Making Sense Backwards…with Jeremy Yuille

Apr 1, 2022

Jeremy Yuille
Jeremy Yuille Career Illustration 1

Question: How can life make better sense backwards? How can we weave together arts, spatial sound, architecture, and organizational change?

Jeremy Yuille, with Meld Studios in Melbourne, Australia, works with organizations to transform how they work in the face of changing futures. His own past weaves through architecture, art, music, and spatial information architecture. He shares how systems thinking and sound impact organizations and change . . . and shares a weaving graphic on how all the puzzle pieces of his life have come together, making even greater sense backwards.


Jeremy Yuille is a Principal with Meld Studios in Melbourne, Australia. He had been a Sr. Lecturer in Melbourne at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), as well as their Program Manager at the Australiasin CRC for Interaction Design (ACID). His PhD in Communication Design and Masters in Spatial Information Architecture both are from RMIT.

Links on Jeremy



  • 00:07 Introduction
  • 06:20 Circuitous Routes
  • 09:30 Spatial Information Architecture
  • 14:40 Music . . . Bush Duffs
  • 16:48 Jam with Algorithms
  • 17:31 Systems Thinking
  • 20:02 Observing Power in Organizations
  • 21:48 Working in the Weeds
  • 20:28 Multiuser Environments in 2000
  • 24:16 in late 1990
  • 25:09 Higher Ed - Superpower?
  • 28:50 Ways of Thinking About What is Next
  • 32:07 The People Business
  • 35:15 Getting our Collective Stuff Together
  • 37:35 Who Do We Work with Now?
  • 40:00 Creating to Refill the Tank
  • 42:33 Making Less Time for Thinking
  • 42:57 Walking Backwards Into the Future

Career Illustrations

Jeremy Yuille Career Illustration 1Jeremy Yuille Career Illustration 2


Jeremy Yuille 0:07
At the moment, I work with an organization called Meld Studios. And essentially, we work as consultants using methodologies that come from design. And the, the work that we do tends to be in around organizations and the kind of change that organizations can bring to the world. And so that means we do a lot of government kind of work. But we also do a lot of sort of private sector work and all that stuff in between, because everyone's needing to do with change at the moment. Change is so hot right now.

Gigi Johnson 0:45
And so you're in a time of change.

Jeremy Yuille 0:49
Etcetera etcetera. Yeah. So there's that all of that . . .

Gigi Johnson 0:51
Etcetera. Now you are doing this. You're doing this out of Melbourne? Yeah.

Jeremy Yuille 0:55
So I'm in Melbourne, Australia, where meld is across, it started in Sydney, I helped them start up a Melbourne studio about six years ago. We now have studios in Canberra and Perth as well. And we've done quite a lot of work in Brisbane. Yeah. And you know, what is geography these days? Anyway? So there's a lot of that. So there's, there's that work there. And I suppose to me, what would be interesting, Gigi, to understand what is it that really interested you? What is it the thing that kind of made it? Ah, this is interesting for you.

Gigi Johnson 1:37
Why do I want to talk with you? And why do I think you're so cool, um, because in many ways, a lot of the people who we've had on this show are people who take one lens and bring it to another space, and you very much have a creativity background in design, you have a education background and working in this in higher education. And a lot of people don't necessarily take those two lenses, and then take that to organizational change. And then keep creating. We're going to share and for people who are listening to podcasts versus seeing this on YouTube, we'll share this in the show notes, even in the way you describe the journey you've been on, it was . . . is a piece of art -- that you think differently.

Jeremy Yuille 2:26
Right? Well, yeah. Okay. Thanks. And so if I can just take us back to the moment -- what was it -- like about two weeks ago when we met?

Gigi Johnson 2:35
Time is wonky now, but absolutely.

Jeremy Yuille 2:38
And it struck me that we had a lot in common there. So I I definitely felt the same thing that you had, I think around that there's a lot in common here. It's kind of like I've known you for a long time, because we've kind of

Gigi Johnson 2:51
are that you're my my digital twin in another continent. Yeah.

Jeremy Yuille 2:56
Cool. And, and the, because there's a lot of spaces of kind of inquiry and a lot of spaces of sort of interest that we've been swimming in. Yeah. That and we've had about, you know, kind of enough time to sort of bring a range of career experiences to these as well. So . . .

Gigi Johnson 3:20
Are you saying that we're not young people? That was not where you were saying that in a different way? People? We're both young people.

Jeremy Yuille 3:30
We're just we're just we've also had experience. Yeah. Like, I turned 50 last year in the middle of the pandemic, and didn't get to have a 50th birthday yet, but I'm deciding that this year will be can just have birthdays or, or every month or something. Anyway,

Gigi Johnson 3:45
When you were young, were you an artist first? Were you a someone who took things apart? Were you somebody who tried to fix people? I mean, so what was the lens on the world that you kind of came to when you were more like a high school kid?

Jeremy Yuille 4:03
Yeah. I love that. Um, okay. In the way you frame that, what it made me realize is that I definitely was . . . I took things apart and love to fix things and things like that, but I didn't think that people were in any of the in scope, if that makes sense.

Gigi Johnson 4:19
Yeah. Yeah, yeah.

Jeremy Yuille 4:20
So and, and so, to me, like early on, you know, lots of lots of visual stuff, never stopped drawing. You know, how there's that big cliff that people fall off with drawing like they kind of . . . every kid is amazing at drawing. And then somehow by the time we get to high school, no one draws. I was lucky enough to kind of . . . I spent a couple of years like living with grandparents or things like that, where I had quite a lot of time to myself, and so I would draw insane amounts in there. And so that just never left me. And so for me. And the the object that you're talking about there and the thing that I sent you, which is like a visualization, but honestly, I hadn't had a look at it at that scale. Before we were going to have this chat. And so it kind of gave me a way to think about it. And, and to me, I need to draw those things in order to kind of understand how they work together, which comes back to your question, I think, about sort of what was it like back then? I think, to me, I was a lot like what I am now, except I kinda probably wasn't as interested in listening to other people. And learning from other people's experiences. So for me, I always had to do things myself or kind of experience it myself before I got it. And, and I can remember telling myself that quite a lot. And believing that that was true, which now is almost quite shocking. Anyway, so yeah, but you know, lots of visual stuff. I moved on into I studied architecture from as my first sort of degree. But I messed around in school too much. So I didn't actually get into the course. And I had to kind of come in through this sort of security route. That meant, again, I was in this smaller group of, of students doing a bridging course over a summer, where there were just four of us with this one architecture, or at least the American kind of terms, professor there who would kind of just hang with us all day. So we got this really intense pressure cooked kind of one year into, you know, two months kind of thing. And the thing that seems to thread a lot of it together is that there's a there's a moving on between things that often don't seem connected. But, in fact, they're always connected, because it's you that's moving through them. Yeah. And so that's, that's what I find with a lot of the . . . If I think back to a lot of the ways that I've approached creating the me that is now . . . is that, yeah, it's it's a lot of it's just been a lot of jumps off, you know, the edge of a cliff or something that you're not quite sure what's over there, but fairly confident that I can deal with that. So let's give it a give it a crack.

Gigi Johnson 7:21
And that's an intr . . . And it's interesting, because that's a recurring theme in these conversations, this podcast, but not everyone lives that way. Right? Not everyone says, I'm going to now jump off a cliff, and hope that the air is thick to catch me as I fall, or that I will build up new stilts to be able to walk out of it. And some people don't do that. So some people, it's very much of a step B needs to smell a lot like step A, and I need to see where I'm go . . . it might be a disaster, but I need to see where I'm going. And a lot of people though, don't look at the world that way. And they don't make personal choices that way. And I look at my own life, I think I've stepped off so many cliffs. And I don't tend to think about that some people don't step up. And so for me, there's some really great work by what quite a few people in career research that it all makes sense backwards. That careers don't make sense forwards. Herminia Ibarra's work on Working Identity is really great about sense making careers backwards. But But we tend to make the decisions the same way or we learn to not do that anymore from disasters, but you really have a lot of circuitous loops, which I really love. And so I'm so and so some of it is that you take different puzzle pieces. And so one of them is that you your your master's work was on spatial information architecture. How? How did you get into that? And what the blue blazes is that? And how do you go from "I'm a person who makes things" to "I'm going into architecture" and my only lens of architecture is my father was an architect and my sister and I always joke that we would have become architects if our father was not an architect, because we saw the lifestyle that went with that, but and all of the frustration of houses and homes not being built.

Jeremy Yuille 9:25
'Course. A couple a couple of children have no shoes problem.

Gigi Johnson 9:29
Yeah. So so how did you go from architecture to spatial information architecture?

Jeremy Yuille 9:38
Look, a lot of that . . .a lot of these leaps are leaps to things that emerge that look interesting, you know, so it's not necessarily me making the . . . making that leap. It's that the environment kind of provides the opportunity and or a door opens here. And so for spatial information architecture, that's a lab that had started up at RMIT by a range of super interesting people. I mean, if you kind of dig back down that rabbit hole, you get back to people who were doing work with Gaudi, you know, Gaudi's work on the Sagrada Familia. And people who are now running, you know, like, large engineering organizations through digital transformation. So there's a sort of a nexus there that occurred at a point in time when digital was sort of disrupting the traditional practices of architecture. And so a lot of practices sort of, were smushed together in this lab, the spatial information architecture lab at RMIT. And so, I was just lucky enough to be sort of hanging around there. I decided to kind of begin on a master's or postgraduate kind of research journey there. Had some great people to help me and ended up working in that space. But again, it was kind of an extension of the previous work. So it pulled on all of the audio and sort of sound practice that I had in the past. Because if we think about architecture, and sort of three dimensional space in our experience of space, sound is an enormous part of that, you know, even if we think about, you know, echolocation or you know, the ability to sort of tell where we are in space. It's a huge deal. But then if we think about makings . . . of making new kinds of spaces, then the way we deal with sound in those new kinds of spaces, has all sorts of interesting opportunities. So we explored a bit of that.

Gigi Johnson 11:38
Look . . . let's say I'm going to back up a bit because I skipped your sound story and your music story. So what was the music element that then folded into that?

Jeremy Yuille 11:47
Oh, so yeah, that's, that's probably what that was probably the first big jump for me to move from. So in architecture. Again, I'd gone through architecture, and I was kind of ready to be an architect and do the whole thing and stuff. And then I went out and worked for a while as an architect and discovered that didn't really enjoy what the work was, particularly in the kind of late . . . early 90s. Right. So in the early 90s, in Australia, we had a recession. And A - you didn't get paid very much - B - there was insane hierarchies inside the, the sort of the field. And above all of that, you're just doing this work that didn't seem to be adding anything to the lives of people who were going to experience it. So I didn't realize it back then. But it wasn't for me. And that's what I now realize it was. Yeah. So music was this other thing that I've always loved, and, you know, playing in bands and stuff like that. There's also quite a tradition, I've noticed, in architecture students then forming bands. At least in Australia, there's a quite a long tradition of that. So there's something interesting about sort of time-based media, I think, and sort of the experience of music over time. So that sort of the cliff I jumped off was moving from Brisbane to Melbourne. And I have this conceptual mapping of the big cities on the east coast of Australia. And it maps over to my sort of conceptual mapping of the cities on the West Coast of the US. So I kind of think of the this trio of Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane as sort of like San Francisco, LA and San Diego. Right. And so it's kind of like I've moved from San Diego to San Francisco. It obviously wasn't because it's Australia. But yeah. And but for us, like the whole idea was that Melbourne just had this live music scene. You couldn't get a job anyway, because it was the middle of a recession. It was just a nightmare. So like, What the hell, you know, I was living with some interesting people. We moved down there and, and for about four years, four or five years, I was sort of bumming around trying to trying to kind of existing on not a lot, but you know, in that underground music scene when it started with guitars and ended with synths again. Yeah, so like Pavement ish, kind of that sort of stuff comes at the beginning through to outdoor dance parties and all of the sort of, we call them Bush Duffs here, you know, the, there's the that whole scene. Yeah, Bush so it's a Duff. Like a Duff Duff Duff in the bush. Yeah. And, you know, a large scene there of that whole sort of, you know, 90s Electronic kind of stuff. So moving through all of that there's this thread of kind of production and audio production, that then when I started working in around 2000, and moved into the academy, that was still sort of there and informed a lot of what I did, you know, because it meant I was quite sort of digitally savvy as well, because music often kind of gets into a technology before other fields, because there's less bandwidth in audio than there is in video and all that sort of stuff. You know, and often you need to be kind of across the technology, because the, the interfaces aren't as intuitive on instruments, you know, and things like that. So yeah, it was a lot of that kind of fed into having a deep musical sort of practice that sat there. And so the Masters was, on the one hand, this work that was looking at sonification, and how we use sound to help us sort of understand virtual spaces, but also then how that might, how you might sort of generate those kinds of sounds or create environments that almost have a life of their own. And took on a lot of sort of artificial life. I suppose principles here to get you generate . . . be very generative. Yeah. So the

Gigi Johnson 16:32
Generative and intentional? Well, yeah,

Jeremy Yuille 16:34
Yeah. But I've often been interested in that intentional part, because again, it's this retrospect thing that you were talking about before being able to see it backwards, that I think what I really like to do is jam with algorithms. Right? Like,

Gigi Johnson 16:52
Ooh, I like that.

Jeremy Yuille 16:55
The algorithms that we were playing with back then were fairly simplistic. But at the same time, you know, you don't need a whole lot of complexity in order to generate complexity. And that's that systems sort of thinking, sort of theme that now fits into my current practice, the idea that, you know, you can generate complexity from very simple sets of rules. And in fact, quite a limited palette of materials, as well.

Gigi Johnson 17:31
We haven't talked about systems thinking much on this podcast. And that would be a rabbit hole all by itself, for folks who are not familiar with systems thinking.

Jeremy Yuille 17:42
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Do you want me to look a little . . .

Gigi Johnson 17:47
Touch it a bit, if you could go down that rabbit hole a bit? For those who I must admit that I have not? I feel really late to the game on systems thinking is I didn't walk in that door until 2008, 2007. Can you give us a synopsis of what how you work? How you look at systems thinking?

Jeremy Yuille 18:09
But it's really I think, I think it's fascinating, because a lot of the really interesting, well, a lot of the work that is quite famous has come from your part of the world there, you know, and the particularly, like Dana Meadows, Donella Meadows work around how you sort of expand the literacy of systems. So let's back up a bit and think, okay, so Systems Thinking is a way of looking at phenomena or the world that you're in, in a sense that of understanding it as a system. And so it's not that A, then leads to B, which then leads to C, it's that A, B, and C are connected somehow. And when I do something, a, something happens with B, and C, and they're not necessarily linear in those sort of relationships. And so the, the upshot is that it's a way of then thinking about how you might approach a situation such that you're not then taking a little bite out of it, and trying to fix that, because you know, that if I change anything over here, it's going to change everything over there. And so you've you've got to approach things very differently. With this lens.

Gigi Johnson 19:28
It's almost the opposite of more of a mechanistic or hierarchical exploration about the . . . I'm going to fix an organization, we really just need to put this product in place and then life will happen, or we need to get rid of this population of employees that . . . that organizations are much more complex and more biological in the kind of the metaphors.

Jeremy Yuille 19:49
Yeah, absolutely. And, and so yeah, in terms of all org sort of design and organizational sort of change then It feeds back into things like power, you know, and understanding or at least observing and putting into the mix. Where is power happening? How is power happening? Who's involved in this change, and then who has a say, in how the change is even conceptualized, let alone sort of taken forward and what decided upon what we're going to do. And all of that sounds, you know, I know, it sounds all very . . . ike it tries to sort of upend power. But I think the interesting thing with systems thinking as a lens to approach all of this is that it's not about turning things upside down. It's almost like about turning them sideways. So you just look at them in a very different lens. Okay. And all of the things that you see there, you know, there are actually true, you're just seeing different things, because you're looking at them differently. Yeah. And so you,

Gigi Johnson 21:03
You, then were at . . . at RMIT, that you had then gotten your PhD in communication design. Was that then with this lens? Or was this with a different set of threads you're pulling on life?

Jeremy Yuille 21:23
Well, it's interesting at that stage, at that stage, I started to do, I was working in a really different kind of level of zoom on projects. So the

Gigi Johnson 21:34
Zoom, like, I mean, not like the product,

Jeremy Yuille 21:36
not like the product, like sort of, again, with systems

Gigi Johnson 21:39
Products. Yeah, there's also Zoom products that are, yeah, I was being nonlinear there, sorry, I hit the mic,

Jeremy Yuille 21:48
If I if I ... um ... But if we think about the level of zoom that you're working at, you know, there's sometimes you've got to jump up and sort of see things that, you know, and sometimes you're down in the weeds, because that's where you need to be, or it's more fun as well, you know. And, and so, for the PhD, I was I was at that stage managing a program of research across the east coast of Australia, and well actually across Australia, because universities at different points in Australia, and we were looking at some particularly modern multi user environments, and, and collaboration within multi user environments. So this is 2000, sort of five to, you know, so it's around the time that you began to see things like Facebook emerging, and a lot of social networks kind of moving out of the idea of, maybe this would work, you know, through into holy moly, this is really gonna work.

Gigi Johnson 22:52
Oh, this network effects stuff we've been talking about, it's now getting really large.

Jeremy Yuille 22:56
And now we've got a space where we can actually measure that, and oh, my God, you know, because everyone's getting connected. And there's a certain threshold that we've reached in terms of bandwidth, etc. And it'll just went, right. And so, at that time, I was really interested in interaction design. And that sort of, it's that transition between sort of thinking about what it is you . . . your, your product or service is trying to do and how you understand that, and then sort of down in a level of zoom in terms of specifying what that then might do and how your product or service might behave. Yeah,

Gigi Johnson 23:34
Were you still doing art? And were you still doing music? So you've been these are all additive layers to the puzzle at the time?

Jeremy Yuille 23:45
Yeah, I was, but not as much. I mean, it's, it's Yeah, because I was also doing this other creative pursuit as well of like, you know, family. And so you're

Gigi Johnson 23:58
Fitting in there somewhere. And you were doing something else? Was it Z000? What what is the zoo thing that you were doing?

Jeremy Yuille 24:10
Let's have a look here was was, so you're looking at the . . . the diagram that I drew? Yeah,

Gigi Johnson 24:16
I'm looking at your, your beautiful personal art piece, which we are going to keep overlaying in here for those of us who are harassing the visual. So you were you. You were doing net dot art?

Jeremy Yuille 24:29
Oh, yeah. Okay. So that's, so that's back in sort of before I started at the university, and that's like 90, late 90s. Yeah. Let's

Gigi Johnson 24:42
See, this is why it's interesting to have visual way to storytell. But then we're only trying to capture your life in a half hour increment, where you've lived a really complex life. So I'm going to actually take us to . . . take us to a little more towards now because you've done so much stuff. An I take a look at it as, as bringing superpowers to new spaces, but keeping the next piece of the puzzle, because . . . I'd love to talk for a little bit about being in higher ed, and how that helps you thrive or not. And then where that then takes you to what you're what you're doing now. So higher education. . .

Jeremy Yuille 25:22

Gigi Johnson 25:23
Super power? Or brought you a lens to take a look at things differently?

Jeremy Yuille 25:28
So the thing that . . . so higher ed's really interesting. I mean, I think it's, it's,

Gigi Johnson 25:36
Without throwing anything under the No, no, because people may hear this.

Jeremy Yuille 25:41
Higher Ed has really, it's had a very difficult time of it over the last, you know, 20 years. And and that's, that's the time I've been involved in it. Right. So maybe there's a correlation. No. But the . . .

Gigi Johnson 25:58
Me too, it's all it's all my fault.

Jeremy Yuille 26:00
Yeah. In . . . in that 20 years, there's been like this insane change in the role of learning in our world. Yeah. And, you know, partly, it's the network thing, and it's, you know, the the internet and sort of access to information has approached, you know, zero cost of reproduction, all that sort of stuff. Yeah. But the, the other thing then is, so what's the role of these organizations? And all these institutions or the platform that they have, you know, what is what is it that they do? And? And how do they deal with the pressures of scale in particular, you know, because they exist inside the kind of economies that we're in. So, so sorry, I've gone a bit meta there, but the thing that the thing that really interested me with higher ed, and it took me a while to get there, because honestly, you know, I was, I think I just kind of got in under . . . under the door is it was slamming shut, you know. It seems to be that seems also to be a bit of a theme in my life, Gigi, if I kind of can zoom back up to that for a second. You know, I got a job in web design, which I haven't actually put on this map. But you know, because I knew what the word HTML means, you know, and I got to, you know, I got jobs in these things, because I was kind of an early adopter of a lot of things. And so a lot of the fields before they professionalized them before they put up the walls, they were easier to get into. Yeah. And for me, in tertiary, you know, higher ed, it was like that, too, you know, I know, around the world, it's has quite, sort of high walls around it. But in Australia, particularly in at RMIT, and those kinds of organizations that are, they're not your traditional research universities. They were come, they came out of a very different idea about the university's relationship to society. Then they some more like, you know, to born from tech colleges and things like that, yeah. Then they, yeah, in the 2000s, I could get a job teaching technology there, because I knew how to drive these tools. You know, and as I found myself inside the place, thinking about things, then a lot of the latent stuff that come from my, you know, my mom's a teacher, my grandmother ran the English department at the Teacher's College in one of the states here in Australia, you know. And so, the, there's a, some sort of pedagogy sort of gene in there, that was awoken. And so as I worked in this space, the thing that I tried to bring to it is this, I suppose, way of thinking about what's next. And how can we bring the, how can we bring the sort of quality that you get when you work with someone who's really good at something? You know, because I'm working in the space of design. So often, there's this sort of internship slash apprenticeship, sort of model of pedagogy that overlays a lot of design. And so how can you bring a lot of that into a into. . . an environment that has kind of scaled itself out of that sort of space? So, you know . . .

Gigi Johnson 29:37
I tend to put it the no one's proven that a 700 person lecture hall makes any sense at all. And yet that's that core element is gotten away from the sitting at someone's elbow or apprenticing walking into a company as we scale all this stuff.

Jeremy Yuille 29:53
Yeah, yeah. I mean, I can again, if you don't mind I'll, I'll talk about a story. So I finished high school. I just remembered this story and forgotten it. And my art got me a gig at the company that was doing the graphic design for her company, and in Sydney, so I went down to Sydney and sort of stayed there for a month, and did this work experience there, and they, they stuck me out the back with the oldest guy in . . . in the place, and he taught me how to kind of rule lines with a brush, you know, and the whole copyart thing and stuff like that. And it was just like, Man, this is insanely cool. And, and, and so a lot of those kinds of experiences. You know, I noticed, this is nothing approaching that in inside the scaled version of, of education that tertiary has become. And so a lot of the, yeah, if I, in retrospect, I think a lot of the things that I was doing in the Tertiaries, when I was there for about 17 years or so, we're sort of trying to replicate or trying to find ways to bring that sort of experience to people. And to that sort of environment, because it's, it's some there are so many forces that are creating and sort of creating the conditions that then that tertiary experience sort of grows into. And, sorry, that sounds a bit fluffy, but the the idea that, you know, the economy, the market, the competition, you know, the idea that this kind of career is better than that kind of career, all of these things, there are forces that are kind of pulling these entities, you know, and saying, therefore, you will produce something that creates, you know, this kind of experience, and often it's not very deliberate, you know, often it's just sort of the sum of all these forces creates this kind of experience that sort of emerges its way into whatever conditions . . .

Gigi Johnson 31:59
And is kind of untested. Testing the students but not really testing the outcomes from the whole thing. So and you got into the people business then, so you weren't in . . . you were the . . . in the Stuff and Things business, in the space business, in this . . . in the sound experience, the art business, the HTML business, but not, but progressively getting into the people business.

Jeremy Yuille 32:24
Yeah. But then if you think about music, and performance, it's always the people business, isn't it, because it's like, every everything is, particularly if you're into performance, you know, like improvisational kind of thing. It's the moment and it's the experience that you're making in the moment. And for the people who are there. And so, for instance, you know, back in those Bush Duff, sort of days, I wasn't at that end of the field with the the bang and techno. I was actually at the other end of the field in the teepee with the chill . . . in the Chill Zone, creating these kind of, you know, with all my friends making these long, you know, four, eight hour sets that, you know, would would be an experience, you know, that you could hang out in and that were, you know, yeah, interesting spaces to be in. Actually, this reminded me of another piece that we did in Brisbane, with a friend. On the nights of the ninth '99, I just pulled it out the other day, we did a thing called Drone Nine, where we did a nine hour drone at that period, as a performance to kind of save the world.

Gigi Johnson 33:35

Jeremy Yuille 33:36
Because we knew that something had needed to happen at that point in time. Because all the computers were definitely going to die. Etc, etc. You know . . .

Gigi Johnson 33:48
So you take all those puzzle pieces and and again, we're gonna share in the show notes, that really interesting graphic that goes with a lot of this stuff, and you ended up then where you are now, which seems to be a threading of a lot of this together into really sort of rethinking how to change organizations and human experiences. How does that . . . ? How do you deliver that now and where's your headspace? Because in many ways you are with Meld, dealing with design, dealing with art, dealing with experience, dealing with transformation through design and systems change . . .

Jeremy Yuille 34:32
There's been a bit of a bifurcation here though, for me, though, sorry, Gigi.

Gigi Johnson 34:35
Oh no, please.

Jeremy Yuille 34:38
What was your question? Because I'll hold that in there. What . . . what are you thinking?

Gigi Johnson 34:43
Well, where does this take your head and heart space now in the work you're doing?

Jeremy Yuille 34:48
Yeah. Nice. Okay, for me, what I've found is I need to bifurcate a bit. And so therefore the kind of this this stuff that I make right? In the things that I make that . . . they have no practical use. Yeah, that did the most important for my feeding my heart and like myself, and then there's the work that I do with Meld and that has a very practical and pragmatic use, you know, like, to be honest, the the, the frame that we're really coming at there is that this next decade is the one that we need to really get our, you know, collective stuff together. And if we can work on it in at the organizational level, on that, there are big levers that can create great change. So that's, that's happening over there. And increasingly, that's kind of growing and feeding another part of me that is . . . that draws on these creative sort of endeavors, you know, like, so I'm still making music. I'm still kind of doing stuff over here, but it doesn't have a practical impact yet on any of the projects. But what it does is it kind of, it's almost like a sorbet. Yeah, between between sort of courses in a meal that I just kind of need to go over there to clear my head and, and . .

Gigi Johnson 36:18
a palate cleanser, an amuse-bouche, a little . . . a taster.

Jeremy Yuille 36:23
Yeah, yeah, yeah, exactly right.

Gigi Johnson 36:25
So for me, it's our base at the end after I've had a big meal that I like, I'm having dessert. So that, uh huh. I don't mean to make fluffy out of what you said, because I think what you said is really important, that, that you really in many ways, I mean, this is, this is the time of great change. And a lot of organizations are not ready as they could be to be able to step into the space . . . or that people are some people are ready to step into this space. I mean, are you working largely with organizations who are chomping at the bit for great change? Or is part of it to really help people see that it's time?

Jeremy Yuille 37:04
Oh, both definitely. Like all organizations are as ready as they are? And, and, and so. Our, again, this is that systems sort of lens, I think that helps. So if we can sort of subvert even the notion of hierarchy, or, you know, good and bad, and just think we're on different, you know, different parts of the journey, you know. It's not about if it's really about when. And we do. . . the increasingly we having our biggest conversations inside the business are about do we do . . . ? Do we work with this group? Or not? Because, you know, is the . . . is the willingness for change authentic and real? And can it be demonstrated? And do we think that our, excuse me, our, our time is well spent there, because it's an opportunity cost as well, you know, spending time with this group means you're not spending time with that group. But I did hear it described really well by one of my, one of our competitors, but you know, also good friends in the space. And it's like, do you work for . . . ? So we've got a company in Melbourne called KeepCup. And they have have been really at that sort of vanguard of bringing in awareness of . . . . they make cups that you keep, yeah, but they're for takeaway? Yeah, that kind of thing. Do great stuff. They're just amazing company, you know, lots of really . . . they get it. They got it, you know, a decade ago, and they've been getting it ever since, you know. And you think, Okay, well, do you work. . . . ? If you had a choice to work for KeepCup? Or you had a choice to work for, you know, Evil Corp, who don't get it. And who haven't demonstrated that they've got it yet. Who do you choose to work for? And it's not an easy decision, I think, because, you know, this is, this is fun, you know, KeepCup and or the group that have got it is fun, and they kind of get it and they feed your soul. And you know, you're doing good work with good people. And the work with Evil Corp is not fun. And it's hard. And it drains the energy. But it's like, if we are to transition to the kind of world that we need to be in the next decade, then Evil Corp needs to change and Evil Corp needs to be kind of either gone or have become not evil, and loved. Yeah. And so there's something . . . something in that that for me, that's that's our big trend sort of challenge. So sometimes I need to kind of use the creative work to just kind of refill the tank. Yeah. The work, the work that you do, it's not always easy and fun. But I'm just . . . I'm very lucky that I think that I feel confident and capable to be able to do that kind of work. And that I now have opportunities to do that work. Yeah. And the creativity work is something as well that I don't want the fire to go out. Yeah. Think about this. This reminds me a bit of yoga, right, like, so. I have this on again, off again, relationship with yoga for the last 30 years or so. And so the thing being that, anytime I go back to it after I haven't been back to it for a while, it takes me about a month to get the fire started again . Before . . .

Gigi Johnson 40:53
For me, it's for the pain to stop. But yeah. Before it does the work, before the . . .

Jeremy Yuille 40:59
Before, it's kind of . . . it can stoke itself and keep itself going, yeah? To a certain degree. And so for me, being . . . making stuff is . . . it's as important to keep those muscles kind of, you know, there and exercised. And I think they have a response, right? Because they kind of they bring in all of these other ways of being and they even just bring in, you know, the fact that you've got enough energy to be joyful in a moment that needs joy in these other kinds of contexts, because that's the thing that brings a difference in perspective. And all of those sorts of things. So for me, that's, that's, again, I think that's what I'm doing.

Gigi Johnson 41:49
And it's again, sensemaking, backwards, right. This is how this . . . this is how this works for me. Yeah, we've covered so much ground. And I would love to have you back on because we could probably talk for another hour at least.

Jeremy Yuille 42:00
Sorry, I can just . . .

Gigi Johnson 42:01
Wrapping up this segment. Oh, no, me too. This is. And I do think that we're kind of twins in a different continent. So what have we not talked about you want to close with anything? We haven't mentioned that you'd want to have as a passing comment to wrap up?

Jeremy Yuille 42:16
Oh, my goodness. I like it. So yeah, the thing that I'm thinking about here, and it's the thing that you . . . you've mentioned, this sort of making sense backwards. So there's two things that we'd like to talk about there, and there'll be fast. One is that as we move into a knowledge based economy, right, it is hilarious and ironic that we make less and less time for thinking. And I think that's something to kind of really sort of ponder on and think about. And that can be thinking that happens in your brain. But it can also be thinking that happens in your fingers. Yeah. And the other thing is that it really reminds me of that fabulous kind of story that you see as a theme through lots of First Nations is that, you know, cultures is that we really we walk backwards into the world, you know, into the future. We can only . . . our perceptions are only really able to kind of look behind us and see what we've done. But we're always walking backwards into that future. And, and it kind of brings a certain sense of humility, I think, but also, like, there are all sorts of interesting surprises, as well. And . . . . and the ability to, I suppose be prepared for those surprises, to me is one of the things I really am sort of hoping to keep alive while I do things.

Gigi Johnson 43:49
Excellent. We're going to be launching a new podcast, tentatively called Near Futures, is that I would love to continue this thread on this. As you're very much future future building with what you're up to. And we're seeing so many people who are working to collaboratively build and awaken that I would love to have you as one of the first guests on that.

Jeremy Yuille 44:11
Oh, wow, can I. . . can I introduce you to a bunch of people who work in new futures that I'd just love for you to meet?

Gigi Johnson 44:18
Absolutely, and also welcome people who listen to this show who would like to do the same because there's . . . we're seeing a lot of work where futures are being artificially sold to people is what the sense of potential is. And we're seeing that there's great work being done in the world that isn't being seen. And so trying to bring those two things into the same conversation. I keep hearing about the Jetsons five times this week, because people are using that as a metaphor to talk about the future. And I do think that there's other ways to talk about it. Jeremy, it's been great having you on the show. If people would like to reach out to you what do you need and how would you like them to reach out?

Jeremy Yuille 45:00
What do I need? I don't I'm not sure I'm happy for people to reach out like, you know, I'm Twitter's good. Probably showing my age there.

Gigi Johnson 45:13
And we'll . . . we'll put your links in the show notes so people can get a hold of you.

Jeremy Yuille 45:17
Hit me up on Twitter say hi. That's probably the fastest and easiest way to say G'day. Yeah.

Gigi Johnson 45:25
We will we will help people say G'day. So, Jeremy's talking for my future in talking from tomorrow and everyone thanks for joining us.

Jeremy Yuille 45:35
Great to speak.

Transcribed by

Tidbits and Updates

Screen x Screen Online Tools – Tidbits and Notes

Screen x Screen Online Tools – Tidbits and Notes

Thanks for joining today's session at the ScreenxScreen Virtual Conference on Online Tools.  Online Tools are important and potentially both beneficial and distracting for artists and those who create engagement and content with them.    Background Links and...

read more


Upcoming Events MONDO.NYC October 13-16, 2020 - ONLINECelebrating its fifth Anniversary, #MondoNYC is a four-day global interactive meeting and livestream conference and showcase festival, a vital pipeline of information, connectivity, and curation of great new music,...

read more
Creating Fearlessly in Virtual Reality

Creating Fearlessly in Virtual Reality

Please enjoy the "Innovating Music" podcast that our Executive Director produced in association with her role at the UCLA Center for Music Innovation at the Herb Alpert School of Music. This Episode: How do you create new and...

read more
Change Stories: Change How We Work and Decide

Change Stories: Change How We Work and Decide

We enjoyed sharing thoughts with the US Housing and Urban Development (HUD) OCIO Learning Series.  This session was recorded in January and ran as a webinar on March 17.  You can find it now at and can...

read more
Reflecting on My SXSW Journeys

Reflecting on My SXSW Journeys

I spoke at SXSW Music again this year on my current favorite topic: Music 20/20 and how we can proactively affect the future. SXSW, however, is not just about speaking. It is about diving deeply into diverse ideas with diverse people. It is one of my annual...

read more
Listening Harder to Me from My Past

Listening Harder to Me from My Past

About this time each year, I look at my stuff. Goodwill Industries gets a lot of my physical stuff, and gets a lot more this year as two of my three kids are ensconced in colleges not in this same town. My third got the last of her college applications out yesterday...

read more