Auros (auros) wrote,

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Presidio School of Management

So, I spent most of today over in San Francisco, at a class-visit and luncheon-with-students-and-professors thing, presented by the Presidio School of Management. They're working on very exciting stuff. Hunter Lovins (whose work I know originally from Bruce Sterling's Viridian Design group, and whose name on the Presidio site was what originally caught my eye and made me decide to take a serious look at the program), over lunch, gave a quite stirring talk about the need to "get real" in thinking about how to do sustainability as a businessperson rather than a starry-eyed activist. The twenty minutes of her class we caught were fantastic, as well; a talk from a woman who is promoting a "handbook" for mayors who want to commit their cities to the Kyoto-related "Cool Cities" program, outlining how they can actually achieve the goals involved, without breaking their budget or driving out businesses.

The whole program is built around "project-based learning", with classes just 32 hours a month (four days straight, Thu-Sun, for a full day). Some of the students have businesses that they're in the process of launching. Looks very much like my sort of learning environment, and from what I understand, it's the direction that MBA education is going at a lot of other schools -- but since Presidio is brand new, they've leapfrogged some of the older programs. So, I'm looking forward to filing that application.

One of the other applicants who showed up was another CADem State Central Committee delegate, which was neat, and we discussed some local Dem politics stuff. Also, in the Environmental Economics class, we walked in just as Dr. Winslow was bringing up Henry George's land tax. His idea was more radical than my own idea of abolishing the property tax and replacing it with a zoning-based flat (in real dollars) land-tax and a hiked real-estate cap-gains tax; but it was really interesting finding that there's apparently a quite libertarian academic-econ argument for this. (Milton Friedman had nice things to say about George.) She gave me the name of another academic who's a specialist in this field, and I'm going to see if I can get ahold of him for more details. I also need to talk with some of the more experienced delegates I know and see how I might go about getting this topic slated for discussion in one of the caucuses; maybe I can even get the professor five minute to speak. (Though scheduling that might be tough; if not this year, then next, perhaps.) In the long run, I'd like to see the party say clearly that while we understand that Prop 13 addressed a real problem (people being priced out of their neighborhoods by rising property values), its implementation has created a nasty tax on moving, disadvantaged young families, and given most of its benefits to big commercial and industrial companies whose tax bills have been fixed since the '70s.

In unrelated news: Speaking as a perl hacker, this is just about the best comic ever.

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