The Swarm

Mix it up with The Bee's editorial board.

March 30, 2009
Paul Hawken: Hard times can mean a reawakening for U.S.

My editorial notebook today (www.sacbee.com/opinion) features visionary Paul Hawken, co-founder of the Smith & Hawken garden supply company who went on to found software firms, write books such as "Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution," and head the Natural Capital Institute. He says America has choices for two ways to go: toward demogoguery or toward a coming together again to build a society that "pays forward."

 

Here's where he talks about how the downturn provides an opportunity to look at the country's "shadow" side:

 

hawken1.mp3

Here's where he talks about how we're "losing a bad life" in the downturn:

 

hawken2.mp3 

 

Here's where he talks about money as not a measurement of people or nature:

Hawken3.mp3

March 23, 2009
Sherry Ackerman: From the goods life to the good life

In my editorial notebook today, I feature Sherry Ackerman, a philosophy professor at the College of the Siskiyous. She lives in Siskiyou County, one of the hardest hit in the recession in California with its 18.1 percent unemployment rate. People are used to a different kind of good life there that involves community and a clean environment as sources of wealth. She talks about how the old economy is shifting toward something new.

Here she talks about "the middle way" in being a conscientious consumer and about how new systems are coming into existence in the economy:

  sherry1.mp3

Here's where she talks about Siskiyou County and an alternate view of the good life there:

sherrya2.mp3

March 16, 2009
Peter Block: Our well-being is not fundamentally economic

In my latest editorial notebook about the recession, I feature Peter Block, consultant and author of "Stewardship: Choosing Service over Self-Interest." He says the economic crisis allows people to "confront their freedom" about how they will have a productive life and create a new story for the country. What's under fire, he says, is the consumer society and the belief that Americans are merely purchasers, not citizens in the fullest sense.

 

Here's where he talks about how the crisis should be viewed with people as players, not victims:

block1.mp3

 

Here's where he talks about Enron and how compared with the rest of the world Americans won the lottery by being born in this country:

block2.mp3

March 9, 2009
Jay Wallace: The good life never changes in a downturn

My editorial notebook today on whether there is a different way to view the economic downturn features Jay Wallace, professor and chairman of the Department of Philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley. "The things that make for a good life, a good human life, don't really change particularly from one phase of economic prosperity or adversity to another," he says.

 Here's where he talks about the tradeoffs Americans have made during the boom times:

wallace_one.mp3

Here's where he talks about the lack of morality in the finance industry's behavior:

wallace_two.mp3

March 2, 2009
A new view of the economy from William Isaacs

The Bee's editorial page today features my editorial notebook about a recent conversation with William Isaacs, founder and president of Dialogos, a consulting and leadership education firm in Cambridge, Mass. I wanted to know whether he might have a different view of the economic recession. Isaacs, an author and co-founder (with Peter Senge) of the Center for Organizational Learning at MIT, did offer a different take, calling this period a time for "tremendous optimism." Here's where he talks about the "contributive view":

R09_0009.mp3

Here's where he talks about President Obama and how these are moments for fundamental change:

R09_00091.mp3



About The Swarm

The Swarm is written by members of The Sacramento Bee's editorial board. They meet daily and are separate from the newsroom. Views included here are those of individual writers, and do not necessarily reflect those of a majority of the board or the positions expressed in The Bee's editorials.

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