Weekend Briefing No. 114

Welcome to the Weekend

This week the Golden State Warriors set a new NBA season record with 73 wins. The UN-brokered talks will focus on the future of president Bashar al-Assad, how to form a transitional government and end the five-year civil war. Sean Parker set up a $250-million cancer institute. Facebook’s F8 conference kicks off in San Francisco. At its annual developer conference, the social network focused on chatbots.

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Bono: Time to Think Bigger About the Refugee Crisis

We’re living through the worst crisis of forced displacement since World War II. In 2014, some 40,000 people worldwide fled their homes every day on average. We have a chance to reinvent our relationship with refugees. We can help host countries see refugees not just as a burden, but as a benefit. The international community could be doing much more, through development assistance and trade deals, to encourage businesses and states hosting refugees to see the upside of people’s hands being occupied and not idle (the World Bank and the Scriptures agree on this). New York Times | 4 minutes | H/t Bono

The 2016 Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship

The Skoll Awards distinguish transformative leaders whose organizations are disrupting the status quo, driving large-scale “equilibrium” change, and are poised to create even greater impact on the world. These six remarkable people give voice and agency to the voiceless and marginalized. They also give us good reason to believe in a radically better future. My two favorite are Bryan Stevenson – who challenged us to think about building a better criminal justice system. He was just at Summit @ Sea this year – and Chuck Slaughter  – Founder of Living Goods, a network of village health entrepreneurs and one of our partners at The Adventure Project. Skoll | 4 minutes

Pinterest Engineer on Silicon Valley Sexism

Though Tracy Chou was completely immersed in tech culture (daughter of software engineers, Stanford grad), she had trouble envisioning a career in software engineering for herself. The issue wasn’t a lack of interest or ability. It was that the sexism she encountered, both in school and in the workplace, had her convinced that she wasn’t just good enough to make it in tech. Like many a woman before her, she had run smack into the confidence gap and ‘the pink toy store aisle’ affect. Quartz | 7 minutes

Hail the Maintainers

Contemporary discourse fetishizes innovation. We value novelty above all else. But innovation also requires the unsung heroes who maintain and repair it. This is the work of the maintainers, those individuals whose work keeps ordinary existence going rather than introducing novel things. The vast majority of human labor, from laundry and trash removal to janitorial work and food preparation, is of this type: upkeep. Focusing on infrastructure or on old, existing things rather than novel ones reminds us of the absolute centrality of the work that goes into keeping the entire world going. Aeon | 14 minutes

When Is the Singularity? Probably Not in Your Lifetime

Misconception: Computers will outstrip human capabilities within many of our lifetimes. Actually: You won’t be obsolete for a long time, if ever, most researchers say for two reasons. For starters, biologists acknowledge that the basic mechanisms for biological intelligence are still not completely understood, and as a result there is not a good model of human intelligence for computers to simulate. Secondly, the singularity is based on Moore’s Law, which seems to be failing. New York Times | 7 minutes

Carrying the Weight: The Emotional Reality of Being a Founder

“I’m four years into my ‘overnight success,’ and — I’m tired.” With his simple admission, this founder summed up some of the most misunderstood aspects of starting a company. Namely, it’s really, really hard. People often think that startups are all about ping-pong and kegerators, free coffee and snacks. They also think they are just some adult playground where we do trust falls and draw pictures on whiteboards until investors throw money at us. But, the reality is it’s a long, painful slog that most often ends in failure. Tech Stars | 4 minutes

Choose to Be Grateful. It Will Make You Happier.

Should you feel grateful in order to give thanks? To do anything else seemed somehow dishonest or fake — a kind of bourgeois, saccharine insincerity that one should reject. It’s best to be emotionally authentic, right? Wrong. Building the best life does not require fealty to feelings in the name of authenticity, but rather rebelling against negative impulses and acting right even when we don’t feel like it. In a nutshell, acting grateful can actually make you grateful. So, rebel against the emotional “authenticity” that holds you back from your bliss. New York Times | 6 minutes | H/t Maxwell Anderson

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.