“Democracy thrives on civil debate, Michael Sandel says — but we’re shamefully out of practice. He leads a fun refresher, with TEDsters sparring over a recent Supreme Court case (PGA Tour, Inc. v. Martin) whose outcome reveals the critical ingredient in justice.”
In 1990 new proteins were engineered into the American food supply. Other countries don’t allow it. Walmart, Kraft and Pepsi actually formulate different food for export. America has highest cancer rates in the world.
Robyn O’Brien gives us information and patterns she has assembled and synthesized about how our food “industry” makes us sick (allergies, cancer, etc., etc.), raises our health care costs, weakens our global competitiveness, etc. and what we can do about it.
Phi Beta Iota: Industry–which operates on public incorporation commissions–lacks integrity because the government lacks integrity, as does the media in a corporate state. We have had a failure of integrity across the entire US system of systems (see Paradigms of Failure).
You know that an era is over when the speakers at TED are dominated by people like General MacChrystal.
I get it – coolness, celebrity, and schmoozing will save the world. No actual work is required. Just conferences for people who no longer do any actual work. Bertolt Brecht would recognize Berlin in the 1930’s.
As Posted to Closed List of Real Pioneers
Phi Beta Iota: We have 80 active contributors, and tend to defer to the original intent, but this is a spiritual commentary with a cultural point that is valid, but over the top on dismissing the 80% of TED that is wonderous–such as our most respected TED Video to date, TED: Sugata Mitra–The child-driven education. The above is a strong signal for TED, nothing more, nothing less.
Sometimes when this work seems too hard, someone will send me a video link… and I’ll suddenly find myself bathed in one more reason why it is worth pouring so much of life into creating a decent, joyful, healthy society.
There is so much going on in the world that is worth preserving, so much worth celebrating, so much worth nurturing. And, of course, most of it is not on videos.
But a lot of it is…
I thought I’d take a moment to share some of my favorites. Most of them are 2-10 minutes long. I’ve marked the longer ones.
I want to share three videos and one slide show that are having a profound impact on me and my work. They describe different facets of a new realm of understanding and possibility that is making all the difference in the world even now — possibilities that we can help along by taking up the creative challenges these videos present to us.
Much of my work will be weaving these insights into the kind of democracy-shift we need right now. They make it clear that we are, indeed, in a whole new ball game.
Phi Beta Iota: Above have been re-sorted to put Information Operations (IO) relevance from top to bottom. The next big thing is a combination of EMPOWERING people, HARNESSING minds, and ERADICATING corruption. GroupOn is the “good” counterpart to WikiLeaks, but WikiLeaks should not be scorned–it demonstrates the perfidy of the Industrial Era “rule by secrecy” top-down elite model that has now been shown to be completely incapable of micro-managing complexity and diversity with ethical integrity. Tom Atlee embodies the future of America and through a restored America the Beautiful, the future of humanity. We respectfully, urgently urge every person to give generously to Tom Atlee and the Co-Intelligence Institute. He has been devoted for decades to the heart of the matter: actualizing the goodness that lies within each of us, and the wisdom that lies within us as the aggregate, Collective Intelligence, Community Intelligence, Integral Consciousness. Giving to Tom is the spiritual equivalent of collective prayer. We need every prayer we can get. Please give to this righteous liberation endeavor. St.
Winter 2010-2011 Co-Intelligence Institute fundraiser progress report:
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Why does poverty exist? That’s no small question for an individual to ask, but in Iqbal Quadir’s homeland, Bangladesh, there may be no other question that matters more.
His answer is twofold: First, European prosperity resulted from the devolution of authorities and the empowerment of citizens, while Western aid to developing countries simply empowered authorities to marginalize the citizenry. Even looking at oil-rich countries, the autocratic regimes grew spectacularly wealthy, while poverty remained entrenched. “Economic development,” Quadir concludes, “is of, by and for the people.” Second, his life experience had demonstrated that connectivity is a powerful weapon against poverty. The ability to communicate eliminates massive and avoidable waste in productivity, which in turn creates greater commerce and economies.
In Bangladesh 12 years ago, only one in 500 people had access to a telephone. “In whole areas where 100 million people lived, there were no telephones,” he says. “Vast amounts of wasted time results. The only way people can depend on each other is to connect to each other, which leads to productivity.” He decided to bring cell phones to them all–although not to each of them individually.
The New York-banker-turned-Bangladeshi-entrepreneur faced the hurdles you would imagine, the most prominent being that poor people could not afford cell phones. But in fine entrepreneurial fashion, Quadir contended, “If a cell phone creates productivity, why would you worry about [people’s ability to pay]?” With backing from microbank GrameenBank, Quadir started GrameenPhone, a locally based shared cell phone service. He approached a single woman entrepreneur in each village and provided her with a cell phone. The local woman would lease its access on a per-call basis, making cell phone communication available to more than 52,000 Bangladeshi villages and 80 million people. As for the women entrepreneurs, there are now 115,000 of them within GrameenPhone, each making a profit of $700 a year, far more than the average per capita income of the country.
Thirty-six years ago, Ray Anderson bootstrapped a carpet company called Interface. He maneuvered it though the challenging years, and by the 1990s he was a major player, which also meant he was a preeminent contributor to the take/make/waste production system of the carpet industry. “We were digging up the earth and converting it to pollution,” he says.
Anderson devoted his company to “Mission Zero,” a vow that within five years it would “only take from the earth that which can be replenished by the earth, take not one fresh drop of oil in an oil-intensive industry, and do no harm.” The results: Greenhouse emissions declined 82 percent, fossil fuel use dropped 60 percent, water use declined 77 percent, while sales increased 66 percent and profits doubled. Interface realized $400 million in “avoided costs” in pursuit of zero emissions, which paid for the entire transformation.
Anderson’s green business model is classic: Costs come down as innovation–inspired with missionary zeal–goes up, products become better, talent is attracted to your company for its moral and emotional enterprise, and the marketplace perceives the good that you do as reflective of the goods that you make. Most important, Anderson’s real-life model presents an irrefutable challenge. As he says, “If something exists, it must be possible.”
I = P x A x T1 is Paul & Anne Erhlich’s Environmental Impact Equation where Impact = Population multiplied by Affluence multiplied by Technology. The revised equation is I = P x A / T2.