There are no bystanders at the Aspen Leaders Action Forum. The small group, text-based seminars are designed specifically to draw personal, real-life responses from the global leaders who attend. This Socratic approach to interactive discussion isn’t simply a format; it goes to the core of the Aspen Institute’s founding vision and ongoing philosophy. The Institute affirms that there is a vital connection between deep inquiry and enlightened, effective leadership. And it goes further, holding it’s community accountable by continuing to tap a hammer against the window of our every day lives, lest we remain deaf and dumb to the “silent protest of statistics.” (Click "Read More")
This week, we helped Flipboard move into the social impact space with two curated magazines on heart health and an exclusive interview with Larry and Shawn King. Download the app and start flipping. Share your ideas on favorite heart healthy recipes and everyday heart stars so we can spread the word. Click here for Larry's Huff Po blog and a link to the interview.
The tagline for TED is "Ideas Worth Sharing." Platforms like The Huffington Post make it that much easier to do so. Sometimes the content is such that we can simply sit back to absorb the insights. Other times, the only right response is to stand up and do more than listen. Certainly, this is true when the topic is social justice or global crises, but I've just learned that it can also be true when the topic is the elevation of a common childhood toy to the realm of high metaphor. (Click "Read More")
“Yet the absence of the imagination had / Itself to be imagined” So declares Wallace Stevens in his poem “The Plain Sense of Things.” What I take from these words is that whether or not we acknowledge this interpenetration of the actual and the perceived, the world is indeed what we make of it. The words remind us that we actively participate in defining reality even when – and perhaps especially when – we place limits upon what is possible. The very essence of Stevens’ beguiling poetry is its refusal to be tethered. The verse is challenging to those who seek defined meaning and rules of interpretation. The poems seem to float above the laws of gravity. His verses are nothing if not a chorus of clouds refusing to lie still on solid ground. Herein lies their mysterious magnificence. (Click "Read More")
April 25 is World Malaria Day and I'll be speaking on a panel about the power of grassroots supporters in spreading the buzz about the UN Foundation's Nothing But Nets Campaign. A week or so later, I'll be keynoting the Bay Area Leadership Summit of another UN Foundation initiative, the Girl Up Campaign, which is being organized and hosted by a group of Stanford students with a passion to empower adolescent girls around the world. My message will be simple: people are everything. (Click to "Read More")
The second coming has arrived. All bang, no slouch. Meet Issue Two of Radio Silence. It’s everything one could want from a magazine uniquely dedicated to Literature and Rock & Roll. This latest brilliant love child mixes everyone from David Remnick talking Bob Dylan, to Jim White riffing on David Byrne’s luminous “superwhiteness,” to selections from Edith Wharton and the forgotten (until now) novelist Don Carpenter. Each essay felt like an unforgettable first kiss and each goosed me to muse that life should be lived like an endless series of unforgettable first kisses. Whether it’s words or rhythm sections raining down, there’s clearly a magical alchemy at the intersection of these genres. Radio Silence is full of great writers chronicling musically-induced epiphanies and musicians recounting ecstasies bred by verse and prose. Fans of both will feel giddy at this blurring of the lines between artist and audience. Mr. Yeats, perhaps at last, the falcon can hear the falconer. (Click "Read More")
Tamsin Smith co-authored a case study on harnessing the power of stories in business with Professor Jennifer Aaker and Tina Sharkey. Click here and pull up a seat around the campfire. We dig into the signature stories and challenging chapters of brands from (RED) to Apple, Chipotle to Zappos.
Valentine’s Day – I should probably linger long on the topic of romantic love. Yet somehow such thoughts leave me feeling a bit selfish and small at the moment. Don’t get me wrong: I am a fan of the tender touch, the expansive dreamy possible. It’s just that far too little air-time is given to celebrating the power and promise of non-romantic love. To be sure, Friends and Family (and the joys therein) do get props in popular culture, but what of love for those one may never meet? All this news about the Pope resigning and so little discussion of what it means today to love one’s fellow human beings in a world where war and hatred saturate the news of here at home and far away. (Click "Read More")
The start of a new year seems a good point at which to turn one's orbit around. Art is my prism -- a way of looking out to look in. Proximity to another being's inner struggle with, search for, or celebration of the ineffable breeds an intimacy too difficult or too frightening to attempt outside of the witness box. So I endeavor to witness myself more fully by looking through the eyes or "I"s of others. (Click "Read More")