Weekend Briefing No. 113

Welcome To The Weekend

Merhaba from Istanbul!


I’m relaxing in Istanbul after an intense week in Israel and Palestine. I had the opportunity to meet with some incredibly inspiring people.  We listened to the heartbreaking story of Israeli and Palestinian parents who have lost children to the conflict. We met an Israeli farmer living under the threat of rocket fire and young Palestinians living behind the wall. We had Shabbat dinner with an Orthodox Jewish family and attended a family BBQ with Palestinian Christians. We discussed policy with an Israeli policy maker and learned about clean energy innovation from a Palestinian entrepreneur. I’m still processing the whole experience, but I’m walking away with a deep empathy for the people on both sides of conflict, and deeply grateful for the opportunity to move beyond policy to connect with people.


If you are looking for some fresh Spring tunes, check out my April playlist.


Would You Propose With A Diamond Made In A Lab?

Diamond Foundry, a new company out of Silicon Valley and Israel, is hoping that your answer to that question will be yes. They are able to grow a diamond, identical to natural diamonds down to the atomic level, in 2 weeks rather than billions of years. With the added upside of avoiding the negative social and environmental impact involved with the diamond mining industry. The question they are facing is whether man-made diamonds are romantic. Watch this video at Quartz (4 minutes).

The Seven Habits of Highly Depolarizing People

How do you make friends and influence people on the other side of the argument? Here are some pointers. 1) Doubt. The concern that my views may not be entirely correct—is the true friend of wisdom and (along with empathy, to which it’s related) the greatest enemy of polarization. 2) Qualify. To qualify something you say is to make it less definitive, less comprehensive, and more nuanced, and to acknowledge the possibility that some pieces of the puzzle may still be missing. Learn more at The American Interest (7 minutes).

Investing With A Conscience, But Done By A Robot

Even among the most strident capitalists, there is a growing sense that doing well by doing good is in vogue. Arabesque is one of a growing number of investors that are leaning on mountains of new data about companies’ environmental, social and governance performances in hopes of making more profitable trades. It’s the first firm exclusively focused on ESG investing through quantitative analysis — that is, with algorithms, rather than humans, picking the stocks. It has two funds, with about $50 million under management. Learn more in the New York Times (5 minutes).

Kenya Honour For Muslim Hero Who Protected Christian Bus Passengers

The bus was packed with about 60 passengers travelling from the capital, Nairobi, to the town of Mandera when it was forced to stop by gunmen firing shots near the village of El Wak on the Somali border. The insurgents told the Muslims and Christians to split up but the Muslim passengers refused, “We asked them to kill all of us or leave us alone.” The militants then abandoned their attempt to kill the Christian bus passengers as the Muslims were refusing to co-operate with them. Learn more about this heroic story at BBC (4 minutes). H/t Deborah Tsuchida

Stubborn On Vision, Flexible On The Details

Whether you’re building a business or your own career, a long-term focus creates the most successful outcomes. And this requires two things: 1) You need a clear vision of where you want to go and the values that will guide you towards that place. 2) You need to be opportunistic (aka flexible) when it comes to all the details of how to get there. Learn more at Version One (3 minutes).

You Need to Practice Being Your Future Self

Often the wildly important stuff that never gets done because there’s not time or it’s not urgent or it’s too hard or risky or terrifying. So, we focus on the task at hand, and don’t put in the hard work to growing. You need to spend time on the future even when there are more important things to do in the present and even when there is no immediately apparent return to your efforts. In other words — and this is the hard part — if you want to be productive, you need to spend time doing things that feel ridiculously unproductive.  Learn more at Harvard Business Review (6 minutes).

13 Questions to Ask Before Getting Married

The following questions, intimate and sometimes awkward, are designed to spark honest discussions and possibly give couples a chance to spill secrets before it’s too late. 1) Did your family throw plates, calmly discuss issues or silently shut down when disagreements arose? 2) Will we have children, and if we do, will you change diapers? 3) How important is religion? How will we celebrate religious holidays, if at all? 4) Is my debt your debt? Would you be willing to bail me out? 5) What’s the most you would be willing to spend on a car, a couch, shoes? See the full list in the New York Times (8 minutes).

About The Weekend Briefing

The Weekend Briefing is a selection of this week’s top stories on innovation and society, curated by Kyle Westaway – author of Profit & Purpose and Managing Partner of Westaway.

Thanks for making the Weekend Briefing a part of your Saturday morning routine. Have a restful and thoughtful weekend.