Sunday, January 3, 2016

Kids Above Profits! - Alternatives to "Outsourcing" Our Future?

Having issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) last February to consider its "outsourcing" of district foodservice, the Roanoke City School Board is currently deliberating the matter and expected to report their decision at an upcoming meeting on January 12th. Consequently, but in extending "A Challenge for Local Leaders" a year ago with the intent of initiating a dialogue to vitalize the city's economy, this article examines whether outsourcing serves the community's economic best interests while simultaneously delivering healthy, high quality, nutritional food to local students. 

Key Terms: commons, economies of scale, ecosystemextractivefoodservice, for-profit, generative, integral theorymodernity, neo-liberal, organizational learningoutsourcing, privatization, Theory Uwell-beingWestern law, whole foodworker-owned cooperative,

"Hilary Abell: Scaling Worker Co-ops" (Flanders)

Signaling a Societal Shift from Mindless "Machine" to Living "Network" 

Although I wrote and issued, "A Challenge for Local Leaders" (McConnell) to Roanoke's City Council (see: "Council Actions 12-15-14") last December in hopes of directing a local citizenry's attention toward disparity gaps in the distribution of (national) wealth and income, I'd done so thinking my efforts might help inform and subsequently support community members in advocacy of their own best interests. Upon reflection though, perhaps my aim was overly ambitious given limits to our shared, civic awareness of even thirteen months ago.

Nonetheless, but more currently, with recent publication of their, The Ecology of Law: Toward a Legal System in Tune with Nature and Community, Fritjof Capra and Ugo Mattei have stepped to the forefront of a notable group of thought leaders including, among others, "David Korten, Vandana Shiva" and "Jeremy Rifkin". Likewise, and as Capra further attests, a mutually shared theme running through these individuals' respective efforts affirms a "fundamental change of world view, or change of paradigms, that is now occurring in science and in society; the unfolding of a new systemic and ecological vision of reality, and the social implications of this cultural transformation" (Capra).

For this reason however, and tracking Western law's expansion over the historical course of modernity's ensuing trajectory, the co-authors note "a fundamental change of metaphors: from seeing the world as a machine to understanding it as a network". Consequently, they've similarly "realized that nature sustains life through a set of ecological principles that are generative rather than extractive" [emphasis added] (Ibid.). As a result, but pointing to "the very theory of the sources of law" related to quantum physics and "a more realist legal vision" involving "the role of the interpreter's subjectivity", Capra and Mattei reveal how "neo-liberal theories" since "the last part of the twentieth century" have effectively co-opted "competition" in displacing "hierarchy as the way in which the machine of justice should operate". Moreover, they similarly disclose how 'market efficiency' has subsequently been appropriated to oversee "the irrationalities of the political process" separately from (its addressing) "the localized needs of communities" [emphasis added] (Capra and Mattei 126).

Figure 1. "Productivity and Consumption" - Adapted from Slide 8 of 15 (Hartley)

Would "Outsourcing" Foodservice Undermine the Community's Well-being?

To this point then, and having already outsourced "bus transportation", "nursing services", and "substitutes" (Gregory), yet with relatively little resistance or opposition from citizen-stakeholders, it appears likely Roanoke's city school board may choose to abdicate its provision of student food service to corporate, for-profit, interests. Annette Lewis however, is just one among "several other board members" who expressed concerns in June about "whether the company chosen"; either Aramark, Chartwells or SodexoMagic, "would keep and maintain the district's contracts with local food, supply and equipment distributors". Concerning these misgivings "Steve Barnett, the "district's assistant superintendent for operations" and evaluation committee member, indicated "the companies are aware of the board's desire to keep local vendor contracts and maintain current benefit levels for staff." He subsequently implied that "it would be possible to incorporate those desires into the contract" but that such "stipulations" would need to be made "during the negotiating process to make sure that our employees are taken care of, as well as local vendors" (Gregory, Schools Negotiate).

In August however, and in response to reservations expressed by "local food, supply and equipment vendors" afraid of being "edged out if the school district" decided "to outsource to a national company", superintendent "Rita Bishop reassured city council members that the district would incorporate into any contract a clause that would maintain relationships with local vendors." When Councilman Sherman Lea voiced similar qualms conveyed by "constituents who work for the district's food services division" about the likelihood they would "lose their jobs if the work is outsourced", Bishop retorted by saying that "our goal is to have no one lose their job". She further contended that "outsourcing would actually give food services employees a chance for greater job growth because of the larger pipeline that comes with a national company" and "that outsourcing would be best for students" (Gregory, School Leaders).

"Happy Healthy Cooks, Roanoke, Virginia" (Henson)

"Putting Kids First" . . . Generating "Quality" Before Profits!

"It is about quality" - Rita Bishop, Roanoke City Superintendent (Gregory, School Leaders)
Consequently, but over the last several months in particular, privatization's encroachment into local education is, for me anyway, presenting just cause for apprehension. Yet, and on a more positive note perhaps; beginning with Freeda Cathcart's arranging a screening and panel discussion of Education, Inc. at the Jackson Park Library in August, followed by Delegate Sam Rasoul's and State Senator John Edwards' co-hosting of the Second Annual Education Town Hall a few weeks later, concern for the well-being of Roanoke's school children may nevertheless be moving to the forefront of our community's collective attention.

For these reasons too, but having conducted "A Community Building Workshop" in November to support the New Economy Coalition's - "New Economy Week 2015", in retrospect it seems particularly timely our forum featured a presentation by Bryan Pfeifer from the Virginia Education Association. Similarly, and in addition to the weekly volunteer work I do with Happy Healthy Cooks in facilitating a second grade classroom's appreciation of whole food (see video above), the Roanoke Education Association's campaign to "Put Kids Before Profits" included a rally on December 7th at the Jefferson Center to "Stop Food Service Privatization in Roanoke.

Likewise, and echoing the sentiments of VEA Vice-President Jeffrey Pennington (see video below), a recent Roanoke Times article (December 6th) documenting the county school district's "turnaround" of its food service deficit, offers strong evidence of viable alternatives to outsourcing.
"Bettye Bell, the president of the Roanoke Education Association, said she wants the city to consider making changes internally, as the county has done. Bell sent a letter to school board members earlier this year, outlining her concerns that meal quality would suffer and that workers like her sister, who works in food services for the city, could lose their jobs" [emphasis added] from "Roanoke Co. reports food service turnaround" (Gregory, Turnaround)
Affirming the case for effectively providing food services, after three consecutive years of deficits ($87,000; $213,000; and $92,000) the Roanoke County "school system's assistant superintendent of finance" announced "(t)his fall" that their "nutrition department" had met "the board's request" and successfully turned "the deficit into a surplus of about a half-million dollars" (Ibid.).

"Jeffrey Pennington - VEA @ Stop Food Service Outsourcing (12.7.15)" (15NowRoanoke)

A Civil Society in Tune with Nature and Community: From Ego-System to Eco-System Economies

"We need a vision that defeats economic-induced individualism by locating the law at the level of social networks and ecological communities" - The Ecology of Law (Capra and Mattei 132)
With publication of "Toward Integral Economic Democracy" (McConnell, Democracy), our group's primary focus this last year has meant interfacing with principals at MIT enlisting online platforms (e.g. edX, U.Lab @ Presencing Inst.) to facilitate organizational learning through Theory U and translating that collaboration into the design (e.g. prototyping) of integral (theory) ecosystems. Consequently, and perhaps not too surprisingly, Otto Scharmer and Katrin Kaufer's, Leading from the Emerging Future: From Ego-System to Eco-System Economies (Scharmer and Kaufer) has proved of foundational importance to our shared learning.

Similarly, but as a proponent of Gar Alperovitz's work with the Democracy Collaborative and their subsequent use of the Community Wealth Building model in Richmond Virginia, I initiated this article (see YouTube video at top of page) with Hilary Abell's interview by Laura Flanders. Consequently, but at a time when "corporate profits are at an all-time high" although "employee wages are at their lowest ever as a percentage of GDP" (Flanders 0:45-0:53) and those in Roanoke neighborhoods living below the poverty level may exceed thirty percent (City-Data.Com - see Fig. 2), Abell's, "Worker Cooperatives: Pathways to Scale" (Abell) outlines an invaluable approach to forming worker-owned cooperatives. As a result, but having seen women with whom she'd worked at the Oakland cooperative for example, increase family incomes "by 70 to 80 percent" within "a year or two of joining the business", in addition to obtaining "health insurance for the first time" and being afforded dental coverage, Abell's experience serves as a testament of a cooperative's power to effect economic development within local communities (Flanders 2:43-2:52).
"In the current state of affairs, recovering the commons is not the business of lawyers or politicians, whose intellectual and institutional landscape is framed by the ideology of modernity. This process belongs now to plain people who, from choice or necessity, participate in caring for something that they recognize as a common." [emphasis added] The Ecology of Law (Capra and Mattei 153)
Figure 2. - Percentage of Residents with Income Below the Poverty Level (City-Data.Com)

For these reasons then too, our group is learning to envision the innovation of sustainable ecosystems within our community enlisting qualitative approaches in co-creating balances between efficiency, (e.g. localized economies of scale for example) and resilience.
"The gist of this framework is simple: The quality of results produced by any system depends on the quality of awareness from which people in the system operate. The formula for a successful change process is not "form follows function," but "form follows consciousness." The structure of awareness and attention determines the pathway along which a situation unfolds" [emphasis added] (Scharmer and Kaufer, 18)


15NowRoanoke (2015): "Jeffrey Pennington - VEA @ Stop Food Service Outsourcing (12.7.15)." 15NowRoanoke. 8 Dec. 2015. YouTube. Web. 28 Dec. 2015.

Abell, Hilary (2014): "Worker Cooperatives: Pathways to Scale.", pp. iv-62, June 2014. Democracy Collaborative. Web. 31 Dec. 2015.

Capra, Fritjof (2015): "Fritjof Capra on The Ecology of Law." BK Magazine BK Currents. n.pag., Berrett-Koehler Publishers Web. 18 Dec. 2015.

Capra, Fritjof and Ugo Mattei (2015): The Ecology of Law: Toward a Legal System in Tune with Nature and Community. pp. ix-188, Oakland: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc., 2015. Print.

City-Data.Com (2016): "Roanoke, Virginia (VA) Poverty Rate Data: Information about poor and low income residents." 2016. Web. 1 Jan. 2016.

Flanders, Laura (2014): "Hilary Abell: Scaling Worker Co-ops." GRITtv. 29 July. 2014. YouTube. Web. 14 Dec. 2015.

Gregory, Sara (2015): "Roanoke School Board to consider outsourcing food services." The Roanoke Times. 29 June 2015. n.pag., Web. 20 Dec. 2015.
---. "Roanoke Co. reports food service turnaround." The Roanoke Times. 6 December 2015. n.pag., Web. 29 Dec. 2015.
---. "Roanoke school leaders reassure council on food services outsourcing." The Roanoke Times. 3 August 2015. n.pag., Web. 22 Dec. 2015.
---. "Roanoke schools to negotiate contract to outsource food services." The Roanoke Times. 30 June 2015. n.pag., Web. 21 Dec. 2015.

Hartley, W. Hunter (2015): "Insuring Social Justice through Food Security." SlideShare, 1 May 2015, slide no. 8 of 15, Web. 21 Dec. 2015.

Henson, Chris (2013): "Happy Healthy Cooks, Roanoke, Virginia." Chris Henson. 23 Apr. 2013. YouTube. Web 29 Dec. 2015.

McConnell, Brian (2014): "Roanoke's U.Lab Hub - A Challenge for Local Leaders." 10 Dec. 2014, n.pag., An Integral Urban Community - Roanoke Web. 17 Dec. 2015.
---. "Toward Integral Economic Democracy: Learning and Leading Innovation in Second-Tier Distributed Networks." 4 Nov. 2014, pp. 1-22, Presencing Institute Web. 31 Dec. 2015.

Scharmer, Otto and Katrin Kaufer (2013): "Introduction: Breathing Life into a Dying System." Leading from the Emerging Future: From Ego-System to Eco-System Economies. pp. 1-29, San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc., 2013. Print.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Roanoke's U.Lab Hub - A Challenge for Local Leaders

Brian McConnell has extended a "challenge" to local leaders (and community members) as moderator for Roanoke's U.Lab Hub, a satellite classroom beginning in January as an independent extension of MITx's "massive open online course" (MOOC). Presented by senior lecturer Otto Scharmer, the U.Lab will afford participants an opportunity to "(l)earn how to create profound innovation in a time of disruptive change by leading from the emerging future" (edX). This article is also a synoptic overview of Brian's recently published "Toward Integral Economic Democracy", reflecting aspects of metatheory related to U.Theory.

Key Terms: co-creativity, creative destruction, ecosystem, innovation, marginal cost, mindfulness, neoliberalism, power elite, ruling class, social democracy, value systems,

"Roanoke's U.Lab Hub: Leading Innovation from an Emerging Future" (McConnell, U.Lab Hub)

Sustainable Ecosystems and Capitalism's Decline

In preparing to facilitate our local U.Lab hub, I authored and published a paper entitled, "Toward Integral Economic Democracy". Consequently, and beginning with an overview of Robert Ulanowicz and Bernard Lietaer's efforts to better understand "how" (or "why") "certain ecosystems proved more vibrant, robust, or sustainable than others" (McConnell 1), I also included a composite diagram (see Fig. 1) comparing a resilient network (System 1 - below) to one that was by contrast, highly efficient (System 2). Somewhat surprisingly however, and contrary to popular thought perhaps, the researchers found System 2 "proves far more susceptible to dysfunctional pathology or failure due to the greater likelihood of disruption of its single strong-stream (e.g. efficient) path, than does System 1" (Ibid. 2).

Figure 1. Pathways of Carbon Transfer - adapted from (Ulanowicz 30)

Consequently then, and "as a former Belgium central banker himself, Lietaer expressed a well qualified assertion lamenting humanity's struggle to "create sustainable economies" and the resulting implications for global society"(Ibid.). For these reasons though, he concluded that "(t)he urgent message for economics from nature is that the monoculture of national currencies, justified on the basis of market efficiency, generates structural instability in our global financial system" [emphasis added] (Lietaer 2).

Along these same lines too, the English publication earlier this spring of Thomas Piketty's, Capital in the Twenty-First Century provided unprecedented evidence of how imbalanced the flows of "income and wealth" have actually become (Lloyd). Consequently, where the current gap between the "haves" and "have-nots" in the United States (see Fig. 2) has begun to exceed that peaking with the Great Depression of 1929 (Piketty 24), Piketty's research has served to prove "irrefutably and clearly, what we've all suspected for some time now--the rich ARE getting richer compared to everyone else" (Foroohar).

Figure 2. Income Inequality in the United States, 1910-2010 (Piketty, 24)

Likewise, and in his recently published, The Zero Marginal Cost Society, economic and social theorist Jeremy Rifkin explains why he believes the "capitalist era" is waning (Rifkin 1):

"Ironically, capitalism's decline is not coming at the hands of hostile forces. There are no hordes at the front gates ready to tear down the wall of the capitalist edifice. Quite the contrary. What's undermining the capitalist system is the dramatic success of the very operating assumptions that govern it. At the heart of capitalism there lies a contradiction in the driving mechanism that has propelled it ever upward to commanding heights, but now is speeding it to its death" [emphasis added] (Ibid. 2).

Sleepwalkers, MEMEnomics and "Neoliberalism as Creative Destruction"

From a purview of history over the last century however, these patterns nevertheless impel concerns for global humanity's overall well-being. Or at least this is the inference conveyed by a prominent academic at MIT. Recounting his most notable impressions following attendance of 2014's World Economic Forum, Otto Scharmer shared his insight in respect to Christopher Clark's writing of The Sleepwalkers. Citing the fact that because European leaders involved in analyzing "the larger situation" of events just prior to 1914 did so "from a narrow, shortsighted, self-interested perspective that didn't anticipate the long term consequences of their individual decisions for the whole system", they couldn't foresee outcomes that resulted in "World War I, the Versailles Treaty, the rise of Hitler, World War II and, the Cold War" (Scharmer).

"David Harvey and Gar Alperovitz on Cooperation and Capitalism" (Flanders)

Similarly however, the "inconsistencies" to which both Piketty and Rifkin point in respect to capitalism are nothing new but have in their own way, been reasonably evident for decades. In fact, Jeremy Rifkin's words quoted above are resonant with those of Joseph Schumpeter (see quote below) more than 60 years earlier in reflecting his own understanding of what Karl Marx referred to as "creative destruction":

"Capitalism's prospective demise is not perceived to emanate from "its breaking down under the weight of economic failure. . ." Instead, "its very success undermines the social institutions which protect it, and 'inevitably' creates conditions in which it will not be able to live and which strongly point to socialism as the heir apparent" [1950, p.xiv]. In short, the "paradoxical conclusion" is not the result, but the process: "capitalism is being killed by its achievement" [1950, p. xiv]" (Elliott 45).

As Said Dawlabani so astutely notes in MEMEnomics though, "(t)he premise of Schumpeter's theory" as a strong proponent of innovation and central inspiration for innovation economics, "is that in free market economy, entrepreneurs with technical know-how will always introduce innovation that is disruptive to the existing economic model, but which will improve productivity and that in itself will sustain economic growth" [emphasis added]. As he further explains (see Fig. 3), "the value systems that create innovation and most innovative thought processes and ideas" however, "including those about economic theory, are born out of a utopian ideal that starts with a noble purpose" (Dawlabani 22). Yet, and from both Robert Kegan's and Scharmer's vantage points, "blind spots" inevitably underlie these shared dimensions of consciousness (Scharmer, Grabbing the Tiger). Thus, it's "when the exploitative element of our culture reinterprets the intended use of that innovation through a different prism of values that it turns into a weapon against its creators" [emphasis added] (Dawlabani 22).

Figure 3. Phases of Memenomic Cycle (Dawlabani, Obama Presidency)

"We will now define innovation more rigorously by means of the production function previously introduced. This function describes the way in which quantity of product varies if quantities of factors vary. If, instead of quantities of factors, we vary the form of the function, we have an innovation" [emphasis added] (Schumpeter 84).

In much this same way, but in a paper entitled, "Neoliberalism as Creative Destruction", David Harvey describes neoliberalismespecially since the 70's, as "a project to restore class dominance [see Key Terms: "ruling class"] to sectors that saw their fortunes threatened by the ascent of social democratic endeavors in the aftermath of the Second World War" [emphasis added] (Harvey 22).

"Although neoliberalism has had limited effectiveness as an engine for economic growth, it has succeeded in channeling wealth from subordinate classes to dominant ones and from poorer to richer countries. This process has entailed the dismantling of institutions and narratives that promoted more egalitarian distributive measures in the preceding era" [emphasis added] (Ibid.) 

Dating back to the "mid-nineteenth century" then, this "shift from a purely market-exchange economy" of "the late medieval era" to that of our current capitalist economy, has effectively left the world's laborers "stripped of their tools" and subsequently able to reclaim "only a portion of (the) labor" they expend "in the form of a wage" (Rifkin 61). Consequently too, and even under neoliberalism's well disguised "antidemocratic" blueprint, the "more neoliberalism is recognized as a failed if not disingenuous and utopian project masking the restoration of class power [see Key Terms: "power elite"], the more it lays the basis for a resurgence of mass movements voicing egalitarian political demands, seeking economic justice, fair trade, and greater economic security and democratization" [emphasis added] (Harvey 42).

"U.Lab: Transforming Business, Society, and Self" (edX, Transforming)

Conscious Practice in an "Age of Disruption": From Ego-System to Eco-System Economies

"The gist of this framework is simple: The quality of results produced by any system depends on the quality of awareness from which people in the system operate. The formula for a successful change process is not "form follows function," but "form follows consciousness." The structure of awareness and attention determines the pathway along which a situation unfolds" (Scharmer and Kaufer, 18).

What's becoming increasingly evident in this Age of Disruption however, is an unprecedented emergence and intermingling of human spirit across a vast array of cultural lines including gender, race, religion, ethnicity and sexuality. Consequently, but as Jeremy Rifkin sees it, the emergence of this co-creative potential is manifesting itself in a "new economic system" entering "the world stage" triggered by "Zero Marginal Cost". Yet at the same time, "(c)ompanies never anticipated . . . a technology revolution that might unleash "extreme productivity" bringing marginal costs to near zero, making information, energy, and many physical goods and services nearly free, abundant, and no longer subject to market exchanges" [emphasis added] (Rifkin, Say goodbye).

Furthermore, but by way of example, it's nonetheless remarkable within this new economic system that "6 million students are currently enrolled in free Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC)" operating "at near zero marginal cost" and being "taught by some of the world's most distinguished professors" [emphasis added] (Ibid.). In this same regard though, while the U.Lab represents "a new type of learning environment that is personal, practical, relational, mindful, collective and transformative", it will also extend an opportunity for learners to "engage in a deep dialogue-based peer coaching session with five fellow Lab participants" [emphasis added] (Scharmer, U.Lab).

Figure 4. Five Phases of Surrendering into Witnessing (Gunnlaugson 111)

Along these same lines too, and in an article entitled, "Collective Mindfulness: The Leader's New Work", Scharmer explains the importance of mindfulness to the leadership function in "transforming stakeholder relationships that operate based on transactional ego-system awareness into relationships that operate based on transformative eco-system awareness." Consequently, and where "(e)go-system awareness means paying attention to the well-being of oneself", eco-system awareness on the other hand "means focusing on the well-being of oneself and of the whole (all the stakeholders in the system, including nature)" (Scharmer, Collective).

"Wisdom practices such as awareness-based meditation facilitate surrender from conventional separate-self sense to a more subtle, distributed experience of one's self as a part of the underlying ground of presence of our original nature. Ongoing meditation practice familiarizes practitioners with this tacit dimension of self and develops the attentional and know-how ability to surrender at will into these deeper states of being. To support an optimal engagement with this phase of practice, we recommend combining regular meditation with we-space practice" [emphasis added] (Gunnlaugson 111).

Likewise, Gunnlaugson and Moze's paper "Surrendering Into Witnessing", outlines a five-phase approach (see Fig. 4) for working directly "with inter-subjective field dynamics in groups" to "more effectively discern and engage complex emergent collective-intelligence processes". In this same respect though, "engaging [this] we-space for the purposes and outcomes of collective intelligence, such as solving difficult social or organizational problems or bringing about new creative discoveries in different domains of knowledge, continues to remain a comparatively uncharted region of research and inquiry" [emphasis added] (Ibid. 105).

Conclusion - The Challenge of Leading from an Emerging Future

Consequently, and from an evolutionary perspective, although it remains unclear what the future holds in terms of humanity's unfolding narrative, it's fairly evident at this juncture that doing nothing,  other than remaining subject to the imposition of a New World Order's centralized control, "for profit" debt-driven operating system, and duplicitous political machinery, won't adequately secure a global citizenry's well-being. As a result however, and in light of these actualities, Gar Alperovitz has subsequently posed the question, "What Then Must We Do?" (Flanders, What Then).

"Our hope lies with the growing millions who work to heal our human relationships with one another and nature in a bold effort to turn the human course. Through thought and deed, they are authoring a new story of meaning and possibility. It is a story with ancient roots and profound implications for our economic relationships" [emphasis added] (Korten 22).

In conclusion then, but for these same reasons, a key premise of "Toward Integral Economic Democracy" is anchored in the supposition "that by better attending to the conscious processes by which we derive meaning . . . co-creative awareness" is capable of birthing "remarkably new modes of thought and system design across multiple disciplines including learning, leadership, economics, and governance" [emphasis added] (McConnell 1). And therein lies the challenge . . . can we talk about it?



Dawlabani, Said (2013). MEMEnomics: The Next-Generation Economic System. New York: SelectBooks, Incl, 2013. Print.
---. "The Obama Presidency and Complex Systems." The MEMEnomics Group, LLC. 17 Jan. 2014, n. pag., Web 28 Nov. 2014.

edX. U.Lab: Transforming Business, Society, and Self. edX. 2014. Web. 22 Nov. 2014.
---. "U.Lab: Transforming Business, Society, and Self." Online video clip. YouTube. 24 July 2014. Web. 8 Dec. 2014.

Elliott, John E. (1980): "Marx and Schumpeter on Capitalism's Creative Destruction: A Comparative Restatement." The Quarterly Journal of Economics. Vol. 95, No. 1, Aug. 1980, pp. 45-68, Fellows of Harvard College Web. 26 Nov. 2014.

Flanders, Laura (2014): "David Harvey and Gar Alperovitz on Cooperation and Capitalism." GRITtv 9 Sept. 2014. YouTube Web 21 Nov. 2014.
---. "What Then Must We Do? - Gar Alperovitz." GRITtv 20 Oct. 2013. YouTube Web. 8 Dec. 2014.

Foroohar, Rana (2014): "Here's Why This Best-Selling Book Is Freaking Out the Super Wealthy." Business 23 Apr. 2014, n.pag., Time Web. 21 Nov. 2014.

Gunnlaugson, Olen, Mary Beth G. Moze (2012): "Surrendering Into Witnessing: A Foundational Practice for Building Collective Intelligence Capacity in Groups." Journal of Integral Theory and Practice, Vol. 7, Issue 3, pp. 105-115, Sept. 1012. Web. 6 Dec. 2014.

Harvey, David (2007): "Neoliberalism as Creative Destruction." The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. Vol. 610, No. 1 Mar. 2007, pp. 21-44, SAGE journals Web 29 Nov. 2014.

Korten, David C. (2015): "Chapter One: Our Story Problem." Change the Story, Change the Future: A Living Economy for a Living Earth. pp. 21-36, San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc., 2015. Print.

Lietaer, Bernard, Robert E. Ulanowicz, Sally J. Goerner, Nadia McLaren (2010): "Is Our Monetary Structure a Systemic Cause for Financial Instability?: Evidence and Remedies from Nature." Journal of Future Studies, Vol. 14, #3, pp. 1-21, April 2010. Web 22 Nov. 2014.

Lloyd, Michael (2014): "A Review of Capital in the 21st Century by Thomas Piketty." GPI Opinion May 2014, n. pag., The Global Policy Institute Web. 20 Nov. 2014.

McConnell, Brian (2014): "Toward Integral Economic Democracy: Learning and Leading Innovation in Second-Tier Distributed Networks."4 Nov. 2014, pp. 1-22, Presencing Institute Web. 22 Nov. 2014.
---. "Roanoke's U.Lab Hub: Leading Innovation from an Emerging Future." Online video clip. YouTube, 13 Nov. 2014. Web. 20 Nov. 2014.

Piketty, Thomas (2014): Capital in the Twenty-First Century. Cambridge: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2014. Print.

Rifkin, Jeremy (2014): The Zero Marginal Cost Society: The Internet of Things, the Collaborative Commons, and the Eclipse of Capitalism. New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2014. Print.
---. "Say goodbye to capitalism as we know it" MarketWatch 15 May 2014, n.pag. Web. 30 Nov. 2014.

Scharmer, Otto (2013): "Davos: Mindfulness, Hotspots, and Sleepwalkers." The Huffington Post 26 Jan. 2014, n.pag., The Third Metric. Web. 20 Nov. 2014.
---. "Collective Mindfulness: The Leader's New Work." The Huffington Post 7 Apr. 2014, n. pag., The Blog. Web. 6 Dec. 2014.
---. "Grabbing the Tiger by the Tail: Conversation with Robert Kegan." Dialogue on Leadership 23 Mar. 2000, pp. 1-22. McKinsey & Company Web. 5 Dec. 2014.
---. "U.Lab: Prototyping the 21st-Century University." The Huffington Post 11 Oct. 2014, n.pag., The Blog. Web. 6 Dec. 2014.

Scharmer, Otto and Katrin Kaufer (2013): "Introduction: Breathing Life into a Dying System." Leading from the Emerging Future: From Ego-System to Eco-System Economies. pp. 1-29, San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc., 2013. Print.

Schumpeter, Joseph (1939): Business Cycles: A Theoretical, Historical and Statistical Analysis of the Capitalist Process. 461 pp. New York Toronto London: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1939. Web. 30 Nov. 2014.

Ulanowicz, Robert E., Sally J. Goerner, Bernard Lietaer, Rocio Gomez (2009): "Quantifying sustainability: Resilience, efficiency and the return of information theory." Ecological Complexity: An International Journal on Biocomplexity in the Environment and Theoretical Ecology, Vol. 6, Issue 1, pp. 27-36, Mar. 2009, Web. 10 Dec. 2014.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Urban Practice, Mindfulness, Theory U, and the Emerging Future

Over two mornings last month Group Epignosis (an urban ecolab) co-hosted a "live stream" of the Presencing Institute's - Global Forum 2014 from downtown Roanoke's, 16 West Marketplace. Presented as an Urban Practitioner's Workshop, the event afforded its participants a unique opportunity to engage a shared learning experience by together, exploring their emerging future.

Urban Practitioner's Workshop
Published in September, "A Marriage of Sense and Soul" pointed to a "psychosocial" condition various thought leaders including Ken Wilber has referred to as dissociation, Charles Eisenstein terms separation, and Otto Scharmer in his recently issued, "Leading from the Emerging Future" frames in three parts. These gaps are depicted as an ecological divide between "self and nature", a social divide involving a "disconnect between self and other", and a spiritual-cultural divide reflecting "a disconnect between self and Self--that is, between one's current "self" and the emerging future "Self" that represents one's greatest potential" (Scharmer, Introduction 4).

The basis of this issue was reflected in a 1996 discussion between Peter Senge and  Nan Huai-Chin about whether the spiritual teacher "thought that the industrial age was going to create such environmental problems that" we'd "destroy ourselves" or whether we'd "find a way to understand these problems" and subsequently reshape the institutions themselves. Viewing this dilemma from a "deeper level" however, Master Nan rejoined, "There's only one issue in the world. It's the reintegration of mind and matter" (Senge).

"Three Levels: Symptoms; Systemic Disconnects; Paradigms of Economic Thought" (Scharmer, 10 insights)

Not by coincidence though, this is effectively Wilber's focal point in, The Marriage of Sense and Soul: Integrating Science and Religion. Thus, where "the governing principles of the hundred or so democratic nations in today's world" are said to reflect "the principles of modernity--that is, the values of the liberal Western Enlightenment" or "the dignity of modernity" (Marriage 44); "by the end of the eighteenth and beginning of the nineteenth" centuries it "was already drifting into a painful and pathological dissociation" [emphasis added] (Marriage 55).

Consequently too, and in adopting thought systems or consciousness practices to address, bridge, or otherwise heal these socioeconomic and geopolitical fractures; Scharmer realized that the "meditative or phenomenological process" enlisted for "studying the transformation of the individual mind" was essentially the same for both group and "larger systems". As he says, "(t)hat really was the birth moment of Theory U". Likewise, and in a recent interview with Russ Volckmann for the Integral Leadership Review, he confided that although this focus resides primarily in a "state-based framework", it's not an especially "long jump to . . . make it the foundation for a stage-based developmental approach to different system levels" [emphasis added] (Volckmann).

"Theory U: One Process, Three Instruments (Open Mind, Open Heart, Open Will)" (Scharmer, 10 insights)

Furthermore, while the three divides manifest themselves in various symptoms extending above the surface, much like the tip of an iceberg represents only a portion of its greater mass, our collective best efforts to resolve such problems all too often, end only in "results that nobody wants". On a global scale, and for Scharmer, this seems to be evidenced in the following:
  1. Ecological Divide - "The number 1.5 represents our ecological crisis. Although we have only one planet Earth, we deplete and degrade our natural capital on a massive scale, using up more resources every year. We live as if we have more than one planet at our disposal, using the equivalent of 1.5 planets just to meet our current consumption."
  2. Social Divide - "The number 2.5 represents our social crisis. Two and a half billion people on our planet live in poverty. There have been many successes at lifting people out of poverty, but this number, 2.5, has not changed much over the past few decades."
  3. Spiritual-Cultural Divide - "The number 3 represents our inner or spiritual crisis. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), three times as many people die from suicide as die from homicide or in wars." (Scharmer, Leading)
Likewise too, but because "(c)lassical methods and concepts of organizational learning" involving "variations of the same Kolb (1984) based learning cycle" generally entail "reflecting on the experiences of the past", a successful resolution of current planetary challenges cannot be "approached this way" for the simple reason that "the experience base" of respective team members almost inevitably proves inadequate "for the issue at hand". Thus, Scharmer proposes the importance of developing new cognitive capabilities for sensing (or presencing) through which, organizations and leaders can engage "a different kind of learning cycle" which in turn, "allows them to learn from the future as it emerges, rather than from reflecting on past experiences" (Scharmer, Presencing).

"The Importance of the Mindfulness Tipping Point" (Huffington)

It's for these reasons though that Otto's recent interview with Arianna Huffington (of The Huffington Post) at the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Davos, and their subsequent discussion about "The Importance of the Mindfulness Tipping Point", is so revealing. Along these same lines, and as he explains in an accompanying blog, the experience left him with three distinct impressions:
  1. Mindfulness - "Mindfulness is close to reaching a tipping point" even though it and "mindful leadership" were introduced as a subject of interest "at the WEF for the first time" only "two years ago". He further points to three drivers behind this movement including, "new tech", "new challenges", and "new science" (emphasis added).
  2. Hotspots - The primary attraction bringing 2500 of "the world's elite business, government and thought leaders in civil society" to the World Economic Forum in Davos is the "field of human interconnectivity that flows through the corridors, lounges, coffee bars, dinner tables, evening parties, and shuttle rides." The hotspots! (emphasis added).
  3. Sleepwalkers - If Davos is a mirror reflecting the world of 1914, then historian Christopher Clark's, Sleepwalkers may offer deep insight into the hokum of a "financial elite" who believe "the economy is back, or coming back" and still others ascribing to an "official political rhetoric about sustainable development" or "sustainable growth" (emphasis added).  
As a result, and further noting "a profound disconnect between financial and political elites" Scharmer surmises, anyone claiming "that "more of the same" will put our societies on the path of well-being and shared prosperity is either cynical or in denial of the facts--in short, is sleepwalking" (Scharmer, Davos).

In a recent blog entitled, "Cultivating Collective Mindfulness: The Leader's New Work" and again, contemplating his experience in Davos, Scharmer concludes:

"The root cause of our current economic and civilizational crisis is not Wall Street (although the decoupling of the financial and the real economy is a huge problem). It’s not infinite growth (although overusing earth’s finite resources is another enormous problem). It’s not Big Business or Big Government (although their disconnect from the real needs in our communities needs to be fixed). It’s also not leadership, governance, or ownership. The primary root cause is more fundamental than any of these structural issues or systemic disconnects.

Our current crisis originates between our ears: in our outdated paradigms of economic thought. It originates in the disconnect between our dominant models of economic thought (which gravitate around ego-system awareness, in which stakeholders maximize benefit only for themselves) and the collaboration imperatives of our global eco-system economy (in which stakeholders seek to improve the well-being of all, including themselves). We have an enormous disconnect between ego-system thinking and the eco-system reality."

Consequently, he contends "(w)hat's really needed is a deeper shift of consciousness. We need to care and act not just for ourselves and a few close partners, but in the interest of the entire eco-system in which economic activity takes place". In this same way then, "(t)he economic imperative of our time calls for an evolution of the dominant logic and operating system from one that is based on ego-system awareness to one that is based on eco-system awareness".

And in just this way, the future is emerging . . .



Huffington, Arianna (2014): "The Importance of the Mindfulness Tipping Point." Aol.on. 25 Jan. 2014. Web. 25 Feb. 2014.

"The Marriage of Sense and Soul: Integrating Science and Religion." (2013): "Part I: The Problem." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 27 June 2013. Web. 13 Feb. 2014. 

McConnell, Brian (2013): "A Marriage of Sense and Soul: Embodying Integral Leadership in the City 2.0." Integral Leadership Review, Feature Article, August-November Edition, 17 Sept. 2013. Web. 13 Feb. 2014.

Scharmer, Otto (2013): "10 insights on the Ego-2-Eco Economy Revolution." Otto's Blog. 10 Sept. 2013. Web. 2 Mar. 2014.
---. "Cultivating Collective Mindfulness: The Leader's New Work." Otto's Blog. 6 Feb. 2014. Web. 11 Mar. 2014.
---. "Davos: Mindfulness, Hotspots, and Sleepwalkers." The Huffington Post 26 Jan. 2014: The Third Metric. Web. 19 Feb. 2014.
---. "Introduction: Breathing Life into a Dying System.", Leading From the Emerging Future: From Ego-System To Eco-System Economies. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc. 2013. Web. 8 Feb. 2014.
---. "Leading from the Emerging Future." Minds for Change - Future of Global Development: Ceremony to Mark the 50th Anniversary of the BMZ, November 13, 2011. Conference paper. Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Berlin 2011. Web. 1 Mar. 2014.
---. "Presencing: Learning From the Future As It Emerges (On the Tacit Dimension of Leading Revolutionary Change)." Conference On Knowledge and Innovation, May 25-26, 2000, Helsinki School of Economics, Finland and October 20, 2000, MIT Sloan School of Management, OSG. Web. 7 Mar. 2014.

Volckmann, Russell (2013): "Otto Scharmer: Theory U -- Leading from the Future as It Emerges." Integral Leadership Review, Fresh Perspectives, August-November Edition, 13 Oct. 2013. Web. 21 Feb. 2014.

Wilber, Ken (1998): The Marriage of Sense and Soul: Integrating Science and Religion. New York: Random House, 1998. Print.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A New Economic Story of "Money & Life"

Producer/director Katie Teague returns to her hometown of Roanoke Virginia, Thursday and Friday April 25th-26th as part of a national ten-city tour premiering her new feature-length documentary, "Money & Life".  The event will pose a rare opportunity for audience members to weigh their community's innovative potential through the filmmaker's perspective in learning why her 'story about money' is so vitally important for empowering civil transformation.

Money & Life Roanoke Premier
Having grown up and attended school here, Katie Teague is well aware of the area's societal history, a heritage so rich it virtually emanates from the depth of local souls.  Like other post-industrial cities straddling both the Bible and Rust Belts though, the people here have consequently been typified by Richard Florida in The Personality Map of Who's Your City as conscientious and agreeable (Florida).

For this reason then, the region's citizens can typically be viewed as a proud, amiable, hard-working, principled, and loyal lot.  Yet, while their shared work ethic over the last century has at times served as a backbone for national strength and prosperity, they've also wrestled fiercely to retain time-honored traditions and family values while simultaneously shedding blood, sweat, and tears to raise this little, rough-and-tumble railroad town, they so dearly love.  But times are tough--so tough in fact, a sizable host are gravely disheartened; suffering from various afflictions including disbelief, denial, addiction (inebriation), ignorance, poverty, and fear.  Tragically too, these conscious states are often compounded by confusion surrounding issues of personal identity and self-worth, often traceable to the rising of a societal monolith over the last 30 years which has seductively enticed, prior to ruthlessly exploiting, and ultimately victimizing, the local proletariat as unwitting cogs in its pernicious machinery.

Beginning at least in part with Dick Nixon's issuance of Executive Order 11615 in 1971 initiating a suspension of the U.S. dollar's conversion to gold (Gruber), the exiting president's dismantling of the Bretton Woods accord opened an avenue of development for a "system of monetarism, whereby the (U.S) economy" would, over the next four decades and under the Federal Reserve's auspices, prostrate herself as central banking's wanton handmaiden (Cook).  In this way then too, the United States gradually became the principle figurehead of a geopolitical clockwork forged from a Western coalition of nations adopting a New World Order's unholy penchant for tax-derived, debt-based national currencies.  Likewise, but in a means comparable to Hitler's conscripting of the Christian church in service of a Nazi agenda, contemporary evangelicalism avidly comprised a league of global, tax exempt foot soldiers, championing by blind faith neoliberalism's dystopian aspirations of becoming the planet's preeminent militaristic/economic superpower (see Mammon).

Consequently though, and by the "early 1980s", "the federal government" was already acquiescing in its adoption of "economic policies" bringing about a "steady erosion of our manufacturing base, elimination of millions of skilled industrial jobs", an amassing of "household and individual debt", the "crumbling of our physical infrastructure", and widespread "privatization or elimination of public services" (Cook).  At the same time too, but not coincidentally and as the chart above reflects, "the benefits of" increasing productivity over this same period began accruing not to the people, but rather "to the very wealthy" (da Costa).

Within "a society like that of the United States that already produces the equivalent of $190,000 for every family of four" (Alperovitz & Dubb14) however, this skewed accrual of wealth has been portrayed in a recent video entitled, Wealth Inequality in America.  The clip's underlying premise simply compares what 92% in a group of "more than five thousand Americans" thought an ideal distribution of wealth would (or should) be, to what they thought it actually was, and finally to what in fact . . . it really is.  In viewing the top bar graph of the chart below (the 'Actual Distribution of Wealth'), note that the bottom 60% of citizen wealth is reflected by the 'green' section (and everything to it's left) and that the upper 40% of population wealth is everything to the right . . . the realities are staggering (politizane).

Yet, as insufferable as circumstantial conditions are becoming for a vast many Americans, economists don't necessarily foresee the overall scenario as leading to either a collapse, nor reform, of the economy as a whole.  We "face a long term (and unusually structured) systemic crisis, not simply a political crisis" (Alperovitz, 1) . . . "which is not easily described in conventional or classic terms: The system may not be capable of fundamental reform; but (it's) also unlikely to collapse (Alperovitz, 2).  Similarly Jeffrey Sachs, "Special Adviser to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon on the Millennium Development Goals" (Wikipedia, "Jeffrey Sachs") simply says; "(t)he financial crisis of 2008 was not an accident".  Rather, "(i)t was the result of a long period of political decadence in the United States aided and abetted by a growing hole in economic science" (Sachs 1).

Disconcertingly though, the effects of the political decadence to which Sachs refers isn't relegated solely to the economy but rather, exhibits a spiritual pathology rooted deeply in the underlying ethos of our collective psyche and overshadowing America's socioeconomic landscape as a whole.  Speaking to this societal dissolution and as quoted previously in "Leading in an 'Unthinkable' World", Butler Shaffer notes:
"Civilizationnot the institutional order – is in a critical condition, one brought on by the failure of our intellectual and spiritual immune systems to resist the virus of institutionalism. This crisis is not to be found in Washington, or Detroit, or on Wall Street, but in our thinking about who we are as individuals and as members of society. As long as we revere the interests of organizations more highly than we do our own; as long as we continue to invest the lives of our children and grandchildren as resources for institutional consumption, this crisis will continue unto the disintegration of civilization itself" [emphasis in original] (Shaffer).
Employment by Industry - Roanoke MSA
Tragically enough, and to our own dismay, many of those institutions, once pillars of American society have become little more than a bureaucracy of mean-spirited, adversarial (if not, predatory) fronts for a U.S. Welfare State whose approach to mass control entails pathologizing, criminalizing or otherwise writing-off its vassal (see - "In the Belly of the Beast").  To this end then, the heartbreaking outcome has in its own way contributed to an "incarceration rate" which is "the highest in the world" (Wikipedia, U.S. incarceration rate).  Consequently too, but in Roanoke this means that, in large part, social management is orchestrated through the coordinated efforts of its two leading industries, "Health Care and Social Assistance" and "Total Government" (Roanoke 21).

Similarly, and as shared previously in "A Leaderless Revolution: Occupy Economic Democracy", "nowhere is (an) unholy theocracy" between church and state "any more evident than in" the "city's management of its under-employed poor" (see also - "Saving the City's Soul").  "Nevertheless, but having drafted a 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness three years earlier, in 2009 it received stimulus funding totaling $766,000 to establish a Community Housing Resource Center and later, an additional $708,856 for distribution to local 'service agencies'" (McConnell).  Thus, but as Gar Alperovitz puts it; "(i)ncome and wealth disparities have become severe and corrosive of democratic possibilities.  The economy is in tatters.  Unemployment, poverty, and ecological decay deepen day by day.  Corporate power now dominates decision-making through lobbying, uncontrolled political contributions, and political advertising.  The planet itself is threatened by global warming.  The lives of millions are compromised by economic and social pain.  Our communities are in decay" (Alperovitz & Dubb 1).

From crisis to change: "Money and Life"

Of course, to the respective members of Roanoke's card-carrying bourgeoisie, the prospect of crisis described above, must seem overstated . . . a farce, even though there are significant indicators to the contrary.  For example, a statement by Mayor David Bowers at a joint meeting in January between the City Council and School Board, "that Roanoke's fiscal cliff (was) looming just beyond the horizon", evoked Vice Mayor Rosen's retort saying, "Roanoke has been proactive" (Garner, Mayor Bowers).  At the same time though, and while the issue of municipal debt initiating this tension may not register as a particular threat or menace to most, Alperovitz warns that "continuing financial and political pressure may lead . . . officials to attempt to secure revenues by selling off public assets" (Alperovitz & Dubb 6).

Second vote on Huff Lane rezoning proposal approved
Coincidentally enough, and in a recent session, Roanoke's City Council by a vote of 4 to 3 (Smith) and despite both the planning commission's rejection and an abutting neighborhood's petition, approved the sell of "a shuttered school" (Huff Lane Elementary) for "$1.7 million".  In so doing, council members Rosen, Bestpitch, Ferris, and Trinkle together, jointly thought it best to override the expressed wishes of community members in favor of adopting a proposal by developers to build "two five-story hotels and a restaurant" (Ress).  The lesson here though, once again, seems to follow Alperovitz's suggestion that, "public resistance to such strategies, although less widely publicized, has been surprisingly strong" (Alperovitz & Dubb 6).

Nevertheless, but with the systemic worsening of economic conditions worldwide and the imposition of austerity measures as witnessed in Greece and Cyprus, it's perplexing that Roanoke's civil set continues to so heedlessly view itself as being spared, absolved, or otherwise above, comparable actualities.  With a proposed city budget for 2014 sitting "$9 million out of balance" and the possibility that "sequestration" could result in an "economic retraction" putting "the debt policy in jeopardy" (Gardner, City Nervous), Roanoke will be challenged to remain within it's "10% Capital Improvement Project" limit (Gardner, Tough Economy).

On the eve of Money & Life's World Premier last month in an interview with Margaret Larson, the host of Seattle's New Day Northwest, Katie Teague discussed how her background as a psychotherapist ultimately inspired the production of her documentary.  Consequently, and where the "film explores the role of money in our society", and subsequently asks whether we can "see our current economic crisis not as a disaster, but as a tremendous opportunity?", Teague guides our steps on a path that answers in the affirmative (New Day Producers).

The question seems to be, will Roanoke find the courage, resolve, compassion, and integrity to adopt 'a story about money' capable of actually 'changing our lives' . . .




Alperovitz, Gar (2009): "America Beyond Capitalism: the Pluralist Commonwealth." Z Communications, ZNet. 10 Aug. 2009. Web. 14 Apr. 2013 .

Alperovitz, G. and Dubb, S. (2012): "If You Don't Like Capitalism, and You Don't Like Socialism, What Do You Want?: The Possibility of a Pluralist Commonwealth and a Community-Sustaining Economy." Jun 2012. Web. 12 Apr. 2013.

Cook, Richard (2007): "Economic Crisis: The U.S. Political Leadership Has Failed." Centre for Research on Globalization, Global Research. 12 September 2007. Web. 7 Apr. 2013. 

da Costa, Pedro (2012): "The U.S. productivity farce." Reuters, 4 May 2012. Web. 10 Apr. 2013. 

Florida, Richard (2008): Who's Your City? How the Creative Economy is Making Where to Live the Most Important Decision of You Life. New York: Basic Books, 2008.

Garner, Valerie (2013): "Mayor Bowers Says Roanoke Is Looking at its Own Fiscal Cliff." The Roanoke Star Online., 17 Jan. 2013. Web. 12 Apr. 2013.

---. "Tough Economy Impacting City Budget." The Roanoke Star Online., 15 Feb. 2013. Web. 16 Apr. 2013.

Gruber, Peter (1993): "The Collapse of the Bretton Woods Fixed Exchange Rate System." A Retrospective on the Bretton Woods System: Lessons for International Monetary Reform. Ed. Bordo, Michael D., Eichengreen, Barry. Bretton Woods, Oct 3–6, 1991. Chicago: National Bureau of Economic Research & University of Chicago Press, 1993. Web. 9 Apr. 2013.

McConnell, Brian (2011): "A Leaderless Revolution: Occupy Economic Democracy." Blogger. group epignosis (the integral economist), 9 Nov. 2011. Web. 16 Apr. 2013.

New Day Producers (2013): "From crisis to change: "Money and Life"." Online interview. New Day Northwest., 19 Mar. 2013. Web. 15 Apr. 2013.

politizane (2012): "Wealth Inequality in America." Online video clip. YouTube. YouTube, 20 Nov. 2012. Web. 11 Apr. 2013.

Ress, David (2013): "Huff Lane dispute pits neighbors against city." The Roanoke Times., 20 Jan. 2013. Web. 13 Apr. 2013.

Roanoke, Virginia (2013): "Community Profile for Roanoke MSA." Virginia Employment Commission. 22 Mar. 2013. Web. 14 Apr. 2013.

Sachs, Jeffrey D. (2009): "Rethinking Macroeconomics." Capitalism and Society, Vol. 4 Issue 3, Article 3, 2009. Web. 11 Apr. 2013.

Shaffer, Butler (2010): "The Establishment in Crisis.", 22 Jan. 2010. Web. 11 Apr. 2013.

Smith, Dan (2013): "Huff Lane Neighbors' Wishes Ignored by Council." fromtheeditr, 4 Mar. 2013. Web. 13 Apr. 2013.

Wikipedia contributors. "Jeffrey Sachs." (2013): Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 21 Mar. 2013. Web. 11 Apr. 2013. 

Wikipedia contributors. "United States incarceration rate." (2013): Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 12 Apr. 2013. Web. 13 Apr. 2013.