I just read the majority of the latest Fortune magazine, which I received in the mail yesterday. I was extremely impressed with the issue (I don’t know why I’m surprised). And no, it’s not just because Zillow was the cover story that I’m choosing to mention this edition. The primary reason is that I’m glad Fortune is bringing the public’s eye to some issues that deserve more attention (at least in my opinion). It doesn’t appear all the articles are online yet (heck, they gotta give subscribers some reason to subscribe) or else I would link to all of them, but there were 3 very interesting articles worth reading:

  • Out of Africa – African-Americans now have a relatively cheap way to find a “genetic link to their African ancestors.” For $550, a DNA analysis can be performed and matched against a database that “has 25,000 profiles, covering 30 countries and 160 ethnic groups.” Pretty fascinating story — I am still amazed at some of the capabilities of technology.
  • A Texas Coal RushTXU, a energy company based in Dallas, plans to build 11 coal power plants at a cost of roughly $1 billion each — and, thankfully, Texas is putting up a fight. Talk about going in the wrong direction regarding global warming. Coal is the “dirtiest of all fuels to generate electricity.” It’s so frustrating to me that everything is all about the money, right now. So what if this is the cheapest and quickest way to boost available electricity? People need to start looking at the long-term costs and consequences of such initiatives. I hate to say it (because I don’t think government does anything efficiently), but government should force individuals & businesses to conserve energy with drastic changes — it’s pretty obvious they won’t do it on their own. Too many people think that just because they do things a certain way right now means that those actions are justified.
  • Saving the World One Cup of Yogurt at a Time – Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus wants to change the way businesses operate — with something called social business enterprise. The idea is to measure & report social impact, not just profits, of businesses. I really do think this social enterprise idea has some legs. Being a business, and not a charity, makes change sustainable. With Yunus, who pioneered micro-credit and formed the Grameen Bank, leading the charge — anything is possible. It’s not going to happen overnight, but it sounds like the effort is well underway.

Of course, if you haven’t read the Zillow cover story — I’d highly recommend it.