The On Being Project is an independent, non‑profit media and public life initiative.

The On Being show and podcast was created by Krista Tippett inside a legacy media organization (American Public Media) in 2003.

It began with a controversial idea for a public radio conversation, Speaking of Faith, that would treat the religious and spiritual aspects of life as seriously as we treat politics and economics. On Being, as it has evolved, takes up the great questions of meaning in 21st-century lives and at the intersection of spiritual inquiry, science, social healing, and the arts. What does it mean to be human, how do we want to live, and who will we be to each other?

The show launched on two public radio stations. Even as it grew year over year, it remained fairly hidden on the dial, consigned, as the New York Times wrote, to the “God ghetto” timeslot of Sunday mornings. When podcasting came along, On Being took its place among leading podcasts. It has been downloaded and played over 200 million times.

People tell us every day that they have “discovered” On Being, and not by buzz, but by passage from one human being to another — sometimes as a lifeline, often across generations. The impact of this content has always felt less like that of an interview show and more like that of a social enterprise (with a radio show at its heart).

A few years in, audience research began to document what we had been anecdotally tracing and have continued to see: Our media space gathers people together across boundaries of age, race, geography, politics, and religion — at the same time that these boundaries have been calcifying in the culture at large.

We’ve come to understand our work as a “media and public life initiative.” The Civil Conversations Project (CCP) was the first expression of this, beginning in 2011. It has become an ongoing, ever-evolving offering of conversations and public events that is woven throughout our core body of work.

In 2013, Krista and a team of three producers (Trent Gilliss, Chris Heagle, and Liliana Maria Percy Ruíz) took On Being and CCP into organizational and production independence.

In the past three years, we developed the cultural momentum and organizational infrastructure to begin to scale to the next level. Scaling, for us, is about going deeper and not just bigger.

Our staff has grown to represent a beautiful cross-section of talent and human identity. Liliana Maria Percy Ruiz leads On Being Studios. Erinn Farrell is COO. Lucas Johnson is building out our next stage social healing capacities and Impact Lab. As head of Community and Design, Serri Graslie is innovating a mission-centric design approach in all the places we communicate to our audiences and the world.

A cross-organizational creative team drove a massive re-envisioning of this site, onbeing.org, that we launched in early 2019. This “Future Project,” as we called it, turned our 15-year archive into a hospitable, living resource — part gathering space, part anti-bubble. It is a template and foundation for content, digital innovation and community-building to come.

Our newest adventure, the On Being Impact Lab is emergent. We believe that collaborative discovery will be a key to living into the generative possibilities of this moment — not just in the halls of the academy or scientific laboratories, but in the everyday living laboratories of our communities, our friendships, and our minds.

To keep up with what we’re doing and join us in community, subscribe to The Pause newsletter and follow The On Being Project on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Visit the Press page to find coverage of On Being in the news.

This site was designed and built by Upstatement. Photos of The On Being Project staff and offices are by Bethany Birnie