166: Anand Giridharadas: Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World

2019-04-11

With some guests I have a hard time finding a quote to start the episode with. With Anand, I had the opposite -- at least half of what he said wowed me. When I first saw him speak and saw the title of his book, Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World, I wondered if someone at the elite event I attended would really challenge a community he was in. He did. You'll hear Anand in the first few minutes describe the starting point of the book. His book shows how our society is leading people who believe they are helping. Though trying to decrease the inequities toward classes of people who, through no fault or lack of their own, lose out on society, they end up sustaining and increasing that inequity. That's just the book's starting point. I highly recommend his book, especially if you're interested in helping others and want to make sure your efforts create the results you want. Intent alone is no guarantee. You might be caught by the same systemic effects they are. It's more subtle than we can capture in our conversation, but we talk about the effects since the book came out. We didn't have time to cover a point important to me: how a similar pattern happens in the environment -- that among the people and organizations most active and sincere in their attempts in, say, recycling, a circular economy, and carbon offsets. They too may be not changing the path we're on to more total waste but accelerating us on it. Listen and see if you can identify the pattern and its results. Read the book to check the results of your efforts -- not what you hope results but what actually results.

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