We are proud to share Gerd Leonard‘s announcement of his new virtual organization, The Futures Agency (TFA). TFA is based in Basel, Switzerland and is currently comprised of 15 amazing associates including myself. The Futures Agency offers a wide variety of services to clients worldwide.
TFA’s main expertise is think-tank events, workshops and executive team seminars. These sessions are 100% customized for each client and are generally geared towards companies that are looking to identify, fine-tune or co-create new business opportunities, manage radical change, deal with disruption, speed up innovation or otherwise face large and urgent strategic decisions that may require immediate action. These events are usually done with at least 2 or more Associates, and can be located wherever the client requires.
Gerd Leonard will serve as CEO and plans to grow this organization into one of the most amazing agencies on the planet, employing these 5 key principles:
1. Knowledge grows when shared (therefore we share everything)2. Proudly find elsewhere (PFE)3. Do what you do best and link to the rest (Jeff Jarvis)4. Spend less time being important and more time being relevant5. The leaders of the future are connectors – not just directors
I have worked with Gerd for several years, most notably when we produced the video series Future Talks. I am pleased to join in this venture.
Well, well, the U.S. House of Represtatives voted down the rescue package.
I am attempting to synthesize what I read and see, as I am sure many of you are. This approach, currently posted on Firedoglake, seems appealing and sensible. Give Secretary Paulson $150 billion now, till January. Tween now and the new Congress develop a long-term solution along these lines:
1) Buy up mortgages at a discount and give people new fixed rate mortgages. The government shares in further house appreciation (only fair since it bailed the homeowner out). This stabilizes mortgage prices and helps people and banks both. It is essentially identical to what FDR did with the Home Owners Loan Corporation (HOLC), and we know how to do it. Initial price tag? Probably around 20 billion.
2) Use the FDIC (the folks who take over failed banks) to take over failed mutual and money market funds, make sure the investors get as much money back as possible, liquidate the funds in an orderly fashion (or keep them operating if necessary) and if they are kept alive, kick the people who screwed them up to the curb and change how they do business.
3) Declare a national emergency, with judicial review (unlike Paulson’s seizure of ultimate power) and use the authority to review all purchases of banks, to institute oil rationing if necessary (or simpler procedures like “every street now has a 55 mile an hour speed limit, if it is normally higher). Also allows release of oil from the reserve, if necessary.
4) Expand the safety net such as food stamps, employment insurance, welfare and so on. We know this is going to get worse no matter what we do, so why aren’t we taking care of ordinary people?
I am curious why approaches like these are not getting more play.
Regarding the vote itself, the party that voted overwhelmingly to defeat the bill said the reason they voted this way is that the Speaker of the House offended them with this speech. I urge you to watch it in full and judge for yourself. It does not seem offensive to me, though I am not a member of the minority party. You can read the text of the speech here. It seems like something else was driving opposition to the bail out plan rather than this particular speech.
We have to hope that they will all come back to the table and seek a reasonable approach that bridges us to a better long term solution.
Update: Dean Baker also takes a reasonable look at the crux of the long-term problem, which is declining home valuations, and possible options for moving forward.
The debate continues in Washington DC about the proposed $700 Billion (really much more) bail out of Wall Street investment firms and banks. Objections are being appropriately raised about both the need to do this so quickly, and the need to do it at all.
1. Why did the Bush administration declare a crisis to coincide with the last two weeks of the current Congress eager to leave for the elections, when…
2. It turns out the emergency plan has been in the works for several months, and…
3. The plan actually aims to “bail out” many banks that are actually successful, and…
4. Secretary Paulson is misleading the Congress about oversight, and… more at his blog.
I am not convinced that the credit market will freeze up if this bail out does not go into effect this week.
If Congress must be railroaded into acting in the next week or two, then the Chris Dodd plan at least makes more sense.
The current issue of The Economist, August 16-22, 2008, on news stands now, features a paid special section entitled “The Future of Energy: Sustainability Rules in 2030.” Comments from Futurist.com founder and futurist speaker Glen Hiemstra are prominently featured by the article author, writer Morey Stettner.
In this piece, sponsored by BP, the writer explores energy alternatives and likely developments by the year 2030. In the extended interview that contributed to the article, I discussed such concepts as advanced telecommunications and the impact on workplaces, the home and commuting by 2030, the fact that about 75% of our carbon footprint comes from agriculture and residential and commercial buildings, and world population growth. I suggested that nanotech solar will lead to a shift in energy production for homes and businesses, and that high speed train travel is a likely part of the future by 2030.
Mostly the article points out that a mix of energy sources, and a variety of infrastructure and life-style choices will be essential if we are to navigate to the next energy era. It seems quite a balanced piece for a sponsored “advertorial” and I was pleased to be a part of it.
You can find the piece in The Economist, August 16-22, 2008 issue, pages 32-33.
Glen Hiemstra is a futurist speaker, consultant, blogger, internet TV show host and founder of Futurist.com. To arrange for a speech contact Futurist.com.