The Changed Podcast

Real Stories from Moments of Change with Aden Nepom

Is Change Easy or Hard? Philippe Barbe Reminds us that it’s Constant- Episode 42

In Episode 42 of The Changed Podcast, Philippe Barbe reminds us of our adaptability as humans, and that we don’t have to work as hard as we might think to experience profound change.

Who is Philippe Barbe?

Philippe is a leader, expert, and trusted advisor in data science, AI, and mathematics with a wide range of experiences in the business industry, government, and research internationally. He is the author of five books and many scientific papers and has been an invited professor at numerous universities worldwide, including Yale and Georgia Tech here in the US. He is the mastermind at Last Ditch Consulting

When a mutual connection Ken Ferguson, heard that I hosted this podcast, he immediately said, “I know someone you’d probably find interesting.” He was right.

This conversation was one of the most philosophically stimulating interviews I’ve done to date. We wove through philosophies, observations, both big picture and detailed, with great ease. AND I believe I learned a few things too!

There are a few things that are different about this episode than the interviews I’ve shared with other guests. First, though he’s certainly not my only guest originally born outside the US, Philippe’s origins in France, and 20 years as a citizen here have yielded some different perspectives about how we interact, how we handle conflict, and so on.

Another difference, when I asked for a recent headshot, he originally provided an image from a textbook… which actually, I seriously considered using!

Finally, instead of sharing one singular moment, Philippe takes us through several fork-in-the-road moments that he has witnessed, experienced, and been changed by to illustrate the profoundly constant nature of changes both big and small in our lives.

Note: this episode benefits from subtitles. I recommend you either download the transcript or watch the video with subtitles on our Patreon page, which for this episode is absolutely free for the public. Philippe requested to conduct this as an audio-only interview, so you’ll be able to enjoy the subtitles distraction-free.

What will you find in this episode?

  • Philippe Barbe’s unique approach to solving impossible or novel problems and why he founded Last Ditch Consulting
  • The importance of providing value to the clients you serve
  • The job of a researcher and the importance of proof in mathematics
  • The difficulty of proof in the math of social interaction
  • A minor history lesson in the philosophy of change
  • A deep discussion on whether or not change is easy, or change is hard
  • Our thoughts on why people seem to refuse to acknowledge obvious changes, like aging
  • A few snapshots from Philippe’s passage through life and how these changes have changed him
  • One deeper dive into the moment when his house got running water
  • A discussion of the relationship between change and difficulty
  • You’re right to change, on your own terms. Not to change just for the sake of changing, but to think about change in terms of bettering the world we live in.

Want to connect with Philippe?

You can learn more about Philippe at

Check out Last Ditch Consulting at:

And if you’d like to connect with him, the best place to do so is on…

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