Manoush Zomorodi is the host of NPR’s TED Radio Hour, a podcast exploring the biggest questions of our time with the help of the world's greatest thinkers.
In 2013, Zomorodi created, hosted, and was managing editor of Note to Self, a podcast out of WNYC Studios for “anyone trying to preserve their humanity in the digital age.” Each weekly episode examined life’s digital quandaries through experiments and conversations with experts and listeners, exploring the new questions tech has brought into our lives. Topics included information overload, digital clutter, sexting “scandals” and the eavesdropping capabilities of our gadgets. The podcast received wide acclaim, including being named Best Tech Podcast of 2017 by the Academy of Podcasters. In 2019 Note to Self moved to Luminary Podcasts with a season of new episodes. In late 2019, NPR named her the new host for the TED Radio Hour.
In 2015, Zomorodi led tens of thousands of listeners through an experiment to help them unplug from their devices, get bored, jump-start their creativity, and change their lives. Her book Bored and Brilliant: How Spacing Out Can Unlock Your Most Productive and Creative Self builds on that experiment to demonstrate how to rethink our gadget use to live better and smarter. Zomorodi explains the connection between boredom and original thinking, exploring how we can harness boredom’s hidden benefits to become our most productive and creative selves without totally abandoning our gadgets in the process. Grounding the book in the neuroscience and cognitive psychology of “mind wandering,” she illuminates what our brains do when we're doing nothing at all.
In 2017, Zomorodi and Note to Self launched “The Privacy Paradox” a five-part plan to help people take back control over their digital identity. Tens of thousands of listeners completed the five-part plan, which Fast Company calls Zomorodi’s "challenge to us to stick up for our internet rights." In 2018, she co-founded Stable Genius Productions which, in partnership with TED, produces ZigZag, the business podcast about being human. The show recently wrapped Season 6: an interactive program that helped thousands of listeners map out a career path to better align their professional ambitions with their personal values. She is writing about her findings from this project and the future of work for Medium.
Through her career, Manoush Zomorodi has won numerous awards, including The Gracie in 2014 and 2018 for Best Radio Host and a Webby for Best Podcast Host in 2020. She is especially proud of the Webby her team won in 2018 for “The Privacy Paradox.” Her audiobook reading of Bored and Brilliant won her the AudioFile Magazine Earphones Award (“Zomorodi's melodic voice beckons and inspires listeners.”) In 2020, she also received a Webby in 2020 for Best Podcast Host and the Leadership in Media award from Mouse, the tech non-profit for youth education. The TED Radio Hour won the 2023 Ambie award for best podcast in the Knowledge, Science & Tech category.
In 2017, she gave a TED Talk about surviving information overload and the “Attention Economy,” which now has over 6 million views. Fast Company named her one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business for 2018. Prior to her work in podcasting, Zomorodi reported and produced around the world for BBC News and Thomson Reuters.
Photo Amy Pearl