[ The January 2007 announcement - Some of the links are obsolete]
Inaugural Convening – January 8–10, 2007 – San Francisco

The purpose of The Forum on Cross-Cultural Inspiration is to identify the factors that are necessary to capture the imagination and inspire diverse people to bring them together in shared purpose. Through three convenings, we intend to learn and share the means to create practicum and curriculum for leaders to develop this capability.


Inspiration has always determined the direction and pace of progress for organizations and cultures. The central questions of the Forum on Cross-Cultural Inspiration are: Which qualities, competencies and perspectives are necessary to capture the imaginations of diverse people to bring them together in shared purpose? As the world shrinks and we become more obviously interconnected and interdependent, how will we really engage people with diverse religious and philosophical beliefs, cultural backgrounds and base mythologies?


The Forum will explore answers to these questions for application in many spheres – religion, public policy, business, philanthropy and more. At the Forum’s inaugural convening, approximately 60 accomplished academics, researchers, theorists and practitioners from a broad range of experience will advance the inquiry in and across several disciplines:






Physiology: Are we hardwired as human beings to become inspired in similar ways to similar stimuli? What is the neurological component of inspiration?


Psychology: Are we inexorably moved as a species toward individuation and fulfillment of certain needs before others? Is inspiration only possible after other psychic needs are satisfied? How do the behaviorists and depth psychologists see this issue and what cultural factors differentiate our responses?


Mythology: What role do archetypal stories and symbols play in our ability to inspire or to be inspired? What unseen narratives dictate our future? Are there universal icons and metaphors so fundamental that they transcend cultural differences? What is the process of myth-building and mythchanging?


Spirituality: Psychology pioneer Otto Rank and more recently philosopher Ken Wilber have written that mankind’s cultural, religious and societal development has been spurred by our balanced needs to recognize both separateness and interconnectedness. Recognizing this apparent paradox, what constants are there in the major spiritual paths that could provide the basis for an inspired population across the boundaries of religious belief?

Frequently Asked Questions
What is the purpose of the Forum?
The Forum on Cross-Cultural Inspiration will bring critical thinkers together to:
  recorded, and participants and sponsors will receive a white paper and other post-Forum material.
  • Investigate universal motifs on which new approaches to global leadership development can be founded;
  • Gather, share and synthesize new research and scholarship on cross-cultural engagement Gather, share and synthesize new research and scholarship on cross-cultural engagement Gather, share and synthesize new research and scholarship on cross-cultural engagement Gather, share and synthesize new research and scholarship on cross-cultural engagement specifically the qualities, characteristics, knowledge, skills, attitudes and perspectives required to inspire diverse or seemingly disparate peoples;
  • Coordinate and advance the development of a body of knowledge about the principles and practices of cross-cultural inspiration; and
  • Begin creation of a curriculum of experience and other learning that will provide emerging leaders with the capacities needed to bring more of the world together in shared purpose.

Longer term, the Forum will create ways to disseminate and promote its curriculum, educating and developing a generation of individuals who will be able to inspire and motivate diverse peoples from around the globe. How will the Forum be structured?
Each area of inquiry will be addressed in plenary session and with an emphasis on small group discussion, exploring theory, research and practical application. TheForum will be fully


Who will attend?

The Forum’s inaugural convening is by invitation only, with anticipated participation by 60 “engaged participants”—people from a broad range of disciplines who are not only thinkers or thought-leaders but who also have some practical experience in the field.


Who is underwriting the Forum’s inaugural convening?

The Pearce Family Fund, a special research fund created for Terry Pearce by David and Emily Pottruck, and a group of private individuals and institutions with an interest in global leadership issues are initial sponsors of the Forum’s work.


Terry Pearce is an adjunct professor at the Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley, and a visiting lecturer at the London School of Business. His works include Leading Out Loud: Inspiring Change Through Authentic Communication and Clicks and Mortar: Passion-Driven Growth in an Internet-Driven World (with David S. Pottruck).


Will the Forum hold additional meetings?

A second meeting is planned for early 2008 in Europe and a third in Asia in 2009. Subsequent gatherings are to be determined.