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Behind Greatness by Inspire North

Philosophy Podcasts

Bringing you curious minds and profound ideas. Your weekly dose of real conversations. We chat openly with industry and thought leaders from all walks of life, exploring the “what ifs” and “why nots”.

Bringing you curious minds and profound ideas. Your weekly dose of real conversations. We chat openly with industry and thought leaders from all walks of life, exploring the “what ifs” and “why nots”.




Bringing you curious minds and profound ideas. Your weekly dose of real conversations. We chat openly with industry and thought leaders from all walks of life, exploring the “what ifs” and “why nots”.




123. Mark Cecchetto – President, Nestle Confectionary – Choosing to Navigate Through Rough Waters

Welcome back to Behind Greatness. Today we are speaking with Mark Cecchetto. Mark acts as the President of Nestle Canada’s Confectionary Division and lives in Toronto. Mark grew up in a healthy family environment where he was encouraged to explore and where the expectation for a successful future path was also not negotiable. Originally wanting to have a career in sports management – with the ultimate ideal as the GM of the Blue Jays – Mark saw a different path emerging as he became a young...


122. Dr. Dean Radin - Chief Scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences /Best Selling Author /Musician – Exploring the Frontier of Consciousness

We are joined by Dean Radin at his home in Idaho. Dean is the Chief Scientist at the famous IONS in California. IONS was founded by Astronaut Dr. Edgar Mitchell 50 years ago after the Apollo-14 mission. Mitchell had a mystical experience as he found himself in space and walking the moon that he started this Institute when he returned to Earth to study our interconnectedness with the universe. And Dean has certainly taken on those reigns. Contemplating existential questions at a very young...


121. Dr. Thomas Verny, MD – Psychiatrist, International Best Selling Author, Podcast Host – Loving as Deeply as you Can

Welcome back to Behind Greatness. Today we are joined by Thomas Verny at his home in Stratford, Ontario. He is one of the world’s leading experts on the effects of prenatal and postnatal environment on personality. Dr Verny shot to international fame after the publication of his book entitled “The Secret Life of the Unborn Child” in 1982. But fame was never a driver for Thomas. Searching the truth suited him better. We speak to a man today who has had his own private practice for many...


120. Rick Campanelli aka “Rick The Temp” – National TV/Radio Host & Personality, Former VJ – Going To That Mountain, Not Waiting For It

Rick joins us from his home outside of Toronto. He is perennially and lovingly known as “Rick the Temp” in his home country. He is a long time national TV & Radio host and a long time friend to Inspire and Behind Greatness. As a shy kid growing up in Hamilton, Rick knew he had something in him. Armed with the love of music and art, a positive life-energy and a heavy commitment to preparation, Rick created the opportunity for himself to become a national video jockey for Much Music in the...


119. Doug Putman – Entrepreneur & CEO of Sunrise Records, HMV, Everest Toys, Toys R Us – Always Being in the State of Creation

Doug joins us from his home in the Hamilton area, Ontario. Doug is a serial entrepreneur, owning several brick & mortar companies that together employ over 20,000 people. After high school, he decided that university wasn’t for him and began exploring how he could create his own path. And like an artist, create is what he did. We discuss several themes that are important to him: the influence of his family and his parents in his life, having a healthy dose of an inferiority complex, the...


118. Dr. Jeffrey Kripal – Chair in Philosophy & Religious Thought, Rice University / Author / Philosopher – Believing in Belief, not in Beliefs

Jeff joins us from Houston. He is the current Associate Dean of the Faculty and Graduate Programs in the School of the Humanities and the J. Newton Rayzor Chair in Philosophy and Religious Thought at Rice University. He is also the Associate Director of the Center for Theory and Research at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California. In this conversation we explore the “3rd space” that Jeff occupies and a wide array of topics therein and all connected to the esoteric: a term that is...


117. John Ruffalo – Founder, Managing Partner, Maverix Private Equity – Using Persistence to Pierce Through

John chats with us from his place in Toronto. John comes from a family – like many of us – that left their country in poverty to make a better life in a new place. John tells us about growing up, living and working in a cocoon of a 2km radius … until he began to poke a hole in his bubble. In the 90s, John worked relentlessly for his firm fulfilling his billable hours, but spending 1000 hours / year trying to build a business with future tech-giants like Microsoft and Oracle. But before they...


116. Dr. Orlando Gutierrez-Boronat – Co-Founder, Cuban Democratic Directorate (Directorio) – Overcoming the Beliefs of An Ideological Grip

Orlando joins us from his home city of Miami. In a followup to last week’s scintillating talk with Luis Zuniga, we continue with Orlando in talking about living under a totalitarian regime and the peoples’ fight against the same. Orlando’s family lineage in Cuba traces back to 1492. Orlando explains how he and his Organization are trying to pierce through the communist armour of Cuba’s regime to get the message of hope, liberty and democracy to the Cuban people on his home island. We discuss...


115. Luis Zuñiga Rey – Former Cuban Political Prisoner (“Plantado”) / Lecturer - Finding Resolve in Being at Peace with Yourself

Luis joins us from Miami, Florida. Luis is a former Plantado. Born and bred in Cuba, Luis was a young teen during Fidel Castro’s revolution against the military dictatorship in Cuba at the time. However, he found out as a young university student just how oppressive Castro’s version of “liberation” was (and is) living under his communist rule starting in the early 1960s. Refusing “political integration” as a university student, Luis brings us through his harrowing story fighting back against...


114. Santiago Roa Duque – Founder, Jaguar Siembra Project / Filmmaker / Artist – Following the Art of the Growing Seed

Santiago joins us from Vienna. He is from Bogota, Colombia and spends his time between Austria and his native land. He is a founder and director of Jaguar Siembra – a not for profit outfit in Colombia dedicated to preserving Indigenous knowledge and sharing indigenous wisdom through film about this supremely unique place on the planet in northern Colombia: “La Linea Negra” in Santa Marta. This conversation is packed with what’s important to our guest – and to our podcast. Santiago warns us...


113. Dr. Diane Hennacy, MD – Neuroscientist/Psychiatrist / Artist/ Author – Exploring Beyond The Boundaries

We chat with Diane, who is joining us from Oregon. Diane is an artist and dancer … and she is also a practising neuroscientist, psychiatrist, clinician and author. She is a polymath, whose life has been enriched by unique near death experiences - at age 4, age 13 and again in her 20s. We learn about Diane’s challenge of the materialistic model that scientists are trained to follow and why this is important for her – and for science. Diane is also known for her pioneering work in...


112. Leslie Kean – Journalist, Best-Selling Author, Trailblazer – Pursuing Answers, Relentlessly

Leslie joins us from NYC. She studied ornithology in her graduate studies in Massachusetts, moved to humanitarian work for Burma to radio show production in California to then freelance investigative journalism. As a journalist she was able to publish her early work relating to UFOs in the Boston Globe in 2001 – and was struck by the deafening silence of response to her piece. But some did take notice …. She published a best selling book several years later and began to be invited by high...


111. Dr. Bruce Lipton – Pioneer in Epigenetics, Cell Biologist, International Speaker – Breaking Through Your Programs

Bruce joins us from his home in California. Bruce was a pioneer cell biologist and one of the few scientists in the world working with cloning stem cells back in the late 1960s. And he dared asking questions. During his early research work at Stanford, he started to realize that what scientists were learning and teaching others about genetics and genetic determinism was faulty. He came to understand that we are in fact the masters, not the victims of our genes. Ostracized by his peers early...


110. Ramy Dimitry – Managing Director, Connor, Clack & Lunn Private Capital – “Doing Life” Together

Ramy joins us from his home in Toronto. Ramy has spent a career honing his gifts and capabilities in building a successful career in management consulting and corporate C-level leadership. From the outset of this conversation, Ramy is more than happy to get into what matters to him: investing in others’ lives. We discuss his belief in making impact and making a difference with others, a mindset he imported from his upbringing and early career life in a more ancient part of the world - in...


109. Tim Jones – Principal, Creative Placemaking Inc. / Pioneering Social Entrepreneur – Celebrating Irreverence for What It Can Create

Tim grew up in London (Ontario), a small city between Detroit and Toronto. He had a happy childhood, but needed to live a closeted existence as his environment was hostile. After moving to the big city as a young adult, he quickly began to flourish. He lived a life surrounded by art and the artistic endeavour and lived within the irreverent energy that it exuded. Not considering himself an ‘artist’, this early adulthood life experience shaped his ambitions to the core nonetheless. He soon...


108. Jack Barsky – ex-KGB Agent / Author / Speaker – Leading with Curiosity to Change Beliefs

Jack joins us from his home in Atlanta, Georgia. Jack grew up as Albrecht Dittrich in post-WW2 East Germany in “The Valley of the Clueless”. He was a youth leader for the communist party and a promising young academic when he was approached by the KGB and recruited as an espionage agent. Armed with a sharp curiosity, a penchant for learning languages and a strong sense of adventure, Jack’s changed his life forever when he agreed to take on his mission. After several years of training in...


107. Jason Annibale – Partner, McMillan LLP – Making Those Around You Better

Jason is a partner at McMillan LLP and joins us from his office in Toronto. He is a recognized top construction lawyer in the country – with soft hands, no less. But, that’s not where we go with this conversation. We go instead where Jason lives: in the exploration of his essence. We start with family … Modesta and Eugénio, kitchen-Portuguese, the menu-reading child within and his grandfather’s “I get it” moment. We discuss his tendency to throw himself into something fully when he’s...


106. Kenneth Oppel – Best Selling Novelist - Chasing After the Wonder

Kenneth joins us from his home in Toronto. He is an award winning and best selling author of numerous novels for young readers. He is famed for writing Airborn, the Silverwing Trilogy and now his latest novels, Bloom and its sequels, Hatch and Thrive. This was a fun conversation. He grew up on Vancouver Island on the Pacific coast and spent a few uncomplicated, happy pre-teen years in Halifax, on the Atlantic. Kenneth wanted to be a writer from a very young age, being pig-headed about his...


105. Dr Avi Loeb – Astrophysicist / Founder, The Galileo Project / Best-Selling Author - Needing to Think More Like Children

We have an exciting conversation with Avi Loeb. Avi is a philosopher and farm-boy at his core. He has spent the past several decades as a leading Astrophysicist, including a most recent decade-long stint as a department head at Harvard, having published over 700 papers and written 8 books . Avi became wider known outside of scientific circles for his stance on scientific and space exploration after the discovery of the famous interstellar object called “Oumuamua” in 2017. He subsequently...


104. Safiya Talanova – Ukrainian Refugee / Psychologist / Educator / Multiple NDEr – Helping to Heal Others as a Mission

We have the privilege of sitting down Safiya, who only recently fled from her native Ukraine with her daughter. We are also joined by one of our favourite past guests on the podcast, the marvelous Joan Koenig (ep 79). Joan helps facilitate the conversation. Joan and her friends (Janice Giarracco & Michael Clancey) have been instrumental in helping Safiya find safe haven in France over the last month. A trained psychologist, Safiya ran a special school for children in the Donbas region before...