Young People and New Urbanism

A recent episode of the Strong Towns podcast was a panel session from the Congress for the New Urbanism. Chuck Marohn interviews four conference attendees under the age of 30.

One of the panelists, Dan Baisden, described something that was a new idea to me: the notion of Rust Belt cities becoming intake locations for those displaced by climate change. As a result of significant population loss many of these cities and towns have more infrastructure than they currently require. As the impact of climate change is felt they could become spaces for people relocating.

Revenge of the Analog

The attraction to analog is about the totality of the experience.

Jocelyn K. Glei’s conversation with David Sax is a good 40-minute discussion of the appeal of analog tools. Sax talks about how the march of technology is not an absolute process. And that developments we once laud are things we eventually also reconsider. There’s also a very interesting discussion of a summer camp for kids which banned phones and connected devices.

The Entire Way We Talk About Millennials Is Wrong

The Bloomberg Odd Lots podcast recently talked with Malcom Harris about generational categorization and millennials.

Harris highlights how marketers are the first voices we hear defining new generational cohorts. This is a relatively new trend. Baby Boomers, in contrast, were defined from demographic impact. Now we focus more on consumption patterns. That’s misguided, though, and Harris argues we should look at production patterns (work) instead.

When looked at through the lens of work what we find is a generation that grew up amid a long-term secular shift of diverging compensation and productivity. Starting in the late-1970s productivity rose while compensation stayed relatively flat. Harris points out that there’s no sign this divergence, or rate of exploitation, is closing. And while it’s common to blame millennials for expecting a better lot than their parents, that constant improvement is one of the core promises of capitalism.

Hat tip Daniel.

Stowe Boyd: The Ecology of Work

Stowe Boyd is someone who’s writing I’ve followed for a while. He publishes a fairly active blog as well as a daily newsletter. Both are excellent if you’re interested in reading about the future of work. He was also a recent guest on the Business Innovation Factory podcast.

The episode is a good one. Stowe talks about both the status quo, where roughly 35% of people are truly engaged at their job, and the future, where individuals can hopefully find meaning and purpose in their work.

There were also two metaphors that stuck with me. In talking about open-office designs Stowe says that, “Headphones are the new walls.” They’re much less effective, of course. And when talking about the role of AI he says, “We need to make sure AI isn’t like a bowling ball with no holes in it.” For him the future is teams engaging with AI to accomplish tasks and work more effectively.

The making of Rebel Girls

Books are social objects, by definition.
Elena Favilli

Craig Mod’s On Margins podcast is one of my favorites.1 In the most recent episode he talks with Elena Favilli, co-creator of Timbukutu Labs. They cover the company’s early days and then dive into the wildly successful release of Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls.

Over the course of the conversation they talk about traditional publishing and the tenuous connection between prestige and commercial success. It’s worth a listen (or a read, the full transcript is on the site).

  1. I like it for more than just the naming overlap!