Global Spirit Takes Viewers on a Mind and Soul-Expanding Journey

Author Karen Armstrong meets Tenzin Robert Thurman on Global Spirit's "The Spiritual Quest"
Author Karen Armstrong meets Tenzin Robert Thurman on Global Spirit's "The Spiritual Quest"

KQED Presents Global Spirit, a unique inquiry into humankind’s belief systems.

Global Spirit is a unique “internal travel” series that investigates the most urgent existential and spiritual issues of the 21st century. Global Spirit brings to light the exciting intersection of ancient wisdom traditions and modern science, to help viewers define who we are as human beings and to explore how this affects our relationships to our families, to our communities and to the world at large.

Weaving compelling film segments together with informed, engaging conversations, Global Spirit offers an intimate, discovery-filled viewing experience. Presented by British actor/writer/comedian John Cleese (Monty Python; Fawlty Towers; A Fish Called Wanda,) Global Spirit brings together spiritual teachers, philosophers, writers, scientists, and practitioners of various faiths, traditions and cultures.

Hosted by author and spiritual seeker Phil Cousineau and featuring renowned experts such as Deepak Chopra, Karen Armstrong, Robert Thurman, Riane Eisler and many others, this new critically acclaimed series takes viewers on a mind and soul-expanding journey, exploring the relationships between ancient wisdom traditions, diverse belief systems, world religions, metaphysics and modern science.

“The discussions on the Global Spirit series are sorely needed in this dispirited and disenchanted world. In many ways, it is more important than journalism today.” – Bill Moyers

Host: Phil Cousineau

Phil Cousineau is a freelance writer, independent filmmaker, photographer, world-wide lecturer and adventure travel guide. For the last 30 years, he has published widely on such themes as creativity, soul, movies, sports and the mythic imagination. His first documentary film, in 1987, was The Hero’s Journey, on the life and work of Joseph Campbell. Since then he has worked on more than 20 documentary films including: Ecological Design: Inventing the Future; Wayfinders: A Pacific Odyssey; The Peyote Road; Forever Activists: Stories from the Abraham Lincoln Brigade (1991 Academy Award nominated); and a recent collaboration with Huston Smith and Gary Rhine: A Seat at the Table: The Struggle for American Indian Religious Freedom.

Cousineau has published over 25 books including, Stoking the Creative Fires, The Way Things Are: Conversations with Huston Smith on the Spiritual Life, and The Olympic Odyssey: Rekindling the Spirit of the Ancient Games, which was selected by the United States Olympic Committee as a gift book for American athletes at the 2004 Summer Games in Athens. He is also the author of Once and Future Myths, The Art of Pilgrimage, Deadlines: A Rhapsody on a Theme of Famous Last Words, which won the 1991 Fallot Literary Award, and The Blue Museum, which was acclaimed by the San Francisco Chronicle as a book of “dazzling … exquisite lyrics … that is able to draw profound questions out of ordinary life.” More on Phil Cousineau.

Producer & Director: Stephen Olsson

Stephen Olsson has produced and created a number of original television series, documentary films and feature news reports throughout the world. His work has received television’s three highest honors: the National Emmy Award for Outstanding Director, the du-Pont Columbia Award for excellence in broadcast journalism and the George Foster Peabody Award. In the U.S., his work has been broadcast on CBS, NBC, National Geographic and PBS (Frontline/POV/Nova). His films and series have generally focused on character-driven stories, exploring cultural diversity and the human condition and have addressed issues such as war, race relations, global development, immigration and other topics.

Stephen was a co-founder of the national satellite channel, Link TV, where he served as VP of Original Programming and produced a number of television series, including Lunch with Bokara, the Peabody Award-winning Mosaic: World News from the Middle East, The Active Opposition, Spotlightand Bridge to Iran. Following his MA in anthropology and communications, Stephen has studied various cultures and spiritual traditions in Turkey, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Russia, Bolivia, Thailand and other countries. More on Stephen Olsson.

Click play on the video below to watch a sample of the first season.

Publicity and PR contact:

David Langer

About CEM Productions

Cultural & Educational Media (CEM Productions) is a non-profit media group producing award-winning films, TV series, and web-based programming that promote new insights on the meaning and depth of human existence. CEM uses the power of film and storytelling to inspire, and unify, people and audiences worldwide.

“CEM” is also a powerful concept in several other languages – pronounced, “GEM” in Turkish and “Jama” in Arabic and Farsi, meaning “to bring together” or “to Unite.” “Unity Consciousness” has been the focus of CEM’s work and the core of our mission since the CEM was created in 1983. CEM’s work has been acknowledged with the National Emmy Award, as well as the Dupont and Peabody Awards for original CEM programs broadcast on PBS, the BBC, ARTE, National Geographic Explorer, Canal+, TV Globo, TV Asahi, Link TV and many others.

CEM’s programs are stories about humanity, weaving wisdom traditions, belief systems and world views together with 21st century scientific discoveries and understandings into powerful, character-driven programs that promote understanding, tolerance and respect among peoples, cultures and faiths worldwide.

About KQED

KQED ( has served Northern California for more than 50 years and is affiliated with NPR and PBS. KQED owns and operates public television stations KQED 9 (San Francisco/Bay Area), KQED Plus (San Jose/Bay Area), and KQET 25 (Watsonville/Monterey); KQED Public Radio (88.5FM San Francisco and 89.3FM Sacramento); the interactive platforms and; and KQED Education. KQED Public Television, one of the nation’s most-watched public television stations, is the producer of local and national series such as QUEST; Check, Please! Bay Area; This Week in Northern California; Truly CA; and Essential Pépin. KQED’s digital television channels include 9HD, KQED Life, KQED World, KQED Kids, and KQED V-me, and are available 24/7 on Comcast. KQED Public Radio, home of Forum with Michael Krasny and The California Report, is one of the most-listened-to public radio stations in the nation with an award-winning news and public affairs program service delivering more than eighteen local newscasts daily. KQED Interactive provides KQED’s cross-platform news service,, as well as offers several popular local blogs, video and audio podcasts, and a live radio stream at KQED Education brings the impact of KQED to thousands of teachers, students, parents, and the general public through workshops, community screenings, and multimedia resources.

About NETA

The National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA, is a professional association that serves public television and education by providing quality programming, educational resources, professional development, management support, and national representation. NETA distributes over 2,000 hours of programming each year to public television stations in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

Global Spirit Takes Viewers on a Mind and Soul-Expanding Journey 11 June,2012Harry Gregory

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Harry Gregory

Harry Gregory received his BA in visual communication design from San Francisco State University. He works as a web contractor for KQED Public Radio and is a freelance designer and videographer based out of San Francisco.

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