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In this edition of S3T: What leaders are talking about this week
- Macroeconomy: Strong growth amid polycrisis worries and concerns about the potential of the Select 7 to drag the market down.
- Emerging Tech: AI Safety, new solutions for proof of personhood and why they are so important. Plus: Jobs of tomorrow and which ones will be automated vs augmented by AI - detailed report.
- Nature Notes: The top places to live all have a strong connection to nature. Explore the top options for the well being of you and your family.
- For Paid Memberships: The #1 question to ask your team members during annual reviews.
Opinions expressed are those of the individuals and do not reflect the official positions of companies or organizations those individuals may be affiliated with. Not financial advice. Authors or guests may hold assets discussed.
The Opposite of a Recession
Select 7 impact during Oct-Nov Earnings Season
October 18-Nov 15 is earnings season, and all eyes are on the reports from the "Select 7" (Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Nvidia, Meta, Microsoft, Telsa). Initial results this week underscore the concern and markets tumbled Thursday. As noted in previous editions of S3T, many worry the market's optimism is overdependent on these few tech stocks.
Economic backdrop: Polycrisis as the dark side of combinatorial effects
Combinatorial was an optimistic word used in 2021-2022 by Gartner, E&Y, Ark Invest to describe the combined effects of different kinds of innovation. Polycrisis is the negative version of this term. The term underscores the unprecedented nature of the combined challenges we face, and the seeming inability of traditional leadership to get things under control.
The pendulum may be swinging back: war, inflation, and financial uncertainty is eroding people's faith in traditional finance and government. Bitcoin surged to a new high for 2023 this week. This technical trading analysis notes the recent dominance of Bitcoin over altcoins - a reversal of 2021 when altcoins were favored over Bitcoin. But altcoins like Render, Chainlink and Solana have also shown strong growth over the past 12 months as well.
This essay argues that Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) is already here - in the form of Large Language Models and that we'll look back on LLMs the way we look back at the Wright brother's first airplane. In other words, we may be further down the rabbit hole than we realize:
- AI luminaries Yoshua Bengio and Geoffrey Hinton recommend companies allocate 1/3 of their AI budgets to managing risks.
- The White House plans to publish an Executive Order requiring AI Models to undergo assessments prior to use by federal workers.
- World Economic Forum Report: Jobs of Tomorrow provides detailed analysis of whether AI will completely automate vs. augment individual jobs. Jobs that involve complexity, collaboration or important communication seem more likely to be augmented by AI, but not replaced by it.
Proof of personhood
Civic announced this week a new Proof of Personhood solution, in anticipation of AI-based fake identities.
As previously noted in S3T, generative AI has created a new kind of problem: uncertainty. Term papers, photos, and videos all can be faked with alarming realism. We have moved into an era where it's hard to know what is real, authentic, owned, or not. This is spawning a new market for certainty solutions. Some other examples (in addition to Civic's offering):
- World Coin is offering an ecosystem of identity solutions designed for AI saturated era, including a retina scanning device and a World ID that supports proof of personhood. Sam Altman CEO of OpenAI is one of the backers... an interesting example of being involved in both creating the problem and the solution.
- Ethereum Attestation Service is establishing a global base layer where anything and everything can be attested to. This gives individuals an immutable universal way to prove identity, ownership, credentials, eligibility, membership and more. The platform is also targeting voting use case.
Certainty as a Service (CaaS) has the potential to become a new kind of global basic need - just as Internet Search and email have become.
A nuclear fusion hub is developing in the Pacific Northwest with a small cadre of companies competing to deliver the first viable working examples. The space is fraught with risk - with more possible approaches than innovators to explore them - and serious challenges to solve. In spite of the odds, the technology is progressing:
- Microsoft and US steel maker Nucor have pledged to buy power from a nuclear fusion power plant that Helion plans to bring online by 2030.
- Silicon Valley is placing early bets.
- A Japanese project recently achieved "first plasma" an important milestone
- 3 of the top 10 most livable cities in the world are in Canada, thanks primarily to their close connection to and integration with nature, per this BBC survey of residents.
- Spending time outdoors benefits the total well-being of children, from stress and mental health to academic achievement (Aldo Leopold Nature Center).
- Top 25 Places for Outdoor Enthusiasts to Live (published in 2022).
Special Change Leadership feature for paying members
The #1 Question Managers Need to Ask During Performance Reviews
As performance review season approaches, top-performing people leaders are looking for the best way to evaluate and engage their teams for success in 2024.
If you are wondering how to prompt a meaningful conversation in your 1:1s with team members, especially when reflecting on this past year and preparing for the next, here is a proven approach I have learned and refined over the course of my 30 years of experience building and leading high-performance teams.
This approach focuses on one crucial question that I highly recommend you leverage in your end-of-year conversations with your team members. Well-crafted questions can spark and guide crucial conversations that lead to better engagement. This is one of the best.
This question cuts to the heart of why the employee is here, and whether they are going to be happy and successful in this role. It will also help you learn the insights you need to drive higher engagement and performance.
Here's the question: