Charles EisensteinAbout Charles

I often have difficulty knowing what to say in a public bio. On the one hand, I probably don’t know you (the reader) very well, and am uncomfortable sharing too much intimate detail about my life. On the other hand, if I leave out what is real (and possibly embarrassing) then what remains is a sanitized biography, factual perhaps in what it says, but phony for what it omits. That said, I will do my best to present what I think will be most useful in contexting the ideas I work with in my writing and speaking. Read More →

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The Rebel Soul with Kelly Brogan M.D.

The Alchemist's Kitchen in NYC on June 10th, 2017 Dr. Kelly Brogan and I explore depression, ADHD, and other pathologized conditions as a kind of soul-level rebellion, a meaningful resistance to participation in life as it is offered to us, today. This 7 minute excerpt answers two questions. 1)  how d0 I guard against over-identifying with the ideas I speak about, 2)  how does a person survive trying to unravel the matrix when the money mostly comes by participating in the matrix? ... More →

A Conversation with Helena Norberg-Hodge

This is a conversation with the political thinker and activist Helena Norberg-Hodge. She had a huge radicalizing influence on my political thinking through her film Ancient Futures. By "radical" I don't mean the usual leftist politics. Helena is a tireless advocate for re-localization, the reclaiming of the commons, and the importance of direct participation in community. She is deeply insightful in linking these to global issues. Having spent decades in Ladakh, she is also one of the first to integrate traditional and indigenous world-views into a coherent critique of techno-industrial ... More →

Empathy: Key to Effective Action (2.2017)

When we hear calls for empathy in politics, sometimes we think that this comes at the expense of effective action, or that it means letting racism, oppression, etc. slide. In this video Charles explains how it is actually quite the opposite -- how conditioned responses of fighting lock us into futile replays of the same old program. And, how empathy allows us to act from what is real, rather than from our projections about what the "other" us, opening a new domain of creative and effective response. Empathy: Key to ... More →

An Evening with Satish Kumar (E20)

Satish Kumar is, in the truest sense of the word, an elder in the peace and ecology movement. To me personally, he is one of those deep allies who confirms that the most radical ideas I work with are not in fact crazy. It was my honor to weave this tapestry of conversation with him. We spoke about gift culture and the natural order; value, values, and the standardization of everything; the perils of over-reliance on metrics; speaking to power and preaching to the converted; gratitude and contentment, and much ... More →

Institutes for Technologies of Reunion

When I graduated from high school in 1985, college was the unquestionable next step for an intelligent, middle-class or upper-middle class young person. I entered an elite school not out of any particular ambition, but because the story that surrounded me said that this is how to do life. College, and probably further degrees thereafter, was the path to full participation in society. The problem was that deep down, I didn’t want to fully participate in society. I sensed a wrongness at the base of things. As I learned more ... More →