The pandemic has exerted its force over just about every aspect of just about everyone’s life, personally and professionally. Many of the changes have been uncomfortable or worse, but some of the new norms are actually promising. The shutdowns and stay-home orders have given a big boost to virtual conferencing of all kinds. That’s brought its own set of pitfalls and obstacles to navigate—a new need to be extra careful about what’s behind us as we broadcast our image far and wide and to make sure nothing embarassing pops up while we’re sharing our screen, a new set of technical and logistical challenges and security lapses with Zoom and other such platforms, and an increased need to contend with time zones, for example.
But it’s also forcibly expanding our idea of what’s possible to do online. Certainly, it’ll be good to get back to in-person gatherings again one day when it’s safe, but it surely looks like there will be fewer of them. Think about CES, for example—is it really necessary for everyone to fly, truck, and tromp to Las Vegas to see exhibits of what’s possible to do with modern technology? How about using the modern technology itself to do the showing?
Of course, a large-scale radical shift like this is wrenching to the show and tourism industries; that can’t be ignored, and something will have to be done about it. But in the meantime, at smaller scale, there’s a whole lot of good being done. Just look at what was accomplished in the DVN-EPIC online innovation conference held two weeks ago. You can watch any or all of it at your leisure. If you miss something that goes by too quickly, you can click to hear it again, as many times as you want. That’s progress!
It’s pretty amazing, and at DVN we’re working to build a terrific first-of-its-kind online DVN-I Workshop on 24 September—in last newsletter week edition you were able to read about how it’s shaping up.
The dreadful aspects and effects of this pandemic are many. It’s deadly to people and jobs and economies, and we are deeply worried for our loved ones, friends, and colleagues stuck where the coronavirus response is not thoughtful, scientific, realistic, or effective. It’s frustrating and sad that we can’t do anything about that. But it’s worth noticing the glimmers of colour, light, and hope amidst the gloom, and it’s worth hoping for a better short- and long-term future, and it’s worth working toward exactly that.
Keep well and stay safe,