Embracing Blur

Z Holly, the former vice provost for innovation at USC and host of the first TEDx ever, sure knows me well. A newcomer to the prestigious TTI/Vanguard Board, Z thought I would be good fit for their next conference on Embracing Blur. Um, she couldn’t have been more correct. I… More

Once Upon a Climate Change

Those who tell the stories rule the world, it’s said, but it’s hard to tell a story unless you know the ending. We don’t yet know the ending of the climate change story. The beginning of the ending, though, happened in Kyoto, Japan in 1997, where delegates from 37 industrialized… More

Michael Sam: A Dream Realized

Adam Amel Rogers is Project Specialist at the Lear Center. On January 20, publicist Howard Bragman sent a text to Outsports co-founder Cyd Zeigler that read, “The eagle has landed.” The moment had arrived – standout NFL prospect Michael Sam was ready to come out. Zeigler penned an exclusive look… More

Springtime for Exxon

Scott McGibbon is a Project Specialist at the Lear Center Climate change, the looming tragedy of our lives, is happening at a speed and a scale we can barely comprehend. This threat is as dangerous to human life, liberty and happiness as either WWII or the Cold War in the… More

Mary Poppins Does Not Come Back

I knew better than to expect P.L. Travers to write something sweet in my copy of Mary Poppins, but I didn’t think it would be quite so medicinal. It was 1988, and I’d been a vice president at Disney for two years. From the time I got there, studio president… More

The Obamacare Apocalypse

Last week, a professor of physics and astronomy told the New York Times that the probability of an asteroid hitting the earth —- it happened over Chelyabinsk, Russia, in February, with the energy of 30 Hiroshimas —- isn’t once in a century or two, it’s once in a decade or… More

The Politics of Personal Taste

I recently gave my fifth talk for the TED network – this time on one of my favorite projects at the Norman Lear Center, where I’m the director of research. The Lear Center has conducted many studies demonstrating that entertainment plays a key role in people’s lives, igniting curiosity, inciting… More

Storytelling, Engagement & Activism

This summer, I spent a great day with a bunch of filmmakers at the¬†Topanga Film Festival. Their goal? Making sure that their documentaries would have a real, measurable social impact. Just making a smart, moving film about a pressing social issue isn’t necessarily going to change the world. It’s crucial… More

Made in Rio

Made in Rio: what does this phrase conjure for you? Caipirinhas in a steamy club? Live samba music in a gritty city square? Barely-there bikinis? Or gangster violence in hillside favelas (with million dollar views)? There’s a reason VICE calls it the sexiest city in the world, and from my… More

The Sorrows of CNN: Cable News’s Journalistic Suicide

CNN and MSNBC are giving wall-to-wall coverage to the Trayvon Martin murder trial. Fox News is taking brief breaks from the courtroom to empathize with Darrell Issa and Paula Deen, because George Zimmerman isn’t the only victim around who needs defending, but otherwise the cable news channels are all race-crime-porn… More