"Cultivating Radical Gratitude" with Barbara Ford


Barbara has been an activist, therapist, facilitator, singer, and artist.  She is an impassioned leader of the Great Turning and a visionary artisan of cultural evolution.  

On this episode Barbara shares what to do during The Great Turning.  In these times of injustice, ecological crisis, and cultural dissociation, we talk about the tools to help us re-connect- to our hearts, our creative capacities, our communities, and our planet.  Barbara explains what it means to live in a culture of disassociation and how we can all be empowered by radical gratitude.

To learn more about Barbara's Radical Gratitude Project, click here.

Check out more on Barbara's website here

You can listen to and buy music from Barbara's album Blue Earth here.

During this episode, Barbara and I talk about David Steindl-Rast and his work on gratitude. You can here an interview with him on one one of my favorite podcasts: On Being, "The anatomy of Gratitude."

We also talk about the song "Step Forward" by Cloud Cult. You can hear that and see them perform it here:

"El rol constructivo de la música" con El Tipo Este

 Alexay "El Tipo Este" Rodriguez, Co-Integrante de Obsesión

Alexay "El Tipo Este" Rodriguez,
Co-Integrante de Obsesión

This episode is in Spanish. More English episodes coming soon. 

Fractal Friends (Los Amigos Fractales) es una exploración de nuestras similitudes más allá de nuestras diferencias. 

Este episodio es una conversación con Alexay "El Tipo Este" Rodriguez. Lo grabamos en en Habana en Febrero de 2016.  El Tipo Este es un integrante del grupo pionero de hip hop cubano, Obsesión. La co-fundadora de Obsesión es Magia Lopez.

Hablamos sobre la historia de hiphop en Cuba, el rol de los músicos en ser líderes conscientes de sus comunidades, y hablamos sobre la complejidad de criticar sistemas mientras que estemos participando en los mismos. Hablamos de raza, el periodo especial, los cinco elementos de hip hop y la experiencia de traer hip hop a Cuba. 

Here is an interview with El Tipo Este (in English and Spanish)
Aquí hay una entrevista con El Tipo Este (en ingles y español)

Quieres escuchar más del Tipo Este y Obsesión? Aquí les hice una lista para que escuches:
Want to listen to more music from El Tipo Este and Obsesión? You can listen here:

A mi me encanto este video y el mensaje de la canción: "¿Quién va a hablar mejor de ti que tu?"
I love the message of this song: "Who will speak better about you than yourself?"

Al Tipo Este le gusta el MC SieteNueve de Puerto Rico. Se puede escuchar su música aquí:
El Tipo Este enjoys listening to the Puerto Rican artist Siete Nueve. Check him out here:

 El Tipo Este in his home studio.

El Tipo Este in his home studio.

Embracing Life's Journey with Dr. Virginia Savage

Virginia and friend.jpg

This episode is with the inspiring and powerful Dr. Virginia Savage. She is a sports psychologist, professor, coach and all around badass. 

In this episode we talk about fear and courage in the face of this grand journey of life and death. There are deep lessons here about aging and about how to get the most out of our lives while we're around. 

Want to maximize your potential as an athlete? Do you want to learn more about cultivating happiness, clarity and personal mastery in your own life? Click here to check out Dr. Savage's website: Savage Performance

crow pose.jpg

Re-Humanizing Ourselves with Aryeh Shell



Aryeh Shell is a community leader. She is a passionate and effective advocate for positive transformation around the world and she is a great friend of mine. 

On this podcast we discuss learning and listening to the natural world and how we can apply this wisdom to transforming our social and political systems. Aryeh talks about how the the power of creativity and storytelling can create transformative moments and spaces for healing. There is a lot of wisdom in this woman.

Learn more about where Aryeh works: Creative Action Institute

Did you like the music?
Check out the Thrive Choir opening for Mamuse on August 8th in Berkeley, CA. Event here. Tickets here.

Learn more about Thrive East Bay here.
Learn more about Joanna Macy and The Work That Reconnects here. 

The Awakening Journey with Dave Room

 Dave Room

Dave Room

This conversation is with Dave Room, one of the creators of Pacha's Pajamas, a children's book that uses augmented reality and great music to create a compelling transformation story. The conversation is a reflection on parenting, stewardship and the impact that we can have on our world and how we can inspire others to also act positively in the world. 

Dave Room is the Co-Founder/CEO of BALANCE Edutainment. Dave’s daughter Melia is his inspiration.  With the intention to uplift tens of millions of children worldwide, Room co-authored Pacha’s Pajamas: A Story Written By Nature. Dave speaks about “The Awakening Journey” as a modern alternative to the Hero’s Journey. Check out his blog at MeliasPapa.com.
Twitter: @meliaspapa.



Dave's augmented reality (AR) children's book Pacha's Pajamas launches on IndieGoGo today Nov. 9, 2017. They are raising $20,000 to create the animations and illustrations for a AR rhyming picture book and to raise awareness of their AR young reader book. The rewards are in a "one for one" model where you get one and you give one to a kid in need through an organization working with kids in need. Check out Pacha's IndieGoGo campaign here.   

Cambio Social Irresistible con Vivian Batista

Vivian Batista 1.png

Hola Amigos Fractales, 
This is the first Fractal Friends episode in Spanish. It is a conversation with racial and social justice activist Vivian Batista Ibañez from Havana Cuba. This episode is in Spanish. Come back soon for a transcript and translation for those of you who haven't totally learned Spanish yet. 

Este episodio es el primero en español, y estoy muy emocionado compartirlo. Es una entrevista con la activista y organizadora Vivian Batista Ibañez. En este conversación hablamos sobre raza, música y la riqueza de intercambio social. Vivian es una luz brillante y estoy seguro que van a disfrutar su perspectiva sabia y energía contagiosa. 

Si quieren más episodios en español mandame un mensaje en duncan@fractalfriends.us o deja un comentario aquí.



Grass, Mustangs and Cowboy Wisdom with Alan Day

This episode is a conversation with H. Alan Day from July 1, 2016. Alan is a rancher, a cowboy and an author, and he has  many wise reflections to share with the world.

In this episode we talk about Alan's efforts to help the wild mustangs and to sustainable systems for the long term health of the wild horses and of grass. The conversation takes us into various important themes, like: How do we create sustainable living systems when we have finite resources? How do we work with populations that are traumatized by the behavior of those that came before us? How do we find the unique purpose in each of our lives that inspires us to contribute to the world?

Alan has a few books out. The Horse Lover is about his work with the wild mustangs. He also co-authored a book with his sister, Sandra Day O'Connor, called Lazy B. Alan's next book, full of stories, is called Cowboy Up! Life Lessons from Lazy B, and you can pre-order it here.

 H. Alan Day

H. Alan Day

An Honest Love Letter to America with Al Letson

 Al Letson

Al Letson

Fractal Friends returns from a long hiatus with an episode called "An Honest Love Letter to America." The conversation with performer, podcaster and artist Al Letson is a provocative exploration of the beauty and challenges that face America. This interview was recorded in July of 2016, long before anyone imagined that Donald Trump could be President of the United States. As such, the conversation reveals a degree of optimism and clarity about the state of America that is hard to find today. 

Much of the conversation is inspired by Al's work as a podcast host. Here are links to his podcasts: 

State of the Re:Union is an award winning show where each episode explores an American city or theme. There are five seasons and heaps of great episodes. See if your city is featured.

Reveal is a news show produced by the Center for Investigative Reporting. 

Errthang Show is Al's personal pet project where he explores a range of themes ranging from comic books to parenthood.

Al's play about the experience he describes at the end of the podcast, Summer in Sanctuary, is running at The Marsh in San Francisco until February 25th. Here is a clip below. 

Transcending Political Polarization with Steve McIntosh

 Steve McIntosh

Steve McIntosh

In this episode with author and integral philosopher Steve McIntosh we take on the question of how to transcend polarization in contemporary politics (and spirituality). This is a rich, profound and provocative conversation and we go deep into the issues and paradigms that underlie many of the challenges in our society. Hopefully, this conversation help craft a vision about what it would take to move beyond a left vs. right conversation and start thinking about how we all might work together across our diversity. It's also a unique approach to a complex and divisive topic. If you have thoughts, I'd love to open a conversation in the comments below. 

There are a lot of materials that connect to this conversation. If you found any of this interesting or provocative, here are some way to explore more deeply.

Steve McIntosh's personal author website is: stevemcintosh.com
The website for the Institute for Cultural Evolution thinktank, which Steve co-founded is: culturalevolution.org

These two essays are directly related to what we discuss in the podcast episode:
"Overcoming Polarization by Overcoming both Right and Left: How Polarity Theory Provides a Path to Political Progress" by Steve McIntosh
"Depolarizing the American Mind: How America can Grow Beyond its Currently Polarized Politics" by Steve McIntosh and Carter Phipps

Here is a video of a talk where Steve discusses his new book, The Presence of the Infinite. You can also find shorter video clips here. Clicking here will take you to videos from his talk about his 2012 book, Evolution's Purpose.


I first heard Steve on the To the Best of Our Knowledge podcast episode titled "Depolarize Now!" It is a great episode all around. Steve's interview is at the end of the episode and it's great. Another highlight of the episode for me is when political scientist John Hibbing talks about significant biological differences between studies of liberal and conservative brains. There is now evidence that people can't help what they think. For me that is further support for the idea that we need to accept that we're all in this together and learn how to get along. Here's a test from Hibbing's book Predisposed to test if you're hardwired to be liberal or conservative. 


Culture of Collaboration with Dave Savage

This episode is conversation with collaboration consultant and author Dave Savage. We talk about how the leaders of the future will need to be able to collaborate, we talk about his career spanning from energy executive to environmentalist and how social change needs to be profitable and innovative.

Dave can be found at  www.davidbsavage.com

Dave is a friend and colleague of mine so the conversation is more intimate than usual. I get a chance to talk about what I call the three rules of conflict. Together we develop the idea of the rushing flow of change towards a future that we know is there but cannot see, like drops of water going to the ocean. 

Our business, the Collaborative Global Initiative can be found here. 

Dave's new book is called Break Through to Yes: Unlocking the Possible within a Culture of Collaboration. The first person to leave a comment about the episode and to sign up for the Fractal Friends newsletter will get a copy of the book. 

 Dave Savage

Dave Savage


Healthy Food Systems with Nikki Silvestri

 Nikki Silvestri

Nikki Silvestri

Happy Earth Day Everyone!!!

Nikki Silvestri is a force of nature and a force for nature. Her work in food and climate justice has brought her around the country and to the far edges of our culture. She is no ordinary activist though. She is a true thought leader as she has learned to see herself as a growing part of greater system. This opens her to an amazing degree of self-awareness and awareness of the whole. Her passion for working towards a better world is palpable in this conversation. It also becomes clear that she wants all of us to express our best selves. 

You can find her at her website:

And at Silvestri Strategies:

She also has an amazing TEDx Talk about building allies in social change movements: 

In this episode I play y'all a song on my new ukulele. It's by the band Cloud Cult, and I am super grateful for their music over the years and for allowing me to play this song on the podcast. The song itself is not easy to find, so I've shared it here:

I make a reference to one of my blog posts at the beginning of the episode. You can click here to find out what the deal with fractals is.

I also talk about Thich Nhat Hanh and a quote from him. Here is a blog post about that as well.

Finally, I want to give a shout out to Don at Dewtone Recordings for his help in the production of this episode.

Recapturing Afro-Cuban History with Gloria Rolando

 Gloria Rolando

Gloria Rolando

I present to you the fifth episode of Fractal Friends. This is one of a series of podcasts with Cubans that I recorded during a trip in February. This episode is a conversation with documentary filmmaker Gloria Rolando. In the conversation we discuss the power of story and film to bring history to the present. Gloria specializes in Afro-Cuban history. Her films can be found online here at afrocubaweb.com

Here is a trailer for Gloria's film 1912, which we discuss in the episode:

My trip to Cuba was organized by a collaboration of the social change organization Art Corps (soon to be Creative Action Institute) and the conscious travel agency Altruvistas. I encourage you to check them both out. They can help you with leadership trainings, travel or just inspire you to dream big. 




Below are some historical images that are related to the Gloria's film 1912. They include: the poster for them film, the group portrait of the Independent Coloreds Party, graphics depicting the massacre of the party, and a photo of the banquet celebrating the massacre.

Letting Life Show Up with Barbara Bash

Welcome to Episode #4 of Fractal Friends. This episode is a conversation with artist and calligrapher Barbara Bash. She is a brilliant teacher of both communication practices and of meditation. She was also a student of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, who was very influential in bringing Tibetan Buddhist teachings to the West in the 70's and 80's. 

Barbara can be found and contacted at www.barbarabash.com.

The conversation takes us on a deep exploration of both art and spiritual practice and the intersection points between the two. One of the recurring themes here is about finding the courage to slow down and let life show up and the various things that we discover when we do that. When we listen and open our eyes to the world, the world comes alive around us. As it comes alive we find that the world is reflecting ourselves back at us, and as we engage we also find ourselves mirroring the world around us. The internal and the external meet at some place and collapse into one. There is something profound this, and it was lots of fun to explore this with Barbara.

At the beginning of the episode, we talk about a scene that unfolds in Barbara's book True Nature: An Illustrated Journal of Four Seasons in Solitude. Here is that scene of water beetles eating a dead fish. She prefaces the images with these words:

I sit by the water's edge and wait.
It appears that nothing is
happening when I first arrive.
That's how impatience
expresses itself.
If I stay in one spot long enough
the world begins to open.
 Excerpt from Barbara's book  True Nature,  p. 41.

Excerpt from Barbara's book True Nature, p. 41.

We also talk about Barbara's decision to not enter a fabulously intricate mosque while on a trip in Istanbul and to instead make a study of these tiles. These can be found here in Barbara's visual blog, also called True Nature.

This episode also includes music by Steve Gorn. Steve is a virtuoso on the Bansuri flute. He is also a student of Chögyam Trungpa and is Barbara's husband. I hope that you enjoy his music. You can find more of Steve's music and information about him at his website here: http://stevegorn.com/.

Martial Practice for Wellbeing with Matt Lucas

 Matt Lucas

Matt Lucas

Fractal Friends episode number three, and we are leaving behind the hippies... for now.*

This episode is a conversation with martial arts teacher, musician and body worker Matt Lucas. In this conversation we talk about the importance of being able to be with life as it is: with stress, sex, aggression and all the things. Matt makes a compelling argument that martial arts can profoundly serve us as we strive to ground ourselves in our bodies and our lifelong journeys.

Here are some links that can help you get in touch with Matt.
This is Matt's blog, music and personal website: www.themattlucas.com
This is Matt's martial arts website: www.theopenmatt.com

*Next episode is with Barbara Bash, buddhist artist and calligrapher, where we talk about the value of art, 

Building Utopian Futures with Johnny Druelinger

Hello Fractal Friends!

For this second episode of the podcast, I interviewed an old friend. Johnny Druelinger is living a lifelong journey dedicated to leaving a positive impact on the world. This journey has brought him through music and into career working on sustainable buildings (high-performance buildings and passive houses to be specific). We have a lovely conversation about the nature of growing up and integrating our past and present wisdom into our future. We also explore the themes of sustainability, creativity and strategies for social change. 

 Johnny Druelinger

Johnny Druelinger

Johnny's music can be found by following these links:

For information about passive houses and building sustainable buildings you can visit: 475 High Performance Building Supply. 

Thank you for listening. Feel free to leave comments below. I'd love to hear your feedback.


Original Blessing with Danielle Shroyer

This is the inaugural episode of Fractal Friends. It is a conversation with Danielle Shroyer. She is a Christian minister and author from Dallas, Texas. In this conversation we discuss the humanity of Jesus and the divinity of humans. We discuss atheism, the holy land and how awesomely awkward Jesus might be at a dinner party. I hope you enjoy. 

Danielle's website is www.danielleshroyer.com

Please sign up for updates on the right (or below on mobile devices). 

 Danielle Shroyer

Danielle Shroyer