• Mitch Bruski

    Excellent point on and coverage of Nick Hanauer, an under the radar thinker and doer

  • Andrew

    The Saverin story weaves a sad tale of making it big in the US and ducking out before your responsibility comes up. Though I find it interesting he [LINK=http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-501465_162-57436655-501465/facebook-ipo-price-announced-saverin-to-pay-taxes/]continues to claim[/LINK] he will pay his US taxes.

    As for the TED talk, I find the coverage of this story highly misleading. Chris Anderson from TED [LINK=http://tedchris.posterous.com/131417405]wrote a response[/LINK] to the criticisms from the National Journal and I find the reasoning quite compelling.

    One brief excerpt: “At TED we post one talk a day on our home page. We’re drawing from a pool of 250+ that we record at our own conferences each year and up to 10,000 recorded at the various TEDx events around the world, not to mention our other conference partners.”

    While the idea is interesting that Hanauer offers, I find it easy to conclude that this discussion did not warrant more attention or approval compared to the many other talks to choose from. In no small way, Hanauer’s ability to hire a PR firm, appear on talk shows, and push the conversation in his favor on the internet is a testament to his wealth. Many such speakers would just have accepted the reality of the decision: the talk does not warrant being chosen.

  • Sue Hoechstetter

    Excellent point, Rick, about not melding philanthropy and the quest for profit. It seems to me that trying to solve social problems is complex enough without trying to make profits at the same time.

  • rick cohen

    Thanks for your comments, Andrew. I saw Anderson’s response and I’ve spent a lot of time on the TED website. In looking at the range of content on the TED website, it’s hard to see how Hanauer’s wouldn’t rank right up there with others that were publishable. The fact that TED earlier cited the political nature of the content cannot be circumvented in the analysis, nor the corporate presence among TED’s partners and funders. I think the TED/Hanauer story is one in which reasonable people (like you and me!) might have to disagree. RE Saverin’s claim of paying his taxes, he seems to have left Senators Schumer and Casey unconvinced. At nearly $4 billion in assets, Saverin can certainly afford to pay his taxes.

  • rick cohen

    Hanauer’s text was actually quite good. He got to the point quickly and made it clearly. It’s worth circulating, I think. In an odd way, TED’s rejection of it has given it a lot more circulation than it might have had otherwise.

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