WHAT’S ‘THE PATH’ THAT HARVARD STUDENTS ARE ON?

Michael Puett is the ‘it’ professor at Harvard University these days.  His ability to take Chinese philosophy, centuries back, and distill it into a guidepost for the students of the 21st century has created an incredible stir on campus–and off.  So how does Chinese thought translate into better ways to approach life today?  Why, you might ask, is this part of an Americatrendspodcast series?  Think about it, if this course is having the impact we believe on Harvard students, and if they(as have been the case for so many years)become the business and government leaders of the future, then it stands to reason that this thought process will be incorporated into the future of America.  Make sense?  Give it a listen.

CAN PUTIN CARRY OUT HIS “MASTER PLAN”?

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His name is on the lips of every American these days–Vladimir Putin.  How has he reclaimed the international spotlight as the leader of a country that by most objective measures has barely functioning economy?  His bravura, unusual methods for attacking political systems and military adventurism which results in few casualties or critics are key elements in his rise to a position where CNN calls him ‘the most powerful man in the world’.  So, what is ‘Putin’s Master Plan’? The o-author of a book of the same name, Evan Roth Smith, looks ahead on Putin’s chessboard to tell us what we can expect.

IS THE POWER GRID ON ITS LAST LEGS?

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Is one of the greatest technological achievements of the 20th century about to show itself not to be up to the task in the 21st?  I’m speaking of the electrical grid and its many quirks.  While it’s given us incredible reliability–99.7%–more frequent outages demonstrates it may not be up to the task of handling new energies sources, like wind, solar and the like, with their variability.  Gretchen Bakke, author of ‘the Grid: The Fraying Wires Between Americans and Our Energy Future” has remarkable insights to share.

WHAT’S HAPPENING TO MAKE THE HILLS CRY?

In his now stunning best seller, J.D. Vance, ‘Hillbilly Elegy’ author and former resident of what he considers a hillbilly culture provides a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis–that of poor, white Americans.  While the disintegration of this group has been reported on before, it has never been written about with more passion and insight.  What will social, regional and class decline mean to America going forward?

WHAT KILLS MORE AMERICANS–CANCER OR LONELINESS?

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If you believe the U.S. Surgeon General, social isolation is a greater factor in the early demise of Americans than cancer, diabetes or obesity.  How did we all start ‘Bowling Alone’?
That book by Robert Putnam years back gave us the first insight into this trend.  And Billy Baker’s writing in ‘The Boston Globe’ recently points to the profound impact this is having, particularly on men of a certain age.  Try to listen with a friend…of something other than the Facebook variety.

HOW MUCH DO YOU WANT TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR BABY’S GENETIC INHERITANCE?

 

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It’s becoming a more relevant question by the day as we are able to unlock the genetic code one person at a time.  But, how much do you really want to know and what will you do with the information?  Bonnie Rochman, author of ‘The Gene Machine’, answers all of the questions we thought you would ask as it relates to how genetic technology is changing the way we have kids–and the kids we’re having.  There are many ethical questions raised in all of this and practical ones, too.  You’ll come a long way in better understanding the topic in just 30 minutes.

WHAT IS THE JOB MY PRODUCT HAS BEEN DESIGNED TO DO FOR YOU!?

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The business professor and consultant, Clayton Christensen, first coined the term ‘disruptive innovation’ and now extends that concept to frame the theory of ‘jobs to be done’ to describe a product and its benefit to customers.  Karen Dillon, a protégé, and co-author his latest book, ‘Competing Against Luck’ describes in this podcast.

WILL TRADE DEALS GOING FORWARD BE FAIRER TO THE UNITED STATES?

 

If there was one topic Donald Trump really took out of the ‘never debate’ file and put front and center it was the issue of trade.  You might wonder how many decimated communities and burnt out factories, standing as shadowy hulks,were needed to remind us of an industrial past long since gone.  And, of course, the despair, then anger, that resulted from corporate abandonment. Well that about sums up the wins in Pennsylvania and Michigan.  So, is it too late to stem the outflow?  Has automation made the problem intractable? The best in the business on this issue is economist Alan Tonelson, author of the 2002 book, ‘Race to the Bottom’.  He joins us on ‘America Trends’.

www.alantonelson.wordpress.com

WHAT’S ‘THE DIFFERENCE’?

OK that’s a somewhat oblique headline.  One of the leading management consultants in the world, Subir Chowdhury, joins us to look at the secret sauce in making companies and organizations successful in the period ahead.  You’ll have to listen to find out what the difference is between those who will succeed and those who will fail.

 

http://www.subirchowdhury.com/

 

EXTRA EXTRA HEAR ALL ABOUT

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Newspapers in America have a had a really bad decade as they grapple with the needs of the 21st century reader.  They have been contorting themselves to adapt–shorter articles, on-line versions, cost cutting measures of all sorts.  Is it working?  Who better to tell us than Kevin Convey, former editor of The Boston Herald and the New York Daily News, who found himself in the midst of a radical shift while in Gotham.