The Ideaspace

Interviews, essays, and research exploring the frontiers of what's valuable and in our self-interest


Leading thinkers on the frontiers of value and self-interest
14 posts

Artist Hank Willis Thomas on playing infinite games

Interviewee: Hank Willis Thomas
Background: Artist exhibited at the Guggenheim, MoMA, Whitney
Topic: Playing infinite games
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“A lot of people that I have come to admire are infinite game players stuck in a finite game… Playing outside of the rules of the game, and making up our own rules, but somehow still abiding by the boundaries of the finite game that our society has created for us.” — Hank Willis Thomas 

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Professor Mariana Mazzucato on how to create value

Interviewee: Mariana Mazzucato
Background: Professor of Economics and Founding Director of the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose, Author of Mission Economy, The Entrepreneurial State, and The Value of Everything
Topic: How to create value
Listen: On the web, Apple, Spotify

“I think of it like a fight, like guerrilla warfare. You build up your adrenaline to do it. Even though it might be easier to do research and say, ‘Oh, and here's the policy implications of my research’ in the typical academic way, which is what I used to do, you’re on the front line repeating your message.” — Mariana Mazzucato

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Doughnut Economics author Kate Raworth on the century of nature's metrics

Interviewee: Kate Raworth
Background: Author of Doughnut Economics, Oxford economist
Subject: The century of natural data
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“This is the century of natural data. We've got data that no generation before has had, so it would be really weird, in my mind, to say let’s take this incredibly rich data and flatten it in something called GDP invented in the 1930s” — Kate Raworth

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Author David Wallace Wells on the new economics of the climate

Interviewee: David Wallace Wells
Background: Author of The Uninhabitable Earth, Editor at New York Magazine
Topic: The new economics of the climate
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“The conditions of possibility have really changed. The landscape used to look tilted against decarbonization. Now it's tilted towards decarbonization.” — David Wallace Wells

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Venture capitalist Albert Wenger on fighting climate change

Interviewee: Albert Wenger
Background: Managing Partner at Union Square Ventures
Topic: Fighting the climate crisis
Listen: On the web, on Apple, on Spotify, RSS

“Whenever we've done anything successfully it's taken both entrepreneurial initiative and government getting things right. We shouldn't be denigrating the other side. We should be figuring out the most effective way to work together to save humanity.” — Albert Wenger

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Defining a new us with author Heather McGhee

Interviewee: Heather McGhee
Background: Author and economic and social policy expert
Topic: Defining a new us
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“As long as we're divided, we’re conquered. Solidarity dividends [are] these things that we can gain through collective action across lines of race that we can't do on our own. Higher wages, cleaner air, better funded schools. That's the new economic model, but we need to pursue the idea only through solidarity.” — Heather McGhee

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Creating the positive conditions of freedom with Salome Viljoen

Interviewee: Salome Viljoen
Background: Post-doctoral fellow at Cornell Tech and NYU Law
Topic: Creating the positive conditions of freedom
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"The positive conditions of freedom [are] going to require data infrastructure. The bet that I’m making is that people are down to contribute to the positive conditions of their freedom if it's pitched to them that way." — Salome Viljoen

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Trying to be less wrong with John Higgs

Subject: John Higgs
Background: Author of nine books including The KLF, Stranger Than We Can Imagine, and The Future Starts Here
Topic: Trying to be less wrong
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“Keep trying to be less wrong. That’s really the goal. With seven billion people on the planet and no two people having exactly the same perspective on everything, the chances that you're the one person who's got everything right and the rest are all idiots — mathematically you've got to see the problems with that.” — John Higgs

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Haa Shagoon with Morgan X’agatkeen Howard

Earlier this year during a Weekly Bento discussion on long-term thinking, a member of the audience raised their hand. Morgan X’agatkeen Howard introduced himself as a member of the Tlinget tribe, and he shared their tradition of intergenerational thinking called Haa Shagoon. This practice, he explained, weighs the considerations of past, present, and future generations equally. Morgan’s perspective had the room in rapt attention.

A few weeks later Morgan and I connected directly to talk more about his life, the practice of Haa Shagoon, and how it helps guide the Tlinget for-profit Sealaska where he is a Board member. This conversation is the first in a series of interviews with members of the Bento Society about who they are and what they do.

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Community building with Tina Roth Eisenberg

More of my energy has gone into community building this year than any other time in my life. Being locked in dramatically increased my desire to reach out.

For me, this happened through the Bento Society — a global community that gathers virtually every week to connect and explore ideas. A number of communities like the Bento Society gained steam this year: Exponential View, Ness Labs, The Third, and countless Discords, Slack groups, and other dark forests of the internet that arose to offer collective enlightenment.

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