He’s got vision. Today, the co-founder and co-CEO of Warby Parker joins the ranks of OZY guest editors like Karl Rove, Sen. Kamala Harris and Tucker Carlson to share his take on current must-know news and trends. Blumenthal’s lifestyle brand is disrupting the designer-eyewear industry, showing how an affordable pair of specs can support socially conscious entrepreneurship. Previously, he ran VisionSpring, a nonprofit that trains low-income women to sell affordable eyewear in developing countries. The Big Apple native lives in Greenwich Village with his wife and two children.
The Presidential Daily Brief
What a tangled web! The FCC has just come up with its plan to try to roll back the 2015 Open Internet Order establishing net neutrality. Its reasoning? To redefine broadband access. Unfortunately, they didn’t make the term any clearer. And when we treat the internet as the property of a few large companies — read: the cable industry — we lose some of the public good because it impacts the ability of startups and those with fewer resources to leverage this great infrastructure to scale new businesses.
It’s way past time to even this score. In an industry full of so many men — a number of them with poor behavior — there is a growing group of women who are just looking for their break. So why is the tech industry ignoring them? When I attend tech conferences or meet with investors, it’s predominately white males, so more definitely needs to be done. Warby Parker tracks its diversity stats, and we all need to continually improve in order to truly bring diversity and inclusion to the forefront.
There’s no denying this. Watch Glacier National Park lose its glaciers with your own eyes — with graphically rendered flowing sheets that illustrate the changes between 1966 and 2015. While the glaciers have been withstanding the hot and cold for more than 7,000 years, all that shifted in the 1800s, and in the last 50 years, 10 of the park’s glaciers have lost more than half their area. I think it’s crazy that we’re still having a discussion on whether climate change is happening. It’s high time we start focusing 100 percent on solutions instead.
Know This: Portland is mourning the two men whose throats were slit by a white supremacist after they attempted to intervene as he hurled racist slurs at two young women. Music legend Gregg Allman has died at 69. And President Trump promised a decision in the next week on American participation in the Paris climate agreement.
Answer This: Tell us how you really feel. OZY’s next TV show is premiering on PBS this fall. The Third Rail will tackle hot topics typically taboo for television. In anticipation, we’ll be posting a provocative question right here each week, focusing on topics that might make it onto the show. First up: Do you think it’s OK to have a racial preference in dating? Why or why not? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your thoughts or a personal story. We’ll publish the most intriguing answers Tuesday on OZY.com.
Enough talk about virtues; it’s time to build up resilience. This writer, a highly regarded Wharton professor, is great at providing a slightly different perspective on conventional wisdom that helps us be better people. He tackled this topic while addressing the graduating class at Utah State University. Grant says that while generosity, authenticity and grit are all honorable lessons often touted in commencement speeches, another one is key: And that’s to be true to yourself, but not so much that your true self never evolves.
All parents dread hearing “I’m bored” from their children — an inevitability, no matter how many books or swings you buy. I’ll never forget all the four-hour drives my family took over weekends between New York and Vermont. Sure, I was bored senseless, but I also used the time to dream and build worlds in my head. So while boredom can be linked to behavioral issues, from bad driving to mindless snacking, it’s not all bad news: Studies show that the encouragement of contemplation and daydreaming can actually spur creativity.
Let’s give Charity Charge founder Stephen Garten some credit … for thinking outside the box. His social venture is helping consumers donate credit reward points to nonprofit organizations. After learning that a whopping 31 percent of consumers have never redeemed their credit card rewards, Garten developed a way to direct the $16 billion a year in unused reward points to places where they could do some good. I love social enterprise and clever solutions to real problems, and this is a reminder that there are dynamic people with creative ideas that benefit others.
Maybe they’re all Angry Birds. Researchers at Beihang University in China recently found that certain sentiments travel faster than others on social platforms like Twitter and Facebook. Their conclusion? Joy moves faster than sadness or disgust, but nothing moves more quickly than rage. Sure, it’s a bit sad, but these social platforms are merely amplifying our instincts and behaviors. It’s only human to be enraged by controversy and to share your thoughts with friends, and I love any chance like this to learn more about human nature.
Say cheese. The newest craze in the world of selfies? Next-generation selfie booths, which companies are adding to build customer engagement in-store. Step up to a backdrop, strike a pose and post. One of our core values at Warby Parker is to inject fun into everything we do, so when we opened our 50th store, in Los Angeles, we included a green room. Inside, customers can shoot a 15-second video of themselves floating through space or being chased by a shark. It’s a way to create something fun and different. Something special.