Suggested Reading, November 18, 2006

A round-up of some articles and ideas that I’ve enjoyed recently with a focus on global change, community, action, and design thinking.

Worldchanging: A Users Guide for the 21st Century
“A groundbreaking compendium of the most innovative solutions, ideas and inventions emerging today for building a sustainable, livable, prosperous future. From consumer consciousness to a new vision for industry; non-toxic homes to refugee shelters; microfinance to effective philanthropy; socially responsible investing to starting a green business; citizen media to human rights; ecological economics to climate change, this is the most comprehensive, cutting-edge overview to date of what’s possible in the near future — if we decide to make it so.”

A Tale of Three Communities by Derek Powazek
“Some great things happen when these three communities become one. You can no longer treat your readers like sheep, because if you do they’ll leave. When your community makes your magazine, you have to give them as much respect and reward as you give your editors (that’s why we pay the people we publish in JPG). You can no longer tell advertisers one thing and the readers another (a development advertisers should love). And you can no longer limit the power to contribute to just your writers. Everyone has a voice, and the ability to help sort the good from the great.”

Now that’s what I call infectious action by Diego Rodriguez
“A Firefox crop circle. Created by a band of loyal (and unpaid) Firefox customers…How might your brand stoke this kind of infectious action?”

The Power of the Marginal by Paul Graham
“If you really want to score big, the place to focus is the margin of the margin: the territories only recently captured from the insiders. That’s where you’ll find the juiciest projects still undone, either because they seemed too risky, or simply because there were too few insiders to explore everything.”

Enlightened Innovation: 5 Keys to Promoting Thoughtful Design Leadership in Education by Xanthe Matychak and David Morgan
“Traditional business models are failing in the face of global competition, and American companies are scouring design schools for design-innovators to lead them into the twenty-first century with creative strategies. Great. But the question is, where will these young designers lead us?”

The Talent Hunt
“The power of this new approach, called design thinking, to promote innovation and open up business opportunities is attracting the attention of corporations around the globe. Design has evolved from a narrow discipline dealing with the form and function of products into a major new approach to developing business models. As business increasingly turns to India and China to provide low-cost, high-quality goods and services, companies have to focus on innovation to be competitive. That driving need makes design thinking the hottest trend in business culture today.”