The Problem with Non-profit

I recently had the privilege of speaking with a group of young non-profit professionals in Grand Rapids at the annual YNPN conference. I told them I think there is a problem with the non-profit sector. Here is the text of that short speech. You need to know that I dislike the non-profit concept. I dislike […]

Collaboratism: Human-Centered Commerce

I believe capitalism must be improved upon.  A new system can transcend and include capitalism.  I call this new system Collaboratism.  Here’s how it stacks up against capitalism. Capitalism Collaboratism Profits first People first Competition over collaboration Collaboration over competition Outputs over outcomes Outcomes over outputs Constant growth Constant balance Resource consumption Resource maximization Focus […]

Consensus vs. Consent

Collaboration is the new killer app in business.  Books like Clay Shirky’s Cognitive Surplus, or Lisa Gansky’s The Mesh, remind us that the wisdom we learned in kindergarten applies to business and community development.  Sharing is good. Collaboration leads to better results through deeper emotional investment and improved resource allocation.  It turns win/lose scenarios into […]

Supporting Anchor Personas

Last week I attended the The Community Foundation for Muskegon County’s annual gathering where Peter Kageyama gave a presentation on community development.  Here’s a similar talk at Peter gave at TEDxTamapBay. The big idea from his presentation is that cities need to nurture their creative class.  That is the 1% of the population that is […]


My friend and past business partner, Salah Boukadoum, runs a company called Soap Hope in Dallas, Texas.  He started it to test some ideas about how business can be a vehicle to improve the human experience worldwide.  Salah was recently at TEDxGrandRapids giving a TEDtalk on his Good Returns model. Perfect Coffee The day after […]

Pondering Poverty

My wife had an interesting experience this past week. She was teaching yoga in the park in Grand Haven, Michigan and was approached by a man who identified himself as an international tourist from Ireland. The man said, “Have you seen those enormous million dollar yachts in the harbor?” “Yes,” my wife said. “People here […]

Grand Rapids’ Food Deserts

If you read my post on Healing Muskegon, Michigan you learned about the USDA’s Food Desert Locator. For those of you living in Grand Rapids, Michigan, here is a look at food deserts near you. These are the people that need your help getting access to healthy food. I just thought you should know that […]

The Internet Economy

Why doesn’t the economy work like the Internet? It works more like an old string of Christmas lights. When one bulb goes out the whole thing flickers. Tsunamis, corporate failures, and political unrest impact the global economy. Gas prices rise, jobs are lost, and we are left questioning how exposed our families are to a […]

Healing Muskegon

I’d like to help Muskegon, Michigan experience a season of urban renewal by repurposing the old paper mill into an extraordinary destination similar to the Eden Project in Great Britain. Imagine Change Imagine people from around the world visiting Muskegon to attend conferences on urban food production, aquaculture, fungiculture, and sustainable manufacturing.  In the summer, […]

Get Real Michigan

If you were at TEDxGrandRapids this year you’ll recognize this graphic from my presentation. It describes why we hosted the event in May. Welcome to the Get Real zone my friends. It’s going to be a great summer in West Michigan! Today is my of life.