Wednesday Salon West 2.0 #41

Written by  //  November 23, 2011  //  Alexandra T. Greenhill, West Wing (WWWN)  //  No comments

Thank you to those who have already rsvp’ed attendance based on the temptation of spending two hours in the company of brilliant dynamic people and enjoying some fine wine! To satisfy the few of you who need more than that to be enticed ;-), here is the line up for the next session:

Disasters natural – did you know that in the US alone, the number of natural disasters per year has tripled in 20 yrs and in 2010, was at a record breaking 250? What do you think of people re-populating flood-risk areas such as Louisiana or the Saguenay in Quebec? How do you know a nation is prepared? How do we know help provided is useful in crisis and in the aftermath?

Disasters unnatural – are we spending beyond our means? If you think this question applies to Greece or Italy, look again at the question being asked in the municipal election that ends this Saturday – a total of $180 million the city wants to borrow on your behalf to fund a portion of the 2012-2014 Capital Plan – do you agree or not?

If you think the answer is simple – read the 2010 annual report of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD): “The current obsession with fiscal tightening in many countries is misguided, as it risks tackling the symptoms of the problem while leaving the basic causes unchanged. In virtually all countries, the fiscal deficit has been a consequence of the global financial crisis and not a cause.” The cause, states the report, was a combination of factors related to a malfunctioning financial sector, and current policies are failing to address this in a serious manner. The result may be a much longer recovery period than necessary-or worse. “The diversion of attention away from the underlying causes and towards so-called fiscal profligacy…increases the risk of stalling, or even reversing, economic recovery.”

Thriving in uncertainty – perhaps turning to the sciences will yield an explanation – see the most excellent Nov 2011 TED talk – by Daniel Wolpert on “The real reason for brains

And of course there will be the usual smorgasbord of politics, business, art and society … including some reflection on the occupy movement, inspired by meeting at Sam Sullivan’s salon last week Setty Pendakur, the man who led the revolt to save the Vancouver Roundhouse and helped develop the plans for False Creek as we know it (ps. here is a great story from Fast Company on Cities doing the right thing with their industrial waterfronts)

So come to think, discuss, be inspired, and exchange ideas and insights, all you of interested, interesting, informed and informative folks in town. As always bring your questions, comments, ideas and musings for the mutual enjoyment and knowledge advancement of the gathering.

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