Jonathan J. Halperin
Jonathan J. Halperin
Designing Research, Communications
and Strategies for Sustainability

Dispatches

Authenticity and Empathy in the American Food System

Friday, October 19, 2012
Authenticity is the touchstone of trust, the defining characteristic mentioned repeatedly at this week’s James Beard Foundation conference. From Genetic modification of food to mother’s milk, from food service providers to artisan foragers, from Nashville to Portland the exploration of trust and distrust was both deep and wide in this live-streamed conference.

What are the Ingredients of Trust?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Trust and the American Food System is the theme of this week’s annual James Beard Foundation conference in New York: A Crisis in Confidence: Creating a Better, More Sustainable Food World We Can Trust. I moderate a panel Thursday morning with Sam Kass from The White House and Eric Goldstein, Chief Executive of the New York City Office of School Support Services.

What is the Modern Corporation?

Saturday, June 30, 2012
Responding to a comment from Joe Nocera about Howard Schultz’s unique background, both as the company founder and a kid from Brooklyn who grew up in public housing, I reframed the question back to the link between organizational and leadership values – and perceptions of time.

Autonomous Technology?

Saturday, June 30, 2012
In a filled tent at the Aspen Ideas Festival today, Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, described smart phones as devices that “by their nature” collect information.

I really want to like Walmart, but I don’t. At least not yet.

Friday, June 29, 2012
As I explained to C. Douglas McMillon, CEO and President of Walmart International.

Cities of the Future

Friday, June 29, 2012
The mega-cities of the nearest future are either hubs of innovation and creativity, as outlined by Richard Florida at the Aspen Ideas Festival, or overrun slums without electricity, transit access to center city, running water and the most basic urban services. Or maybe they are both?

Finding North

Friday, June 29, 2012
Wow. A fabulous new documentary, Finding North, is a masterpiece of video storytelling.

Time and Money

Thursday, June 28, 2012
I have spent a significant portion of my career managing research projects, publishing materials, devising marketing and communications strategies and consulting to bring needed information and perspectives to corporate and nonprofit decision-makers. So I would never argue against communications and education as indispensable tools in the battle to address pressing global challenges.

Farm Bill and Foreign Aid

Thursday, June 28, 2012
Discussions of US foreign aid are often divorced from discussions of the US Farm Bill. At the Aspen Ideas Festival today I asked Tom Daschle, Dan Glickman, Lauren Bush and Beth Sauerhaft to connect the two.

Rational Middle and Social Ballast

Thursday, June 28, 2012
As an approach to resolving some of the world’s most intractable problems, embracing the “Rational Middle” sounds like a terrific concept. Who could object to bringing together people of diverse views on energy and climate policy to discuss reasonable solutions in a respectful manner?

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When I began to unhook from SustainAbility in 2008, after 20+ years, to co-found Volans, Jonathan was working with the US end of SustainAbility — and sent the London end of the Volans team a large cardboard box of multi-colored felt rocks, which initially I couldn't make head nor tail of. I thought he was mad, or overly American.

But I have to say that, over time, those felt rocks have become a central feature of the Volans culture, thrown by team members at other team members (or guests) on the slightest provocation. That aside, he's a consummate professional, creative collaborator, skilled communicator, and keen intellect—and I am delighted both to have had Jonathan as a colleague and to now count him as a friend.

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