The Commonwealth Club of California has become one of my new favorite sources of audio, with some really great speakers over the last month. Here are my favorites, all are worth listening to.
David Sullivan, Professional Cult Investigator
Learn about cults from a man who’s seen them from the inside. Professional investigator Sullivan describes the process of identifying and investigating cults, providing an overview of how cults recruit, convert and maintain control of their members through a variety of psychologically coercive techniques. A licensed private investigator for more than 19 years, Sullivan has worked in collaboration with leading authorities in the area of undue influence.
Academy Award-Winning Actor; Founder, The Dreyfuss Initiative
Recognized for his roles in Jaws, American Graffiti, and Mr. Holland’s Opus, Richard Dreyfuss has issued a call to action in our classrooms. Dreyfuss believes civic education is the foundation of public education; yet over the years, it has become more about memorizing facts and dates than understanding context and history. By incorporating logic, history, and critical thinking with a national standard, Dreyfuss hopes to inspire a new way of teaching and preparing America’s youth. Learn more about his bold national initiative to enhance civic education in today’s classrooms.
Author, Delivering Happiness; CEO, Zappos
In conversation with Geoffrey Fowler, Reporter, The Wall Street Journal
Meet the man who built a business based on happiness. Hsieh co-founded LinkExchange and sold it to Microsoft for $265M in 1998. He then took Zappos from $1.6M in 2000 to more than $1 billion in 2008. Contrary to the take-no-prisoners persona one might presume would be required to rake in such revenues, Hsieh has made his mark by focusing his business model, ironically enough, on happiness. Hsieh now brings you his secret recipe for Zappos success. How does a company go from $1.6M to more than a billion dollars on happiness? And how did Hsieh make Zappos one of Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For”?
David Boies: Challenging Law and Making History
Attorney; Chairman, Boies, Schiller and Flexner LLP
Pamela S. Karlan, Kenneth and Harle Montgomery Professor of Public Interest Law, Stanford University; Co-director, Supreme Court Litigation Clinic, Stanford University – Moderator
Challenging Law and Making History: Overturning CA’s Prop 8 Gay Marriage Ban.
Boies has been deeply involved in some of the most prominent legal disputes of the past two decades. From serving as special counsel to the Justice Department in the United States v. Microsoft trial to representing Vice President Al Gore in the Bush v. Gore case following the 2000 presidential election, Boies’ legal experience is extensive and varied.
Together, Boies and former Solicitor General Theodore Olson have successfully overturned California’s Proposition 8 ban on gay marriage. The judge’s ruling on the case happened just one day before this program was recorded. In a recent interview with Salon.com, Boies asserted that overturning this legislation will “improve the lives of gay and lesbian couples…it will not in any way harm heterosexual marriage.” In 2010, Boies was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine. Boies provides a behind-the-scenes look at the Prop. 8 case, and provide insight into what it takes to challenge the status quo and make legal history.
I’m also sticking these all over in Sean Cast as well, for anyone that wants to add to their normal podcast listening.