Not long ago, or Little by little (3): scarcity and subsistence in rural Suffolk

[For those who came in late… Start with Not long ago, or Little by little (1)] Not long ago, in a place not far away and directly connected to you, something like this was happening… A village in Suffolk [in the east of England], circa 1900: There were seven children at home and father’s wages had been reduced to 10…

Not long ago, or Little by little (2): Indoor plumbing

[Not long ago, or Little by little (1)] Not long ago, in a place not far away and directly connected to you, something like this was happening, little by little: It’s the Chinese city of Kunming in 1980: Li Kunwa and Phillipe Ôtié’s A Chinese Life is an amazing memoir – a lens into sixty years of struggle and upheaval…

Not long ago, or Little by little (1)

Not long ago, in a place not far away and directly connected to you, something like this was happening, little by little: It’s London in 1930. Ethel has left her work as a lady’s maid; Ernest is a milkman. Raymond Briggs’ Ethel and Ernest is a brilliant book – very funny, very poignant. I share it here as an example…

A somewhat reassuring thought

When your wariness about the future tips over into anxiety, when the world is not turning not only upside down but also inside out, and it looks like things might fall apart – it might be helpful to think of the best of times (either your own or some time when things were generally better) and then remind yourself that…

Overcoming barriers

With this in mind… How does what you offer reduce the barriers to people consuming something important to them? In other words, how do you make it easier (or even possible) for them to get the job done? How do you (dramatically) lower the price? How do you make it available in places where it hasn’t been before? How do…

Efosa Ojomo on market-creating innovation and overcoming barriers to consumption

This is a powerful lens for thinking about how to unlock possibilities and bring about change, drawing on the work of Clayton Christensen. Market creating innovations are innovations that transform complicated and expensive products into products that are simple and affordable so many more people can afford them. Those people who historically could not afford existing products on the market…

A better world if

If on your way to making big, difficult changes to make the world better in future you repeatedly fail to do the small, mildly inconvenient things that would make the world a little bit better now – how do you rate your chances? Do them – hesitation and without fuss.

Network theory: Matthew O. Jackson on four types of connectedness

Recommended – link below. 1. The most basic [type of connectedness] that we all think of is just popularity: how many people you connect with. And that’s very natural – we count how many friends we have on Facebook or how many followers you have on Twitter. And that gives a some idea of the reach of a person… and…

No finish line (1)

Most of the important things in life don’t have finish lines. This is fairly obvious for personal things like feeding your family – or simply being family – and things like staying healthy, maintaining your house, and looking after your garden. Most of the jobs we do, the tasks we tick off as finished, are actually done in the service…