Practical civic transformation, one community at a time

The following list of short videos from TED and other sources that capture key themes of the project:

  • Parker Palmer quoting Vaclev Havel, Czech dissident and president, on the spiritual dimension (5 minutes) – – “When pinned under a boulder, one has time to contemplate… things of the spirit are most important… The salvation of the human world lies in the human heart, in the human capacity to reflect, in human responsibility.”
  • JK Rowling: What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality. (20 min, text available) – Graduation speech by author of the Harry Potter series.
  • Barry Schwartz: Our loss of wisdom (21 min.) – “… call for “practical wisdom” as an antidote to a society gone mad with bureaucracy. He argues…that rules often fail us, incentives often backfire, and practical, everyday wisdom will help rebuild our world. … [He] studies the link between economics and psychology…”
  • Bryan Stevenson: We need to talk about an injustice (23 min, text available) – – “You know ultimately, we all have to believe things we haven’t seen. We do. As rational as we are, as committed to intellect as we are. Innovation, creativity, development comes not from the ideas in our mind alone. They come from the ideas in our mind that are also fueled by some conviction in our heart. And it’s that mind-heart connection that I believe compels us to not just be attentive to all the bright and dazzly things, but also the dark and difficult things. Vaclav Havel, the great Czech leader, talked about this. He said, “When we were in Eastern Europe and dealing with oppression, we wanted all kinds of things, but mostly what we needed was hope, an orientation of the spirit, a willingness to sometimes be in hopeless places and be a witness….
  • Ronald Heifetz: Adaptive vs. technical leadership challenges (9 minutes) – Leadership requires moving forward and making decisions in the face of substantial uncertainity and risk. It requires judgment and intuition and the ability to work with others. There are no “great men” out there to save us.
  • Daniel Goleman on Compassion (13 min.) – – We don’t take every opportunity to help because our brain is focused in wrong direction… Famous study found that seminary students didn’t help person in obvious distress if they feel they are under time pressure, despite having just watched videos on Biblical verses. “We’ve become victims of a world that points us elsewhere [away from not purchasing things from polluters and labor law violators, etc.]” “I was in an urban trance when I saw man obviously distressed.” Lots of people walked past. All it took was simple act of noticing and stopping to help him. Once Goleman stopped, others immediately did too.