Golden Civilization Conversation: George Kinder and Louis Vollebregt

Louis Vollebregt joins George Kinder on Facebook Live to discuss a Golden Civilization. They share about their collaborative work in Life Planning and the early development of the Golden Civilization Conversations. George credits Louis for being the first person to encourage George to apply the EVOKE Life Planning process with civilization, and recalls him saying, “George, why don’t you life plan civilization. It works so well with people. Why don’t you do it with civilization?”

As a grandparent Louis feels the importance of delivering a “A Golden Civilization” so his grandchildren can thrive. “I want to make sure when I go I would leave a world that has at least as much potential for them as it has for me. At least.” They each reflect on the main themes that come up in Golden Civilization Conversations.


I can re-claim my own idealism and innocence, and it brings me the power!
— Joan Luzier

I was one of a group of 10 people who participated in a weekly conversation based on George Kinder’s latest book, A Golden Civilization and the Map of Mindfulness. Over the course of four weeks, we were lucky to have George Kinder himself facilitate a series of what he called “Golden Civilization Conversations.” The conversations posed questions to the group about what we each thought was needed to create a Golden Civilization, including “What do we want to see happen in the world to restore sustainability, equality, kindness, etc.?” Whatever any of us came up with was welcomed and added to a board divided in three vertical parts. The board captured answers to three main questions:

  • “What is important to creating a Golden Civilization?”

  • “What are the obstacles do we see?”

  • “What can we do about creating our vision?”

The discussions were wonderful! Each of us contributed ideas to all three questions. Getting to the action part was a wake-up call and a means of catharsis for everyone. The action could be as basic as being kinder or wishing to be kinder. Some of us came up with wonderful action ideas and plans that we could do in our homes, neighborhoods, cities, countries, and for our planet.

One of the best parts for me was George’s charge to live our vision of a Golden Civilization every day, every moment. This has shown me that there are many, many times in every day that life itself has many moments of a Golden Civilization if I look for it. I can also see that there are so many ways that my life and my world are very far from the Golden Civilization in the larger scale. I have much more clarity and empowerment to not accept the unacceptability—and to stand up to power. There is much to do, much to learn, and I know I don’t have to do this alone. George teaches freedom. I found my own sense of corruption in the sense of cynicism and exhaustion toward power. I can re-claim my own idealism and innocence, and it brings me the power!

 And it was really fun!!!

 Joan Luzier

Open University academics discuss A Golden Civilization with George Kinder

George Kinder sits down with Open University academics Jonquil Lowe, Senior Lecturer in Economics and Personal Finance, and Alan Shipman, Lecturer in Economics, along with host Karen Foley for a stimulating discussion on the topics raised in his latest book, A Golden Civilization and the Map of Mindfulness. The Student Hub Live interview dives into George’s background in financial advice and developing the Life Planning methodology and how he’s applied the theory behind Life Planning to revisioning civilization.

Alan Shipman says that A Golden Civilization and the Map of Mindfulness is "a rather innovative approach" to looking at the world from both an individual perspective and as a whole "and how action taken by individuals can actually produce the world we want."

Video credit: Open University and Student Hub Live

Why activism at any age is commendable


Condorcet on Voltaire. ‘He seemed to recognise only one glory, that of avenging humanity, and rescuing victims of oppression.


Greta Thunberg started her climate campaign whilst in her teens. Some great contributors to humanity took much longer to start their activism. One fascinating case in point is the French literary lion and perceived leader of the enlightenment Voltaire. He was not a perfect man by any means but his contribution to the collective good must be admired.

Voltaire took an assumed named in his 20’s. His father was a successful lawyer who sent him to one of the best schools in France and wanted his son to follow in his footsteps but Voltaire had a literary calling and rebelled. Initially his rebellion cost him dear as he was cut off from family funds and temporarily disinherited. He experienced real poverty for many years including some time in London.  In his 30s he had some lucky business ventures and inherited family money. He used his money well and became fabulously wealthy. He consorted with Kings especially those of Prussia and France. He hated the system of France with its tyrannical approach to law and morality and found that the ‘Ancien Regime’ and the Catholic Church had too much arbitrary power over people’s lives. In those days torture of the cruellest kinds was used to extract ‘evidence’, which he and others realised was no such thing.

He was prone to a few literary anti-establishment  ‘digs’ here and there but he was also capable of great sycophancy to the powers that be when it suited his interests  and he would often deny authorship of critical texts. In his 50s he developed an interest in injustices of the law and became effectively a campaigner for reform and restorative justice. Any of the one in there American black males likely to end up in the US prison system would love to have had and would benefit from an advocate with Voltaire’s  incisive ability to reveal absurdities and to focus on fairness. However, his real advocacy for poor people’s quality of life came later when he became a feudal landlord and developed a keen interest in the health and lives of those on his estates, some of whom where refugees. He lived into his 80’s and in the last 20 years of his life was revered by many previously poor people for the work that he had done to help them learn new skills,  get decent jobs, justice, better housing and better food. He enjoyed doing it and he teaches us that no matter where you re on the age scale you can be an advocate for a kinder world and a golden civilisation. 

The quotes below show Voltaire at his most humane:

‘Prejudices are what fools use for reason.’ 

‘To be free and to be loved, is something that the kings of the earth do not have.’ 

‘I really hate a country where the sanctimonious hypocrites can lock up a philosopher.’ 

‘I do not have a sceptre, but I do have a pen.’ 

‘To have pleasure, you need a bit of passion, a great and interesting purpose, a determined desire to learn, which occupies the soul continuously. It is difficult to find, and does not come without effort.’ 

‘How I love people who say what they think! People who only half-think are only half alive.’ 

‘...perish the infamous prejudices which dishonour and brutalise human nature, long live reason.’ 

Listening is at the heart of a Golden Civilization for these 5-Day grads

2019-05-07 5-Day Ashland.jpg

Participants of the Kinder Institute of Life Planning’s 5-Day training welcomed George Kinder for an afternoon program. He presented his latest work by describing the “Map of Mindfulness,” key points of his latest book, A Golden Civilization and the Map of Mindfulness, and the structure for Golden Civilization Conversations. The group of Life Planning trainers and students then created their own vision of “A Golden Civilization.” Perhaps it is no surprise to those familiar with the Life Planning training, but listening was a key element to the group’s conversation and the commitments that came out of the conversation.


Open University holds a couch conversation with George Kinder

10th June #StudentHubLive Trailer:

“Inequality, wars, climate change, democracy, and chaos-- the world we live in today seems completely out of balance. And we all agree that something has to change. But can a whole nation, let alone a whole planet, find the will to put right some of today's ills?

On the tenth of June, I'll be interviewing George Kinder, and from The OU, Alan Shipman and Paul-Francois Tremlett, who specialises in the interface between religion, politics, and social change.

Kinder, sometimes called the father of life planning, is renowned in the world of finance for pioneering a different, more professional way for financial advisors to work, using listening skills to help clients envisage the future they really want and then work on removing obstacles to achieving it. In his new book, A Golden Civilization, Kinder turns this method towards the much bigger challenge of moving society as a whole to a whole new economic, social, and political order that he claims will deliver greater equality, peace, sustainability, and what Kinder calls freedom for all. In this live interview, we'll be discussing Kinder's ideas about how democracy, the media, markets, leadership, and even ourselves need to change if we are to share a vision of, and achieve, a golden civilization. This wide ranging topic will be of interest to many, particularly those studying economics, finance, business studies, social policy, philosophy, and religious studies. Join us online and take part in the live chat on the tenth of June.”

The Fourth Question

Camino De Santiago Trail

Camino De Santiago Trail

The dictionary definition of the verb evoke means to bring a feeling, memory, or picture into the mind. 

‘the smells, sounds and colours evoked pleasant memories of his childhood’.

As a life planner, through the EVOKE process, I invite you to tell the living story of your life.  I get the privilege to listen to your past, present and, in particular, the yet to be written story of your future.

Telling your life story is important because every story has the power to inform, inspire, guide, persuade, entertain, educate, open hearts, create laughter/tears, heal and transform.

In times past, elders in traditional communities, through stories, fairytales and myths, passed down through the generations their customs, culture and wisdom to ensure survival of the community.  Rituals and stories helped the individual to see the world more clearly and equally make sense of their ‘place’ within it.

In modern times, such cultural traditions, in many ways, have been lost.  The industrial age undermined our connection to nature and the individual is now left to fathom out by themselves how to transition through never ending change.  Ecological crisis, climate change, ethnic conflict, global warfare, financial debt crisis are all examples of immediate challenges for today's communities.

The EVOKE life planning process involves answering four questions.  The first three questions ask you to consider your life: 

1) I want you to imagine that you are financially secure, that you have enough money to take care of your needs, now and in the future.  The question would you live your life?  Would you change anything? Let yourself go. Don’t hold back on your dreams.  Describe a life that is complete, that is richly yours. 

2) This time you visit your doctor who tells you that you have only 5-10 years to live. The good part is that you won’t ever feel sick. The bad news is that you will have no notice of the moment of your death. What will you do in the time you have remaining to live?  Will you change your life and how will you do it?

3) This time your doctor shocks you with the news that you only have one day left to live. Notice what feelings arise as you confront your very real mortality. Ask yourself:  What did I miss?,  Who did I not get to be?  What did I not get to do?

The fourth question goes beyond your life and asks you to contemplate your vision for a better world future and what you can do to create the world you would wish to live in.

4) Imagine you are the wise elder of your family and community.  What world you would like your grandchildren, great grandchildren, great, great grandchildren to live in?  What lifestyle changes/actions (large or small) can you take today to ensure the sustainbility of the human family and natural world around you for generations to come? 

Whilst walking Spain’s Camino de Santiago pilgrimage path a few years ago, I met Paul.  He told me the following story:

‘On my first Camino ten years ago, an elderly man in his eighties would always be the last person to arrive at the hostel. I watched him almost collapse into his bunk bed for the first three consecutive nights of the Camino journey and because of his frailty, during each of those nights, I was convinced that he was going to die in his sleep   And frighteningly, on each arrival, he was more exhausted than the day before.

I finished my Camino walk in Santiago de Compostela 790km/500 miles later, toured around the Galicia region and returned back to Santiago.  By now it would have been around seven weeks since I started the Camino walk in St Jean Pied-de-Port.  Anyway, one afternoon, I went for lunch in a restaurant.  Whilst I was eating, the door opened and, you never guess what, in walked that old man.  Our eyes connected with an intensity: you remember the pilgrims from the beginning of your Camino.  I got up from the table, walked over to him and we hugged each other.  He told me that he had just arrived into Santiago de Compostela and finished his Camino that morning. I cried in that moment and I also learned an important life lesson: 'age is not a barrier to doing anything if the will is there.’

If ‘age is not a barrier to doing anything if the will is there’, what will you do today to transform your world and the world around you?  

After all, to evoke the story of your life may well be your greatest legacy of all.


Adam Wells | Life Planner & Personal Coach | El Camino Ltd 

Golden Civilization Advisory Group Zoom Call

Screen Shot 2019-05-29 at 2.50.50 PM.png

Big thanks to the conversationalists who could join us on for our recent call to review the progress of the Golden Civilization Conversation movement! Here are some of the highlights:

Key Points:

  • Prior to hosting the initial GCC meeting, consider if you'd like to continue to host future on-going meetings or if you'd like the group to continue but with another facilitator. If it is the latter, then the following bridge was suggested:

    • Ask: "Can we see a show of hands of who would like to attend a second meeting?" (Usually, 3/4 of the room raises their hands.)

    • Ask: "Who would be willing to host the space for the next meeting?" (Usually, one person will raise their hand.)

    • Ask: "Who would be willing to facilitate the meeting?" (Usually, one person will raise their hand.)

    • Say: That's wonderful! Let's make sure we have the email addresses of those that would like to gather for a second meeting. We'll put <name of future host> and <name of future facilitator> in touch with Lora Woodward from the office and she'll provide you with additional resources and support.

  • As groups evolve they may develop a major focus project as well as additional projects that help address the challenges presented in the Obstacles.

  • The group's vision statement represents the core theme that the group is engaged in.

  • When navigating negative or hot-button topics, consider doing one of the following:

    • Put the word/phrase on the board as you have been doing with other suggestions (this avoids judgment and treating one suggestion differently from others).

    • Ask a clarifying question to get toward the quality: "What are the qualities that ______ would bring? or "What are the virtues of _____ that we can add?" or "In your vision of a Golden Civilization, what would it mean?"

    • Ask permission to reframe the suggestion or ask the attendee to reframe it.

    • Ask permission to place the suggestion under Obstacles or Actions, if more appropriate.

We hope to see many of you on our next check-in call!

Economics & Democracy in a Golden Civilization

George Kinder discusses the main themes of his latest book, A Golden Civilization and the Map of Mindfulness. Contrasting the current model of civilization and its systems for economics and democracy, international thought leader George Kinder paints a picture of what is possible for civilization within a generation. Mr. Kinder's "Golden Civilization" is rooted in mindfulness practice and the wisdom that comes from being present. He encourages audiences to start living into the vision of a Golden Civilization immediate and watch it manifest.

Golden Civilization Conversation, Facebook Live with George Kinder and Lora Woodward

George Kinder speaks with Lora Woodward, Publicity and Program Manager for Kinder Institute of Life Planning, about Golden Civilization Conversations and the simple structure's roots in Life Planning. Lora shares her experience attending the very first Golden Civilization Conversation and the value of on-going conversations. Stay connected with the conversation movement by joining the group's Facebook page— A Golden Civilization.

The First Spectacle Pond Conversation Continues

Screen Shot 2019-05-23 at 10.35.51 AM.png

Something is stirring on Spectacle Pond. Exactly eight months after George Kinder encouraged his friends and Kinder Institute staff to join him in a small cabin by the pond for an experimental first attempt at a Golden Civilization Conversation, he has gathered the group again for another experiment of sorts. Seven individuals close to the work of George Kinder gathered around his dining room table on a windy, gray day that was more reminiscent of a New England March than the current middle of May. The meeting opened with an inner listening exercise led by Kathy Lubar followed by revisiting the qualities of a Golden Civilization that were part of the group’s original vision. George invited the group to add qualities to their original vision that would make the vision more complete. George then read the vision poem that came out of a Golden Civilization Conversation that Julian Powe hosted in London last November. To imagine groups all over the world having similar conversations that aim to uplift and inspire action is incredible! The group discussed obstacles and challenges to adopting their vision and followed it with the actions they felt were possible. The group committed to meeting again in July and inviting others to join the conversation.

2019-05-13 GCC - Vision.jpg
2019-05-13 GCC - Obstacles.jpg
2019-05-13 GCC - Actions.jpg

StarFish Dance & Yoga offers a perfect space to vision in Concord, MA


“My eyes heart and mind were expanded to allow for the possibility of using a mindful approach to envision and take active steps to creating a global civilization with integrity and true personal and entrepreneurial freedom at its core. Highly recommend everyone to read the book A Golden Civilization and to attend an upcoming Conversation event.” - Conversation Participant


A Golden Civilization Conversation begins in Strafford, VT


On Sunday, April 28, many members of the United Church of Strafford met after their morning service to participate with George Kinder and his family in a Golden Civilization Conversation. With 23 perspectives from individuals ranging in age from 15 to 90, they began the conversation by exploring the qualities of “A Golden Civilization.” Each person answered the questions in turn: “What would a Golden Civilization look like? What do you dream or long for human civilization to become? Imagine it is hundreds of years from now and we have established the ideal society, what are its qualities?” Responses like “respect,” “love,” and “freedom” were shared along with “wisdom/vision guides us and keeps us on track,” “harmony with animals and nature,” and “citizens are trained to be stewards of the Golden Civilization,” among so many more.

The group reviewed their list of qualities and were asked, “If, as a consequence of our work together and with groups like ours all over the world, we were to bring this world [referencing the group’s list of qualities for “A Golden Civilization”] into being within a generation, how would that be?”

Tom reported that “All enthusiastically agreed it would be the best thing that could possibly happen, and the greatest achievement that any generation had ever accomplished.”

The group then dove into exploring what could get in the way of bringing their vision to fruition. Each shared the inner and outer obstacles that came up for them. The list was much shorter, but each response carried weight. Outer obstacles included “many stuck in fundamentalist developmental stage who cannot see oneness,” “media, and money in media,” and “systems are self-perpetuating and growing in power.” Inner obstacles included “fear,” “greed,” and “hopelessness.”

The group acknowledged the obstacles and revisited their vision of “A Golden Civilization” before moving on to determine what global, national, and local actions are possible. From the actions and the energy arising out of the ideas shared, each member made a personal commitment to act toward living into “A Golden Civilization” now, including “write more letters to politicians to put climate change front and center,” “continue lifting voices of color,” and “use social media in positive way for environment.”

The group has decided to continue this conversation by holding on-going meetings. All are welcome to join the next Golden Civilization Conversation. Their next meeting is set for Sunday, May 26, 2019 at 11:30 AM in the Parish Hall. You do not need to attend the church to participate, and should you wish to attend service, it is at 10:00 AM (followed by refreshments). Sarah Root has graciously offered to be the group’s organizer and Tom Kinder to be the facilitator as they move forward. For more information, please email

To read a full account of the event, visit

Brothers George Kinder and Tom Kinder out for a walk.

Brothers George Kinder and Tom Kinder out for a walk.

Reading list & ideas contributed by Dr. Charlie Easmon


Dr. Charlie Easmon, Medical Director of Your Excellent Health Service, recently attended a Golden Civilization Conversation in London and felt inspired to share a reading list and ideas that he feels are contributing to delivering a Golden Civilization now.  

Ted Talks


  • Man’s search for meaning by Viktor Frankl

  • Thinking fast, thinking slow by Daniel Kahneman

  • Neurotribes - Steve Silberman

  • Why we sleep by Prof Matthew Walker

  • Madness explained, Richard Bentall

  • The Element: How finding your passion changes everything by Ken Robinson

  • Happier by Tal Ben-Shahar PHD

  • Stephen Covey - the 7 habits of highly effective people 

  • Awaken the giant within By Anthony Robbins 

  • Napoleon Hill any book

  • Dale Carnegie any book

  • The leader who had no title by Robin Sharma

  • The Kaiser Permante ACT study

  • The Spirit to Serve by J.W. Marriott Jnr & Kathi Ann Brown

  • The top five regrets of the dying by Bronnie Ware

  • How the mind works by Steven Pinker 

  • Status syndrome by Prof Michael Marmot 

  • You are not a gadget by Jaron Larnier & 10 reasons to turn off all your social media right now

  • Madness and Civilization by Foucault

  • Man up: surviving modern masculinity by Jack Urwin

  • Being a man the lousy modern world by Robert Twigger

  • Stiffed: The Betrayal of Modern Man by Susan Faludi

  • The OIQ Factor: Raising your school’s organisational intelligence - How schools can become cognitively, oscillating and emotionally smart by William Powell & Ochan Kusuma-Powell

  • Smile or Die: How positive thinking fooled America & The World by Barbara Ehrenreich

  • Authentic Happiness by Martin EP Seligman

  • Toxic Parents: overcoming their hurtful legacy and reclaiming your life by Dr Susan Howard

  • Sway: the irresistible pull of irrational behaviour by Ori Brafman and Rom Brafman

  • The Descent of man by Grayson Perry

  • Happiness: Lessons from a new science by Richard Layard

  • Confidence by Rosabeth Moss Kanter

  • Extraordinary Popular Delusions & the Madness of Crowds by Mackay

  • Reasons to stay alive by Matt Haig

  • How much is enough? By Robert Skidelsky & Edward Skidelsky

  • The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson

  • Rumi

  • The Happiness Advantage: The 7 principle that fuel success and performance at work by Shawn Achor

  • The art of handling people by Herbert N. Casson

  • Why we sleep by Prof Matthew Walker 

  • The art of Happiness: A handbook for living The Dalia Lama

  • The road to character by David Brooks

  • The confidence game by Maria Konnikova

  • The art of the good life by Rolf Dobelli

  • Seneca the good life

  • Fear of Freedom by Erich Fromm

  • The Anatomy of Human Aggressiveness by Erich Fromm

  • On Aggression by Konrad Lorenz

  • The Human Condition by Hannah Arendt

  • The deepest well: healing the long-tern effects of childhood adversity by Dr Nadine Burke Harris

  • Fully connected: Social Health in an age of overload by Julia Hobsbawm

  • The Power of Less: 6 essential productivity principles that will change your life by Leo Babuata

  • The Examined Life: How we lose and find ourselves by Stephen Grosz

  • The art of thinking clearly by Rolf Dobelli

  • Black Box Thinking by Matthew Syed

  • Scrum - The art of doing twice the work in half the time by Jeff Sutherland

  • A guide to confident living by Norman Vincent Peale

  • The art of loving by Erich Fromm

  • Emotional Intelligence: Why it can matter more than IQ by Daniel Goleman

  • Primary Greatness by Stephen R. Covey

  • Confessions of a sociopath by M.E.Thomas

  • The First and Second Penguin Krishnamurti Reader

  • The first and last freedom by Krishnamurti

  • Intimacy: Trusting oneself and the other by Osho

  • We are what we think - a journey through the wisest and wittiest sayings in the world by James Geary

  • How art can make you happy by Bridget Watson Payne

  • Poiesis: The language of psychology and the speech of the soul by Stephen K.Levine

  • Sapiens: 10,000 year’s of human history by Yuval Noah Harari

  • The Logic of Life by Tim Harford

  • Mid Life: look younger, live longer, feel better by Dr Muir Gray

  • Theory X & Theory Y Douglas McGregor of MIT 1960s

  • The No Asshole Rule by Robert Sutton

  • Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World by Anand Giridharadas




  • Dr Rosemary Taylor (adolescents)

  • Tony McLellan crew inc

  • Mandy Saligari

  • Nightingale

  • Dr Andy Zamar

  • Sleep specialists including .....

    • Resilience Prof Richard Williams (via Iapos)

    • Lexxic

    • Simon Baron-Cohen

    • Lighthouse

    • Alpha

    • Warren Von

    • Hoffman

    • Central and North West London NHS Gaming addiction Prof Bowden-Jones


  • Counselling of many sorts

  • EMDR

  • RTMS

  • ECT

  • Drugs

  • Psychopaths vs sociopaths

  • Training for non specialists

  • Mental health First aid

  • People management

  • The one minute manager series by Ken Blanchard

  • Emails to chaplian


  • Deloitte Mental Health Champions

  • Disney

  • Zappos Tony Hsieh

  • Unilever

  • De Bono 6 thinking hats


Dr. Charlie Easmon MBBS MRCP MSc Public Health DTM&H DOccMed
Medical Director of
Your Excellent Health Service