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Catalogue Blog

An Olympic Effort

In this past Friday’s Washington Post, A Wider Circle founder Mark Bergel writes:

Like competitions of the past, the London Olympics are not only the result of hard work on the part of the athletes but also of remarkable community support and financial investments. I can only imagine that if the District, instead of London, had been selected 10 years ago as the site of the 2012 Games, our city would have made a similar commitment [...]

So here’s my question: If we were prepared as a community to mobilize the region’s resources and fund the premier athletic event in the world, why can’t we make the same commitment to house our homeless neighbors, feed hungry families and clothe young and old in our community?

He points out that, for example, London constructed 40,000 apartments and will serve 14 million meals over 60 days this summer. Certainly, similar resources could provide for “thousands and thousands of children and adults” in need across the region year-round (London’s population is twelve times that of DC).

What do you think? What would be necessary to catalyze an effort of this size, scope, and importance?

Learn more about A Wider Circle here.

What No One Else Does …

Writes Mark W. Johnson of Business Week:

Creativity, by itself, is not enough. As I’ve previously written in this space, inventions that aren’t commercialized — no matter how creative — remain inventions, not innovations. To be commercial, an invention needs to matter enough to a customer to be worth paying for. And what matters to most customers is not the invention itself but what job it enables them to do that they couldn’t do, or do well enough, before. The microwave, for example, when it was first introduced, was a terrible oven, but it was fantastic defroster.

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