Five for Friday: Revolution, all over again

Did you know it's time for a revolution? No, this is not my call to fight (yet...), but rather our take for this week--how is technology revolutionizing the world around us and doing it faster than we ever imagined?

technology revolution
  1. From Vice - I've always had a weird preoccupation with wondering what it would have been like to live during the Industrial Revolution when so much changed so quickly (and Jane Austen was alive)--looks like I won't have to wonder much longer (on the former; no zombie Jane Austens walking around)! Self-driving cars are bringing us our third industrial revolution (or fourth, depending on who you ask) as we reshape our very concept of productivity. It's definitely a think piece and I can't recommend it highly enough. We have a long way to go when it comes to moving beyond fossil fuel dependency and adopting a holistic vision for how we can help ourselves be better to our species and our planet, but no time like nearing 7.5B humans to take it on.

  1. From Fortune - Remember that time I told you the world population was approaching 7.5 billion? It's expected to be 10 billion in 2050 and companies are thinking about how efficiency might be a better bet than our current 'get a new one' mentality (see: your iPhone 5 with the terrible battery power and cracked screen). The current name for this concept is a Circular Economy (vs. our traditional linear approach). What's in it for a company that would surely prefer the bottom line of selling you a new phone vs. selling you a replacement component? Aside from contributing to less waste, a whole lot of efficiency, streamlined supply chains, and a focus on core strengths is to be gained.

  2. From WIRED - Can you really one-up the company that changed it all? Tesla thinks it can. This is big, big news in Silicon Valley but you may have missed it (as I did) since the names involved aren't as likely to light a bulb over your head. Tesla is acquiring top talent from Apple in order to staff its Autopilot team (the computers that run the autonomous functionality in its cars). Whether Tesla is the new Apple remains to be seen but there's no doubt this could be a revolutionary turning point in the technology that's leading it all.

  3. From GreenBiz - City transportation is on the cusp of revolution (and we couldn't agree more). This article links to an October McKinsey/Bloomberg report on the future of mobility which explores three potential models cities and urban centers may adopt by 2030. The GreenBiz article points out a particular imperative that we at Apparatus are concerned about, too--advancing and more efficient technology does not necessarily mean that we will be advanced and more efficient simply by using it. If we don't put the right planning mechanisms in place to approach it, we could send ourselves backwards.

  4. From Co.Exist - Developers are overhauling (<--got sick of saying revolutionizing) their approach to building and attracting buyers and renters and here's a great example: an apartment building in NYC that comes with a fleet of shared vehicles as a perk to tenancy. Yes, it's a fancy apartment complex. Yes, the fleet is BMWs. Yes, it's all about attracting Millennials. BUT this is a great case study of the way we can approach the same old problems with a fresh idea that brings together individuals' wants/needs, cleaner technology, and more efficiency in cities and beyond. Now, where have I heard that before?

That's all for today! Stay tuned for some great posts next week including our next legislative update as well as us spanning the country to flex our first amendment rights.

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