Reimagining the World Together: Why Friendship Matters for Our Future is a fall series that examines the problems of the present and the possibilities for the future through moderated conversations between pairs of friends. The series is open to the public and for Duke students is also available as a course. The series, which is being co-sponsored by the Fuqua/Coach K Center on Leadership and Ethics, is part of The Purpose Project at Duke, a new initiative funded by The Duke Endowment and hosted by the Kenan Institute for Ethics in collaboration with Duke Divinity School and the Office of Undergraduate Education.
Before COVID-19 and the tragic, senseless death of George Floyd, the future was uncertain: climate change, political polarization, a global refugee crisis, police brutality in America, the rise of authoritarianism, and inequities in health and wealth were putting the future in question. Nonetheless, many of us had the benefit of facing these challenges from a relatively stable present. We went to school and to work; some of us played sports, all of us were fans; we shook hands with strangers, hugged friends and family; we boarded airplanes, trains, and buses worried only whether our bags would fit. These things were routine. Now they aren’t.
And still, the previous challenges remain and, in many cases, have been put in stark relief. The pandemic threatens to fracture an already divided political landscape, and the aftermath of George Floyd’s death — perhaps more so than other Black women, men, and children whose lives ended far too soon — has exposed weaknesses and long-held injustices in almost all of our systems, not least, higher education. When the present itself is unstable and uncertain, how do we plan for the future? How do we get there from here?
August 27: William Barber and Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove
Sept 3: Marshall Goldsmith and Jim Yong Kim
Paul Farmer and Todd McCormack
September 17: Brian Hare and Vanessa Woods
Dr. Brian Hare is a core member of the Center of Cognitive Neuroscience, a Professor in Evolutionary Anthropology, and Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke University. Vanessa Woods is the Director of the Duke Puppy Kindergarten and an award winning writer and journalist. Join Hare and Woods for a conversation of how their friendship has shaped their lives, work and purpose.
September 24: Shane Battier and Ravi Gupta
Shane Battier is Vice President, Basketball Development & Analytics of the Miami Heat, using his 13-year NBA career and collegiate career at Duke University to help guide the Heat’s basketball development strategy. Ravi Gupta is a partner at Sequoia Capital where he focuses on consumer, mobile/Internet, and fintech investments. Join Battier and Gupta for a conversation of how their friendship has shaped their lives, work and purpose.
October 1 (12PM): Kathleen Cravero and Mike Merson
Before joining CUNY, Dr. Cravero spent 25 years working for the United Nations, serving in five different United Nations agencies and living in four different countries. Michael H. Merson is the Wolfgang Joklik Professor of Global Health and Professor of Medicine in the Duke University School of Medicine. Join Cravero and Merson for a conversation of how their friendship has shaped their lives, work and purpose.
October 8: Ann Friedman and Aminatou Sow
Ann Friedman is an American magazine editor, journalist, podcaster, and pie chart artist. She writes about gender, politics, and social issues. Aminatou Sow is a United States-based businesswoman, digital strategist, writer, podcast host, and co-founder of Tech LadyMafia. Join Friedman and Sow for a conversation of how their friendship has shaped their lives, work and purpose.
October 15: Bree Newsome Bass and Gina Newsome Duncan
Bree Newsome Bass is an artist, activist and public speaker. She is an organizer in the modern civil rights. In 2015, she attracted national attention when she scaled a flagpole at South Carolina’s capitol building to remove the Confederate battle flag in protest of systemic racism. Dr. Gina Newsome Duncan is an adult psychiatrist and psychotherapist in private practice in Charlotte, NC. A writer, speaker, and consultant, she is actively engaged in faith- and community-based efforts to reduce disparities in health and achievement by leveraging positive, strengths-based approaches that promote overall wellness and build resilience. Join Newsome Bass and Newsome Duncan for a conversation of how their friendship has shaped their lives, work and purpose.
October 22: Julie Beck and Mary Katherine Howell
Julie Beck is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where she oversees the Family section. She is the creator of “The Friendship Files,” a series of interviews with friends about their friendships. Mary Katherine Howell is an Allied Health Fellow at the Capitol MIRECC (Mental Illness Research, Education, & Clinical Center) for the Department of Veteran Affairs, where she conducts clinical research with and provides psychological treatment to Veterans with serious mental illness. Join Beck and Howell for a conversation of how their friendship has shaped their lives, work and purpose.
October 29: Lisa Borders and Wendy Clark
Lisa Borders (www.lisaborders.us) has three decades of leadership experience, delivering results in the private, public and non-profit sectors. She is the CEO of LMB Group, a management consultancy firm, and recently chaired the Borders Commission. Wendy Clark is a marketing and agency veteran and is the global CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network (DAN). She is the first female CEO of a global agency network. Join Borders and Clark for a conversation of how their friendship has shaped their lives, work and purpose.
November 5: Anthony Arnove and Sonia Shah
Anthony Arnove produced the Academy Award–nominated documentary Dirty Wars, based on Jeremy Scahill’s book Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield and wrote, directed, and produced The People Speak with Howard Zinn. Sonia Shah is an investigative journalist and author of critically acclaimed and prize-winning books on science, human rights, and international politics. Join Arnove and Shah for a conversation of how their friendship has shaped their lives, work and purpose.