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& Featured Writing

As a member of the Solutions Journalism Network and author of a weekly solutions column for the German Süddeutsche Zeitung, Michaela believes that we can find solutions for even the most pressing world problems.


When Your Rapist Demands Custody

More states are banning abortion without exceptions for rape. But what happens to women who carry their pregnancies to term?

Read the full story in Mother Jones



The Climate Solution Right Under Our Feet

The way to stop climate change might be buried in 300 square feet of earth in the Venice neighborhood of Los ­Angeles, amid kale and potatoes. “Soil just might save us,” filmmaker Josh Tickell says in his book Kiss the Ground, “but we are going to have to save it first.”

Read the full piece in the Soil Issue of Yes! Magazine


A Surprisingly Successful Recipe Against Harassment

One chef's simple color-coded solution to end sexual harassment in her restaurant could just be the blueprint the service industry needs.

Read the full story in Shondaland

Copyright: UE Life Sciences

Copyright: UE Life Sciences

When computer engineer Mihir Shah was about to get married in 2007, the joyful occasion was overshadowed by a shock: His mother-in-law was diagnosed with breast cancer, had to undergo chemotherapy, and attended the wedding covering her head with a wig. The experience motivated Shah to research breast cancer treatments, and he was surprised to realize that the survival rates of women with breast cancer largely depend on one factor: where they live. The Philly-area engineer developed a new device that is helping poor women around the world to check for breast cancer earlier and cheaper. It could save lives in America, as well. Read the full story in the Philadelphia Citizen.


Sometimes the most ingenious inventions are fueled by anger. Ridhi Tariyal was in her early 30s when she asked her OB-GYN to test her fertility to help her decide when to become pregnant. She wanted to focus on her career, but didn’t want to miss her biological "fertility window." Her OB-GYN brushed off her request, saying such a test wasn’t possible. As an A-student with an MBA from Harvard University and a Master of Science in biomedical enterprise from MIT, Tariyal had no trouble figuring out that her OB-GYN’s response wasn’t accurate, and she set out to develop a new test that might revolutionize health care for women. Read the full story on Shondaland!

The race to preserve the northern white rhino has just accomplished a big breakthrough. Will it be enough to save the species?

Read the full story in Sierra Club Magazine

How to Find Healing and Hope After a Mass Shooting - Huffington Post

An interview with internationally renowned grief coach and bestselling author Dr. Ken Druck

On December 14, 2012, 20 children and 6 adult staff members were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut ─ the deadliest shooting at a grade school in US history. On December 2, 2015, we witnessed the worst mass shooting since Sandy Hook in San Bernardino, California. The question how we can find healing after witnessing senseless violence and experiencing loss, is all the more pertinent. I spoke with Ken Druck who has worked on the front lines with families in the aftermath of 9-11, Columbine, and Sandy Hook. Dr. Druck, author of The Real Rules of Life, is an internationally recognized authority on traumatic loss, building resilience, and turning adversity into opportunity. Read more on the Huffington Post.

The Daily Beast: Helping Soldiers Transcend Trauma

"We need to actively work towards positive change, and we need the right tools and support in order to transform a bad break into a breakthrough."

For Veterans Day, I write about Brigadier General Rhonda Cornum and how she used her experience of being captured in the Iraq war to help other soldiers transcend trauma.

Read more on my blog or in the Daily Beast.

Photo: Peter Cunningham

Photo: Peter Cunningham

How Richard Gere and Bernie Glassman Offer Solutions for the Homeless

Every country has a homeless problem, but I cannot think of another developed country that scorns its homeless people more willfully, thus exacerbating their physical, emotional and mental health issues, sometimes beyond repair. Richard Gere and Zen master Bernie Glassman set out to do something about it. Read the full article on the Huffington Post.



What Cheryl Strayed Would Do If She Were President of the US (Hint: It Involves Pajamas, the F-word, and Guns)

An interview with the bestselling author of Wild about her book Brave Enough, posttraumatic growth, and running for president.

Read more on the Huffington Post.


We are all Dandelions

"We call dandelions weed when they pop up in our lawn, but the spring greens can make a tasty salad if we nourish them." Similarly, the apparent shortcomings of people on the autism spectrum (for instance, their attention to detail, and their directness) can become sought-after strengths.

Read More on my blog or the Huffington Post.

baking cake with daughter grace.jpg

Phoenix Rising From Fire

Thirty years ago, nine-year-old John O’Leary was rushed to the emergency room, while his family’s home continued to be ablaze. As he lay in a hospital bed, he frantically wondered if he was about to die. He had suffered burns covering 100 percent of his body and was given less than one percent chance of survival. Today, he is an in-demand speaker who shares his gift of perspective and passion with thousands worldwide and whose book “On Fire: The 7 Choices to Ignite a Radically Inspired Life” became a national #1 bestseller. Read More on the Huffington Post.

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My Brother, the Unabomber

A deeply personal encounter with David Kaczynski and Linda Patrik, family members of the man who was once the most sought after terrorist in the US.

Read More on the Huffington Post.



The Ghetto Swinger: The amazing story of jazz star Coco Schumann who played in Auschwitz for his life

For more than 40 years, Coco Schumann did not speak about what he went through in Theresienstadt and Auschwitz. Then an encounter with a group of young Holocaust-deniers forced him to tell his story.

Read more on the Huffington Post.


Want to Be Happy? The Key Ingredient From Maya Angelou

When I asked the incomparable Maya Angelou the question that has gripped me for years, "How do we manage to triumph over adversities?", Angelou’s advice to me was clear-cut: Develop an attitude of gratitude. "I think we have to be grateful,” she told me in her deep, raspy voice. “You could have died last night, you know.” She laughed.

Here`s how this gratitude practice actually works: My new blog on mindbodygreen.

Read More


The Tibetan Book of Living and Lying

Sogyal Lakar, one of the most successful Buddhist teachers in the West, steps down after accusations of sexual misconduct and battery.

Read more in Süddeutsche Zeitung International.

More from the archive here.