2019 has begun in earnest!!
We hereby begin by sharing some thoughts & ideas as we look forward to our work here in our Property courtesy of the team at National Endowment for Democracy along with CityLab & one of our favorites, TED, with its' favorite talks of 2018:
Earlier this month, council members in Columbus, Ohio, approved $1 million for an unusual purpose: Starting in June 2019, the city will pilot a ride-hailing service to get expectant moms to their doctor’s appointments, grocery stores, and other daily essentials.
The “prenatal trip assistance” program will be small—lasting six months and serving 500 women—but it’s incredibly important. Franklin County has one of the highest rates of infant mortality in the U.S., with 150 infant deaths per year. Transportation is one strand in a web of reasons for this: Pregnant women who can’t find a ride to prenatal care visits are that much more likely to give birth preterm, the leading cause of infant death. Stress also plays a role, and unreliable transportation, among other conditions of poverty and race, can wear a person down.
So there were high hopes in 2016, when Columbus won a $50 million USDOT grant to use cutting-edge technology to improve the transportation system. The city committed as a focal point of its proposal to lift up low-income, pregnant women of color at highest risk for unhealthy pregnancies. But when I visited in late 2017, those promises had faded; there were no plans for a prenatal trip pilot, even as the city moved ahead on autonomous vehicle testing and other futuristic ideas.
My subsequent article sparked more conversation about whom urban technology is really for. And, after it was published, Columbus altered its DOT-approved project list to include a program for pregnant moms. So finally, next year, some women in Columbus will see a “smarter city” after all. Read my story today on CityLab: In Columbus, Expectant Moms Will Get On-Demand Rides to the Doctor
We Conclude W/this Perspective From the Peter Diamandis:
We forget how fast the world is changing today.
As we ring in the New Year, let’s take a brief look back 100 years ago to 1919, as a means to truly appreciate the extraordinary world we live in today.
First, the bad news:
- World War I ended in 1919 with a total casualty count of 37 million.
- The Spanish Flu finally ended as well, with a sum total of 500 million people infected (33% of Earth’s population!) and 50 million estimated deaths.
Proportional to the Earth’s population today, this would be the equivalent of a death-toll ranging between 200 - 350 million people. Absolutely devastating, and a reminder of how lucky we truly are today in the twenty-first century.
On the positive side, while progress was glacial in speed, here’s everything I could find that would count as “Innovation in 1919”:
- Women’s rights! The U.S. Congress approves the 19th Amendment.
- The first passenger air service was offered between Paris and London.
- UPS was founded as a company.
- The U.S. Army completed its “first transcontinental motor Convoy expedition driving across the United States.” It took them 60 days!
- The NC-4 Aircraft completed the 1st multi-stop flight across the Atlantic (19 days).
- Raymond Orteig offered $25,000 for the first nonstop flight between New York and Paris.
What were the major technological inventions of 1919? There were two of them…
- Silica Gel was invented to keep humidity out of our packages; and,
- The Toaster (yup, that’s all I found on meaningful inventions).
In comparison (at least technologically) we have more achievements per hour today, than 1919 had in the entire year. We are truly living during the most extraordinary time ever.
So, how much difference can 100 years of progress make? A LOT.
AND, as we march toward the Singularity, it’s important to realize that the speed of change is accelerating… and every aspect of how we live our lives will change in the next decade.
In the next 10 years, those surfing on the tsunami of change (rather than getting crushed by it) will create more wealth than was created in the past century.
Every industry will be transformed… and how we raise our kids, run our companies and lead our nations will change as well.
You can be fearful of change, or you can realize it is happening and harness it.
For those prepared, exponential change will help us digitize, dematerialize, demonetize and democratize access to energy, transportation, education, health, knowledge and communications.
Technology will turn that which was once scare into abundance, over and over again.
So, as you charge into 2019, remember that “the best way to predict the future is to create it yourself.”
Warmest wishes and Happy New Year,
Peter H. Diamandis