Memia on Sunday 29-May-2022: ⏩Fast Forward Aotearoa
A book in 30 Sundays
Kia ora koutou e te whānau,
Welcome to Memia on Sunday, I hope you’re enjoying your weekend in the sunshine!
This week, something different…
First, some background:
I’ve been writing the Wednesday Memia newsletter since the beginning of 2020, going weekly just as Covid hit in March. It continues to be my main project and I am immensely grateful to the many loyal readers who subscribe and let me into their inbox every week …you are officially awesome!😇
From a personal perspective, I never really knew where I was going with the newsletter when I started out… I just needed to carve out more time for reading, writing and thinking about things that interest me - in particular with relevance for my corner of the world here in Aotearoa New Zealand, where there isn’t exactly much coverage of accelerating tech in the mainstream media or political discourse.
At the back of my mind, I also wanted to build a better model not just of how new tech is changing our world…but also how it can potentially be harnessed to solve some of the burning issues that face humanity right now — as we slide on through the escalating #permacrisis — starting here in Aotearoa. That’s the message I landed on in the Memia website rebrand just before Xmas: Upgrade The Future.
Nearly two and a half years later, I’ve been surprised at how the act of scanning across the wires each week, researching the most interesting items that catch in my feed in more detail, then summarising them in the newsletter, has really helped to develop my understanding of *what’s going on* way more than just reading. The discipline of writing the weekly newsletter - combined with iteratively building up the Memia Knowledge Graph in Roam Research has really helped me to build Memia’s various models for interpreting events and projecting into the future.
…Memia on Sunday
Then at the beginning of this year I introduced Memia on Sunday to complement the regular Wednesday email. As you’ll have noticed, I’ve been experimenting with various parameters - deeper reading, deeper writing, paywalled / non-paywalled… hopefully it’s been of interest to go with your Sunday morning espresso.☕
Unfortunately, the downside of this has been to double my writing workload and as a result, I’ve had to put some other projects on hold…! (Plus I still have my day job working with Memia’s many wonderful consulting and advisory clients… 🤗)
In particular, for over a year now I have been attempting to free up more time and thinking space to finally gather my thoughts into *The Book*. This has been in genesis for a long time now and will cover many themes familiar to Memia readers: namely how new technology - and accelerated technology investment at a public policy level - can advance wellbeing for citizens of Aotearoa and around the world, and address some of the mega challenges being faced right now in 2022. (All interspersed with the usual humour, memes and occasional snark, naturally.)
So… I’ve been wracking my brain on how to choose between keeping up two newsletter editions per week, with actually spending time writing the book… and then it came to me on the long roadtrip back from Ōtepoti to Ōtautahi last weekend:
Introducing…⏩Fast Forward Aotearoa
So… from now on until the end of the year I’m going to dedicate the Memia on Sunday edition to writing my forthcoming book, ⏩Fast Forward Aotearoa1, in instalments. A few details up front:
This will be available to paid Memia subscribers only2
As a subscriber, your input, feedback and comments on each post will really help me to make the final edition as relevant and on-point as possible
We’ll work out more subscriber benefits as well - you’ll definitely have the option of receiving a printed copy at cost and also attend the book launch event (etc…!)
Right now my aim is to get the whole thing ready for publishing by the end of 2022… that’s 30 Sundays…you’re here to keep me honest!!
(Also from now on I’m going to publish these instalments on Sunday afternoons/evenings to fit in with my weekend rhythm a bit better…)
Here’s the current outline chapter list, some big broad brush strokes here which will become sharper with time…
⏩Fast Forward Aotearoa
A guide to progressive technology policy for New Zealand in the emerging digital metaverse
2. Small country. Big challenges. Big opportunities.
3. Te ao Māori and Technology
4. Values, Politics and Government
5. Ecosystems and Environment
8. Fast Forward Aotearoa
(The metaverse subheadline could well feel distinctly “2021” by the time I get to completing the book… it may need rephrasing entirely but the intention is to emphasise the meme that any future “nation state” increasingly exists as much in a borderless digital universe as within its physical geographical boundaries...)
Also, although the focus will definitely be on the Aotearoa New Zealand context because that’s what I know, many of the topics will have a lot of relevance for international readers as well. (And maybe there’s a “⏩Fast Forward [Trans]Humanity” to follow along afterwards…but let’s not get ahead of ourselves, eh…)
On the cover
Big ups to artist (and Memia reader) Jaya Mangalam Gibson (who I originally heard about generative AI art from in 2017…) for helping me out with some rapid DALL-E 2 whispering. Prompted with this…
“A book cover, book title ‘Fast Forward Aotearoa’, written by futurist Ben Reid, covering emerging technology opportunities for the small island nation of New Zealand. The cover shows a satellite image of New Zealand from space and an accelerating exponential curve.”
…DALLE-2 came back with the following impressionistic concepts for the book cover. (Clearly AI still has a little way to go to replace a wetware designer…and spelling, tho…):
A bit of iteration came up with this (again, spelling):
(Looks more like Norway.😁)
A book in 30 Sundays
So… please consider joining me on this quest. With your support I aim to mark out a workable framework for an aspirational technology policy for our small islands — and contribute my small piece to the national debate in time for the 2023 election next October.
Become a paid subscriber to Memia for NZ$99/year and get "⏩Fast Forward Aotearoa” posts to your inbox every Sunday.
First instalment next week… no pressure, then.😬
*Of course* it has an emoji in the title!!🤓
Memia subscriptions are free for students or those otherwise not able to stretch to a paid subscription, just reach out and I’ll sort it, no worries.