Introducing Against the Rules with Michael Lewis
2 min

Get ready for the launch of Michael Lewis's first podcast, where he takes listeners from student-loan call centers to the courts of Uzbekistan to the new trading hubs of Wall Street (in New Jersey). What happens when fairness can't be enforced?

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City of the Future
City of the Future
Sidewalk Labs
Factory-based Construction
For about a century, architects and developers have dreamed of the promise of factory-based construction — after all, if Henry Ford revolutionized the auto industry with assembly lines, why shouldn’t we be able to make buildings in factories, too? But, in North America at least, almost every attempt to revolutionize this industry has failed. But now, thanks to innovations in design, materials, and machinery — and a green wave taking over the industry — factory-based construction could be an idea whose time has finally come. In this episode: * [0:01 - 3:11] We take a fun trip back in time to Expo 67 and explore why the influential prefabricated concrete building Habitat 67 was just too ahead of its time. * [3:35 - 8:26] Northeastern University architecture professor Ivan Rupnik relays the history of factory-based construction, including Operation Breakthrough, the U.S.’s initiative to out-build the Soviet Union during the Cold War * [8:46 - 16:28] Sidewalk Labs Director of Product Design for Buildings Karim Khalifa and Associate Director of Building Innovations Lily Huang describe how Sidewalk Labs is developing an architectural kit of parts to allow architects to build with quality, speed, and sustainability * [16:43 - 22:30] Architect and author Susan Jones shares her experiences building her own prefabricated mass timber house and working on the committee to change international building code for mass timber To see images and videos of topics discussed in this episode, read the link-rich transcript on our Sidewalk Talk Medium page. City of the Future is hosted by Eric Jaffe and Vanessa Quirk, and produced by Benjamen Walker and Andrew Callaway. Mix is by Zach Mcnees. Art is by Tim Kau. Our music is composed by Adaam James Levin-Areddy of Lost Amsterdam. Special thanks to Ivan Rupnik, Karim Khalifa, Lily Huang, and Susan Jones.
24 min
The Strong Towns Podcast
The Strong Towns Podcast
Strong Towns
Stacy Mitchell: Fighting for Small Businesses and Strong Local Economies
COVID-19 has been brutal for small businesses. Back in September, data from Yelp showed that nearly 100,000 businesses had closed for good. That was two-and-a-half months ago...and many experts believe the next few months will be even worse for small businesses. A global pandemic was going to be destructive no matter what, but it’s clear now that small businesses were on a weak footing to start with. Why? That’s the topic on this episode of the Strong Towns podcast...and there’s no guest better able to help us make sense of it than Stacy Mitchell. Mitchell is the co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and the director of its Independent Business Initiative. She’s the author of Big-Box Swindle: The True Cost of Mega-Retailers and the Fight for America’s Independent Businesses, and coauthor of “Amazon’s Stranglehold: How the Company’s Tightening Grip on the Economy Is Stifling Competition, Eroding Jobs, and Threatening Communities.” Her writing has also appeared in The Atlantic, Wall Street Journal, The Nation, Bloomberg, and other major outlets. Mitchell has testified before Congress on the monopoly power of dominant tech platforms. In April, she was the subject of a New York Times profile, “As Amazon Rises, So Does the Opposition.” In this episode, Strong Towns president Chuck Marohn welcomes Stacy Mitchell back to the podcast to talk about the concerns she had before the pandemic — corporate consolidation, tech monopolies, how corporate giants were using their size and political clout to muscle out small businesses — and why those concerns are even more acute now. They discuss how small businesses have adapted in extraordinary ways to the challenges of coronavirus, yet still face huge obstacles, including a federal policy response that is printing money for big businesses but has done comparatively little for small businesses. They talk about how Amazon is “fundamentally anti-competitive,” the damage done by Amazon to startups and small businesses, and what it might look like if Congress breaks up the tech behemoth. Marohn and Mitchell also discuss why it is distorting to think about Americans primarily as “consumers.” Before we are consumers, we are members of a community, citizens in a democracy, and people trying to build a good life for ourselves and our families. Additional Show Notes: * Stacy Mitchell (Twitter) * Institute for Local Self-Reliance (Website) * Institute for Local Self-Reliance (Twitter) * Sign up for the ILSR Hometown Advantage newsletter * Charles Marohn (Twitter) * Other Strong Towns content featuring Stacy Mitchell and the Institute for Local Self-Reliance * “Amid COVID-19, Local Governments Are Coming Through for Local Businesses,” by Daniel Herriges * “Why Local Banks Are Crucial to Your Community's Coronavirus Recovery,” by Daniel Herriges * Ask Strong Towns Webcast: Celebrity Edition (featuring Stacy Mitchell) * “Stacy Mitchell on the Big-Box Swindle” (Podcast) * “How a Local Bookstore Can Make Your Town Richer—In More Than One Way,” by Kea Wilson
45 min
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