Democracy

Why We Need Fewer ‘Tribes’ and More Networks

Networks are a critical element of an effective civic society, at every scale from local communities to international relations. Like so much else, they are both challenged by wider social and economic change (some of the key traditional roles in holding communities together fade away) and given fresh impetus by it (in an ever more connected world). This interview introduces a book which sets out to reset the balance between getting things done through making strategic moves and getting them done by supporting, sustaining and using networks. Though as a couple of critical reviews on Amazon bring out, the book is inevitably as much a product of a network as the phenomena it describes.

Anne-Marie Slaughter – Wharton

Future of work

Robotics or fascination with anthropomorphism

A clear expression of the counter-argument to Brad De Long’s peak horse analogy – the current round of technology-driven innovation, like every round before it will generate new jobs to meet the new demand for the new products and services which the new technology enables and which were previously unimaginable. If human needs are unlimited and unforseeable, there is no reason to think that the model as a whole is under threat (though that, of course, says nothing about the individuals caught in the transition, or about the distribution of gains and losses more generally).

Branko Milanovic – Global Inequality

Innovation

Five Reasons Your Boss Was Right To Shut Down Your Innovation Lab

There’s more to innovation than having ideas. The innovation has to solve a problem (albeit sometimes made harder by the owners of the problem not knowing they have it). This article is written very much in a private sector context, where the test of successful innovation is sustainable profits, but it’s well worth thinking about how parallel issues play out in other kinds of organisations.

Tendayi Viki – Medium