Generation after generation, we’re doing a pretty good job at regeneration. Yet sex continues to be a confusing subject — laden with ignorance, taboo, and shame — and the addition of technologies for connection, gratification, and reproduction are changing the landscape of intimacy. What do we really know about sex, and will we ever be good at talking about it?
Hot Topics: Realities and Strategies in Climate Change
Anthropogenic climate change isn’t just real, it’s here. And there’s no time for any of us — governments, corporations, or individuals — to sit on the sidelines waiting to see how things play out. These sessions explore the current impacts of climate change, look for leaders to help us mitigate the disaster, and even offer a bit of hope — if we act now.
So many kids these days can be outspoken and inspiring, with world-changing ideas they’re ready to put into action. But in truth, we’ve not been great to the youth of today, leaving many of the most vulnerable behind and leaving the majority ill-prepared for the travails that are coming their way. Though it’s tempting to leave them the job of building the future, we first...
Sound Principles: The Varieties of Musical Experience
Music and dance are humanity’s hallmarks, a shared ritual of communities the world over. Over the millennia, we’ve created some highly specialized forms, but at its root, music is a language of emotion and empowerment, longing and loss — though it can also be a subversive force against authority.
Seeds of Innovation: How We’ll Feed the World, Maybe
Civilization was a byproduct of humanity’s need to feed ourselves, but we still haven’t figured it out. World population continues to grow even as developing economies demand more resource-intensive food. And though we face the prospect of long-term crop-antagonistic weather, we still throw away a tremendous amount of food. Take a look at the challenges of today — and the...
We put them in harm’s way all over the world, and when they return to us — often physically and mentally debilitated — we have a bad habit of forgetting their sacrifice. What do we owe our veterans, what can we learn from them, and what new strategies can we use to keep them healthy and productive in civilian society?
It’s All in Your Head: How to Master Happiness, Wellness, and (Sometimes) Laziness
It seems that we’re all striving for happiness, compassion, creativity, and calm — and frankly, it’s stressing us out. What if instead of striving, we tried a little rewiring? Mind-centered interventions from meditation to music to recalibrating mental models can put us on a path toward personal and societal wellness, allowing our minds to thrive.
How to Change Your Mind: The Marvelous, Adaptable Brain
The brain isn’t some static entity, cast in resin at adulthood and slowly breaking down as we age. Recent scientific research reveals that it’s an extremely adaptable and plastic organ that can become stronger or weaker — or simply different — according to the stimulus it receives. Are you ready for a neurological tune-up?
Out of This World: How We’re Solving the Mysteries of Space
Space… the final metaphor for the unknowable. But we are certainly trying to understand what goes on out there, and the more we learn, the more fascinating questions start to pop up. Journey with a galaxy of physicists and cosmologists as they take us to the farthest reaches of space, to the very beginnings of time, and right back here to our own front yard.
Most of the world agrees that Russia is a bad actor on the global stage, a strongman state that leads attacks military, technological, and psychological on enemies and allies alike. If we can puzzle out his motivations, does Putin become predictable?
Well-being isn’t merely a condition of life, some sort of personal happiness rating. According to many of today’s biggest thinkers, it’s a definable state that one can make practical steps toward achieving. To explore approaches that bring calm, happiness, and increased productivity, meditate on a few of these great sessions.
The Dollar Divide: Wealth Gaps and the American Dream
Capitalism has been a success, though certainly not for everyone. Disparities according to gender, race, and even birthplace have disadvantaged large groups of Americans, and increasing economic and political power among the wealthy leaves the working class — and increasingly the middle class — unable to get ahead. Can we create an inclusive capitalism?
Reconsidering Rural America: Helping Flyover Country Take Off Again
Rural communities were once the beating heart(land) of America, places of economic and social power. Today, they seem left to wither as dollars, workers, and priorities shift to the cities. Don’t write them off yet, though — there’s a growing movement that’s bringing innovation and energy to once-forgotten communities, and the reasons behind it are as much rational as nost...
What Gender Reveals: Changes and Challenges in the Landscape of Identity
There’s more going on in discussions of gender than a sudden mainstream awareness of trans identities. Issues surrounding gender identity can (and should) inform our thinking on feminism, masculinity, sexual harassment, and larger policy issues like global health. Though to some it may seem a niche issue, changing views on gender affect us all, personally and politically.
Evangelizing Entrepreneurship: New Perspectives on Starting Up
Want to change the way the world does (X)? Become an entrepreneur! How about if you want to change the world itself? Turns out the same lessons apply. We may be reaching the end of an era in which lone geniuses disrupt for profit, and entering one in which a million entrepreneurs operate at different scales, include marginalized populations, and apply lessons learned in bu...
The American Criminal Justice system is flawed, to put it mildly. It’s oversized, inefficient, and unfair, and it often seems that we can’t even agree what it’s supposed to be doing. Until recently, there was a growing bipartisan consensus on the need for radical new approaches to sentencing and incarceration, but the current administration seems to have reversed course. W...
In a divided nation, where conversations are siloed and every argument is ad absurdum, we seem to be losing the informed citizenry that our government requires to function. Learn what’s wrong with our current situation, and what you — yes, you, citizen — can do to help repair democracy.
The most populous country in the world has economic might, military muscle, and a governing philosophy at odds with democracy. While the rest of the world watches China’s sphere of influence grow, can we count on them to be partners in tackling global problems?
When we tell the story of humankind, we tend to tell it through stories of the exceptional among us, be they visionaries or villains. But the famous are more than mere archetypes, and their complicated lives can give us inspiration for making the most of our own.