Our American Discourse, Ep. 19: Imagining a Future That’s Better Than the Past

Nationalism is experiencing a resurgence. Global cooperation is under attack. Xenophobia is ascending from all corners of the Western world. “Populists” speak openly about returning to the past. What happened to the future? What happened to the optimistic vision of overcoming the differences between us, coming together, and building a better world? Wouldn’t you like to hear someone make that case? Better yet, we found someone who’s investing real money to make it happen.

In this episode, philanthropist Nicolas Berggruen shares his vision of a progressive, cooperative future where people and technology work together to build an inclusive, intelligent society.

Continue reading “Our American Discourse, Ep. 19: Imagining a Future That’s Better Than the Past”

Our American Discourse, Ep. 4: The Ethics of Governing

Democracy is a dialogue. It requires our leaders to ask, to listen, and to react. Good governance thus hinges on conversation and consent—and whether we like it or not, conflict. Planners and policymakers have to balance competing needs, never more so than in today’s polarized environment. How do they do the right thing? Does such a thing even exist? Citizenship demands that we engage with these uncomfortable questions, especially in this troubled era.

In this episode, we find sagacity and even humor in the hard work of ethical governing with Lisa Schweitzer.

Prof. Schweitzer is an associate professor of urban planning in the Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California. She teaches classes in city life and structure, justice in public policy, and public transit. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. She blogs regularly, provocatively, and wittily at lisaschweitzer.com.

To listen to this episode of Our American Discourse, click the orange arrow in the Soundcloud player at the top of this post. Or you can download it and subscribe through iTunes, Soundcloud, or Google Play.

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“Our American Discourse” is produced by Aubrey HicksJonathan Schwartz, and myself, and mixed by Corey Hedden.