Weekend Briefing No. 21

Welcome to the holiday weekend! This week I’m writing to you from our lake house in East Tennessee, where I’m hanging out with my family. I love getting out of the city into the country and swapping out my city threads for my lake threads. My beach / lake uniform is Everlane swim trunksJ Crew Flagstone t-shirtRainbow flip flops and Warby Parker Aldous sunglasses. #summerfashion




7 big ideas from Aspen Ideas Festival. This time every year a bunch of smart people descend on Aspen and share their cutting-edge ideas ranging from the neuroscience – a whole brain “genius equation” – to urbanization – India is going to have to build a city the size of Chicago every year to keep pace. Click HERE for more.


The Robots are not taking our jobs. Since the creation of the computer there has been great anxiety that automation will result in lower employment. As robots are becoming more ubiquitous and multi-talented the fear is only increasing. But so far companies that implement robots are actually adding jobs. A recent study shows 76 companies that implemented industrial or factory/warehouse robots actually increased the number of employees by 294,000 over the last 3 years.


Transparent pricing. Transparency is slowly becoming more embraced by business, this week Everlane led the way by giving complete transparency on the pricing of their products. Apparently $4.30 of the price of my shorts went to customs and duties. Check out their cost breakdown HERE.  

Do consumers care about conscious capitalism? Nielson just conducted a global survey to try to find the answer to this question. According to the survey, 55% of global consumers are willing to pay more for products from companies that are committed to positive social / environmental impact.  Consumers seem to care about some casues more than others – access to clean water tops the list. Learn more details in this Fast Company article.


A film about Africa that challenges typical Western views. Most of the time when the West engages with Africa, it’s more about us than it is about them. We want to feel good about doing something good. We think we have the answers. A new documentary FRAMED examines the western relationship to Africa and Africans but it’s also about how we create difference, how we unconsciously make some people more powerful and others weaker, and how it’s often easier to do that than to take a hard look at ourselves. Check out their Kickstarter page to learn more and help fund the project.




Why Disney’s Frozen has been smash hit. What makes this cartoon about a princess so much more popular than any number of other cartoons about princesses? Maria Konnikova in the New Yorker reports on the results of research suggesting that it’s because the main character is flawed and the film subverts the formulae that have always worked in the past.


I’m interested in your thoughts. If you have any story ideas, questions or just want to say hi, shoot me an email at[email protected]. If you have friends that would like the WEEKEND BRIEFING, please forward it along. They can sign up for free HERE. Follow me on twitter for updates throughout the week.

Have a restful & thoughtful weekend.