Humans, individually and collectively, often tend to get stuck in ruts and routines. That’s our nature, we try things until we find a point of comfort and then stay there.
One of the biggest potential positives of the COVID-19 pandemic is that it has broken established routines and structures, thereby giving us additional options and choices to those we perceived before.
Speaking to this point, I was recently interviewed for an interesting podcast from Defiance News, The Future of Technology: The Good, The Bad & The Orwellian. The full podcast is embedded below.
Social isolation has impacted just about every aspect of our lives, not least our love lives.
A recent article in Mashable titled Futurists predict what your sex life may look like after the pandemic wove together interviews with legendary trend seer Faith Popcorn, renowned sex futurist Byrony Cole, and myself.
The full article is well worth a read, it does a great job at teasing out the themes that emerged from the interviews. However here are some excerpts from the ideas I shared in the article:
Until just a few months ago almost all conferences brought many people together into large venues, with captivating keynote speakers as drawcards and to set the tone of the event.
Now almost all events are virtual, creating a very different dynamic for both audiences and speakers.
Today was the first episode of my new live-streaming show, The Virtual Excellence Show (which I haven’t even had time to announce on this blog yet, but if you’d like to follow it please subscribe here!).
My guest on the first show was the amazing and colorful Howard Rheingold. When I considered who should be my first guest on the show, Howard was the obvious choice, having been a pioneer in all things virtual for decades, in among other landmarks publishing the book Virtual Communities: Homesteading on the Electronic Frontier in 1994.
You can see the relevant part of conversation in the show below.
Last week I gave the opening keynote at the International News Media Association Virtual World Congress, on the topic of Reinvention for a Post-Pandemic Future.
My keynote was focused on the manifold opportunities for the news industry at this time of exceptional change.
However the subtext was the critical role of news in supporting a better future for everyone.
Many people and organizations have recently been suddenly thrown into a world of remote work, and are struggling to work out how to do.
A few companies have long relied heavily on remote work, or even been completely virtual organizations since they were founded.
A number of those companies, in line with their philosophies and principles, have openly shared their internal resources to help do remote work well.
Here is a selection of five of the best.
I have long believed that organizations are becoming more different from each other and increasingly unique.
Social technologies made organizations more different
In the first instance this divergence has been fueled over the last dozen years by organizations implementing social technologies to add a differentiated layer of ad-hoc networks to the existing commoditized layer of standardized processes.
Social technologies can be used by the people they connect in an unlimited number of ways.
In many organizations they have amplified – or made manifest – existing cultures of collaboration, or of lack of trust.
In every case they have been used differently and shaped organizations to be more unique.
Over the last years there has been plenty of media coverage of delivery robots and delivery drones, but the actual number of fully automated deliveries has been highly limited.
In a world of social distancing and restaurant and shop closures around the world, local deliveries have moved from what was already a substantial industry to a decent chunk of the economy.
While employment losses in other sectors have meant there are more people available to do deliveries, there are constraints including scheduling, cost, and health concerns from both customers and delivery workers.
There are a number of reports of soaring demand for delivery robots.
Scenario planning, the discipline of building multiple relevant stories of the future to support effective decision-making, always a powerful tool for foresight, is even more relevant as uncertainty increases, making it an extremely important and valuable tool amidst our current pandemic.
I have been applying scenario planning for well over 20 years, sometimes in its traditional format, sometimes with adaptations to fit the need or cultural context of the client.
The more specific the context framing a set of scenarios, in terms of geography, industry, organization, and defined decision, the more useful they are.