I've been doing some work in Prediction Markets for IFTF, and have been particularly interested in the concept of assassination markets: I predict this person will die can be transformed into a price on their head.
The thing that's fascinating is that markets have positivity and negativity built into them all the time. However, with prediction markets, it becomes explicit. A new betting site, BetUs.com, allows people to bet on specific outcomes for global warming.
Will new types of regulation spring up to eliminate the possibility of creating markets in destruction?
I'm a big fan of Michael Porter's, so I was pleasantly surprised to see that an article (.pdf) about the framework devised by him and Mark Kramer to re-examine Corporate Social Responsibility was granted the 2006 McKinsey Award by Harvard Business Review.
The fundamentally new part of this article is the explicit comment that the need is to change the adversarial relationship between business and society into a collaborative one; the authors review current approaches and offer commentary about their framework.
I actually feel this framework doesn't go quite far enough -- though I haven't talked to either of the authors so this may be simply because of the article scope -- but it *seems* that they're saying that there needs to be collaboration
across the boundary or in the interface between firm and non-firm. In contrast, I'm
saying that the concept of externalities is outmoded now that we can model complex systems, and a new model needs to be developed that treats firms, community groups, etc. -- down to the individual level -- as actors in a larger topology.
A new type of sustainability index is at access-to-medicine.org. Well named by Innovest, it's an index that attempts to measure access to medicine. The key indicators for performance are listed below. (...from their site, where they also list a non-profit heavy -- not pharmaceutical-heavy -- list of stakeholders):