Our last Brave Conversations event was a little different. We did a challenge for young people which sought to explore the pressing issues of the 21st Century from the perspective of those between 14 to 17 years of age from around the world. Called Future Worlds Challenge it presented a space within which participants first learned to code an Amazon Alexa, and then worked in teams (from across the globe) using their Alexa and the internet to come up with three solutions to the challenges of how we think, how we live within our ecosystems and how we harness the smartness of our technologies to ensure the sustainability of human life on Earth.
One of our winners Lara commented that
It was one of the most amazing workshops that I have attended ever and I would 100% recommend it to anyone else looking to improve their coding and have thought provoking sessions about the Future!
So … the challenge for us is what to do next?
The Web Science community provides us with the opportunity to hold Brave Conversations as a part of their Annual Conference and so this year in June 2022 we are heading down to Barcelona – see Brave Conversations at the 2022 Web Science Conference.
As we all gradually crawl out of our Covid Caves the world around us has profoundly changed in a number of ways, and as we have discussed what we would like to address and how it struck us that we need to paint a vivid picture of what the human environment is becoming. Whilst we adapted during the past two years we have also changed some things permanently, and others will return but to a new normal.
Some things that I’ve observed:
- Covid has changed the nature and relationship of travel, work, entertainment, education, socialising, medicine
- Covid has impacted the mental health of people across the board with two years of people being told to isolate, stay 2m apart or avoid others
- Young people, in particular, have had massive disruption, particularly in poorer places
- Older people are retiring early
- There seems to be a workforce crisis almost everywhere
- New opportunities are popping up in places you’d least expect them
- Governments have had an unprecedented mandate to survey, restrict and control their populations
- With the rising use of platforms like Zoom the next step in to virtual worlds is relatively easy, once the technology is ready …
This is just the beginning … which is scary enough in itself!
We created Brave Conversations to be precisely that … an opportunity for people to be brave in a respectful and open space where nothing is right or wrong, everything needs to be considered and all ideas and opinions have the right to be heard.
We hope that this next event pushes all of us to rise to the challenge of how to co-create the world that is emerging and ensure that it is beneficial for us, our children and future generations.
Come and join us! The event will be held both in person (if you feel like a trip to Barcelona!) and online.
- Brave Conversations Barcelona 2022 – https://braveconversations.org/barcelona-2022/
- Registrations – https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/brave-conversations-barcelona-tickets-310550674427
Here are a few thought starters around the conversation we will be having:
- Sean Carroll interviews Sherry Turkle on How Technology Affects Our Humanity
- Micah Goodman – Our Technology Sickness — and How to Heal It
- MIT Technology Review – Anti-abortion activists are collecting the data they’ll need for prosecutions post-Roe
- Gartner Identifies Top Five Trends in Privacy Through 2024
- Erin Carson – When it Comes to Human Extinction, We Could Be Our Worst Enemy and Best Hope
- New York Times – The Era of Borderless Data Is Ending
- The SciVerse – AI Can Predict People’s Race From X-Ray Images, And Scientists Are Concerned
- NeuroScience – ‘I Don’t Even Remember What I Read’: People Enter a ‘Dissociative State’ When Using Social Media
- MIT Technology Review – Land of a billion faces
- Ethical Psychology – Elon Musk unveils Neuralink’s plans for brain-reading ‘threads’ and a robot to insert them