As with most of the globetrotting crypto and blockchain set, I find myself grounded. Me, in my Manhattan apartment for the past several months, watching the COVID-19 pandemic grow out of control while systems break down in spectacular fashion and frighteningly few politicians provide effective leadership. Compounding the effects of the health crisis is the ensuing economic crisis, which has left historic levels of Americans unemployed and has wiped out entire industries. Many are wondering how the United States, one of the richest and most powerful countries in the world as well as the center of global innovation, managed to fail in such a spectacular way.
Then, on Memorial Day, which in the U.S. is a day to commemorate those who gave the ultimate sacrifice to country, as well as a time for family and friends to gather, the world witnessed George Floyd’s horrific murder at the hands of police. What followed were large-scale protests, not seen in the U.S. since the Civil Rights Movement, of police brutality, systemic racism and systems that neither serve nor protect all citizens. After all of this, I can understand why many conclude that America is broken and an empire in decline. It certainly can seem that way.
But what if we approach the brokenness of the U.S. as an opportunity to make profound change for the betterment of society? What if this is the generational moment for economic and societal change, the likes of which we have not seen since the Civil Rights and Women’s Suffrage movements?
What if the U.S., with its deep and vast brain trust of technologists, activists, entrepreneurs, policy makers, enterprise executives and academics, takes this opportunity to rethink, remake and reshape fundamental American infrastructure and government, financial services, healthcare and supply chain systems to embrace the digital future and create a more equitable society? To be clear, technology alone cannot solve the problems of society, and if technological reforms…