The Grey Swan Guild News Wrap — The Week That Was March 5, 2021

Grey Swan Guild
10 min readMar 7, 2021


Volume #1, Edition #7

These are a series of stories and headlines we are tracking in the Grey Swan Guild’s Global League of Sensemakers Newsroom. Here is The Great, the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of what we observed this week. Join us in thoughts and actions for recognition and support of all the women of the world as we celebrate International Women’s on Monday, March 8, 2021. #ChooseToChallenge #IWD2021
March 8, Internation Women’s Day, 2021 — image:

The Great 😇

1.Somewhere over the Rainbow. Finding the Positive Growth in the Pandemic — sometimes there is survivor guilt that makes one feel awful for suggesting there are any positives to be experienced from our COVID-19 life malaises, but 88% of respondents from a University of Bath study suggest this pandemic has created positives. Most notably among these silver linings: improved relationships, a greater appreciation of life, and positive spiritual change. In the article, the concept of Post Traumatic Growth is explored. This is a set of outcomes that are on the positive side compared to the more infamous negatives of Post Traumatic Stress. “Trauma has a lasting impact on a person, but it is a misconception that you cannot recover from or grow from trauma,” she explains. “Post-traumatic growth comes from overcoming challenges that you may experience in reaction to trauma and learning from the recovery process”. says, licensed mental health counsellor GinaMarie Guarino, LMHC. Stay tuned for a Post Traumatic Growth Survey to get some data on PTG in the Grey Swan Guild. (Very Well Mind)

2.My Hero Zero. We Can Do This — Carbon Zero can be achieved. What has escaped our view in the last year is the centuries-long march into climate armageddon. Al Gore sounded extreme, but today some of his predictions are marching forward. According to the IPCC, the world must reach zero net CO2 emissions by mid-century in order to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius and avoid the most dangerous impacts of climate change. In reviewing the U.S. Energy System, it sounds like at $1 per person per day, or 0.6% of GDP, we can convert to 90–100% renewable non-carbon energy by 2050 with very little early retirements of infrastructure and assets. Let the wind blow and sunshine. (Berkeley Lab)

3.Link baby, link baby send me a link. Created content has value, at least LinkedIn seems to think so. This month’s emerging grey swan has manifested itself in how big tech platforms are taking content and news for granted. It’s led to a showdown between governments, regulators and companies with a mixed array of settlements with Google and Facebook. LinkedIn might be trying to get in front of this train by compensating some of its creators. particularly in video, stories and in partnering with platform influencers. They are even hiring a new Head of Community to rally the effort to support under-generated content through compensating the content creators. So if the term YouTuber and TikTok-ker became the influencer path to fame and riches, will the term “LinkedInner” also flourish? Show us the money. (Social Media Today)

The Good 😀

1.NFTs — Brother can you spare a bitcoin or two. This week the maturation spotlight shone on NFTs — Non-Fungible Tokens. A 10-second video clip was re-sold for a value of $6.6 million USD. It’s a future trend to watch out for — it may be the next best use of blockchain after bitcoin. NFT’s are a type of blockchain for unique, digital asset ownership, like art & collectibles that ONLY exist online in a digital form. Well not exactly, but the original existence of digital art is proven on the initial purchase, everything else that is created from there is a provable copy. It is an interesting experiment in both the use of crypt-coins, economic behaviour and the art of engineered scarcity. This will have implications for all patents, trademarks and copyrights. This will also be a novel way to prove the origination of an idea. In the art world, the value of NFT’s is growing exponentially. The National Basketball Association has already sold $250M of NFT film clips, It’s seeing major growth, and less speculation than Bitcoin/crypto. Your future collectible perhaps. Bids start a $1M. (Reuters)

2. Brave New World? Free Food Forests — the largest one set up in Atlanta. The Conservation Fund, with the assistance of the city of Atlanta and the U.S. Forest Service, is ensuring a seven-acre former pecan-farm continues its tradition of feeding the community by establishing a free food forest of 2,500 types of plant varieties. There are seventy such forests across the U.S. and they harbor hope for providing nutrition to citizens in food deserts, offering agroforestry climate relief close to urban settings and building communities of learning and shared experience. We love the idea of the return of the Commons. Win. Win. Win. (Good News Network)

3. The office as a consumer product. The worker is your customer. The open office to minimize costs and maximize utilization is coming under a microscope. Communal tables and sitting beside strangers will be pretty unpopular in 2022. As competition for employees increases, more options will be created for office workers. Maybe this is the inauguration of “Office User Experience” or OUX as in, Ooo, I would work there. We are sure this will actually spawn the return of the single-user office with doors and wall, with very good ventilation of course. “ The office will become more of a consumer product. And just like every consumer product, the office will have to continually fight for its customers and meet their needs — not only when it’s time to renew the lease. Offices will need spaces for specific tasks like focused work, team brainstorming, client presentations and employee training. And they will need to be more focused on individuals, even if these people work for a large company.” (New York Times)

The Bad 😬

1.Africa ignored again — represents only 4% of COVID research. Despite 20% of the population of Earth, when push comes to shove, the largest continent gets left in the dark. Narrow-eyed focus even in light of the greatest amount of research on a disease ever done and we humans still can’t study all humans and humanity. If we are to save people across the world we have to consider ALL the world. Although we are all human, the regions we live in and our cultural practices can vastly vary the impact of solutions of delivery. Just as disturbingly, only 34% of the authors of the African studies were African citizens. Self-determinism needs to start by giving Africans the tools to control their own fates, and in this case, health. (RFI)

2.Is there a Nurse in the House? High Staff Turnover at U.S. Nursing Homes Has Posed and Will Pose Risks for Residents’ Care. A new study highlights the persistent problems caused by an unstable workforce, an underlying threat that may have led to staggering death tolls in the pandemic and a cloudy future. It’s another tragic risk and consideration for an age group that should be venerated and celebrated, not put under the stress of multiple waves of health crises. Pay, incentives and governance models have to change. This is not the realm of the private sector with the current de-regulation that has occurred. The job and the roles must enter the circular economy. Elders should never be treated like externalities. (New York Times)

3.This is the awful truth… The evolution of “populistainment”. A new word has appeared on the scene for titillating new that is often false (it is a portmanteau of populism and entertainment). It is designed to hook an audience’s attention to sell that attention to sponsors by the impression. Why just get elected when you can get rich on the way there? Willful use of journalism as a dopamine machine needs some kind of regulation. Based on the Info Wars example, it seems clear in places like Russia, the US, Canada and other places, bad actors are using media to create fear and demand for snake oil products. Snake Oil Laws were passed in the 1800s to protect the public from fraud the led to the beginnings of health organizations like the FDA and Health Canada to control medical claims. It looks like the laws have to either be updated or enforced or both. Tracing the liars may be a good start. (

The Ugly 😱

1.Six Dr. Seuss books won’t be published for racist images — but a larger question. Dr. Seuss Enterprises has pulled six books from circulation because of racist or insensitive imagery. The decision is well overdue. However, it does pose the question, if there are great literary and artistic works with unfortunate and off-putting imagery from their respective eras of origination — should they be revoked or should they be altered to conform to the values of this era? (Associated Press).

Geisel changed 1937 to the one on at the request of the publisher in 1978

2. All that glitters is not just pollution management. Changes in the value of precious metals impact changes in human behaviour and theft motivation. Catalytic converters are now being stolen, specifically for their platinum (worth $1,500/oz.), rhodium ($$30,000/oz.) and palladium ($2,800/oz.). Ugh. This reminds us of when copper prices skyrocketed and thieves around the world were “mining” copper in the city undergrounds, and building wiring. Catalytic converter theft cases have been reported across Canada in Hamilton, St John’s and Calgary as well as in large centers in the US. Some jurisdictions are considering creating new laws and regulations to control the junk dealers and auto wrecking yards forcing them to register and report the whereabouts of the catalytic converters. (CBC News)

3. International Women’s Day Pulsecheck — the lot of female executives is not improving fast enough. Yes we should celebrate the successes that women have made on International Women’s Day on March 8th … but there is a big but. Short of the top 3–4 countries on this glass ceiling list below, the treatment of women in professional circles (and likely as a good indicator of all circles) globally has not swung quickly enough. How is it only 4% of South Korean boards are women? How is it that only 27% of Italian management are women? How is it that less than 30% of parliaments in North America are populated by women? Celebrate Monday, but let us all challenge decision-makers to ask why not consider women equally in roles? (The Economist)

Term of the Week: Joyscrolling/Hopescrolling

Joyscrolling or Hopescrolling (as opposed to Doomscrolling) —definition: checking news and social media feeds for stories that make you feel happy. The Houston Chronicle reports the $100M grant that the McArthur Foundation, ” is putting into hopescrolling. The foundation’s 100&Change competition will fund a “single proposal that promises real and measurable progress in solving a critical problem of our time” with a $100 million grant. Iceland’s tourism association has a unique take on this as well. Enjoy. (Community Solutions)

Meme of the Week — Wandavision

Nostalgia is so comforting in uncertain times. We especially love novel nostalgia. With a 91% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and by some measures, perhaps the most popular original series on streaming services in early 2021, Wandavision has taken the world by storm as one of Disney+’s flagship programs profiling Avenger’s superhero characters Wanda Maximof/Scarlet Witch and android husband Vision trying to fit into suburban life. Plenty of memes from fans. Watch as they travel through TV’s decades.

The Link to 360° background —

Chart of the Week: Crypto Assets

The GSG Medium is The Message

Visit our Medium channel every Friday for a weekly wrap on the world’s biggest challenges and other fresh articles and points of view The Guild is sharing. Please drop by our Grey Swan Guild website ( for more publications and articles about how we make sense of the world ongoing and also the raft of possibilities to participate as a Sensemaker.

This Week’s Grey Swan News Wrap Editor: Sean Moffitt is the Grey Swan Guild’s co-founder and this week’s news wrap editor with help from @sylvia, @doyle, @ben, @agustin and @rob.

Grey Swan Guild — Making Sense of What’s Next

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