Clay Shirky rings in the new year with another barn-urning essay about the state of newspapers, first noting that a "porous" paywall that allows 20 free pageviews per month is a tacit admission that pretty much no one who visits the paper's site is a potential customer for the paper's product:
Gone are the days when businesses existed to make money and nonprofits focused only on making the world better. Now both organizations are influencing each others' practices and finding ways to work together.
With a booming social enterprise sector, a number of the world's leading academics, Nobel Prize winners and thinkers, a vibrant private sector, and world-class NGOs like Pratham, India has been dubbed the innovation hub for the West.
For social entrepreneurs, the law can be exhilarating and exasperating, world-changing or mundane. It offers a space of innovation and a field of battle for the forces of social good, yet imposes constraints that seem tailor-made to impede progress and frustrate the initiatives of would-be changemakers.
I am a firm believer that creativity fuels innovation. The problem though is the the majority of schools all over the world work as hard as they can to get learners to conform to a curriculum and standards while preparing them to perform at a level on standardized tests. This is as uncreative as it gets. In the age of misguided reform the challenge becomes transforming institutions of learning and steering away from irrelevant pedagogical techniques in a way that not only meets the needs of society, but most importantly that of our students.
It was a few days before the end of the fall 2011 semester, and a friend at a small southern university was bemoaning the lack of innovative spirit among her students. She'd built in an entrepreneurial module into her class, but only a small percentage of the students took the bait to even try to come up with a business idea.
It happens every year: the hype, the commercials, the anticipation building until finally, the day is upon us. No, we're not talking about Christmas. We're talking about product release dates, which like Christmas often involve a heady rush of excitement - and sometimes involve a heartbreaking let down worse than a gift of socks.