Society Needs Great Marketers

“If you’re the kind of person who tends to succeed in what you start, changing what you start could be the most extraordinary thing you do.” This statement pokes me in a tender spot. I often ask myself if there’s not something better I should be doing with my time and talents.

Unfairness Creates Antisocial Behavior in Monkeys

In an early post about fairness on this blog, we saw what happened when researchers treated Capuchin monkeys unfairly by paying them unequally for the same work. The monkeys engaged in antisocial behavior, throwing their pay back at the researchers. But what happens if monkeys are unfair to one another?

Solving Urban Expansion: Design That Includes Families

Because we’re social animals, we like to live together. Increasingly, this means living in cities. In his TED talk, Alejandro Aravena notes that by 2030, we will have 5 billion people on Earth living in cities.That’s a lot of togetherness.

On Fairness: What if life is rigged in your favor?

If the game of life is rigged in your favor, does that change your behavior towards others? Paul Piff of the University of California at Berkeley devised an experiment to test this idea. Instead of the Game of Life, he used Monopoly.

Democratic Transportation: Buses in Bogota

Enrique Penalosa, former mayor of Bogota, Colombia, sees transportation as a matter of equity. “An advanced city is not one where even the poor use cars,” says Penalosa, “but rather one where even the rich use public transportation.” (Or bicycles.)

Designing Digital Democracy: DemocracyOS

In her TED talk, Pia Mancini makes the point that much of what we consider democracy has been designed around the printed press, a technology that’s nearly 500 years old and being rapidly supplanted by the digital revolution. How do we design a digital democracy?

Income Inequality: One Plutocrat’s View

Nick Hanauer is one rich guy. The Seattle entrepreneur and venture capitalist has an estimated net worth of $1 billion. He willingly labels himself as a capitalist and a plutocrat. Yet he believes and actively calls for increasing taxes on the super wealthy to fund investment in policies that expand the middle class, not because...Continue reading

Fairness comes down to power

One thread on this blog concerns fairness in the social sphere: where it comes from, why it’s important, the current state of fairness, the imbalance of haves and have-nots in terms of money, wealth, and access to goods and services in the public realm. But probably the most important access of fairness is power.Continue reading

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