John Gerzema: The Connection Between Vulnerability And Innovation Read More
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Athena Doctrine author explores why a shift towards traditionally ‘feminine’ traits and characteristics underlies structures of society.
Dr. Ijad Madisch kept getting ‘stuck’ in his experiments. Madisch, a Harvard-trained virologist with a PhD, wasn’t failing as much as sensing inefficiency. “For most scientific researchers, time has the highest value, and asking for help can save you lots of it,” he told me over tea in his office, a two-story loft-like space in East Berlin. “I always tried to network when I couldn’t get a problem solved,” recalled Ijad. “Instead of working four or five months to solve something, I’d try to find someone who understood it already and could explain it to me in a couple of hours.”
In Tampa, a young entrepreneur named Kim Pham ignored a lot of the lessons taught in books about how to succeed in business, and built a loyal community anyway.
KIM PHAM, OWNER OF KALEISIA TEA LOUNGE AND CARROTMOB BENEFICIARY: TAMPA, FL. (PICTURED BOTTOM, RIGHT)
In an era where privacy concerns still matter, would you exchange details about your personal hygiene—or, for that matter, how many trash bags or sponges you use—if Alice.com guaranteed that you would get better prices, never run out, and never have to shop for them again?
Mark Mcguire, C0-founder: Alice.com Middletown, WI.
Nextek promotes the efficient "organic power" of direct current in Detroit.
Paul Savage, Ceo: Nextek Power Systems Detroit, MI.
The shift from consumption toward production has powered the rise of an entire movement of makers, people who trade ideas for creating their own tools, machines, and technologies.
Phil Torrone & Limor Fried, founders: Adafruit Industries New York, NY
Through a volunteer community who use open technologies, CrisisCommons' founders hope to create all sorts of relief projects that can be tested in one crisis, refined, and deployed again when the need arises.
CrisisCamp promotes what its supporters call “random hacks of kindness.” Used this way, the word hack describes any creative adaptation of a technology or social strategy for the purpose of helping others. When a massive earthquake struck Haiti in early 2010, CrisisCamp Haiti convened experts around the world to develop Internet-based tools to translate Creole and English. CrisisCamp volunteers also created a service called “We Have, We Need,” which paired organizations with resources to offer with people in Haiti who needed those goods and services.
Betaworks, an incubator for ideas that might work in the era of real-time, exemplifies the new trust model made possible by the immediate and instantaneous flow of information.
Betaworks is headquartered in the meatpacking district where it functions as a sort of incubator for ideas that might work in the era of real time information and response. One of its firms, Twitterfeed, is the largest publisher of posts on Twitter. Chartbeat, another Betaworks company, provides real-time Web analytics in the form of instant reports on visitors to Internet sites and their activities. And fifty million people each day now “crunch” their links down to size using Bit.ly.
Today Etsy has 300,000 artisans and is now valued at nearly $300 million. Although Etsy is based on the Internet, founder Rob Kalin argues that his success is based on the oldest form of communication—storytelling
Up a few flights from a business service shop called Copy Rite, Mr. Grit dominates Etsy’s reception area: a ten-foot-tall sculpture made of cardboard layers like shingles. Blessed with wide eyes, an orange nose that looks like a carrot, and tiny arms with claw-like hands, the thing resembles a Tyrannosaurus with an owl’s face. Beyond Mr. Grit staffers manage the sprawling Etsy Web site and artisans practice their craft in work spaces cluttered with handmade items. Presiding over all of this is Rob Kalin, a boyish redhead wearing jeans, a cardigan, and a blue silk scarf made by a friend. Kalin got the idea for Etsy when he worked for an arts and crafts Internet site that offered advice and community support for people who made things by hand but did not provide them with a way to sell their work. (A craftsman who works with wood, he was also struggling to find people who might be interested in buying his own creations).
Once thought to be road kill from the Internet, Library use reached record levels during the recession as people sought education and community. Today sixty-eight percent of Americans now have a library card, the highest percentage ever.
The Texas sun beats down on a mud-colored landscape. A hundred yards to the south a light breeze ripples the water in a shallow pond. A small herd, maybe twenty head, collects where the land dips toward the entryway to a large structure the color of pale red rock. At high noon an experienced hand shuffles warily to the entrance, unlocks a big door, and lets it swing open. The crowd that had been waiting so calmly presses forward and inside. Most follow the leader, who ambles straight toward the computers, self-help books, and résumé-building guides. After all, this isn’t some cattle ranch. It’s the Dallas Central Library, where the pond is actually part of a public fountain and the herd is a crowd of people eager to access the Job Resource Center.
News that Groupon spurned Google’s $ 6 Billion dollar bid suggests its founder envisions an even bigger opportunity ahead – the market for mindful consumption.
News that Groupon spurned Google’s 6 Billion dollar bid suggests its founder envisions an even bigger opportunity ahead – the market for mindful consumption. Few know Groupon evolved out of an earlier effort called Thepoint.com, which offers people a central place to organize campaigns and raise money for everything from environmental protection projects to disaster relief. Some campaigns involve individuals’ seeking donations to pay for college or rebuild after a fire. Others are devoted to raising funds for bigger causes, like medical research. The name—thepoint.com—was inspired by Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point, which examined the ways a certain idea, invention, or concept can become a widespread phenomenon once it reaches a “tipping point” where a sufficient number of people embrace it.
Urban pioneers such as the "Good Girls Go to Paris" restaurant create a 'virtuous circle' in Detroit.
Given the apocalyptic panorama, any first-time visitor who landed in Detroit and drove around the city for the first time would half-expect to see marauding Mad Max figures come roaring down the street on handmade battlewagons powered by Allison diesel engines. Long in economic retreat, the median home price in Detroit dropped to below $8,000 in 2009. The 80,000-seat Silverdome stadium sold for $583,000—roughly the equivalent of a studio apartment in Manhattan. Far more compelling than the statistics was the city’s landscape: abandoned factories, vacant commercial buildings, and neighborhoods where three-quarters of the homes have been boarded, burned, or bulldozed. In the most desolate residential areas you could drive for blocks and see few signs of life except for stray dogs and, occasionally, a coyote.
In Western Massachusetts locals have created their own currency called Berkshares to help local retailers, restaurants and service people survive competition from national chains that were moving into small mountain towns.
Tom levins, owner of Tom’s Toy’s and Berkshares currency supporter: Great Barrington, MA.