Marc Benioff’s Push for Change, Failing and Learning, and the Chance of a Human Extinction Event


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Marc Benioff and the New Era of Corporate Social Activism
 Is Salesforce’s chief executive an inspired activist or a “bully” for pushing companies to speak out against laws he believes to be discriminatory? Regardless what you think (The Wall Street Journal’s coverage gives voice to both opinions), you must acknowledge that Benioff is having an impact. It’s astounding to read the CEO of Bank of America say, on the record, to the Journal: “Our jobs as CEOs now include driving what we think is right. It’s not exactly political activism, but it is action on issues beyond business.” That was unimaginable not too long ago.

Going Clear on the Cult of Failure
 Most of what we read about failure is cheerleading stuff filtered through a subsequent success. Lately there’s been a backlash stating the obvious — success is better than failure, it turns out — but we rarely see a piece that disarms the failure-is-success narrative so conclusively as this Gideon Lichfield take in Quartz. In blessedly few words, it reminds us how failure is an important and inevitable part of life, not a sign of greatness, and we should treat it as an opportunity to learn, not to celebrate. In other words, it replaces magical thinking with the evidence-based kind, like the work of many cult deprogrammers.

We’re All Gonna Die (Perhaps)
 Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry and the Cyprus Institute in Nicosia suggest that rising temperatures could force the depopulation of northern Africa and the Middle East ( To further brighten your day, a new report from the UK Global Challenges Foundation is getting a lot of attention for its assertion (The Atlantic) that “the average American is more than five times likelier to die during a human-extinction event than in a car crash.”

Those Self-Driving Cars Will Have Tinted Windows, Right?
 Let’s assume we survive long enough for the next generation of automotive innovation to go mainstream. We’ve written in this space about many of the possible by-products, both intended and unintended, that will emerge from the rise of self-driving cars. But, frankly, we hadn’t considered the sex angle (CBC).

Basic Income Is The New Black
 Searches for “basic income” are spiking around the world, and Bloomberg’s Paula Dwyer rounds up the reasons why. In short: “It’s more than a policy-wonk’s fantasy.”

Drink the Kool-Aid
 To succeed at any NewCo, it helps to drink the same flavor of Kool-Aid as everyone else there. Our Hayley Nelson shares what it’s like to drink the Kool-Aid at the NewCo called NewCo.

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