Tap the Unique Power of Story and Narrative

Written on March 9th, 2018

In this podcast, I go solo. Rather than interviewing others, I share with you the best of the work I do to help organizations develop more engaging narratives and tell better stories. Learn why narrative is uniquely powerful as well as the recipe for a good story – whether in a Hollywood screenplay or a one-to-one conversation. 

NEW Free Forum RANDY OLSON – Use Narrative to Connect & Move People – ExhibitA: Trump

Written on September 21st, 2017

RANDY OLSON, marine biologist turned filmmaker, author of DON’T BE SUCH A SCIENTIST and HOUSTON, WE HAVE A NARRATIVE says we’re all receiving a firehose of information and can no longer deal with all the separate bits, so we look for higher levels of organization. We look for narratives. Get on board if you want to impact society. PS His Narrative Index predicted Trump’s victory.





Written on April 29th, 2016

Red State Hearts & Minds Meeting the Challenge of Immigration


If you’re working to build a healthy and just society,
let me help you tap the unique power of narrative.

I draw on my experience teaching, acting, music & film producing, screenwriting, and interviewing 
to help you tell more compelling stories. Listen here.
After years of radio interviews seeking A World That Just Might Work, I now produce and host the Disruptive podcast for Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering.
Let’s explore how we might

work together to change the world.


FREE FORUM Progressive Voices Network on TuneIn
Sat 3/17 7pmPT, Sun 3/18 10pm PT

How Stories Make Us Human
(link to podcast)

Upcoming soon: 
Arlie Hochschild, Strangers In Their Own Land
Charles Lewis, Center for Public Integrity
Robert Reich, The Common Good
Dan Ellsberg, Pentagon Papers; The Doomsday Machine

Featured Podcasts:
Naomi Klein, No Is Not Enough
Jonathan Smucker, Roadmap for Radicals  
Connie Rice, Power Concedes Nothing
Terrence McNally, Tap the Unique Power of Story



Seen the new STAR WARS movie? Check out The Beginning, a 3 minute Star Wars-inspired video with sperm as X-wing fighters competing to fertilize an egg. “Only one will dictate the future for generations to come…” Don Ingber and Charles Reilly discuss their creative project aimed at better communicating  science to the public …and how they made a scientific discovery along the way.



MICHAEL LEWIS’s best-selling THE UNDOING PROJECT tells the story of the collaborative work of Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman which revealed previously undiscovered ways our minds fool us.

Link to LiveTalksLA video page

Q&A: GREGORY BOYLE – Priest / Homeboy Industries / Author – TATTOOS ON THE HEART

Written on November 12th, 2014
  Aired 04/11/10 Father Boyle has made a point of collecting and telling uniquely powerful stories of life and death, and his work has supplied him with more than anyone should know.He has so far buried 168 of his homies, and fills his first book TATTOOS ON THE HEART with their stories. I read it cover to cover on a plane flight Chicago to LA, and cried at least a dozen times. Boyle's compassion is boundless, his work is courageous, and his example is a profound challenge. Father GREGORY BOYLE was ordained a Jesuit priest in 1982. He received his Master of Divinity from the Weston School of Theology; and a Sacred Theology Masters degree from the Jesuit School of Theology. Since 1986, Father Gregory has been the pastor of Dolores Mission in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles. The church sits between two large public housing projects, Pico Gardens and Aliso Village, known for decades as the gang capital of the world. In 1988, Father Boyle began what would become Homeboy Industries, now located in downtown Los Angeles. His first book is TATTOOS ON THE HEART. http://www.homeboy-industries.org/

Q&A: DAN PALLOTTA, CHARITY CASE: How the Non-Profit Community Can Stand Up for Itself and Really Change the World

Written on August 15th, 2014

Aired: 04/15/13

When someone approaches you to donate to a non-profit, how many of you want to know how much of of its money goes to salaries and fund-raising and how much goes to actual program services? If you’re like most people, that question probably figures into your decision.

I myself have factored that question of how much is spent on overhead into my charitable giving. But is it a valid or wise way to make such decisions? According to today’s guest, DAN PALLOTTA, while it may be helpful, much more important is how well they serve their mission, how good a job they’re doing solving the problems you care about.

In his earlier book, UNCHARITABLE, Pallotta, who has a record of helping to raise hundreds of millions of dollars for causes, made the case that the way we think about non-profits and the rules we set for them, makes it harder for them to succeed on a truly significant scale. Too many nonprofits, he says, are rewarded for how little they spend — not for what they get done. Instead of equating frugality with morality, he asks us to start rewarding charities for big goals and big accomplishments (even if that comes with big expenses). Where other folks suggest ways to optimize performance inside the existing paradigm, UNCHARITABLE suggests that the paradigm itself is the problem and calls into question our fundamental beliefs about charity.

With a new book, CHARITY CASE: How the Non-Profit community Can Stand Up for Itself and Really Change the World and in a recent very popular TED talk, he says “My goal … is to fundamentally transform the way the public thinks about charity within 10 years.”