After the frenetic, upward-trending, mad thrills of 2016-2019… two years of panic, fear, lockdowns and hibernation ensued.
2022 (the first full year without nonsense) wasn’t ever going to be anyone’s best year. Increasingly, everything is political – which is boring. Nobody wants to discuss Russia and the Ukraine; climate change; Donald Trump; or Meghan and Harry anymore. It’s all very ‘meh’. Uproar over Musk buying Twitter, Phala Phala money in the sofa, the Queen’s funeral and a World Cup provided some relief, but mostly we were just glad to have survived the lockdowns.
I can’t shake the feeling that something big is still waiting in the wings, and not COVID-big, but much bigger. People are looking for substance, meaning and purpose like never before. What that thing is, is anyone’s guess. Realistically, it could be the dystopian world Klaus Schwab of the WEF thinks is optimal – where you will own nothing and you’ll be ‘happy’. We could see more political instability, perhaps (but hopefully not) more war, and without doubt technological disruption on an even greater scale. In my crazier moments I imagine an alien invasion, but even if that happened, I’m pretty sure our political leaders would fuck it up.
So, as we head into 2023, what should we be thinking, and more importantly, what should we be doing?
The truth is, I don’t know – but we all need to open ourselves up to new things, new ideas and new opportunities. They may come from unexpected places, and the unlikeliest people. If we learnt anything from the COVID overreaction, we can’t just blindly trust in authority or credentials anymore… and that might not be a bad thing. Trust is something that’s earned, and we’ll all be on the same footing from here on out. Even if it was unintentional, a lot of elite spaces have been (and will continue to be) democratised. Everyone has a chance to make a difference in this new world, and you don’t have to be a president or a king or a billionaire to do that.
It’s hard to spot the inspiration in so much uncertainty, but having the opportunity to change the world seems to me like the most inspirational thing any of us could aspire to.
Here’s to 2023!