Society 3.0 – The Great Reset? #51 #cong20


 Throughout history people have tried to imagine future society. Aldous Huxley and George Orwell predicted a dystopian future overtures of which exist in the world today.

COVID-19 is accelerating change in society. This post examines some of the concepts emerging and asks the reader what responsibility they will take in actioning these changes for the betterment of us all.

Total Words


Reading Time in Minutes


Key Takeaways:

  1. The world is changing, COVID has accelerated this change.
  2. Concepts such as sustainability and build back better imagine a future world much different from today
  3. People have an opportunity now to determine this change outcome
  4. Your social actions matter

About Turlough Rafferty:

 Turlough Rafferty is a technologist based in the West of Ireland. He assists business start-ups and scale ups. Interests include digital technology, new space and the bioeconomy.

Contacting Turlough Rafferty:

You can connect with Turlough on Twitter or LinkedIn.

By Turlough Rafferty

In his book Brave New World Aldous Huxley imagined a dystopian future where society is engineered and stratified based upon intelligence. It foretold a world that was controlled and pacified through a happiness drug, psychological manipulation and conditioning.

In today’s world we are overmedicated, conditioned via short term dopamine fixes from notifications and social media interactions on our mobile devices, victims to fake news, disinformation, and the socially isolating effects of brand identification and mass consumption.

Brave New World is often compared to another book 1984 published some eighteen years afterwards in 1949. Here the author and democratic socialist George Orwell imagined a repressive totalitarian society under mass surveillance in a state of perpetual war where propaganda is waged against the population under the watchful eye of Big Brother.

Today the world’s wealth is held in the hands of a few oligarchs where the richest 10% of adults in the world own 85% of global household wealth. We have invited technology companies into our home to listen and record our conversations. Our every move is tracked through our devices, even our health information is up for scrutiny. If it can be recorded, your data is processed, scored, stored and sold back to you.

Add on top of this a global pandemic and where does this leave society?

The Great Reset

In response to COVID-19 the World Economic Forum seeks to  respond to the problems facing society with the opportunity to rethink the state of global relations. It looks to harness digital transformation, strengthen regional development, encourage greater cooperation through a long term vision of building sustainable business models that put people and the environment centre stage.

Build Back Better; the concept of de-risking and developing systems to mitigate against future shocks, circularity and sustainability are keywords you will be hearing a lot of in 2021 and beyond.

Take for example the European Green Deal which seeks to make the EU economy sustainable transitioning to zero greenhouse emissions by 2050. Similarly, the UN sustainability goals are a series of interlinked goals to create a better and more sustainable future for all.

Whichever (or any) of these concepts you subscribe to, each bring their own challenges. More importantly they all that augur massive change is coming or already underway.

Whether it will be a combination of a 1984 meets Brave New World or something better, the power of change is in your hands.

If you are serious to action social change, perhaps consider the lyrics of John Lennon’s “Imagine”. Imagine all the people living for today, living in peace, sharing all the world.

And the world will be as one.

<?php previous_post_link(); ?> <?php next_post_link(); ?>

A Death in the Community? #61 #cong19


The passing away of someone can be the catalyst to bring people together and galvanise them in a show of community.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Community extends beyond people and place
  2. Shared Memories nourish community

About Turlough Rafferty:

Turlough Rafferty is a creative technologist living in the West of Ireland. He is currently acting manager of the GMIT iHub Castlebar. He was previously general manager of FotoNation (Ireland) Limited and co-founder of Promedia and other companies. His current interests are new space, the bioeconomy and digital transformation.

Contacting Turlough Rafferty:

You can follow Turlough on Twitter or connect with him through LinkedIn.

By Turlough Rafferty

In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes – Benjamin Franklin. But I don’t want to depress you today speaking about tax so I will go with death instead.

Every minute more than 100 people die. In America over 2 million people die annually while in the UK it is just close to a half a million. Here in Ireland over 47000 people die each year, almost 130 a day.

If that is not depressing enough, the average cost of a funeral in Ireland is about five grand. Cheer up though because in the US people are being ‘stiffed’ with a nine-grand bill. In total, the industry in the US is worth $16bn in 2017, while it is around £2bn in the UK.

If those numbers do not put a cold shiver up your spine, consider the Irish obsession with death. is one of the most visited websites in Ireland. It receives over 200,000 unique visitors every day. In our local newspapers, family notices displaying memorials of our dearly departed often take up the largest part of the classified section.

At funerals facilitated by over 700 funeral directors in Ireland, it is not uncommon for up to 1000 people to attend a removal. At burial services, it can be standing room only.

It goes without saying that death galvanises community in Ireland. Someone once told me, “Sure you can more craic at an Irish funeral than at a wedding in England.” So, who knows, you could be throwing a party in your honour shortly.

Seriously though death brings people together, like a gathering of the tribes.  More so in rural areas. When we wake a family member, friend or neighbour it is a time to connect at a deep emotional level. Stories are told, secrets are shared, and old memories and places are given life anew.  In Irish community, we know our place and our role at each funeral whether it be a neighbour or family member. You are either making the tea or digging the grave, our job is to lighten the load for the family.  What we gain from this is the ability to contribute, to be part of the farewell, the celebration even!

Death is a time for introspection and renewal. It reminds us that we are bound to this earth and despite our airs and graces we are all flesh and blood with the pretty much the same worries, hopes and dreams.  We are temporal beings – ghosts even.

As we travel on this journey, we impress upon one another. This can be fleeting or can have a significant impact.  Our actions in life leave a legacy for those following in our footsteps. Shared memories form our culture and tradition.

Life is for the living, and the dead live on forever in our collected memories. Spare them a thought. They will thank you for it.

“The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living “

Marcus Tuillius Cicero