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“Many of its 190 or so pages could have come from a secular NGO” – The Economist, in What Would Jesus Do About Global Warming?, June 20, 2015

How quickly can people change their beliefs or behavior? If we hope to see impact at scale, lots of people will need to be convinced to make some kind of change. Often the motivation is convenience or cost savings or a new experience. But the last two weeks have been great examples of another force that may be nudging more people: empathy.

The Pope’s encyclical has historically been intended for his bishops, but the language of the latest document makes it clear that the message is intended for anyone willing to consider it. It’s a direct appeal to consider the plight of the planet and those who stand to suffer most and as already resulted in some interesting activity.

At the same time that one of the world’s largest institutions gets to work on this issue, we’re “organizing without organizations,” as Clay Shirky remarked. When looking at the rapid change in opinions in the US around issues like equality, it’s hard not to notice a rapid acceleration in the rate of change in the last 10 years as our use of social networks has ramped up.

Hopefully, we’re seeing the rise of empathetic cities (not just smart ones).

[Startup Candidate] DOM Architectural Robotics – More versatile workspaces offer the potential to lower cost and lower energy use. The problem is the cost and time needed to reconfigure offices. DOM wants to use robots to transform workspaces at the touch of a button.

[Startup Candidate] Create – A rapidly expanding universe of public and private data is available about real estate. But how can public and private stakeholders best access and understand it all? Create has an answer.

[Insights] Startup Revenue Milestones – Some companies get to acquire users before needing to worry about revenue, but most need paying customers. Manu Kumar offers revenue benchmarks and discusses common challenges from pre-revenue product building to series A run rates of several million dollars.

[Insights] Profits vs Growth - Is revenue meant for profit or making the case for the next round of funding? We share Fred Wilson’s wish to see more teams try for high growth and profitability.

[News] Google Self Driving Car – The prototypes are hitting the roads so that we can learn how users will use them. In Silicon Valley, a rare meeting between two self-driving cars resulted in one being cut-off. Another step closer to a mobility future that will impact government revenue, insurance, real estate, automotive, road building and work.

[News] Solid has quickly emerged as the leading gathering for hardware startups. Last year we met Future Motion/OneWheel there. This year it has a greatly expanded content program including how to build a drone in 90 minutes with parts that cost under $100. Catch all the recorded keynotes and interviews on demand.

[Opportunity] Verge Accelerate - We’re excited to partner with #VERGEcon to celebrate the best early-stage startups in #sustainability and #tech. 16 winners will be featured at Verge 2015 in October. Learn about Accelerate.

[Opportunity] Code for America Awards – We’re happy to see a more formal way to recognize the companies in the #govtech and #civictech spaces. Winners will be announced on stage at the Code for America Summit later this year. Apply today!

[Hiring] Eight Urban.Us companies are hiring – There are 47 opportunities in areas ranging from sales to firmware in New York, San Francisco, Denver and Berlin. Please consider sharing these angle.co job listings.

[News] CNNMoney’s Upstart 30 - The list of 30 firms focused on startups and investors on a mission to pave a better future. 3 Urban.Us founders are featured : Rose (HandUp), Kyle (Onewheel) and Stonly (Urban.Us)! And they are joined by great company.

Say helloJay Sullivan from DLA Piper has been helping early stage founders in areas like tech and energy. He likes the universal nature of the challenges that many of our founders are tackling - we’re excited to welcome Jay as one of the newest people to join the Urban.Us network.

Anthony Millin was one of the first people we talked to about Urban.Us and for nearly two years, we’ve benefitted from his advice and encouragement. As we set out to scale up our impact and raise a second fund, we knew we’d be better off with more of his help. Today, we’re excited to welcome Anthony to the team!

Shaun, Stonly & Anthony

P.S. Some sales teams ring a bell or bang a gong when they close a deal. For your consideration here is an alternative – the best handshakes in the world.

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