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Community Reads/Special EventsWellbeing/Mental HealthSocial Emotional/Behavioral

Susan Cain with Daniel Pink

Bittersweet: How Sorrow and Longing Make Us Whole — Teaching Our Kids the Full Spectrum of Human Emotions

Virtual Event

Susan Cain explores why we experience sorrow and longing, and how embracing the bittersweetness at the heart of life is the true path to creativity, con­nection and authenticity. Susan shows how a bittersweet state of mind is the quiet force that helps us transcend our personal and collective pain. If we don’t acknowledge our own heartache, we can end up inflicting it on others. But if we realize that all humans know—or will know—loss and suffering, we can turn toward one another.

At a time of collective loss, profound discord, and personal anxiety, “Bittersweet: How Sorrow and Longing Make Us Whole” brings us together in deep and unexpected ways. Using her trademark mix of stories, research, memoir, practical tips, and inspiration, Susan will show you the power of a bittersweet work culture, including:

  • How the expression of sorrow, as well as joy, is key to deep creativity and genuine connection.
  • Case studies of organizations, from hospitals to oil rigs, that have transformed their cultures—and smashed productivity records – by creating “bittersweet” cultures.
  • An analysis of everything from Harry Potter novels to fashion photography to reveal what creativity really is—including its surprising relationship to longing, sorrow, and rising above our limitations.
  • How you can use these insights and actionable steps to build true connection and foster a more creative and mutually supportive work environment.

Susan Cain is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller “Quiet Power: The Secret Strengths of Introverts,” and “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in A World That Can’t Stop Talking” which started the Quiet Movement and has since been translated into 40 languages. Her most recent book “Bittersweet: How Sorrow and Longing Make Us Whole” was released in April of 2022. Her writing has also appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal, and many other publications. Her record-smashing TED talk has also been viewed over 40 million times on TED.com and YouTube combined. Bittersweet was selected as the first book for Oprah’s 2023 Book Club.


In conversation with…

Susan will be in conversation with Dan Pink. He is the author of five New York Times best sellers, including his latest, “The Power of Regret: How Looking Backward Moves Us Forward.” His other books include the New York Times bestsellers “When” and “A Whole New Mind” — as well as the #1 New York Times bestsellers “Drive” and “To Sell is Human.”

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