by Servane Mouazan.
“We’re this very young species, only 200,000 years old. We’re one of the newcomers, and we’re going through the same process that other species go through, which is, how do I keep myself alive while taking care of the place that’s going to keep my offspring alive?”
— Janine Benyus
As the new year unfolds, many feel restless about governments’ various logistic and ethical issues, as they purchase and distribute vaccines, or deal with astonishing events that destabilize democratic institutions.
Some of us remove the festive decorations, we attempt to make sense of what we have lived in the past year, a year that felt like a never-ending day. Others will draft their usual New Year’s resolutions, kickstart a Veganuary or Dryuary, revel in a 30-day creative challenge or just bring all the schoolbooks out of the closet for home-schooling round two, three, or four. …
A dramatic game of Go, the match between Google’s artificial intelligence (AI) AlphaGo and the human world champion Lee Sedol in early 2016, captivated the public. Like Kasparov playing chess against Big Blue in 1997, this was a literal game-changer.
Why do humans compete against computers at games? In this post, I’ll argue that the iconic “man against machine” matchup is solid imagery for how society might grapple with artificial intelligence (AI) in the post-pandemic future.
Coinciding with a peak historical moment in technological and AI innovation, the Go story is about a new kind of machine intelligence that learns, a lot like (and at the same time extremely unlike) a human. The world champion, Lee Sedol, took part in an epic encounter. Awestruck observers called the computer’s moves unfamiliar and “beautiful.” But the most relevant outcome was it had us all a little more concerned about the ability of AI to eventually outsmart, and possibly destroy (or perhaps redeem?) …
by Rob Tyrie
This age of COVID19 is historic. No time in history is more unique. Like the Spanish Flu and the Black Death, it will be remembered for the next 100 years.
It’s not that plagues or pandemics are new. Smallpox, Tuberculosis and Polio still remain in humanity’s collective consciousness. Cholera is still a pandemic. There have been pandemics before that have killed millions of people and significant portions of civilized cities and nations. However, there has never been a global pandemic, with the phenomenon of the modern internet, AI, and instantaneous, deep, wide communication on the planet as disaster after disaster rolls out across the world. It is transfixing. It is clear that this is not just a disease pandemic. It is a triple pandemic of disease, fear and economic depression. Each of these horsemen is viral and exponential. …
Holidays and calendar changes are often the time to take stock, incorporate new lessons, decide to dust off, and move on. Now that we are in winter (for us in the Northern Hemisphere), I am writing to ask people to share your breathing lessons. How will you cope with more of this change?
I am pulling out all the tools to navigate. Years of practice in reset are helpful, but some change is good. There are countless articles on how people are coping (seriously read Brene Brown!). Some are even suggesting that we throw out the handbook.
I’ve made it my own project to find optimism. I used to be far more sparkly and energetic. Now, like many, I am just working on day by day. I’ve ditched most of my personal plans this year, but still achieved a huge life goal. Yet, every day I hold a cup of tea in my hands and count to 10 to remind myself that it is ok to not always be ok. …
Wait, what? (Cognitive Stress in a Pandemic)
I would wager most of us agree that the uncertainties we’ve experienced together in 2020 — a worldwide pandemic, along with social unrest and contentious national elections here in the US — have contributed significantly to our stress levels. Socioeconomic stress, emotional or even physical stress, and…while not always top of mind…cognitive stress.
Unsurprisingly, cognitive stress can compromise our reasoning skills and make us more susceptible to cognitive bias as we try to sort through disheartening, confusing or even contradictory messages (including both misinformation and, disappointingly, disinformation). It can create a sort of bunker mentality which only reinforces entrenched thinking, as humans revert to more primal instincts and tribalism in pursuit of self-preservation. …
When the COVID-19 pandemic was officially declared, last March, I found myself flying from São Paulo to Rio on what would have been the last leg of a two-week visit from my friend Eli, whose only other time in the American continent coincided with the 9/11 attacks, leaving the obviously misleading, though still disquieting feeling I should try to meet her in Britain next time just in case.
What we found in Rio was far from the exoticised image of a lustful paradise with a touch of imperial decay. Eli and I barely left our flat and our excursions outdoors were reduced to going from one shop to the next, trying, to no avail, to get hold of a bottle of hand sanitiser. A week before, this product had been almost invisibly ubiquitous to us, but now it was nowhere to be found. ‘Is this what it’s going be like now?’ — I thought. …
Making Sense of the World’s Biggest Challenges in Webcast, Podcast & Livestream formats
TED has “spread ideas that matter.”
Gimlet Media has “create a world more full of human connection and understanding.”
NPR has “create a more informed public.”
World Economic Forum has “engage the foremost leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.”
and equivalently but distinctively, Grey Swan Guild has “makes sense of the world’s biggest challenges.”
On Janauary 10th, 2021, the Grey Swan guild will be launching a set of eight podcast channels dedicated to advancing our mission, creating impact in new places, extending our footprint to different audiences, engaging leaders, change agents and sensemakers from throughout the world and augmenting our voice to the world. …
by Rob Salkowitz
Back in the dawn of the digital music era, audiophiles would complain that the highly-touted new format, compact discs, lacked the warmth of analog vinyl records. Despite the superficially superior features of digitization, something essential had been lost in the translation between the continuous waves captured through traditional recording processes and the stream of ones and zeroes encoded on those shiny metal discs. The flaws in the performances were too clear, the silences too silent, the atmospherics we associated with taking records out and putting them on the turntable completely upended. …
I couldn’t bear to watch it to the bitter end. The event that was supposed to be a civilized discourse about the future of the US federal government—the televised debate—instead had me feeling that our country was heading toward terminal polarization. Issues that were so important — a global pandemic, economic struggles, social inequity, geopolitical volatility, environmental emergencies — were artificially reduced to two sides.
Republican red versus Democrat blue.
The Presidential debate had been a nightmare in form and substance — easy to chalk up that disaster partly to the debate format itself. …
For me, sensemaking is pain. It is the necessary pain of throwing away preconceptions, of abandoning ways of seeing, of rejecting how I frame the world — and being left with, …well, with nothing. No firm knowledge, no tools, no structures. I call it the pain of agnosticism.
But let me back up a bit.
I’m leading the Research, Sensemaking, and Intelligence group at the Grey Swan Guild — a global network of over 700 thought leaders with a common desire to “make sense of this new world.” In addition, I’ve been co-leading Fujitsu’s Open Innovation Gateway, helping businesses make sense of changing technology and market conditions so we can, collaboratively, chart a path forward. Bottom line? …