Public programs and national speaking tours were funded by the Werner Erhard Foundation in order to present prominent philosophers, scientists, and theologians to the public. By 1980, the Werner Erhard Foundation had sponsored 31 such presentations, attended by 57,000 people in major cities throughout the United States. Presentations included global thinker R. Buckminster Fuller; British philosopher Douglas Harding; an eminent leader of Tibetan Buddhism, His Holiness the XVI Gyalwa Karmapa; and a world renowned siddha yogi, Swami Muktananda.
These presentations were made possible largely through the support of est, an educational corporation, whose staff and volunteers contributed expertise in production, logistics, and advance communication of the events. Income from these events supported the research and educational programs of the featured speakers as well as making a modest contribution to the Foundation’s general grant program.
In 1980, the Werner Erhard Foundation initiated and sponsored a Public Lecture Series held on the east and west coasts of the United States. The lecturers, distinguished men and women working in a variety of fields, had the opportunity to present their ideas and to interact with their audiences in an intimate environment.
Guest speakers for the Public Lecture Series included: Dr. James Miller, former President of the University of Louisville and an expert on cybernetics and living systems; Kate Lloyd, Editor-in-Chief of Working Woman Magazine; Dr. Heinz von Foerster, eminent biophysicist and cybernetetician; author Michael Murphy, who founded Esalen Institute; John Powers, internationally known authority in Japanese and contemporary art; and the pontiff of Tibetan Buddhism; His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama. These evenings were a unique educational opportunity for the community.
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama
R. Buckminster Fuller
His Holiness the 16h Gyalwa Karmapa
Public Lecture Series