LF12 | Triple Shot - Jan 10, 2023
Three things weekly by Looking Forward. This week: Donor collaboratives, technology creating immortality and a dark, if tech-enhanced, future.
Welcome to this week’s Triple Shot, three things of interest in healthy aging, impact and Web3:
1. Melinda French Gates’s $15bn vision for ‘collaboratives’
Melinda French Gates and Mackenzie Bezos are reshaping philanthropy with massive funding, unorthodox processes and bold, systems-level approaches. French Gates’ recent interview in the FT talks about her drive to develop ‘donor collaboratives’; rather than philanthropists giving huge sums to institutions (for yet another library..) they collaborate together to solve global missions that are above the level of any individual organisation.
Given her VC firm, Pivotal Ventures is all about caregiving, expect some robust global mission-driven collaboratives to emerge before long…
2. The ultimate purpose of technology -immortality…?
Contrarian author, investor, technologist, investor, former CTO of Coinbase, and podcast supremo (here’s 8 solid hours of his smart insights with Lex Fridman) makes an interesting case for a fundamental link between tech and longevity. Most of us on the agetech journey consider tech and aging to be oil and water, and our job is knitting these almost oxymoronic concepts together. Balaji on the other hand makes the case the technology is generally making things work faster and save time, and by a logical extension, the perfect tech would give us back limitless time. It’s a bit of a head scratcher but I rather like it, and with it he makes the case that we should all be shouting about tech’s ability to deliver the ultimate gift to humanity in a much more robust fashion than we do today. Balaji exhorts us to:
To take the winnings from our web apps and put them towards Mars, to feel no hesitation towards starting small and no shame in dreaming big, to tell the world that it actually is possible to cure the deaf, restore sight, and end death itself.
3. A new normal for 2025 of tech-driven inequality
This new Pew Research report based on a survey of 915 experts in tech and policy suggests that the world is getting darker and more unequal, propelled by technology. While this will deliver benefits to some, the more common story is: “greater inequality, rising authoritarianism and rampant misinformation”.
47% said life will get worse, against 37% predicting it will get better. The report includes this wonderful quote about humans grappling with “paleolithic emotions, medieval institutions and god-like technology”.
The report predicts emerging new tech use cases, including:
“Internet of Medical Things” for patient health monitoring
Smart millimeter wave machines to diagnose disease
Synthetic biology and computational virology for better drugs
Diagnostic screenings of diet, genes and microbiome
Citizen swarms to address environmental problems
3-D social media systems e.g. hologram avatars
Mediated ‘interdigital agents’ taking over time-consuming tasks
A “flying Internet of Things” as drones become prolific in surveillance
Urban farming at industrial scale
Local supply chains
Personalized education schooling menus
“Truth valuation” protocols to diminish appeal of disinformation
Small, safer nuclear reactors for energy production.
That’s all for this week’s Looking Forward Triple Shot. Feel free to let me know topics of interest and feel free to spread the word about Looking Forward to those who might benefit. Meanwhile, enjoy the week!
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