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Barry Schwartz vs. Malcolm Gladwell on Choice

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Free Resource (#798) - April 23rd, 2009
Today's Free Resource

Today we're featuring two free talks from TED.com because they fit so well together. Malcolm Gladwell and Barry Schwartz ruminate on the positives and negatives of having such as vast array of choices in our advanced capitalist societies. Do more choices provide us with more happiness or not? You decide.

Barry Schwartz: The Paradox of Choice

Barry Schwartz, author of The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less, discusses some of the observations he makes in his book in this talk from the TED conference. He argues that the vast explosion of choices in advanced capitalist societies has led to increased paralysis in terms of decision making and ultimately decreased satisfaction. He provides a number of examples to back up his thesis that more choice and individual freedom is not always best. This talk is available on streaming video and MP3 download from the TED.com website.

Malcolm Gladwell: What We Can Learn From Spaghetti Sauce

In this interesting talk delivered by bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell, he explores how the food industry went from looking for the perfect single spaghetti sauce recipe to a more diverse approach of creating a variety of spaghetti sauces to suit the desires of shoppers. He examines this trend through one of its main proponents Howard Moskowitz who used the field of psychophysics to create a variety of original sauces for Prego in the 1980s. Once this variability was proven to be successful it spread to the rest of the food industry, and Gladwell feels we are all happier for this increase in choices. This talk is available on streaming video and MP3 download from the TED.com website.

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Creating a World Without Poverty: How Social Business Can Transform Our Lives by Muhammad Yunus

While free markets have swept the globe and brought positive change, nevertheless traditional capitalism cannot solve problems of inequality and poverty because of its view of people as one-dimensional beings concerned only with profit. In fact, human beings have many other drives and passions, including spiritual, social, and altruistic.

Welcome to the world of social business, where the creative vision of the entrepreneur is applied to today's most serious problems: feeding the poor, housing the homeless, healing the sick, and protecting the planet. Creating a World without Poverty tells the stories of some of the earliest examples of social businesses, including Yunus's own Grameen Bank. It reveals the next phase in an economic and social revolution that is already underway and in the worldwide effort to eliminate poverty by unleashing the productive energy of every human being.

Available on MP3 Download.

Listen to a free sample of: Creating a World Without Poverty

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