#179 Election Special: Our Take

What are the most inspiring, exasperating, unique, important, and first-in-our-lifetime results from the Midterm Elections? In this special edition, Jim and Richard give their Quick Fixes take on how American voted.

We discuss: Donald Trump's turnout gift, why the economy played a far larger role than election analysts admit; the serious problems that now face both Republicans and Democrats, the insidious impact of gerrymandering, how celebrities failed to motivate voters, and why the handwringing about money in politics has been put on hold for now.

From Glenn Reynolds' view that the result was more of a purple puddle than a blue wave, to why the year of the woman shattered fund-raising and attention-getting glass ceilings, this record-setting election can be interpreted in a variety of interesting ways.

As for what's next? Jim and Richard discuss the power of small solutions and why the new Congress must focus on legislation as well as investigations.

#178 Bridging Divide. ReCity. Durham, North Carolina

How can America recover from hatred, distrust and resentment that have lead to deep divisions, the fraying of our civic institutions and even violence, such as the recent Pittsburgh synagogue shooting?

This episode, recorded at ReCity in Durham, North Carolina, is the third in our renewing democracy podcasts, where we report on collaborative efforts to promote respect and bridge divides.

The idea behind this series is that if we’re going to pull back from the political precipice, it’s going to come first locally, not nationally. We’ve seen what hate and fear and can do, perhaps it’s time to try love, or at least tolerance. 

ReCity is a shared office space-- similar to a We Works for dozens of local social action non-profits and companies-- where organizations are housed in an open-plan office under one roof. We look at how their hard work can bring people together and lead to social change. 

"I believe there is hope for our communities, but when you turn on the news right now, you don't find that," says ReCity's Executive Director, Rob Shields. "This is an opportunity to show that hope and unity are possible in a community, and I think right now that's not a message that we are hearing from a lot of the channels we absorb information through."

#171 Collaboration Beats Competition: Paul Skinner

In recent decades, business strategy has been built on the idea that we must compete to win.

But what if the competitive model of business is now broken? In today’s interconnected, digital world, strategies to create competitive advantage may be holding us back— with a negative impact on the workplace and the economy.

In his new book “Collaborative Advantage: How Collaboration Beats Competition as a Strategy for Success". British marketing and business consultant Paul Skinner presents Collaborative Advantage as a radical alternative to the conventional goal of Competitive Advantage. 

Skinner says: "We can be more ambitious in the way we grow our businesses, increase the impact of our non-profits and find better solutions to our most pressing problems when we view our opportunities through the lens of cooperation rather than competition."

This episode explores:

  • How Competitive Advantage can overshadow human purpose and the capacity for cooperation in businesses and other organizations.

  • How leaders can put cooperation-enabling ideas at the heart of their businesses and deepen relationships with customers, clients and employees.

  • How the dogma of Competitive Advantage may explain why solutions offered by previous guests “How Do We Fix It?” are not yet mainstream

Paul Skinner  is the founder of the U.K.-based Agency of the Future, and founder of Pimp My Cause, which uses cause-related marketing to boost the capabilities of teams and individuals. Paul is a regular listener to “How Do We Fix It?”

#166 Populism: Bigger Than Trump? Salena Zito

Was Donald Trump's election a one-off event, or did it represent a fundamental realignment of American politics?

Washington-based political experts wrongly called the 2016 election, and our guest, Salena Zito, author of "The Great Revolt", argues that they keep blowing it today. Democrats who ignore the concerns of those who went for Obama in 2012, but then backed Trump four years later, do so at their peril.

We examine the spread of populism that is reshaping American politics on the right and the left, and why it may have much more staying power than critics would like to admit.

Despite President Trump's weak approval ratings, the coalition that brought him to the White House is largely holding together. Salena drove many thousands of miles on back roads, speaking with hundreds of Trump voters in ten Great Lake swing counties while reporting for the New York Post, the Washington Examiner, and contributing to The Atlantic. 

She takes them seriously. From "red-blooded blue-collared" conservative populists to "rough rebounders" and "girl gun power" supporters, we learn why so many believe that Trump stands up for working people against powerful corporate interests.

"Modern populism today is a healthy skepticism of large things, big institutions, big government, big entertainment, big sports," says Salena. "This coalition isn't just impacting the ballot, its having an impact on how we shop and how we consume things."

In this episode we look at the roots of populism, but also take a skeptical view of its future.

#163 The High Cost of America First: James Bacchus

President Trump has withdrawn from international agreements, criticized NATO, The European Union, and attacked the policies of Canada, Mexico, Britain, France and Germany-- all traditional allies. He praised President Putin, and continues to sow chaos in the international trading system, reportedly threatening to pull the U.S. out of the World Trade Organization-- W.T.O.

This last step, above all, could have the most serious impact on the American economy, damaging businesses, destroying jobs, and weakening U.S. influence around the world.

In this episode, we look at solutions for climate change, sustainable growth, the need for smarter international co-operation, and the reason why the W.T.O. is so crucial to the future of the global trading system. 

Our guest is former Florida Congressman James Bacchus, Director of the Center for Global Economic and Environmental Opportunity at the University of Central Florida. He was twice the chief judge of the highest court of world trade at the W.T.O. in Geneva, Switzerland.

Jim's new book is "The Willing World. Shaping and Sharing a Sustainable Global Prosperity."

"I believe our President is a pessimist," he says. "He doesn't really believe in America or the American people, despite all he says about putting America first."