Hi everyone, Gus here, interrupting regular programming.
At the beginning of this year I got a message from TED. Thanks to a lucky glitch in the algorithms, they'd seen our annual end of year list, and wanted to know if I would be up for opening this year's conference, Future Crunch-style. After getting past the shock, and being assured they hadn't made some kind of terrible mistake, I spent the next three months working with the amazing Whitney Pennington Rodgers, TED's current affairs curator, and their editorial and production teams, to come up with something really memorable.
I didn't want to just stand on the red circle and do the usual thing, and fortunately the team were keen to shake it up too. We eventually settled on a mock newscast, complete with sound effects, roving 'correspondents' and the second-ever talk delivered on the TED stage from a desk (the first was of course, Roman Mars). The idea was to deliver a news report about the most important events of the last 12 months. Could I use the platform to tell a story that acknowledged humanity's many challenges, and yet celebrated progress, and conveyed a sense of wonder about the magic of science and technology too?
So here we are. My TED talk from April 2023. The stories will be familiar to regular readers, as will a lot of the themes and the language, but you've probably never seen them done like this before. Was this field report really a good idea? You be the judge. I'm so grateful to Chris, Helen and Whitney for giving me this opportunity, it was a mind-blowing, truly memorable experience (and the snacks were great too). Thanks to everyone who supported me along the way, you know who you are.
I hope you all enjoy it! If you'd like to help, please share far and wide.
Also, while we've got your attention, we're changing up our publishing schedule. This newsletter will now come out on Wednesday mornings (AEST), starting next week.
Gus, Amy and the rest of the FC team