Mars, Cyber Monday, and the U.S.A.

U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸
United States of America
United States of Amnesia
United States of Antithetical Extremes

Today we celebrate science and NASA landing on Mars 🚀
But sometimes science is not science
Even when the scientists say so

Even when California burns🔥
The Unpresidented President hides his own government’s climate change report in the hubbub of Black Friday
That annual classist and racist ritual where the privileged watch the less-fortunate trample each other for forty percent off on flat screen TVs
Made in China, of course
But All-American entertainment nonetheless

Today
Cyber Monday
The day we devote to the deity of almighty Dollar 💵
The day we land on Mars
We launch tear gas at asylum-seeking families

Just as when we landed on the Moon 🌙
We dropped bombs on Vietnam and killed
Civil rights activists
Something that is still going on

We can send ships up into Space but we can’t get clean water for Flint
Or relief for Puerto Rico
Or the Subway to run on time

Well-meaning White people
Self-proclaimed progressives
Proclaim on Twitter:
“This is not my America”
“This is not who we are”

But it is who we have always been

America, blessed by Bezos with Amazon Prime
Same Day Shipping for the cost of a taxpayer-subsidized private helipad

America, where we are free to crowdfund our own treatment for cancer but where healthcare can never be free
(Silly socialist, socialism is for shareholders!)

America, where flavored vapes, Romaine lettuce, and exposed nipples are more dangerous than firearms

United States of America
United States of Amnesia
United States of Antithetical Extremes

Too vast for a single story
Too long for a tweet
Too great to make great again

See Think Solve: A Simple Way to Tackle Tough Problems

Brainstorming and design thinking are great. But you, your team or your students need a more targeted way to solve complex problems. Social science holds the key.

We just released a new book.

Written by our friends and long-time collaborators Jeff Leitner and Andrew Benedict-Nelson, and designed by me and the Foossa team, See Think Solve is a simple guide to difficult problems.

Originally developed for a social work PhD program at the University of Southern California, it is written in an easy-to-read, jargon-free style for anyone interested in better understanding human behavior and how to design products, services, and programs that shift collective norms and culture. The ideas in the book have really shaped our consulting and teaching practice.

From the Introduction to See Think Solve:

The main reason problems are hard to solve is that they involve people. People are funny. They don’t always believe the things they say they believe or do the things they say they are going to do. They can act one way in one situation and act completely differently in another situation. No one has ever completely figured this out. We call this the ‘mystery of human behavior.’
The mystery of human behavior shapes almost every problem worth solving.
That’s the bad news. But there’s good news too. The mystery of human behavior also helps us see problems in new ways. By paying attention to people, we can discover new aspects of problems that help us solve them more effectively.
The nine steps in See Think Solve are designed to do just that. They will help you make sense of the mystery of human behavior that surrounds all tough problems.
– The first six steps are about seeing — each of them shows you a new thing to look for in human behavior.
– The next two steps are about thinking — each one is a tool you can use to better understand the human behaviors you have observed.
– The last step is about solving — it describes what you can accomplish with your newfound knowledge.”

See Think Solve Color Palette
See Think Solve Color Palette

About the Design

When planning the design for the book, we wanted to communicate both “simplicity” and “humanity.” The book is meant to be a simple guide to difficult social problems. To reflect this intention, we created an iconography that references both the periodic table of elements and the New York City Subway signage system by Massimo Vignelli and Bob Noorda. The icons serve as a kind of way-finding for readers of the book and help them remember each of the steps in the See Think Solve process. To add a rich, humanistic feel to the visuals, we chose a color palette derived from traditional Japanese art and design. The book cover also features subtle curves on a dark grey background, which are meant to evoke a topographical map or electromagnetic waves.

New Power: A Key to Leadership in the 21st Century

Do want to understand how networks are changing business, culture, and politics? Do you want to unleash the power of crowd leadership?

Then you should read New Power: How Power Works in Our Hyperconnected World — and How to Make It Work for You, the new book by our friends Jeremy Heimans (Purpose) and Henry Timms (92Y and #GivingTuesday).

New power is a way of harnessing the power of crowds. A diverse range of leaders from Lady Gaga to Pope Francis, from Black Lives Matter to the National Rifle Association (NRA), from GE’s Beth Comstock to T-Mobile’s John Legere have successfully deployed new power strategies.

New power leaders signal to the crowd, showing people that they are powerful and inviting them to participate. They know how to structure that participation, driving increased engagement and commitment over time. New power leaders also have the ability to shape the values and the agenda of the crowd in ways that go beyond the boundaries of their formal or institutional authority.

In the “New Power” book, Jeremy and Henry build on the ideas, arguments, and stories that they first introduced in their 2014 Harvard Business Review article and TED Talk.

 

 

Old power works like a currency. It is held by few. Once gained, it is jealously guarded, and the powerful have a substantial store of it to spend. It is closed, inaccessible, and leader-driven. It downloads, and it captures.

New power operates differently, like a current. It is made by many. It is open, participatory, and peer-driven. It uploads, and it distributes. Like water or electricity, it’s most forceful when it surges. The goal with new power is not to hoard it but to channel it.

Join Beth Comstock and “New Power” authors Henry Timms and Jeremy Heimans on Facebook Live, Tuesday, April 3, 2018, 1 PM — 1:45 PM (Eastern Daylight Time). Post your questions on the Facebook event or submit them during the live feed. Beth, Henry & Jeremy will answer as many questions as possible.