Clarity First Newsletter,
March 5, 2021

“Is this the tipping point we have been waiting for when companies are prepared to shift their mentality and practices towards true sustainability and positive purpose?”

– SB’21 Trend Watching: Brands’ Role in Reshaping the World in 2021 and Beyond

Clarity First

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

Shifting our mentality and practices towards true sustainability, and positive purpose seems so simple, right? Whatever is wrong with cooperation and sharing?

You know where I’m headed. I’m not alone. Join us.

Happy Friday.

Next Economy

Is regenerative thinking on the verge of going mainstream?

“Is this the tipping point we have been waiting for when companies are prepared to shift their mentality and practices towards true sustainability and positive purpose?”

Article: Brands’ Role in Reshaping the World in 2021 and Beyond

Community, Self-Realization

Guaranteeing economic security is crucial, so is sending the message that every one of us matters.

“In attempting to understand how humans can realize their highest potential, I have found it pertinent to take a needs-based perspective. We all have fundamental basic needs, that when severely thwarted, cause us to all act in the same predictable fashion. One of my biggest influences is the humanistic psychologist Abraham Maslow, who often pondered why people could be so cruel. In one unpublished note, he concluded that it’s due to the insecurity cycle‘:

… from this flows everything…. The person who behaves badly behaves so because of hurt, actual and expected, and lashes out in self-defense, as a cornered animal might. The fact is that people are good, if only their fundamental wishes are satisfied, their wishes for affection and security. Give people affection and security, and they will give affection and be secure in their feelings and behavior.”

Article: How to Restore America’s Humanity

Futures Thinking

Betting on the future

Twenty-six years ago tomorrow techno-optimist, Kevin Kelly, who was Executive Editor of WIRED at the time, visited Kirkpatrick Sale, a writer known for his doomsday views of technology’s impact on humanity. During their discussion Sale reiterated his belief that our civilization would collapse within 25 years. Kelly asked him to define how we would recognize the collapse, then bet him $1,000 that he was wrong. They left checks for that amount made out to each other with William Patrick, an editor they shared in common, and they agreed that he would be the final arbiter of who won the bet. On December 31 of last year he made his judgment.

Article: A 25-Year-Old Bet Comes Due: Has Tech Destroyed Society?

Learning, Idea Dissemination, Publishing

It is no coincidence that the peak of the bookmobile era was also the golden age of small presses.

Detroit Public Library Archives

“The mobile library of the period played a crucial role in encouraging widespread reading, in supporting and improving access to education and in shaping local communities. It encouraged library use through its informality: As Eleanor Frances Brown wrote in her pioneering 1967 study of mobile libraries, ‘There [was] no austerity or speaking in hushed voices’ in the familiar bookmobile. In its approach and reach, the bookmobile, then offered an important alternative to the established cultural institutions not limited to big cities and state capitals, and was shaped, in no small part, by grassroots efforts of local communities that it later came to serve. As such, it inadvertently introduced another way of thinking about ways in which printed matter and information can travel and opened up novel possibilities for mobilizing also among countercultural and underground publishing communities prominent at the time; a model which these communities readily adopted.”

Article: Here Comes the Small Press

Learning, Writing

Isabel Yap on learning the art of storytelling where she least expected it

“Harvard Business School is a program that privileges stories. Almost every subject is taught via the case method. A case is a 10- to 30-page article summarizing a business dilemma in the form of a story. Ask any student, and they’ll cheerfully parody a typical case opening: John Smith (HBS ’98) stared out the window of his Manhattan high-rise. He was stressed. He didn’t know if he should invest in more widgets or kill the widget program entirely, and his board wanted a decision by tomorrow . . .

“Cases are debated for 70 minutes. As a student, you learn to find your timing, the moment when you actually have something to say. Your hand must shoot up at the precise point in a professor’s counter-clockwise turn when their eyes land on you. Miss that moment, and you’re doomed to spend the rest of the class searching for another opening. The case method endures through students’ willingness to self-disclose and teach each other. No one can test out of classes. Thus, a CPA must take accounting, and a private equity whiz must endure our bogus justifications for DCF projections.”

“Back in Manila, I had no models for what a writing life could look like. The bookshelves in my school library, the window displays in our bookstores, were filled with foreign authors. Whenever I had the luxury of purchasing a book, I too purchased a book by a foreign author.” Today she is an accomplished and successful author of Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Horror writing.

Article: MFA vs. MBA? Finding Unlikely Literary Inspiration at Harvard Business School


Not every call to the police requires an armed response. Now, a more compassionate alternative is catching on.

The White Bird Clinic was inspired by a free clinic founded in 1967 in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district that dealt with substance abuse, mental health issues and “rock medicine” — on-site help at concerts and events.   Credit: Wally Gobetz / Flick
“It started decades ago in Eugene, Oregon, where police responses to drug- and mental health-related calls were ending badly. So Eugene tried something different: When one of these emergency calls came in, the city dispatched social workers instead of cops. Thirty years later, the strategy has reduced conflicts between police and the public, and made Eugene a national model for harm reduction-oriented policing.”

Article: Cops and Hippies

Social Messaging, Advertising

“Escape to the Red Planet, where there is no war, no criminality, no pandemics and no pollution.”

“The desire to escape to a kind of Eden – to discover unexplored lands and rebuild a better world – is so strong right now. ‘What if we run away from Earth and head to Mars?’ seems to be the fantasy, as people’s mission to colonise the Red Planet is gaining momentum, and billions upon billions of dollars are being spent.”

Article: Greta Thunberg’s Fridays For Future Unveils Satirical Tourism Ad for Mars


Dove’s New Deodorant is Refillable and Has a Lifetime Guarantee

Museums Are Safer Than Any Other Indoor Activity, COVID-19 Study Says

Ikea Offers ‘Disassembly Instructions’ to Encourage Customers to Extend Product Life

Posting Less, Posting More, and Tired of it All: How the Pandemic has Changed Social Media

Killings by Police Declined after Black Lives Matter Protests



Bunny Wailer, left, with Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, right, in 1964. Born in 1947 in Kingston, he and Marley became friends as toddlers, and formed the Wailers in 1963, which settled into a trio of the pair alongside Tosh.           Photograph: Michael Ochs Archives

“Bunny Wailer, the last surviving original member of the Wailers, the Jamaican trio that helped establish and popularize reggae music — its other founders were Bob Marley and Peter Tosh — died on Tuesday at a hospital in Kingston, Jamaica. He was 73.

“Formed in 1963, when its members were still teenagers, the Wailers were among the biggest stars of ska, the upbeat Jamaican style that borrowed from American R&B. On early hits like Simmer Down and Rude Boy,’ the three young men — who in those days wore suits and had short-cropped hair — sang in smooth harmony, threading some social commentary in with their onomatopoeic ‘doo-be doo-be doo-bas.’

“’The Wailers were Jamaica’s Beatles,’ Randall Grass of Shanachie Records, an American label that worked extensively with Bunny Wailer in the 1980s and ’90s, said in a phone interview.

‘By the early 1970s, the Wailers — now in loose clothes and dreadlocks — became one of the flagship groups of a slower, muskier new Jamaican sound: reggae. The group’s 1973 album ‘Catch a Fire,’ with songs like ‘Concrete Jungle’ and ‘Slave Driver,’ is one of the canonical releases of so-called roots reggae, with a rock-adjacent production style and socially conscious lyrics.”

Bunny Wailer in performance in 2016.      Credit…Mediapunch/Shutterstock

Wailer went on to establish his own career and his own record label, releasing 30 albums under his own name.

NYT Obituary: Bunny Wailer, Reggae Pioneer With the Wailers, Dies at 73

Video: Bunny Wailer (of the Wailers) Tribute Video

Photo Essay: Reggae Legend Bunny Wailer – A Life in Pictures

Playlist: This is Bunny Wailer

Thank you, Bunny. Your music will always warm our souls.


Image of the Week

The Image of the Week is by Dean Gillispie, Spiz’s Dinette, 1998. Tablet backs, stick pins, popsicle sticks and cigarette foil. 16 x 8 x 5 in.

It is on display until April 4 at MoMA PS1 as a part of the show Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration. “Featuring art made by people in prisons and work by nonincarcerated artists concerned with state repression, erasure, and imprisonment, Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration highlights more than 35 artists, including American Artist, Tameca Cole, Russell Craig, Maria Gaspar, James ‘Yaya’ Hough, Jesse Krimes, Mark Loughney, Gilberto Rivera, and Sable Elyse Smith. The exhibition has been updated to reflect the growing COVID-19 crisis in US prisons, featuring new works by exhibition artists made in response to this ongoing emergency.”

Museum Press Page: Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration

Article: The Breathtaking Ingenuity of Incarcerated Artists

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 pedagogy and toolbox for transformation. Learn more.

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