Daniel Pink: Living on the Right Side of the Brain -- A New CPTV National Special

Release Date: 01/07/2009

HARTFORD, Conn. -- It’s in the news every day. American jobs are being automated and outsourced to Asia. The traditionally left-brain abilities – logical, linear, routine type of work – can often be done cheaper and with equal efficiencies overseas. However, right-brain skills such as artistry, big-picture thinking, and empathy are the abilities that are quickly becoming indispensible in today’s workforce. And they can even make you a happier, more fulfilled person.  
 
Premiering Monday, January 10 at 8 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. on Connecticut Public Television (CPTV), Daniel Pink: Living on the Right Side of the Brain is a new CPTV-produced national television special hosted by author Daniel Pink (A Whole New Mind: Why Right Brainers Will Rule the Future), who asserts that tapping into your right-brain abilities can make you more effective in your career and in your relationships. In this humorous and light-hearted special, Pink identifies the six right brain skills that are crucial in this new “conceptual age” – Design, Story, Symphony, Empathy, Play, and Meaning – and also gives viewers practical tips on honing and developing them in your everyday life.
 
Pink begins with a brief lesson on neuroscience. The brain, he explains, is contra-lateral – the left side of the brain controls the right side of our body, and the right side of the brain controls the body’s left side. As our brains have evolved over time, they have divided up cognitive tasks and abilities. The left side processes the world sequentially, while the right is simultaneous. The left brain can read the text of a situation, while the right picks up on context.
 
After living through the agricultural, industrial, and information ages, Daniel Pink asserts that we have entered a new conceptual age where left-brain abilities are no longer as valued as creative, artistic, right-brain faculties. Many left-brain careers, such as accounting, have seen a shift to automation and outsourcing over recent years. For instance, think about your taxes. Millions of Americans who once hired an accountant to prepare their tax returns, now use the computer
program TurboTax. When you send that completed tax return to the IRS, who processes it? Most likely, it is reviewed by a college-educated yet lower-paid accountant in India. If a job can be completed through a script or a formula or a series of linear steps, then it can automated or outsourced.
 
Right-brain abilities, on the other hand, are those creative and big-picture thinking skills that can never be reduced to a formula. People with high right-brain faculties can create something new and unexpected and see the world around them in a completely fresh way. Pink uses the Apple iPod as an example. Eight years ago, there were no iPods. Yet today, it is a product that has penetrated our everyday lives. Pink believes today’s companies want right-brain thinkers who can dream up products and ideas that we didn’t even know we needed. He quotes comedian Sid Caesar, “The guy who invented the first wheel was an idiot. The guy who invented the other three, he was a genius.”
 
While many of Daniel Pink’s ideas provide inspiration and direction on a business level, they also offer significance to our personal lives. Improving one’s ability to use empathy not only makes you a more keenly aware co-worker, but helps you stay in tune with the emotions of the people around you, making you a better spouse, parent, and friend. Pink suggests you can add meaning to your life by keeping a gratitude journal or writing a gratitude letter to a person you love. In fact, during the taping of the television special, one audience member takes the opportunity to read his emotional gratitude letter to his wife.
 
As Daniel Pink explains, if you can tap into your right brain skills, you won’t just get ahead in the workforce, but find a pathway to being more human.  
 
About Daniel Pink
Daniel Pink is the author of three provocative, best-selling books about personal development and the changing world of work. A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future, on which this program is based, has been a New York Times best seller for 65 weeks, a BusinessWeek best seller for 20 months, and has been translated into 18 languages. Pink's first book was Free Agent Nation: The Future of Working for Yourself, which Publishers Weekly said has “become a
cornerstone of employee-management relations.” His latest book is The Adventures of Johnny Bunko: The Last Career Guide You'll Ever Need, the first American business book in the Japanese comic format known as manga. A popular speaker, Pink lectures of corporations, associations, and universities around the world on innovation, talent, and economic transformation.
 
About Connecticut Public Television
CPTV is a media service of the Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network (CPBN, www.cpbn.org). It is a locally and nationally recognized producer and presenter of quality public television programming, including UConn Women’s Basketball, original documentaries and educational programming. CPTV has built a reputation as a leader in children’s programming, including playing an historic role in bringing Barney & Friends™, Bob the Builder™ and Thomas & Friends™ to public television.  The station offers 11 hours of positive, nurturing children’s programs each weekday, reaching 50,000 to 70,000 households daily. The Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network also includes WNPR, an affiliate of National Public Radio, Public Radio International and American Public Media. WNPR serves over 200,000 listeners in Connecticut, New York and Rhode Island with news and information. Its award-winning local programming includes The Faith Middleton Show and Where We Live. Overall, the network brings a broad spectrum of public affairs, entertainment, sports and educational programming to viewers, listeners and readers. For more information, visit www.cptv.org and / or www.wnpr.org.
 
About American Public Television
For 45 years, APT has been a prime source of programming for the nation’s public television stations. APT distributes more than 300 new program titles per year and has 10,000 hours of programming in its library. It is responsible for many public television milestones including the first HD series and the 2006 launch of the Create channel featuring the best of public television's lifestyle programming. APT is known for its leadership in identifying innovative, worthwhile and viewer-friendly programming. It has established a tradition of providing public television stations with program choices that strengthen and customize their schedules, such as JFK: Breaking the News, Battlefield Britain, Globe Trekker, Rick Steves' Europe, Great Museums, Jacques Pépin: Fast Food My Way, America's Test Kitchen From Cook’s Illustrated, Broadway: The Golden Age, Lidia's Family Table, California Dreamin’ – The Songs of The Mamas & the Papas, Rosemary and Thyme, P. Allen Smith's Garden Home, The Big Comfy Couch, Monarchy With David Starkey, andother prominent documentaries, dramatic series, how-to programs and classic movies. For more information about APT's programs and services, visit APTonline.org.
 
Daniel Pink: Living on the Right Side of the Brainis distributed nationally by American Public Television (APT).
Producer: Connecticut Public Television (CPTV)
Host/Writer: Daniel Pink
Producer: Harriet Unger
Director: Jason Brusa                       
Executive Producers: Harriet Unger & Larry Rifkin  
Publicity Contact: Lee Newton, CPTV, (860) 275-7285, lnewton@cptv.org.
 
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