It’s been a turbulent and challenging few years, to put it mildly.
Since 2016 we’ve had to navigate a Trump presidency, Brexit, a global pandemic, an attempted insurrection at the Capitol, widespread civil unrest, rampant wildfires, a gun violence epidemic, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, an assault on women’s reproductive rights, the growing threat to the civil rights of many groups … I could go on.
The prevailing sense of us being in a state of “perma-crisis” has exposed serious failings across all our political systems and it has become clear that we can no longer solely rely on our governments to continue advancing the arc of human progress – and certainly not at the pace we need.
Despite this, I remain extremely optimistic about our future. Why? How?
Because I deeply believe in the transformative power and limitless potential of technology.
As I see it, the tech industry has usurped politics as our most effective and reliable agent of positive change. I’m convinced it will drive the emergence of a healthier, cleaner, more prosperous and more equitable future.
In particular, the rate of progress in artificial intelligence, quantum computing and blockchain technologies will catalyse the advent of a new age of unprecedented abundance and opportunity, and will solve many of the biggest, most complex and most existential problems we face as a species.
We as communicators have a critical role to play in accelerating the emergence of this brighter future.
As Steve Jobs once said, “The most powerful person in the world is the storyteller. The storyteller sets the vision, values and agenda of an entire generation that is to come.”
With great power comes great responsibility. It’s our responsibility, and our privilege, to tell the stories of those technologies that will effect meaningful positive change in the world.
There’s a growing tension between the imperative to create shareholder value (a dynamic that will endure for as long as we remain subservient to the god of capitalism) and the growing expectation that businesses will contribute positively to the advancement of society.
I believe that technology is the key to unlocking both opportunities.
Brands need to invest heavily in adopting emerging technologies that make them more sustainable, more efficient and more democratic. This will both meet the growing demand for change and progress, and simultaneously create huge shareholder value.
A perfect storm is brewing: the convergence of emerging technologies, growing consumer fury, and ambitious, technology-powered brand activism. This dynamic will radically change the world for the better: both in incremental steps and in huge paradigm-shifting leaps.
In this context, we storytellers have a generational opportunity to shape the narrative, set the agenda, establish the vision and define the values of a brave new world.
At Clarity, we have never felt a greater sense of mission or more motivated to play our part.