Archive for February, 2013

Book Review: The Future – Six Drivers of Global Change

Monday, February 25th, 2013

the future (book cover image)

Gore, Albert, Jr. The future : six drivers of global change. Random House, 2013.

(Guest Reviewer – Randall Mayes) Roughly eight years ago someone asked Al Gore what he considered were the major drivers of global change. After responding with a rather simplistic answer, the question would continue to linger in his sub-conscious. On a plane flight back home, Gore spent several hours outlining his thoughts on his computer.

Drawing on his studies as far back as the 1970s of the works of futurists, Gore’s outlines eventually grew to extensive flow charts which precede each of the chapters of his most recent book, The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change.

In the final analysis, it turns out that of Gore’s six major drivers, three are technology. Technologies are significant because they present a Faustian bargain. Some technologies revolutionize the existing infrastructure. Robotics has made our lives easier, but has increasingly resulted in unemployment, a phenomenon Gore refers to as robosourcing. This is not a surprising or unique phenomenon. Roughly a century ago, Henry Ford’s revolution of transportation put many people in jobs relating to horses out of business, but created jobs in the auto industry.

Our modern technology driven world also brings potential risks and tests our values. We are in the century of biology. Advances in biotechnology that will potentially lead to cures for bird flus, Superbugs and advance personalized medicine have a dual-use nature. They also enable the production of biological weapons and ethically controversial athletic and cognitive enhancements.

Digital electronic communications has led to privacy issues not only with DNA, but in other areas including online banking, medical records, commercial trade secrets, our personal lives, and national security. But, overwhelmingly advanced societies feel the benefits of technology outweigh the risks.


New Movies for February: Part 2

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

Here are the remainder of our DVDs for February:

Here Comes the Boom
Hotel Transylvania
The Imposter
The Possession
Seven Psychopaths
Tai Chi Zero
10 Years

New Movies for February: Part 1

Friday, February 15th, 2013

Here is the first batch of our newest movies for February:

Peter Pan
To Rome with Love
Hara-kiri (Death of a Samurai)
Alex Cross
A Cat in Paris
Chico & Rita
Downton Abbey, season 3
End of Watch

Book Reviews: Conscious Capitalism & Change

Monday, February 11th, 2013

UPDATED 2-18-13: This review has been updated with links to a recent speech and interview with Walter Robb, Co-CEO of Whole Foods.

At last Tuesday’s Distinguished Speaker event in Geneen Auditorium here at the Fuqua School, I sat next to a 20-something woman who runs her own vegan soup business in Durham, Short Winter Soups.  She has more customers than she can handle and there is a wait list to become her client.  Prior to her current success, this entrepreneur had tried other ventures.  Her courage is both admirable and inspiring.

Courage was one of the attributes discussed by Tuesday’s invited speaker, Walter Robb, co-CEO of Whole Foods Market.  He encouraged students to discover what is meaningful to them and to follow their passion.  He described business as the greatest change agent in the world and the capitalist system as the best environment to foster prosperity.  He also encouraged students to see beyond profits and to consider stakeholders beyond shareholders, such as employees (team members), when creating strategy and policy.  During his presentation, he referenced several new books:

Conscious capitalism: liberating the heroic spirit of business by John Mackey and Raj Sisodia.
Robb’s CEO partner John Mackey and his co-author Raj Sisoda make similar points about higher purpose and conscious leadership in their new book, Conscious Capitalism. Mackey and Sisoda discuss how business and capitalism can be a force for good, by creating value for the customer and prosperity for humanity. They show how business conducted consciously benefits all stakeholders, not only investors, but also employees, customers, society and the environment. The authors describe how to cultivate a business culture that is more conscious of all stakeholders. Watch a “Real Conversations With Real Leaders interview with Whole Foods co-CEO Walter Robb.
The Financial crisis and the free market cure: why pure capitalism is the world economy’s only hope by John A. Allison.
John Allison (Fuqua MBA ‘74) was CEO of BB&T in Charlotte for 20 years, 1989-2008. His new book, The Financial Crisis and the Free Market Cure, provides an insider’s perspective on the 2008 financial crisis and the ensuing Great Recession. Allison explains that government policies created the conditions that made the Great Recession possible and that the government’s policy decisions and banking reforms are preventing the recovery. He outlines his prescriptions for free market capitalism to ensure future economic success, including principled action that considers clients, employees and communities and their effect on shareholder value.
The Omnivore’s dilemma: a natural history of four meals by Michael Pollan.
As Walter Robb noted at the Distinguished Speaker event on Tuesday, Whole Foods Market was criticized in Pollan’s landmark book, the Omnivore’s Dilemma. Robb noted that the company took the charges seriously and changed their policies about providing locally grown foods. Pollan devoted an entire chapter on “big organic,” which tried to reconcile the back-to-nature growers from the 60’s who spawned the organic food movement with today’s industrialization of the organic food industry. Also available as an audiobook.

All three books are recommended.

© Reviewer: Meg Trauner & Ford Library – Fuqua School of Business.
All rights reserved.

Maintenance Work at Ford Library

Friday, February 1st, 2013

image courtesy monash.eduThere will likely be construction noise due to maintenance work in Ford Library this weekend sometime  between 5pm, Friday, February 1st and Sunday evening, February 3rd.

We apologize for the short notice; and any noise or disruption this may cause your work and studying in the Library.  The maintenance is necessary to correct issues related to unforeseen water damage in the ceiling near our main service desk area.

Many thanks for your patience and understanding!