also served as the CEO of Injaz-Kuwait for five years, an international member nation of Junior Achievement Worldwide, with a mission to empower young people to own their economic success. Rana contributed an abundance of board experience in strategic planning, business development and business operations.Under her leadership INJAZ Kuwait has flourished reaching a significant amount of student’s yoy thus creating a massive impact on the life of students in Kuwait by educating Kuwait’s future workforce- the youth on entrepreneurship, work readiness & financial literacy.Rana A. Al-Nibari also served in Global Investment House for nearly eight years climbing her way to Vice President of Business Development and was responsible for the company’s MENA region subsidiaries. She has also served as an independent board member of Kuwait domiciled funds. Rana has also represented numerous companies as a board member in numerous jurisdictions including, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Oman. Today Rana serves as a member of the Project Evaluation & Financing Committee under the National Fund for Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Development. These experiences gave her unique skills set that she has echoed in her current endeavors.
Bridging Worlds Old and New: The Collaborative Spirit of Tianmeng Xu (Part Two)
Jan 17 2024
Bridging Worlds Old and New: The Collaborative Spirit of Tianmeng Xu (Part Two)
In part two of their conversation, TX shares some advice for people struggling with inter-generational challenges. Having built bridges between the exponential world being born and timeless values, TX offers her thoughts on overcoming divides. Laila then asks about TX's own learning style, noting how she's clearly a sponge of knowledge. In the hurried modern world, TX finds value in ancient traditions—they anchor innovators striving to build the future. As she blends progress with enduring values, TX embodies this bridge between old and new. Tune in to hear more of her singular philosophy.TIME STAMPS01:16 The Learning Style and Incentives07:40 Building Trust with Others10:55 What Horses Taught Me15:28 Effective Communication in Leadership and Business17:25 Building Bridges Between Generations Through CommunicationAbout Tianmeng Xu: Tianmeng is Founding Partner at Taihill Venture, is a Columbia SIPA alumna with an MIA (2021) and a current MBA candidate at Columbia Business School.At Taihill, she's championed visionary deep-tech startups like XtalPi (AI in Pharma), EasyTransfer (FinTech Cross-border Payments), Lightelligence (Integrated Photonics), MobiDrop (Third-gen Microfluidics), KulaBio, and collaborated with giants like Shenzhen BioKangtai, JD Logistics, and Kuaishou.Intrigued by sci-fi wonders and inspired by pastoral dreams, Tianmeng backed the Taqueada Polo Club in California and supports China's Mongolian horse revival.Her recent accolades, including the 36Kr Global Outstanding Chinese Power 100 (2022) and Forbes 60 Outstanding Chinese in North America (2021), underscore her collaborative spirit in venture capital, blending reverence for tradition with forward-looking innovation.
Bridging Worlds Old and New: The Collaborative Spirit of Tianmeng Xu (Part One)
Jan 10 2024
Bridging Worlds Old and New: The Collaborative Spirit of Tianmeng Xu (Part One)
Joining Laila on the Knowledge Mindfulness Porch is Tianmeng Xu, a visionary disrupting venture capital funding for humanity's next chapter. Known fondly by friends as TX, her investment collaborations empower cutting-edge startups to ignite progress across deep technologies, from AI to pharmaceutical breakthroughs. She builds bridges between the exponential world being born and timeless values that uplift our shared future. Tianmeng is a founding partner at Taihill Venture, where she has championed visionary deep-tech startups like those in AI Pharma, FinTech Cross-border Payments, and Integrated Photonics. Her recent accolades, including the 36Kr Global Outstanding Chinese Power 100 (2022) and Forbes 60 Outstanding Chinese in North America (2021), underscore her collaborative spirit in venture capital, blending reverence for tradition with forward-looking innovation.TIME STAMPS01:39 The Blending of Tradition and Innovation05:02 Family Influence07:47 The Value of Disconnecting and Diversity11:28 The Advantages of a Broader Perspective16:15 The Impact of COVID-19 on personal growth23:02 Technology Affecting Social bonding28:27 Overthinking and Sensitivity29:35 Embrace Sensitivity, Control Emotions, Lead, not Follow.About Tianmeng Xu: Tianmeng is Founding Partner at Taihill Venture, is a Columbia SIPA alumna with an MIA (2021) and a current MBA candidate at Columbia Business School.At Taihill, she's championed visionary deep-tech startups like XtalPi (AI in Pharma), EasyTransfer (FinTech Cross-border Payments), Lightelligence (Integrated Photonics), MobiDrop (Third-gen Microfluidics), KulaBio, and collaborated with giants like Shenzhen BioKangtai, JD Logistics, and Kuaishou.Intrigued by sci-fi wonders and inspired by pastoral dreams, Tianmeng backed the Taqueada Polo Club in California and supports China's Mongolian horse revival.Her recent accolades, including the 36Kr Global Outstanding Chinese Power 100 (2022) and Forbes 60 Outstanding Chinese in North America (2021), underscore her collaborative spirit in venture capital, blending reverence for tradition with forward-looking innovation.
Investing with Purpose: Rama Chakaki on Driving Impact Through Tech (Part Two)
Dec 20 2023
Investing with Purpose: Rama Chakaki on Driving Impact Through Tech (Part Two)
In part two, Rama opens up about her adaptive leadership style, offering insights into how she navigates change in the dynamic landscape of Silicon Valley and the global tech industry. She delves into her strategies for embracing change, sharing valuable lessons learned from her journey. One of the highlights of the conversation is Rama's heartfelt commitment to uplifting more women into leadership roles. She passionately shares her vision for a more inclusive and diverse tech landscape, emphasizing the importance of empowering women in the workplace. Rama provides tangible advice and actionable steps for aspiring women leaders, drawing from her experiences and advocating for systemic change. Tune in to discover Rama Chakaki's profound insights on adaptability, leadership in times of change, and her dedicated advocacy for gender diversity in the tech industry. This episode promises to inspire both current and future leaders, offering a compelling narrative of resilience, adaptability, and a genuine passion for creating positive change in the world.TIME STAMPS01:25 Adapting to Change06:43 Technology Induces Anxiety08:37 Virtual Bonds14:34 Digital Age Motherhood15:51 Embracing Curiosity19:30 AI's Future: Calling for Holistic Leaders22:42 Gender Equality28:27 Embracing ChallengeAbout Rama Chakaki: Rama’s passion is at the intersection of impact and tech investing. She is a technology professional, with 30 years of experience in media, telecom, edtech, fintech and AI.Rama is a partner at Transform VC, a firm on a mission to unlock the potential of our community’s tech entrepreneurs to make a billion and impact a billion. Rama took on a COO role at aiXplain, an AI startup on a mission to deeply democratize AI. aiXplain is co-founded and funded by Transform VC.Rama co-founded VIP.fund, a non-profit incubating technology to empower 2500+ marginalized youth. Run by the beneficiaries and volunteer community who build technologies to crowdfund for higher education, enable a digital support community and employment opportunities in tech.Rama founded Baraka Ventures, the first impact tech incubator in the Arab world, seeded startups and worked on projects supporting the Qatar 2022 World Cup Bid as a Social Impact Strategy Advisor, the World Bank Group as a Communications Advisor to UAE Ministry of Labor and Kuwait Ministry of Finance, Etisalat UAE as an advisor for a youth market product strategy, and built BarakaBits, the first digital content platform focused on good news from the Middle East.As the COO of Eastnets, a global provider of compliance and payments solutions for the Financial Services industry Rama led two investment rounds and scaled the business from 22 to 200 employees. In her late 20’s, Rama along with 5 colleagues in WDC raised $60m in funding to build 11 data centers worldwide.Rama holds a bachelors and masters of science in computer engineering and engineering management from George Washington University and continued education in scaling impact from Stanford. Rama was featured in Forbes Arabia, Arab Women Rising, The Power of Presence, and other publications. Rama is a 2017 TedxBeaconStreet speaker.
Investing with Purpose: Rama Chakaki on Driving Impact Through Tech (Part One)
Dec 13 2023
Investing with Purpose: Rama Chakaki on Driving Impact Through Tech (Part One)
Laila is delighted to welcome Rama Chakaki to the Knowledge Mindfulness Porch podcast. Rama is a Syrian American impact tech entrepreneur, investor, and philanthropist who is making waves in Silicon Valley and beyond. As a partner in Transform VC, she is part of an effort to invest in deep tech startups that can positively impact the lives of a billion people while also generating billions in revenue. Outside her impressive investment portfolio, Rama runs an EdTech nonprofit supporting youth education, mentorship, and opportunity creation across the Middle East and globally. Through innovative programs focused on access, empowerment, and real-world skills, she is working to lift up future generations. With such diverse experience spanning both profit and purpose, Rama serves as a role model for women entrepreneurs and leaders around the world. Her drive to scale positive change demonstrates the immense good that can come from marrying business savvy with social impact. On this special episode, Laila will be speaking with Rama about her remarkable journey, the lessons she has learned, and her visions for driving change in the future—whether through backing world-changing startups or empowering students to change their own worlds. It promises to be an inspiring conversation with a leader on the cutting edge of impact.TIME STAMPS01:24 The Journey of Inspiration03:47 Making Impact and Making Money09:16 The Need for Transformation in Education13:15 The distraction of technology14:41 The Impact of Technology and Relationships in Business16:09 Challenging the Mindset of Prioritizing Money over ImpactAbout Rama Chakaki: Rama’s passion is at the intersection of impact and tech investing. She is a technology professional, with 30 years of experience in media, telecom, edtech, fintech and AI.Rama is a partner at Transform VC, a firm on a mission to unlock the potential of our community’s tech entrepreneurs to make a billion and impact a billion. Rama took on a COO role at aiXplain, an AI startup on a mission to deeply democratize AI. aiXplain is co-founded and funded by Transform VC.Rama co-founded VIP.fund, a non-profit incubating technology to empower 2500+ marginalized youth. Run by the beneficiaries and volunteer community who build technologies to crowdfund for higher education, enable a digital support community and employment opportunities in tech.Rama founded Baraka Ventures, the first impact tech incubator in the Arab world, seeded startups and worked on projects supporting the Qatar 2022 World Cup Bid as a Social Impact Strategy Advisor, the World Bank Group as a Communications Advisor to UAE Ministry of Labor and Kuwait Ministry of Finance, Etisalat UAE as an advisor for a youth market product strategy, and built BarakaBits, the first digital content platform focused on good news from the Middle East.As the COO of Eastnets, a global provider of compliance and payments solutions for the Financial Services industry Rama led two investment rounds and scaled the business from 22 to 200 employees. In her late 20’s, Rama along with 5 colleagues in WDC raised $60m in funding to build 11 data centers worldwide.Rama holds a bachelors and masters of science in computer engineering and engineering management from George Washington University and continued education in scaling impact from Stanford. Rama was featured in Forbes Arabia, Arab Women Rising, The Power of Presence, and other publications. Rama is a 2017 TedxBeaconStreet speaker.
Grasp the Future: Sanjay Sarma’s Insights on Work, Education, and Innovation (Part Two)
Oct 18 2023
Grasp the Future: Sanjay Sarma’s Insights on Work, Education, and Innovation (Part Two)
In this episode of The Knowledge Mindfulness Porch, Dr. Laila Marouf and Sanjay Sarma wrap up their conversation by looking ahead to the future of education for leaders. Sanjay shares his vision as the CEO, President, and Dean of the Asia School of Business, a unique institution that combines rigorous academic learning with real-world experiential learning in Asia. He explains how he aims to create a new generation of leaders who are adaptable, resilient, and culturally aware. He also discusses the importance of interdisciplinary studies, and how he encourages his students to explore different fields and perspectives. He gives examples of how he integrates engineering, management, humanities, and social sciences in his teaching and research. Laila and Sanjay also talk about how artificial intelligence will impact how we learn, and what skills and mindsets are needed to thrive in the age of AI. This episode is a must-listen for anyone who wants to learn more about the future of education for leaders, and how to cultivate a mindset of curiosity, openness, and mindfulness in their learning journey.TIME STAMPS00:00 Sanjay Sarma Discusses Education and Success03:14 Create Principled Leaders with Nurturing, Long-Term Focus08:43 Education Needs a More Profound Continuous Change10:44 Limitless Creativity Stems from Morality and Ethics15:46 Framework Focuses on Individual and Social Learning17:16 Encouraging Critical Thinking for Global Participation20:32 Seek Hope and Embrace Change Amid Adversity