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TED on Sunday: Geoff Mulgan on Social Innovation and the New Capitalism

November 08, 2009

Two-plus years after the global financial system began to melt down, we find ourselves in a "strange twilight zone" characterized by paralysis and retrogade thinking, argues Geoff Mulgan in this talk from the 2009 TED Global conference. Even as governments around the world borrow trillions of dollars from future generations in an attempt to reignite economic growth, many measures of social and environmental health are deteriorating. Indeed, says Mulgan, director of the London-based Young Foundation, the financial crisis has made plain the fact that economic growth doesn't automatically translate into social progress or human growth. Too much of it goes into boosting unsustainable consumption; too much of it leaves people feeling they aren't allowed to be useful -- and when people aren't allowed to be useful, they soon start to think they are useless. The question is, What are we going to do about it? Mulgan's answer may surprise and inspire you.

(Filmed: July 2009; Running time: 17:57)

Liked this talk? Try one of these.

And for those who can't get enough of TED, check out Jim Simpson's post about a cool hidden feature of most TED Talks.

-- Mitch Nauffts

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Quote of the Week

  • "[L]et me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is...fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance...."

    — Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd president of the United States

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