First I was surprised that I won the listserve. Then the typical question hit me.
What should I do? Tell a story, try to teach something I learned, write about something that happened to me or to somebody else?
I spent most of my time at work (handling product and fighting fires at my startup), some with the people I love and what is left reading (anything historical and philosophical) and cooking (mostly Asian fusion, always to share).
I want to show you Five Thesis about the future. Your world will change, as it always has. We should do our best to shape this change.
1. Fixing the basics
Nobody should lack the basic necessities, nobody should face extreme poverty and hunger. No child should die by causes we can already fix. Many diseases can already be better controlled by simple tools.
The millennium goals were aimed correctly. There are many initiatives trying to help, but change takes time.
Thankfully a lot of time was already spent on analyzing on what seems to create lasting change. Check out Poor Economics and try to get involved where you think you can make a change. It is often easier than you think.
2. Making it easy to learn
It should be as easy, entertaining and relaxing to learn something as to binge watch the newest series on Netflix.
Education (in the broadest sense of learning, broadening your horizons and gaining new perspectives and tools) is the greatest leverage we have.
A product I always wanted to build is a system that learns with me, recording what I read and learn and helps me remember and reinforces lessons already learned. Perhaps one of you is building something like this, if you are, reach out.
3. Finding Purpose
The world seems so chaotic and fast moving like never before. Crisis follows crisis, filter bubbles contract but never seem to pop. It is hard to find purpose in such a world.
We need to make it easier for people to find such a purpose. May it be a philosophical school (check out Existentialism, Stoicism and The Path, a good overview of Chinese philosophies), religion or family.
4. Rise of VR/AR
Smartphones are a bridge technology to Augmented and Full Virtual Reality. We need to work that the dream of the internet continues in this new world: Accessible to all, unrestricted and empowering each of us.
We can create a new dream and learn from the faults of our current internet. Walled gardens should be replaced by a common Oasis (Cue Ready Player One joke. It is an accessible book that showed us a possible VR dystopia).
5. Opening doors
In the end, one can just open doors, but everybody needs to go through on their own. You can talk to people, but you can never really see inside their heads.
So let’s go open doors for people.
Good luck wherever you may be, whatever your personal struggle is. I hope you have as many great moments as I have.
Reach out if you want to talk or work on any of these thesis. Reach out if you need somebody to talk to.
PS: My current favorite painting is Norham Castle by JMW Turner. It is unfinished, but what isn’t? Check out Streetlight Manifesto, a band that accompanied me over the years.
PPS: If you have a business you should start building direct relationships with your customers. You could use Airy to message them. It is my way to work on 3, 4 and 5.
Berlin and San Francisco