Last week at HiredPen…

We’re trying something new. Each week (or so) we’ll be writing a recap—ala Ann Friedman— of what we’ve been up to, which given our wide range of clients, we hope will become a regular way of catching up with what’s going on in the social policy field.

Read: A great Pediatrics article on why doctors should think about neighborhoods. Purpose Built success stories in Atlanta and New Orleans (reminds me that yes, we can build affordable, attractive neighborhoods). Urban planning then and now. Then: Slums and City Planning, by Robert Moses, circa 1945 (best word to bring back: “mossbacks). Now: ULI’s toolkit for developers for how to build for health.

More on my latest obsession: social impact bonds—including nuts and bolts of financing SIBs by MDRC and a paper by Bridges Ventures and BOA for practitioners (geek alert). On a lighter note: Is social impact investing the next venture capital? Even lighter: Adding good deeds to the investment equation. On education: training (or not) early education teachers in California. New Yorker’s Jeb Bush and charter schools—ah the private sector. 2016: The Republicans Write—books by Jeb, Scott, and Paul in which they discover poverty because white people are now affected. Nurse home visiting gets a nod (and makes me think of Ron Haskins’ play-by-play of said program). My regular dip into the always thought-provoking Connected by Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler. In the “amen” category: Sandy Baum’s post asking why we can’t focus on real problems without exaggerating them (like college completion rates, anyone?). In the inspiring category: Aspen Institute’s Five Best Ideas of the Day (shout-out to Pittsburgh).

Buckle up, it’s going to be a bumpy fight—new book debunks Mark Regenerus by finding that kids with two moms/dads flourish—go figure.

Watched: Whiplash, and thought once again about women and competition and my days in boxing ring. Vowed to avoid bloodshed with current staff—write it faster.

Interviewed: Pittsburgh’s Mayor Bill Peduto’s office for a story on teen jobs pipeline; early educators in California on what they need to succeed (where to begin?); the always-a-good-interview, Bob Grossinger of Enterprise Community Partners; Jennifer Tescher of the Center for Financial Services Innovation on new ways to help families save money; and finally, not an interview but a nice chat with Harry (over a beer at the Red Lion Pub) from HUD on affordable housing and the impending—he thinks—bankruptcy of Chicago.

Wrote: Saltwater Batteries, Finland, and Pittsburgh’s Promising Advanced Industries, Getting Games Right: How GlassLab Makes Products Teachers Want, Q&A with Colby Dailey, Build Healthy PlacesThree New Tools Tackle Healthy Development, and (an oldie but goodie) How workers in Chinatown Harnessed Data for Community Change. Plus, stay tuned for community development in Seattle, neighborhood and child health, gender and science, emojis and race, and more.

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