I’ve been keeping busy during this unprecedented time. Keeping my mother, Joyce, healthy and safe from the COVID and keeping Luke happy and healthy. It’s been a harsh time in that we all shared the need for support, to be supportive, and grieve the loses of family and friends. Keeping busy is my way of coping and believing I can help create a better outcome for the future.
The photo, above, is a glimpse into my little world. I never liked the term workspace or office because it is so dehumanizing and limits creativity. My space is an imaginary space, part library and innovation studio, collaboration center, and the entrance to the world of VR. Welcome to my sandbox – well that’s what Luke, my cat, would label my imagination space.
I am writing this update as a year in review. In twenty-twenty, I helped many friends with their projects. Some projects materialized and other projects were fantastic exercises and learning experiences. I enjoy working with Sharon Lewis, who is a panel member of Sparks & Honey. Sharon and I wanted to learn about the impact COVID have on people. We developed a couple of qualitative research projects to study and document attitudes during this very difficult time. A year later, we are going to followup on the findings to understand the change in attitude and behavior towards this crisis devastating health crisis.
Many friends helped me. I am most grateful for the push to publish Laundrygate. The gorgeous book cover by Bud Lavery, wonderful proofreaders, and editors Jeanne Lombardo, Mike Buchheit, Amy Lieberman, and Joanne Fried. Book design help from Maria Radloff – all helped to produce Laundrygate. Writing a book is not solitary for me.
I am pleased to announce that, Laundrygate, Strange Stories About the Future is nominated for a Florida Book Award under the category of popular fiction. “The winning books and their authors will be showcased in the summer 2021 issue of FORUM, the statewide magazine of the Florida Humanities Council, and will be featured at book festivals and association conferences throughout the year. In addition, copies of all award-winning books will be put on permanent public display in the Florida Governor’s Mansion Library and in Florida State University’s Strozier Library.” – Florida Book Awards.
The past years have been filled with many technological advances, some good and some frightening. AI has made leaps and bounds to becoming more humanized. We witnessed NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley welcomed aboard the space station in an emotional ceremony after a nearly 19-hour journey that began when their Falcon 9 lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center the day before. Elon Musk introduced us to Gertrude, the pig, who is the test subject of Neuralink. We have new hope that COVID will be slowed by a vaccination that was developed in a short time span. These new technological advances have influenced my writing. Laundrygate volume two is being worked on. The short stories will be themed around future humans, animals, and machines. The first short story I wrote for volume 2 of Laundrygate is called, “Cycle“, which is nominated for The Roswell Award & Women Hold Up Half the Sky.
Science Fiction has taught me so much about imagination and creativity. I also learned how futurism is applied to the rigor science fiction authors take to build the worlds they want us to imagine. They challenge trending mindsets and provide evolution to human development. I teamed up with Tom Lombardo to present his extraordinary webinar, the Evolution of Science Fiction series. Tom developed the curriculum and presents a complete history of science fiction over 18 webinars. These live webinars attract an international audience and some very well known people in science fiction and futurism. Producing a webinar was not something I thought I would ever do, but I very much enjoy learning about the history of science fiction and creating the platform for Tom to present.
During this time I dusted off a business plan that I wrote in 2008, that was about digital memorials. The original vision of digital memorials was to provide the tools that will help document the life of the person using the tools in the way they want to be perceived. The idea has transformed into a greater vision that goes beyond the memorial and personal history. I put together a great team! My partners are JP McCaffrey and Zach Ambrose, and Melisa Harder, advisory board member, to create Digital Thereafter. Think of Digital Thereafter as the place for pre-need and estate planning, you design your memorial and determined your digital thereafter. We are in the process of shaping this remarkable service. I appreciate Cathy Hackl for including Digital Thereafter in her Forbes article, The Future of Death Tech. If anything I learned from 2020 and COVID is to get organized and make sure my family knows that I have taken of them.
I am very honored to be invited by Elev8 Ventures as a board member of the Build(BOLD). The Build(BOLD) pre-accelerator program prepares entrepreneurs and provides education and services to help transform an idea into a business. I present a webinar on Product-Market Fit. An idea that sprang out of my research using Roger’s Innovation Diffusion Theory, will be a foundational tool for the Build(Bold) entrepreneurs community. I’m working with Tunji Fadiora to develop, IdeaGenera8or.
I am thrilled to report, ServicePlace, a non-profit focusing on under-served areas and communities using technology, entered the prototype development of the ServicePlace Eldercare product. This is a great technology that will help with eldercare. ServicePlace is founded by Debashis Chowdhury. I am happy that research findings and recommendations are being used to service the public in a passive manner.
Twenty-one will bring great hope to all of us, but there is tremendous work that needs to be done to help us get back on stable ground.