Jessica Jackley and Larissa MacFarquhar: Impossible Idealism: Inventing a Moral Life

In Conversation With Alex Cohen, co-host of KPCC's "Take Two"
Thursday, October 1, 2015
Episode Summary

What does it mean to devote yourself to helping others? Larissa MacFarquhar, a staff writer for The New Yorker, follows the joys and defeats of people living lives of extreme ethical commitment in her new book, Strangers Drowning. Jessica Jackley, co-founder of the revolutionary micro-lending site Kiva, in her book, Clay Water Brick, explores the triumphs and difficulties of using entrepreneurship to change the world. Sharing inspiring—and sometimes unsettling—stories of do-gooders from around the world, MacFarquhar and Jackley will challenge us to think about what we value most, and why.

Participant(s) Bio

Jessica Jackley is an entrepreneur focused on financial inclusion, the sharing economy, and social justice. She is best known as a co-founder of Kiva, the world’s first and largest micro-lending website. She is also a co-founder of ProFounder, a pioneering crowdfunding platform for U.S. entrepreneurs, and Kin & Co. consulting group, helping organizations support women and working families. Jessica is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, and an active board member for several nonprofit organizations, including Habitat for Humanity. She lives in Los Angeles, California, with her husband, Reza Aslan, and their three sons.

Larissa MacFarquhar has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1998. Her subjects have included John Ashbery, Barack Obama, and Noam Chomsky, among many others. Previously she was a senior editor at Lingua Franca and an advisory editor at The Paris Review. She lives in New York.

Alex Cohen is co-host of KPCC’s Take Two show. Prior to that, she was the host of KPCC’s All Things Considered. She has also hosted and reported for NPR programs, including Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Day to Day as well as American Public Media’s Marketplace and Weekend America. Prior to that, she was the L.A. Bureau Chief for KQED FM in San Francisco. She has won various journalistic awards, including the LA Press Club’s Best Radio Anchor prize. Alex is also the author of Down and Derby: The Insider’s Guide to Roller Derby.