In Trust podcast EP 21: Interview with Marie Schacht on Reimagining Education and Leadership

How do you tackle challenging traditional modes of education and building new options that emphasize learning, connection, and community? How do you transition from leading a project to leading at scale? 

We are excited to bring you this conversation with Marie Schacht, Chief Learning Officer at Akimbo, Inc., a B-Corporation behind the altMBA and a growing suite of Akimbo workshops that have transformed the lives of 21,000+ people in 70+ countries around the world.

Marie talks about her transition from a leader who does to a leader who does as well as stewards culture, and gets honest about the challenges she faces as a leader stepping onto an even larger stage. She also generously shares some practical tips on building trust as a leader in an organization that operates entirely online.  

Listen and enjoy this insightful and generous conversation with Marie.

Overview of Episode 21: Reimagining Education and Leadership with Marie Schacht

Talking Points

  • The origin story of altMBA and Akimbo and embracing the possibility of how new formats of learning might work
  • How the nature of the Akimbo workshops builds connection and community
  • How Marie was able to use intentionality to combine her multiple areas of interest into her career at Akimbo
  • Akimbo’s shift from a project into a B-Corp and why they made this decision
  • The shift in Marie’s posture of leadership from focusing on doing tangible work
  • The question Marie asks herself to navigate her responsibilities as both a doer and a modeler of culture
  • How unfamiliar circumstances can create the possibility for a deeper sense of trust
  • How Marie uses the design process to strengthen the impact of her leadership
  • The way Marie uses her skills as a synthesizer to lead in a way that creates emergent opportunities to grow together
  • Marie’s three practical steps on how to build trust as a leader
  • What Marie wants to level up, and the project she’s looking to ship this year
  • What Akimbo is bringing to the world in 2021


“It’s not about the standard, it’s not about ‘This is the right answer.’ It’s about ‘Who are you?’ What matters to you?’ And let’s do this in community in connection to each other.” – Marie Schacht

“What are the building materials of the 21st century? What are the building materials of the digital space that we have and how can those support learning and teaching in a way that’s centered around community and that person’s individual journey?” – Marie Schacht

“By choosing to trust, by putting trust into a space – that is an act of doing.” – Marie Schacht

“Building trust and taking care of trust is a really important daily activity.” – Marie Schacht

“It feels invisible most of the time, and then you see what a group of people can do when there is trust and it becomes less invisible. It’s like ‘Huh. That’s what trust is. That’s how trust shows up.’” – Marie Schacht

“Trust is an activated state of being. To trust is an activation, it’s not passive. You are intentionally trusting.” – Marie Schacht

“I had a realization that unless I shift, and start to empower and support others in this way, the work won’t grow.” – Marie Schacht

“Because it’s new, because it’s unfamiliar, because there’s uncertainty, it actually creates the space for a kind of trust that in the familiar day-to-day you might not encounter.” – Marie Schacht

“A lot of how I think about leadership is ‘What is happening right now in this moment?’ and ‘What can we do together?’” – Marie Schacht

“I think when you show someone that you have their back – that’s a really powerful way to build trust.” – Marie Schacht

This episode sponsored by:

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