Headphones in, head down, tablet or phone out and, most importantly, as little human interaction as possible. The typical city-dweller’s commute has become something of a caricature these days – even adverts on the London underground are poking fun at the awkward disconnect that takes stage within their confines.
But this narrative is nothing new. It’s one canonical work that has been constantly told and retold over the years: the more we plug into the latest smartphones and gadgets, the more fragmented and detached we become as a society.
Once championed by the Zuckerberg’s of the world as the ultimate force for good, technology has begun to lose favour in the eyes of the public. If today’s surveys and headlines are anything to go by, the shift in sentiments towards the digital revolution ranges from the skeptical to the downright distrustful.
Indeed, we need only look to the recent crises surrounding data privacy breaches, the debates on the ethics of AI and robotics, the insidious rise of ‘fake news’ through social media and more, to see that the concern is certainly justified and the threats are as real as ever. Technology seems to have become more of a divisive and dangerous tool that is helping to build barriers up rather than break them down.
Yet the optimistic storyteller in me is holding out hope for a happier ending. This is definitely not the woeful tale of tech I want to be passed down for generations to come.
In fact, there are so many startups emerging from the industry with the sole aim of making a positive impact on society. From virtual reality experiences that help to rehabilitate patients in hospitals, to blockchain technologies that are stamping out financial corruption in NGOs and governments, to 3D printer manufacturers who are revolutionising healthcare for disabled children – these are just a few examples of what technology for good looks like.
FieldHouse Associates are bringing a wealth of industry knowledge and experience to the brightest minds and most exciting innovators in order to rewrite the dark narrative that has emerged. I am absolutely delighted to be a part of this ecosystem, enabling these exciting new stories to unfold at a time when we need them the most.