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 Right to Live Free from Fear

In a dramatic and much-watched, high-suspense session of the Parlament de Catalunya on October 4, Carles Puigdemont—President of the Generalitat, the regional autonomous government of Catalunya—announced that the people of Catalunya had earned the right to exist as an independent republic. The result was confusion all around, as supporters and opponents asked whether Mr. Puigdemont…

Rule of Law Requires Dialogue

We need peaceful mediation and a negotiated political solution between the government of Spain and the people of Catalunya. The Prime Minister of Spain Mariano Rajoy is pursuing an incredibly dangerous strategy of intimidation and repression and is putting the integrity of his country at risk. His government ordered a coordinated use of paramilitary violence…

Honor through Nonviolent Deliberation

Yesterday, the people of Catalunya did something remarkable; they faced a violent crackdown against peaceful deliberation with the honor of nonviolence. Their example is a gift to the world. The earliest Catalan constitution—les Usatges de Barcelona—was established nearly 1,000 years ago. In those times, their monarch—the Count of Barcelona—was elected. On September 11, 1714, their…

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…

Warming Makes Storms Stronger

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma would not be as intense without warmer atmospheric and oceanic conditions. Nor, for that matter, would Jose and Katia. Science knows this. It is not theory; it is not speculation. We don’t need statistical models to prove this statement. If Atlantic basin climate conditions at the site of these storms were…

Free Will vs. Hyper-convergence

Data integration must empower people to make sovereign personal decisions, informed by reliable evidence. 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….

Barcelona som tots

There is a place in Barcelona, next to the Basilica Santa María del Mar, where an eternal flame arches over a unique, concave public square, in honor of all who have sacrificed to defend the ancient laws of Catalunya. It is a place to reflect on what makes people behave selflessly in service of others….

Stand with Charlottesville

Heather Heyer lost her life and liberty standing up for yours and mine. She gave her life in service of the simple, universal value that no form of violence, tyranny, or injustice, can be allowed to stand unchallenged. She knew she was facing danger; she told friends the threat worried her. She made a choice…

How to Build the Perfect Company

The perfect company has long been thought to be structured around externalizing cost and avoiding risk. The modern limited liability company—modeled on Queen Elizabeth I of England’s sovereign guarantee to the British East India Company—was designed to invite investment by limiting the cost of failure and spreading risk across an entire society. But, perfection starts…

The Liberating Genius of Open Civics

My father’s father, whom we called J.R., was ideologically conservative and a committed Republican. He came to New Jersey from Indiana, to train with the Army Signal Corps, before shipping out to an around-the-world tour of duty in World War II. He ran for and won elective office as a mayor and state legislator. He…

Blue Economy: The Future of Earth’s Ocean

In the life-giving tangle of Earth systems, the ocean is an undeniable and critical force. Its absorption and distribution of thermal energy drives prevailing climate patterns, and helps to regulate temperature and weather everywhere on Earth. But while climate is an all-pervading macrocritical driver of economic health, risk, and possibility, not everything that connects the…