ari wallach

ari wallach.png

intro’d to Ari via his tedxmidatlantic oct 2016

We have a lot of problems that we are facing. These are civilizational-scale problems. The issue though is, we can’t solve them using the mental models that we use right now to try and solve these problems.Yes, a lot of great technical work is being done, but there is a problem that we need to solve for a priori, before, if we want to really move the needle on those big problems. *Short-termism.” Right

actually – i’d say.. *set people free .. first.. because deep enough begs all of us.. at once.. can’t be partial.. begs we leap.. for (blank)’s sake

if i go – short termism as not deep enough.. then yeah

short-termism prevents the CEO from buying really expensive safety equipment. It’ll hurt the bottom line. So we get the Deepwater Horizon. Short-termism prevents teachers from spending quality one-on-one time with their students. So right now in America, a high school student drops out every 26 seconds. Short-termism prevents Congress — sorry if there’s anyone in here from Congress

so.. again.. to me.. this is about going deep enough..  beyond ceo’s and schools and congress.. imagining those all irrelevant if we go deep.. not even irrelevant to right now ness.. more as in – non existent in future..

But in our short-termist time, where everything seems to happen right now and we can only think out past the next tweet or timeline post, we get hyper-reactionary.

true to reactionary ness.. and why we need to set people free first..

We take people who are fleeing their war-torn country, and we go after them. We take low-level drug offenders, and we put them away for life. And then we build McMansions without even thinking about how people are going to get between them and their job. It’s a quick buck.

..I call technical fixes sandbag strategies.’s the insidious thing. A sandbag strategy can get you reelected. A sandbag strategycan help you make your quarterly numbers.

1\ transgenerational thinking. ..

2\ futures thinking.. .our problems are so big and so vast that we need to open ourselves up…that’s why I do everything in my power not to talk about the future. I talk about futures. It opens the conversation again.

3\ telos thinking..asking one question: to what end? ..In Homer’s epic, “The Odyssey,” Odysseus had the answer to his “what end.” It was Ithaca. It was this bold vision of what he wanted — to return to Penelope. And I can tell you, because of the work that I’m doing, but also you know it intuitively — we have lost our Ithaca.

We have lost our “to what end,” so we stay on this hamster wheel.

souls are begging for a rat park

deep enough so that long is now


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Founder + Fast Company Futures with Ari Wallach + The Great Schlep + . Adj. Prof + Longpathist. ()

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Ari Wallach (born 1974) is Founder and CEO of Synthesis Corp., a strategy and innovation consultancy. The firm was founded in 2008, and has since counted the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Pew Research Center, Ford Foundation, CNN, Sephora, Volkswagen, and the US State Department amongst its clients.

Tech President called Ari “one of the most creative online innovators working in the political space today” in recognition of his work on BillBabyBill, a project to bring a comprehensive energy bill to the floor of the Senate. His speaking on social technology has been featured at South by Southwest, the 92nd St. Y,, and at the AYM summits in London and Mexico City.

Ari is considered an expert in the usage of technology to further innovation in seemingly calcified sectors and was asked to give a series of talks on “Democracy 2.0” on behalf of the US State Department at various cities and consulates in Japan in 2010. In 2011 Ari spoke at the annual Auburn Rudin lecture at WNYC on the impact the Internet is having on societies mental maps and structural models in regards to the future of faith and spirituality.

Ari currently sits on the boards of 70 Faces Media,, and the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life. Ari is also on the advisory board to the CITRIS Data and Democracy Initiative based at UC Berkeley.

Ari is an Adjunct Associate Professor at Columbia University lecturing on innovation and the future of governance and public policy.

In November 2015, Fast Company magazine launched Fast Company Futures with Ari Wallach, a “new initiative that will shape the ways we address the biggest challenges facing our rapidly changing world. We will explore emergent business models, solutions, and opportunities by bringing together the most innovative people and ideas from business, technology, policy, and culture

Ari was born in Guadalajara, Mexico where his father, a Polish Holocaust survivor and member of the Jewish underground in World War II, established a successful industrial infrastructure business after an 11 year stint in Cuba pre and post-revolution. Eventually, the family moved to the San Francisco Bay Area where Ari was raised.

Ari’s mother is a Bay Area artist who most recently was included in a Marc Chagall retrospective. Regarding the passing of Ari’s father in 1993, Sen. Harry Reid declared “Recently our Nation lost a national treasure… His family’s loss was ours. There is one fewer just man to stand and tell the truth. One fewer just man to bear witness. We who are living must remember him and what by living he taught us. We must, we shall, never forget.”

Ari majored in Peace and Conflict Studies at UC Berkeley. He brings his conflict resolution experience to bear in his work in innovation. Says Ari: “The heart of innovation is conflict—you are challenging the status quo.”

Ari’s career has followed an eclectic path, ranging from work in media, government, and various creative fields. Early in his career, Ari worked with the Democratic National Committee, Clinton/Gore 96, and the US Institute of Peace, all in Washington, DC.


Synthesis is currently working with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to develop UNHCR labs—whose mission will be to drive innovation both inside and outside of UNHCR to

further their collective ability to serve persons of concern worldwide with the latest tools, platforms and processes.

let’s try this: a nother way – deep/long enough..

hosting-life-bits that io dance

In November 2012, Ari was invited to attend the GovLab Summit at 10 Downing Street on the topic of the future of governance, data and democracy. There he spoke on social paradigm shifts and the need for

collective and participatory vision –

“People want to see how they’re involved in where things are going. Shifts only occur when people have an idea of where they’re going.”


Ari wrote an essay for Wired Magazine in April 2013 on our need to develop a greater capacity for long term thinking at a societal level.

Big problem, though: big is not big enough. To tackle the challenges of our day we must (re)introduce another dimension — time as well as space — and plot these big problems and their solutions along a broader time horizon.


We need a new mechanism that will allow us to build our metaphorical cathedrals.

mech.. simple enough to facil all of us.. being deep enough

We need a mantra that can serve as a course corrector. Let’s call that mantra longpath.

i’d say deep.. so not just future thinking..  all the ways.. deep

Specifically cited was the need to establish “…a framework for long-term strategy — one that is visionary yet goal-oriented. Without organising principles, it will be impossible to corral the corporations and capitals of the globe to tackle our significant long-term challenges. ” Ari also states that coupled with – and perhaps as important as the underlying framework – is the need for a new vernacular. “To this end, I suggest “longpath”. It’s a term that connotes long-term and goal-oriented strategies. It can help leaders navigate the balance between short-term gain and [perceived] long-term ruin. A CEO might say: “That may be good for the bottom line, but it poses significant risks to our longpath.”

In April 2015, Ari stated that the Wired Magazine essay was moving from written form towards “something organizational.”