more on Ray Anderson

Because he was a hero of mine, and he deserves more than one single blurb.

A reminiscence from Joel Makower, founder of GreenBiz.

His eulogy, delivered by Paul Hawken, entrepreneur and author.


Painful goodbye

The business world has lost a true leader and, in many ways, a pioneer. The sustainability world, especially, has lost a cornerstone. Ray Anderson, founder and CEO of Interface--a carpet and flooring innovator--has died today.

In his honor, here's his TED talk from 2009.

R.I.P., Ray.

Know your hometown

My past several weeks have been consumed by reading voraciously, applying and interviewing for jobs, learning computing languages, and re-teaching myself calculus, so I'm taking a moment to break the silence with an interesting link that has little to do with anything else I write about here, except in my continued obsession with Durham.

A new site talks about the history of Durham, and the nomenclature for its streets and buildings.


happy birthday, America

On this fourth of July, to celebrate the American colonies declaring their independence from the British crown, I thought it seemed appropriate to post articles about British and Mexican politics. ...what?

The way I see it, despite the fact they're talking about other countries, they address issues that are at the heart of American potential. Ideas that it's important to remember. Particularly that these United States of America are supposed to be the land of opportunity. Somewhere along the line, we've forgotten this in our politics--ceaselessly bickering about health care, taxes, and immigration. Which brings me to the articles.

First up, a well written piece by J K Rowling addressing the state and direction of Britain's social programs. It succinctly explains why I'm in favor of social welfare programs. When you get down to it, if a person has to choose between rent and groceries, the rest of us have failed as human beings. If it happens systemically, we've failed as individuals and as a nation.

Second, the immigration issue. My problem with the vast majority of anti-immigrant discourse is that it's stunningly ignorant of the conditions faced by people in other countries. Many of the so-called "first-world" countries have no idea what abject poverty and widespread corruption even look like. If you want to slow immigration, you need to help others up. When the tables start to turn and things get better in your own neighborhood, the grass looks a little less green on the other side. Case in point.

Anyway, here's to a great anniversary, America. Let's hope we get our priorities straight and become the country we have so much potential to be.


barbecue patriots

A digression from my normal posts on sustainability, politics, business, etc., but deeply relevant to my interests nonetheless.

A narrative examination of what makes traditional wood-cooked NC barbecue so great.

Having wood-cooked my own whole-hog and shoulder-only barbecue over wood and only wood, I can definitely concur that it's tough work, and even harder to get right. The places that consistently serve up a good plate have worked barbecue magic and learned lessons only time and practice can teach.

Appreciate the work that goes into your foods. And don't mess with the basics of what makes it great. Barbecue is simple, but made with sweat and care. "Artisanal" is just a fancy term for how we've always been doing it.


(Belated) Spring cleaning

Clearing out my inbox and reader, I have a few links I've been meaning to share.

1. Every time someone states the obvious, an angel gets conked over the head by a wiffle bat. This is only relevant if you're stating that across all business, there's no unified view from CEOs of what sustainability's implications are. I start to understand why consultants are seen as so frivolous. It's partly a misunderstanding of what they do (ideas vs. implementation), but partly because they tend to make obvious and/or redundant statements.

2. Like the new plate-based nutrition guidelines, I dig the better presentation of information on the new fuel economy stickers. I'm a fan of the QR-enabled interactivity, and think it does a far better job of helping consumers visualize their choices.

3. A rough roadmap to true sustainability. The emergence of natural/climate capitalism as a philosophy, and what it means to pursue climate capitalism in the near-term and long-term, excerpted from L. Hunter Lovins's latest book. As an aside, I've heard her speak, and she's a truly effervescent thought leader in this area. I've been really pleased by the increasing authority lent to her and Amory Lovins as they work toward impactful change in the business world.


This oath I make freely, and upon my honor.

I just thought I'd give a little shout-out to the fine folks who put together the MBA Oath, an attempt to hold business professionals to the same standards of doing no harm to society as doctors, lawyers, and other trade professionals.

Check it out here.