Seminarians and guests were inspired and informed at the 2018 forum, featuring a slate of speakers and experiences presented over three days at La Cantera Resort in San Antonio, Texas Hill Country.

David Krakauer, president, Santa Fe Institute, spoke on “Complexity: A New Science for a New World.”        
Karen van Bergen with speaker Lance Black        
A “fireside chat with a CEO,” Brendan Bechtel, left, with Nicholas Ashooh        
Rye Barcott, left, co-founder & CEO of With Honor, discussed his work helping military veterans run for office in a conversation with Don Baer.        
Tommy Caldwell, left, with interviewer Michael Mand        
A panel on the U.S. Census considered the policy implications of the 2020 count.        
A featured discussion with General (ret.) David Petraeus, left, Ambassador Cameron Munter, center, and Brian Lott        
Past presidents of The Seminar expressed great appreciation for the work of  Debbie Reid, volunteer staff for the Seminar Committee.        

Storytelling at its Best
Enlivens, Inspires Seminarians

June 3-6, 2018
La Cantera, San Antonio, Texas

Thought-Provoking Content
and Unique Experiences

Major issues and trends around the world, personal stories—from a perilous rock climbing adventure to thrilling advances in science and technology, to predictions about the future of work and how our personal relationships will change as a result—captured the minds and imaginations of Seminarians at The Seminar, June 3-6, 2018.

Sunday, Opening Evening

Following Seminarian arrivals throughout the day, The Seminar officially opened with the annual First-Time Seminarians and The Seminar Committee Members Reception, followed by a General Reception.  Seminarians were treated to a special session with relationship master trainer and therapist Esther Perel.  A leading authority on relationships, both personal and professional, she delivered a thought-provoking opening session with Seminarian interviewer Nancy Elder on "The Future of Relationships: Creating a Culture of Respect & Dignity."

Monday, Day 1

The day delivered topics and personalities that always distinguish The Seminar’s eclectic programming. Mick Ebling and Aaron Horowitz captured hearts and minds with stories on technology bringing comfort to people with physical challenges and illnesses. Academy Award winning screenwriter and filmmaker Lance Black brought to life the “power of story” as a catalyst to change lives. Bechtel Group, Inc. CEO Brendan Bechtel engaged with Seminarians in a “fireside chat.” Rounding out the day was a panel on media disrupters—the new science of complexity; the narrative of how a former CIA officer changed hats and moved into a role of public advocacy; and an examination of the changed future of work.

A highlight of the day featured a trip to San Antonio’s Riverwalk and the Briscoe Western Art Museum, with the added flair of local music and artisans entertaining Seminarians for the evening.

Tuesday, Day 2

Day 2 took Seminarians traveling with American free rock climber Tommy Caldwell, up the Dawn Wall of Yosemite and along for the harrowing experience of being kidnapped in Kyrgyzstan. Then, in a panel presenting new research, Seminarians were introduced to the potential impact of the 2020 Census, the science of popularity in an era of continual distraction, and the findings of medical researchers on the degenerative brain trauma disease, CTE, with Dr. Ann McKee. The day’s topics moved on to embrace the geopolitical landscape, with featured speakers Ambassador Cameron Munter and General (ret.) David Petraeus, and an interview with the CEO of With Honor, an organization focused on getting veterans elected to national office.

The afternoon kicked off with the vibrant Texas story of Austin City Limits (ACL), the public television music show recorded live in Austin, known as the “Live Music Capital of the World.” Tom Gimbel, general manager of ACL, shared the secrets of success and continued popularity of its live stage performance and broadcast programs. The evening had Seminarians up on their feet, applauding ACL performing artist and composer Hayes Carll.

Wednesday, Day 3

The day brought fresh insights to Seminarians, with Mario Garcia on digital storytelling as the future of news media, and Miroslav Volf on living our best life, and with Bruce Temkin on the evolving sphere of the customer experience. The morning came to a powerful close with a presentation by Vann R. Newkirk and Steve Clemons on The Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., 50 Years Later.

Peerless Programming, Fellowship

As Seminarians have come to expect, the programming for 2018 was exceptional and mind-expanding—and the fellowship of The Seminar is matchless. Seminarians got a chance to question speakers at frequent Q&A sessions, and had plenty of time to engage with fellow Seminarians.Whether it’s through conversations, a shared meal, renewed long-time friendships or the added acquaintance of 34 First-Time Seminarians, fellowship grew and abounded this year.

Social events and Afterglow gatherings such as Tequila Tasting, glow bocce golf and putting, and nighttime city lights from La Cantera’s City View Terrace provided time for relaxation and quiet conversations.

Added Seminar 2018 Highlights

Seminarians were honored with welcoming remarks from former City of San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro and Texas Speaker of the House of Representatives Joe Straus.

Debbie Reid, TE Connectivity, received a Distinguished Service award for her 10 years of in a volunteer staff role with The Seminar Committee.