37 episodes

Your world is evolving—find out how with Carter Phipps, co-author of the Wall St. Journal bestseller Conscious Leadership. He’s an optimist, a generalist, and an integrative thinker. Now he has an excuse for his insatiable book-buying habit—a show that explores the movements, trends, people, and ideas that are shaping the future. Phipps is also author of Evolutionaries, and cofounder of the Institute for Cultural Evolution. Through in-depth interviews and occasional rants and reflections, the show explores the many subtle (and not-so-subtle) ways that the world is changing and developing across a vast array of domains—from business and politics to science and technology to consciousness and spirituality.

Thinking Ahead with Carter Phipps Carter Phipps

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.7 • 24 Ratings

Your world is evolving—find out how with Carter Phipps, co-author of the Wall St. Journal bestseller Conscious Leadership. He’s an optimist, a generalist, and an integrative thinker. Now he has an excuse for his insatiable book-buying habit—a show that explores the movements, trends, people, and ideas that are shaping the future. Phipps is also author of Evolutionaries, and cofounder of the Institute for Cultural Evolution. Through in-depth interviews and occasional rants and reflections, the show explores the many subtle (and not-so-subtle) ways that the world is changing and developing across a vast array of domains—from business and politics to science and technology to consciousness and spirituality.

    Diana Pasulka: Religion, UFOs, and the Experience of the Uncanny

    Diana Pasulka: Religion, UFOs, and the Experience of the Uncanny

    In the 2019 book American Cosmic, scholar Diana Pasulka offers a surprising and original perspective on one of my favorite topics: UFOs. She proposes that UFOs and the obsession with them has become a type of post-secular religion. She even shows that modern accounts of UFO encounters closely resemble religious visions of yesteryear. But one of the most interesting things about Pasulka’s book is what she shares about the shift she underwent personally as she studied more and more about the subject—from somewhat skeptical to more and more curious to eventually convinced that there is a real phenomenon that we need to study. She was helped along on that journey by two individuals, scientists who are part of what is sometimes called the “Invisible College,” meaning researchers and academics who study this phenomenon but don’t talk publicly about it. One of those individuals, celebrated Stanford professor Gary Nolan, has since become more public. And UFOs have as well. The subject has emerged from underground counterculture conversations into something approaching the mainstream. Even government is getting involved, with the recent congressional hearings (something I discussed with Australian journalist Ross Coulthart on an earlier episode of this podcast). For this episode, I’m happy to have the opportunity to talk to this unique religious scholar who is delving deeply into the more esoteric dimensions of subject—beyond the “nuts and bolts” of UFO research. Her inquiry is less about sightings of physical aircrafts (though she does share a fascinating story of being taken, blindfolded, to an alleged crash site in the desert)—and more focused on consciousness, subjective experience, and meaning. Indeed, there is a dimension of this phenomenon that interfaces with spiritual or ontological aspects of the human experience in ways that are unusual, surprising, and sometimes just, well, strange. I’ve wanted to talk to Dr. Pasulka for a long time and I’m thrilled to finally have her on the podcast. 

    • 1 hr 19 min
    Meredith Angwin: Energy, Carbon, and the Growing Fragility of our National Grid

    Meredith Angwin: Energy, Carbon, and the Growing Fragility of our National Grid

    When we think about energy, we often forget one critical element—the grid. Most of us depend every day on our national grid to supply the energy we need for our life and work. And our need for electricity continues to grow and is likely to increase further over the coming years with, among other things, the move to electric vehicles. So how do we build a grid that fits a future in which our need for electricity is growing, and our need for low-carbon sources is as well? Is it possible? What are the challenges? Energy Analyst Meredith Angwin, author of Shorting the Grid: The Hidden Fragility of Our Electric Grid is an expert in the essential skillset that we often take for granted as we consider the future of energy—engineering. With the rush for low-carbon alternatives to coal and oil, the engineering challenges of distributing new sources of energy through the grid are considerable. So what solutions are on the horizon, if any? Is there a path to reliable decarbonization? What should be the role of renewables, natural gas, hydro, and nuclear? In this episode of Thinking Ahead, Meredith Angwin brings her deep knowledge of how we source energy and how we distribute it though our national grid to help us discern the realistic options for our future from the many optimistic dreams and pessimistic fears that occupy the cultural conversation. Alarmed by the growing fragility of our national grid, she calls for a future with “less slogans, more engineering.”

    • 1 hr 11 min
    Christopher Leonard: Did the Fed and Easy Money Break the American Economy?

    Christopher Leonard: Did the Fed and Easy Money Break the American Economy?

    If you’ve followed this podcast for a while, you’ll know that I’m something of an economics nerd, and occasionally I indulge this passion by choosing guests who can offer insight into our past, present, and future through a financial lens. I was particularly excited to speak with journalist and author Christopher Leonard because he speaks to issues that have been troubling me for some time about the “easy money” policies of the Federal Reserve over the past decade or so. Since the Financial Crisis of 2008, we’ve gotten accustomed to hearing about low or even zero interest rates, “quantitative easing,” and other monetary policies designed to jump-start the economy. Which sounds like a good thing, right? Well, maybe. Or maybe not. I started questioning these policies when I was living in Northern California and watching the tech bubble form as hundreds of billions of dollars of venture capital flowed though that economic ecosystem. I watched the housing market go crazy, first in the Bay Area and the across the nation, and the extraordinary run of the stock market reshaping the contours of our economy. And I asked myself repeatedly, is this really a good thing? Of course, anyone who owns assets likes to see them go up in value. But is the economy as a whole served when the Fed pursues policies that significantly distort the functioning of markets? My guest on this episode, Christopher Leonard, suggests that the cost of these policies may be much greater than we realize. His recent book, Lords of Easy Money: How the Federal Reserve Broke the American Economy takes readers inside one of our country’s most unique institutions, and argues that the Fed is responsible for accelerating income inequality and setting us up for the problems we’re facing today, with inflation on the rise. Even if you’re not an economics nerd like me, I hope you’ll find this episode to be a highly lucid analysis of issues that affect all of us, whether we realize it or not.

    • 1 hr 29 min
    Darryl Jones: Roads, Wildlife, and the Future of Conservation

    Darryl Jones: Roads, Wildlife, and the Future of Conservation

    Why did the leopard cross the road? Well, because he had to. He might have been searching for food, or a mate, or a new territory. But if he made it safely to the other side, it just might be because someone built him a bridge. And today's guest on Thinking Ahead might have had a hand in that effort.
    One of the many great challenges of this century, to my mind, is finding a way for nature to thrive alongside humans. The rise of Modernity has made an enormous difference for human thriving but has put tremendous pressure on the natural world, a pressure that we have only recently started to make the effort to mitigate. But with population growth falling, technology improving, wealth increasing, and knowledge of natural ecosystems becoming more sophisticated, there are tremendous opportunities ahead of us to find better ways to coexist with the wild. And one of the people working to do just that is Darryl Jones, a world expert on building wildlife crossings to help animals migrate safely as their territories become divided and circumscribed by human roads. His new book, A Clouded Leopard in the Middle of the Road, documents the rise of one of the newest ecological areas of study, known as Road Ecology, and shares some of the extraordinary success stories he's been involved in, from the United States to Africa to Europe to Australia. In this episode, he explains the groundbreaking public-private cross-disciplinary partnerships that make such projects possible, and shares his personal passion for making roadkill a thing of the past. 

    • 57 min
    Chris Bache: LSD and the Exploration of the Inner Cosmos

    Chris Bache: LSD and the Exploration of the Inner Cosmos

    Psychedelics are having a moment. There’s never been a time in which we’ve seen more research into, experimentation with, and acceptance of the use of psychedelics—for therapy, for inner exploration, and for spiritual awakening. Of course, psychedelics themselves are anything but new (just ask Brian Muraresku, who shared with me on this podcast his fascinating research into their use over millennia). And pioneering research was done in the sixties and seventies before the use of psychedelics was forced underground. But today, the topic is out in the open, championed by high-profile cultural influencers, researched by major academic institutions, and inspiring a number of popular books, such as Michael Pollan’s How to Change Your Mind. Even amidst this explosion of experimentation, however, few people if any can match the experience and knowledge of Chris Bache. Back in the eighties and nineties, Chris took a series of more than eighty high-dose LSD journeys, all carefully documented. He initially wrote about these experiences in his 2000 book Dark Night, Early Dawn, but more recently he’s published a fuller account of them and a more mature reflection on what he learned in his new book LSD and the Mind of the Universe: Diamonds from Heaven. What makes Bache’s account particularly interesting is that through his journeys he seemed to tap into more than just his own inner world; his intent was to explore, as he puts it, the very “mind of the universe.” Others might call this the collective unconscious or “intersubjective” dimension. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin called it the “noosphere.” At times, Bache even ventured beyond anything related to humanity and glimpsed deeper states and dimensions of cosmos and consciousness. His precise and poetic documentation of these journeys offers a fascinating window into an intensive experience that few may match—but one that perhaps offers valuable lessons for anyone interested in the inner cosmos.

    • 1 hr 26 min
    Steve McIntosh: Reconciling American Pride and Shame

    Steve McIntosh: Reconciling American Pride and Shame

    Regular listeners of this podcast or those who have followed my work over the years will recognize the name Steve McIntosh. Steve and I have been collaborating for almost two decades, including as coauthors (with John Mackey) of Conscious Leadership and cofounders of the Institute for Cultural Evolution. He is also a regular guest on this show. In this episode, we reflect on the current progressive inclination to highlight the wrongs of America's past, in contrast to traditional patriotism. Certainly, there's much to be ashamed of in our nation's historical record, especially the horrors of slavery, segregation, and the violence perpetrated against Native American populations. But should we allow that shame to eclipse any expression of national pride? Inspired by Steve's recent article "The Politics of Pride and Shame: Integrating 1776 and 1619," this conversation explores a potent cultural polarity and asks how we might come to a more integrated synthesis. As always, Steve brings a historically informed, culturally intelligent, and philosophically nuanced perspective to the topic. 
    Here are a couple of links to items referenced in our conversation:
     
    Steve's recent article "The Politics of Pride and Shame: Integrating 1776 and 1619"
    The Developmentalist: a media portal dedicated to advancing the evolution of American politics.

    • 1 hr 14 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
24 Ratings

24 Ratings

IntegralEvolutionary ,

Profound conversations at the edge

I listen to every episode of this podcast and am always enriched and edified by the content. Carter Phipps is a deep and broad thinker who illuminates the nuances of every topic he explores. These are not just interviews but profound conversations at the edge that invite us to question our assumptions and to see the world in new, more enlightened ways.

Aterah Z ,

Makes you think!

I’ve enjoyed Carter Phipp’s willingness to question mainstream assumptions in his writings, and his podcast episodes mirror this inclination. Having been involved in municipal sustainability efforts, including supporting efforts to move our city to more energy efficient power generation, I particularly appreciated his recent episode on grid resiliency - informative, exploratory, and boldly challenging mainstream assumptions- these episodes make you think and want to learn more about the subject matter presented by his guests. Thank you!

Mwombacher ,

Always excellent conversations in confusing times

Carter Phipp’s podcasts give me exactly what I want in these divided, polarized times where deeper conversations about the most important issues of the day, not the latest breaking news and one-dimensional talking head stuff that’s all over regular media, whether mainstream or not, are rarely available anywhere.

The intellectual curiosity and philosophical depth of these podcasts will leave you thinking in new ways right up until the next one lands in your inbox.

Carter’s grasp of his material, the choice of guests and the ideas they’re able to explore are riveting and an absolute must if you’d like to be informed about the defining issues of our time.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

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