March 6, 2021

Onward to Clinton Global Initiative in New York

[youtube]9Jhu6uk3sMw[/youtube] Three years ago when he founded the Clinton Global Initiative, which has emerged as one of the most influential and prestigious annual gatherings of world leaders, former President Bill Clinton understood that the new century’s formative operating principles depended on collaboration, not hierarchy. Only through the efforts of  untraditional allies working together could people make progress on any idea or project of real significance. If you doubt this, just consider that in the 20th …

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You Say Goodbye, I Say Hello

  As a lifelong member of the tribe of career adventurists it’s time to announce another turn in the journey. I am leaving the Michigan Land Use Institute to take a new position as senior editor and strategist for Circle of Blue, an independent online journalism, research, and movement building organization focused on helping to solve the freshwater crisis. What’s especially keen, along with the great promise of a new way to influence a global environmental and economic crisis, is that I won’t …

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Flip: Finding A Heavy Breeze

  This entry in Mode Shift’s Flip category, which spotlights great online applications of multi-media technology, introduces a brand new mapping tool to help local government officials, utilities, and entrepreneurs identify suitable places to build commercial-scale wind turbines in Michigan. Developed by the Land Policy Institute at Michigan State University, and dubbed the Michigan Prospecting Tool by its developers, Charles McKeown and Benjamin Calnin, the online tool provides users an easy and elegant way to find the windiest places in …

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Flip: Interactively Documenting Factory Farms

  Among the priority hazards of joining capital and technology the way we do in the 21st Century is that it can blow up the ordinary and familiar — a farm, for instance — into shapes and sizes that are extraordinary. That is what’s happening in Michigan and in many other states in animal agriculture. American meat, poultry, and milk, increasingly, are produced on immense sites that have come to be known as “factory farms.” For those who haven’t followed …

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Flip: CFR.org Sets Multi-Media Trends for Non-Profits

Mike Moran, a journalist, editor, and multi-media specialist who spent nine years of his career at MSNBC.com, an incubator of great talent and technique in the late 1990s, has been executive editor since August 2005 of CFR.org, the Council on Foreign Relations’ Internet site. CFR.org, one of the best sites in the non-profit universe, is doing a lot of things very well in making the complex world of foreign affairs simpler to understand, easier to access, …

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On Her 100th Birthday: Big Green’s Silent Spring For Rachel Carson

Across the country this weekend, and especially today, thousands of Americans honored Rachel Carson, the author of “Silent Spring,” who was born 100 years ago on a 65-acre farm in Springdale, Pennsylvania, northeast of Pittsburgh. Carson’s legacy was extolled by grassroots activists, lauded by newspaper writers, and commemorated by institutions. She also was villified as a cause of global genocide by conservative free market critics, and a Congressional resolution honoring the centennial of her birth was blocked by …

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Circle of Blue

Not long after he earned a graduate degree in journalism from Northwestern University Carl Ganter made a name for himself here in Traverse City, his hometown, as a young writer and photojournalist with an unerring grasp for great stories, and a superb eye for color, light, character, and drama. He could make an ordinary windmill, its blades lit against a dramatic dawn sky, look like the most exotic piece of energy technology ever invented. His wife, Eileen Ganter, …

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New Measure of Community Vitality: Neighborhoods That Blog

Outside.in is a Web site launched last year to gather the panoply of writers doing place-based blogging. The site is the brain child of Steven Johnson, a  prominent writer and blogger in New York who’s written five books and contributes to, among others, the New York Times Sunday Magazine. Johnson was helped by John Geraci, a social media specialist, and John Seely Brown, the former chief scientist of the Xerox Corporation and member of the board of Amazon and the MacArthur Foundation. …

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Brand Associations That Are Helping Cities, Hammering Suburbs

Nielsen Buzzmetrics, which has offices in New York and Cincinnati, is one of the top shops for using Internet search engine technology and sophisticated analysis programs to understand consumer attitudes and predict powerful trends. The company combs millions of conversations occurring on blogs, message boards, and in chat rooms, sifts out salient details, and analyzes the results to forecast consumer behavior and values.  Earlier this month Pete Blackshaw, one of the company’s senior leaders, published a Buzzmetrics brand association map (see graphic) that …

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The Right To Speak and the Duty to Be Right

For longer than I care to recount Rush Limbaugh has been in my life. My work takes me on the road, as it’s done for three decades now, and sometime in the early 1990s I scanned the AM dial and happened on his show. He was an amusing host then; funny, well-informed, voluble, not nearly the sanctimonious blowhard, fabricating tool of the radical establishment right that he’s become. Rush attracted so many listeners to his noon to 3. p.m. show …

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