Solving Big Problems: Innovation is Not Creativity

What happened to the future?

What Happened to the Future? is the title of the manifesto of the Founders Fund. The subtitle is “We Wanted Flying Cars, Instead We Got 140 Characters.” Jason Pontin in the MIT Technology Review wrote an article entitled “Why We Can’t Solve Big Problems:”
[B]ig problems that people had imagined technology would solve, such as hunger, poverty, malaria, climate change, cancer, and the diseases of old age, have come to seem intractably hard….
Max Levchin, [a] cofounder of PayPal, says, “I feel like we should be aiming higher. The founders of a number of startups I encounter have no real intent of getting anywhere huge … There’s an awful lot of effort being expended that is just never going to result in meaningful, disruptive innovation.”

Juicero

The idea that “there’s an awful lot of effort being expended that is just never going to result in meaningful, disruptive innovation” is brought to life in a Guardian article by Ben Tarnoff, “America has become so anti-innovation – it’s economic suicide:”
Juicero made the perfect punchline: a celebrated startup that had received a fawning profile from the New York Times and $120m in funding from blue-chip VCs such as Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Google Ventures was selling an expensive way to automate something you could do faster for free. It was, in any meaningful sense of the word, a scam.
Juicero is hilarious. But it also reflects a deeply unfunny truth about Silicon Valley, and our economy more broadly. Juicero is not, as its apologists at Voxclaim, an anomaly in an otherwise innovative investment climate. On the contrary: it’s yet another example of how profoundly anti-innovation America has become.

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Seven Magazine: Stop Mass Incarceration & Endless War

Stop Mass Incarceration & Endless War

Jeff Sessions ordered federal prosecutors to “charge and pursue the most serious, readily provable offense” — a move that marks a significant reversal of Obama-era policies on low-level drug crimes.
The two-page memo, which was publicly released Friday, May 12th, lays out a policy of strict enforcement that rolls back the comparatively lenient stance established by Eric Holder, one of Sessions’ predecessors under President Barack Obama.
“This is a disastrous move that will increase the prison population, exacerbate racial disparities in the criminal justice system, and do nothing to reduce drug use or increase public safety,” Michael Collins, deputy director at the Drug Policy Alliance, said in a statement emailed to NPR. “Sessions is taking the country back to the 1980s by escalating the failed policies of the drug war.”

Attorney General Jeff Sessions addresses the Sergeants Benevolent Association of New York City at an event Friday, May 12, in Washington, D.C. During his speech, Sessions said federal prosecutors “deserve to be unhandcuffed and not micromanaged from Washington.” Win McNamee/Getty Images

The memo also drew a long, scathing rebuke from Holder himself.
“The policy announced today is not tough on crime. It is dumb on crime,” he said in a statement. “It is an ideologically motivated, cookie-cutter approach that has only been proven to generate unfairly long sentences that are often applied indiscriminately and do little to achieve long-term public safety.”
Ask, and it will be given to you;
Seek, and you will find;
Knock, and it will be opened to you.
~ Matthew 7:7

Seven Magazine

Click the image above for
A rough draft of Seven Magazine.

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I Could Be… The Documentary

Chess in the Park
Saturday, September 30th – Morningside Park
Monday, October 9th – New Rochelle, NY [Columbus Day]
Want Your Children to Succeed?

I Could Be... The Documentary

I could be a congresswoman
Or a garbage woman or
Police officer, or a carpenter
I could be a doctor and a lawyer and a mother
And a good God woman what you’ve done to me
Kind of lover I could be
I could be a computer analyst,
The Queen with the nappy hair raising her fist
Or I could be much more and a myriad of this
Hot as the summer, sweet as the first kiss
And even though I can do all these things…
~ Jill Scott

Prince Van Jones

Where are the black and brown Mark Zuckerbergs? That was essentially the question — the challenge — that the late musician Prince asked Van Jones, civil rights activist, founder of the Dream Corps, and host of CNN’s The Messy Truth with Van Jones.
Prince was a great musician

“Prince came in, and he said to the labels, ‘Do not try to just put me with the urban group; I want the world. I want to be with the pop staff. I’m going to make rock and roll, as well as soul, as well as funk…I don’t want to just go to Soul Train, I don’t want to just open up for Rick James, I want to be on Dick Clark.’”

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Our Children Are Underserved by Schools

Chess in the Park
Saturday, September 30th – Morningside Park
Monday, October 9th – New Rochelle, NY [Columbus Day]
Want Your Children to Succeed?

Billionaire chess

All children and especially children of color are underserved by our educational system. This is no accident. It is by design.
Understanding why our children are underserved by schools, requires learning the real history of modern schooling. The real makers of modern schooling weren’t at all who we think.
Cotton Mather Not Cotton Mather
or Horace Mann Horace Mann
John Dewey or John Dewey.

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Interview with Educator Dr. Steve Perry (Part I)

Dr. Steve is founder of Capital Preparatory Schools which included Capital Prep Harlem and Capital Prep Harbor in Bridgeport, Connecticut. He also founded the Capital Preparatory Magnet School in Hartford, Connecticut.
Dr. Perry has been featured on MSNBC, Fox, CNN, Al Jazeera, TV One, BET and NBC as well as on the Oprah Winfrey network in multiple shows.

Terrance Jackson: What would you like people to know about Capital Prep Harlem?
Dr. Steve Perry: I would like them to know that it is a year-round college preparatory grade 6-12 school with a theme of social justice and the expectation that every single child that graduates will go on to a 4 year college.

TJ: What was it like working with Sean “P Diddy” Combs?
SP: We still work together, so it’s good. It gave me the opportunity to have somebody that I deeply respect from another industry. Learn from some of the things that he’s done to build out his organization and to provide for the community. And to be able to share what it is that I learned as it specifically relates to children and how we have grown our model to support the community.

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Mount Vernon Magazine: Digital Ads Suck & Google is an Old Business

The new model of advertising and branding demands that companies improve public life and satisfy the needs of our higher sacred selves.

Mount Vernon Magazine

Click the image above for a rough draft of Mount Vernon Magazine.

ChartOfTheDay_709_Google_s_ad_revenue_since_2004_n
Ad Spending

Google has more revenue than all U.S. print newspapers and magazines combined.
Yet direct mail is still the biggest single direct marketing channel, worth around $45 billion a year in the US alone. But it’s increasingly clear that printed marketing communications work best when used in conjunction with digital channels such as email, personalized web pages (PURLs), database marketing, and mobile elements.

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Fake News & Rethinking Digital Capitalism

Seven Magazine

Click the image above for
A rough draft of Seven Magazine.
Just as climate change is the natural byproduct of fossil capitalism, so is fake news the byproduct of digital capitalism.

market-cap

As described in Steve Denning’s Forbes article, “Roger Martin: How ‘The Talent’ Turned Into Vampires:”
How did America—a country dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal—become one of the most unequal countries on the planet? Why do the nation’s leaders now spend so much of their time feeding at the trough and getting ever more for themselves? Why has public-mindedness in our leaders given way in so many instances to limitless greed?
These questions are being raised, not in some anti-capitalist rag from the extreme Left, but in the staid pro-business pages of the Harvard Business Review, in a seminal article by Roger Martin, the former dean of the Rotman School of Business and the academic director of the Martin Prosperity Institute: “The Rise and (Likely) Fall of the Talent Economy.
One key factor, argues Martin, is a fundamental shift in nature of the economy. Fifty years ago, “72% of the top 50 U.S. companies by market capitalization still owed their positions to the control and exploitation of natural resources.” But in the latter part of the 20th century, a new kind of organization began to emerge: an organization that prospered not by natural resources but through “the control and exploitation of human talent.”
We need to build a world where Facebook and Google neither wield much clout nor monopolise problem-solving.

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