Stories of Impact: The Podcast Series

Featuring stories of new scientific research on human flourishing that translate these basic discoveries into practical tools. Bringing a mix of curiosity, compassion, and creativity that will appeal to all ages, journalist Richard Sergay and acclaimed writer/producer Tavia Gilbert shine a spotlight on the human impact at the heart of a cutting-edge social and scientific research project. This project was made possible through the generous support of a grant from Templeton World Charity Foundation.

More with Templeton: Closer To Truth, Stories of Impact: The Video Series

Tags: Templeton World Charity Foundation

About the podcast

51 episodes

Studio: Talkbox Productions, LLC

2020-2022

Subscribe to Stories of Impact wherever you listen to podcasts.

Comments, questions and suggestions info@storiesofimpact.org

Supported by the Templeton World Charity Foundation.

PGHearing Impaired

Season 6

Diverse Intelligences Summer Institute with Dr. Andrew Serazin, Dr. Erica Cartmill, Dr. Pranab Das and Dr. Jacob Foster

Diverse Intelligences Summer Institute with Dr. Andrew Serazin, Dr. Erica Cartmill, Dr. Pranab Das and Dr. Jacob Foster

September 06th, 2022 | 38:56

Today’s episode is our version of a back to school episode celebrating one of the coolest schools on the planet — the Diverse Intelligences Summer Institute (DISI). We’re back with four friends from Season 2 of the podcast to further explore Diverse Intelligences: Drs. Andrew Serazin, Erica Cartmill, Pranab Das, and Jacob Foster. These researchers tell us about their work to build a community of scientists who have come together every summer for the last five years to explore together different kinds of cognition, whether their specialty is plant, animal, human, or machine.

Read the transcript of this episode.

Season 5

Beginning September 7: Stories of Impact Season 5

Beginning September 7: Stories of Impact Season 5

August 26th, 2021 | 00:59

The birthright of every human being is not just to survive, but to thrive.

This year on the Stories of Impact Podcast, we bring you conversations about the science behind innovative tools that help human beings flourish.  Join host Tavia Gilbert and journalist Richard Sergay to hear about the intersection of the science and spiritual practices that give life the deepest meaning and fulfillment.

Every first and third Tuesday, you’ll hear from global luminaries with expertise in psychology, art, theology, and more: the frontline workers of flourishing who are driving the achievement of a new vision of thriving health and well-being.

Season premiere September 7. Find us wherever you get your podcasts. Supported by Templeton World Charity Foundation.

Innovations for Human Flourishing with Dr. Andrew Serazin

Innovations for Human Flourishing with Dr. Andrew Serazin

September 07th, 2021 | 28:29

Our new season begins with scientist, entrepreneur, and philanthropy leader Dr. Andrew Serazin, President of Templeton World Charity Foundation. Dr. Serazin discusses TWCF's latest initiative, the Grand Challenges for Human Flourishing, which will enable researchers to discover new knowledge, develop new tools, and launch new practices or interventions that make a lasting impact on human flourishing.

Learn more about the Grand Challenges for Human Flourishing initiative.

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The Science of Spiritual Exercises with Rev. Sue Phillips and Casper ter Kuile

The Science of Spiritual Exercises with Rev. Sue Phillips and Casper ter Kuile

September 21st, 2021 | 43:11

Today, we’re delving into a discussion with Casper ter Kuile and Reverend Sue Phillips, two of the co-founders of Sacred Design Lab, which describes itself as a “soul-centered research and development lab.” If you’re thinking, “Wait, how can you do R&D on the soul?!”, you’ll want to hear what ter Kuile and Rev. Phillips have to say.

Rev. Sue Phillips is a graduate of Colgate University and the Episcopal Divinity School, and she has served as a Ministry Innovation Fellow at Harvard Divinity School. Casper ter Kuile holds a Masters of Divinity and Public Policy degrees from Harvard University, and also serves as a Ministry Innovation Fellow at Harvard Divinity School. His book, The Power of Ritual was published in 2020.

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The Role of Education in Human Flourishing with The Honorable Shirley Ann Jackson and Andreas Schleicher

The Role of Education in Human Flourishing with The Honorable Shirley Ann Jackson and Andreas Schleicher

October 05th, 2021 | 40:51

In today’s episode, we hear from The Honorable Shirley Ann Jackson, the first African-American woman to lead a top-ranked research university — Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute — and Andreas Schleicher, Director for Education and Skills and Special Advisor on Education Policy to the Secretary-General at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, an intergovernmental economic organisation with 38 member countries who stimulate economic progress and world trade.

These two global leaders in education speak of nuanced, experiential, community-centered learning opportunities offered within a moral and ethical framework as a key component of human flourishing. Our guests offer their insights on how education can support students’ efforts to become the wisest, happiest, healthiest, and most capable version of themselves.

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Happiness and Human Flourishing with Laurie Santos and Arthur C. Brooks

Happiness and Human Flourishing with Laurie Santos and Arthur C. Brooks

October 19th, 2021 | 24:42

Today, we hear about human happiness from two of the world’s foremost researchers on the subject: Dr. Laurie Santos and Dr. Arthur Brooks. Dr. Santos hosts The Happiness Lab, a podcast “that will forever alter the way you think about happiness.” She’s also a Professor of Psychology at Yale University and teacher of one of the most popular classes ever in Yale history: The Happiness Class, which tries to give students the keys to happiness and satisfaction. Dr. Brooks is a Harvard professor, social scientist, prolific bestselling author, and columnist at The Atlantic.

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Music, Listening, and Human Flourishing with Wynton Marsalis

Music, Listening, and Human Flourishing with Wynton Marsalis

November 02nd, 2021 | 21:55

In today’s episode, we delve into how humans flourish through music and listening with internationally acclaimed musician, composer, and bandleader Wynton Marsalis. At the age of 60, after a long, international career, Marsalis identifies not only as a solo artist and a group leader, but as an educator and a leading advocate of American culture.

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Dance and Human Flourishing with Judith Jamison

Dance and Human Flourishing with Judith Jamison

November 16th, 2021 | 24:26

Today’s guest is international superstar dancer/choreographer Judith Jamison. In 1964, at just 21 years old, Jamison made her dance debut in New York with the American Ballet Theater. She soon joined the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, eventually becoming the company’s principal dancer, then its artistic director, and, since 2011, she’s been artistic director emerita.

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Climate and Human Flourishing with Mary Robinson

Climate and Human Flourishing with Mary Robinson

November 30th, 2021 | 28:07

Today, we’re talking about a pursuit of well-being that impacts us all — climate health. Today’s guest is Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and the first woman to hold that elected office and former United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights. Since Robinson’s tenure as Ireland’s President ended in 1997, she has continued to work tirelessly to promote gender equity, human rights, and, most recently and most intensively, climate justice. Robinson speaks about the interdependence of people, animals, and the environment, and the imperative that we safeguard the health of each in order to ensure a sustainable future for world citizens and our planetary habitat.

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Listening and Human Flourishing with Profs. Guy Itzchakov and Netta Weinstein

Listening and Human Flourishing with Profs. Guy Itzchakov and Netta Weinstein

January 19th, 2022 | 37:53

Today, we’re in conversation about the act of listening. Our guests are researchers Netta Weinstein, Associate Professor in Psychology at the University of Reading, and Guy Itzchakov, an assistant professor in the Department of Human Services at the University of Haifa. Profs. Weinstein and Itzhchakov are part of a research team working to develop a scientific understanding of what listening is, what its benefits are, and why it matters so much to our well-being.

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Wellness & Human Flourishing with Deepak Chopra

Wellness & Human Flourishing with Deepak Chopra

February 01st, 2022 | 20:17

Our guest today is Dr. Deepak Chopra, founder of The Chopra Foundation, a non-profit entity for research on well-being and humanitarianism, and Chopra Global, a modern-day health company at the intersection of science and spirituality. He is a world-renowned pioneer in integrative medicine and personal transformation, and the author of over 90 books translated into over forty languages. In addition to holding a number of positions at medical schools across the US, Dr. Chopra has been at the forefront of the meditation revolution for the last thirty years.

Today’s conversation explores the link between our minds and our physical health; between the way we decide to approach life, and the likelihood that we will flourish in our lives.

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The Digital Age & Human Flourishing with Vint Cerf

The Digital Age & Human Flourishing with Vint Cerf

February 15th, 2022 | 20:48

This week we’re bringing you a conversation about human flourishing with Vint Cerf, a man globally recognized as one of the “fathers of the Internet.” In recognition for his extraordinary contributions to the creation of Internet technology, Cerf has been awarded a U.S. National Medal of Technology, the Turing Award, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. And, drawing on his own experience with being hearing impaired, he’s also known as a leading advocate for technology to be made accessible to people with a variety of abilities. Cerf’s consideration of how humans can use digital technology to flourish is a natural extension of his lifetime of work as an engineer.

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Human Flourishing & Grit with Angela Duckworth

Human Flourishing & Grit with Angela Duckworth

February 28th, 2022 | 20:49

This week we bring you a conversation with Dr. Angela Duckworth, pioneering professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania and the CEO of Character Lab, a nonprofit that advances science to help children thrive. She was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2013, and in 2016 published Grit, a book that explores what elements lead to success. She makes the case that achievement is not dependent on genius, but instead, on The Power of Passion and Perseverance: grit. Dr. Duckworth believes that grit is part of what allows humans to flourish.

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Food, Agriculture & Human Flourishing with Agnes Kalibata

Food, Agriculture & Human Flourishing with Agnes Kalibata

March 15th, 2022 | 21:32

This week we hear from Dr. Agnes Kalibata, a Rwandan agricultural scientist and policymaker. Dr. Kalibata draws on her personal history growing up in a refugee camp to shape her work as both UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy focusing on international food systems and the president of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa. This leader uniquely offers her deep personal understanding of how communities and individuals can flourish when two of their essential needs — nourishing food and quality education — are met.

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Faith & Human Flourishing with Bishop Steven Croft

Faith & Human Flourishing with Bishop Steven Croft

April 05th, 2022 | 17:24

This week’s episode highlights the relationship between religion, faith, and human flourishing. Our conversation today is with Steven Croft, Bishop of Oxford, Church of England, for whom a belief in God and human flourishing — both individual and societal — are inextricably linked.

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Science, Religion & Spirituality with Professor Kenneth Pargament

Science, Religion & Spirituality with Professor Kenneth Pargament

April 19th, 2022 | 30:42

Today’s episode is a discussion of the intersections of religion, spirituality, and science, with Dr. Kenneth Pargament, Professor Emeritus at Bowling Green State University. Dr. Pargament was named in 2022 one of the 50 Most Influential Living Psychologists in the World, and his internationally-acclaimed research addresses the relationship between health and spirituality and religious faith.

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Compassion in Healthcare & Flourishing with Dr. David Addiss

Compassion in Healthcare & Flourishing with Dr. David Addiss

May 03rd, 2022 | 31:26

In today’s episode, we welcome Dr. David Addiss, an expert in public health and preventive medicine. Dr. Addiss has spent his career thinking not only about science, but about service. In his early career, he cared for the health of migrants in the San Joaquin Valley of California, then later worked for nearly two decades the Centers for Disease Control in the Division of Parasitic Diseases, where he focused on controlling and eliminating diseases found not in the United States, but in communities of neglected people largely in the tropics. Hear what inspired him to spend his career caring for the needs of underserved and neglected people.

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The Stories We Tell Ourselves with Dr. Brie Linkenhoker

The Stories We Tell Ourselves with Dr. Brie Linkenhoker

May 17th, 2022 | 32:36

In today’s episode, we welcome Dr. Brie Linkenhoker, founder of Worldview Studio, a collective of brain and behavioral scientists, human-centered designers, and multimedia producers who create innovative learning experiences. Dr. Linkenhoker is the recipient of grant funding from Templeton World Charity Foundation’s Grand Challenges for Human Flourishing program. Her ground-breaking research is centered on the stories we tell ourselves. Through the scientific research of personal narratives, Dr. Linkenhoker explores the influence of our  personal story-telling on our behavior, well-being and achievement; how stories differ across cultures and generations; and how they change with meaningful intervention from families, mentors, and media.

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Democracy, Resilience and Human Flourishing with Dr. Hafsat Abiola

Democracy, Resilience and Human Flourishing with Dr. Hafsat Abiola

June 07th, 2022 | 32:08

Today, we hear from Dr. Hafsat Abiola, native of Nigeria, President of the Women in Africa Initiative, Harvard-educated economist, expert in sustainable development, and civil rights and Democracy advocate. Dr. Abiola’s father, M.K.O. Abiola, was imprisoned after decisively winning the presidency in an election determined to be fair and free by Nigerian and international observers. Meanwhile her mother, Alhaja Kudirat Abiola, fought publicly for his release and for her husband’s freedom, until she was murdered in retaliation. Dr. Abiola has carried on her parents’ legacy in her pro-democracy activism and her work in the Women in Africa Initiative, “the world's leading international platform for the economic development and the support of African women entrepreneurs.” Subscribe to Stories of Impact wherever you listen to podcasts.

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Creating a Culture of Flourishing with Cristine Legare

Creating a Culture of Flourishing with Cristine Legare

June 28th, 2022 | 36:02

What is culture? How is culture transmitted? And what is unique about human culture, compared to our closest animal species relatives? Today’s conversation with Dr. Cristine Legare, a professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin whose research focuses on the foundations of cultural intelligence, answers all these questions.

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Restoring the American Chestnut Tree with Dr. William Powell and Rex Mann

Restoring the American Chestnut Tree with Dr. William Powell and Rex Mann

July 12th, 2022 | 27:54

This episode is an inspiring story about how bringing together vision, community, and cutting-edge science can make the impossible possible. It’s a story about American history, climate, globalization, and hope. It’s the story of the American Chestnut Foundation’s efforts to do something never before done: To restore a tree that is functionally extinct — the American Chestnut tree. You’ll hear from Rex Mann, retired from the U.S. Forest Service and now a chestnut evangelist, and ACF’s lead collaborating scientist, Dr. William A. Powell, professor at SUNY College of Environmental Science in Forestry.

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Human Flourishing: A Look Back & Looking Forward with Dr. Andrew Serazin

Human Flourishing: A Look Back & Looking Forward with Dr. Andrew Serazin

July 26th, 2022 | 33:19

Today is our 20th and final episode of the Luminaries of Human Flourishing season on the Stories of Impact podcast. All season, we’ve been in conversation with artists, politicians, technologists, environmentalists, doctors, faith leaders, educators, sociologists, and other luminaries. And today we circle back to the beginning, in conversation with President of Templeton World Charity Foundation, biomedical scientist Andrew Serazin, whose focus on human flourishing opened the door for us to create this special series. We’re going to take a summer break before we return in the fall with a new year of programming, but before we leave this season, we wanted Dr. Serazin to share more about the genesis of TWCF’s Human Flourishing Initiative, and where the foundation is heading next.  Here’s our friend, Dr. Andrew Serazin.

Read the transcript of this episode.

Season 4

Beginning Next Week: Stories of Impact Season 4

Beginning Next Week: Stories of Impact Season 4

January 19th, 2021 | 00:59

Imagine a state of being in which all the many dimensions of your life are good. Imagine health that goes beyond typical measures of physical and mental well-being, but expands to include life satisfaction, meaning and purpose, character and virtue, and thriving social relationships.

This spring, join producer Tavia Gilbert and journalist Richard Sergay for the fourth season of the award-winning Stories of Impact podcast. This season, we bring you explorations of how people throughout the world promote human flourishing; stories of human generativity, positivity, growth, and resilience.

Supported by Templeton World Charity Foundation.

Investing in Human Flourishing with Dr. Andrew Serazin

Investing in Human Flourishing with Dr. Andrew Serazin

January 26th, 2021 | 34:41

Templeton World Charity Foundation President, Dr. Andrew Serazin, is back for another conversation with podcast host Richard Sergay. Dr. Serazin talks about human flourishing — what it is, and how TWCF hopes to spur discovery about it. Dr. Serazin shares his excitement about the foundation’s Grand Challenges for Human Flourishing program, born out of a specific strategy to discover new knowledge, develop new tools, and launch new innovations that make a lasting impact on human flourishing.

Discover how to be a part of the Grand Challenges for Human Flourishing.

Learn more about Dr. Andrew Serazin.

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A Case for Spiritually Informed Democratic Capitalism with Dr. Arthur C. Brooks

A Case for Spiritually Informed Democratic Capitalism with Dr. Arthur C. Brooks

February 09th, 2021 | 52:14

Today we hear from Dr. Arthur C. Brooks, Professor of the Practice of Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School and Professor of Management Practice at the Harvard Business School. He’s also the former president of the American Enterprise Institute, a leading public policy think tank. You may be familiar with Brooks from his work as a writer — he’s the author of eleven books, including the national bestsellers Love Your Enemies and The Conservative Heart, a columnist for The Atlantic, host of the podcast “The Art of Happiness with Arthur Brooks,” and the subject of a 2019 documentary “The Pursuit.”

In this fascinating interview, Brooks discusses democratic capitalism, why the bottom 30% — those historically shut out of economic opportunity in the United States — are our country’s greatest untapped assets, and the gift of a pen from the Dalai Lama.

Learn more about Dr. Arthur Brooks.

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Ubuntu & Youth Radio Reporters with Nina Callaghan

Ubuntu & Youth Radio Reporters with Nina Callaghan

February 23rd, 2021 | 50:23

Today, we hear a fascinating and inspiring conversation having to do with the flourishing of young South Africans. Today’s episode features Richard’s conversation with Nina Callaghan, former Associate Director and current South African Chair of Children’s Radio Foundation. In a post-apartheid country still suffering the social, psychic, and economic wounds of decades of institutionalized racial segregation, the very act of teaching these youth basic journalism 101, including ethics, consent, and truth-telling, is a powerful healing act. Callaghan discusses her work with the youth reporters and their two-year exploration of the concept of Ubuntu—a Nguni Bantu term often translated as “I am because we are.” Callaghan shares the program’s outcomes, both expected and unexpected.

Learn more about the Children’s Radio Foundation.

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The Power and Meaning of Forgiveness with Dr. Everett Worthington

The Power and Meaning of Forgiveness with Dr. Everett Worthington

March 09th, 2021 | 45:37

Today’s episode highlights Richard’s conversation with Dr. Everett Worthington. Dr. Worthington is Commonwealth Professor Emeritus at Virginia Commonwealth University. For the last 30 years, Dr. Worthington has been studying forgiveness, and he has written more than a dozen books on the subject. In 2001, he developed the pioneering REACH Forgiveness method, which has helped thousands of people—including himself—reap the mental and physical benefits of forgiveness. Learn more about Dr. Everett Worthington and the REACH Forgiveness method.

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Season 3

Beginning Next Week: Stories of Impact Season 3

Beginning Next Week: Stories of Impact Season 3

October 06th, 2020 | 01:00

How can we listen to people we don’t agree with? Rebuild trust in an era of “fake news” and “alternative facts”? Create social cohesion, cooperation, and healthy, safe, inclusive societies?

If you find yourself asking, “What are our rights as citizens, and what are our responsibilities?,” you’ll want to join journalist Richard Sergay and producer Tavia Gilbert for Season 3 of the Stories of Impact podcast, which explores the timely and vital question of what it means to be a citizen in a networked age. In our third season, we are in conversation with some of the world’s leading scholars who explore questions of citizenship—listening, privacy, decision-making, and more. The Stories of Impact podcast delves into the big questions of meaning, purpose, and truth. It is made possible through the generous support of a grant from Templeton World Charity Foundation.

An Agenda for Rebuilding Our Civic Ideals with Dr. Andrew Briggs and Dr. Dominic Burbidge

An Agenda for Rebuilding Our Civic Ideals with Dr. Andrew Briggs and Dr. Dominic Burbidge

October 13th, 2020 | 53:03

In this episode, we hear from Dr. Andrew Briggs, a professor of nanomaterials at the University of Oxford, and Dr. Dominic Burbidge, a lecturer in politics at the University of Oxford and director of the Canterbury Institute. Along with a team of scholars, their study of citizenship in a networked age has led to a carefully crafted report, including seven recommendations in support of their Agenda for Rebuilding Our Civic Ideals.

Learn more about Citizenship in a Networked Age and the Agenda for Rebuilding Our Civic Ideals.

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Citizenship in a Networked Age with Vint Cerf, Nuala O’Connor, & Michael Wear

Citizenship in a Networked Age with Vint Cerf, Nuala O’Connor, & Michael Wear

October 27th, 2020 | 51:36

Today’s conversation features three intersecting perspectives on the topic of citizenship in a networked age. We’ll hear from Vint Cerf, Google's vice president and chief Internet evangelist, and one of the world’s recognized “fathers of the Internet”; Nuala O’Connor, former president and CEO at the Center for Democracy and Technology; and Michael Wear, a strategist, speaker, and practitioner at the intersection of faith, politics, and public life. Each of them adds dimension to our podcast’s ongoing discussion of the direction of developing technologies, governmental policy and online engagement, and the moral facets of civic participation.

Learn more about Vint Cerf, Nuala O’Connor and the Center for Democracy and Technology, and Michael Wear.

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Building Common Purpose with Sir Paul Collier

Building Common Purpose with Sir Paul Collier

November 10th, 2020 | 36:05

As we explore our season focusing on citizenship in the networked age, journalist Richard Sergay explores the rights and responsibilities of being a citizen in the digital era, the individual and community strengths inherent in healthy citizenship, and the threats to our future without it. Today’s conversation is with Sir Paul Collier, a professor of economics and public policy at the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford. Professor Collier is a world-renowned economist and a best-selling author, including The Future of Capitalism: Facing the New Anxieties, and his latest release, with John Kay, Greed is Dead: Politics After Individualism.

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The Ethics of Communication with Dr. Onora O’Neill

The Ethics of Communication with Dr. Onora O’Neill

November 24th, 2020 | 35:15

Today, host Richard Sergay speaks with Baroness Onora O’Neill, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Cambridge University. Prof. O’Neill, whose work has focused on international justice and the roles of trust and accountability in public life, discusses the value of privacy in a time of surveillance capitalism, human rights after the digital revolution, and the importance of listening as a civic virtue.

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The Politics of Social Cohesion with Dr. Colin Mayer

The Politics of Social Cohesion with Dr. Colin Mayer

December 08th, 2020 | 37:20

Today’s episode features a conversation with Colin Mayer, Peter Moores Professor of Management Studies and the former dean at the Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford. Prof. Mayer speaks to host Richard Sergay about the role of business institutions in building resilient and cohesive communities, as well as the necessity of trust in whether civilization itself will be sustained.

More about Colin Mayer and his published works, including Prosperity: Better Business Makes the Greater Good

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Upholding Democratic Values in the Internet Age with Dr. David O’Brien

Upholding Democratic Values in the Internet Age with Dr. David O’Brien

December 22nd, 2020 | 36:53

Today’s conversation is with David O’Brien, Assistant Research Director at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. Prof. O’Brien talks to Richard about how we as citizens can bring our democratic values to bear on social media platforms; the role privacy plays online in allowing democracy and democratic citizenship to flourish; and more.

More about David O’Brien and the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society

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Listening as an Antidote to a Zero-Sum Outlook with Dr. Filippo Trevisan

Listening as an Antidote to a Zero-Sum Outlook with Dr. Filippo Trevisan

January 05th, 2021 | 35:57

Today, Richard is in conversation with Dr. Filippo Trevisan, assistant professor at the School of Communication and Deputy Director at the Institute on Disability and Public Policy at American University. Dr. Trevisan talks about our evolving views on social media and offers insight on how we can use — and how we are already using — the Internet as a tool to improve representation in our democratic process.

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Season 2

Beginning Next Week: Stories of Impact Season 2

Beginning Next Week: Stories of Impact Season 2

August 04th, 2020 | 01:00

The Stories of Impact Podcast presents stories of the scientific breakthroughs that fuel the human search for meaning, purpose, and truth — how lives are transformed by science. Season 2 focuses on Diverse Intelligences.

This project was made possible through the generous support of a grant from Templeton World Charity Foundation.

What are Diverse Intelligences? with Dr. Pranab Das

What are Diverse Intelligences? with Dr. Pranab Das

August 11th, 2020 | 36:13

Host Richard Sergay speaks with Pranab Das, professor of physics at Elon University and Principal Advisor to the Diverse Intelligences Initiative from Templeton World Charity Foundation. Richard and Professor Das discuss the definition of intelligence and look at some of the DI projects we’ll hear more about this season.

Learn more about Pranab Das and the Diverse Intelligences Initiative

Learn more about Athena Aktipis and The Human Generosity Project.

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Whale Song & Alien Intelligence with Dr. Laurance Doyle and Dr. Fred Sharpe

Whale Song & Alien Intelligence with Dr. Laurance Doyle and Dr. Fred Sharpe

August 25th, 2020 | 34:28

Today’s episode features the collaborative exploration of Dr. Fred Sharpe, an expert in humpback whales and the Principal Investigator with the Alaska Whale Foundation, and Dr. Laurance Doyle, astrophysicist and Principal Investigator of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute. Drs. Sharpe and Doyle are investigating  humpback whales’ complex, long-distance communication with the aim of learning about how alien intelligences, if they exist, might attempt to transmit their messages through the cosmos.

Learn more about Dr. Fred Sharpe and the Alaska Whale Foundation, and Dr. Laurance Doyle and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute

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The Honeybee Brain with Dr. Andrew Barron and Dr. James Marshall

The Honeybee Brain with Dr. Andrew Barron and Dr. James Marshall

August 25th, 2020 | 35:07

Today’s episode features the work of two scientists in seemingly unconnected fields of study: Dr. Andrew Barron, Associate Professor of Cognitive Neuroethology at Macquarie University in Sydney specializing in the honeybee brain; and his colleague, Dr. James Marshall, Professor of Theoretical Computation and Biology at the University of Sheffield, who studies robotics and artificial intelligence.

Richard Sergay spoke with this pair of scientists to find out how their unique areas of expertise came together to apply discoveries about the intelligence of honeybees to the development of smarter, more capable artificially intelligent robots — machines like drones, which might increasingly assist humans in solving some of the most complex problems we face as a species.

Learn more about Dr. Andrew Barron and Dr. James Marshall

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Animal Cognition with Dr. Brian Hare

Animal Cognition with Dr. Brian Hare

September 01st, 2020 | 29:06

Dr. Brian Hare is a core member of the Center of Cognitive Neuroscience and Professor in Evolutionary Anthropology and Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke University. In today’s episode, Dr. Hare shares how investigating diverse intelligences offers human beings insight into our own psychology. He’ll also describe the powerful new online tool he’s building to spark the acceleration of our understanding about animal — and human — cognition.

Learn more about Dr. Brian Hare and Dognition: animal cognition games you can play with your dog!

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Social Cognition in Autism with Dr. Sue Fletcher-Watson and Dr. Catherine Crompton

Social Cognition in Autism with Dr. Sue Fletcher-Watson and Dr. Catherine Crompton

September 08th, 2020 | 42:04

In today’s episode, we explore the social cognition found within our own species, and what the benefit to every person might be if we deepen our understanding of the wide variety of intelligences of human beings.

We hear from two researchers at the University of Edinburgh, Dr. Sue Fletcher-Watson, and her colleague, Dr. Catherine Crompton, about their study examining the social cognition of autism, which shines new light on the comfort and confidence that autistic people can experience in communication and community with other neurodivergent people, and how everyone benefits when autistic people’s needs are supported. We’ll also hear from three participants in the doctors’ research, who discuss their own experiences as autistic people in a world designed for and by the non-autistic.

Learn more about Dr. Sue Fletcher-Watson and Dr. Catherine Crompton.

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Cracking the Code: Searching for Language in Dolphins with Dr. Denise Herzing

Cracking the Code: Searching for Language in Dolphins with Dr. Denise Herzing

September 16th, 2020 | 31:40

In this episode, we hear from Dr. Denise Herzing, Research Director and Founder of the Wild Dolphin Project and Affiliate Assistant Professor at Florida Atlantic University in biological sciences. For the last 25 years, Dr. Herzing has been on a quest to crack the code — to discover the keys to the secret language of dolphins. Today she talks about what she’s learned so far about dolphin “language,” what’s surprised her about wild dolphins’ interactions with each other and the researchers, and the possibility of humans someday communicating directly with dolphins.

Learn more about Dr. Denise Herzing and the Wild Dolphin Project.

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Machine Morality with Dr. Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, Dr. Jana Schaich Borg & Dr. Vincent Conitzer

Machine Morality with Dr. Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, Dr. Jana Schaich Borg & Dr. Vincent Conitzer

September 23rd, 2020 | 31:09

Today, we speak with an ethicist, a computer scientist, and a neuroscientist who have teamed together at Duke University to research how we might build human morality into an artificially intelligent machine. Drs. Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, Jana Schaich Borg, and Vincent Conitzer also tell us about a surprising outcome of their research: that imbuing machines with the ability to act in accordance with moral principles can actually help us deepen our understanding of our own moral philosophy and behavior.

Learn more about Dr. Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, Dr. Jana Schaich Borg, and Dr. Vincent Conitzer.

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Diverse Intelligences Summer Institute with Dr. Erica Cartmill, Dr. Jacob Foster, and Dr. Kensy Cooperrider

Diverse Intelligences Summer Institute with Dr. Erica Cartmill, Dr. Jacob Foster, and Dr. Kensy Cooperrider

September 29th, 2020 | 41:01

In the final episode of our second season, we meet three scientists who are creating a community of people who see the world differently, bringing together scholars from around the globe who are passionate about collaboration and exploration of the myriad intelligences throughout the planet and the cosmos.

Richard Sergay speaks with Drs. Erica Cartmill and Jacob Foster, co-directors of the Templeton World Charity Foundation Diverse Intelligences Summer Institute (DISI), and DISI associate director Dr. Kensy Cooperrider. They discuss the Diverse Intelligences initiative, their efforts to build community with today’s young, emerging scientists and scholars, and what they hope will be DISI’s legacy.

We’ll be on a break next week, but in two weeks, we’ll be back with Season 3, in which we focus on the topic of Citizenship.

Learn more about Dr. Erica Cartmill, Dr. Jacob Foster, and Dr. Kensy Cooperrider.

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Season 1

Introducing Stories of Impact

Introducing Stories of Impact

June 18th, 2020 | 01:00

The Stories of Impact Podcast presents stories of the scientific breakthroughs that fuel the human search for meaning, purpose, and truth — how lives are transformed by science.

This project was made possible through the support of a grant from Templeton World Charity Foundation.

Podcast Launch: Stories of Impact

Podcast Launch: Stories of Impact

June 30th, 2020 | 25:26

In this introductory episode, producer Tavia Gilbert and host Richard Sergay discuss what’s coming up in this season of the podcast and beyond. In conversation with Dr. Andrew Serazin, President of Templeton World Charity Foundation, they explore the history and mission of Stories of Impact’s unique and inspiring founder, Sir John Templeton.

Learn more about Richard Sergay, Tavia Gilbert, and Andrew Serazin.

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The Power of Positivity in a Pandemic with Dr. Barbara Fredrickson

The Power of Positivity in a Pandemic with Dr. Barbara Fredrickson

June 30th, 2020 | 27:32

The first episode of the Stories of Impact podcast special, five-part Covid-19 conversation series features Dr. Barbara Fredrickson, director of the Positive Emotions and Psychophysiology Lab at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Host Richard Sergay speaks with Dr. Fredrickson about why her work in positive psychology is more relevant than ever during the Covid-19 pandemic. Dr. Fredrickson offers tips on how to nurture our positive emotions and resilience amid the stress and anxiety we are all experiencing, as well as how to foster strong social connections going forward post-Covid.

Learn more about Dr. Barbara Fredrickson and the PEP Lab.

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Encouraging Altruism During a Pandemic with Dr. Erez Yoeli

Encouraging Altruism During a Pandemic with Dr. Erez Yoeli

July 07th, 2020 | 33:25

In today’s episode, host Richard Sergay speaks with Erez Yoeli, director of the Applied Cooperation Team at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, about how to motivate people to cooperate and behave altruistically during a pandemic. Dr. Yoeli discusses how we can harness the power of reputation to encourage prosocial behavior, and suggests ways to make the message of altruism appeal to everyone in a time when people are receiving conflicting messages about what is right.

This is the second episode in a special, five-part Covid-19 conversation series.

Learn more about Erez Yoeli.

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Cooperation Amidst Catastrophe with Dr. Athena Aktipis

Cooperation Amidst Catastrophe with Dr. Athena Aktipis

July 14th, 2020 | 26:01

Host Richard Sergay speaks to Athena Aktipis, co-director of the Human Generosity Project, about the current results of her study of cooperation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Professor Aktipis discusses the insights both past and current research offer about the extent and the limits of human generosity during catastrophic events.

This is the third episode in a special, five-part Covid-19 conversation series.

Learn more about Athena Aktipis and The Human Generosity Project.

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Spirituality, Belonging, & the Pandemic Response with Dr. Joseph Bulbulia

Spirituality, Belonging, & the Pandemic Response with Dr. Joseph Bulbulia

July 21st, 2020 | 29:10

In this episode, host Richard Sergay speaks to Joseph Bulbulia, professor at the University of Auckland and the MacLaurin Goodfellow Chair in Theological and Religious Studies. Professor Bulbulia discusses how religious interaction, worship, and teaching come together in different ways to facilitate group cooperation, and what we can learn from that to support us during the pandemic.

This is the fourth episode in a special, five-part Covid-19 conversation series.

Learn more about Joseph Bulbulia.

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The Core Principles of Cooperation with Dr. David Sloan Wilson

The Core Principles of Cooperation with Dr. David Sloan Wilson

July 28th, 2020 | 29:17

Today, host Richard Sergay is in conversation with David Sloan Wilson, professor of biological sciences at Binghamton University and president of the Evolution Institute. Prof. Wilson describes the core principles of human groups that allow successful cooperation, and discusses how we can implement these principles to alleviate the negative effects of the current pandemic and stop its spread.

The fifth and final episode in a special, five-part Covid-19 conversation series.

Learn more about David Sloan Wilson and the Evolution Institute.

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About Templeton World Charity Foundation

Humans have distinct—and remarkable—intellectual, emotional, social, and spiritual capacities. Templeton World Charity Foundation funds interdisciplinary research on what it means to be human. The Foundation supports work that translates discoveries into practical innovations which enhance positive and distinctive capacities that are at the core of human flourishing and well-being.

Today, Templeton World Charity Foundation funds projects around the world that embody the dynamic and forward-looking vision espoused by founder, Sir John Templeton and supports rigorous scholarship and transparency in research. By funding both emerging and established experts across disciplines, we support wide-reaching topics that engage thought leaders and the public on a global level.

Visit the Foundation’s website


About John Templeton

From a Small Town to Wall Street

As both a groundbreaking philanthropist and legendary investor, Sir John Marks Templeton spent a lifetime dedicated to open-mindedness. Born on November 29, 1912, in Winchester, Tennessee, he graduated near the top of his class from Yale University (1934) and won a Rhodes Scholarship to Balliol College, Oxford, where he earned a law degree (1936). Templeton embarked on his Wall Street career in 1938, when he began conceiving and launching some of the world’s most successful international investment funds. In 1954, he established the Templeton Growth Fund, which pioneered the use of globally diversified mutual funds. Money magazine would hail him as “arguably the greatest global stock picker of the century.”

A Pioneering Philanthropic Vision

Just as remarkable as Templeton’s financial career was his dedication to progress and philanthropy. Known as a contrarian investor, he was also a fierce optimist and relentless questioner in his personal life. Templeton thus promoted the discovery of “new spiritual information”: progress in understanding the deepest realities of human nature and the physical world, subjects that he believed should be investigated with the tools of modern science.

Convinced that our knowledge of the universe was still very limited, he sought to encourage open-mindedness about the character of ultimate reality and the divine. To this end, in 1972, he established the Templeton Prize, the world’s largest annual award given to an individual, to honor a living innovator of life’s spiritual dimension. He also founded three charitable entities (the Templeton World Charity Foundation, the John Templeton Foundation, and the Templeton Religion Trust) to carry out his philanthropic mission.

A “Humble Approach”: Exploring the Big Questions

Templeton was a lifelong member of the Presbyterian Church, serving as an elder of his denomination and as a trustee of Princeton Theological Seminary. His own views, however, did not conform to orthodoxy, and he espoused a “humble approach” to theology.

Eager to learn from both science and the world’s faith traditions, he believed that “scientific revelations may be a gold mine for revitalizing religion in the 21st century.” He expected his foundations to stand apart from consideration of dogma or personal religious belief and to seek out grantees who are “innovative, creative, enthusiastic, and open to competition and new ideas” in their approach to the Big Questions.

Sir John’s Lasting Legacy

In the late 1960s, Templeton moved to Nassau, the Bahamas, where he became a naturalized British citizen. In 1987, Queen Elizabeth II named him a Knight Bachelor for his many philanthropic accomplishments. Throughout his long life, he wrote or edited more than a dozen books.

When Sir John passed away in 2008 at age 95, he was honored around the world with tributes that extolled his vision and the extraordinary breadth of his career. Today, his charitable contributions continue to engender dialogue between science and spirituality.

Source: Templeton World Charity Foundation