On October 10-12, 2008, Marcy Jackson and I (supported by our colleagues, Rick Jackson and Ann New), led a Circle of Trust retreat at the Fetzer Institute for fifteen people from the worlds of big business, financial services and philanthropy — many of them closely tied to Wall Street and all of them devoted to the common good. Our retreat began just one day after the Dow Jones had fallen nearly 40 percent below its record high, set only a year earlier.
As the global economic crisis began to unfold this past fall, we wanted to respond immediately, in our way. We began to conduct an online conversation parallel to but distinct from our culture's more sustained focus on economic scenarios. For in each of our lives, whoever we are, very personal scenarios are unfolding that confront us with core questions of what matters to us and what sustains us. We made a list of our guests across the years who we thought might speak to this in fresh and compelling ways.
Pertinent Posts from the On Being Blog
An essay on frugality's new trendiness and old roots in Christian teaching.
James Wright's poem on the terror of hospital bills and refocusing on what we really value.
A search for stories about the relationship between children and grandparents revealed words of wisdom for current economic times.
Looking to a Jewish tradition found in Deuteronomy of absolving loans as a solution to current debts.
A panel discussion with three smart people exploring the moral and ethical aspects of the economic downturn.
Kate lends insight into the current economic crisis through her family history.
About the Image
"Walking to the Sky" — a 100-foot sculpture by Jonathan Borofsky that was originally installed at Rockefeller Center in 2004 before being moved to the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas a year later.
Voices on the Radio
Host/Producer: Krista Tippett
Senior Producer: Mitch Hanley
Producer: Colleen Scheck
Associate Producer: Nancy Rosenbaum
Technical Director: John Scherf
Online Editor/Producer: Trent Gilliss
Associate Web Producer: Andrew Dayton
We explore human and spiritual aspects of economic downturn with a wise public intellectual of our time, the Quaker author and educator Parker Palmer. He works with people from all walks of life at the intersection of spiritual, professional, and social change, and stresses the need to acknowledge the inner life of human beings as a source of reality and power.
A few years ago, journalist Pankaj Mishra pursued the social relevance of the Buddha's thought across India and Europe, Afghanistan and America. He emerged with a startling critique of Western political economy that is even more resonant today as he pursued the social relevance of the Buddha's core questions: Do desiring and acquiring make us happy? Does large-scale political change really address human suffering?