The Civics Leader: Shawn Healy, Director, McCormick Foundation Democracy Program

Shawn Healy is a scholar and activist who focuses on democracy and civic engagement. Director of the McCormick Foundation’s Democracy Program, Shawn joins the “Mean” to talk about Illinois politics, the civics education law he shepherded through the General Assembly, and how to begin finding the cure to our country’s heightened state of partisanship.

Chicago Broadcasting Legend: Bruce DuMont, Founder, Museum of Broadcast Communications

Bruce DuMont is not only a legendary TV and radio journalist, he is also the founder and president of the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago. In this wide-ranging interview, Bruce talks about his 50-year career, including interviews with Shirley McClaine, George Wallace and David Duke, as well as the long and winding road he persisted upon to create a uniquely American museum. Listen to a legend!

Chief Citizen Officer: Deborah Devedjian, Founder, TheChisel.com

After all the screechy politics, what are the actual solutions that all Americans want to see become law? Deboarah Devedjian is actively engaging every day citizens in an effort to find those answers! The founder and “Chief Citizens Officer” of The Chisel talks to Michael about how her team is using technology to educate and to innovate American Democracy!

The National Security Expert: Tom Nichols, Author, “The Death Of Expertise”

Do facts matter? Do Americans still care anymore about electing leaders who have expertise? Is our country just under-informed or are we wrongly-informed? These questions are the subject of Tom Nichols’ new book, The Death Of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge And How It Matters. A professor on national security at the Naval War College, Nichols joins the show to talk about his book, our media culture, and the vexing challenges facing the U.S. in Syria and North Korea.

American Roadtripper: Anne Wedner, Founder, “America Of My Dreams”

Anne Wedner created “America Of My Dreams” in early 2017 to learn more about how our fellow citizens view the roles and responsibilities of American government. Anne’s team is fanning out across “flyover country” to collect the thoughts and ideas of “Citizen Philosophers,” and then publicly sharing all of their feedback online. Just after meeting with folks in Leawood, KS, Anne joined the show to talk about what people are saying – and how this whole adventure got started!

Congressional Expert: Kevin Kosar, Governance Project Director, R-Street Institute

Why should we even care about Congress? Why are the lawmakers that we pay with our tax dollars so unpopular? Is it just raw politics that screws up the workings in Washington, or is there some straightforward stuff we can do to empower our elected officials? Kevin Kosar has the answers! A true expert on how Capitol Hill operates and the Director of the Governance Project at R-Street Institute, Kevin shares insights from a new bipartisan effort on Congress that he cofounded a year ago. Listen in for solutions!

Faith Sidlow: “Global News Relay” Director, Fresno State University

Faith Sidlow is a former award-winning television news reporter who now teaches broadcast journalism at Fresno State University. Faith and her students join the show from the Merlyn Burris Studio on campus to talk about the “Global News Relay” they just hosted and the broadcasting careers they’re about to embark upon.

The Documentarian: Yael Luttwak

Yael Luttwak is a documentarian and the founder of Slim Peace Groups, a non-profit organization that emerged from her film of the same name. “A SLIM PEACE” portrayed the drama of Israeli and Palestinian women in a weight-loss cohort involving Jews, Muslims, and Christian Arabs. Yael is now doing post-production on a new film, “MAINE GIRLS,” which follows 13 immigrant and non-immigrant young women as they learn what it takes – and what it means – to make genuine friendships and lead by example.

“I’ve always been curious about and attracted to innovative ideas and the people who turn them into realities. That intrigue was the genesis of ‘The Golden Mean.’ I hope you'll tune in here for fascinating one-on-one interviews with a diverse spectrum of captivating personalities and interesting thinkers. Please give us a listen!”