Speaker Comments:

Holly Bellebuono, Certified Herbalist, Educator, Author and Business Owner, “Women Healers of the World – The Tradition, History and Geography of Herbal Medicine” (December 2014):

“It was clear to me, during and after the lecture, how important this type of open discussion is for the greater understanding of our collective heritage and to empower women in the fields of science, research, and medicine. I received numerous comments from attendees appreciative of the depth of discussion and for bringing a little discussed (but needed) topic to the mainstream. Walden Forum and Tom Liszewski exceeded my expectations for professionalism and positive community outreach, and I am grateful for the opportunity to have participated.”

Kevin Delaney, Educator & Massachusetts History Teacher of the Year 2014, “Local History as a Window to View Larger Themes of the American Experience” (November 2014):

“It was a true pleasure working with the joint Walden Forum and Historical Society team to set the stage for the premier of Five Miles Astride the River. What a wonderful evening it was, with an impressive turnout exceeding 500, sharing our collective
experiences about the remarkable history of our small town. If learning together as a community is a core Walden Forum objective, then I can’t imagine a more rewarding result!.”

Mary Johnson Zian, Attorney, Educator and a Member of the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center, Muslim American Society Boston Chapter, “A Sister’s Perspective: A Muslim’s View from the Middle Path of Islam (October 2014):

“Thank you so much for organizing the Walden Forum and making a space for people and community to come together and discuss. I was honored to be a part of the Forum and of the work you are doing. The Forum is an excellent model, and I hope that other communities will follow your lead.”

Anna Ornstein, M.D., Retired Child Psychiatrist, Lecturer in Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, “Lessons form The Holocaust” (May 2014):

“Thank you for offering me the opportunity to share my ideas and my concerns with the Walden Forum audience. You are clearly doing your community a great service by bringing a variety of issues to their attention for consideration. Discussing the lessons of the Holocaust, what we have learned from this tragedy, was clearly of great interest to the participants. We all wished that these difficult issues related to prejudice and intolerance could be further discussed and that we could find solutions to stop the continued violence among peoples and among nations.”

Guy Cosby, Ph.D, Professor, Educator, Author, Scientist and Certified Foodie, “America’s Food from Farm to Fork & The Reality of Sustainable Food Communities” (April 2014):

“I enjoyed the opportunity to discuss the American food system with an interested and knowledgeable audience. The Walden Forum provides a wonderful opportunity to bring members of the community together to discuss important topics…it was an experience well worth the time and effort required to prepare my lecture. It is also encouraging to know that my lecture was recorded so it will be available to a much wider audience through many (17) of the local cable television networks.”

Professor Henry (Jake ) Jacoby, Ph.D MIT (March 2014):

“My topic, the explosion in recent years in the use of hydraulic fracking in oil and gas development, is highly controversial. The Forum participants were both interested in the details of the technology and passionate in their questioning of its economic and environmental effects. It was a rare opportunity to explore these issues with such a diverse, well-informed and lively group. Clearly the Walden Forum makes a vital contribution to community discussion of public issues, and I am very pleased to have had a chance to play a role. “

Susan Memoli, Director of Fine Arts in Wayland, “Messiah Sing” (December 2013):

“Student musicians rarely have the opportunity to perform a large-scale work such as the Messiah. This is an amazing opportunity for the Wayland High School Honors Sinfonia and Full Orchestra to interact with this powerful work and bring it to life. This collaboration involves high level professional musicians and multiple community organizations and unites
us all under the banner of music. It is an honor to be included in this Walden Forum offering.”

Meredith Dank, Ph.D, Urban Institute WDC , “Technology and Cyber Abuse” (October 2013):

“The Walden Forum was a great platform to share our study findings on teen cyber dating abuse to a wide and diverse audience. As a researcher, I am typically asked to present my research to other academics or government stakeholders. Being able to interact directly with students, parents, school officials, and community members is a great way to build awareness around issues such as teen cyber dating abuse. I would encourage anyone and everyone to get involved in the Walden Forum.”

Leonard A. Schlesinger, Ph.D, President Emeritus Babson College, Baker Foundation Professor, Harvard University (September 2013):

“I really enjoyed my Walden Forum experience. It was an opportunity for me to present a new set of ideas to an extraordinarily involved group. I have had numerous follow up conversations and interactions as a result of the session and appreciated the opportunity to join with you..Best of luck as Walden Forum expands its reach”

Eric Winer, MD, Director Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Breast Oncology Center, “The Power of Pink” (May 2013)

“The Walden Forum audience audience was engaged, and the questions were quite thoughtful. Mostly, I think it is remarkable that you have put together this forum. It provides a wonderful opportunity for people in your community to come and learn, to expand their horizons, and then to share their thoughts. Keep up the good work. It was a great experience and I would do it
again in a second (if you want to talk about breast cancer five years from now). Be well.


Robin Young, WBUR’s Here and Now, “A Look at Her Career” (April 18, 2013):

“Thank you, Tom, for the great experience of a Walden Forum. Radio is all about community. But better than radio is actual community, people sitting down to talk, and to listen.  As it happened, as we left the Forum and headed back to Cambridge, we were driving toward the story of a decade, the wild car chase with the alleged Boston Marathon bombers that ended in the shootout the next day in Watertown, Mass. I remember being  so grateful that Walden Forum allowed me a brief respite to actually reflect about the news before I had to go back and cover it. Thank you again for creating this thoughtful and thought-provoking refuge..”

Jeffrey Miron, Ph.D., Senior Lecturer and Director of Undergraduate Studies, Department of Economics Harvard University, ”The Pros and Cons of Medical Marijuana” (Oct. 2, 2012):

“I enjoyed my participation in the Walden Forum immensely. It is great for residents of the Commonwealth to hear spirited debates about the important policy issues of the day. Many thanks for inviting me to the forum.“

Kevin A. Sabet, Ph.D., Policy Consultant and Assistant Professor, University of Florida, College of Medicine, ”The Pros and Cons of Medical Marijuana” (Oct. 2, 2012):

“A very informative night for all, no matter what your point of view. We need more of these fora in our communities. Too often we are subject to five-second soundbites which oversimplify today’s complex issues. The Walden Forum allows us to have a civil, meaningful conversation. The result is a stronger democracy with better informed decisions. Kudos to Tom and the whole team.”

Vladimir Bulovic, Professor MIT, Co-Chair of the MIT study on Solar Energy (May 21, 2012):

“Tom, I was delighted to have had a chance to present to the general public a technical topic that has a deep impact on everyone’s well being. I was very impressed with the engagement of the audience, their thoughtful questions, and enthusiasm for action. The Walden Forum provides an extraordinary opportunity for the citizens to discuss current issues and formulate joint ideas on which they can act. Thank you for envisioning the positive impact our fellow citizens can deliver by being informed through the community outreach of the Walden Forum. Thank you again for giving me an opportunity to participate as a speaker. Sincerely, Vladimir”

Gabriel Bol Deng, Former Lost Boy of Sudan, Survivor, Teacher, Social and Political Activist, Humanitarian, “Africa, South Sudan – Rebuilding with the Power of Hope” (March 23, 2012):

“I would like to express my deepest thanks and gratitude to Tom and the Walden Forum for the opportunity to share my life story with such caring global-minded citizens. I was impressed by the audience’s thoughtful questions and comments prior and after my presentation. Walden Forum is a great intellectual platform for thoughtful individuals to come together to listen, discuss, and learn about important issues and creative ideas to promote more understanding in our wider global human community. I hope that the lessons from life journey and our discussion will make a lasting impact on each participant. I wish you and the Walden Forum much success.”

Jimmy Tingle, Writer, Stand-Up Comic, Social & Political Humorist, Commentator, Actor, and Activist, ”The Political Takeover by Comedy in America Today” (Feb. 21, 2012):

“Thanks Tom and The Walden Forum for a great night. The audience was one of the best I  have had the pleasure of speaking to and the atmosphere could not have been more  welcoming and supportive. The attendees were informed, inquisitive and full of life with a great sense of humor- Emerson and Thoreau would be proud. Continued Success to You and  The Walden Forum – You’re off to a Great Start !!!

Kerry Emanuel, PhD, “A Sober Look at Climate Change” (Jan. 19, 2012):

“I greatly enjoyed the forum last night. I thought the audience was highly attentive and asked really great questions; it was thoroughly enjoyable for me. The format of the forum seems ideal, so I think you have a good thing going…..keep up the great work! Yours, Kerry”

Peter Gray, PhD, Research Professor of Psychology, Boston College, “The Freedom to Learn” (Dec. 1, 2011):

“I very much enjoyed my Walden Forum experience. Thank you very much for inviting me and for your great attention to detail, which made the evening so pleasant for all. The turnout was good, thanks I am sure to your very good job of publicizing it, and the questions were excellent. It was an honor to me to be invited and a pleasure to be treated so well.”

Tom Ashbrook, WBUR’s “On Point”, “Reflecting on a Career in Journalism” (Nov. 3, 2011):

“It was a great evening. Thanks for you kind hospitality and excellent arrangements. Walden Forum is a winner. It’s got the vision, focus and audience to do great things. Keep it up! Best of luck.”

Emily Rothman, PhD, “A Discussion on Dating Violence” (Oct. 18, 2011):

“I think I can speak for the team when I say that we were each honored to be asked and included in such a meaningful and special Forum in your community, and that we enjoyed the experience very much. Thank you again for arranging everything and for creating such a well-organized, thoughtful environment for the talk.”

Mohamed Lazzouni, PhD, “A Discussion about Islam – Common Questions – Uncommon Answers” (March 15, 2011):

“I wanted to express my heart-felt gratitude for the opportunity to speak at the Walden Forum yesterday. I found the event to be most stimulating intellectually and quite fulfilling spiritually. I am indebted to you for your trust and confidence and to the audience for providing us with a wonderful opportunity for rich and engaging discourse.”

Giovanni Fazio, PhD, Astrophysicist, Harvard Smithsonian, “Where Are We? Our Place in the Universe” (Feb. 15, 2011):

“I hope we will be able to save the James Webb Space Telescope. Glad to hear the feedback on the talk was so good. I hope it will inspire  some students to go into science.You’re doing a great job with the Forum. Keep up the good work. Very best, Giovanni”

 Audience Comments:

Elizabeth Butler:

“You’ve done an amazing job with the Walden Forum.  Thank you for bringing so many stimulating speakers to Wayland.”

Cindy Cantrell:

“The Walden Forum is always doing such important and interesting work!”

Louise Corrigan:

“… these days more than ever, it feels important to me to get people together in a room, having a shared experience and a real conversation. Kudos to you for making it happen!”

R. Sideman-Kurtz:

“Thanks for all your work on Walden Forum. I really appreciate these talks taking place in town. I attended the one with the two Israeli men. It really affected me as I learned a lot. Thank you for making it happen.”

Richard Schaye, Ph.D., Former Middle School Principal, Wayland, MA, ”The Pros and Cons of Medical Marijuana”:

“I enjoyed the experience very much…Medical marijuana was a perfect topic for a serious debate. Walden Forum is a wonderful community resource that is a direct counterpoint to the shrill and divisive national debate on so many issues that has dominated the news in recent years. It certainly elevates the possibility of serious discussion in this one small – and to me – very special community.”