I’m not a futurist, but I take a heightened interest in the future. Not just in my future, which would be natural, but in society’s future at large. Of course, a large part of the future is technology and its transformative power (hey, remember what mobile phones looked like ten years ago?). A decade ago when I began this blog (and had a LG flip phone) I listed the topics I was going to cover: Business, History, Law, Technology, Japan, and New York (if not cities in general). These are my interests. No matter how much I am exposed to other ideas and places, my interests tend to come back to these general topics. And lately I have been reading a lot on how emerging technologies will forever change our cities and our world. From autonomous vehicles to the IoT connected cities and AI, the city of the future is an exciting place to imagine, where possibilities are literally endless and the use of space, human interaction, and the movement of people and goods look vastly different from what we know today.
This interest of mine is not accompanied by a particular skill set to do much about it, however. But when recently confronted with the ageless question of what I would do if I could do any job in the world for a living, helping design the city of the future is what came to mind. And Alphabet’s (fka Google’s) Sidewalk Labs is doing just that. The more I learn of the company and its mission, the more I am interested. The big question in my mind is whether I do anything about it, or will I continue to solely read about the future and how it will shape me instead of actively taking a role in how it will shape us. My wheels are spinning, so stay tuned.