Starting a new tradition at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service, students enrolled in the Executive Master of Public Service degree program have submitted a piece of digital media – podcasts, documentaries, online lectures, etc. – that they recommend for others.
This year’s submissions include topics ranging from veteran homelessness and leadership to conversations with Jane Goodall and Paulo Freire. Eleven different TED Talks made the list, including two from Brené Brown.
Some choices were reflective of the students’ specific professions and personal interests. Kristina Root, who works as a superintendent at Mississippi River State Park, selected the podcast “Diversity in Parks.” For Valerie Carpenter, who has a strong interest in veteran homelessness, recommended a conversation on the topic from NPR.
From NPR, a tale of two cities. In New Orleans, there are signs of hope that veteran homelessness can be solved. But Los Angeles presents a very different picture.
On any given night, more than 450,000 people in the United States are locked up in jail simply because they don’t have enough money to pay bail. The sums in question are often around $500: easy for some to pay, impossible for others. This has real human consequences – people lose jobs, homes and lives, and it drives racial disparities in the legal system. In this powerful talk, Robin Steinberg outlines the plan for The Bail Project — an unprecedented national revolving bail fund to fight mass incarceration.
“A Conversation with Jane Goodall” – The Milken Institute
Conservation superstar Jane Goodall talked about her early life and the need to protect other species and our environment and ecosystems at #MIGlobal.
Brené Brown studies human connection — our ability to empathize, belong, love. In a poignant, funny talk, she shares a deep insight from her research, one that sent her on a personal quest to know herself as well as to understand humanity.
The Hunting Ground – Netflix
This exposé tackles the disturbing epidemic of sexual assault on college campuses and school officials’ efforts to cover up the crimes.
Four-star general Stanley McChrystal shares what he learned about leadership over his decades in the military. How can you build a sense of shared purpose among people of many ages and skill sets? By listening and learning — and addressing the possibility of failure.
“A Conversation with Paulo Freire” – The International Literacy Institute
Brazilian educator and philosopher Paulo Freire’s last public interview, given to The International Literary Institute in 1996.
Photographer Boniface Mwangi wanted to protest against corruption in his home country of Kenya. So he made a plan: He and some friends would stand up and heckle during a public mass meeting. But when the moment came … he stood alone. What happened next, he says, showed him who he truly was. As he says, “There are two most powerful days in your life. The day you are born, and the day you discover why.”
When a kid commits a crime, the US justice system has a choice: prosecute to the full extent of the law, or take a step back and ask if saddling young people with criminal records is the right thing to do every time. In this searching talk, Adam Foss, a prosecutor with the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office in Boston, makes his case for a reformed justice system that replaces wrath with opportunity, changing people’s lives for the better instead of ruining them.
Shame is an unspoken epidemic, the secret behind many forms of broken behavior. Brené Brown, whose earlier talk on vulnerability became a viral hit, explores what can happen when people confront their shame head-on. Her own humor, humanity and vulnerability shine through every word.
Body language affects how others see us, but it may also change how we see ourselves. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy argues that “power posing” — standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident — can boost feelings of confidence, and might have an impact on our chances for success.
In an engaging and personal talk — with cameo appearances from his grandmother and Rosa Parks — human rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson shares some hard truths about America’s justice system, starting with a massive imbalance along racial lines: a third of the country’s black male population has been incarcerated at some point in their lives. These issues, which are wrapped up in America’s unexamined history, are rarely talked about with this level of candor, insight and persuasiveness.
“Diversity in Parks” – Park Leaders Show
Park Leaders is about connecting the gap between the wisdom of those who did with the passion of those who will.
Trust is the foundation for everything we do. But what do we do when it’s broken? In an eye-opening talk, Harvard Business School professor Frances Frei gives a crash course in trust: how to build it, maintain it and rebuild it — something she worked on during a recent stint at Uber. “If we can learn to trust one another more, we can have unprecedented human progress,” Frei says.
Organizations are often run according to “the super-chicken model,” where the value is placed on star employees who outperform others. And yet, this isn’t what drives the most high-achieving teams. Business leader Margaret Heffernan observes that it is social cohesion — built every coffee break, every time one team member asks another for help — that leads over time to great results. It’s a radical rethink of what drives us to do our best work, and what it means to be a leader. Because as Heffernan points out: “Companies don’t have ideas. Only people do.”
We give scientists and engineers great technical training, but we’re not as good at teaching ethical decision-making or building character. Take, for example, the environmental crisis that recently unfolded in Flint, Michigan – and the professionals there who did nothing to fix it. Siddhartha Roy helped prove that Flint’s water was contaminated, and he tells a story of science in service to the public good, calling on the next generation of scientists and engineers to dedicate their work to protecting people and the planet.
The Clinton School Speaker Series not only enhances the education of Clinton School students, but also provides a venue for the public to engage in intellectual discussions on the issues of the day.