October: Compassionate Cities and Governance

October: Compassionate Cities and Governance

In honor of the United Nations International Day of Cities, this series will explore what Compassionate Cities are about and how they are governed on a local and national level.

Oct 18- Compassionate Governance: 8am PT



Speaker:  Preeta Bansal

Preeta Bansal has worked at the intersection of top-level US government, law, public policy, academia, and global business. A practicing constitutional lawyer, she served President Obama as general counsel and senior policy advisor in the White House, and previously was Solicitor General of the State of New York. A graduate of Harvard-Radcliffe College and Harvard Law School, she was law clerk to US Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, partner and head of the appellate/constitutional litigation practice at Skadden Arps (a leading international law firm based in New York City), and Chair and Commissioner of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, in which capacity she advised on the drafting of the Afghan and Iraqi constitutions. From 2015-2016, she served by appointment of President Obama as a member and committee chair of the President’s Advisory Committee on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, focusing on poverty and inequality in America.  She is a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She graduated from Harvard-Radcliffe College and Harvard Law School and clerked on the US Supreme Court, before which she has also argued cases. 

Having always been interested in the outer forms/structures of democracy as a constitutional lawyer, Preeta is currently focusing on the “inner work of democracy” – or the “habits of the heart” (termed by Alexis de Tocqueville) formed in the local venues of our lives that bring the constitutional structures to life.  She currently is President of Social Emergence Corporation, a not-for-profit entity, and is a Visiting Scholar at MIT Media Lab, where she is working to bridge ancient “technologies” (ancient wisdom practices) with modern technology to help design new modes of social organization and governance.   

Call Recording:

Oct 11- Building Compassionate Cities: 8am PT

Speakers:  Mayor Greg Fischer, Louisville, KY & Thomas M. Williams, Esq


Mayor Greg Fischer
Committed to growing jobs and creating a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, Greg Fischer was elected Louisville's 50th mayor in 2010 -- and was sworn in for a second four-year term on January 5, 2015.

Since taking office, Mayor Fischer has pursued three top goals: making Louisville a city of lifelong learning, a much healthier city and an even more compassionate community. These are the three pillars of his administration. As a businessman and entrepreneur, he brings a data-driven approach to city government with a goal of making it more efficient and accessible.

Greg is a trustee for the U.S. Conference of Mayors and is past chair of the Conference's Metro Economies Committee which addresses economic problems facing the nation’s cities and their citizens. He was named a “Public Official of the Year” by Governing Magazine, the only U.S. mayor to earn that honor in 2013.


Thomas M. Williams, Esq.
Tom is a member of the Kentucky law firm of Stoll, Keenon, Ogden where his legal practice focuses in management-side labor and employment law.  Multiple times he has been recognized as one of the top 50 lawyers in the Commonwealth of Kentucky by Super Lawyers.  Tom was a founder of Restorative Justice Louisville.   He has served as President of the Louisville Bar Association and Board Chair of Leadership Louisville being recognized by that organization as one of Louisville “Connectors.”   Tom was instrumental in having a marker dedicated to Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech at the Lincoln memorial.  He advanced a similar resolution naming Thomas Merton Square in Louisville.   

Tom served on the Steering Committee for the 2013 visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Louisville.  He now serves as co-host of the Partnership for a Compassionate Louisville.  For that work, he received the Jack Olive International Heart of Compassion award from the Charter for Compassion International. Tom and his wife, Sarah, have three children, Lilly, Lincoln and Nelson. 

Call Recording:


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