Instant Karma Newsletter 7.21.20
  • Netflix’s “Down to Earth with Zac Efron” is a delightful look at sustainability through a place-based lens. Who expected to learn about Iceland’s renewable energy and Paris’ water filtration system from the “Greatest Showman” star? 

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When I heard that Zac Efron was once again starring in a Netflix show about a topic I know way too much about — in this case, sustainable living — I felt that same mix of appreciation and serious doubt. “Down to Earth with Zac Efron” could easily be a tone-deaf Goop-style mess, where someone with millions of dollars lectures the audience about why they should spend $103 a month on a camel-milk delivery service. It could also be an empty vehicle for a shirtless Efron to look concerned while fully-clothed scientists tell him that climate change is bad.

I am pleased — and pleasantly surprised! — to report that after binging “Down to Earth with Zac Efron” this weekend, the show is neither. Rather, it’s a delightful look at sustainability through a place-based lens.

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In Other News: Green Tech Crowdfunding, UNESCAP tool 

Green tech startups in Europe are increasingly turning to crowdfunding to raise money. Meet one of the startups fighting loneliness in the COVID-19 era. UNESCAP released a new gender lens investing tool for small and mid-size enterprises in the Asia-Pacific region. Video app TikTok is now a geopolitical battleground. Beyoncé is releasing a “visual album” that reinterprets The Lion King as a rallying cry for Black Lives Matter. Two economists argue that impact investing won’t save capitalism — unless impact investors lobby to change the rules. 

Levity Break

@SparkNotes is at it again, this time with the 5 Shakespearean love languages.