New Clear Vision


constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted


Common Concern

February 07, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Economy, Jay Walljasper, Politics

Toward A World that Works for Everyone

by Jay Walljasper

You would expect Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business to focus its teaching on making profits from the world as it is instead of asking students to explore how to fundamentally change it.

But that means you probably haven’t met business Professor Leo Burke — a former entrepreneur, Motorola executive and, in his student days, manager of the Notre Dame football team.

At first glance, Burke ’70 hardly seems a rabble-rouser. Wearing tassel loafers, navy blue slacks, a tasteful blazer and wire-rim glasses, he looks exactly the part of a business professor. Yet when standing at the podium in an Executive Leadership Seminar — so slender it appears a strong breeze would carry him away — he sounds like a community organizer crossed with a moral philosopher. “When we are able to work out of our deepest values, we can work with a compassion for others that changes systems.” (more…)

Happiness is a Warm Neighborhood

April 14, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Ecology, Family, Jay Walljasper

Designing Our Communities on ‘Common Ground’

by Jay Walljasper

Biology is destiny, declared Sigmund Freud. But if Freud were around today, he might say “design is destiny” — especially after taking a stroll through most American cities.

The way we design our communities plays a huge role in how we experience our lives.  Neighborhoods built without sidewalks, for instance, mean that people walk less and therefore experience fewer spontaneous encounters, which is what instills a spirit of community to a place. That’s a chief cause of the social isolation so rampant in the modern world that contributes to depression, distrust, and other maladies.

You don’t have to be a therapist to realize all this creates lasting psychological effects. It thwarts the connections between people that encourage us to congregate, cooperate, and work for the common good. We retreat into ever more privatized existences. (more…)