Can Tech Save Us? / Scott Cohen

Aug 4, 2022

Our world has become a weird combination of dangerous, existential challenges and of almost magical, potential solutions. Can innovations be transformed into practical realities at the necessary speed and scale, and in ways that allow mankind to flourish?

Scott Cohen believes the answer is a resounding, “Yes!!” He co-founded New Lab, an American based initiative to bring together entrepreneurs, engineers, and inventors to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges. And “solve” doesn’t mean someday: it means now. Listen as he discusses how he and his colleagues at New Lab are doing exactly that.

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ABOUT OUR GUEST

Scott Cohen’s work is centered around the interplay between disciplines. He’s a versatile artist working in film, photography and design. He has a long history of using motion picture film to create photographic images which are inherently about movement and time. His recently completed narrative feature film, Red Knot, was shot on a research vessel in the southern ocean en route to and in Antarctica. Cohen is co-founder of New Lab, a multi-disciplinary technology and design center in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

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Our world has become a weird combination of dangerous, existential challenges and of almost magical, potential solutions. On the one hand, we see accelerating, deadly climate change, proliferating famine, pandemics, war, and growing political and social tensions that could threaten life as we know it. On the other hand, we are witnessing amazing advances in robotics, nanotechnology, genomics, neuro-technology, life sciences and beyond that could be pathways to a more robust, resilient, and prosperous future.

Which is it going to be? Are we doomed or can we save ourselves? Can all those fabulous innovations be transformed into practical realities at the necessary speed and scale, and in ways that allow mankind to flourish?

Scott Cohen believes the answer is a resounding, “Yes!!” He co-founded New Lab, an American based initiative to bring together entrepreneurs, engineers, and inventors to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges. And “solve” doesn’t mean someday: it means now. Listen as he discusses how he and his colleagues at New Lab are doing exactly that.

What do you think? Comment below.

Listen to the episode here or find the New Thininkg for a New World podcast platform of your choice (Apple podcast, Spotify, Stitcher, Google podcast, Youtube, etc).

 

2 Comments

  1. Robert Rubinstein

    Absolutely not. Tech is not the solution at all. All of the billions going into climate funds is going to find the next unicorns that are tech focussed. Nonsense to invest in carbon solutions by sucking co2 out of the air. That is like take a thimble to move the ocean. The cheapest and most effective way of addressing climate is regen ag. As Prof. Rattan Lal said we can sequester 330 gigatons (180 GT in soil and 150 in vegetation) this results in drawdown of carbon of155 parts per million https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KP12flctbuw
    In addition the largest employer in world is small scale ag, with 1.5 billion employees versus 53 million in tech. With 1 billion youth unemployment coming at us, it is criminally stupid to talk about tech as our saviour.

    Reply
  2. Francis Adie Ushie

    Scot Cohen and “New Lab,” are doing a great job ..(1)
    However, there are Economic, Geographic, Climatic and Generally, Assorted Governmental issues — also as obtainable in different Continents — which would make anyone argue reseanably, that “Tech can’t, in Totality, Save our Earth”
    As I sit in a dark corner in Lagos, Nigeria, those Enjoying 24/and Electricity supply in New York, would think I’m not communicating from Lagos, Nigeria, because I lack the discipline to respect others ( that inner assumption is totally wrong!)
    (2) Geographically, Continents don’t have the same Climatic conditions so, when it’s so cold in the Antarctica, it could be so hot in the United Arab Emirates..
    (3)If the United States of America has the technology, is it going to be given free of charge to countries like Afghanistan, Ethiopia or Sudan? Has technology spread to every nook and cranny in the world? …and what is changing fast in the Amazon, is not Technology, but climate change!
    (4) Economic issues here means different countries running different types of Government…as pronounced as Democracy is being practiced world wide, Socialism is also still prevalent in some countries..
    Not only that, Economics, has been combined in today’s world, as a part of Military weaponry, as countries now use Economic blockages to achieve war victories so, both Economic and Governmental Consideration is applied in today’s warfare … As I put this piece together, Economic sanctions are being applied left and right..

    Generally, because we are in a “Disruptive New World,”
    Technology should serve as a future Redeemer for mankind, but our innate tendency to annihilate ourselves, makes the future looks rather bleak…

    Francis Adie Ushie,
    Is the Initiator of “Promoted Center For Disease Control – pcdc”
    Is an initiative to Build World Standard Hospitals in NIGERIA’s Six Geopolitical zones, alongside a pharmaceutical industry..

    Nigeria, has a near population of 300 Million people, with so little or no Medical facilities to cater for these teeming time Bomb population..

    Reply

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