Recap #34: five levels of hype and predictions for 2030

This week's Recap covers Sugar-based plastics, robot ethics, hype measuring frameworks, and more.

4 months ago   •   2 min read

By Caroline Barrueco
AI generative illustration by Caroline Barrueco made with

Welcome to the Envisioning Community Recap, a weekly publication in which we curate the best stories around emerging technology and futures thinking.

As the first month of the new year comes to an end, consider what it would take to step off the flywheel of responsibilities and embrace life with a smaller footprint. Without trying to generalize what brings meaning to the lives of others, mind that every action (digital or otherwise) results in an equal and opposite reaction. Email begets email. Tasks generate more tasks. Where in your life could you apply the 80/20 principle in order to increase efficiency by doing less? ~MZ

Tech and Culture

πŸ’ Β Artificial Animals
The way we treat machines reveals more about ourselves than about the machines. Claire L. Evans writes about treating machines with care.

Emerging Technology

🌾 BBC The Green Planet & Biomimicry
In its second episode, The Biomimicry Innovation Lab mapped a list of emerging technology inspired by water plants. Shared by one of the project's researchers, Yuning.

πŸ“‘ The Five Levels of Hype
Johannes Klingebiel developed an excellent categorisation of technological hype.
Shared by mz.

🍭 Scientists Develop Recyclable Plastics Based on Sugars
The new biomaterial has unique properties, making it possible to control mechanical thoughtless and degradation rates independently. Shared by mz.

Future Perspectives
This method still demands mechanical intervention to break out the polymers and allow the material to degrade. Could we imagine a reality in which all source materials used to allow human comfort, degrade as fast as purely organic matter?

Futures Literacy

🎱 Mike asked our community β€œWhat do you think is crazy now but will be normal in 2030?" the replies cover a wide range of topics:


  • Biohacking and body augmentation.


  • Corporate housing: Amazon Home provides a complete ecosystem where you get your Internet, utilities, food, goods, and apartment all in the same multi-purpose building.
  • Full communities/towns that are anti-tech - not luddites, but embrace things like no crypto accepted, no mixed reality in public places, etc. So a return to in-person non-augmented customer experiences.


  • Using psychedelics to treat depression and anxiety.
  • Big, car-free cities and free public transit could become more β€œnormal”.


  • Having a pre-meeting where you chat with the panel's AI assistants to read up on their factual knowledge. Prep for webinars, form eloquent Q&A, don't waste synchronous time.


  • Google will no longer be relevant. Governmental adoption of social credit systems across a significant number of Asian and African nations


  • The tech we do use works with us more than against us. Combination of health/science/tech.


  • Life in the metaverse.

If you're already a member of our community, head to #question-of-the-week to add your own idea for the future. Or click here to join our Slack Community.


🌏 Hack the Planet
Garage Stories will host a worldwide hackathon and masterclasses on the topic: β€˜How can we improve humans' health while taking better care of the planet?” Go to their website to apply for the challenge. Shared by _luish.

Caroline Barrueco
Research Fellow

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