Monday Roundup

The Changing Political Geography In Europe
The Council on Foreign Relations has compiled a collection of essays examining how the financial has changed the geographical character of European politics.

According to CFR, the resulting changes include:

  • Increased pressure on established elites from new political forces and populist movements.
  • Many many countries that thought of themselves at Europe’s heart now disenfranchised.
  • The core is fracturing as the gap grows between Paris and Berlin.
  • There is no shared vision of European integration, despite the growing talk of “political union.”

Effective Measurement Key To Solving Problems, Says Bill Gates
Microsoft founder Bill Gates lays out his plan to solve some of the world’s greatest problems in a Wall Street Journal editorial. Gates says the first step is to create an effective means for measuring the success or failure of government programs and, equally important, making changes in light of those measurement results.

“The process I have described—setting clear goals, choosing an approach,
measuring results, and then using those measurements to continually refine our approach—helps us to deliver tools and services to everybody who will benefit, be they students in the U.S. or mothers in Africa,” writes Gates.

Nonprofits Can Fill Gaps That Capitalist Organizations Leave
Phil Buchanan of the Harvard Business Review makes the case that nonprofits possess the ability to have an impact where markets fail.

Buchanan asserts that it would be foolish to ignore the reality that no single “type of organization — government, business, or nonprofit — has a monopoly on effectiveness. And nonprofits are typically tackling the most complex problems of all. If those problems could have easily been solved by government or business, they wouldn’t exist at all.”

“I’m a huge believer in free-market capitalism. I have an M.B.A. and have worked as a corporate consultant. But I think we’re better off being sober about what markets can and cannot accomplish,” he adds.

Business And Capitalism: A Distinction With A Difference
Dan Pallotta, Buchanan’s colleague at the HBR, takes care to differentiate between capitalism and business in his article boosting the benefits of nonprofits to affect global change.

“One is a sector, the other a methodology. By inextricably linking the two, we confine the practice of real, turbo-charged capitalism to business, and we dangerously limit the capacity of non-business organizations to innovate, fund, and bring to scale the kind of breakthrough ideas that will begin to solve the huge social problems we face today,” he stresses.

By freeing the nonprofit sector “to use the tools of capitalism,” proposes Pallotta, “we could bring private ingenuity to bear on those problems, and we wouldn’t have to depend on the government to fill the gaps.”

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