Clarity First Newsletter, December 7, 2018


Clarity First

A notebook about how we work, and learn, and love and live. 

One of the challenges of having a reality TV show POTUS is that he knows how to keep the spotlight on him, and on him alone. The cable news outlets are getting rich talking only about his latest outrageous acts. Yet there are thousands of stories world wide of individuals and groups working to make a real, positive difference in the world. Here’s a few of those that I found this week, along with some ideas about how we learn and get better. Happy Friday.


Naomi Kline is “more optimistic about our collective chances of averting climate breakdown” than she has been in years.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaks to activists with the Sunrise Movement protesting in the offices of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi in Washington D.C., on Nov. 13, 2018. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/The New York Times via Redux

The ability of our climate to support us, and our role in that reality, is on a lot of minds. The recent IPCC report says that our climate is getting much worse, much faster than our previous worse-case scenarios guessed it would.

This situation calls for an heroic dose of old-fashioned American can-do spirt. And a Green New Deal might just be the kind of idea that helps sell everybody on the benefits of looking out for everybody.

Social observer Naomi Kline is right again when she says that “(We need to) connect the dots between energy, transportation, housing and construction, as well as health care, living wages, a jobs guarantee, and the urgent imperative to battle racial and gender injustice.”

Klein is realistic that such wholistic thinking is unlikely. But, she says, “we now have a something that has been sorely missing: a concrete plan on the table, complete with a science-based timeline, that is not only coming from social movements on the outside of government, but which also has a sizable (and growing) bloc of committed champions inside the House of Representatives.”
Article: The Game-Changing Promise of a Green New Deal


Learning, Corporate Activism
Business as a voice for, and an asset of, community

An aerial rendering of the proposed project at Clif Bar in Idaho, slated for completion in June.

“The mammoth power purchase agreements being signed by companies such as Google and Walmart certainly make for eye-popping headlines, and they are super important for winning over skeptics. But midsize businesses are increasingly prioritizing other ‘impact’ factors — including socioeconomic and environmental considerations — when it comes to their renewable energy commitments. And that is equally valuable for helping to scale the corporate clean power momentum.”
Article: Organic Valley and Clif Bar Are Making Clean Energy Part of Their Operational Recipes


Circular Economy
Kickstarter encourages designers to incorporate sustainability into their projects.

The designers behind HuskeeCup make the reusable cup out of husk waste material from the production of coffee.

“The crowdsourcing platform — which helped launch more than 9,000 projects over the past 12 months — is encouraging other designers to embed environmental and sustainable sourcing criteria into their planning and ideas at a very early stage of creation.”
Article: How Kickstarter is encouraging designers to consider circularity and other environmental factors


The philosophies of Agile and Design Thinking run parallel, not at an intersection.

“Every product starts with a problem you want to solve. Design Thinking is the process by which you discover the shape of that problem’s solution, while Agile is the method you use to refine the solution once it’s been found. But there isn’t a moment of handoff where you context switch from Design Thinking to Agile. Rather, it’s a layered process, a soft slide from one to the other.”
Article: The Difference Between Agile and Design Thinking


Advertising, Corporate Activism
In Brazil 86% of women say they have been sexually harassed in nightclubs. So Schweppes helped them prove it.

“Agency Ogilvy Brazil created a dress fitted with sensors that record every time the wearer is touched. Three women wore it to a nightclub in São Paulo, with the data being sent to a control-unit via Wi-Fi. In one evening the three women were touched without consent an astonishing total of 157 times, or more than 40 times per hour.”
Article: Schweppes’ Dress Experiment Records Sexual Harassment


If you saw a hopscotch court on the sidewalk would you play?

Article: What Happens When You Draw a Hopscotch Court on a Busy Sidewalk?


Personal Development
The secret to overcoming writer’s block: meditate

“Every writer knows the feeling: like there’s a frog in your throat and a bamboo finger-trap locking your hands together. The ideas in your head have no way of making it out there into the world, no matter how much you beg and plead. It’s a problem of our over-crowded, thinking minds.

“This is what the Buddhists call our “monkey minds,” the incessant chattering in our heads–the repetitive thoughts that contribute nothing to our happiness, well-being, or ability to create. And they know how to make them stop: meditate.”
Article: 5 Meditations to Overcome Writer’s Block



Etta James’s Wiki page says that her “powerful, deep, earthy voice bridged the gap between rhythm and blues, and rock and roll. She won six Grammy Awards and 17 Blues Music Awards. She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, the Blues Hall of Fame in 2001, and the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999. Rolling Stone magazine ranked James number 22 on its list of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time.” This 1975 live performance of her song I’d Rather Be Blind shows why.


Image of the Week

The image of the week is one of the winners of the Royal Observatory Greenwich’s Astronomy Photographer of the Year for 2018. It is of our moon’s surface, and is titled Inverted Colors of the Boundary Between Mare Serenitatis and Mare Tranquilitatis. It’s by Jordi Delpeix Borrell.

About the work artist and teacher Sarah Pickering said “This is one of my favourite photographs in the competition. Using a muted colour palette we are able to appreciate qualities of the Moon’s soil and contouring, which is at once incredibly beautiful, abstract and highly informative.”


What’s Clarity First?

If you’re new to Clarity First, it’s the weekly newsletter by me, Mitch Anthony. I help people use their brand – their purpose, values, and stories – as a tool of transformation. Learn more.

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