Diane Gaillard: The Art of Communicating

Communications, a word that we all throw around without much consideration, derives from the Latin word “sharing.” That might sound strange, because we normally associate communications with the “commands” made throughout the hierarchies of the business world. Indeed, according to management theory, communications are the sine qua non of business: if commands are not communicated to workers, no management can take place: workers will just wait idly for a go ahead they never get or, worse, they will start accomplishing tasks independently and according to their own perspective, which, in all likelihood, will counteract organizational effectiveness. Communication in practise is also sometimes seen as “one way” only when it is actually a dance that needs a “two way” interaction.

Communications aren’t exclusive to the business world; communications also permit friends to express mutual appreciation through smiles, enemies to keep one another in check through stares and parents to comfort the world’s newcomers through embraces. 

Diane Gaillard is the co-founder of Consultancy32, a network of international communications consultants. She provides services to large groups, startups and public entities. Behind each communications action, she ultimately considers communication on the person-to-person level. Diane is passionate about helping individuals challenge and improve themselves through communication.

Diane, welcome to our show for some profoundly professional insights into the gift of “sharing.” 

When: Wednesday, March 2nd, 2022, from 19:00-20:05 Central European Time (1:00-2:05 p.m. Eastern Standard Time)

Where: on Zoom and Facebook Live

Pieter de Rooij: An Audience-Centric Cultural Institution?

Dr. Pieter de Rooij is a scientist of “leisure studies.”  Yes, it is possible: at the Breda University of Applied Sciences, Pieter researches what people do for recreation and how governments and NGOs can support citizens in the pursuit of “leisure.”  His research focus is two-fold: the management & marketing of cultural organizations and the study of their target audiences.  After his workday is done, he applies the knowledge he produces as a member of the supervisory board of a Dutch theater.  “How can cultural institutions be more audience centric?” is the question at the heart of his work.  In the West, the Netherlands is considered a pioneer of daring cultural innovations.  But, contrary to popular belief, Pieter’s research has found some ironic outcomes to organized efforts to, for example, get a younger generation to patronize theaters: by signaling new, more casual dress codes and inviting audience members to “crack a beer” during shows, a renown Dutch theater was not able to attract a younger audience.  Come welcome Pieter to our show for an exclusive look at “audience-centric” theaters and cultural organizations!

When: Wednesday, February 23rd, 2022, from 19:00-20:05 Central European Time (1:00-2:05 p.m. Eastern Standard Time)

Where: on Zoom and Facebook Live

Martin Rokeach: An Oratorio for Oakland 

Large crowds assembled near the two Fisher body plants held by Flint Sit-Down strikers. Flint Journal file photo.

Music may not directly inspire citizens to civil disobedience, but it sure seems that musicians are among the most vociferous opponents of “injustice anywhere.”  The Oakland Symphony, Youth Orchestra & Chorus under the leadership of Michael Morgan may be a case in point: the joint pursuit of justice and musical excellence defined his 30-year tenure.  Among the final new-music commissions he made is Bodies on the Line: The Great Flint Sit-Down Strike, a newly created oratorio by composer Martin Rokeach and librettist Rebecca Engle.  The composer joins us to discuss his magnum opus, preparations for the work’s premiere and its contribution to the late Maestro’s legacy. 

When: Wednesday, February 16th, 2022, from 19:00-20:05 Central European Time (1:00-2:05 p.m. Eastern Standard Time)

Where: on Zoom and Facebook Live

Patrik Aspers: Coping with a Complex World

Photo credit: Caroline Dahlberg

Human beings are funny creatures.  We usually want what we don’t have.  Certainty is no exception.  If we are certain of winning a match, we get bored and want more of a challenge.  Then again, should we be uncertain about dominating our rivals, what would we not do to gain certainty?  Future-oriented beings that we are – and who doesn’t thoroughly enjoy a good bet – sociology has probably always set its sights on how humans have dealt with uncertainty.  Indeed, Auguste Comte, one of the discipline’s pioneers, saw the West’s history of institutionalized knowledge production in that light: first theology, then metaphysics, followed by positivity and, finally, science.  The knowledge produced by all four institutions had, and still has, one end in sight: reducing uncertainty about the future.  Professor Patrik Aspers, Chair of the Research Institute of Sociology at the University of St. Gallen, sees uncertainty as an incredible co-creation of humans living in a wild world and asks how, and even whether, uncertainty can really be reduced.  Oh, yeah, and don’t confuse uncertainty with that fancy word “risk;” risk is already far too certain… Come welcome Patrik Aspers to our show and he will share with us his forthcoming and sure-to-be seminal book Uncertainty Reduction: Coping with a Complex World!

When: Wednesday, February 9th, 2022, from 19:00-20:05 Central European Time (1:00-2:05 p.m. Eastern Standard Time)

Where: on Zoom and Facebook Live

Tatjana Rankovich: Celebrating the Balkans through Music & Art  

Tatjana Rankovich performing at Carnegie Hall (Photo credit: David Milkis)

Machiavelli might well have summed up the volatility of life in the Balkans when he informed Lorenzo de’ Medici II., that “[The Romans] decided to wage war against Phillip V. of Macedon and King Antiochus III. of Syria on the Balkan peninsula, rather than having to fight them in Italy.”  As Machiavelli implies, the Balkans have always been at the forefront of great-power conflict.  However, that very volatility also endows the peninsula with the very best the disparate civilizations to the east, west, north and south have to offer.  The pianist and global citizen Tatjana Rankovich recognizes that rich inheritance: she grew up in the former Yugoslavia, where she learned that diversity is enriching and that, astonishingly, people living there have as much in common as they do differences.  With that vision of strength in diversity in mind, she founded the Music & More SummerFest to bring together music students and professionals from around the globe to study, perform and collaborate every summer in the Balkan heartland town of Trebinje.  There, surrounded by green mountains, the musicians are received as cultural ambassadors who are contributing to a new, bright chapter in the peninsula’s history.  If Tatjana is successful, who knows, maybe a successor to Machiavelli will be informing his patron that, to disarm the belligerents, the Balkans had dispatched their very best artists. 

When: Wednesday, February 2nd, 2022, from 19:00-20:05 Central European Time (1:00-2:05 p.m. Eastern Standard Time)

Where: on Zoom and Facebook Live