It’s 2016 and I’m out with friends after work. We’re a few drinks in, and like all great sessions the conversation drifted from philosophy to technology, some politics (rarely any solutions), but mostly a ton of laughter. One topic in particular stuck with me though, and it was
For some context, we were arguing about technology’s impact on society and what the world might look like in 100, 200, 500 years. Would we even recognize humanity? Would our descendants even be considered human? If we’re all augmented with hard drives…that’s not a Homo Sapien anymore, is it? Are our kids one day going to be considered a different species?
But from there the topic drifted a bit, steering away from our future and back towards our past. What was life like 100, 200, 500 years ago? Did our ancestors also sit around a bar imagining life in 2020? What would remain if we got rid of all the modern trappings and social media and screens everywhere you look today – what would we even still have in common with them?
The thoughts persisted after that gathering, and I kept pulling on the thread for months and years to come. Will our great, great, great grandchildren, living in a world where every fabric is digital, wonder what’s really real? Will they know (or care) what humanity is? What it was? Who we were?
And today…I still wish we could have a better look back into our past. It strikes me that our generation has a historically unique quality. One that hasn’t come before, and is unlikely to ever come again: We’re the roots of our family tree.
We’re the first generation since the beginning of humanity that has been thoroughly and completely documented. Our voices, our photographs, our videos, our whole lives are being preserved in a manner and with a consistency that’s unparalleled in history. 500 years in the future, when someone does look back at their family tree, you will be the genesis, the person they’ll point to as the matriarch or patriarch of their modern understanding of family. So, what to say? 😳
I’m writing this while looking at my 2-year-old. He’s on the couch eating “
Qwill is releasing our first version of this month. It’s a big part of how we look at planning in a different light. It’s not just about securing your family’s future from a legal and financial standpoint, it’s about capturing the beauty of your story for generations to come. Money and property are reasons to get started (and a big part of Qwill), but for most, family is much more about the shared memories.
To that end, and to provide a sense for how I use it, I wanted to share a couple of my simple
Greg has been a sea-kayaking guide in Alaska, a Via-Ferrata guide in the Italian Dolomites, a night-shift assembly line worker at soap-packaging factories in Vermont, and a recording engineer in Boston. More recently, Greg held leadership roles at Bizo and LinkedIn, and is now CEO/Co-Founder of Qwill. He spends most of his time trying to get his 2-year-old son to eat something.