1000 Year Scale

Achieving Impact on a 1,000-Year Scale

Over the next thousand years, a succession of human societies will determine the future of life in this part of the universe. We will shape and be shaped by our evolving impact on the environment. We—and the other living things around us—will contain or be overcome by our increasing destructive powers. We will have learned… Read more » Read more


Try to Praise the Mutilated World

Elaine Scarry writes about how pain “exhausts and displaces all else, until it seems to become the single broad and omnipresent fact of existence.” Pain staggers the imagination, in opposite ways for the sufferer and the bystander. At the end of October, The International Organization for Migration counted the year to date figure that 3,329… Read more » Read more

Photo credit: Tiffany Franke

What I Need to Learn Next

Last year, I shared with my team and publicly on this blog what I needed to learn next: My priority for my development could be sketched as “three lines to a bird.” By this I meant that while a moderately good artist might take hundreds of lines to convey a bird, an artist like Picasso… Read more » Read more

napoleon crop

Admit Ignorance! Ask Dumb Questions!

Page 72 of Andrew Roberts’ new biography of Napoleon, a book I’m sure will take me a year to read, paints a compelling picture of ignorance in action. Napoleon has just been made a general while still a few months shy of his twenty-seventh birthday. Roberts quotes a fellow officer observing him as he prepares… Read more » Read more



My daughter Minh was born on December 10th. I watch her quiet in contentment; watch her engage with the world, letting in just as much as she’s ready to let in. I watch her force of will: hunger, wet, gas; and often, simply, her wanting things to be otherwise, without her or me quite knowing… Read more » Read more

China 2024

Ying’s Story: A Macro-Miniature

We know that within a decade or so, China will be the world’s largest economy. Who will shape its business institutions, and what kinds of institutions will they shape? The China 2024 study that Stacy Palestrant and I launched nearly a decade ago, with Katzenbach Partners, now Strategy &, as the founding sponsor, is a… Read more » Read more



How can we see the way large forces shape the world? Social sciences give us frameworks and patterns to understand forces in their separate functions.  Economics tells us the difference it makes to have an independent central bank.  International Relations teaches what realism means, and what to expect when realists and fundamentalists encounter one another. Often,… Read more » Read more