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January 2012: Schedule of Speaker

Presentations begin 12:30 p.m. EST (11:30 a.m. CST, 10:30 a.m. MST, 9:30 a.m. PST)

For more information on each of the speakers or to listen to the presentations over the internet click on the name of the presenter below.

Wednesday, January 4

Sherry Turkle
"Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other"

Underwritten by Van Wyk Risk & Financial Management

A professor, author, consultant, researcher and licensed clinical psychologist, Sherry Turkle has spent the last 20 years researching the psychology of people’s relationships with technology. She is a professor at MIT and the founder and director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self. Her latest book “Alone Together” explores our digital lives in todays always on, always connected culture. Profiles of Sherry have appeared in such publications as The New York Times, Scientific American, and Wired Magazine. She is a featured media commentator on the effects of technology for CNN, NBC, ABC, and NPR, including appearances on such programs as Nightline and 20/20.

Note: Due to contractual restrictions, this presentation will not be recorded or archived.

Thursday, January 5

John Varineau
"The Uses, Misuses and Abuses of Music"
in partnership with the Grand Rapids Symphony

Underwritten by Calvin Academy for Lifelong Learning

John Varineau teaches clarinet and music fundamentals at Calvin College. He is the Associate Music Director of the Grand Rapids Symphony where he conducts all their series concerts including the always popular Lollipop and Picnic Pops concerts. He also conducts the Grand Rapids Youth Symphony, and has served as the Calvin College visiting orchestra conductor. John holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of Wyoming and Masters of Music from Yale University. He is committed to nurturing the next generation of classical music lovers. He is a frequent visitor to area schools, and shares an infectious enthusiasm for music with students throughout West Michigan.

Note: Due to contractual restrictions, this presentation will not be recorded or archived.

Friday, January 6

Edith Mirante
"Burma on the Brink: Can a Southeast Asia Disaster Zone Achieve Democracy and Environmental Justice?"

Underwritten by the I.C.N. Foundation

Director of an information project on Burma since 1986, Mirante will describe the challenges facing Burma's people as they use various tactics to expose human rights violations and return to democracy after several decades of brutal military dictatorship. The cataclysmic effects of Cyclone Nargis and the inspiration of the Buddhist monks' Saffron Revolution, Aung San Suu Kyi's brave voice for nonviolent change and the frontier areas' long‑running civil war are all elements of a beleaguered but fascinating crossroads of Southeast Asia. From her firsthand experience, Ms. Mirante will reveal how the extraordinary people of Burma try to protect their forests and rivers against rampant exploitation and what the international community can do to help.

Monday, January 9

Eric Metaxas
"Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy"

Underwritten by the Richard & Helen DeVos Foundation

In a decidedly eclectic career, Eric Metaxas has written for Veggie Tales, served as writer and editor for Chuck Colson’s Breakpoint, and written for the New York Times. He is a best-selling author whose biographies, children’s books, and works of popular apologetics have been translated into Albanian, Portuguese, Spanish, Korean, and Macedonian. He is the founder and host of Socrates in the City: Conversations on the Examined Life, a monthly event of entertaining and thought-provoking discussions on “life, God, and other small topics” held in New York City. He is a frequent cultural commentator on CNN and the Fox News Channel and he has been featured on many radio programs, including NPR’s Morning Edition, Talk of the Nation and others. He is the author of two highly acclaimed biographies Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery and Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy.

Tuesday, January 10

Pedro Noguera
"A Broader, Bolder Approach to Education"

Underwritten by GMB Architects + Engineers

Pedro Noguera is one of America's most important voices for healthy public education. An expert on school reform, diversity, and the achievement gap, he focuses on the ways in which schools are influenced by social and economic conditions in the urban environment. He is currently the Peter L. Agnew Professor of Education at New York University. Noguera is also the Executive Director of the Metropolitan Center for Urban Education and the co-Director of the Institute for the Study of Globalization and Education in Metropolitan Settings. In 2008, he was appointed by the Governor of New York to serve on the State University of New York Board of Trustees. He is also a part-time high school teacher, the author of several groundbreaking texts, a regular guest on CNN and NPR, and a dynamic speaker who translates social theory into concise, hip language with emotional impact and intellectual rigor.

Note: Due to contractual restrictions, this presentation will not be available for online listening or available as a recording. Please find a remote site location or come to Calvin's campus to view this presentation live.

Wednesday, January 11

Gabe Lyons
"The Next Christians: How a New Generation is Restoring the Faith"

Underwritten by The Christian Reformed Church in North America

Gabe Lyons was at the top of the Christian food chain several years ago. A graduate of Liberty University, he was vice president of a prominent Christian organization and cofounder of Catalyst, the nation’s largest gathering of young Christian leaders. There was only one problem: he was embarrassed to be called “Christian”. So Lyons set out on a personal journey, leaving his comfortable job to found Q (, a learning community that mobilizes Christians to advance the common good. He also commissioned stunning research which became the basis on his landmark book, UnChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks About Christianity and Why it Matters, which he co-authored with David Kinnaman. Lyon’s latest book, The Next Christians, continues the conversation and gives us reason to be optimistic about the future of Christianity in America. As a respected voice for a new generation of Christians, he has been featured by CNN, the New York Times, Newsweek, and USA Today. Gabe and his wife and family live in New York City.

Thursday January 12

Michael Gerson
"Religion and Politics in a New Era"

Underwritten by the Gary and Henrietta Byker Chair in Christian Perspectives on Political, Social, and Economic Thought

A nationally syndicated columnist who appears twice weekly in the Washington Post. A former speechwriter and top aide to President George W. Bush, he currently serves as Senior Advisor at ONE, a bipartisan organization dedicated to the fight against extreme poverty and preventable diseases. He is the Hastert Fellow at the J. Dennis Hastert Center for Economics, Government, and Public Policy at Wheaton College in Illinois and serves as a Fellow at the Center for Public Justice in Washington, DC. He is author of “Heroic Conservatism” and co-author of “City of Man: Religion and Politics in a New Era”.

Friday, January 13

Jennifer Pharr Davis
"Adventures on the Appalachian Trail: True Stories of Lightning Strikes, Stalkers, and World Records"

Underwritten by Barnes & Thornburg

This past summer an incredible woman took an incredible journey on foot. That woman, Jennifer Pharr-Davis, covered the 2,181 mile Appalachian Trail in 46 days, 11 hours, and 20 minutes. No one, man or woman, has ever covered the trail more quickly. She is the author of Becoming Odyssa, an adventure memoir written after her first experience of thru-hiking the AT in 2005. Since then she has hiked over 11,000 miles of Long Distance Trails. She has trekked on 6 continents and currently holds endurance records on The Appalachian Trail, Long Trail and Bibbulmun Track. She is the owner of Blue Ridge Hiking Company and was named Outdoor Person of the Year in 2008. National Geographic recently named her one of ten Adventurers of the Year 2012.

Monday, January 16*

Adam Taylor
"Mobilizing Hope: Faith Inspired Activism for a Post-Civil Rights Generation"

Underwritten by Spectrum Health

Currently serving as vice president of advocacy at World Vision, USA, Taylor recently completed a year long fellowship at the White House. He formerly served as the senior political director at Sojourners and has served as the executive director of Global Justice, an organization that educates and mobilizes students around global human rights and economic issues. He is a graduate of Emory University, the Kennedy School of Government and the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology. He is the author of “Mobilizing Hope” which draws lessons from the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. and previous social movements and applies them to the most pressing challenges facing our nation and world today.

*Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Observed

Tuesday, January 17

Joel Salatin
"Dancing with Dinner"

Underwritten by Holland Litho Printing Services

Joel Salatin is a fulltime alternative farmer in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. He writes extensively for agriculture magazines and is a popular speaker who defends small farms, local food systems, and the right to opt out of the conventional food paradigm. His family’s farm, Polyface Inc, has been featured in Smithsonian Magazine, National Geographic, Gourmet, and countless other radio, television and print media. Profiled on the Lives of the 21st Century series with Peter Jennings on ABC News, his after- broadcast chat room fielded more hits than any other segment to date. The farm achieved iconic status as the grass farm featured in the New York Times bestseller Omnivore’s Dilemma by food writer guru Michael Pollan and more recently the movie Food, Inc.

Wednesday, January 18

David Gergen
"The 2012 Elections: Issues and Answers"

Underwritten by the Peter C. and Emajean Cook Foundation

A prominent national journalist, teacher, and public lecturer. He is a professor of public service at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and co-director of the school’s Center for Public Leadership. He is also editor-at-large at U.S. News & World Report and is a regular political analyst on television. As a trusted advisor to four presidents - Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Clinton - and to both political parties, David Gergen offers a bipartisan analysis of the Obama Administration, a divided Congress, the 2012 elections and what today’s headlines mean for the future of America.

Note: Due to contractual restrictions, this presentation will not be recorded or archived.

Thursday, January 19

Reza Aslan
"The Future of the New Middle East"

Underwritten by John & Mary Loeks and Meijer, Inc.

A drastic shift is taking place in the Middle East. A new generation of youth are clamoring for their rights and freedoms – and they drastically outnumber their elders. Seventy-five percent of the population of the Middle East is under the age of 35 and fifty percent is under the age of 25. The young, educated, and politically motivated youth in places like Iran, Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and beyond have a new vision--one that represents their values, not the values of a ruling elite or of the generation that preceded them. Reza Aslan is a world renowned expert on the Middle East – it's history, economy, culture and populations. In this eye opening talk, Aslan goes beyond skin-deep punditry and reveals the true nature of these historic societal changes. What motivates the Muslim youth of today? What will the new Middle East look like? How will these sudden regime changes affect the world's economic and political climate? With unparalleled authority and eloquence, Aslan unravels the complexities of the new Middle East and shows audiences what the future holds for this oft-misunderstood part of the world. Born in Iran, he now lives in Los Angeles where he is Associate Professor of Creative Writing at the University of California, Riverside.

Note: Due to contractual restrictions, this presentation will not be available for online listening or available as a recording. Please find a remote site location or come to Calvin's campus to view this presentation live.

Friday, January 20

Ralph Edmond
“Real Solutions for Haiti's Future"

Underwritten by Miller Johnson

Ralph Edmond grew up in the midst of three drugstores as the son of a Haitian pharmacist. After studying at the State School of Medicine and Pharmacy in Port-au-Prince, he accomplished a second degree in Business and Marketing Management at the Bernard Baruch College in New York City. Upon returning to Haiti in 1989, Ralph took a different step in the field of pharmaceuticals—a step toward the Haitian production toward the Haitian market. He and his business partner soon founded Laboratoires Farmatrix, which today employs over 65 people. After a decade of experience as an entrepreneur, Ralph attended a conference in Michigan on “Business as a Calling”, where he discovered his goal to bring mentoring and job creation to Haiti. Through the tool of mentoring, Ralph believes that business people and entrepreneurs can break the barriers of social and economic class. He will explain how “free” aid can hurt their economy and keep it from growing, how poverty and violence can be fought through investments and how common humanity can be shared through mentoring. He will also discuss how the Haitian Government, the NGO and the private sector can better interact to move Haiti forward.

Monday, January 23

Deborah Lew
“Stories and Songs from Broadway”

Underwritten by Peregrin Financial Technologies, Portland, OR

Ms. Lew is an actress who played the role of Belle in “Beauty and the Beast” on Broadway and appeared in the Broadway revival of “The Threepenny Opera”. Most recently, she was part of Bartlett Sher's acclaimed revival of “South Pacific” at Lincoln Center. Other off-Broadway shows include “Cinderella,” “Candide,” “Cupid and Psyche,” “No, No, Nanette,” “Up in the Air,” “West Side Story” as Maria, “Amour” as Isabelle, “Les Miserables” as Cosette, “Miss Saigon” as Kim, “The King and I” as Tuptim, and “Myth” as Elizabeth. Deborah has been a concert soloist at Jazz at Lincoln Center and, nationally, with the Asian Americans on Broadway concerts. She is a Calvin College graduate who will return to her alma mater to share with us a collection of songs and stories from her experiences of growing up in Grand Rapids, moving to New York City, and working to build a career in the theatre. She will recount stories from past show experiences and the audition process, as well as life in the Big Apple. The presentation will include performances of songs from her favorite shows.

Note: Due to contractual restrictions, this presentation will not be recorded or archived.

Tuesday, January 24

N.T. (Tom) Wright
"How God Became King: Why We've All Misunderstood the Gospels"

Underwritten by The Center for Excellence in Preaching

Widely regarded as one of the world's foremost New Testament scholars, Professor Wright has written over fifty books, both for the academy (his series Christian Origins and the Question of God) and for a mainstream audience (the Everyone series of guides to the New Testament). He has also written books of apologetics, including the best-selling Simply Christian. He has been featured on ABC News, Dateline NBC, The Colbert Report, and Fresh Air and has taught New Testament studies at Cambridge, McGill, and Oxford universities. Upon his retirement as the Bishop of Durham for the Church of England in 2010, the University of St Andrews appointed the Right Reverend Dr Nicholas Thomas Wright as Chair in New Testament and Early Christianity for the St. Andrews School of Divinity.

You are invited to register for the Symposium on Worship which features N.T. Wright in a Thursday seminar and plenary address on Friday and Saturday, January 26-28.