Home Essays


Our Essays are long form pieces exploring Kindling founder Peter Schulte’s experience and reflections.

Profit and purpose diagram

Why non-profits are part of the problem

How can we expect to drive real change when we are constantly underfunded and in the pockets of corporate donors?

Hi. My name is Peter, and I’m a racist.

If you’re a white American, like me, the absolute worst thing someone can call you is racist. That is a problem.
clouds with sun behind them

How you can be an atheist and still believe in God

Americans don’t think much of atheists. According to a 2015 Gallup poll, 74% of Americans would vote for a qualified gay or lesbian for president. Only 58% would vote for an atheist. Forty percent would refuse to vote for an atheist.
man in a tunnel, personal responsibility

The many dimensions of personal responsibility

“Personal responsibility” forms the backbone of polarization in our country today. We all agree we need it. But we can’t actually agree on what it means.

Is “profit” a dirty word?

In a now-famous video, comedian Russel Brand passionately pleads: [British Prime Minister] David Cameron says profit isn't a dirty word, well I say profit is a filthy word... I think the very concept of profit should be very much reduced because wherever there is profit there is also deficit. But is profit really a dirty word?

Why the New Yorker is wrong and memes are the best

Kim, your cartoon reinforces a very unhelpful sentiment: that spreading memes on social media does little, if anything, to help encourage social progress.
Incan terraces

Ayahuasca #1: Living without expectations

It was back in college when I first heard about ayahuasca from a housemate of mine. She told me about a psychedelic medicine from the Amazon capable of incredible personal transformation and healing. People taking the medicine often reported recovery from deep depression, addiction, and anxiety. They reported incredible experiences of traveling...

Humanity is beautiful

The missing ingredient to radical social change.
San Sebastian Bay

An explosion in San Sebastian

Ever since, in moments of anxiety, stress, or intense negativity - if I can find a moment of presence - I go back to San Sebastian.
Business man and woman talking

What corporate culture gets right

Can you imagine if we created a movement that both treated others with love and sensitivity AND thrived off creative tension?