Good morning! Thanks to everyone who forwarded our post last week and welcome to the new community members. For anyone that’s new, this is who we are.
Here’s a quick breakdown of this week:
🗺️ How do you wanna change the world?
🦖 The oldest surviving company
🍆 Don’t be a Humanitarian of Tinder
💉 HIV cured (Again!)
💰 Follow the smart money
If you have a Twitter, follow our new account:
How would you want to change the world? Chat with the community here.
Here are some current comments:
Brandon: I’m passionate about helping others, primarily students, find their authentic interests through experiences and coaching.
Fanny: What can we do to continually foster diversity and different views, while instilling the confidence and follow-through in young people to know that they can make an impact at work or otherwise?
David: …as the world becomes more global - and we have seen, that doesn't automatically help people become less bigoted - focus on teaching empathy and cross-cultural skills.
Gregorio: Inability to reach across the political aisle to understand people with different political stances (something I struggle to do)
Tej: A critical issue we need to address is the record high number of people who have been displaced from their homes, due to conflict and climate change.
Ian: The rise of multiple nation states with the power to challenge each other will make the world a more insecure place. We desperately need solutions to reduce the probability of conflict, else repeat the mistakes of 100 years ago.
Jon: I think it's absolutely insane that an "apple" that someone purchases at a standard grocery store could be over 11 months old. I'm very interested in how we could reshape how food is grown and how we can access it.
We want to create a community-generated list of the top 20 issues we should be collectively working on in 2020. If you were to start working on a problem you’re passionate about, what would that problem be?
Built like Deadpool
Last week, we introduced the idea of a Forever Company. Some of you loved it, others felt meh. So we thought we’d share some ideas around the central question - how can we build an unkillable company?
Recap: A forever company outlasts economic cycles, competition, and generations. It reaches market dominance and wins the universal support of society.
♾️ Infinite Mindset:
Available in October, Simon Sinek’s new book, The Infinite Game, argues that the current approach to operating a business is incorrect: “Business is an infinite game that most people are playing with a dangerously finite mindset.” Rather, more business leaders need to operate with an “infinite mindset,” rooted in the following 5 principles:
Advance a just cause, a positive and specific vision of the future that is inclusive, service-oriented, resilient and idealist.
Build trusting teams of people who feel safe expressing themselves.
Study your worthy rivals, who have strengths and abilities from which you could learn.
Prepare for existential flexibility, adopting a capacity to initiate extreme disruption to your business model or strategic course.
Demonstrate the courage to lead, a willingness to change our perception of how the world works.
🦖 The oldest company in the world
In Japan, there are thousands of companies that are 100+ years old and some surpass 1,000 years. In fact, the company thought to be the oldest in the world is a hotel in Japan, Nissiyama Onsen Keiunkan, founded in the year 705. Professor Makoto Kanda claims that businesses like these survive because they focus on a belief or purpose that is not entirely connected to making a profit.
📈 Focus on forever
Eric Ries has a big idea -
“Today’s public companies are too focused on things that revolve around short-term stock price increases — beating quarterly projections by Wall Street analysts, shrinking extraneous budgets for research and development to cut costs, and tangling with activist investors who want to nip and tuck to create extra margins.”
In May, the Long-Term Stock Exchange (LTSE) became a listed exchange and has the goal of “reshap[ing] the incentives for the next generation of public companies so that they can focus on the long term.”
Ries’s exchange will define unique incentives like:
Extra voting power for investors who are in it for the long run
Long-term vesting schedules for executive compensation to remove focus on beating short-term targets, and more!
Listing on the LTSE will transform company incentives to look towards the future when making decisions and ultimately build stronger, more sustainable organizations.
Would you be comfortable with a tourist coming into your country, voting for your country’s President, and then leaving the next day? Probably not. So why let public companies operate the same way?
🗝️ People sharing their take on the Forever Company:
Jack Ma, Founder of Alibaba:
A sustainable Alibaba would have to be built on sound governance, culture-centric philosophy, and consistency in developing talent. No company can rely solely on its founders… The responsible thing to do for me... is to let younger, more talented people take over in leadership roles so that they inherit our mission...
Gary Vaynerchuk, Founder of VaynerMedia:
I look at our voluntary retention numbers 10x more than I look at our profit margin. I am an HR-driven CEO, not a CFO-driven CEO… here’s why: because I’m playing forever… I can do things that lead to retention and a real relationship.
If you know of anyone interested in starting on a path to building out their life’s work, please refer them to us. We’re looking for passionate founders and their ideas!
Don’t just do it for the ‘gram (or Tinder!)
Courtney Martin offers an important and humbling perspective to all of us who want to go abroad to solve some of the world’s most challenging problems.
“Don’t go because you’ve fallen in love with solvability. Go because you’ve fallen in love with complexity. Don’t go because you want to do something virtuous. Go because you want to do something difficult. Don’t go because you want to talk. Go because you want to listen.”
Many of us who are “young, privileged, and interested in creating a life of meaning” are drawn to solve exotic problems in exotic places, partially out of the desire to self-promote one’s “good intentions.” Basically, what these people are doing 🤦 …
In doing so, however, we often assume these problems to be easily solvable, resulting in impractical solutions that can cause more harm than good. For example, the PlayPump, marketed as a fun, merry-go-round pump for safe drinking water, required children to play for 27 hours a day to produce the water promised.
Rather, if we choose to go, Martin asks us to embrace the complexity, listen to the communities, and stay long enough to see our solutions play out. She also reminds us that we can address the oft-ignored problems that are at home, using our personal, first-hand experiences to design effective solutions.
We’ve cured HIV again. “The surprise success now confirms that a cure for H.I.V. infection is possible, if difficult.”
Hyundai launched a car with roof-based solar charging system
Germany is going to close all of its coal-powered plants; rely on renewable energy
Mad scientists created a human-monkey chimera
Leaked Executive Order would let US Gov control social media
Zara commits to 100% sustainable fabrics
Food will be much more expensive due to climate change. Thank u, next!
We’ve learned to take underground caverns of salt and turn them into a “battery” for renewable energy storage
Survival of the fittest: If you’re going to survive as an enterprise for change, the change has to be second.
Fish are friends, not food: In 50 years, eating meat will be unthinkable.
Long-live cold emails: Venture capital should ban warm introductions.
The biggest vacuum in the world: Honglin Li designed a floating skyscraper that could clean the ocean.
Smart-money shifting gears: Seed-investing is hot in these categories. 🌾⛓️💸🤖🖥️
Some things people within our community are doing and have done:
Support Peter’s run in the September DMZ International Peace Marathon by helping him raise money and awareness for people trying to escape North Korea. It takes roughly $3,000 to help a refugee fleeing North Korea travel to safety.
Please take a minute and vote for David’s SXSW panel on how companies can build a more inclusive environment for refugees in their workplace!
Gregorio, congratulations for starting at Eleanor Health, an amazing startup focused on creating patient-centric treatment clinics for opioid addiction!
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Tomorrow is a platform for change. Our purpose is to bring you the news, people, and stories of the future. Our hope is to become an ambitious community of people audacious enough to try to change the world.