Clarity First Newsletter, November 24, 2017

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

We are a learning species. We learn by failing. This Thanksgiving week let’s forgive each other of our failures. Because we are learning. Let’s celebrate that, instead. 

For Western democracies, our character is on the line.

“We are witnessing the largest flow of people fleeing for their lives since the Second World War. In total, they account for one in every 113 people on the planet. If they came together as a single country, it would be the world’s 21st largest, about the size of the United Kingdom.”
Article: The Best Way to Prevent Terrorist Attacks? Let’s Welcome Refugees

Designers will interrupt the cycle of capitalism.

“Architects and designers worldwide are confronted with a very interesting choice: borrowing Buckminster Fuller’s words, we could say that our profession is in between ‘utopia and oblivion.’ It will be oblivion if we continue focusing on minor aesthetic problems. However, it might turn into utopia if we are able to tackle the major societal challenges of our time, starting from the issues of equity.”
Article: 9 Ideas Shaping the Future of Design, According to Ideo, Microsoft, Autodesk, MIT, …

I am thankful for thought leaders like Rachel Botsman.

Rachel Botsman writes and researches about how technology is transforming trust and what this means for life, work, and how we do business. Her TED talks have been viewed 3.5 million times, and she’s promoting her latest book now.
Radio Interview: ‘Who Can You Trust?’ Faith In Institutions Is Low As Tech Changes Everything

A Thanksgiving bow to the people who make Bloguettes

I am so inspired by the clear promise and delivery of this workshop, training, and inspiration company. Thank you, Bloguettes, for being so damned good. An example:
Article: How to Create an Email Newsletter People Want to Read

The science of aesthetics?

A new area of neuroscience research has the potential to help us understand the ways our brain responds to art.
Article: Beauty and the Brain: The Emerging Field of Neuroaesthetics

Cool learning resource

Jono Hey calls himself a designer of all things. Starting in 2013 he set himself the challenge of explaining something with a sketch, every day. Since then he’s throttled the output to once per week, but he’s still going strong. Common tags include Cognitive bias, Framework, Words, What’s the difference between, Ideas, Nature, and Observation.

Learning to imitate nature

Biomimicry is a design movement pioneered by biologist and writer Janine Benyus. It’s based on the idea that big challenges in design, engineering, and sustainability have often already been solved by nature through 3.8 billion years of evolution on earth.
Video: The Man-Made World is Horribly Designed. But Copying Nature Helps.

The arc of prehistory bends towards economic inequality. 

In the largest study of its kind, researchers from 14 institutions saw disparities in wealth mount with the rise of agriculture, specifically the domestication of plants and large animals, and increased social organization.
Article: New Study Charts Inequality Across Millennia


Sisters Rebecca and Megan Lovell, of Atlanta, GA, front the band Larkin Poe. Wiki calls them ‘roots rock.’ When they play live they’re backed by bass and drums, but much of their YouTube catalog features just the two of them playing in front of a phone, singing and playing delta blues. They’ve been called “the little sisters of the Allman Brothers.” This cover of One Way Out suggests why. However you file them, I’m just happy that the music spring keeps flowing. Larkin Poe is pure rock, and rock will never die.

Images of the week

After 50 years working as a photographer of street scenes and landscapes, Joel Meyerowitz was inspired by a visit to Cézanne’s studio to make still lifes, something he had never done. And because he is Joel Meyerowitz, he got to make them there, in Cézanne’s studio.
Article: Inside Paul Cézanne’s Studio

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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