Random? I think not.

So three things: 1) the election, 2) a conversation, 3) an article.  I suppose if inspiration is going to come, a combination of these three venues isn’t a shabby way to get it. 

1)the election.  The majority went to the New Democracy, which is the conservative party in Greece.  This party wants Greece to stick with the euro, continue negotiations for relief and help from other eurozone members, and work with larger European bodies such as the IMF.  Now, as I had mentioned before, election results relating to the parties are only the beginning.  An actual government still has to be formed.  Even though the New Democracy received the majority of the support from the public, that does not mean there were not other parties who also received a good amount.  The distribution of seats in Parliament still needs to occur.  It is up to the party with the most votes to begin negotiating how this distribution will happen.  They (in this case the New Democracy) have three days to get all 300 seats of Parliament filled.  This means, they may have to compromise if some of the parties feel resistance will give them a stronger political voice in changing Greece’s history, then will participation in a New Democratic coalition government.  The projection is that, out of 300 seats in Parliament, New Democracy will get 128 seats (plus the 50-seat bonus the winning party automatically receives for a total of 178 seats), the Syriza party will get 72 seats, the Pasok party will get 33 seats, the Democratic Left 17 seats and the Greek Independents 20 seats.  So while the Greek people voted mainly for a party who wants to keep negotiating before throwing its hands up at the eurozone, the actual fabric of the new government that will lead Greece through the crisis is still to be determined.  But, one thing is for sure, there is hope.   To use the words of New Democratic Party Leader Samaras, Greece is looking forward to a “salvation coalition.”

2)Art is awesome.  I sometimes forget how much I learn just by sketching, just by reading a few sentences about a painting, just by enjoying a color.  Art never ends for me, and I like that a lot.  There is always something to say about it, there is always something weird about it, and there is always something timeless about it.  This weekend I soaked in the rays with a friend and we got to talking about art and (scarily enough) senior thesis topics.  Both of our topics are related to art, but in very different manners.  We talked about museum education and if it actually works.  We talked about why Europe has such incredible museums.  We talked about how The Met in New York has becomes such a monument as much as a collection of art.  We talked about culture and how it gives people something to stand by.  We talked about how corporations can perpetuate culture.  We talked about art festivals, and how ideas are actually assimilated.  We talked about the intangible-ness of it all.  After all this I remembered how long it takes to get to know an art scene.  Whether that scene is Florence in the 1600’s or the contemporary work in New York City, art loving is a gradual process.  It is something that compliments everything.  For me, it never really takes over but it is definitely there.  I think that is what I always want, art to be my complement.  Art (in the broad sense….art as a mentality for exploration maybe is more like it) should taint everything. 

3)This article I read was about impact investing.  What is this you ask?  Well it is similar to that non-profit and capacity stuff I was talking about in an earlier post.  But basically, it is when wealthy people or companies invest their money into NGO’s or organizations whose goals are to provide social welfare programs such as food aid or education to the poor.  This article was striking in its first claim: “Only billionaires can save the world and fix all of its problems.”  Well, what is that supposed to mean?  It is supposed to mean, that in today’s globalizing world where money, activity and information is being exchanged rapidly, it is up to the individuals who have succeeded to recognize the height of their success and do something with it.  More, now then ever, we are realizing how inefficient large government-type bureaucracies are. It is ironic.  One might think, at least I initially did, that a large institution such as governments would be perfect for a globalizing world because their scope is so much bigger than say one American-born company.  Not so.  It is an individual with money and smarts and desire to invest that can actually have the power to create a whole new market.  A market which thrives on the success of social-impact driven organizations.  I liked this article a lot.  Check it out, and see why philanthrocapitalism is pretty catchy if you ask me. I personally like the idea of creating a new kind of market geared for bringing success to those organizations whose purpose is to do good.

So how do we tie all of this together?  There are elections amidst economic crisis, there is an enlightening conversation that reminded me of the facets of art, and there is this new idea of creating a market to treat philanthropy like business.  To me, all this means is that there will always be needs, there will always be conversations, and there will always be solutions.  The answers we will be needing will live in the gray area, in the area that combines perspectives.  Our job is to capture all of this, the need, the solution, and the perspectives, and streamline it all in a way that makes it digestible and enticing for the world to see.  I am picturing those kind of interlocking gears.  Gears that slot into place only when placed in the correct relation to each other.  The elections proved a need for new leadership, my thoughts about art refreshed a conversation topic that I would always like to come back to, and the article introduced me to a totally new potential solution in the form of a business model.  Maybe these things are divergent on the surface, but look a little deeper and we may be able to understand a bit more about how exactly the world grows. 


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