Weekend Briefing No. 322

Welcome to the weekend.

I believe this next week has great potential for all of us. This pandemic knocked us down. It knocked the wind out of us. Now it’s time to pull ourselves back together, dust ourselves off and rise to the occasion. Take a few minutes to watch this inspiring rendition of Still I Rise by Maya Angelou.

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Prime Numbers

95 – ClassPass, which offers a membership program for fitness classes, over 95 percent of revenue evaporated in just 10 days as studios and gyms around the world shut down.

75 – Major crime in New York is down by 20 percent, but burglaries on businesses (not homes) were up 75 percent.

23 – Streaming’s share of U.S. TV time leaps to 23 percent, and Disney+ drives share gain by other platforms. 


The Payroll Protection Program (PPP) opened up applications last Friday morning, at which time all small businesses in America stopped and frantically hit refresh on their banks’ websites. The Small Business Administration (SBA) is administering the program through banks, and the rollout was anything but smooth. Most banks required a business to already be a pre-existing client. In an extreme case, Bank of America required businesses to be a client, have a credit card with them and already have a line of credit with them. This punished solid businesses that don’t rely on credit to operate. Wells Fargo shut down new applications and warned that they may not fund all of the existing applications. I’ve been working with a lot of clients on this and fielding a ton of questions from folks that read The Entrepreneur’s COVID-19 Playbook. Thus far, all applications are being processed, but I haven’t heard of any loans being approved or capital deployed yet. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced on Tuesday that he and the President will be asking Congress for an additional $250 billion for the PPP. If you’ve applied to PPP, please take a moment to shoot me an email right now and tell me about your experience. Also, Senator Marco Rubio’s tweets are amazing! Fox Business (6 minutes)

State of Social Entrepreneurship 2020

Every year, I look forward to Echoing Green’s report on the State of Social Entrepreneurship. This year I was blown away by so much incredible data and analysis. You should read the whole thing, but I will focus on their conclusion. We know that many individuals and institutions deeply understand the challenges facing us and the struggles toward justice. We call on these committed individuals who control economic resources to do their part and take immediate steps to: (1) Direct funding to front-line communities in the earliest stages of their growth, made in a way that acknowledges and seeks to rectify historical oppression based on race, gender, class, sexual identity, religious affiliation and geography. (2) Spend significant funds toward the front-line responses to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, climate change and other persistent challenges that face our world. We can’t go back to business as usual. Until we start to do structural change, we’ll continue to have these crises. (3) Spend down resources quickly, aggressively and without conditions of profitability. (4) Transparent accounting is a cornerstone of honest governance. We call on funders to be transparent about where their resources come from and to take steps to cut ties with extractive or oppressive industries. (5) All communities deserve the power to shape the decisions made about them. To empower this, philanthropic institutions should take substantive steps to transfer control of resources into forums of democratic decision-making. Echoing Green (22 minutes)


One of our clients at Westaway, Daymaker, is using their giving technology in response to COVID to provide an immediate lift to families most burdened by present circumstances. In just a few clicks, you can read about a specific child from a local 501(c)(3) and send grocery store gift cards and a home-enrichment item to that family’s door. Daymaker annually supports 45-plus companies to enable employee giving and is offering this campaign completely free to any interested companies. Click to get your company involved. Daymaker (5 minutes)


Square’s (and Twitter’s) Jack Dorsey commits $1 billion for COVID, girls’ education and universal base income (UBI). The tech CEO said (via tweet) that he would move about 28 percent of his wealth into a limited liability company called Start Small to fund global COVID-19 relief. “After we disarm this pandemic, the focus will shift to girls’ health and education, and UBI,” a once-fringe idea that is gaining traction as a COVID relief measure. (Spain is rolling out its version.) The LLC structure — also used by Omidyar Network, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and Emerson Collective — will allow Dorsey to make both grants and impact investments. Unlike a philanthropic foundation, tax deductions can only be taken when funds are disbursed to charities or to the donor-advised fund that Dorsey intends to establish. Start Small’s first donation was $100,000 to America’s Food Fund, a relief effort launched last week by Leonardo DiCaprio and Laurene Powell Jobs. Dorsey committed to transparency in the form of a public spreadsheet that shows nearly 20 million shares of Square at about $50 a share. “Why now? The needs are increasingly urgent, and I want to see the impact in my lifetime,” Dorsey wrote. “I hope this inspires others to do something similar.” Impact Alpha (5 minutes)

Next Normal

Could the next normal emerge from Asia? The coronavirus pandemic is reshaping the global economy. Asia, the first region affected by the crisis, is leading the way out of it. A shock of this magnitude will change business, society and the global economic order in many ways. Contactless commerce, for example, could become the permanent norm for consumers, as enforced behavioral change becomes an everyday habit. Supply chains may be reconfigured to remove vulnerabilities that have been exposed by the pandemic. Across all aspects of business performance, the crisis will reveal both weaknesses and opportunities to improve. As companies in Asia do so, they may be the world’s first to shape the next normal. What will that look like? Here are four dimensions that could define it. (1) Rethink the social contract. In times of crisis, the state plays an essential role in protecting people and prioritizing a nation’s resources for the response. (2) Define the future of work and consumption. The crisis has created an imperative need to escalate the adoption of new technology across all aspects of life, from e-commerce to remote working and learning tools. (3) Mobilize resources at speed and scale. Asia has a proven ability to mobilize grassroots resources from the bottom up, as well as the top down. (4) From globalization to regionalization, we could see a massive restructuring of supply chains. Production and sourcing may move closer to end users, and companies could localize or regionalize their supply chains. McKinsey (14 minutes)

Stimulus & Digital Divide

Right now many Americans can’t easily access remote work or education, which leaves them behind and limits their ability to safely carry out social distancing. Stimulus spending could be diverted to address those gaps, which would also leave us better prepared to respond to the next pandemic. As painful as the pandemic lockdown has been, without the internet and digital tools like Zoom, it would be almost impossible to carry out any semblance of normal life while stuck at home. But not every American has access to those tools.In a new report, the nonprofit Information Technology and Innovation Institute (ITIF) recommends that some of the additional stimulus funding Congress is considering should go toward public policies that can ensure every American can live, work and learn remotely. “This should be a wakeup call in Congress,” says Rob Atkinson, president of ITIF. “We have been relying on the private sector to do this, but a lot of these problems can only be solved by public-private partnership.” The full report includes more than 25 different stimulus proposals ranging from telemedicine to industrial automation to 3D printing. But the top priorities are providing true universal broadband internet and workable e-government services. Axios (3 minutes)


COVID-19 is creating an enormous set of needs around supporting communities and health systems—and countless companies are responding in extraordinary ways. How might we keep this momentum going? OpenIDEO is seeking ideas and inspiration to help businesses adapt to this crisis. The goal of this Challenge is to find and support innovations that answer the question, “How might businesses of all kinds rapidly adapt to support the immediate needs of the COVID-19 response, and enable a more just and resilient future?” I’ll be invloved. Ideas and inspiration can be submitted now through April 30, 2020. OpenIdeo (9 minutes)

Spiritual Connection

I’ve found isolation has allowed me a little more time for spiritual contemplation, but has (for obvious reasons) made me feel more distant from my spiritual community. This week, millions of people across the globe will celebrate Passover and Easter. And in the coming weeks, millions will begin to observe Ramadan. So, I thought I’d highlight some worthy (and fun) attempts to make sense of our spirituality.

Pray #WithMe — YouTube highlights opportunity for spiritual connection.

Good Shepherd New York — Good Shepherd New York will be streaming a digital Easter church service at 11 a.m. ET on Sunday with a special appearance from one of my favorite musicians.

How religious are you really? A Muslim designer’s response — This is an analysis of how we typically discuss religion today, and a methodical approach on how we might reframe the conversation to better understand others’ — and our own — relationship with it.

Richard Rohr’s Daily Mediations — Enjoy a daily email with a meditation from Rohr.

Afikoman —To keep alive the hunt for the afikoman (a piece of matzo hidden during the Seder), at least one rabbi committed to carrying his laptop from room to room and letting the kids direct him on Zoom.

Minecraft Easter Egg Hunt — Tate Springs Baptist Church of Arlington, Texas, will hold an Easter Egg Scavenger Hunt on a customized Minecraft game on Easter Sunday.

Most Read Last Week

The Entrepreneur’s COVID-19 Playbook — This is a free 40-page guide to stimulus money, tax breaks and legal tips to survive and thrive during the pandemic.

Bill Gates on the Coronavirus — Philanthropist and Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates offers insights into the COVID-19 pandemic.

Designing for Uncertainty — How does an existing organization manage to see through the fog of uncertainty while also planning for an unknown future?

About the Weekend Briefing

A Saturday morning briefing on innovation & society by Kyle Westaway —  Managing Partner of Westaway and author of Profit & Purpose. Photo by Jennifer Burk.

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Weekend Wisdom

A man who was completely innocent offered himself as a sacrifice for the good of others, including his enemies, and became the ransom of the world. It was a perfect act.Mahatma Gandhi

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