Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Necessary Revolution: Creating a Sustainable Future

Peter Senge and Bryan Smith "The Industrial Era is ending. Its extraordinary successes—advances in literacy, life expectancy, human rights, and technology—have propelled us headlong into a myriad of side effects: food and water shortages, cyclonic destruction, prolonged drought and rising sea levels. To delay acknowledging the need for lifestyle and business changes—'The Necessary Revolution'—risks our very survival.

What only a couple of decades ago was still a vigorous scientific debate has become as close to a consensus as scientific communities ever achieve: human-induced climate change from greenhouse gases concentrating in the atmosphere has reached a threshold of significant social and economic impact—and we are only now at the start of experiencing the effects.

Stabilizing atmospheric carbon dioxide will require a profound reversal: a 60–80% reduction in growing worldwide emissions in the next twenty years. This is the '80–20 Challenge,' and this manifesto presents inspiring, real-life examples of how this is starting to happen."

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Gridlock Economy: The Tragedy of the Anticommons

Michael Heller "Private ownership usually creates wealth. But too much ownership has the opposite effect—it creates gridlock. When too many people own pieces of one thing, cooperation breaks down, wealth disappears . . . everybody loses. Gridlock is a free market paradox.

There has been an unnoticed revolution in how we create wealth. In the old economy, ten or twenty years ago, you invented a product and got a patent; you wrote a song and got a copyright; you subdivided land and built houses. Today, the leading edge of wealth creation requires assembly. From drugs to telecom, software to semiconductors, anything high-tech demands the assembly of innumerable patents. And it’s not just high tech that’s changed—today, cutting edge art and music is about mashing up and remixing many separately-owned bits of culture. Even with land, the most socially-important projects, like new runways, require assembling multiple gridlocked parcels. Innovation has moved on, but we are stuck with old-style ownership that’s easy to fragment and hard to put together."

14 Ways to Get Breakthrough Ideas
by Mitch Ditkoff

"Is there anything a person can do--beyond caffeine, corporate pep talks,
or astrology readings--to quicken the appearance of breakthrough ideas? Yes,
there is. And it begins with the awareness of where ideas come from in the
first place."