Weekend Briefing No. 117

Welcome to the Weekend


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Oh, and here’s some good music for the month of May. Now onto the good stuff.

Smart Fashion at the Met Gala


At the Met Gala this year, as everyone was asked “Who are you wearing?”, one attendee—model Karolina Kurkova—got to say IBM Watson, in collaboration with high-fashion label Marchesa. Covered in fabric flowers embedded with LEDs, the “cognitive dress” was light, elegant, and romantic, as is Marchesa’s signature. It continually changed color with the help of Watson’s powerful analytical technology. In real-time during the gala, Watson processed the huge volume of tweets surrounding the event, and changed the color of the dress according to the emotions in them. See more at Quartz (4 minutes).

Climate Refugees


The first-of-its-kind “climate resilience” $48 million grant is set to help resettle the native residents of Isle de Jean Charles Louisiana. Rather than throwing good money at building dykes and dams to protect the island, the federal government will relocate this community threatened by rising sea levels to higher and dryer land. Learn more in the New York Times (8 minutes).

Foundations & Impact Investing


This week the US Treasury Department and IRS finalized regulations that make it easier for private foundations to make Program-Related Investments (PRIs), which are investments – such as loans, loan guarantees, or equity investments – made by private foundations. The PRI regulations provide nine new examples illustrating how a foundation can use PRIs to advance its charitable purpose. Many foundations have had misperceptions of the rules governing PRIs and avoided using them. Thus, today’s guidance reassures foundations that a wide range of investments can qualify as PRIs. Learn more at the White House (9 minutes).

Smart Contact Lenses


Contacts are about to get a whole lot smarter. Sensors in contacts will measure pressure and administer medicine, eliminating the high potential for human error associated with daily eye drops for cataract patients. Auto-focusing lenses could help patients who use bifocals and trifocals. Samsung has reportedly filed a patent for smart lenses with a built-in camera controlled by blinking. It’s possible to achieve the wide-ranging functionality of Google Glass in the compact, almost invisible form of a contact lens.  Learn more at The Week (5 minutes). H/t Deborah Tsuchida.

Startup Culture


My friend Anneke Jong left Google to lead operations at Reserve. She has some great insights on startup culture. The real key to articulating Reserve’s values was to give them names that everyone could connect with. No wonky corporate jargonjust simple, actionable language that everyone can understand. Rather than “Operate with Integrity,” we say “Don’t Be Shady.” Instead of “Perpetuate a Collegial Corporate Culture,” we say “Share Your Sandwich.” By keeping it simple, we can hold ourselves accountable. Learn more at Medium (6 minutes).

The Thief of Joy


Millennials ruthlessly compare themselves to their peers, which creates anxiety and uncertainty in one’s self; a feeling that they should have accomplished more or feel more fulfilled. In order to combat this, Millennials should consider taking a long view on career. Lengthening lifespans means that Millennials should think strategically about their long-term careers and life goals and what it will take to achieve them over 30 to 50 years rather than three to five years. And of course, remember that people only show their best self online, so don’t compare your day-to-day to somebody’s highlight reel. Learn more at Harvard Business Review (8 minutes).

Men & Emotion


Boys are taught, sometimes with the best of intentions, to mutate their emotional suffering into anger. From infancy through age 4 or 5, boys are more emotive than girls. By the time many young men reach college, a deep-seated gender stereotype has taken root. There is a hallmark of the masculine psyche — the shame over feeling any sadness, despair or strong emotion other than anger, let alone expressing it and the resulting alienation. So, they suck it up. Better to earn your Man Card than to succeed like a girl. Dive deeper in the New York Times (12 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.