Exploring the Power of Purpose Book Club (Loop Campus)

Join colleagues for a provocative book discussion about “Exploring the Power of Purpose” prior to attending the 2018 Teaching and Learning Conference. We will read together the recent book by our keynote speaker, Emily Esfahani Smith, entitled The Power of Meaning, which invites us to reflect on how a sense of personal meaning and social purpose connect to teaching and learning. Esfahani Smith offers a theory of meaning involving four pillars: belonging, purpose, storytelling, and transcendence. We will reflect upon these insights discuss the following:

How can a sense of purpose impact the way we teach and engage with our students?
And how we can help our students discover and use their own knowledge, skills, and abilities in ways that not only benefit themselves but also the common good?


Feel free to bring your own lunch to this event. Coffee and desert will be provided. The first 15 DePaul faculty, staff or students to register will receive a free copy of the Power of Meaning.
This event is sponsored by Explore Your Purpose, a mission-based initiative at DePaul supported by a grant from the Council of Independent Colleges' Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education (NetVUE) and the Lilly Endowment Inc.
About The Power of Meaning
In a culture obsessed with happiness, this wise, stirring book points the way toward a richer, more satisfying life. Too many of us believe that the search for meaning is an esoteric pursuit—that you have to travel to a distant monastery or page through dusty volumes to discover life’s secrets. The truth is, there are untapped sources of meaning all around us—right here, right now. To explore how we can craft lives of meaning, Emily Esfahani Smith synthesizes a kaleidoscopic array of sources—from psychologists, sociologists, philosophers, and neuroscientists to figures in literature and history such as George Eliot, Viktor Frankl, Aristotle, and the Buddha. Drawing on this research, Smith shows us how cultivating connections to others, identifying and working toward a purpose, telling stories about our place in the world, and seeking out mystery can immeasurably deepen our lives. To bring what she calls the four pillars of meaning to life, Smith visits a tight-knit fishing village in the Chesapeake Bay, stargazes in West Texas, attends a dinner where young people gather to share their experiences of profound loss, and more. She also introduces us to compelling seekers of meaning—from the drug kingpin who finds his purpose in helping people get fit to the artist who draws on her Hindu upbringing to create arresting photographs. And she explores how we might begin to build a culture that leaves space for introspection and awe, cultivates a sense of community, and imbues our lives with meaning. Inspiring and story-driven, The Power of Meaning will strike a profound chord in anyone seeking a life that matters.

Wednesday, April 18 at 12:00pm to 1:00pm

DePaul Center Room 11013 Chicago, IL

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