84 episodes

In-depth conversations with the most creative thinkers, respected leaders, and preeminent authors in a wide variety of fields including sports, the arts, parenting, psychology, medicine & more.

Wavemaker Conversations: A Podcast for the Insanely Curious Michael Schulder

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 25 Ratings

In-depth conversations with the most creative thinkers, respected leaders, and preeminent authors in a wide variety of fields including sports, the arts, parenting, psychology, medicine & more.

    Lois Jenson: The Silence Breaker From North Country

    Lois Jenson: The Silence Breaker From North Country

    Lois Jenson’s courage and tenacity have made her a historic figure in the battle against sexual harassment.

    She was the lead plaintiff in the first class-action sexual harassment lawsuit -- a case that inspired the 2005 movie North Country.

    I spoke with her in 2018, at the height of the #MeToo movement, for an in-depth Wavemaker Conversation. I’ve decided to repost the conversation now, for historical context, in light of the release of She Said, the new movie about Harvey Weinstein.

    Jenson was one of the first four women miners in the Eveleth Taconite Mine in northern Minnesota. In our Wavemaker Conversation, Jenson shares with me the details of what a judge on the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals called the “record of human indecency [that] sought to destroy the human psyche as well as the human spirit" of Jenson and the other female miners.

    Among other things, Jenson recalls the good guys at the mine who, she says, far outnumbered the bad guys — including some who urged her to keep up her fight.

    Getting to know Lois Jenson during this Wavemaker Conversation has been a source of inspiration for me. I hope it will be for you too.

    • 47 min
    Elie Wiesel: A Messenger To Mankind (from The Wavemaker Archives)

    Elie Wiesel: A Messenger To Mankind (from The Wavemaker Archives)

    My conversation with Elie Wiesel -- Holocaust survivor, author, and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize -- was recorded in 2013 for the 20th anniversary of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial and Museum. Our wide-ranging conversation includes memories of his childhood village in Hungary, his experience in the Nazi death camps, and his reflections on humor and friendship.

    The Nobel Committee, when awarding Wiesel the Peace Prize, stated: "Wiesel is a messenger to mankind: his message is one of peace, atonement and human dignity . . . ." The Committee cited Wiesel's "belief that the forces fighting evil in the world can be victorious . . . ."  

    I like to think Wavemaker Conversations is where curiosity meets hope.  And I believe that this conversation with Elie Wiesel takes us to that place.

    • 35 min
    Catching Up With Chris Matthews

    Catching Up With Chris Matthews

    The former Hardball anchor on the upcoming midterms; Trump vs. DeSantis; who to watch if Biden doesn't run; the power of humor in politics; and more … 

    In his recent memoir, This Country, Chris Matthews shares an old rule of politics: the shape of the field decides the winner.

    I sat down with Matthews this month for a Wavemaker Conversation about the shape of the field as we head into the 2022 midterm elections and look ahead to 2024. 

    We also look back at his life before MSNBC — including his years as chief lieutenant to House Speaker Tip O’Neill; his work as a speechwriter for President Carter; and his campaign for a seat in the U.S. Congress when he was in his 20s.  

    • 41 min
    Spencer Glendon: The Probable Futures of Climate Change

    Spencer Glendon: The Probable Futures of Climate Change

    The latest climate change developments make it feel like we are on a runaway train that will flatten the dreams of our children. 

    With this episode of Wavemaker Conversations, I hope to play a small part in slowing down that train. 

    My guest, Spencer Glendon, is a former Partner at the trillion-dollar investment firm, Wellington Management.  His work there centered on topics ignored in the world of finance but with potential for a seismic impact.   

    Twenty years ago, when the Chinese economy was relatively insignificant, he foresaw its meteoric rise, and its threat to America’s middle class, before most others.

    Ten years ago, he turned his attention to climate change.  

    And I’ve been following his work closely since 2019, when he gave one of the most riveting presentations on global warming that I’ve ever seen.

    After many years working on climate change from his position in the financial world, Glendon has created a nonprofit organization called Probable Futures -- which is developing powerful tools, including interactive maps, that help us visualize the different futures we will probably face with each incremental increase in the Earth's temperature. 

    In this conversation, Glendon illustrates for us, with great clarity and detail, that we face a range of probable futures -- the most frightening of which we still have the power to avoid. 

    I strongly recommend that you listen through to the last fifteen minutes, when Glendon shares with us the extreme health struggles he has faced through his life, and a diagnosis that, he says, ". . . provided clarity for me that, okay, I've got some number of years before I get really sick. . . . well, I've got limits.  Let's figure out what I can do within those limits."  

    Glendon's answer to that challenge -- what kind of life can we live within limits -- is inspiring on a personal level, and connects deeply to what we face in an increasingly warm and unstable climate. 

    If, at this moment, you only have time to sample brief excerpts, you can watch and listen to them on The Wavemaker Conversations Newsletter here. 

    • 1 hr 31 min
    The Stanley Cup For The Hockey Novice

    The Stanley Cup For The Hockey Novice

    With the 2022 Stanley Cup playoffs in full swing, I’m bringing one of my favorite sports conversations out of the archives -- my conversation with legendary hockey maven Stanley Fischler. He has written more than 90 books on the sport. The backstory:  In 2013 I stumbled upon the thrilling Stanley Cup finals between the Blackhawks and Bruins with my daughter, who was nine at the time. We were riveted.  But we couldn't follow the puck. The action was too fast. And she had so many questions, which I couldn't answer -- because  I'm a hockey novice. So I reached out to Fischler to be our guide.  Whether you're a hockey novice or an expert, I think you'll enjoy the stories and insights of the thoroughly engaging Stanley Fischler. 

    • 38 min
    A Smartphone-Free Campus: The Buxton Leap

    A Smartphone-Free Campus: The Buxton Leap

    In September 2022, The Buxton School, in Williamstown, Massachusetts, is becoming a smartphone-free campus. No smartphones at all. Not for students. Not for teachers. Not for administrators.  In this Wavemaker Conversation with Buxton's Director Emeritus, Franny Shuker-Haines, we discuss the tipping point (there was more than one) for this bold leap.  For parents, teachers and students who are listening, this may help you assess whether you'd like a 24/7 smartphone-free campus in your future.  I'll be following up with Dispatches From Buxton in the fall to report on how the transition is going.  To receive updates on this and other Wavemaker Conversations, please subscribe to my newsletter here. 

    • 47 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
25 Ratings

25 Ratings

dmanpod ,


I was stuck in Atlanta traffic from the infamous bridge collapse. My head was about to burst. My 20-minute commute was taking two hours. I wondered: How am I going to last over the next couple months?

I stumbled upon this wonderful podcast. Now, I look forward to the commute wondering what I might learn today. I bring a notepad, just in case I want to scribble down words of wisdom.

The interviews are wonderful, wide-ranging, insightful and inspirational. Michael Schulder is masterful.

Cr7 goal7 ,

Hooked! Devouring Them All!

I'm hooked! I lIstened to the Sanjay interview last night and found it interesting as it combined my interest in science, the brain and strategies to make myself an informed, educated parent. Michael is a gracious host and his questions pulled out enlightening and engaging responses from Sanjay. I was left wanting more!

GailRStarr ,

Wavemaker is THE podcast for the Renaissance man or woman!

Every single topic Michael addresses answers all of MY unanswered questions!

It’s like he has ESP, and knows what I want to know before I’ve even asked.

Love it!

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