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4 Responses to “Scaling Systems Up And Down”

  1. Mike Metzger says:

    My wife Kathy noted the MS-13 is a rather dark example of scaling up. “Aren’t there any positive examples” There are. Check out The New Meadowlands Project.

    Note that when we scale systems up, the scales of economy also scale up. New Meadowlands is a multi-year +$60 billion civic initiative.

    We’re launching our civic initiative tonight here in Annapolis, at Clapham House. How successful will we be? Don’t know. But we gotta try.

  2. John R says:

    One suggestion for further conversation: there is a growing mountain of sociological evidence from the past five decades that a main driver and predictor of systemic poverty is the breakdown of “traditional” marriage and family. In fact, recently it has emerged as the number one factor that predicts the economic future of a child, a factor more telling than class, race, geography, gender, etc. This is a complex issue, needless to say. But it does seem that any systemic reform that does not address the continued disintegration of families, which is significantly more advanced among the poor, may amount to building a house on sand …

  3. Pat Goodman says:

    I couldn’t agree more with John R. In my own work with young people in Baltimore City it’s not an either or venture of scaling down or up, as crucial as both of those are. It’s more of a both/and proposition. Yet, from my limited view without the 1st system people were created to function in, the family, being intact things will only flourish so much. Needless to say things are multilayered and complex. I’m encouraged and challenged by your efforts in Annapolis. We all will learn from it.

  4. Tom Nesler says:

    There are so many barriers for the poor to overcome. Money alone won’t solve them. Education is a false hope when society marginalizes people based on race and ethnicity. Volunteerism does help, but sometimes it too is based on stereotypes.

    Churches need to become the core of outreach to communities. Only there can we see people for who they really are.

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