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Try to find Utopia, in the stucco grids and the tumbleweeds.

McDonald's goes green?

by John at 6/05/2006 07:36:00 PM 

Did anyone else get this email today?

Date: Mon Jun 5 18:57:46 2006
From: McDonald's Interactive
To: [redacted]

June 5, 2006

Photos and downloads:
International Serious Games Event:

Company policies "lead planet to ruin"; division seeks mass mobilization

McDonald's Interactive announced today that it is striking out on its own from parent company McDonald's. The announcement was made at theInternational Serious Games Event in Birmingham, England. "We can no longer stand by while McDonald's corporate policies help lead the planet to ruin," said Andrew Shimery-Wolf, co-director of the former Interactive Division.

McDonald's Interactive was formed four years ago to help the company adapt to new market conditions.

"We began developing a simulation of the fast-food industry, for use by managers in developing market strategies." said Division CTO Sam Grossman. "When we added a climate simulation module, it showed those strategies helping lead to global calamity."

"Management doesn't seem to care, and we can't sit back and fiddle while Rome burns, so our team has decided to break away from McDonald's and do something about it," said Grossman.

The new organization's charter will be to help stimulate mass mobilization for policy change. "Mass mobilization has had some huge effects," said Dan Licari, the organizer of the International Serious Games Event. "No matter what the government thinks they want to do, they have to act, they're pressed into action."

"Scientists believe that to avoid ever-more-likely calamity, we must reduce our emissions by 70% very quickly," said Shimery-Wolf. "Since governments won't do that without popular pressure, helping to generate revolt is the only responsible choice, the only true CSR."

He characterized ordinary CSR efforts as "trivial improvements to a sinking ship, serving only to reassure passengers" and singled out British Petroleum's CSR campaign in particular as just a "slightly more polite form of world annihilation."

Please visit for the full text of today's announcement, as well as photographs and downloads.

I figure it is either a hoax or viral marketing. Anyway, check out the website. It is a nice dream scenario, but totally impossible, e.g.:
As for the leaders in government, many of them told us that though they understood the issues, there was no way to go in such a new direction without strong popular pressure behind them.

So now what? Will we stand by while we know that our activities are helping lead to catastrophe? No. We believe in CSR, and so if popular pressure is what government needs in order to change, then we must help generate popular pressure.

The concept of Abrupt Social Change, or ASC, is an old and respectable one, a shortcut from rationality to the nerve centers of power that has often accomplished what more systemic approaches cannot. The British Occupation of India, the Vietnam War, even feudalism in Europe were only ended through ASC movements.

And just as governments and NGOs have sometimes assisted ASC movements abroad, so we can be a force for Abrupt Social Change here at home. We in the Interactive Division are using all of our autonomy within McDonald's to do so.

1. For one thing, we are appealing to McDonald's franchisees to allow their restaurants to serve part-time as meeting areas where plans for mobilization can be developed, hatched, and acted upon. We have commitments so far from seven owners in Decatur, Illinois, Tucson, Arizona, and Troy, New York.

2. We will offer direct financial assistance from our divisional budget to groups actively involved in effecting ASC, within or outside of franchisee restaurants.

3. We will help develop technologies useful to mass mobilization, such as the cell-phone text broadcasters so useful in the Ukraine in the recent Orange Revolution. As for McMarketplace, it will serve as a tool to explore methods for change, and to learn just how governments might be forced to adequately control corporations.

Again, we strongly feel that legislation is indeed our only hope, and what we must fight for via Abrupt Social Change.

"Ethical consumerism" or other market-based approaches will not help. A recent poll showed that 83% of UK consumers intend to purchase ethically on a regular basis; 5% actually do. And boycotts and other forms of consumer pressure are valiant but ineffectual, capable of producing only momentary, localized changes in corporate policy. As for "ethical investment," its potential is sadly quite small.

No, economic forces won't save us; there's a reason we have governments, voting, and laws that must be obeyed. But since governments won't create the right laws without popular pressure, helping to generate that pressure is the only responsible choice, the only true CSR. Anything else is a milquetoast half-measure - a trivial improvement to a sinking ship, serving only to reassure passengers.

BP spends a tiny percentage of its profits on solar power while continuing to pump vast oceans of oil into the world's cars, airplanes, and atmosphere. You call that CSR? I call it a marginally more polite form of world annihilation.

We in the serious software industry have a powerful tool at our disposal. We can use it to change the world, or we can use it to serve suicidal corporate policies. We urge all of you here to join us in choosing the former, cost what it may.
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