Hot Links | Changing the Landscape of Good Business | Rethinking Our Systems | Standing Up for the Human (Over the Machine)

Photo by Getty Images

Photo by Getty Images

Some are new, some are not.  Nonetheless, all of the articles linked to below are fueling our ideas and discussions this week.

The Guardian sounds the alarm about the tech sector's influence on urban development (focusing on Google’s Toronto project), with a reminder that "Cities are real places with real people who have a right not to live with whatever “smart solutions” an engineer or executive decides to unleash."

It is time that we eschew the status quo and transcend mere problem solving?  Robert Ransick makes the case for radical reinvention of our current systems and their underlying structures - led by artists, but incorporated into multi-disciplinary approaches.   

More reports on the dangers of Artificial Intelligence: a report on a machine that can learn without human intervention and Elon Musk's worries about those who would create "AI Gods".

Oh another note - who needs machines, when you have musicians? Pacific Standard shares research on the profound connection between musicality and memory.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy reports that fewer people are donating to charity, and the influence of those who do donate is increasingly outsize.  Although this may alarm many non-profits, it may represent tremendous opportunity for social-minded entrepreneurship and human-centered innovations.

Independent Sector is aiming to amplify the influence of innovation in the social good sphere, through the creation of Upswell - a "SXSW of the social sector”.

We're Back!

Create the things you wish existed.

I am delighted to announce the refresh and relaunch of the WÆRK blog!  It’s a crucial moment for innovators, businesses, governments and, above all, citizen-consumers, who should all be asking: “what are we buying?  What are we selling? And what is the impact of our purchases on the Earth (and one another)?” 

We plan to challenge the idea of so-called disruption, and encourage the standardization of products and practices that prioritize people first.  We believe that the contemporary innovators’ dilemma can be resolved through the holistic incorporation of art and humanities perspectives into business, technology and scientific innovation.

Each week, we will share insights from creative minds who are leaders in human-centered business, connect our readers to articles on topics that we find enlightening (or of concern), and offer critical perspectives on the necessity for art in business. 

We hope you’ll visit us regularly.


With gratitude,

Sacha Wynne

Ancient Traditions, Contemporary Technology

Although many artists and culture bearers lament the advent of digital technologies, their ascendance trumpets a return to ancient storytelling traditions that were disrupted by the printing press.  Online stories are subject to interpretation and are transformed through personalization and participation.  The story is enlivened.

If stories are our original means of communicating complex ideas, entertaining ourselves and connecting with one another, armed with access to the internet, the artist/culture bearer has the power to change the world.  The mutability of the digital story lends itself to egalitarianism, because it’s owned by all and its meanings are myriad.

“Storytelling” is now a buzzword in marketing, public relations and advertising, but to be truly effective it has to do much more than just sell something.  If it’s not artful, it won’t resonate authentically.  Modern storytelling is a collision of new media and ancient tradition that is most effectively commanded by the artist, who is skilled at challenging us to look at the world in new ways.  The artists helps us to helps us reach others by examining ourselves. 

Photo by WÆRK