Inspiring Conversations Series

2021-2022 Academic Year Series

Journey Towards Purpose

Notre Dame’s Inspired Leadership Initiative continued our Inspiring Conversations digital series during the 2021-2022 academic year, offering in-person events, along with a digital option available through ThinkND, the University’s open online learning community. The upcoming series "Journey Towards Purpose" feautred leaders who specialize in guiding people toward living more fulfilling and happy lives.  You may find links to the recorded events below.


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Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM

"Christianity and the Re-Emergence of the Non-Dual Mind"

Video Recording

Father Richard Rohr is a Franciscan friar and ecumenical teacher who bears witness to the deep wisdom of Christian mysticism and traditions of action and contemplation. He is the founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation (CAC) and academic Dean of the Living School in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is the author of numerous books.



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Jerome Bettis

“The Bus Takes a Purposeful Journey”

Video Recording

The Inspired Leadership Initiative welcomed Jerome Bettis on Monday, March 28, as he explored pursuing a new purpose following his successful football career, his return to campus to complete his degree, and his mission to be a force for good as he advocates for asthma education and awareness and dedicates himself to serving the youth in his community. Please enjoy the recording of the live, in-person event on ThinkND.




George Lopez

George A. Lopez

"When Purpose Calls - Re-Engaging One's Expertise To Address the Ukraine Invasion ...and Beyond"

Video Recording

George Lopez, Professor Emeritus of Peace Studies at Notre Dame and a leading expert on economic sanctions and peacebuilding, will join ILI Founding Director, Tom Schreier, to discuss Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the role and impact of economic sanctions in a conflict such as this. This conversation should be particularly rich as George is re-engaging as he felt called to, given his expertise on sanctions, having written five books and more than 25 articles and book chapters. This re-engagement, driven by a sense of purpose, is central to the ethos of the Inspired Leadership Initiative which George has been involved with from the very beginning.




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Kerry Hannon

"In Control at 50+: How to Succeed in the New World of Work"

Video Recording

Author and workplace futurist, Kerry Hannon, will join the The Inspired Leadership Initiative for its final Inspiring Conversation of this academic year to discuss her upcoming book In Control at 50+: How to Succeed in the New World of Work, which highlights the changed nature of work and offers actionable steps for achieving success in the workplace. A recording of this event will be released to ThinkND following the live event. 


Spring 2021 Series

Inspiring Conversations

Transforming Lives and Lives Transformed

During the Spring 2021 semester Inspiring Conversations discussed the theme of "Transforming Lives and Lives Transformed" and focused on three critical and timely topics: pursuing a second act, the intersection of spirituality and leadership, and solving societal problems.

Each guest speaker shared stories, perspectives, and lessons learned from their own experiences as leaders – personally, within their organizations, and in their communities. Each focused on the human side of transformation – their catalysts, purpose, and mission. It is our hope that participants will walk away enriched and inspired to take action.

The Inspiring Conversations series was exclusively offered through ThinkND, the University’s open online learning community. Recordings of the Spring 2021 series can be found below.


March 2, 2021

Paul Grangaard, Chairman and CEO, Faribault Woolen Mill Co.
"Art of Creating Renaissance"  
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March 9, 2021

Dr. Juliana Otieno, Senior Lecturer, Uzima University, Medical School & Founder, Rusalia Resource Foundation
"Inspiring Girls to Achieve"  
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March 30, 2021

John Ebert, President of J.W. Ebert Corporation, which owns and operates more than 40 McDonald's
"Leadership Lessons Learned During the COVID-19 Pandemic"  
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April 6, 2021

Rev. Edward A. Malloy, C.S.C., President Emeritus, University of Notre Dame
"Chosen to Lead"  
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April 13, 2021

Sr. Gabriella Bottani, SMC, Talitha Kum, the International Network of Consecrated Life Against Trafficking &
Sr. Ann Oestreich, I.H.M., President, U.S. Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking 
"The Myths and Terrible Truths of Human Trafficking"
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April 21, 2021

Karl Racine, Attorney General for the District of Columbia
Richard (Dick) Nussbaum II '74, Partner with Sopko, Nussbaum, Inabnit, & Kaczmarek
"The American Justice System and the Future"
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May 18, 2021

Dr. Adrienne Boissy, Chief Experience Officer, Cleveland Clinic
"Why Care? Crafting a Leadership Grounded in Truth and Empathy"
Watch   Listen


Fall 2020 Series

Leading People in an Ever Changing World

Inspiring Conversations Fall 2020

The Inspiring Conversations digital series launched in Fall 2020 with the theme of "Leading People in an Ever-Changing World." The series featured leaders from across many disciplines and industries. Led by Tom Schreier and Chris Stevens, and co-sponsored with the Inspired Leadership Initiative and the Notre Dame Alumni Association, the series explored the concepts of human-centered leadership – mission, empathy, courage, and adaptability. Recordings of the live Zoom sessions are available below.

August 25, 2020

Dr. Penny Wheeler, President and CEO, Allina Health.
"Embracing the Mind, Body and Spirit through Health Care"  
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September 8, 2020

Dave MacLennan, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Cargill.
"Sustainably Nourishing a Challenged, Changing, and Hungry World"  
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September 22, 2020

Muffet McGraw, former head women’s basketball coach, Notre Dame.
"Building a Winning Team"  
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October 6, 2020

Paul Karos, past president investment banking and equities, Piper Jaffray;
Cindy Karos, Founding Inaugural Member, The Order of the Myrrhbearing Women.
"How our shared faith has guided our life, our professions, our family and our path forward, even in the face of personal obstacles like blindness"  
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October 20, 2020

Hubert Joly, former chairman & CEO of Best Buy & senior lecturer at Harvard Business School; author of the forthcoming book "The Heart of Business: Leadership Principles for the Next Era of Capitalism"
Hortense le Gentil, author of "Aligned: Connecting Your True Self with the Leader You're Meant to Be"
"Leading with Purpose and Humanity by Aligning Head and Heart"  
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October 27, 2020

Louis King, II, President & Chief Executive Officer, Summit Academy OIC
"The Day After Tomorrow"  
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November 17, 2020

Fr. Dan Groody C.S.C., VP and Associate Provost, Notre Dame
"The Heart's Desire and Social Change: Finding the Path to Meaning and Mission";  
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December 1, 2020

Richard Leider, founder, Inventure–The Purpose Company and author
"The Path of Purposeful Leadership" 
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