Thursday, March 31, 2011

Slow Money by Woody Tasch

"Nurture Capitalism" - podcast here.

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Nature of Economies (Jane Jacobs)

Jane Jacobs major points in the book:

(coming soon)

(Photo courtesy of

And my thought: if rural areas--and Detroit--act like arid regions in their failure to hold and find multiple uses for energy (or imports), and thus energy leaves the system almost as quickly as it enters (as exports), and thus economies are poorly developed (or poorly expanded), how does this notion of "capturing and holding energy" and "producing surplus" (to borrow from permaculture) apply to the individual home? To home economics?

A house imports everything: building materials, energy, water, decoration, tools, dishes, furniture, home electronics, appliances, clothing, communications, etc. It exports a person, or people - productive economic participants. How might it capture and use more of this energy and become more of a unit of production itself?

For reflection: this interview with the authors of "The Urban Homestead" by The Survival Podcast's Jack Spirko. Jack's got a great notion of converting the home from a consumer to a producer.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Driftless Academy (School of Makers)

What: An educational program for young adults/anybody (16+) opting out of formal education, meaningless work, and the unexamined life.

How: A 3-year program based around a core curriculum of food production (farmsteading), a permaculture backbone, and "the hunt" every November. Infused with reflection and tools for problem-solving, entrepreneurship (/means of change), financial sense & planning, independence vs. interdependence, cultivating a personal practice, and creative living. Not "back to the land" but "START with the land." Mission: "Get it done" (3 words). Funding: Students pay for first year, can manage a portion of the farm for the next 2 years to cover their expenses & tuition. Ideally for college credit (AS or BA).

Where: In the driftless area of Southwest Wisconsin.

Why: Because self-reliance is being lost, timeless skills are being lost, a sense of one's own power in the shaping of the world is being lost. With a surer foundation, people will have a better context and greater confidence for making decisions and getting good things accomplished.

When: As soon as I can put together the requisite talent pool, and have several years program management/farming experience.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Trees as design challenge

"The book itself is a polymer, it is not a tree. Imagine this design assigment: Design something that makes oxygen, sequesters carbon, fixes nitrogen, distills water, accrues solar energy as fuel and makes complex sugars and food, creates microclimates, changes colors with the seasons, and self-replicates... Why don't we knock that down and write on it."

Will McDonough on his TED Talk on his book Cradle-to-Cradle.

Sustainable Cement Entrepreneurship

Brent Constantz at Stanford's Entrepreneurship Center on January 26, 2011. This man is gentle, real, skilled, and ambitious.

Mission statements - 3 words ONLY

Guy Kawasaki at Stanford's Entrepreneurship Center on March 2, 2011. Great bit on mission statements 21:30-23:30.

Monday, March 7, 2011

"what is fucking twitter?"

"What is fucking twitter? It's way more about answering and communicating than it is about talking... Jack, Jack, what social media and the internet is, is it's the first great listening tool. Newspaper, television, and all the other things, they've been great talking tools, but it's time to understand what the internet does, and it's countercultural, it's about the listening, not the talking. The listening buys you the equity to be able to talk."

From this interview with entrepreneur and speaker Gary Vaynerchuk on The Survival Podcast.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Sir Ken Robinson TED Talk - Do Schools Kill Creativity?

"The education system has mined our minds in the way that we strip mine the earth for a particular commodity, and in the future it won't service."