Audio book: What Kind of World Do You Want?

Job #2627

Job Posting Details

Job # 2627 Audio book: What Kind of World Do You Want?

Posted Date
Dec 25, 2006 @ 23:23
Respond By
Jan 12, 2007
Word Count
0
Budget
$1000
Language
English
Gender
Male
Age Range
-
Category
Audiobooks

Job Description

35,000-word nonfiction book, to be recorded by single narrator (male). The book is inspirational and uplifting, with a light tone.

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This will be used as an audio book. It will also be used in roughly 10-minute segments as a serialized podcast.

Our budget is at the low end of the budget range indicated below. We require full buy-out of all rights.

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Portion of the first chapter:

Two of us are at the front of a small meeting room, unrolling a sheet of plain white paper, 20 feet long, and taping it to the wall. in a few minutes, a group of people will arrive to begin a workshop.

Soon we'll be asking them:

What do you see in the world, what do you see in your world, that gives you confidence in the future?

The first time I asked this question, a little more than a decade ago, I was afraid I'd be up there in front of a silent room. and indeed, the question has proven to be surprisingly challenging to answer. For most people, it seems to come out of the blue.

When I ask the question of this group, they hesitate before speaking. After a few moments, I hear a tentative voice. "How about women? the ascent of women into positions of power?" I write these words in the middle of
the paper on the wall.

Another pause before the next idea is offered. I write it up: "advances in medicine." Someone else observes that there seems to be renewed interest in the spiritual dimension of life.

Then someone says, "the invention of the Internet."

"Wait a minute," another interrupts. "the Internet is creating some big problems. Sure, it lets us communicate with people far away, but we spend way too much time in front of our computers and not enough time in the real world. What about the damage it's doing?"

I've heard this question before. I know it's likely to be in the back of everyone's mind: "isn't there a downside to every upside?"

"If you look for it, you can find something wrong with just about anything," I suggest. "right now, we're trying something different: intentionally focusing on finding things of value. That's what can fuel the future. So let's experiment and suspend our ability to discern the downside, just for the moment." (We'll soon see why this choice is so crucial.)

And I write "the invention of the Internet" on the wall. As often happens, addressing the what-about-the-down-side question unleashes the group's creativity. Someone expands on the Internet, observing that communications
technology has enhanced freedom of speech. The earlier remark about the ascent of women prompts a comment about "more acceptance of human diversity." The pace picks up as one person's idea sparks another's. The paper begins to fill and an astonishing range of assets and forces is revealed.

Increased awareness of the importance of the natural environment.

The spread of ideals such as democracy and universal public education.

Widespread voluntarism.

The commitment people make to care for children.

Our ability to laugh.

I can feel the energy in the room rise as we begin to see a different world than the one portrayed on the evening news. A different world than we often talk about in casual conversations at home, at work, even at the kids' softball game, when so often the talk gravitates to what's wrong and how bad things are.

At the end of the day, I stay after the group has left, looking at the work we've put on the wall. I'm moved by how we've begun to develop our collective ability to see all we have going for us--the tailwinds the world offers. And I wonder why those tailwinds are often out of our view. Why does the question I asked the group seem so unusual?

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