As 2020 hurtles towards its overdue conclusion, here’s a wrapup of the highlights and overarching themes from 46 ⚗️emoji-filled🌏 Memia newsletter posts this year.
An underlying thesis?
Writing the weekly Memia newsletter is mostly an exercise in continuous discovery, drinking from a firehose of change trying to figure out what’s actually going on…and what might happen next. If an underlying thesis has emerged for Memia’s writing over the course of 2020, it goes something like this:
- Technology changes the world: Rapidly advancing technology is among the main drivers of modern global change – on individual, societal, political and economic levels.
- Try to keep up: technology is moving so fast you need to run just to stay still.
- New frameworks needed: Legacy conceptual frameworks of society, politics and economics struggle to accommodate the potential of new technologies to transform, or provide a working model of how technology effects change.
- Techno-optimism warranted*: In many cases new technology itself provides opportunities to address myriad challenges facing humanity – but, for whatever reasons, most commentary generally lacks imagination as to what is possible…and instead tends to focus on negative outcomes/preserving the status quo.
(*…Yes obviously all new technology comes with risks and dangers…but these get enough airtime already *IMO*…so Memia’s “regular weekly scan of emerging tech and the unfolding future” mostly takes an optimistic spin, imagining the positive possible.)
2020: Top ten themes from a year of tumultuous change
Below my roundup of the year:
- 🦠The pandemic and a new age of scientific enlightenment
- 🌊Climate change: the next tsunami
- 💸Financial system externalities finally visible
- 🗳️Fragile but resilient democracy
- 📦Clogged globalisation driving localised resilience
- 👓Work from (virtually) anywhere
- 💡Scientific discovery and technological innovation
- 🌌Humanity’s place in the cosmos
- 🌏Aotearoa’s changing place in the world
- 💎Hidden gems everywhere