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  • Andrew Davis

    There are at least two reasons to believe that, on the margin at least, an approach to solving big social issues that starts with a foundational "blank page" is worthwhile. First there are so many examples of traditional thinking supported with the mega billions that traditional agents of change (World Bank, UN, IMF) bring that have proven to be simply ineffective. Second if the traditional approaches were effective there still isn't enough money in the world to roll them out universally.
    For these two reasons alone the efforts and approach that Insight Labs is bringing to the analysis of Big challenges should be commended and supported by those who see the world as having the potential to be a better place.

  • Jack Baldwin

    Great look, but Money will always be a danger to democracy, as it pools energy into more then a 1 person 1 vote idea. This is very easy to see in corporate person hood.
    So while the short term might be a boon, it will be the snake eating it's own tail.
    As an aside I forgot, what country is a democracy? Last I knew there were none, only us pretenders. Maybe we should understand what our own governments are a bit better. The U.S. is a democratic republic folks, not a democracy, I understand that seems a distinction, I assure it isn't.

  • Chelsea Robinson

    Awesome coherent picture of the role of a new set of people in democratizing the future. Have you seen Loomio? www.loomio.org - collaborative democracy tool. I use it in every project I have!

  • DBL1

    This is an incredible perspective to bring. I'd be skeptical of such a problematic set of questions being raised by any other org, but you guys seem to be approaching it with appropriate humility while demanding useful/actionable conversations. Looking forward to seeing where this goes.

  • Chip Root

    Very interesting post, and I look forward to seeing what comes from the group in the Lab! I may not have the equity to 'venture', but do fit the 'capitalist' bill! I have worked for many VC owned entities over the years so understand a bit of their nose for growth (or hope for growth), and am interested to see where Insight might further a discussion on how the VC mentality might do more for our world than deepen pockets. Thanks again for the posts…keep them coming!

  • Jason Harris

    I have had the pleasure of thinking + problem solving with Andrew and the team at Insight Labs. They are fantastically creative, and have a great ability to bring the right people to the table, ask the right questions, and drive toward unconventional + smart solutions that evolve from their research. The relish the fact that their thesis may be slightly off the grid, hoping that others will explore further with them … creating a yet unknown, better 'yes.'

  • Kelly Page

    Interesting article. A few thoughts as I was reading:
    1. "Venture capitalists have developed an ethos that helps them make decisions under these conditions. Some of it is precious, but much of it is prescient." ... Are not most of their decisions motivated by some form of financial return for the risk they've incurred in seeding the venture. If seeding a "democratic state of affairs in a foreign country with foreign culture", how does one pose to measure "growth and profitability" [the criteria of VC's] of such an investment. Can we, really measure a democratic state of affairs in any country? Yes there exists a "democracy index", but index's and ranking are reductionists ways to create meaning of something that can't really be measured. Is America a democracy or is it a constitutional republic?
    2. "And using it to reimagine the way we think of American investments in democracy abroad is just the sort of crazy idea I can't leave alone." ... Why not first look at home? American investments in "democratic processes" in the constitutional republic of America?
    3. Consider: Can we reimagine the "ways of democracy" through the "ways of the venture capitalist".

    Thanks for sharing. Am always a big fan of Insight Labs :-)

  • Maxime Balluas

    What is described as "democracy" in here, is in fact "oligarchy". So far, there is no known democracy throughout the entire world and history. Check etymology and common definition of democracy, aristocracy, oligarchy, plutocracy in politic and philosophic literature. Please, if you represent a community of people sharing ideas, at least do not spread wrong ones.

    • Dave Silverstone

      That word... I do not think they think it means what you think they think it means.