Clarity First Newsletter, March 31, 2017

This week I’ve been thinking about Rodney King’s prophetic words: “Can’t we all just get along?”. Relative to the “Right is Might” paradigm, we, the life experiment we call the human species, have little experience with collaboration and cooperation. But that’s changing. And, change is exponential.

Evolution is not just a life-or-death contest. Cooperation matters, too.

Evolutionary progress can be propelled both by the competitive struggle to adapt to an environment, and by the relaxation of selective forces. One of the best ways to relax selective forces is to work together, something that mathematical biologist Martin Nowak has called the “snuggle for survival.”
Article: Survival of the Friendliest

Learning to use business as a force for good

Here’s a great series of podcasts that highlight the leaders who are taking a regenerative, bio-regional, democratic, transparent, and whole-systems approach to using business as a force for good.
Podcasts: Next Economy Now

The strength to love

bell hooks has been thinking about love in relation to domination, in whatever form it appears; racism, sexism, homophobia, classism. She brings a lot of what she’s learning to this interview with Thich Nhat Hanh.
Interview: Building a Community of Love: bell hooks and Thich Nhat Hanh

Our thoughts influence what we do.

We think that we’re in control. We believe that our conscious mind directs our thoughts and somehow controls our subconscious mind. We’re wrong.
Article: The Power of Your Subconscious Mind

What design thinking forgets

You are likely familiar with the Human-Business-Technology (HBT) model of design thinking, in which business viability, technical feasibility, and human desirability come together as a harmonious team. Thomas Wendt observes that current economic systems are unsustainable, that consumerism is a large driver of this reality, and as long as we prolong the belief that any design solution is worth creating as long as it satisfies human, business, and technological needs we will never break from “defuturing” forces. He’s got an idea that we should replace human desirability with sustainability.
Article: Toward Sustainable Design Thinking

Early bird pricing ends tonight for the DIY Digital Marketing Camp, the Survey Course.

On April 26 Dan Green and I are a co-hosting a one day workshop for people who are tired of making digital marketing up as they go. Until midnight tonight there’s an early-bird discount in effect. Come, won’t you? Learn more.


I’m starting to think of the playlists that I’m making with my Spotify robo-dj as Easy Listening for Moderns. The tunes are quiet and soothing enough for work or a dinner party, with enough edge to keep them from becoming saccharine. Here’s one “we” made this week called How Do You Turn From Fear?

Image of the week

The images in the headers are photographs of an exhibition called Laundromat by Ai Weiwei. The show was hung at Deitch Projects in NYC last fall. It was one of four New York shows by the Chinese artist and dissident that all opened on the same day. Since 2015 he has visited more than 20 immigration camps all over Africa, Europe and the Middle East, documenting migrants’ struggles and posting thousands of images on Instagram. When migrants were forced to evacuate the Idomeni refugee camp along the Greek-Macedonian border, he gathered what they left behind. Then he lovingly sorted, laundered and pressed what he had found. Laundromat contains 2,046 cleaned castoff belongings, along with photographs of the refugee camps he visited. The New York Times covered the story.

What’s Clarity First?

If you’re new to Clarity First, it’s the weekly newsletter by Clarity, the consultancy that helps mission-driven companies use their brand – their purpose, values, and stories – as powerful tools for transformation. Learn more.

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