BT’s Daily Reader 07.18.2013

A sampling of what I’ve been reading on Thursday, July 18, 2013.

Community development

26 ways to make great places. Project for Public Spaces. Practical tips for making your neighborhood a better place to live and work. 

Streets can be public spaces too. Atlantic Cities, Kaid Benfield. The first step toward building denser, more vibrant people-focused neighborhoods is transforming our streets.  

Corporate social responsibility

Good companies are storytellers. Great companies are story-doers. Harvard Business Review, Ty Montague. In the social age, great companies “advance their narrative by action, not by communication.”


Why being social makes you a better leader. Inc., Geil Browning. The best leaders now know how to connect to people through emotions and vulnerability. 

The fall of competitive advantage and the rise of transient advantages. LDRLB, Puja Ghelani. “Strategy is stuck. For too long the business world has been obsessed with the notion of building a sustainable competitive advantage… I’m not arguing that it’s a bad idea—obviously, it’s marvelous to compete in a way that others can’t imitate… But it’s now rare for a company to maintain a truly lasting advantage. Competitors and customers have become too unpredictable, and industries too amorphous.”

Social enterprise

Detroit Kitchen Connect cooks up affordable space for local culinary entrepreneurs. Crain’s Detroit Business, Amy Haimerl. Awesome “potluck” concept makes use of community assets to help food entrepreneurs start their businesses. 

Every 500 years or so: Is Delaware a tipping point in the evolution of capitalism? Stanford Social Innovation Review, Jay Coen Gilbert. Delaware’s recent passing of benefit corporation legislation could usher in an age of the mainstream triple bottom line. 

Can affordable insurance underwrite social development for the world’s poor? The Guardian, Robin Hough. People working their way out of poverty often fail because they cannot acquire insurance coverage for expensive life events (fire, sickness, etc.). One social enterprise has a solution. 

Social justice

What should Trayvon Martin have done? The New Yorker, Amy Davidson. Davidson analyzes the “false choices” Trayvon Martin faced in his final moments of life.

America’s education system has a great recipe for creating low-skill workers., Bob Sornson. Not only does America’s 20th century education model fail in the global knowledge economy, it guarantees poor people will stay poor. 

“Hunger makes people work harder” and other stupid things we used to believe about poverty. Atlantic Cities, Emily Badger. Can you believe there was a time in this country when the rich thought it was their moral duty to keep poor people poor? 

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