We’ve been looking to the future in our research and discussions this year, leaving us with a sense of excitement and trepidation. Technology is affecting every area of our lives, from medicine and education to politics and economics. The advances in medical treatment options are exciting, but the
opportunities for abuse or invasion of privacy in other arenas can seem daunting. It’s been a wild ride, with eye-opener moments all along the way: even climate change solutions aren’t quite what we thought we were aiming for! The last meeting was dedicated to learning a little about 5G technology
and population surveillance, 1984 and Brave New World indeed! Next, we’ll visit the social media ‘influencers’ in our ‘post-truth’ society (March 27th) and finally end on a discussion of medical ethics on April 17th.
Advances in medical technology have been made at a breath-taking rate in recent years. We viewed a few brief videos about the expectations for the direction of medicine in the future and enjoyed the ensuing discussion. We are a fortunate generation to have long life expectancies, a multiplicity of medical
interventions in disease management and greater inclusivity for the handicapped. Later in the year, we’ll be looking at ethical issues arising from medical trends and breakthroughs.
Our group met January 10 for a brief look at the future of ‘family,’ including both positive and negative implications of recent changes and trends. Our next meeting is January 24, on the topic of China’s ‘Silk Road initiative.
We’ve enjoyed a great deal of banter on the topics of feeding the future population and economic inequality. It has become clear to the 99%, that the wealth gap with the 1% has been increasing tremendously, especially since the bank bailouts of 2008. Even the corporate world is beginning to take note, making dire predictions about social unrest and instability if this trend continues. The future could be grim unless we start seeing changes at the top, such as government regulation on income tax loopholes and more equitable taxation on unearned income. Being both innovative and influential, today’s entrepreneurs may well be the instigators of change – new ways to do ‘fair trade’. We see the need to stay informed, from the local community level and up.
At the next meeting, November 22, we will learn about various ‘disruptive technologies’. The dates of the following three meetings are: December 6 (technology in health care), January 10 (future of family) and January 24 (China’s new ‘Silk Road’).
Some of the topics that we will be covering this year include: food for the future, economic inequality, disruptive technologies, technology and health care, social changes/ future family, US China relations & the New Silk Road.
Our next meeting will be Friday October 4th
economy. Our current mayor, Kennedy Stewart, said “We had a mass murder [with opioids] and we don’t talk about this.” He has promised to create an emergency task force on overdoses. Providence Health Care has opened the Rapid Access Addiction Clinic (RAAC), and ‘Together We Can’ is another addiction recovery society.
We had a very informative session about genetically modified organism (GMO) foods and discovered that Canada is one of the world’s biggest producers of genetically modified crops. The only course of action that is open to those of us who oppose this practice is to notify our MLAs and MPs that GMO product labelling is important to us as electoral constituents and Canadian consumers.
Next, we had a brief look at current mental health issues, and the status of care for sufferers of mental illness (shockingly poor, as opposed to physical illness), highlighted by prison deaths of mentally ill inmates in Canada in recent years. Again, our government officials should be lobbied for solutions. According to media coverage of the Bell Let’s Talk campaign, awareness strategies alone don’t actually accomplish anything. We suggest that you consider taking the St. John’s Ambulance course on Mental Health First Aid!
More interesting and current topics are on the horizon: meetings will be held on February 22nd, March 8th, and 22nd