Luminaries: Shining a Light on Purpose

Purpose is as much about looking outward – to the landscape of needs in society – as it is about looking inward – to identify core strengths and values.


To enhance an “outrospective” view, BrightHouse engages a network of Luminaries. These diverse and divergent thought-leaders collaborate with our interdisciplinary strategic and creative team, to shine light on the needs in the world our clients serve, the role in the world they can play.

We use the term Luminary purposefully. The word comes from the Latin lumen, meaning light. In a literal sense, our BrightHouse Luminaries are people who influence and inspire – leading lights with deep expertise ranging from social movements to ecosystems, family flourishing to empathy. They bring a perspective that illuminates relevant but unexpected insights. Figuratively, they function like the radiant energy of light itself – the very force responsible for human beings’ capacity for sight.

With its combination of different sources, properties, and movements, light makes it possible for us to see. The sun, fire, bulbs, bioluminescence, and even bodies produce light. Light is both wave and particle, short wavelengths and long. Light reflects, bouncing off one surface and taking a different path; it refracts, bending as it moves from one medium to another; and it scatters, dispersing into many directions.

Curating a Luminary workshop – an essential step on the purpose journey we take with our clients – is like curating a light show. We bring together light from different sources – from leading academics, renowned authors, and hands-on change-makers. We mix photons and waves – the latest findings on networks, the history of hospitality from Ancient Greece to today.

Like a magnifying glass, BrightHouse amplifies what matters most to our clients, bringing precision to the light Luminaries provide. And the dialogue between Luminaries, corporate leaders, and the BrightHouse team always produces unexpected results. True to the multiplicity of light, part of the magic is always in the making.

But this is never a completely intellectual excursion. The insights illuminated always point to practical, tactical implications for our clients – what they might do differently tomorrow than they do today, inside the organization or externally in the marketplace. And “a-has” of the head are always complemented by “a-has” of the heart. Both clients and Luminaries describe these days as personally transformative.

 I always come away from these sessions with a head buzzing with new ideas. – David Haskell, Professor of Biology, Pulitzer Prize Nominated Author, and BrightHouse Luminary

 Transformative is the closest word to describe our experience with the group and Luminaries. At the risk of sounding like an exaggeration…it was one of the highlights of our history at New Chapter. Each Luminary was like a profound piece of a puzzle that suddenly started to come together. – Paul Schulick, Founder and Chairman of New Chapter and BrightHouse Client

Light has never had a single meaning in our language or a single role in human life. A metaphor for truth and enlightenment, light lets our eyes see the world around us but also enables vision of our more perceptive inner eye. As blind Gloucester tells King Lear on the stormy heaths of Dover, he sees the world feelingly. To see the world, and our role in it, feelingly is at the heart of our work with Luminaries and the journey of purpose.

Interested in shining light on your organization’s role in the world? Begin by thinking about societal needs that intrigue you. Get outside your four walls with TEDTalks or books that bring a different lens to key topics. Engage in conversation with thought leaders from different fields. Then let the a-has unfold. Be sure to follow BrightHouse on Twitter and LinkedIn, and subscribe to our blog for all the latest on purpose. 

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