Strategist, Speaker, Designer, Instigator

Writing

Sharing, shmaring [part 2/2]

In my last post, I went on about how the ’sharing economy’ is a misnomer that distracts from what’s really going on. This time, I’m going to talk about the impact that distraction can have. Businesses that enable peer-to-peer commerce can have a huge positive impact, as I wrote last time. They enable people to… Continue Reading

Sharing, shmaring [part 1/2]

Happy New Year, people. I’ve got a backlog of partially-written pieces from 2015 that I plan to foist upon you in the coming months, on a somewhat more realistic schedule than the long-abandoned ‘100 posts in 100 days’. They’re likely to be mostly long reads, so settle in and make yourself comfortable. —— I’m generally… Continue Reading

Little mysteries [post 47/100]

This morning I updated my iPhone to the latest version of iOS. About an hour later, I left for the airport. My phone was in my jacket pocket, as usual. My headphones were in and I was listening to music on Spotify, as usual. Only this time everything got a bit weird. First, the music… Continue Reading

Conversing with ghosts [post 45/100]

Maybe I’m a little old-fashioned sometimes. A friend who’s got teenage daughters tells me that these days it’s considered ok (by some) to carry on a conversation while fiddling with one’s mobile. This still is definitely not ok in my circles, and no matter how much I apologise I always feel terrible when something comes… Continue Reading

Bring on the noise [post 44/100]

How many questions a day is the average human prepared to answer? When I was in school, days when we were asked loads of questions were scary – they were exam days, or worse, pop quiz days. Most questions were asked person to person, and were related to events that were shared between those people… Continue Reading

FOR SALE: Me. Good condition. Convenience ONO. [post 42/100]

[This article was written for Prophecy and is cross-posted here with permission.] We are addicted to technology. Literally. Cognitive scientists have found the same kind of dopamine response in smartphone users checking Facebook as in gamblers pulling the handle on a slot machine, or junkies getting high. And we know it. We now have resorts… Continue Reading

Speaking

Below the Surface [Picnic, Rio de Janiero]

The prioritization of growth above all else, coupled with the belief that technology can (or even should) solve all our problems, has led us to some pretty unsustainable places – individually, socially, economically and politically. Taking a bit of time and digging deeper to understand the less obvious patterns and movements at work in our world can help us to find more sustainable, innovative solutions to the challenges we face.

Being Human in a ‘Smartified’ World [IoT Asia, Singapore]

The Internet of Things has the potential to bring humans closer to each other and to the places where we live and visit, yet a lot of the projects undertaken, especially on the public side, don’t take humans into account much at all, except as something to be managed. To get the full benefit of the technology we are embedding in the physical world, we need to think carefully about how it enhances or detracts from the experience of being there.

Tiny Gods & False Idols [Data Natives, Berlin]

We have an expectation management problem with technology – there is a big gap between what we expect, hope and believe and what it can actually do. In order to not fall into that gap, we must put people first, rather than machines. Only then can we make technology that’s holistic, helpful and humble instead of messy, mysterious and malicious.