Four For Friday | April 7, 2023
LF37 | Why businesses should care about the metaverse, a tool for our age: Precision Activation, Shapeable on a seismic shift and immunity for longevity
Welcome to a Looking Forward’s Four For Friday. Four things that have piqued my interest this week relating to systems change, healthy longevity and / or Web3. Enjoy!
Three reasons you should care about the metaverse
I’m not sure if a ‘sober HBR article’ is one of the stages in the hype cycle of new technologies but perhaps it should be. This sensible review of the metaverse avoids the hype and points to three reasons why the kind of execs who read the HBR should care: improving product discovery, fusing physical and virtual products to make better experiences, and deepening the connection between people and brands (e.g. via AI powered “digital humans”).
New systems change concept du jour: Precision Activation
Kate Wolfenden at 103 Ventures is as sharp as she is humble, and her new outfit is on a tear, landing weighty clients such as the Urban Land Institute to drive the Net Zero agenda and hiring star talent. She shares the idea of ‘precision activation’ for forensically engaging at an intervention point to change a system, akin to how a skilled acupuncturist wields a needle with outsize results:
“Precise, because we think in acupuncture-fine interventions, and activism, because acquiescence characterises many of our failings to date.”
Collaborative platforms are the new Facebook
The team at Shapeable are building - in my view - one of the world’s most impressive collaborative platforms. Here’s a post in which they point to the ongoing shift from social networks to collaborative platforms that enable people to work with others to solve some of the multifaceted crises engulfing our world. [Self-serving aside: the team also published a nice profile about Yours Truly and my own journey.]
Perhaps the secret to longevity isn’t a packet a day…
Rather than the secret to long life being smoking, eating bacon and drinking excessive alcohol, as popular press generally assumes, perhaps centenarians do have better genes. A new report in Lancet has found “a unique composition of immune cells that’s highly protective against illnesses".
That’s all for this week. As always, feedback welcome. Feel free to share insights or links of interest.
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