For many, the sign of the times is a piece of cardboard, held by a homeless person seeking food, shelter, work or perhaps just a smile. The 14 minute short film Good Karma $1 starts with an intellectual notion and follows it back to the human heart and a social dilemma without a clear solution.
1%, Amartya Sen, american economy, Anyway?, Batker, book review, Business books, de Graaf, Federal Reserve Chai Ben Bernanke, Gifford Pinchot, Jeremy Bentham, Joseph Stiglitz, occupy, Publisher's Weekly, What's the Economy for
Authors de Graaf and Batker take an unconventional look at how we tie ourselves into knots of anxiety over concepts that add little value to our lives. Their new book What’s the Economy For, Anyway?: Why It’s Time to Stop Chasing Growth and Start Pursuing Happiness dovetails with current Occupy efforts—this is a time to question not only where we are, but how we got here and de Graaf and Batker are up to the challenge—they address themes of consumption, economics and the pursuit of happiness in an America boosting over 14 million unemployed with vast wealth being held by 1% of the population.
I was invited by EcoMaven Alex Steele to participate in U2’s Green Team–Seattle was the 5th city on the concert tour to implement an on ground crew to encourage recycling and educate on green initiatives designed to reduce the U2 tour carbon footprint. Effect Partners, a Minneapolis, Minnesota company that is occupying the unique space of turning intentions into actions, orchestrated the U2 Green Team effort. Other Effect Partners projects include making recycled plastic shirts for the Black-Eyed Peas, “So Much to Save” initiative for the Dave Matthews Band and Jack Johnson’s “All at Once” encouraging individual action. Bono and U2 were even better than the real thing.
Net Impact and Colorado University Leeds School of Business with sponsor Ball Corporation created a sustainability competition this spring, awarding $12k in prizes.
Over 60 teams from prominent US colleges and universities tried to solve this problem: how can municipal recycling collection be increased? University of Washington Foster School of Business students answered this challenge by designing a mobile application which maps recycling locations and motivates users by showing where nearby recycling bins are located, adding facebook and geocaching quests and then completing the Loop with partnerships and mobile advertising. Their Loop mobile phone application took first prize, $7,200 and the bragging rights over the likes of University of Southern California’s Mendoza School of Business (2nd Place), DePaul University (3rd place) and other competitors including, USC, Bainbridge Graduate Institute, Kansas, University of Virginia.
ThinkSpace played host to TED Women: Seattle Stream Dec. 7-8. I carved out a few hours from my afternoon and found a rewarding pocket of insights and perspectives streamed live to a quiet, dimmed conference room in downtown Redmond, Washington.
The afternoon presentation Life’s Symphony included a wide range of speakers, covering cultural influences, television and global issues. Activist and author Courtney E. Martin talked about her desperation after graduating from Barnard College and finding few ways to impart change. Her book Do It Anyway chronicles 8 activists who are bringing a message of change to everyday life. At the end of the day the humanizing force of engagement may outweigh a preconceived notion of success, and it may just be that we must do it anyway, even when the outcome is far from certain.