Monday, 23 March 2020 is a date that will be etched into the records of British history. The day we locked down. Since then, COVID-19 has turned the world upside down - taking millions of lives and disrupting families, societies and economies.
Technology and humans in opposition from historical works like Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein to more recent examples in Ex Machina and The Matrix, our cultural lives have many references to AI-themed apocalyptic cautionary tales.
There’s been a lot of news throughout the pandemic around the unexpected environmental upsides. Reduced air travel, minimal driving, and a downshift in manufacturing activity are all stimulating emissions reductions, improved air quality, reduced light pollution.
The World Health Organisation has found that to age healthily we need to have opportunities to live and do the things we value and cherish because this improves our wellbeing in older age.
2020 was an extraordinary year and the challenges presented by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic caused UK industry to rethink how it will operate over the long-term.
As I reflect on my tenure at Innovate UK, I am exceptionally proud to have led the organisation through many complex challenges – from organisational transformations to UKRI integration to preparing for the myriad eventualities of Brexit. However, as any business leader will now attest, nothing could have prepared me for the challenges (and opportunities) of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Today is the first day of BEYOND, a conference running from 30 November to December, where thinkers, makers, investors and researchers across the creative industries come together to explore the relationship between creative research and business innovation.
The main thing I remember about January 2020 was the rain and the number of times I was stranded at railway stations as the tracks were washed away. A few weeks later, like all of us, I would have been grateful if it was just the weather that was bothering me. The rest of 2020 feels like a blur, but a blur of activity and delivery and pressure to move faster.