Issue 15

In Issue 15 we asked professional futurist Amy Webb about how to think meaningfully about the future; Web Standards grandmaster Eric A. Meyer lays out an approach for building a more compassionate web experience; British entrepreneur Pip Jamieson shares the challenges of launching a ‘LinkedIn for Creatives’ – twice; and freelance coach Paul Jarvis makes a case for designing work around life, not vice versa.

Interviewees

Amy Webb

Founder of the Future Today Institute — on the role of futurism during the Cold War, her algorithm for finding love, and why businesses can’t afford not to think about the future in meaningful ways.

Eric A. Meyer

Web Consultant, Author — on his tenacious advocacy work for a more accessible web, how to design with compassion, and coping with the tragic loss of his daughter.

Pip Jamieson

Founder of The Dots — on houseboat-living on the canals of London, starting up twice, and her impassioned efforts for more diversity in the creative industries.

Paul Jarvis

Freelancer, Author, Consultant — on how ‘good anger’ is great for productivity, sales pitches powered by pet rats, and his approach to shaping work around life.

Contributors

Thoughts — Food for thought by Natasha Lampard and Aimee Chou

A Day In The Life Of — Spend a day with Ahmed Magdi and Sarah Hui.

May I AskKatherine Isbister answers our questions on the emotional and social impact of video games.

A Newsletter Manifesto — Making business newsletters better out of respect for the reader, by Michael Rill.

Code That Transforms — With Laboratoria, Mariana Costa Checa changes entire communities in South America by teaching underpriviledged women basic coding skills.

Pushing the Envelope — Cardboard boxes and other packaging materials are a lucrative business opportunity for Lumi, by Stephan Ango.

Gear Guide — Accessories for the modern web worker, by Ed Macovaz.

Rules of Business — Guiding principles for doing business, by Claire Lew.

Next Gen — At JuniorLab in Berlin, Sven Ehmann asks six young people about the technology of the future.

Music Maker — Dr. Mike Butera is creating a new type of musical experience focused on exploration and creativity rather than skill sets and signal chains: Artiphon.

The Business of Being ThoughtfulDaianna Karaian advocates for a more thoughtful and sustainbale approach to making and consuming.

WorkspaceClover Network, Pantheon, freiheit.com, Airbnb Australia, Avant

Junior Executive — Teenage entrepreneur James Anderson unexpectedly became a role model for high school dropouts.

Just Energy Moving — How do we react to feelings? An essay by Sarah Jane Coffey

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It’s in the fringe where people can come up with innovative ideas that aren’t shackled by research grants or other constraints which would cause them to edit themselves.

With the ever-evolving digital landscape, it’s becoming increasingly important for companies of all stripes to stay on top of technological changes and think about what lies beyond the horizon. The question of ‘what’s next’ is Amy Webb’s bread and butter. She runs a consulting business based on futurism – a holistic approach to considering what’s coming. In her work, Amy examines how to think about the future in a meaningful way, what technological shifts will shake up our society, and why we often miss signals of change in plain sight. Her penchant for data analysis also extends to her private life: Amy’s marriage is the result of an ‘algorithm for love’.

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It takes actual effort to make the web inaccessible – and yet, as usual, we’ve gone ahead and done just that. We’ve built enormous, teetering edifices of glass and metal, and now bemoan the fact that our view is obstructed.

Since the ’90s, a small group of advocates has been fighting for a better web experience and advancing the status quo of HTML and CSS while holding browser makers accountable. Eric A. Meyer is one of them. As an early blogger, a consultant, speaker, conference organiser, and the author of countless books and articles, Eric is a well-recognised and highly-respected authority in Web Standards. After the tragic death of his daughter, he reflects on the lack of compassion and empathy in the way we design digital experiences. But Eric remains hopeful, and calls on designers and developers to infuse their work with strong values that will shape the behaviour of the next generation of users.

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We’re squandering so much amazing talent because of unfair biases and the barriers they create.

As an MTV executive, Pip Jamieson struggled to find a more diverse pool of creative talent for her projects. Frustration grew into a ‘what if’ and eventually resulted in a bootstrapped startup – a ‘LinkedIn for creatives’. After proving successful in Australia, the British-born entrepreneur took her idea back to London and launched a second time under a new name. The Dots has quickly become a thriving networking tool for the creative industries, connecting freelancers and job seekers with companies of all shapes and sizes. Pip’s positivity and energy are unabating and infectious. From a houseboat moored somewhere on London’s canals, she’s ready to set The Dots on course for global expansion.

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Anyone can call themselves an expert, a coach, or a ‘thought leader’, pad some bullshit credentials, and sell their course online. It’s a billion-dollar industry.

In a remote corner of an island off Canada’s west coast, Paul Jarvis tends to the vegetables in his newly-built greenhouse. After checking on his food supply, it’s time to head back to the ‘office’ to work on an upcoming email marketing class while giving his pet rats some exercise. Developer, designer, author, tutor, podcaster, blogger, marketeer – we could give him any or all of those titles. But above all, Paul is a fiercely independent creative who considers his two-decade long freelance career an ongoing quest for the ideal lifestyle. He shares his discoveries – including the occasional ‘angry rant’, as he puts it – through numerous books, online courses, and various other digital products, building a loyal audience inspired by his unconventional approach to life and to work.

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