A Time for Wild Mercy

Hope, good will, and fairness are participatory. Without active, committed, forward-thinking collaboration and attentive participation, they are just words. Whatever political system we live in, it is a universal longing that leaders show deep loyalty to the graces that would allow their leadership to liberate people as they move through the everyday. We must remember…

Future-building Never Stops

Hypoxia means “low oxygen”. Hypoxic zones in the ocean are known as “dead zones”, because entire ecosystems break down under hypoxic conditions. The New Scientist reported earlier this month: OUR actions today will change the world’s oceans for thousands of years. That is the conclusion of a study simulating a little-discussed consequence of climate change:…

The Unconsidered Elephant

The elephant in the room is everything we do not count. When investors say a speculative opportunity is a “sure thing”, most people know to treat their certainty with suspicion. Some prefer to focus on the emotional satisfaction of having come in contact with a “sure thing” windfall opportunity, but it’s easy to see the…

The Magical Future of Smart Energy

The business models and technologies that dominate the later part of this century will transcend old-fashioned thinking about value management and resource allocation. Connection and ephemeralization would make them appear downright magical to us. Four critical capabilities that will drive these trends: Anything can be made anywhere. Technical knowledge can reach anywhere. Advanced services will…

Free Will vs. Hyper-convergence

Free will is irrevocable. We are always engaging it, yet countless editorial decision points determine the list of options from which we will choose. In other words, the limits on human freedom are curated boundaries, set by the powers that be. In every corner of the world, throughout most of human history, those curated boundaries…

Diplomacy is Capability

Diplomacy is often referred to as “soft power”. That framing is more a measure of diplomatic prowess than a result of the simple fact of having diplomats. Bad diplomacy may, in fact, reduce the amount of overall influence a nation has. Soft power is not a given; it is a complex, high-stakes endeavor, and necessary…

Truth Matters

Frederick Douglass was born a slave, but eventually escaped to freedom. He then became a publisher, abolitionist, orator, and US Ambassador. In his autobiography—a true must-read for anyone who wants to understand American history—he describes how learning to read drove his process of personal liberation. He learned he was free in his mind long before…

Science is a National Security Imperative

Sound science and the free flow of facts are a national security imperative. Without genuine investigation, a willingness to discover evidence, and ways to ensure that reliable, useful, accurate information is moving freely, everyone is less able to know which choices will have which ramifications, and so everyone is less able to make informed choices…

Playing with Dragons

Why we choose the burden of outdated power structures The modern age opened with the advent of modern science and a deliberative effort to demonstrate truth with examination of evidence. Modern democratic processes emerged from this break with feudal history. Today, we are living in post-modern times—the period after modern breakthroughs became the general foundation…

The Emerging Empowerment Economy

All the building we have to do… For many years, the engineers of the United States have warned that infrastructure urgently needs trillions of dollars in routine maintenance, and trillions more in updates and upgrades. Infrastructure is the shared framework on which we build a thriving economy. Businesses of all sizes are able to compete…

The Politics of Exigency

Fierce Urgency & Democracy Rooted in Deep Principle Exigency is an immediate state of pervasive intense demand on our attention. “Exigent circumstances” are considered to be both emergent and critical enough to override one’s normal free will and moral decision-making. Under extreme pressures, the argument goes, one is less able to “live up to” the…

Constellation of Forces: Measuring Good in Lived Experience

A city is a constellation of forces, a map of relational dynamics tracing human need, aspiration, action, and invention, a wager against bleak limitation, and a beacon in the darkness that shows a network of souls have gathered to pool their imaginations. A city can be of any size; it is a polity—a civic space…