Note — May 15, 2022

No.219 Shorts

The Future Is Not Evenly Distributed—Neither Are We Weird and technosolutionist in spots but the broader framing matches a trend I’ve been keeping an eye on, especially because it’s clearly visible right now in Québec: cities stepping up quicker and better than nations in the face of current challenges. Noted particularly for this quote: “The global urban population surpassed 50% a few years ago … That’s the fastest adoption of cities we have ever seen. But this trend has occurred so quickly that we have not yet had an institutional transition to a city-led political structure. … The notion of land as power is a quaint concept in practice. Agrarian, medieval, feudal. At best a 19th-century anachronism. But our institutions and power structures still treat this concept as a given.”

WeCrashed, WeWork and the lesson for the future of work I’ve yet to watch that series, mostly because I despise Adam Neumann, but Christoph Fahle took the time and, as a person who was in coworking from the very beginning, highlights the difference between ‘a culture’ and ‘an industry’ (my words). “Coworking founders were simultaneously fascinated and disgusted by the WeWork story at the beginning. Fascinated because Wework was executing on a scale and had access to funds that we all could just dream of. Disgusted because the pace of its growth ran counter to the values that had inspired us to create coworking spaces in the first place — community and openness, collaboration and sustainability and, not to forget, accessibility.”