Encore Presentation: Government, Society, and Business

December 26th, 2012

As we take a break for the holidays, we wanted to share with you inspiring words of wisdom from two of our favorite guests.  Happy holidays, and happy listening.

This week’s program explores the relationship between business and democracy with two people who have written extensively about what it means to be a leader and a citizen.  Parker Palmer encourages us to “address the better angels of our nature” through deep listening to those who are different from us, by contributing our own small piece of the solution, and by recognizing the variety of ways we are interconnected, offering us reasons for hope in the midst of heartbreak.  Jacob Needleman explains the different purposes of government and society, suggesting that our responsibility as citizens is the search for conscience and higher meaning.  If we lose this capacity, our society may not survive.  But the ideals of goodness and truth are not dead, and it is through freedom of the mind that we will envision, together, a positive future.   A question to start with: “What is freedom for?”

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Guests

Parker Palmer, Ph.D.

Parker is a writer, teacher and activist whose work speaks deeply to people in many walks of life. He is founder and senior partner of the Center for Courage & Renewal. His books include A Hidden Wholeness, The Courage to Teach, Let Your Life Speak,  and the book featured on our show today, Healing the Heart of Democracy.

He holds a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California at Berkeley, as well as eleven honorary doctorates, two Distinguished Achievement Awards from the National Educational Press Association, and an Award of Excellence from the Associated Church Press. In 1998, the Leadership Project, a national survey of 10,000 educators, named him one of the thirty most influential senior leaders in higher education and one of the ten key agenda-setters of the past decade.  In 2011, the Utne Reader named him as one of “25 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World“–people who “don’t just think out loud but who walk their talk on a daily basis.”  You can find out more about Parker Palmer at The Center for Courage and Renewal, which he founded 16 years ago to foster personal and professional growth through supporting retreats and training programs.

Listen to the entire 80-minute interview with Parker Palmer:| Download MP3 

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Jacob Needleman, Ph.D.

Jacob Needleman is Professor of Philosophy at San Francisco State University, former Visiting Professor at Duxx Graduate School of Business Leadership in Monterrey, Mexico, and former Director of the Center for the Study of New Religions at The Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California.

He is the author of many books, including,  The American Soul: Rediscovering the Wisdom of the Founders, What is God?The Wisdom of LoveMoney and the Meaning of LifeWhy Can’t We Be Good?, and his latest, An Unknown World: Notes on the Meaning of the Earth. He was also General Editor of the Penguin Metaphysical Library, a highly acclaimed selection of sixteen reprinted texts dealing with the contemporary search for spiritual ideas and practice.

In addition to his teaching and writing, he serves as a consultant in the fields of business, psychology, education, medical ethics and philanthropy, and is increasingly well known as an organizer and moderator of conferences in these fields. He has also been featured on Bill Moyers’ acclaimed PBS series, “A World of Ideas.”  You can learn more about Dr. Needleman on his website, jacobneedleman.com.

Listen to this interview:| Download MP3 

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