Taking The Bad With The Good

In  an interview with super star designer Phillppe Starck in Wired magazine, Starck said we (humans) were the best piece of design ever. He did have one reservation though:

“Of all the animal species, we are the only ones who said, “Why don’t we rise up and better ourselves?” …Ironically, we are also responsible for the world’s worst idea — something that continues to set back scientific exploration. I’m talking about religion. Millions of people today suffer and die because some people use religion to control other people… Believing is the negation of our intelligence… “Oof, it’s not me, it’s God.” This removes any self-responsibility.”

If you’ve ever been to a malaria plagued country you might’ve wondered where god was hiding. Malaria is like a plague. It kills almost one million people each year, and most of those are kids. In 2008, the World Health Organization said 247 million people got sick from malaria. It’s a preventable disease that actually lowers a country’s gross domestic product.

That’s the bad; here’s some good. Wednesday, September 7th, was “End Malaria Day.” A book went on sale that day with all the money generated going to buy treated mosquito nets for African families.

Hang on. Don’t worry, the book isn’t about malaria and no hand wringing or pictures of small children with big bellies. The book is a compilation of  short pieces by 62 top thinkers in business today sharing their cool ideas. A day later, it’s the number one selling business title on Amazon.

I bought a copy and so far I love it. The title is “End Malaria.” All of the $20 for the Kindle edition and $20 from the $25 paperback edition goes to supply treated mosquito nets.

This is good design. It’s a win-win situation. You get both a good read and to help to potentially put a big dent in the malaria problem.