Mastering the art of storytelling to drive change.


Michael knows from experience that every single one of us has the potential to change the world. Nothing energizes him more than hearing a great story about a game-changing idea or social enterprise — and sharing it on THE GOLDEN MEAN Podcast so that everyone can get in on the action!

David Meyers, Publisher & Executive Editor, The Fulcrum

Ben Cohen, Polar Science Center GIS Technician at the Univ. of Washington

Declan Levy, WXOW-TV (ABC) Sports Anchor & News Reporter

Alyssa Rapp, CEO, Surgical Solutions and author of Leadership & Life Hacks

John Kass, Chicago Tribune Columnist & Host, The Chicago Way Podcast

Celinda Lake, Political Pollster and Founder of Lake Research Partners

Mark McKinnon, Host and Cofounder of Showtime’s “The Circus”

Jobi Cates, Founder, Restore Justice

Brian Gryn, Health Coach & Founder of Get Lean – Eat Clean

Patrick Berlinquette, Search Marketing Specialist, Founder, Berlin SEM

Norman J. Ornstein, Congressional Scholar at AEI and Columnist at The Atlantic

Sarah Gad: Founder, Addicted To Action, U.S. Congressional Candidate

Doug Levy, President & General Manager, Univision Television & Radio, Chicago

Eddie Bocanegra, Gun Safety Leader and Senior Director at READI Chicago

Jarrett Adams, Civil Rights Attorney & Exonoree

Jimmy Greenfield, Chicago Tribune Sports Reporter

Madeleine Doubek, Executive Director, CHANGE ILLINOIS

Dr. Jeffrey Fishbein, Sport Psychologist, Chicago White Sox

Gilad Gordon, Watergate Impeachment Hearing Attendee

Loriana Hernandez-Aldama, Cancer Conqueror, Founder, Armor Up For Life

Soledad O’Brien, Executive Producer, “Hungry to Learn”

A reading from the 1987 conspiracy movie “No Way Out” – and how the GOP is acting it out 30 years later

Shelley Jacobs, Founder, Chicago Is My Boyfriend on Instagram

Kate Sullivan, Host of “To Dine For” on PBS

Pat Quinn, Former Governor of Illinois

Carol Marin, National Award-Winning Journalist, WMAQ-TV & WTTW-TV

Karen Cohn, Co-Founder, The Zac Foundation

Alex Batdorf, Founder & CEO, Get Sh!t Done

Doug Schenkelberg, Executive Director, Chicago Coalition for the Homeless

Eric Zorn, Columnist, Chicago Tribune

Mary Ann Ahern, NBC-5 Chicago Political Reporter

Lynn Sweet, Washington Bureau Chief, Chicago Sun-Times

Kirsten Powers, CNN Analyst and USA Today Columnist

Melissa Henneberger, USA Today Columnist

Congressman Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ)

Annafi Wahed, Founder, The Flip Side

Jennifer Rodgers, CNN Legal Analyst

Tina Rosenberg, Founder, Solutions Journalism Network

J.D. Grom., Executive Director, New Democrat Coalition

Evelyn Diaz, President, Heartland Alliance

Allison Task, Coach and Author of “Personal (R)evolution”

Bethany McClean, Author, Vanity Fair Contributor

Nick Penniman, Founder and CEO, Issue One

Norman Ornstein: Congressional Scholar, American Enterprise Institute

Neal Simon, Maryland Candidate for U.S. Senate

James Kaplan, Sinatra Biographer: “The Voice,” “The Chairman”

Lou Weisbach, Cofounder, American Center for Cures

Jamie and Paul Vallas, Daughter and Father talk about Jamie’s transgender journey

Arizona State Barrett Honors Students Talk Politics

Brad Herzog, Author & Idea Catcher

Bob Hercules, Documentary Filmmaker

Heidi Pryzbyla, Reporter, USA Today

Wendy Falcon, Author, “Turn Your Life Insight Out”

Daniel Biss, State Senator, candidate for Governor of Illinois


J’aime Radow, Life Coach & Brand Consultant

Rick Pearson, Chief Political Reporter, Chicago Tribune

Karen Hinton, Founder, Hinton Communications

James Strock, Author, “Disrupt Politics”

Rob Richie & Nick Stephanopoulos, Fairvote & University of Chicago

Lawrence Lessig, Founder, Equalcitizens.US

Max Temkin, Founder, Cards Against Humanity

Chris Kennedy, candidate for Governor of Illinois

U.S. Representative John Delaney

Charles Wheelan, Author, “The Centrist Manifesto”

Lisa Kueng, Author, “Picture Your Prosperity”

Lonnie Nasatir, Anti-Defamation League, Midwest Regional Director

Shawn Healy, Director, McCormick Foundation Democracy Program

Bruce DuMont, Founder, Museum of Broadcast Communications

Deborah Devedjian, Founder, The Chisel

Kristina Peterson, Congressional Correspondent, Wall Street Journal

Josh Krashaaur, Politics Editor, National Journal

Kevin Kosar, Congressional Expert, R-Street Institute

Tom Nichols, Author, “The Death Of Expertise”

Faith Sidlow, Director, Global News Relay, Fresno State University

Anne Wedner, Founder, America Of My Dreams

Yael Luttwak, Documentary Filmmaker

The education (maybe) of Donald Trump

It is no secret that President Trump dispenses lies with reckless abandon. This fact is not in dispute. It is also no secret that Trump has displayed a great number of moral failings and poverty of character during his campaign. Even swing voters who reluctantly voted for the President agree on that point.

Mark McKinnon, Creator of Showtime’s “The Circus”

Steve Glickman, Cofounder, Economic Innovation Group

Kevin McHale, NBA Hall of Famer,

Steven Sloman, Author, “The Knowledge Illusion”

U.S. Representative Derek Kilmer

Robert Costa, National Political Reporter, The Washington Post

Dan Proft, Political Host, WIND-AM 560 Chicago

Andy Katz, ESPN Senior NCAA Basketball Analyst

Jack Crittenden, Author, Direct Deliberate Democracy

Emmet Bondurant, Constitutional Attorney

Josh Kraushaar, Managing Editor for Politics, National Journal

Adlai Stevenson III, Former U.S. Senator (D-IL)

Jon Kyl, Former U.S. Senator (R-AZ)

Kevin Baker, Author

U.S. Representative John Sarbanes (D-MD)

Paul Lisnek, Political Analyst, WGN-TV

Ross Barkan, Contributor, Village Voice

Amanda Matti, Author, “A Foreign Affair”

Tom Rosenstiel, Executive Director, American Press Institute

Krist Novoselic, Nirvana Bassist and Chairman of Fairvote

Neera Tanden, President, Center for American Progress

John Bouman, President, Shriver Center on Poverty Law

Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO & National Director, Anti-Defamation League

Bill Burton, Former Deputy White House Press Secretary

David Mendell, Author, “Obama – From Promise to Power”

Melinda Henneberger, Columnist, USA Today

U.S. Representative Steve Israel (D-NY)

David Scherer, Cofounder, One Million Degrees

Jonathan Rauch, Contributing Editor, The Atlantic

Christie Hefner, Former CEO & Chair, Playboy Enterprises, Director, CAP Action Fund

Michael Golden, Election Day Monologue

Adam Hecktman, Microsoft, Director of Technology & Civic Innovation

Adam Hecktman of Microsoft Chicago talks about how anyone can use civic tech to influence our democracy. Adam explains how the use of data can improve transparency, accountability and efficiency (how the government spends YOUR MONEY).

Mark McKinnon, Creator of Showtime’s “The Circus”

Mark McKinnon was a Senior Advisor to President George W. Bush. He talks to Michael about producing his new hit show, The Circus, and also about the crazy 2016 political cycle, the upcoming presidential debates and the hidden meaning behind his ubiquitous Open Road Stetson!

Frank Bruni, New York Times columnist

David Axelrod, Founder, Institute of Politics, Former Senior White House Advisor

Jermaine Dye, World Series MVP, 2005 Chicago White Sox

Jarrett Adams: Attorney, Exonoree and Civil Rights Champion

In 1998, at the age of 18, Jarrett Adams was wrongly convicted and sentenced to 28 years in a maximum security prison. After losing nearly a decade of his life to confinement, Jarrett not only won his exoneration, he went on to graduate from Loyola Law School and recently passed the New York State Bar […]

To vote or not to vote

In 2008, 65 million Democrats turned out versus 52 million Republicans. President Obama was elected and his party held both chambers in Congress. But in 2010, in the “Tea Party Wave,” Democratic turnout fell to 39 million, while 45 million GOP voters went to the polls.


“I love learning about cutting-edge ideas and getting to know the dreamers who’re turning them into realities. Tune in to THE GOLDEN MEAN where I’ll introduce you to a fascinating array of social innovators and original thinkers. We’re all in this thing together — so let’s talk about it!”