anand giridharadas

anand giridharadas

intro’d to Anand here (shared by Toma on fb):

17 min – Sometimes we succumb to the seductive Davos dogma that the business approach is the only thing that can change the world, in the face of so much historical evidence to the contrary.


Sometimes I wonder whether these various forms of giving back have become to our era what the papal indulgence was to the Middle Ages: a relatively inexpensive way of getting oneself seemingly on the right of justice, without having to alter the fundamentals of one’s life.


You helped 100 poor kids in the ghetto learn how to code. The indulgence spares you from questions about the larger systems and structures you sustain that benefit you and punish others:


We talk a lot here about giving more. We don’t talk about taking less.

We talk a lot here about what we should be doing more of. We don’t talk about what we should be doing less of.


So let’s just come out and say the thing you’re never supposed to say in Aspen: that many of the winners of our age are active, vigorous contributors to the problems they bravely seek to solve.


These inflated notions of what it takes to “make a living” and “support a family” are the beginning of so much neglect of our larger human family.


Are we using our collective strength to challenge the powerful, or are we helping to make an unjust, unpalatable system feel a little more digestible?


I have the feeling that we could be even more than we have been: genuine stewards of this chaotic, revolutionary moment in world affairs.


we can just go on playing and winning at the same old game, and giving a little back. But I have a feeling this community, summoning the genuine spirit of leadership, could muster the gall to reimagine the game itself.

whata nother way ness

find/follow Anand:

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wikipedia small

Anand Giridharadas (born 1981 or 1982) is an American author and newspaper columnist. He writes for The New York Times and the International Herald Tribune. He is the author of two books, India Calling: An Intimate Portrait of a Nation’s Remaking (2011) and The True American: Murder and Mercy in Texas (2014). Much of his writing has focused on India and its people.

combo of berti Ted (Benedetta Berti: The surprising way groups like ISIS stay in power) and aspen talk..


tedsummit 2016

A letter to all who have lost in this era

i was distracted.. entranced by the gurus of change.. the more i drove you to cling

no room for hate..

i was buying your pain on the cheap and selling it back as freedom

i have a weakness of treating people’s econ interest as their only interest

i worry when each of us has visions of the future with no place for the other..

we witness and sometimes ignore each other into being..

we face a problem not of large impersonal forces.. but of yours and my relations.. we chose ways of relating that got us here.. we can choose ways of relating that get us out..

things we might have to let go of.. let go of fantasies.. of society purged of these/those people..

imagine if i let go of my habit of saving the world behind your back.. in places you couldn’t get past security…

we can do this only if we first accept..we have neglected each other..

at the cost of attention of the foundational dream of each other..

we could dare to commit to the dream of each other as the thing that matters…

a nother way



Michael Moore joins wide-ranging election talk

starts 5 min ish

7 min – people didn’t care about the label… people struggling from pay check to pay check.. respect not paying the govt anything

9 min – Anand – small town america is as incurious

10 min – how many shows on flint after he drank the water

11 min – on so many voting.. but not for president..

21 min – Anand – can’t have a republic if curiosity isn’t a two way street

24 min – it’s the data…

? – the way we vote.. is data..?

27 min – bernie was the revolution for how to run… trump was a revolution for destroying both parties..

29 min – why didn’t oprah run for democrats

hillary won the popular vote and lost

33 min – Anand – let’s take a little time to learn about this.. let’s just not find another candidate on top of same system..

34 min – find the common ground

37 min – Anand – thanksgiving.. great opp.. ask.. what did you learn from this that changed you..?

38 min – for all of us to agree – at thanksgiving table.. that we have more in common.. ie: all want good schools for kids..

really? dang

39 min – Anand – we are more decent than we behave

40 min – as we leave.. i would champion Anand’s call – of two way street to cultural curiosity


Micah Sifry (@Mlsif) tweeted at 6:36 AM – 1 Nov 2017 :

Here’s the text of @AnandWrites excellent opening talk at #ObamaSummit (

I’ve found that real change escapes many change-makers because powerful illusions guide their projects..

1\ the illusion that the world can be transformed one starfish at a time.

2\ the illusion that you can change the world without changing people.

3\ the illusion that you can change the world without being rooted in it.

1\Why are the starfish being beached? Will these few rescues distract us from actual solutions?..What if the thrower is complicit — ..The thrower is making a difference to that one, yes. But he is also part of the problem..It’s a belief in changing the world, so long as it costs you nothing…The starfish illusion focuses change-makers on the difference they make to those they choose to help. Yet they risk avoiding the causes of the disease and remedies that would actually cure it. And they avoid these things in part because facing them could implicate powerful people, or perhaps even themselves.

aka: not part\ial.. for (blank)’s sake

roots of healing

2\Is there space among the woke for the still-waking?..A common answer to this question is that the people angry at losing status don’t deserve any help. They’ve been helped….it is our problem. The burden of citizenship is committing to your fellow citizens and accepting that what is not your fault may be your problem. And that, amid great change, it is in all of our interest to help people see who they will be on the other side of the mountaintop.

3\when rooted, you observe how systems actually affect people.

The starfish illusion keeps our eyes on those few we can rescue. But real change is systemic and self-implicating, urging us to see our role in vast, complex problems.

all of us or none of us.. systemic

The woke illusion tells us to circle the wagons. But real change is missionary, seeking to expand the circle.

binary ness

The global illusion tempts us to be thinly everywhere, not thickly somewhere. But real change is rooted and comes through bargaining with your fellow citizens as equals.

the best defense against hatred is offense — an evangelism of love. That changing the whole wide world must never be a refuge from tending to our own places.

rev of everyday life

ie: hlb via 2 convos that io dance.. as the day..[aka: not part\ial.. for (blank)’s sake…]..  a nother way


Jason Hickel (@jasonhickel) tweeted at 6:46 AM – 28 Aug 2018 :
A trenchant critique of philanthropy. “The ethical question of our age centres on the distribution, not the redistribution, of wealth.” (

“This is a critique of a system of which I am absolutely, undeniably a part.”

“When it comes to who gets heard in the public square, ordinary citizens can’t begin to compete with an activist donor class,” Callahan writes. “How many very rich people need to care intensely about a cause to finance megaphones that drown out the voices of everyone else?” he asks. “Not many.”

begs a mech to listen to all the voice.. ie: as it could be..

 In just the next twenty years, affluent baby boomers are expected to contribute almost seven trillion dollars to philanthropy. And, the more government spending gets squeezed, the more important nongovernmental spending will become.

Thus, a hundred-million-dollar gift to Harvard will still be fully deductible, while, in many parts of the country, the property taxes paid to support local public schools will not be.



Anand Giridharadas (@AnandWrites) tweeted at 8:39 PM – 9 Sep 2018 :
The bankers are deft rebranders.
Morgan Stanley raises the capital that changes the world. Goldman Sachs empowers 10,000 women. BlackRock is about purpose. Wells Fargo teaches financial literacy. Bank of America teaches better money habits. J.P. Morgan revitalizes neighborhoods. (


winners take all

on hold – thanks library

Brilliant thoughts here.

Original Tweet:

5 min video:

we live in a world that is abundant in innovation.. yet has been punishing.. the system feels rigged

how does a country that has produced so much innovation .. how has it been so miserly..

mlk: philanthropy itself is laudable but we cannot ignore the circumstances of econ injustice that make it necessary..t

is that philanth solving deep systemic problems.. or  part of keeping people just calm enough.. feeling like elites are helping.. actually perpetuating a system where winners take all

fix it by changing where we go to change the world.. not first thru co’s then profits.. create society which we go back to public sphere to make change

no change worth having comes w privileged tossing a few scrapes

look for a solution that actually solves the system at the root instead of mitigating some of the effects..t

mufleh humanity lawwe have seen advances in every aspect of our lives except our humanity – Luma Mufleh

roots of healing.. a solution deep enough: listening to all the voices, everyday – tech as it could be


article from sept 18 by jennifer and anand:

“The problem with outsourcing change to economic winners is that you end up with fake change. Real change happens in the arena of politics and policy, and if you aren’t working to reform our common life… you’re probably not ‘changing the world.'”

Original Tweet:

begs rev of everyday life

jennifer: Anand’s vision for fixing the world relies not on the generosity of the rich but on democratic governance. It is a vision that is desperately needed. “Are we ready to hand over our future to the elite, one supposedly world-changing initiative at a time?” he asks. “Or is meaningful democracy, in which we all potentially have a voice, worth fighting for?

there’s a nother way

anand: When these winners engage in change, they lift up nonthreatening projects that suit their tastes. They call them “win-wins.” They favor forms of change that bypass government and rely on the private sector and its charitable spoils. They are warier of collective, democratic fixes, which can mean higher taxes, tighter regulation, and reduced profits

The problem with outsourcing change to these economic winners is that you end up with fake change.

so to is democracy (unless you completely change the defn to something we’ve never seen.. ie: undisturbed ecosystem.. via a quiet revolution

Instead of building that one charter school, *build an organization that lobbies for an end to the funding of public schools according to the value of the homes in the city where the child lives. Instead of scolding women to lean in, scold your government to put in place the family policies that have been **proven in other countries to empower women.

*rather.. let’s go sans school ness

ie: in the city.. as the day.. via gershenfeld something else law

**nobody has this down yet.. because.. it takes all of us.. from the get go.. not binary (man/woman.. us/them.. et al).. which begs we leap – via tech as it could be


“When rich people take over change, they change change…It’s not the kind of change that has historically made America what it is — that got women the vote, that got African-Americans civil rights, that made the workday eight hours, that got the antifreeze out of medicine. It’s the kind of change that leaves the winners on top – a change that doesn’t change anything.” — Anand Giridharas delivers a harsh message to tech philanthropists at the #WIRED25 summit.


cannot match the fire power of the fake change


code for america livestream oct 24 2018


18 min – headstart proving that it worked


jen a lot on food stamp failures

32 min – one of the arguments in the book is that we have to change where we go to change the world

39 min – on creating system change


“The philanthropy of the super-rich isn’t just an inadequate substitute for a fairer world — it’s actually part of the system that perpetuates the gross unfairness of mass inequality.”

The inimitable @doctorow on @winnerstakeall.

Original Tweet:


jan 2019 1 hr – What It Really Takes to Change the World | Anand Giridharadas | RSA Replay

The RSA (@theRSAorg) tweeted at 2:11 PM – 26 Jan 2019 :
“Any problem that government decisively solves once & for all, goes into a bucket of things we no longer feel grateful for. This is the problem with government.” Watch @AnandWrites on How to Really Change the World

8 min – i think you are fighting on two sides of the same war.. i think what you do by operational daylight often impacts the world negatively in ways in which what you do by philanthropic moonlight can never compensate for..t

13 min – we’re not only not fixing historical legacies.. we’re making it worse now.. ie: 2017 – 82% went to 1%.. so lots of philanthropy ..  and yet what the winners of our age are not willing to do is get off the man’s back ie: pay higher taxes; let go of tax maneuvers; pay people more to do their jobs; stop lobbying

14 min – i think the convo i’m trying to force w this book is.. what would it look like for the kind of change that would involve the winners of our age stepping off that guy’s back..t

ie: a nother way – next experiment

16 min – what could be wrong with doing well by doing good.. a lot of this is couched in the language of ‘win win’.. it seems what it does is takes a concept from world of trade..  and jammed it into this sphere of social change.. solving biggest problems.. where it has no business.. ie: feminism is not a win win .. a lot of men are going to lose out

we can have a win win .. we have to.. if we want it to work

18 min – what you’re really saying.. is best solution doesn’t ask anyone to get off man’s back

no.. saying.. let’s offer a nother way.. for everyone

20 min – i believe this win win.. although it sounds so good.. is part of the problem of privatization.. i don’t think all problems need to be solved by the public..

only because we’re not taking it far enough.. ie: to everyone

i think most things will be solved by private.. but when you look at things like ie: the empowerment of women.. can’t be solved by clever businesses or apps or rich people.. those kinds of problems have to be solved by everyone.. and those kinds of solutions have been discredited by the fantasy of the win win

22 min – this book is not about philanthropy

31 min- argument in my book is that we need to go back to political/public sphere to change the world

33 min – it was a collage of people who didn’t know how to make things work anymore.. t.. a charismatic person could speak to that pain.. and it was so lacking.. so .. i don’t want to let politics off the hook.. but it needs to get a lot better.. we need to convince young people that politics is the way to go..t

let’s just go with daily curiosity  ie: cure ios city.. call that politics.. approaching infinity.. everyday..

36 min – change takes a long time.. but when it happens it happens pretty quickly.. t.. ie: aoc

we’re primed (collage of people in pain/fear) for a leap


Anand Giridharadas (@AnandWrites) tweeted at 5:53 AM on Tue, Feb 19, 2019:
I have news.
Today I join @TIME as an editor at large and special correspondent.
I will write a few deeply reported stories a year, digging into the big questions that haunt and test us.
I’m excited to join a place that still speaks across rifts.
Send me courage, and stories.


doe – david w anand