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Pointing fingers. Casting blame. Passing the buck. Any cliché that implies fault accurately describes what happened on Capitol Hill last week as senators and members of Congress did everything they could to deflect responsibility over a possible government shutdown to members of their opposing party. They played the same blame game over the problem that would have caused the shutdown too—balancing the nation’s budget. In the 2008 book The Necessary Revolution: How Individuals and Organizations are Working Together to Create...
Yet another highly publicized study, this time in The Atlantic, showed recently that based on their test scores... and only their test scores... our students aren’t getting a competitive education for the global marketplace.  But focusing on test scores, like most of these studies do, misses the larger point:  our K-12 education system actively discourages the approaches most necessary to encourage sustainable practice in the 21st century.  Indeed, it is things like an overemphasis on test scores and the “marketplace...
The biggest hurdle to sustainable innovation isn’t the technology—it’s how to shift public consciousness, promoting the acceptance of technologies and practices that could make the way we live more sustainable. A shift in consciousness is the biggest hurdle that sustainability faces, and to understand the difficulties in winning over the public we need look no further than our love/hate relationship to the paper and plastic bag.  Most of us have dozens of reusable shopping bags stashed in the various corners of our lives...
These are not good times for idealists – and they’re taking it out on everyone else. As Jonathan Alter recently wrote, there are two strains of progressives:  idealists who feel that doing the right thing is everything, and who prefer being right to getting results;  and pragmatists focused on moving forward, who make deals and accept a less than ideal outcome.   Often – too often – those two strains are at war. They certainly are today, a time when any compromise is viewed by idealists as selling...
Ted Turner called it in 1981. That was the first time the media mogul predicted the newspaper industry’s inevitable death, blaming its stale format for its eventual demise. He assumed the death would be quick and painless as more and more readers became viewers of his brand new cable news venture, CNN. Turner gave the newspaper industry 10 years tops. Almost 30 years later, newspapers are still around and people still read them, albeit in smaller numbers. Turner wasn’t entirely wrong though. The industry is dying—a very slow...

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