Thursday, April 4, 2013

Interview with Edward Goldberg, Founder of Catalysta

The following interview with Ed Goldberg of the NY Dzogchen Community is the first in  a series of interviews that examines how the Dzogchen Teachings inspire our livelihood and interests. 

(JG is Jacqueline Gens interviewing on behalf of the Tsegyalgar East blog
EG is Ed Goldberg)

JG: Ed, for many years now your organization Catalysta has been in the background of your life. The current mission statement states that Catalysta inspires and supports anyone who desires a career that‘s a catalyst for the greater good. Ed can you talk about the origin of Catalysta and its initial projects
 EG: Many, many (many) years ago I went to film school. Without much direction or self-confidence, I ended up painting houses with friends at Bennington College. Being with artists awakened my love of drawing, theater, and the arts in general. I created a performance piece that began a long path toward unveiling what I wanted to communicate and in what medium.
After indulging in degrees in Interactive Telecommunications and Social Work, I continued to tinker and at the turn of the century the first Catalysta went live. We brought together high school students from around the world online to consider social issues and create projects. Two sets of curricula were created, one on water and the other on globalization. Everyone enjoyed but we made not a penny.

JG: By the way I remember the presentation on water especially from the  high school in India that  I  presented  to one of my graduate education classes when I was working on my Masters of Teaching with IT at Marlboro College (2005-2007). It was memorable and gorgeously executed.  How has Catalysta evolved to its present mission which is quite different?

EG: After putting far too much money on credit cards for Catalysta Number 1, the project folded. Paying off debt and brainstorming the next iteration of Catalysta highlighted the ensuing years. This time around the focus shifted to career, which expands the potential audience and provides a big pot for addressing anything.

The mission has been a work in progress. We continue to refine the aim, but the basis is to inspire and assist the development of careers that can in some way be of benefit.

JG: Can you talk a bit about global community in the information age? How has the new paradigm shifted your feelings about these things?
EG: Dzogchen has had the view of global community for a long time. Catalysta is an attempt to face the challenges of the Age and reach out to people who’d like to lessen suffering a little bit. The tools of tech make this particular project possible.

JG: How do you meet the people featured in Catalysta--those individual as conduits of change?
EG: Once you begin to dig, you find there are people in just about any career who are considerate of how their actions impact their specific community. It goes without saying that we have limited vision and nothing is certain as to how we affect others, but good intention seems to me to be a worthwhile place to start.
We track articles in newspapers and magazines, and follow any and all threads to find subject matter for articles and upcoming programs.
JG: Can you give some real life examples of how contact with Catalysta has shaped the greater good?
EG: Currently, we don’t have much feedback, but we hope that will improve in future. The thought of working for the greater good is gaining traction. And research is catching up with the Teachings. Here’s a recent article in the NY Times about integrating the Bodhisattva Vow at work.
JG: What are the plans for Catalysta in the future?
EG: Phase two of the site will include video, Podcast, and interactive programs. One issue of Catalysta will span two months and focus on a specific field, for instance, fashion, urban planning, agriculture, and government. Many of the programs will dovetail with the topic.
Interview programs will highlight young people looking toward a first career, established professionals taking stock of their work, and spiritual teachers, psychologists, and philosophers addressing how personal development impacts our potential for ‘right livelihood’.
There are also plans for a scripted series about a small dog by the name of Ralph Munch who runs a multi-national conglomerate. He pulls together a team who explore beneficial ways for MunchCo Industries to enter various fields in beneficial ways.
JG: Anything else?
EG: Check us out at  and click the 'Like us' button on Facebook; join us on Twitter; friend us on Pinterest; link to us LinkedIn; and join our circle at Google+ Whew!
Phase two will be up and running this summer.
JG: On behalf of TSEGYALGAR EAST, Thank you

If anyone in the Dzogchen Community  would like to interview another member or be interviewed,  let us know by contacting

No comments: