Many of my talks are based on two basic premises: First, that people who live authentic, value-based, purposeful lives are both most likely to be happy and most likely to help our world; and, second, that we are in a time of tremendous opportunity to do things that really matter and to live lives of purpose and meaning. There are so many challenges to today’s world that there is a place for every skill-set and passion in being a part of the changes our world needs.
I have expounded on these themes at NGOs like the UN, UNICEF, and the Inter-American Development Bank, where I inspired workers there to begin living the values of their professional work in their own personal lives. I’ve spoken at companies like IDEO and eBay to inspire designers and managers to think about what products and services actually makes people’s lives better. I’ve spoken at conferences like TEDx and said “to hell with sustainability” because it is not aspirational enough while inspiring people instead to move towards a more regenerative vision for our future.
I’ve given university convocation speeches to inspire students towards lives of service. I’ve spoken at Harvard Divinity School and conferences of Buddhists and spiritual leaders to talk about how to get congregations engaged in social change. I’ve spoken to sustainability professionals about communicating in ways that connect to people’s values. And I’ve spoken to activist groups and non-profits about self-care.
I’ve given literally hundreds of keynote addresses to professional, religious, and educational organizations around the world to audiences as large as 10,000 and as small as 10. Of course, I have pre-written topics that I can speak about but I prefer to work in collaboration with those who commission me to tailor my talks to the needs and interests to each audience.
How do we connect our lives and our organizations to our values in ways that make us and our stakeholders happier and more secure? What do we do to get the feeling we are helping rather than hurting the world? How can we reflect our concern for big, worldly issues in our own lives? How do we matter? How does an organization harness the need to matter in its employees?
When it comes down to it, my talks inspire people to wake up to their values, their power to change things, their ability to be agents in their own lives, and to make unconventional but authentic choices.
To talk to me about how these kinds of questions might be addressed in ways that inspire your audience, customers, stakeholders or executives, please write to me here.
Some places I’ve spoken
Harvard Divinity School, The Commonwealth Club, San Francisco Museum of Science, Design Futures Conference, Nexus Global Youth Summit, ClifBar, EBay, North Face, Patagonia, TEDxPotomac, PSFK, United States Green Building Council, Union Theological Seminary and many, many universities (longer list here).
Some places I’ve taught
New York University, Sarah Lawrence College, University of Massachusetts, Tecnológico de Monterrey, The Omega Institute, Garrison Institute
Select titles from previous talks:
- To Hell with Sustainability (and Screw Progress, Too): Designing products and services intended not just to cause less harm but also to do more good.
- Why Don’t They Give A Sh%$t?!: On understanding our audiences to make our messages impactful.
- Saving the World to Save Yourself: Easy Steps Towards a Fun, Meaningful, Helpful Life
- Are We Screwed?—A Practical and Spiritual Approach for People Worried About Our World Crises
- How Environmental Crises Point The Way to Human Happiness—An Aspirational Approach That Attracts People to The Movement