001 - I'm back.
Right before I went on parental leave last fall, I had grand plans as to what the next few months might look like. I imagined reading and writing by a fire while surrounded by many leather-bound books and your finest whiskeys. I had visions of connecting with people around the world doing interesting work on creating a more just and joyful world. I thought that we might even be able to sketch out a cross-country roadtrip to see family and friends on the East Coast.
Yeah, that definitely didn’t happen. :)
What did happen was that Elle and I welcomed our baby daughter in September, and we cocooned ourselves as we figured out our new lives as parents. Evelyn is now 9-months old (ah!), and she’s a super happy and curious baby. She’s even usurped Elle’s role as the Protector of the Swallows here on Vashon.
I’m putting this newsletter together for a few reasons, but mainly, I have two things in mind:
- Create a mechanism to notice where my attention naturally goes. Hopefully, this will build a base that will allow for pattern recognition and natural synthesis down the line.
- Think out loud and share my explorations into different topics with you all. My hope is that this will spark a fun back-and-forth with many of you.
I’m sure this email will change slightly as I experiment with different formats to see what works and what doesn’t. Thanks for going on this ride with me.
So, here are a few things that I thought you might find interesting. I know I did.
1/ Juneteenth is finally recognized as a federal holiday. Perhaps we should all walk 2 1/2 miles to celebrate everyone involved in making this happen, especially Opal Lee.
2/ Last week, Audacity, a crypto venture fund that funds Black and African crypto founders worldwide, launched with a lot of buzz. And of course it doesn’t stop there. There are plans to transition the fund into a DAO.
3/ The Hewlett Foundation changed their program name from “Global Development and Population” to “Gender Equity and Governance.” The note by Dana Hovig (former BMGF) provides a thoughtful reflection of the current state of foundations, and this line captures the moment well: We know that how we fund is just as important as who we fund.
4/ Kings of Leon released an album as an NFT. It turns out that Maroon 5 have also gone into the game. What’s wild is that they have also launched a DAO that is designed around creating positive environmental and social impact. As of Friday, June 18th, there were 54 members. And yup, I signed up. There’s nothing more fun than getting a front-row seat for something so odd.
5/ Speaking of NFTs, I made one last weekend. Check out Nita as a NFT.
6/ Findings from Caribou Digital suggest that 94% of mobile money transactions are done via USSD. Even among smartphone users in their study, 87% of all transactions were done by USSD. Note: this work was funded by the Gates Foundation.
7/ Google NBU launches their Voice Playbook to help the tech industry why and how people use voice to interact with technology. Note: the Last Mile Money program (BMGF funded) worked with Google NBU to launch the Digital Confidence toolkit last year.
8/ Staying with Last Mile Money, the team just launched an accelerator program to support startups working on cash-in cash-out networks.
10 / Oh! And I rebooted my personal website and made it super lofi. Do we really need a personal website in 2021, especially when it’s so easy to make your Notion page public? Maybe? Maybe not? But it’s a great excuse to tend a digital garden and tinker with different technologies and concepts. Come check it out!
Ok, that’s it! See you all next time.
All the best from sunny Vashon,