Ivan Stegic has always been driven by purpose. Growing up in South Africa, moving to Minnesota, and eventually founding TEN7, Ivan has forged his own path with a goal to make the world a better place.
The focus of ONE IN 8 BILLION will be on individual stories that shed light on how our diversity and uniqueness can also help bring us together.
Podcast host Ivan Stegic’s origin story started in South Africa under the Apartheid regime and led him to the United States as an immigrant.
A Physicist by training, Ivan was drawn to Minnesota for an internship at Honeywell Technology Center and later a job at Imation.
Ivan is now a business owner, a husband and father, and the host of this very podcast, seeking to shine a light on other stories from across our global community.
IVAN STEGIC: Hey, you... yes, you! You and I are each one of almost eight billion people in this world. We are the same in ways that matter, but unique in many other ways, that also matter. Our humanity connects us with an indivisible bond. Isn’t that extraordinary? This is ONE OF 8 BILLION, a podcast about all of us.
I’m your host, Ivan Stegic.
In this podcast, we celebrate humanity! In each episode, we reveal one person’s journey — one life, one human, one story. Our guests come from around the world, from every possible background, each with their own unique path to now. Every episode surfaces our shared experience, our common origins, our struggles, and our diversity. Discover how similar we all really are as you hear from a polar explorer, a Midwestern meteorologist, an African physicist and others.
ONE OF 8 BILLION is produced by TEN7, a technology studio whose mission is to Make Things That Matter. Online at ten7.com.
In this, the inaugural episode of ONE OF 8 BILLION, we tell the story of someone who was born and grew up in South Africa under the Apartheid regime. The son of immigrants from the Balkans, he found himself making his way to the United States as an immigrant himself. He worked for international conglomerates, started a family, started a technology company and started this very podcast.
I promise, this won’t be an hour of navel gazing. It won’t even be an hour. We’re using this episode to give you an idea of what you can expect from future episodes.
And now that you’ve heard the general introduction to the guest, let’s play some music that transitions us to the interview itself...
Usually, this is the meat of the podcast. I’ll ask our guest about where their life started and what their childhood looked like. I’ll ask about their struggles and their successes. I’ll ask about how they ended up doing what they’re doing... and about what brings them joy in life. We’ll find out how being one of eight billion makes them feel, and I’ll ask about their hope for the future. My aspiration is to surface the very real personal histories that we all have, and to show how we are the same in ways that matter.
I was born in the 70s in Apartheid South Africa to immigrants from Yugoslavia. I went to an all boys public elementary school, and while I was in high school Nelson Mandela was released and South Africa had its first free and fair elections. I pursued graduate studies in Physics at Wits University in Johannesburg, and somehow ended up with an internship at Honeywell Technology Center in Plymouth, Minnesota after participating in the global Honeywell Futurist competition. After the internship, Imation Corporation hired me where I spent time on a team that pioneered optical storage. I got married, started a family, a company... and that’s the very short synopsis of the path I took from Africa to America.
When I think of being one of eight billion other people on the planet, I feel both small and big; both disconnected from humanity, and yet weirdly SO connected. Yes, I am only a negligible proportion of humanity, but so is everyone around me, and our status as humans allow us to work together to overcome the greatest challenges. It is our very capacity to organize, our capacity to have a shared goal that makes me feel hopeful for our future. Wouldn’t it be great if we could all come together, as humans, and rely on the truths that bind us to believe again in what is possible?
I hope this podcast gets us to that place in its own little way.
In the next episode of ONE OF 8 BILLION, polar explorer Will Steger:
WILL STEGER: We're on moving ice, the size of the Arctic Ocean, the size of Mexico and US. The ice is breaking up and moving, and you can't see any more than a half a mile.
But by rare coincidence, there's only one other person French physician by the name of John, that left to do a solo expedition. And the year before he tried it and made it 18 miles. I knew he was attempting it, but I didn't think he'd make very far.
But we literally ran into each other, in the middle of the Arctic Ocean by this incredible Stanley Livingston, a chance of one of 8 billion of that happening.
IVAN: I hope you’ll join us.
This has been ONE OF 8 BILLION, a podcast about all of us... online at 1of8b.com. Join us again next time to celebrate humanity!
I’m Ivan Stegic. Thank you for listening.
ONE OF 8 BILLION is produced by TEN7, a technology studio whose mission is to Make Things That Matter. Find out more at ten7.com.
This is episode 125 of ONE OF 8 BILLION. It was recorded on January 17, 2022, and first published on January 19, 2022. Audio length is 8 minutes. Summary, highlights and editing by Brian Lucas. Music by Lexfunk. Produced by Jonathan Freed.