From the final Living Room Session of the House of Beautiful Business

In the final Living Room Session of the House of Beautiful Business this past year, “A Love Is Born,” a special New Year’s Eve edition, speaker and facilitator Esther Blázquez-Blanco asked the 250 participants to share their “sentences that will make 2021” via a 10-minute Zoom chat storm. Our team in Lisbon (sitting outside with pen and paper at the Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara, including the sudden appearance of a fantastic rainbow in the background), wrote them on letters to be stored in a suitcase. …


A conversation with the philosopher, writer, and activist Bayo Akomolafe

“Hope” has become a powerful word as we struggle toward the end of the pandemic. The promise of medical breakthroughs, of more personal protective equipment (PPE), of vaccines, and of a more just method for their distribution, has, for many of us, kept us going. We’ve endured months of lockdowns and loneliness by clinging relentlessly to hope.

But what if hope isn’t the answer? I spoke with Bayo Akomolafe, philosopher, writer, activist, professor of psychology, and executive director of the Emergence Network, about what it means to lose hope, and what not having hope allows us to see.

Bayo is…


Take 15 minutes to learn about the new economicals

We have received very positive feedback on recent Beauty Shot newsletters, but we know it can be a lot of content to sift through, prompting responses such as “I wish I had time to read all this.”

With this issue we’re attempting to be more economical and thus: the Minimum Viable Beauty Shot.

Much has been made of the concept of a Minimum Viable Product (MVP), the smallest possible version of a product to create maximum value for users. The quintessential one is Twitter. It began as an SMS-based platform, and its original 140-character format simply reflected limits imposed by…


Seven big moral questions right now: where do you stand?

Ethics are boring. That’s the way ethical quandaries are often presented — as the tedious truths you’d rather not have to think about, the still small voice that ruins your fun. If anything, ethics demands that we not just be present to the moment, but rather look to consequences, supply chains, fair trade, behind-the-scenes exploitation, and other considerations that can cool our enthusiasm and weigh on our conscience. And even that presumes that in advanced global capitalism we can know enough the implications of our consumption habits to make sound ethical choices in the first place.

The U.S. sitcom The…


Revisiting this year’s issues— and what we’ve learned from them

Listen to this article

Easter is celebrated in many parts of the world this weekend, but in today’s Beauty Shot you’ll find more ducks than bunnies.

But first, as always, beauty!

In last Sunday’s Living Room Session on beauty (watch the highlights), House musician-in-residence Peter Broderick reminded us of the Danish word for reverberation, and like so many Scandinavian terms — kalsarikannit, vemödalen, or knullrufs (for the full catalogue, see the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows) — it has a beautiful onomatopoetic ring to it: “Efterklang” (it’s also the name of the fabulous band Peter once played in).

This inspired us…


An excerpt from The Book of Beautiful Business

“Spectra of various light sources, solar, stellar, metallic, gaseous, electric,” print by René Henri Digeon; plate IV in Les phénomènes de la physique (1868). Via Public Domain Review.

This past week’s Beauty Shot on NFTs got me thinking about one of my favorite sections in The Book of Beautiful Business. Here it is below, in hopes it prompts some fruitful conversations. —Megan Hustad

78 Reasonable Questions to Ask About Any Technology” were articulated, debated, and refined by the more than forty participants in Megatechnology conferences held in 1993 and 1994. The nucleus was a list contributed to a 1980 conference, “Technology: Over the Invisible Line?” by Hazel Henderson, a futurist, author, and global citizen-activist. Turning Away from Technology: A New Vision for the Twenty-first Century, edited by Stephanie…


An ode to concrete love

By Charlotte Fox Weber

© 2021 by Beowulf Sheehan

Concrete Love and Abstract Love may be related to each other, but their characters and expressions are remarkably different. Let’s imagine them as rivalrous brothers. Concrete Love is about what’s real, immediate, specific. He pays close attention to the here-and-now, and observes the vicissitudes of lived experience, textures, nuances. He’s wise about what’s tangible, open to sensory impressions, and his descriptions are straightforward and clear. We always understand what he’s saying.

Abstract Love is hugely ambitious, but also obscure and vague. Although he’s intellectually rigorous and imaginative, he’s often hard to follow. Abstract Love fancies himself…


Even this moment can be elevating

by Liane Al Ghusain

Vintage woodblock print from Shima-Shima (1904) by Furuya Korin

In the run-up to The Great Wave, we asked speakers, hosts, and friends to don their advice-giving hat and tell us: What’s one thing you’d recommend someone do to live a more beautiful life, to have a better and more beautiful business?

Don’t resist. Find a sense of blissful relaxation. Even this moment can be elevating.

Trying sitting on the throne without your phone. …


Gianpiero Petriglieri talks leadership and activism with Carola Rackete

Sea captain Carola Rackete became a public figure when she docked a migrant rescue ship in the port of Lampedusa, Italy, without authorization, and was promptly arrested by the Italian authorities, causing a wave of solidarity to form around her. Her conversation with Gianpiero Petriglieri, associate professor of organizational behavior at INSEAD, about change-making in challenging times, has been edited for length and clarity.

“It was actually clear to us as an organization that we would get into that situation.”

Gianpiero: I first heard about you in June 2019, when you became the protagonist of an episode that provoked a…


Expanding the House of Beautiful Business

As for so many others, the past year was a roller-coaster ride for the House of Beautiful Business, but also truly transformative. The pandemic sped up changes to our business model and offerings, while also validating our mission — to make humans more human and business more beautiful — and encouraging us to take it farther.

The House of Beautiful Business started in 2017 as a pop-up event in an apartment in Barcelona’s gothic quarter. It has since grown into a home for people from all backgrounds who share a desire to reinvent their organizations and themselves, and to shape…

Journal of Beautiful Business

The House of Beautiful Business is a global platform and community for making humans more human and business more beautiful. www.houseofbeautifulbusiness.com.

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