At age 52, after selling the company he founded and ran as CEO for 24 years, rebel boutique hotelier Chip Conley was looking at an open horizon in midlife. Then he received a call from the young founders of Airbnb, asking him to help grow their disruptive start-up into a global hospitality giant. He had the industry experience, but Conley was lacking in the digital fluency of his 20-something colleagues. He didn’t write code, or have an Uber or Lyft app on his phone, was twice the age of the average Airbnb employee, and would be reporting to a CEO young enough to be his son. Conley quickly discovered that while he’d been hired as a teacher and mentor, he was also in many ways a student and intern. What emerged is the secret to thriving as a mid-life worker: learning to marry wisdom and experience with curiosity, a beginner’s mind, and a willingness to evolve, all hallmarks of the “Modern Elder.”

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Marcia Gay Harden, one of America’s most revered actresses discusses her memoir at Live Talks Los Angeles. In 1993, she originated for Broadway the now-iconic role of Harper Pitt in Tony Kushner’s Angels in America, a performance that earned her a Tony Award nomination. In 2001, she won an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her portrayal of the painter Lee Krasner in Pollock and in 2009, she won a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for her portrayal of Veronica in Yasmina Reza’s God of Carnage. Her films include Miller’s Crossing, The First Wives Club, Mystic River (for which she received a second Academy Award nomination), Into the Wild, Magic in the Moonlight, and Fifty Shades of Grey. Her television credits include Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, The Newsroom, How to Get Away with Murder, and Code Black. In this poetic and inspiring memoir, she uses the imagery of flowers and the art of Ikebana to depict the unique creative bond that she has had with her mother throughout the years—and how, together, they are facing her mother’s struggle with Alzheimer’s disease.

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Dan Goleman unveils new research that shows what meditation can really do for the brain. He is the New York Times bestselling author of the groundbreaking book Emotional Intelligence. A psychologist and science journalist, he reported on brain and behavioral research for The New York Times for many years. He is the author of more than a dozen books, including three accounts of meetings he has moderated between the Dalai Lama and scientists, psychotherapists, and social activists. Goleman is a founding member of the board of the Mind and Life Institute, a cofounder of the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning, and co-director of the Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations.

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Ray and Joan is about many things: mid-20th century US cultural history; post-WW2 emergence of fast food culture; addiction and its impact on the family; addiction treatment (the early days of, in particular;) philanthropy that precedes the grandeur of Buffett and Gates; the no-nukes movement of the 80s; the San Diego Padres; the mass media’s influence on all of the above, and, most importantly of all, the complexity of marriage. Lisa Napoli was among the first journalists to cover the digital age as a staff reporter and columnist for The New York Times and its CyberTimes. She was an on-air technology reporter and columnist for MSNBC and as a host and reporter for public radio’s Marketplace; and an arts reporter at KCRW.

 
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Join us for a lively discussion about the impact of the modern era of connectedness on our ability to think, create, and participate in the world. An event inspired by Pico Iyer’s recent piece in the New York Times extolling the virtues of peace and quiet. … Iyer has yet to own a cell phone!

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