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Ann Arbor Spark

Positive Links Speaker Series – Finding Purpose in Times of Uncertainty: A conversation with Vic Strecher, hosted by Robert E. Quinn

Monday, November 09 2020 at 3:00pm - 4:00pm

Positive Links:

The Positive Links Speaker Series, presented by Michigan Ross’ Center for Positive Organizations, offers inspiring and practical science-based strategies to build and bolster thriving organizations. Attendees learn from leading positive organizational scholars and connect with our community of academics, students, staff, and leaders.

About the talk:

Creating a strong purpose is essential to wellbeing in our lives and our organizations during times of uncertainty. With an authentic purpose, individuals and organizations become more resilient, creative, and engaged with their work and the world around them. And employees realize a greater sense of meaning and empowerment.

Join us for a conversation with Vic Strecher hosted by Robert E. Quinn to learn more about the science and practice of building purposeful, thriving organizations. Together, they’ll explore the current scientific research illustrating the positive impact an authentic and well-communicated purpose can have on individuals, teams, and organizations, as well as some keys to help you unlock your own potential.

About Strecher:

Victor J. Strecher (pronounced Streker), PhD, MPH is a visionary leader and expert in the fields of behavior change, digital communication, and wellbeing. His pioneering research led to successful ventures, reaching millions of lives. He’s Founder & CEO of Kumanu, a next generation wellbeing company, Professor at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, renowned speaker, and author.

In 1995, Vic founded the U-M Center for Health Communications Research, studying the future of digitally-tailored health communications when fewer than 15% of Americans had Internet access. In 1997, he founded HealthMedia, a digital health coaching company that was sold to Johnson & Johnson in 2010. More recently, Vic created Kumanu (Maori for “nourish” and “cherish”), a digital platform designed to help individuals and organizations live more purposefully.

Vic and the organizations he founded have won numerous national and international awards, including two Smithsonian Awards, the Health Evolution Partners Innovations in Healthcare Award, the National Business Coalition on Health’s Mercury Award, and the Health Enhancement Research Organization’s (HERO) Mark Dundon Research Award. In 2010, Vic won the University of Michigan’s Distinguished Innovator Award. In late 2017, Dr. Strecher was the Donald A. Dunstan Foundation’s “Thinker in Residence” in Adelaide, Australia to develop a “Purpose Economy” of business, government, and communities. His 2009 TedMed presentation has been cited by MPHonline as one of the “Top 10 Ted Talks on Public Health.”

His latest neuroscience, behavioral, and epidemiologic research; his two books, Life On Purpose and the graphic novel On Purpose; his free massive open online course Finding Purpose and Meaning in Life, which in its first six months has over 75,000 enrollees; and the Purposeful application his business (Kumanu) created are all focused on the importance of developing and maintaining a transcending purpose in life.

About Quinn:

Robert E. Quinn’s life mission is to inspire positive change. He does this as a faculty member, author, consultant, and speaker. He is a professor emeritus at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and one of the co-founders of the Center for Positive Organizations.

As an author he has published 18 books. His best-selling volume, Deep Change, has been used across the world. His book, The Best Teacher in You, won the Ben Franklin Award designating it the best book in education for 2015. The Harvard Business Review has selected his paper, “Moments of Greatness: Entering the Fundamental State of Leadership,” as one of their 10 Must Reads on Managing Yourself.

As a consultant he has 35­ years of experience and is best known for the competing values framework, a tool that has been used by tens of thousands of managers. As a speaker he is recognized for drawing on research, opening minds to possibility, and arousing the desire to grow. He is a fellow of the Academy of Management and the World Business Academy.


The Center for Positive Organizations thanks Sanger Leadership Center, Tauber Institute for Global Operations, Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies, Lisa and David (MBA ‘87) Drews, and Diane (BA ‘73) and Paul (MBA ‘75) Jones for their support of the 2020-21 Positive Links Speaker Series.


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