Weekend Briefing No. 275

Welcome to the weekend.

Prime Numbers

2050 – According to Jared Diamond, there’s a 49 percent chance the world as we know it will end by 2050.

2024 – NASA’s ambitious plan to put the first woman on the surface of the Moon by 2024 is now named Artemis, after the Greek goddess of the Moon and twin sister of the god Apollo.

1609 – Here’s a cool time lapse of the New York City street grid growing from 1609 to the present.

Gen Z @ Work

What does the class of 2019 want in an employer? First, 35% of respondents said they’d go to work for any industry that hired them–the highest percentage in the four years the agency has done the report. Among those that are employed, 65% received between two and four job offers in 2019. They expect to earn between $51,000 and $60,000 per year in their first job out of college–and 89% will get that or more. When they evaluate a job, opportunity for growth was the No. 1 factor they considered, followed by work-life balance (up one spot from last year), and compensation (down one spot from last year). 76% want a promotion within one to two years, versus 40% of Millennials. Fast Company (6 minutes)

Coal to Code

A nonprofit called Mined Minds, promising to teach West Virginians how to write computer code and then get them well-paying jobs. Many West Virginians like Ms. Frame signed up for Mined Minds, quitting their jobs or dropping out of school for the prized prospect of a stable and lucrative career. But the revival never came. Almost none of those who signed up for Mined Minds are working in programming now. They described Mined Minds as an erratic operation, where guarantees suddenly evaporated and firings seemed inevitable, leaving people to start over again at the bottom rungs of the wage jobs they had left behind. Over two dozen former students in West Virginia are pursuing a lawsuit, arguing that Mined Minds was a fraud. Out of the 10 or so people who made it to the final weeks of the course, only one formally graduated. He is now delivering takeout. New York Times (11 minutes)

South Africa Getaway

Long time readers will know how much I love South Africa. I’m leading a trip there next year, and I sent Weekend Briefing 160-162 from that country. So, I’m teaming up with some great brands to offer you the chance to win an all-inclusive trip to South Africa for you and 3 guests. The trip includes 3 nights at Hippo Hollow Country Estate near premier wildlife watching destination, Kruger National Park as well as 3 nights at Hollow on the Square in the vibrant City of Cape Town (don’t forget to hit the Winelands for some tastings). Click here to enter. (Sponsored)


The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission approved the creation of the Long-Term Stock Exchange, or LTSE, a Silicon Valley-based national securities exchange promoting what it says is a unique approach to governance and voting rights, while reducing short-term pressures on public companies. The new exchange would have extra rules designed to encourage companies to focus on long-term innovation rather than the grind of quarterly earnings reports by asking companies to limit executive bonuses that award short-term accomplishments. It would also require more disclosure to investors about meeting key milestones and plans, and reward long-term shareholders by giving them more voting power the longer they hold the stock. Reuters (5 minutes)

Paying People to Quit

As Amazon aims to cut delivery time to a single day, the company is encouraging its employees to quit and start their own delivery businesses. Under a new incentive program, announced on Monday, Amazon said that it would fund up to $10,000 in start-up costs and provide three months of pay to any employee who decides to make the jump. In seeding the delivery start-ups, the company is making a small investment in the distribution network that will make one day delivery possible, while letting the business owners grow from there. New York Times (8 minutes)

Faith, Friendship & Tragedy

Sabika Sheikh, a Muslim exchange student from Pakistan with dreams of changing the world, struck up an unlikely friendship with an evangelical Christian girl. The two became inseparable—until the day a fellow student opened fire in their high school art classroom – killing Sabika. Throughout South Asia, Sabika’s death was front-page news. Reporters described her as Pakistan’s martyred daughter: an idealistic, promising young woman who had traveled to America with a message of peace, eager to experience the best of its culture, only to suffer its worst. When someone asked how her father was feeling, he said, simply, “My heart drowns.” Texas Monthly (27 minutes)

On Parenting

Esther Wojcicki constantly gets asked for parenting advice. All three of her kids have turned out to be accomplished, caring and capable people. Susan is the CEO of YouTube, Janet is a professor of pediatrics, and Anne is the co-founder and CEO of 23andMe. They rose to the top of ultra-competitive, male-dominated professions. She’s identified several fundamental values that help her kids achieve success. 1) Lead by example. If you talk about the importance of service community, but don’t act, does the message really sink in? Take up causes and show our kids, through our own behavior, how to fight for our communities. 2) The American ideal is all wrong. Kids are growing up feeling like they’re the center of the universe. As young adults, they’re not only lacking grit and independence; they’re wholly unprepared to take on causes that could make the world a better place. 3) Prioritize service. You’re happiest — as well as most beneficial to society — when you’re doing things to help others. CNBC (6 minutes)


There There by Tommy Orange. Tommy Orange’s shattering novel follows twelve characters from Native communities: all traveling to the Big Oakland Powwow, all connected to each other in ways they may not yet realize. There is Jacquie Red Feather, newly sober and working to make it back to the family she left behind. Dene Oxendene, who is pulling his life back together after his uncle’s death, has come to work at the powwow to honor his memory. Fourteen-year-old Orvil has come to perform traditional dance for the very first time. Together, this chorus of voices tells of the plight of the urban Native American—grappling with a complex and painful history, with an inheritance of beauty and spirituality, with communion and sacrifice and heroism. Hailed as an instant classic, There There is at once poignant and laugh-out-loud funny, utterly contemporary and always unforgettable. Amazon

From the Community

Jay Coen Gilbert was featured on the World Affairs podcast discussing the role of business in rebuilding the social contract.

About the Weekend Briefing

A Saturday morning briefing on innovation & society by Kyle Westaway – Managing Partner of Westaway and author of Profit & Purpose.

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Weekend Wisdom

A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love. St. Basil