About Global Spirit

GLOBAL SPIRIT is a unique “internal travel” series that brings to light the various practices, spiritual, mental and physical, that help us define who we are as human beings and explore how this effects our relationships to our families, our communities, ourselves and the world at large.

GLOBAL SPIRIT offers insights into some of mankind’s deepest existential questions, tracing our collective human journey in the timeless quest for truth, wisdom and understanding. Each GLOBAL SPIRIT program highlights the trans-cultural, transcendent dimensions of human inquiry, from the ancient or indigenous wisdom traditions to the latest advances in scientific knowledge. GLOBAL SPIRIT has, for the first time on national television, done what the Mars Rover did for space: beam back a celestial wonder, a glimmer of what is possible in the realm of human consciousness, spirit and the mind.

Phil Cousineau, Host

Phil Cousineau is a freelance writer, independent filmmaker, photographer, worldwide lecturer and adventure travel guide. For the last thirty years he has published widely on such themes as creativity, soul, movies, sports, and the mythic imagination. His first documentary film, in 1987, was “The Hero’s Journey”, on the life and work of Joseph Campbell. Since then he has worked on more than twenty documentary films including: “Ecological Design: Inventing the Future”; “Wayfinders: A Pacific Odyssey”; “The Peyote Road”; “Forever Activists: Stories from the Abraham Lincoln Brigade” (1991 Academy Award nominated); and a recent collaboration with Huston Smith and Gary Rhine: “A Seat at the Table: The Struggle for American Indian Religious Freedom.”

Cousineau has published over twenty-five books, including the “Stoking the Creative Fires,” “The Way Things Are: Conversations with Huston Smith on the Spiritual Life,” and “The Olympic Odyssey: Rekindling the Spirit of the Ancient Games,” which was selected by the United States Olympic Committee as a gift book for American athletes at the 2004 Summer Games in Athens. He is also the author of “Once and Future Myths,” “The Art of Pilgrimage,” “Deadlines: A Rhapsody on a Theme of Famous Last Words,” which won the 1991 Fallot Literary Award, and “The Blue Museum,” which was acclaimed by the San Francisco Chronicle as a book of “dazzling … exquisite lyrics … that is able to draw profound questions out of ordinary life.”

More on Phil Cousineau

Stephen Olsson, Series Producer/ Director

Stephen Olsson is the creator, producer and director of Global Spirit, and a number of original television series and documentary films.  His work has received television’s three highest honors:  the National Emmy Award for Outstanding Director, the du-Pont Columbia Award for excellence in broadcast journalism, and the George Foster Peabody Award. His films and series have addressed issues such as war, race relations, global development, immigration, human consciousness and other topics, and have been broadcast on the BBC, CBS, NBC, National Geographic, PBS., CBC, Canal+, Arte, TV Asahi, TV Globo and others.

Stephen was a co-founder of the national satellite channel, Link TV, where he served for nine years as VP of Original Programming, and created, produced and directed a number of television series, including the Peabody Award-winning “Mosaic: World News from the Middle East”,  “Spotlight” , “Bridge to Iran”,  “Lunch with Bokara”,  and”The Active Opposition” featuring guests such as H.H. the Dalai Lama, Walter Cronkite, Willy Nelson, Sean Penn,  Noam Chomsky, Harry Belafonte, John Cleese and others. He holds a graduate degree in Anthropology and Communications, and has studied the cultures and spiritual traditions in Turkey, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Russia, Bolivia, Thailand and other countries.    More on Stephen Olsson

Parisa Soultani, Series Technical Director, Editor, Web Producer

Parisa Soultani, is editor and the web producer for Global Spirit. She has been working with Cultural and Educational Media since 2009 performing a variety of tasks from fundraising to production and post production. In addition to Global Spirit, she co-produces the feature-length documentary, BEYOND TRANSLATION: Jalaluddin Rumi Meets Shams of Tabriz and the ONE THROUGH LOVE web project on the poetry and teachings of Jalaluddin Rumi. She is also the host and editor for the LinkTV series, BRIDGE TO IRAN. She was born and raised in Iran where she studied Software Engineering at Tehran Azad University. Before coming to the U.S. in 2006, she studied Computer Technology and Information Systems at Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey. In the U.S. she finished her B.A. in International Business at Sacramento State University and is currently completing her M.A. in Humanities at San Francisco State University.

Lorraine Hess, Broadcast & Programming

Lorraine Hess is a seasoned executive specializing in international and domestic film acquisitions, TV programming and digital content curating. An acquisitions professional, with 15+ years of experience in contract negotiating, programming strategy, production, packaging and promotion, scheduling, fundraising and outreach. She was a co-founder of LinkTV in 1999, and served as V.P of Acquisitions and Programming for over a decade. With a passion for transformative and international programming and alternative distribution mechanisms outside of the mainstream commercial networks, Lorraine  has been a key player in a long list of TV and digital projects including Global Spirit, Bridge to Iran, Viewchange.org, and the LinkTV Newsapp. She is currently Distribution Consultant for the PBS Global Spirit series, co-curating KCETLINK’s documentary strand, LinkVoices, Acquisitions Liaison for Channel X, Advisor for the Bertha Foundation and Acquisitions VP for The Conscious Good, a startup video service.

Lorraine has exceptional relationships with distributors, broadcasters, and producers from around the world. She brings a strong sense of how to connect local, national and global issues and culture through creative programming and acquisitions. She has had a major role in building a startup channel with an international focus. Known in the international documentary and broadcast community as a visionary with a unique creative and humanistic approach, resulting in distinct programming that stands out.

Joseph Kulin, Series Advisor/Associate Producer

Joseph Kulin is a Media and Publishing consultant with extensive experience in not-for-profit management and fundraising development.  As publisher of Parabola magazine for over 20 years he was instrumental in significantly expanding the journal’s readership as well as developing new product lines such as the Parabola Video and Audio Series, acquiring distribution rights to such classics as “The Power of Myth” and Peter Brook’s “The Mahabharata.” He produced an award-winning audio/radio series, “Native American Storytime,” and was Executive Producer of “A Sense of the Sacred,” the film biography of Jungian counselor, Helen Luke, which aired on public television.  He launched and directed Cinema of the Spirit Film Festivals which played in a half dozen major cities, and continues to present spiritual film programs to the public.  He currently serves on the board of the New York Open Center and the Greenfield Review Press.   He is also a board advisor to Land is Life, an international grassroots organization which advocates for the land and human rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Kristin Tieche, Editor

Kristin Tieche is a Northern California-based independent producer and Emmy-nominated editor. She has edited award-winning films and television programming for national cable and satellite networks such as PBS, CBS–5 (KPIX), Link TV, Fine Living Channel, Food Network, Home and Garden, Smithsonian On Demand and Current TV. Ms. Tieche founded SelvaVision to showcase new perspectives on issues dealing with sustainability and social responsibility. She is also co-founder and co-editor of Vélo Vogue, a popular blog focusing on San Francisco’s vibrant and stylish bicycle culture.  Ms. Tieche holds a Master of Arts in Television, Radio and Film from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, where she received awards from the regional chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in screenwriting and sound design.


Matthew Martyr, Associate Producer & Editorial Assistant

headshotMatthew Martyr
is Associate Producer and Editorial Assistant for web and broadcast at CEM Productions

Matthew has worked in news production, documentary, photojournalism, and independent short film.

Born in Ohio, Matthew traveled extensively and spent some time living abroad, during which time he decided to pursue a career in the service of a global community. Matthew has a Bachelor of the Arts in Anthropology and a Bachelor of the Sciences in Telecommunications from the University of Florida.




Bequia Sherick, Researcher

Bequia Sherick works on research for the Global Spirit series. She received a B.A. from the University of Colorado at Boulder in Philosophy and an M.A. from Dominican University in Humanities. Beyond her academic work, she spent several years living at the yoga community and retreat center Mount Madonna Center and she is a certified yoga teacher. She will be joining the adjunct faculty in Philosophy at Los Medanos community college in the summer of 2014. Her interests include the nature of the self, Eastern religion, authenticity and self-actualization. Through her work in media and the classroom she aims to contribute toward creating a culture that encourages individuals to seek self-knowledge and healing from within through the help of the wisdom traditions.





Global Spirit Funders Circle

For Individuals and organizations who wish to financially support the
production of Global Spirit programs or activities.
Contact Us


Fetzer Institute
Kalliopeia Foundation
Compton Foundation
ONE Foundation
Anonymous Donor
Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art
Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation
Angeles Arrien Foundation
Charles Engelhard Foundation
Marquis George MacDonald Foundation
Betsy Gordon Foundation

Series Advisors

Robert Thurman,
Co-founder & President,
Tibet House US
Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies at Columbia University; President of American Institute of Buddhist Studies; New York Times called him “the leading American expert on Tibetan Buddhism.”
Ravi Ravindra, Ph.D,
Professor Emeritus,
Dalhousie University
Previous member of the Institute of Advanced Study in Princeton, a previous fellow of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, and Founding Director of the Threshold Award for Integrative Knowledge.
Rabbi Rachel Cowan,
Executive Director,
Institute for Jewish Spirituality
Named one of the 50 most influential rabbis by Newsweek Magazine in 2007.
Kabir Helminski
Co-Director of the Threshold Society
Author, publisher and sufi teacher in the Mevlevi tradition; acknowledged as one of the 500 most influential muslims in the world.