Sustaining Wealth Creation: Economic Recessions and Housing

How do we get out of the current financial mess? “Do whatever you can to allow the start of new businesses,” said 2002 Economic Nobel Laureate Vernon L. Smith, who spoke Thursday night (10/28/2010) at Indiana University. In the history of recessions here and around the world, bubbles in the housing market are regularly more devastating to financial institutions and other parts of the economy than even larger disruptions elsewhere according to Smith, Professor of Economics at Chapman University. Over the past few years I’ve been frustrated by simplified explanations of our recent financial crisis that place all blame on a single element of our system rather than dealing with what is a rather complex and intermixed systemic failure. Smith’s background in experimental microeconomics and long experience with bubbles led him and his associate, Dr. Steven Gjerstad, to study historic recessions and try to identify the differences that lead to … Continue reading

Creative Approaches

Creative approaches can come from unexpected directions. Today I was to teach a bit about entrepreneurial creativity in class, but had the chance for a real lesson an hour before. Carmen Benavente, author of Embroiderers of Ninhue: Stitching Chilean Rural Life, spoke at Indiana University today about her experiences in Chile. In 1971 at a time of turmoil in Chile she found herself back in her home region.  Surprised and frightened at the fear and mistrust she encountered upon arrival, she spent the night thinking over an idea – to invite the women of town to meet and share and learn embroidery. I found her story compelling, in part because of how quickly a creative impulse could catch fire. “Stitches afford a vocabulary for the designs,” said Carmen Benavente. The women were hesitant at first, saying they couldn’t even draw a straight line. But by the second day many in … Continue reading

The Science Of Creativity – Homework!

I was going to deconstruct an article on creativity I just read in Newsweek. Instead, I’m just going to say you need to read it for yourselves. Get past the scary call to action about creativity declining in the United States. (Scary for those of us who live here at least) This is one article where the really interesting and useful stuff is in the second half. As you read keep in mind: Creativity is about the creation of something original and useful – don’t limit your thinking to fine art categories. Creativity can be learned and encouraged in every part of the educational process, possibly improving overall effectiveness more than when limiting to traditional categories. The need to be creative is a deep, neurological need. Kudos to Po Bronson and Ashley Merry at Newsweek for a great synopsis.  Creativity is messy, which means there’s plenty to argue about in … Continue reading


Embracing change is a personal decision, but the need to change is a constant. No matter how ideal life or business is at the moment. Things change. I’ve been vibrantly aware of this during the past several months as my family has joyously celebrated two graduations, a wedding, a career shift, and a move. Now that we are at a pause in the summer of change (two moves yet to go) I’m catching my breath and contemplating change. You can make change a way of life. Be the early adopter, grab hold of every trend and gadget that passes near enough to touch. Being buffeted by every gust that hits doesn’t exactly make setting sail an easy proposition. You can resist change with all your might, and for a while keep your finger plugged in the dam. Won’t stop the dampness though and when it’s time to move your feet … Continue reading