Speaking

Frank Bures is a dynamic and entertaining speaker on a range of topics, including culture and biology, narrative and neurology, travel and adventure, writing and creativity and more. Here are some of his available talks:

Culture, Narrative and Neurology:

The Biology of Belief
Can you think yourself to death? Yes, you can. This talk looks at how that can happen, and at the many pathways between our perception, expectation and biology.
What is Cultural Diversity? Why does it matter?
The world “culture” is one of the most used–and misused–in the English language. In this talk, we explore what  we talk about when we talk about culture (and cultures) and what that means for how with live in a world full of cultural diversity.
The Secret Life of Stories
Stories not only make the world go around, they literally stitch the fabric of the world together. This talk looks at what a story is, how stories work, and the way never your sense of your “self” is what is a story known as your “narrative identity” We’ll also examine what this means for how we in the world.

Adventure

The Mississippi World Canoe Record:
In 2021, I served on the support crew for one of two teams competing to break the record for paddling down the Mississippi River. Moving downstream at 120 miles a day, we struggled with failed motors, sinking support boats and the relentless flow of time on this epic adventure.
Dead Cold: A Close Call with Cold Water
One spring morning, I found myself in the middle of the Mississippi River, swimming in 42 degree water, after my canoe swamped in high winds. This talks recounts my near death, how I was rescued, and showcases the unknown danger of cold water.
How to Really (Really) Skip Rocks
Every summer, on Mackinac Island, the greatest rock skippers in the world meet to try to make a rock fly the farthest. This talk tells the story of my own journey to Mackinac, talks about some of the characters and their legendary throws, and looks at techniques from the masters for teaching a stone to fly.

Creativity

How to Write about Weird Things
Over the years, I’ve written about many weird things: Sasquatch, plant psychics, outsider clown artists, UFOs, the Marfa lights, magical penis theft, and more. This talk explores some of those topics, and argues that mystery and  the unknown are some of the great joys in life.
The Geography of Greatness: The Fall of the Creative Class and Art in the Midwest
In 2001, Richard Florida wrote a manifesto arguing that the “Creative Class,” was the main driver of the new economy. This proved to be false. The  talk looks at why, and at the real reasons to make the place you live more creative, more fun, and more livable than it was before.
Islands of Quiet: Creativity in a Sea of Distraction
For any artist or writer, one of our main jobs is managing our own creativity. To do that, you need to create space for it—empty space. This talk explores why that is, how creativity works, and how maximize creative space when every minute of every day is filled with noise.

Rotary:

As long-time contributor to Rotary Magazine, and author of the collection, The Shape of the World: Essays on Travel, Culture, and Belief from Rotary Magazine, Bures is available to speak on any topic in The Shape of the World. Here are some talks he is available to give to Rotary Clubs:

Shaping the Future: The Power of Stories to Change the World
This is a talk about the power of stories—what they are, how they shape us, and how the stories we tell impact our ability to envision and enact a better future.
The Joys and Sorrows of Travel
This is a lighthearted talk about some of the highs (amazing meals, fellow travelers) and lows (bedbugs, lost car keys) of travel, and how it can make you a better, more open minded–even more creative–person.
The Art and Craft of Creative Thinking
Do you wish you could be more creative? This talk looks at some of the best ways to do that, from limiting your incoming information, to getting out of your comfort zone, to making connections that no one else sees.
The Good Enough Life: How to Live your Values
We all aspire to be good people, and to leave the world better than we found it. This talk reflects on the author’s attempts to do this, his children’s pointing out his lack of success, and a look at how we can all balance our live with our morals.
Innocents Abroad: How Youth Exchange Changes Lives
Traveling abroad while young can be one of the most enriching experiences possible. In this talk, the author uses his own example to show how global exchange can make you more open-minded, more resilient and more creative.
The Best Club In the World
Rotary is a storied institution, and this talk looks at both its legacy, and at specific ways to help your club function better, both in the running of the club itself as well as in the execution of projects.
“WEIRD” People in the Wide World: How Culture Shapes Us
America is not like other places, and this talk looks at some of the specific ways our culture is distinct from others and what that means for our interactions with people across the world, in both our travels and in our work with Rotarians across the world.

If you’d like to book Frank Bures for a talk, please email him directly at frankbures [at] yahoo.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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