The crises we face are not a science problem, they are a human problem.” Doug McMillon, CEO, announcing Walmart will become a “Regenerative Company”

Introduction:

Doug McMillon is right. As we confront the triple, mutually reinforcing, challenges of: an uncontrolled pandemic, wrenching social inequity and the mounting threat of irreversible environmental breakdown, we must acknowledge that these are driven by human beings and are, therefore, “a human problem.” In part because these crises can be informatively understood as arising out of an “industrial age paradigm” of public and private leadership and policy that is premised on what science is…


I took a bike spin over the North Bridge in Concord, MA and into Estabrook Reserve (the old road to Carlisle). There’s no need for an e-bike on a gorgeous day with favorite tunes playing. In Estabrook it was like the forest, confident through a thousand winters, let slip the robe she spun all summer, made spectacular in the angled light of October and let loose as a tender wind promised winter’s mad force. The late sun cascaded through a million trees. It seemed to burn colors most vividly where it pooled longest. Some leaves became translucent. Perhaps a billion leaves danced. Some let go, subjects of the subject — particle of the part past perfect — joining the forest’s robe on the floor. Returning to the soil from which they came to begin (again?) a far slower dance of far larger parts.


The Boston Globe “Ideas” section essay Sunday recognized that 2020 is, in fact, a battle for America’s soul. It is a collective soul lived in the heart of imperfect women and men. It was born through a history of very human genocide, slavery and exploitation as well as outrageous hopefulness, courage and sacrifice for the greater good. It’s deeply flawed and hopeful. But every human community and organization from the largest to the smallest, from the oldest to those born today — has a soul (in Greek — “psyche”). It’s a “way of being” and seeing that transcends genrations and…


Let’s ban lethal chokeholds and stop spending billions to make our police look like imperial troops occupying hostile land — ASAP. But virtually every American adult knows that is not going to stop the wrenching inequality of opportunity that has left African Americans with a minuscule percentage of national wealth, incarceration rates that exceed college graduation rates and a lethal virus that is out of control in more than 20 states killing them at a rate multiples greater than white Americans.

For more than 20 years I have had my desk MLK’s 1967 book “Where Do We Go From Here”…


As we approach June 2020 we are spending unprecedented trillions. Every American community, state and our nation will become perceived as unable to pay its bills unless — ASAP — our expenditures are organized and focused on “Green” (i.e. regenerative) investments. Most important is that this include the investments in jobs, education and health of the citizens who determine value in our society. And this is because Green/Regenerative investments have a remarkable, demonstrated, Return On Investment.

The numbers astonish. In the Great Recession, 8.7 million U.S. jobs were lost. And it required five years to build back those jobs. Since…


As the ancient Proverbs advise: “where there is no vision, the people perish.” Unfortunately, the vision David Brooks offers in NYT today under an optimistic title is a vision of the end of a shared American Dream. Brooks quotes the vision the prophet Jeremiah offered the Jewish people after the Temple at the center of their shared life was destroyed by the Romans.

Brooks highlights Jeremiah’s plea that Jews should seek a new life where they can build an identity at once at home in a foreign land and shared with fellow Jews. And then Brooks recommends this vision not…


“Flourishing” is a thin and luminous book from 2013 that can frame deeper and more personal conversations about our sense of the possible in greater sustainability.

Working in the field of enterprise sustainability enables me to read, discuss and to reflect on how it is that we decide individually and collectively to engage in behavior that most university educated people (and millions of others) understand to be manifestly unsustainable. Even as the evidence of the existential threat posed by a self-accelerating global ecological collapse becomes ever more overwhelming and threatening to our kids.

The daunting question of how to respond…


The interview below is between two of hundreds of thought leaders across disciplines who have been examining how the scientific understanding of human evolution has, itself, evolved and what that means for the social sciences, economics and politics.

I think what is underway is unacknowledged intellectual revolution across disciplines. When it is better recognized and understood as a coherent movement with a shared impetus, it will have more profound emotional, economic, sociological, political and even spiritual consequences than it already is. Because, ultimately, this is a scientific and cultural re-evaluation of our nature and destiny as human beings.

As an…


See below Michelle Alexander’s terrific debut NYT Column. Ms. Alexander highlights the limits of a reactionary politics and recognizes that the gathering multi-ethnic, ecologically responsible and largely women led “resistance” is more accurately the next step in a historical process towards a fuller realization of America’s ideal and a new birth of freedom. One that goes beyond FDR’s four freedoms from want and fear and restrictions on speech and worship — to make possible what political theorist Isaiah Berliner recognized as a “positive liberty”.

For all of our collective mistakes and even crimes, our history is also a record of…


A hero’s take on an ancient myth teaches us: Character does not predict our destination, it is our destination.

Albert Camus was an Algerian born Frenchman who was the son of a maid who became a national level soccer player. After the Nazis took over Europe, he became then became a commando and editor of the French Resistance’s newspaper “Combat.” He was also a novelist and after his publication of the book length essay “The Rebel” in 1951 he became, in 1957, the 2nd youngest ever to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature.

His essay “The Myth of Sisyphus” in…

James F. Boyle

CEO & Founder of Sustainability Roundtable Inc.; Founder & Director, Alliance for Business Leadership (non-profit). My personal, informal & evolving, opinion:

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