Tag Archives: social responsibility

Sell Detroit to Highest IMPACT Bidders

Appreciation to those whose work I've usurped. But I did help start the concept.

Appreciation to those whose work I’ve usurped. But I did help start the concept.

This is a true, reasoned, viable, heartfelt, practical and EMPOWERING suggestion for the city of Detroit: sell yourself to the highest team of Impact Investment companies.

Seriously. It’s worth the gamble. Impact Investors are a new breed of financiers looking for ways to put social responsibility costs and benefits into the ways and means of profiteering. To stay in the club, they actually have to practice what they preach. See for yourself. One of my favorite places is The Global Impact Investment Network.

Which is made all the more fascinating because folks don’t really know what the concept entails. They only know – thanks to passionate advocates like Jed Emerson – that they have to gamble on a better business future and be serious about their convictions. And already they are investing billions because the see the return on their investment in the concept as being helpful and worth trillions.

So let’s say a group of “Too Big To Care About Money” companies (or individuals with obscene wealth) each commit a nearly unnoticeably small share of their absurd profits — $25 billion each, with a commitment of the same amount again and again as needed over a period of about 10 years. Of course, because this is an Impact Investment, there will have to be a few restrictions … subject to collective discussion about how they are enforced. But basically they will require:

  • That the investors not rename the city with their monikers or other self-benefiting tags.
  • That they turn complete control of the money to a major collection of caring and passionate citizens who represent the major stakeholder groups, with such group being designed by said stakeholder interests in a fair and just way.
  • That, say, only about 60% or so of the funds can be used as loans to businesses with green and sustainable ideas, with the proviso that they payback the money in socially responsible returns (or cash).
  • That the rest of the money be used to build programs and projects and concept and strategies that empower people and families across many spectrums.
  • That all activity done by the oversight body be posted online and made available for discussion in real-time or as damn close as possible – including all decisions about how money is spent.
  • That, once engaged, said investors must lock away into another charitable entity sufficient resources or value worth at least $300 billion more to sustain the flow of growth and development until the ideas germinate.
  • And that a collaboration of universities be empowered to see, review, study, publish and share their objective takes on all that happens throughout this Impact Investment Experiment.

In return for this, the investors and corporations get … warm and fuzzy feelings of goodwill.

And the people get a city completely dedicated to making and maintaining an empowered and empowering urban place that works like a fair and just nation envisioned.

See? No problem. Sell Detroit.


Internet Equality – Obama’s Clear & Present Danger

clear harrisonIE, or Internet Equality, is so important that it demands the absolute attention of our Commander-in-Chief. Even in this period of self-inflicted policy foolishness – where people, generations, the planet are being fracked away — the loss of the empowerment potential from the InterWebs outweighs all other urgencies.

The president might well consider this the single greatest contribution his administration can make.

Capturing and harnessing the subtleties of the virtual domains in favor of profit and privilege (which will happen without Net Neutrality) will destroy the possibility of us having a national heritage that is a model for electronic and digital freedom and participatory liberty. Which is why the battle presents a clear and present danger that cannot be ignored.

Have at me Chicken Little-ites! Show me why the virtual skies are not falling on us, thanks again to the greedy and unjust profiteer?

The unfettered high-jacking of capitalism that we see everywhere in the non-digital domain demonstrates exactly why the world’s people cannot thrive without having their own access to powerful weapons of mass access, transparency and organization. We will simply not be able to compete against those who do the same in the name of virtual consumerism.

Once a price is put on every portal, it will become much more difficult and much less desirable to turn those doors into avenues for change and democratic empowerment. Of this I am very sure.

The soldiers of what must be Obama’s war for engagement on this front should be the cyber hackers and activists who hold the programming keys to the digital kingdom (and I do mean King, since women are too far out of the gamer games at this point!). For whether people like to admit it or not, the Snowdens et al are fighters against secret and stored hostilities, biases and crimes against governments and natures – all kinds, and particularly those that fire the passions of empowerment.

President Barack Obama should undertake two simultaneous strategies as CEO and Commander, each directed to allow for broad creativity and innovation by those who know the playing fields:

  • DEFLECTING AND DIVERTING: He should go about the task of opening false and appealing “nonpartisan” nonsensical negotiations with conservaterians on the other issues thought to be important (bettering Ocare, immigration reform, debt, etc.). This will keep the contrarians flaming with a false sense of victory; and then,
  • DISRUPTION OF SERVICE TACTICS: He should use his fledgling CEO/CIC capabilities unleash the magnitude forces of cyber agents of all kinds to discover their own ways and means of victor. Massive self-interest machines like Google are already proclaiming their need to harness the potential of the InterWebs, and we must meet and beat them with spontaneity before too much damage is done. But sadly we don’t even know our own capabilities for empowerment until we come together to learn more and practice what we seek.

Conservative ideals are kicking and screaming for survival because facts and technology have killed their Snow White dreams. No one can kiss and awaken the ignorant beauty of a false past, no matter what the fox says (or hides). But in throwing around shiny objects, we may be able to distract their attention why we build a better progress trap.

As for what unleashed, justice-empowered Cyber Warriors might do once freed to program and discover, we’ll not know until they try.

Government of all flavors for generations has built a darn good infrastructure of caring and compassion – underground networks for women involved with domestic violence, communities of color working together to be heard, young people feeling empowered to have a voice in their futures. Now’s the time to set this potential free in partnership with the blended values of profit and social responsibility. Only in this way will we get the full ROI of a culture build on freedom and democracy.

If we don’t, the dangers are clear and present.

I’ll vote for a war like this anytime.