Tag Archive for: big picture

Bridging Divides at Work

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How can organizations quell political discord in the workplace? Here’s why edicts are not the answer.

Polarization is not just a problem for Congress and our political system, it’s also taking a toll in the workplace. Employees are falling out with each other over politics, Supreme Court decisions, and fiery issues in the culture wars. Colleagues who used to be friendly now barely talk to each other.

Organizations are trying to stem the discord. Some have banned political talk at the office. Others have taken a public stand on an issue of the day in an effort to ‘do the right thing’. But these and other ideas still can end up pleasing some employees and alienating others.

Our guest on today’s show says edicts like this won’t help, but more thoughtful approaches can.

In this, our second episode on polarization in business, we hear from Simon Greer. He’s the founder of Bridging the Gap, a group that helps college students develop the skills to communicate well across differences. He also consults with organizations who face these same challenges among their workforces.

Simon explains how he went from ‘bomb thrower’ to bridge builder over the course of his career, tells stories from his work with employers and employees, and outlines the very personal reason for his belief in the humanity of the other person.

All on this episode of Let’s Find Common Ground.

Simon Greer

Simon Greer has been involved in social change work for the past 25 years. He has worked at the local, national, and international levels to address issues of injustice through philanthropy, advocacy, and service. He has led organizations through periods of dramatic institutional growth, including high-profile campaigns, program innovation, increased philanthropic impact, and more. As the founder of Cambridge Heath Ventures, he works with private companies, organizations, and governments to overcome their most pressing challenges.

For the last five years, he has conducted research; designed listening sessions; trained leaders; and organized campaigns to identify common good values, policy ideas, messages, narratives and a coherent worldview that he believes have the power to engage a broad cross-section of Americans.

He is the founder of Bridging the Gap and host of Courageous Conversations at The Nantucket Project.

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Two Young Southerners Speak Up on Guns

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How do our youngest voters feel about America’s gun policy?

Our guests on today’s show are part of the school shooting generation. Each grew up with active shooter drills and worries that their school could be next, concepts that were unthinkable when most of today’s politicians were in the classroom.

Ahead of Common Ground Committee’s live event on September 27th, Finding Common Ground on Guns we hear from Sophie Holtzman and Jackson Hoppe, sophomores at The George Washington University. They are also joint vice presidents of their college’s chapter of BridgeUSA, an organization that creates spaces for students to have open discussion on political issues.

In this episode, Sophie, a liberal, and Jackson, a conservative, share stories of being raised in the South, their experiences with guns, and how listening to others’ opinions on the topic – even when they disagree – is a vital first step to finding common ground.

Join us on Let’s Find Common Ground.

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Ep. 66 – Two Young Southerners Speak Up on Guns

Sophie Holtzman

Sophie Holtzman is a sophomore at the George Washington University and the Co-Vice President of GWU’s BridgeUSA chapter. Originally from Villa Hills, Kentucky, she has worked extensively with the Kentucky Democratic Party and Kentucky’s Youth and Government programs. While she has previously worked in grassroots organizing for Senate, Congressional, and gubernatorial campaigns and in outreach for Kentucky’s public libraries, she now works as a student-teacher for GW’s Elliott School of International Affairs.

With her International Affairs major and Journalism minor, she hopes to pursue a Master’s degree in Global Communication and work in climate messaging or climate policy. Outside of academics, she volunteers with GW’s Honey W. Nashman Center for Civic Engagement, is an active member of her sorority, and spends her free time running and reading.

Jackson Hoppe

Jackson Hoppe is a sophomore at the George Washington University and is pursuing a degree in Public Policy and Marketing. Along with Sophie Holtzman, he is the Co-Vice President of GWU’s BridgeUSA chapter. Jackson grew up in Brentwood, Tennessee, where he has worked both on the campaign and federal levels for Republicans in the Volunteer State, including positions in both the House and Senate. Additionally, he has participated in numerous civic engagement programs, like Model United Nations and Youth in Government, rising to some of the highest officer positions in both programs and being given the opportunity to lobby for federal civics education legislation.

Jackson also serves as the Director of Public Relations for GW College Republicans, where he has engaged with national media sources and is the mouthpiece of the largest conservative organization on campus. He is also an engaged member of his fraternity. He is glad to be a VP for BridgeGW and is a proud Tennessean.

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Primaries and Polarization: Is The System Broken?

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With low voter turnout and a wide partisan divide, are there better ways to pick candidates?

The primary election season in this midterm election year is now over in most states. Turnout was often very low—less than 20% of registered voters showed up in many places—while the partisan divide was as wide as ever.

In this episode, we hear from leading political strategists, scholars, authors and journalists about the American system for choosing candidates who will face each other in November’s election. We consider issues with the closed party primaries, and whether there are better ways to pick candidates for public office.

We look at proposed solutions such as ranked-choice voting and open primaries, where independent voters and those who are neither registered Republicans nor Democrats can participate.

Guests include Former Democratic Party Chair Donna Brazile, ex-Congressmen Will Hurd and Barney Frank, Domestic Policy Council Director Susan Rice, constitutional law scholar Rick Pildes, and journalists Salena Zito, Christa Case Bryant and Story Hinckley.

Join us on Let’s Find Common Ground.

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Ep 65 – Primaries and Polarization: Is The System Broken?

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Podcast EP 64: Millennial Politicians

Millennial Politicians on Finding Common Ground

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At a divisive time in national politics, how can local politicians work for the common good? Hear from two young leaders.

In US politics, bipartisanship is now the exception, not the rule. But the Millennial Action Project is pushing back: it trains young leaders to bridge the partisan divide and work together to solve America’s problems.

In this episode, we meet two members of the Millennial Action Project from opposite sides of the aisle. They are state representatives from Connecticut, Republican Devin Carney, and Democrat Jillian Gilchrest. Gilchrest and Carney discuss the joys and challenges of being a local politician at a time when national politics is so divisive. ‘Get to know me’ is something they often find themselves saying to constituents who judge them solely on the ‘R’ or ‘D’ after their name.

The two representatives talk about listening and responding to their constituents, having their own prejudices upended, and how they find ways to agree for the good of their state.  All on this episode of Let’s Find Common Ground.

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Ep 64 – Millennial Politicians on Finding Common Ground

Jillian Gilchrest

Rep. Jillian Gilchrest represents Connecticut’s 18th district in Hartford County. Rep. Gilchrest was educated at the University of Connecticut where she received a Master of Social Work and teaches at the University of Saint Joseph, University of Hartford, and Sacred Heart University.

Prior to her election in 2018, she has a wealth of experience advocating for women’s issues. She serves on the board of directors for the two nonprofit entities that encompass The Permanent Commission on the Status of Women in Connecticut. Additionally, Gilchrest has extensive public policy experience in women’s issues serving as the Policy Director at the Connecticut Association for Human Services, an Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut, the Director of Health Professional Outreach for the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and the Director of Public Policy and Communication at Connecticut Sexual Assault Crisis Services.

Currently, Gilchrest serves on the Education, Appropriations, and Commerce Committees.

Devin Carney

State Rep. Devin Carney proudly represents the 23rd General Assembly District. He was elected to his fourth two-year term in November 2020. Rep. Carney was appointed to serve as the Ranking Member for the Transportation Committee for the 2021 and 2022 legislative sessions, having also served in this position in 2017-2018.

Carney graduated from Brandeis University in 2006 where he received a BA in Political Science and a BA in American Studies with a minor in Film. In addition to the legislature, Carney works in finance at John A Bysko Associates and as a Realtor with Coldwell Banker.

Rep. Carney volunteers his time with many local organizations including serving on The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center Board of Trustees, as the Treasurer of the Board of Saybrook Senior Housing, a member of The Rotary Club of Old Saybrook, and as a member of both the Lyme-Old Lyme and Old Saybrook Chambers of Commerce. In addition, he serves as a member of the bipartisan Millennial Action Project, which brings together legislators 45 and under, and the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators. He also serves as an alternate member of the Old Lyme Zoning Board of Appeals.

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Episode 63: Davia Temin - Crisis and Common Ground

Companies: Crisis and Common Ground

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Can American businesses help us find common ground?  An expert discusses the challenges and opportunities.

American business can be a force for finding common ground, but large corporations must now answer to a growing array of stakeholders, who often have opposing views on hot-button issues. In recent years, social media has also forced companies to respond immediately to a variety of conflicting demands.

We discuss these challenges with Davia Temin, a highly respected marketing and reputation strategist, crisis manager and communications coach. We also learn the ways that business can help contribute to improving public discourse at a time of polarization and political conflict.

In this episode, we hear about the daily hazards and opportunities for corporate leaders and get practical lessons on how they can respond to today’s changing political, cultural and social landscape in a clear, caring and authentic voice.

 

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Ep 63 – Companies: Crisis and Common Ground

Davia Temin

Davia Temin is the CEO of Temin and Company, a risk, reputation, leadership strategy, and crisis management consultancy. Davia works with corporate leaders around the world, helping them to refine and strengthen their vision, voice, and market position in times of crisis and opportunity.

A respected writer, commentator, and coach, she speaks globally and has appeared on CBS, CNN, NBC, Bloomberg, PBS, ABC, Reuters, and in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Financial Times and numerous other publications and networks around the world. Prior to founding the firm over 20 years ago with the backing of GE, Davia headed Corporate Marketing, Crisis and Risk Management, and Public Affairs for GE Capital, Schroders, Scudder, Citi Investment Bank, and Columbia Business School.

An NACD Board Leadership Fellow, Davia is the Chair of Video Volunteers, an international media and human rights NGO. She also Chairs the Board Development Committee and serves on the Executive Committee and Governance Committee on the Board of Girl Scouts of Greater New York. She also serves on the Boards or Advisory Boards of The Harvard Women’s Leadership Board, The Knight-Bagehot Fellowship of Columbia Journalism School, and many public and private organizations.

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Episode 62 Climate Series - Daniel Yergin

Energy, Climate, and National Security: The New Map

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Can the global energy crisis be solved?  An expert assesses the evolving challenges and opportunities.

The world is being shaken by a collision of energy needs, climate change, and clashes between nations in a time of global crisis — made much worse by Russia’s all-out invasion of Ukraine. Roaring inflation has shocked consumers, the Biden Administration, and other governments around the world.

In this episode we discuss the rapidly growing challenges of national security as well as opportunities for common ground with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Daniel Yergin, one of the world’s foremost experts on energy, international politics and economics.

We examine the reasons behind President Biden’s latest visit to Saudi Arabia, Europe’s rapidly growing dependence on U.S. oil and natural gas, and the changing threats to the West from Russia and China. Daniel Yergin’s book The New Map: Energy, Climate and the Clash of Nations led to his selection as Energy Writer of the Year by the American Energy Society.

 

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Ep 62 – Energy, Climate, and National Security: The New Map

Daniel Yergin

Daniel Yergin is a highly respected authority on energy, international politics, and economics. He is Vice Chairman of IHS Markit, one of the world’s largest research and information companies; and chairman of CERAWeek, which CNBC has described as “the Super Bowl of world energy.”

He has served on the US Secretary of Energy Advisory Board under the last four presidents. He is a member of the Energy Policy Council of the Dallas Federal Reserve, a director of the Council on Foreign Relations and a senior trustee of the Brookings Institution. He also serves as a member of the National Petroleum Council, a director of the United States Energy Association, and of the US-Russia Business Council.

Dr. Yergin holds a BA from Yale University, where he founded The New Journal, and a PhD from Cambridge University, where he was a Marshall Scholar.

He is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Prime Minister of India, and the first James Schlesinger Medal for Energy Security from the U.S. Department of Energy. Among other honors, he was also awarded the United States Energy Award for “lifelong achievements in energy and the promotion of international understanding,” and the Charles Percy Award for Public Service from the Alliance to Save Energy.

In addition to his latest book The New Map: Energy, Climate, and the Clash of Nations, Dr. Yergin also authored the bestseller The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World. He is known around the world for his book The Prize: the Epic Quest for Oil Money and Power, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize.

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What Good Looks Like, Part 3: Sharing Messages of Hope & Caring

By Erik Olsen, Co-Founder

At Common Ground Committee, one of our objectives is to show what good looks like. As we navigate our way through a global pandemic that is impacting our economy, healthcare system and social structures, we’ve been heartened to hear how leaders and everyday citizens are showing kindness and thinking of neighbors.

Thank you for sharing your experiences and observations of how people are caring for others. During this uncertain time, your stories are bringing hope, inspiring others to reach out to those in need, and showing the world we are #InThisTogether.


What Good Looks Like During COVID-19

Taking Care of Neighbors in Need
I need to take my 14-year old cat, Miss Hissy, to the vet to see if the new diet she’s been on for the past three months has helped deal with kidney and thyroid issues. The vet is now only allowing “curbside” drop-off of pets – they’ll come out and get them, but won’t allow owners inside. Then they bring the animal out when they’re done. Which is fine if you have a car…since I don’t, I was planning on getting a cab and just having it wait for the time it takes for the exam. ThenI was told that our building’s “neighbor to neighbor” volunteer service had found a volunteer who would drive me down then and wait with me. The coordinator said that when they found out the need, there were several people who stepped up to see what they could do to help. At least that’s one less worry. ~ Boston, MA

Sharing a Smile
I wasn’t wearing a mask while out and about, and I saw another woman not wearing a mask (both of us maintaining social distance). She commented that it was so nice to see a smile! ~ New Milford, CT

Looking for a Silver Lining
Thanks to technology, so many people are working from home now rather than doing the drudge to NYC or Stamford or wherever they might have spent an hour on the road both ways. Hopefully they are finding out what the OLD WAY of life was, to be home with your family and enjoy your home. There’s going to be a huge adjustment, and it’s a very scary time. But maybe in certain ways we will find out HOW to live again, and not just be slaves to making a living. The earth is getting a breath of fresh air, and maybe there will be a way to actually go back to less stressful and better ways of life. Some good always seems to come out of bad. I hope and pray the good eventually surpasses the bad. ~ Camden CT

Giving Away Masks Made With Love
There is a store two towns up that loves everything flannel, and makes a lot of items themselves. They posted on a local Facebook group that if anybody needed masks, to please let them know as they are making them and giving them away free of charge. I asked for two, and a few days later two flannel masks showed up in my mailbox. This happened the day my N-95 mask broke. ~ Salisbury, MA

Uplifting Others With a Message of Hope
Seen on my walk today. ~ Salisbury MA

What Good Looks Like, Part 2: Caring for Others in Uncertain Times

By Erik Olsen, Co-Founder

At Common Ground Committee, one of our objectives is to show what good looks like by hosting public forum events. In the face of a global pandemic, we’ve also been heartened by stories of leaders and everyday citizens who are coming together as a community and showing the world we are #InThisTogether.

Drop us a line with your experiences, stories, and observations, and we’ll share them in our new blog series. During this time of social distancing, your stories of connection bring hope and give us all a greater sense of what good looks like – inspiring others to do likewise.


What Good Looks Like During COVID-19

Running Errands (No Tips Accepted)
One family in our NY apartment building just posted to the building’s website that they’ll pick up groceries or do other errands for anyone who isn’t able or too fearful to go out. The posting notes: “We will NOT accept anything in exchange.” ~ New York, NY

Ensuring No Neighbor Is Left Behind
I manage to go to the store during off hours, so lines haven’t been too bad. Although people are intent on getting the groceries they need, I’ve found them to be very good natured, moving around carts with a smile, recognizing that even though we’re in a stressful situation, there’s no need to add to it by being disagreeable. Walking up and back, the sidewalks are pretty much deserted, so I greet everyone I pass. Our building, which has a large number of elderly residents, is establishing a “neighbor to neighbor” program where we check in on each other regularly to see if help is needed. ~ Boston, MA

Getting Back to Nature, and to Family
Seen yesterday on a beautiful day in Hailey, Idaho – parents and their kids fishing in the Big Wood River. ~ Hailey, ID

Bringing Humanity Into Work Interactions
I am working on a project dealing with the state of Washington (from home and for my job.) Instead of calls being strictly business, we inevitably ask each other how the other is coping, if we are working from home and what challenges we are facing. Strangers encouraging each other since everyone in the world is fighting the same fight. Thanks for doing this Erik. ❤️ ~ Nashville, TN

Finding Strength of Character in Adversity
People say that adversity builds character; I’ve also heard (and I think more accurately) that adversity reveals character. Events like this are the great equalizer, in that our pettiness, fears, and self-absorption are stripped away when we think of how we might help others – not necessarily in grand gestures, but in the millions of small ways that we all can. Going to the grocery store is like going to the communal watering hole – there’s usually a spirit of friendliness and humor that’s not usually there. It reminds me of the post-9/11 world, when cynicism disappeared for a while. It’s interesting to be living through something so unprecedented. ~ Phoenixville, PA

Leveraging Technology to Reach People In Need
We’ve got a FB #314Together group that is helping small b2b keep each other afloat here in St Louis.

I’ve also joined an “Intellihelp” group on FB out of Texas that has gone nationwide to support each other on all levels.

Especially those that #need some help and others that are able to #give. Everything from supplies, to encouragement, to healing support.

We’ve got the technology to do it and our human compassion to make it happen.

We are capable, loving and kind! ~ St. Louis, MO

Caring for Our Community…Online & Offline
We are videotaping YouTube church services and studies and sending them to members. Might try a drive-in service showing. Our care team is cooking dinners twice a week for pick-up or delivery, making grocery /pharmacy runs for those who need to avoid shopping and have a nurse making wellness calls and visits if requested. Also working with the town Supervisor and board to identify the elderly in town so we can deliver meals and do shopping and wellness checks. ~ Dover Plains, NY

Giving to Spread Joy – and Receive It
I am a fan of jigsaw puzzles, and they were stacked and stashed in multiple nooks and crannies in our beach house. I sorted them by size and theme and they are now impeccably organized – PLUS I gave away twenty two of them. I set them out on the seawall with a sign that said “Free Puzzles,” and passersby helped themselves to all but three (and I have since found homes for two of those).

I was very pleased to watch from my deck as people paused to survey the inventory, and many would pick one up and carry it off. Several of them went to my immediate neighbors, but many to total strangers. I received one “Thank You” via the Next Door website which was entitled “To the nice person who gave us a puzzle.”

Looking Forward to Liberation
I went on a canoe trip once when I was at summer camp. The plan was to cross Lake Mooselookmeguntic, one of the Rangeley Lakes in Northwestern Maine, not far from the Canadian Border. There were probably 10 of us aged 12 or so and two counselors. The Rangeley Lakes trip was considered one of the high points of the summer, and every camper chosen for the adventure felt lucky.

We set forth on a bright day from Bemis, Maine, and almost as soon as we had dipped our paddles in the water, a powerful wind began to blow in our faces. After a couple of hours of strenuous effort, we made it to an island maybe a mile from our starting point. The counselors decided we should beach the canoes and set up camp and wait for the wind to die down before venturing further into what was a very large lake. And so we did.

And the wind did not die down, not on the next day and neither did it subside on the day after that. On the third day, the wind also blew. It was as if we had paddled into a Biblical Plague of the Wind.

As 12-year olds, after three days we were pretty much out of ideas for things to do, having denuded at least one good-sized chunk of shoreline of all the rocks that could be thrown into the lake. So the counselors, who were also approaching their wits’ end, decided that we should return to Bemis. And so we did, quite easily in fact with the wind howling at our backs.

We spent a night in a motel, which was a novel addition to the itinerary, and the counselors made an ingenious celebratory dinner with all our leftover provisions. So, having moved to Charlottesville on March 1, just in time to shelter in place here, I’m reminded of my incarceration on Lake Mooselookmeguntic, and of the great liberation that came at the end of that strange journey. ~ Charlottesville, VA

Email us to share your stories of “what good looks like” for our new blog series.

What Good Looks Like, Part 1: Your Stories of Kindness Inspire

By Erik Olsen, Co-Founder

Recently a friend posted on her Facebook page to share the story of how she helped a mother of five buy milk at the grocery store. It was a simple story, but it showed how she was alert to someone’s needs and helped out during this time of deep disruption to our daily routines.

At Common Ground Committee, one of our objectives is to show what good looks like by hosting public forum events. It occurred to me, in reading my friend’s story, that we can all contribute to what good looks like by relating our own experiences, events we observe or stories we hear from others of how people are coming together as a community. During this time of social distancing, sharing the ways we help each other face various challenges offers both hope and a reminder that we are #InThisTogether.

Drop us a line with your experiences, stories, and observations, and we’ll share them in our new blog series. With your help, we can all get a greater sense of what good looks like – and be inspired to do likewise with our friends and neighbors.


What Good Looks Like During COVID-19

Working Together in the Grocery Line
I want to share my amazing experience at our local grocery store today. I live in Tucson. We rarely have more than 3 people in our check out lines. I live about five blocks from our local grocery store. Ryan and I have been taking turns going to the store and adding a couple non-perishable items here and there in each trip.

Today I was third in line. The young mother in front of me chatted with me as we waited for check out. We swapped kiddos stories. I praised her for being stuck at home with five boys. They aged from 18 months old to 13 yrs. old.

When it was her turn to check out, the cashier told her that there was a two gallon limit on milk. She had five gallons in her cart.

I asked the cashier if I could buy two of the gallons and give it to her. The cashier said. “yes.”
The young mother grabbed several of my groceries and paid for them. I’m still not sure what she bought for me. I know that there was a big bottle of Coke and some artichokes.

We exchanged the two gallons of milk that I purchased for her, and the groceries she bought for me. We practiced social distancing, bumped elbows and went on our ways. ~Tucson, AZ

Finding Connection Instead of Stress
I stood in line for an hour the other day – just trying to get to the check out stand at the grocery store – we had a great time, everyone laughing and joking… it was nice to feel connected with my LA people. ~ Los Angeles, CA

Caring for Community Needs
Church officials and members are contacting each other and checking to see how they are and if they need any errands run and/or need anything purchased for them. Grocery stores are making specific senior citizen shopping hours. There is a Facebook group for the city for people to relay where to find specific items to buy, and reaching out to help. Free breakfast and lunch for K-12 children deliveries/pick-up. ~ Springfield, IL

Rallying Around Local Businesses
One of my restaurant clients in Westchester who is in the midst of the mess in NY sent out an email about their take out. I do their website and social media posts, and within 30 minutes she emailed me and told me they had 31 take out orders for tomorrow… and that was at 5:30 last night. I could feel the excitement and hope that maybe people will still try to support these businesses with the take out services. It was a positive moment in the midst of all this fear and worry. ~ Guilford, CT

Reconnecting Around a (Virtual) Dinnertable
Jim and I had dinner at home while Facetiming with our good friends in Connecticut, while they had their dinner. So fun! It was brilliant! 😄👍❤ ~ St. Louis, MO

******

I [Erik] will weigh in on this, since my wife and I are the friends in Connecticut.

Years ago when we were all “young marrieds,” we lived near each other in Southern California and we would get together frequently for dinner, movies, skiing, beach trips, etc. Twenty years ago my family moved to Connecticut, and more recently Sue and Jim moved to St. Louis. We have maintained contact but obviously our interaction has diminished over the years.

My wife and Sue had a phone call the other day and were discussing how social interactions were being curtailed and everyone was homebound. That led to the idea of having a dinner together remotely. We cooked dinner on our end, and they did on their end. We each set up a computer on the dinner table and commenced having dinner together.

The event was just like old times. The conversations started with the women talking about the kids and home life and ended with the husbands talking about business and technology (we are, after all, baby boomers). We now expect to make this a regular event. ~ Wilton, CT

Putting Others First and Finding a Win-Win
Bought a computer today so a coworker is ready if we have to work at home. There was a mom there shopping for the same style computer to teach her young son at home. The store only had two of those computers, and they had slightly different capabilities. We were telling her to pick first and she was telling us to pick first. We eventually each got a computer that worked for our intended purpose.

Spreading Hope By Making Music
Since I am in Milano and its area, where it seems to be hit the hardest, so far, I will share with you what is going on. After the first panic which saw queues of people buying food as if there was no tomorrow, things did calm down. Be aware that we are at the end of the 2nd week of isolation. I live downtown surrounded by gardens and near a new area with modern architecture. I say this because Milano was the first Roman capital. Its name was Mediolanum (in the middle), since its geographical position takes you everywhere in less than 1hr (either air or car).

At the end of last week the atmosphere was horrible. Beyond the deafening silence you wouldn’t see anyone around except those that would walk their dogs during the day. Last Sunday though, in the complex building near our apartment, there is a famous Italian rapper, Fedez and his wife Chiara Ferragni (the first international fashion influencer in the world – Harvard studies her success story, look it up it’s interesting) who rented speakers and mic, opened the windows and around 4 pm started playing few Italian songs famous around the world like Volare etc. At the end even our national anthem. The interesting thing is that many went to their balconies to sing along and shout. Italians are NOT nationalists, but they have become. Well this idea by Fedez broke the spell under which we all felt like ghosts. People showed up on balconies and started singing along, making videos.

Like in the US, the north is always more “British” i.e. contained, silent, formal, so it was a joy to hear people participate and wanting to share life, show up, even sing. Milano is a thriving city, the heartbeat of Italy, a small New York tougher than NY. I actually rephrased Frank Sinatra’s song: if you make it here, you can make it anywhere else. Trust me! Very business, very cold, very closed up. So the scene was amazing, a huge sign of wanting to carry on straight up, and hopefully with even some music in the heart.

It looks like they will keep us in house for another 2 months, because Italians have great talents, but as excellent creatives are disobedient, so for the fault of some we all must pay the price, at least that what seems to be today. But on the other hand, a wave of huge generosity has sprang from everyone, with donations (again this is not customary, the concept of Trust of Foundation was born in UK/USA) from simple employees to billionaires like Giorgio Armani and the not so loved Berlusconi, of course.

I attached a picture of the area where I live, modern and old, not too old :)) 1800s buildings. The skyscraper on the left was designed by Zaha Hadid, and on the right by japanese architect Isosaky and the third which is not in the picture is by Libeskind. I also attached the most recent video I could find of the area fairly updated. I live in the one old house turn of the century near the new ones. ~ Milano, Italy

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To stop coronavirus, we must set aside partisanship. Here’s how we can do it.

This USA Today piece by CGC Co-Founders Bruce Bond and Erik Olsen calls for citizens and politicians to stop using the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse to push partisan politics and cites cooperation between Israelis and Palestinians as an example we can follow. Three of the Common Grounder Attributes are used to show how we can put our differences aside.


– This article was published in USA TODAY on March 20, 2020.