To state the obvious, the start of the decade hasn’t gone according to plan. Our optimistic outlooks for the new year were dashed rather quickly – starting with the coronavirus outbreak, then massive layoffs, economic uncertainty, social unrest, extreme weather, mental health crises, and a divisive election. It’s quite the list, not to mention we’re experiencing all of this with our daily routines flipped upside down. We’ve had to change the way we eat, exercise, work, teach, meet with friends, run errands, and much more. As a result, we’re not running short in the gloom and doom department.
We’re in desperate need of hope. And as it turns out, hope is closer than we think. This week on our blog, we’re running a series that will explore trends and possibilities that offer seeds of hope, rooted under the common theme of the right technology.
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Technology and the Audacity of Hope
Already, technology has emerged as a potential antidote for some of our woes and worries. Biotechnology has powered the race to find a cure for COVID-19. Video conferencing technology has allowed us to meet with doctors, our friends, and our co-workers. 5G offers a pathway to global connectivity – and, therefore, knowledge and education. While racism has insidiously plagued our country long before modern technology, the smartphone captured the death of George Floyd, and social media brought the horrifying video to our collective attention.
Technology allows us to see, hear, and connect. It can spark an awakening, and thus a responsibility to learn, grow, and enact change. Imagine if any of the crises above had happened just twenty years ago. We would be more isolated, more ignorant, more hopeless than we are today. And in many ways, we were.
Technology as a Lever for Change
By contrast, in 2020, we were able to transition to remote work virtually overnight. We were able to order essentials right to our doorstep. We were able to continue schooling from the safety of our homes. We were able to speak face-to-face with our loved ones. We were able to mobilize, share resources, and use our voices for social change with far more reach and amplification. We were able to see that we were not alone.
For these reasons, I’m grateful for the ways that technology impacts our world today. And I’m hopeful for what technology can help us accomplish as we press ahead. Throughout this series, you’ll hear from experts across industries on ways that technology can improve the way we work, learn, and, ultimately, live better lives.
Just a few of the topics we’ll be touching on include:
How we can provide equitable access to technology to facilitate learning while remote.
How AI and automation can foster a more productive workforce freed up to focus on creativity and innovation.
How technology can improve our overall wellbeing and mental health, rather than add to all the noise.
I hope these stories leave with you a concrete feeling of hope that the world can be better than it is today. Technology is not a magical cure, but it is a powerful means for change. If we use the right technology in the right ways, we can build a world that is right – right for working, right for learning, and right for living our everyday lives.
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