Think back to January 1. You were shaking hands with everyone you met. The words social distancing made absolutely no sense. And getting tested meant something...very different.
But humans adapt, and the fact that were still here reading email like chumps shows our resilience. We hope this newsletter allows you to take a step back, put all the events of H1 in context, and go into the second half of the year with more energy and purpose.
Before we dive in...we want to offer a huge thank you to all the frontline and essential workers who made the world turn in H1, from doctors and nurses to store clerks and municipal workers. Your perseverance will not be forgotten.
What will the first half of 2020 be remembered for? Likely when a microscopic parasite much, much smaller than bacteriaSARS-CoV-2demanded that we slam the brakes on the global economy to prevent mass death.
So we did. Countries around the globe performed the first coordinated global shutdown of the economy...ever.
Restaurants, retail stores, and offices were shuttered. Bustling airports turned into ghost towns. With theaters closed, performers were forced to give concerts on balconies. Some were better than others.
Not to get all 1am in the dorm room on you, but it's worth pausing to consider just how un...paralleled that is. Starting with
You already know this part. We're in the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. 93% of the world's workforce lives in countries with partial or full workplace closures, the UN said in April.
As for the macro stats...last week, the IMF projected the global economy will shrink by 4.9% this year, worse than earlier projections. It called this "a crisis like no other."
No. 1: A historic tsunami of government intervention. In the U.S., Congress has authorized a record-shattering $3 trillion for coronavirus reliefand it may not be done yet. The Fed, meanwhile, has done everything it can to encourage spending, borrowing, and investing short of secretly installing Robinhood apps on our phones like it's a U2 album.
No. 2: Advanced communications and information tech allowed many workplaces to shift to remote in surprisingly seamless fashion. Sophisticated delivery systems enabled by the smartphone brought the grocery store, local restaurants, and bookstores to our doorsteps.
Looking ahead...the focus has shifted from the shutdown to the best way to un-shut-down. That's going to be much more complicated.
This spring, killings of three unarmed Black Americans led to the most widespread protests over racial injustice and police brutality in decades. And this time, a new face joined the action: corporate America.
Businesses said the three words theyve skirted for years: Black Lives Matter. And they promised, this time, things would change.
Some broke open their wallets. Bank of America pledged $1 billion over four years to address inequality. PayPal set up a $530 million fund to support minority-owned businesses. Pepsis $400+ million initiative includes doubling its spend with Black-owned suppliers. And Walmart, Comcast, Sony, Apple, Netflix, and SoftBank committed $100 million apiece to various initiatives.
Others looked twice at what theyre selling. Quaker Oats and Mars are removing racist branding and imagery from Aunt Jemima and Uncle Bens food lines, respectively. Beauty giants Unilever and LOral will remove fair and whitening labels from skin lightening products.
Looking ahead...those are powerful commitments from some of the private sectors most influential brands. But their legacy in confronting racial injustice will be determined by their actions when the world isn't watching.
MarketWatch | Before COVID-19, the all-time record for weekly jobless claims never cracked 700,000. This April, claims neared 7 million in a single week.
A look at the other numbers that have defined the last six months of COVID, quarantine, and craziness.
Black Lives Matter
If you know a business that hasn't been profoundly transformed in H1, reply with the name because we didn't know there were companies on Mars. 2020 has presented crisis after crisis for corporate America, and we can't think of a better case study than Twitter.
In an oddly prescient moment in February, CEO Jack Dorsey told investors Twitter would move to a more distributed workforce. After the pandemic reached the West Coast, it was among the first to let staff WFH; by March 11, WFH was mandatory. By May, it was a permanent option.
As demonstrations against racial injustice spread, Twitter was one of, if not the, most important platforms for protestors to share information and organize. And a few weeks ago, Twitter led big businesses in making Juneteenth a corporate holiday.
May 26, 2020, may go down as one of the most important dates in Twitter history after a pair of Trump tweets about mail-in voting finally set off the tripwire: Twitter labeled them as "potentially misleading," and a few days later labeled another Trump tweet as "glorifying violence."
Heading into the election, President Trump and all of social media are twisted up in their thorniest tussle over content moderation to date.
Big picture: In February, activist investors reportedly tried to oust Dorsey. Today, he's set aside the ice baths and meditation retreats to steer Twitter through a trio of crises.
The 2020 news cycle has been dominated by a pair of storylines, andwith Luke Hemsworth as proofwe don't always notice the third thing when two take up our attention. Here are some important biz stories that flew under the radar this year...
Big tech: The FTC expanded its investigations into the largest tech companies over anticompetition concerns. The Justice Department, House Judiciary Committee, and state attorneys general have all launched antitrust probes that will heat up this summer, virus or not.
Samsung scandal: The South Korean conglomerate is still wading through a swamp of legal troubles surrounding its founding family. De facto leader Lee Jae-yong is currently awaiting trial for manipulating merger terms, among other allegations.
Gig workers: Food delivery services were hit with lawsuits as DoorDash and others continued to classify workers as independent contractors rather than employees, defying California's new AB 5 law.
Trade: As the COVID-19 blame game soured relations between China and the U.S., suspicions arose that the countries' Phase 1 trade deal, signed in January, would collapse.
Space travel: We doubt you missed the news that a private company (SpaceX) flew humans into space for the first time in May. Elon Musk is now one step closer to raising X A-12 on Mars.
Noam Galai/Getty Images
New York City painted white circles on the grass of Domino Park in Brooklyn to promote social distancing.
Carl De Souza/AFP via Getty Images
Brazilian soldiers disinfect a metro car in Rio de Janeiro to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
After government lockdowns shut the city down, a man walks across an empty highway in Wuhan, China, where the coronavirus originated.
It sometimes feels like the world stopped spinning in 2020. Well, most of the time. But the pandemic also took some trends that were just getting a foothold and shot them into overdrive.
Remote work: When lockdowns started in March, businesses had only days to spin up the infrastructure to support a remote workforce. Now that offices are slowly reopening, a growing cohort of workers may never endure a daily commute again as employers embrace WFH.
Higher ed: Colleges are built around cramming youths into dorms and stuffing their minds with knowledge in lecture halls. That model may not work for the upcoming academic year, and colleges are racing to prepare virtual-first learning experiences. Major changes in the admissions process are also underway as universities finally throw out standardized test requirements.
Virtual spaces: People are finding new ways to socialize, and gaming platforms provide, quite literally, new worlds for hanging out and entertainment. While the Staples Center can hold 20,000...Fortnite can hold a lot more.
Cities: Urban areas need to rethink and redesign with public health in mind. Many were starting to dabble in smart city tech, and now they'll have extra ammunition to make big investments in sensors, automation, and other tech that can help improve safety and health.
Retail: Online shopping was trending up before the pandemic, but now its prospects are looking brighter than everin the U.S., e-commerce sales increased 49% in April. The hottest category is online grocery shopping, which has made years' worth of inroads in a few months. March sales were 200% higher than last year.
We've done enough looking backit's time to look ahead. Heres a glimpse into what the next sixth months hold. Disclaimer: Like everything this year, these events are subject to change.
Follow this link:
- Is Commercial Space Travel Finally Taking Off? BRINK News and Insights on Global Risk - BRINK - July 21st, 2020
- Twelve Must-Sees When the Smithsonian Reopens Udvar-Hazy Center July 24 - Smithsonian Magazine - July 21st, 2020
- Worried About Crowded Planes? Know Where Your Airline Stands - The New York Times - July 21st, 2020
- Does Your Company Have a Long-Term Plan for Remote Work? - Harvard Business Review - July 21st, 2020
- Travel to the stratosphere and back with Space Perspective in 2021 - Lifestyle Asia - July 21st, 2020
- ESO's virtual tour: Travel to outer space from the comfort of your home - Livemint - July 21st, 2020
- Amazon's Jeff Bezos adds $13 billion to his net worth in a single day - CNET - July 21st, 2020
- 5 design things to do July 20 - 26 - KCRW - July 21st, 2020
- The Morning After: Warner Bros. postponed the release of 'Tenet' indefinitely - Engadget - July 21st, 2020
- 6 things you didn't know about G Shock watches - We Are The Mighty - July 21st, 2020
- Did Ludacris Just Leak That 'Fast and Furious' Will Travel to Space? - Showbiz Cheat Sheet - July 21st, 2020
- HMS Challenger: The voyage that birthed oceanography - BBC News - July 21st, 2020
- Space travel is giving the future of cryptocurrency a boost for one surprising reason - Express.co.uk - June 30th, 2020
- How will private space travel change the way we explore the Solar System? - BBC Focus Magazine - June 30th, 2020
- 5 Public Space Companies to Invest in Over the Next Decade - seattlepi.com - June 30th, 2020
- New Houston-made satellites to mimic versatility of the chameleon in space - Houston Chronicle - June 30th, 2020
- Relativity and 6K Partner to Develop AM Rocket Parts for Space Made from Sustainable Materials - PR Newswire UK - June 30th, 2020
- SpaceX news: EU to boost their space exploration to keep up with China and US - Express.co.uk - June 30th, 2020
- Virgin Galactic aims to evolve $15 billion business from space tourism - Business Insider - June 30th, 2020
- Resolution approved to urge feds to locate Space Command headquarters in Ohio - MahoningMatters.com - June 30th, 2020
- At Least 110 People Needed to Start Life on Mars, Space Expert Says - Yahoo News - June 30th, 2020
- Why go 'horse and buggy' to Mars when we could go supersonic? | TheHill - The Hill - June 30th, 2020
- SpaceX gearing up for another launch of Starlink broadband satellites this week - Spaceflight Now - June 30th, 2020
- Boeing tests Starliner parachutes ahead of second test flight - Digital Trends - June 30th, 2020
- 5 Best Films About Space Exploration (& 5 The Worst), Ranked According To IMDb - Screen Rant - June 30th, 2020
- First UK night out of lockdown camping in Northern Ireland - The Guardian - June 30th, 2020
- The story of Ed Dwight: the man who nearly became the first African-American to reach space - The Next Web - June 30th, 2020
- Senate approves resolution urging feds to locate Space Command headquarters in Ohio - The Center Square - June 30th, 2020
- New company Space Perspective wants to take you to the stratosphere via high-altitude balloon - The Verge - June 21st, 2020
- spaceship neptune is a balloon that will take you to the edge of space - Designboom - June 21st, 2020
- The end of food? 'Taste synthesizer' will transform space travel, dieting and sex - Daily Star - June 21st, 2020
- SpaceX to build floating space ports for rockets destined for the Moon and Mars, and for hypersonic travel to Earth - Up News Info - June 21st, 2020
- What's the science on the Emirates Mars Mission? - DW (English) - June 21st, 2020
- STREAMING WARS: Netflixs big-budget comedy Space Force has all the right ingredients, but fails to deliver the laughs - SaltWire Network - June 21st, 2020
- Coronavirus: Travel to Spain, and the 'second wave' - BBC News - June 21st, 2020
- Is this double-decker seat the future of airplane travel? - CNN - June 21st, 2020
- Safe vacations and traveling during coronavirus: Advice to follow - TODAY - June 21st, 2020
- The Internets Most Censored Space - The New York Times - June 21st, 2020
- Virgin Galactic Stock Is Only for Astronauts and Speculators - InvestorPlace - June 21st, 2020
- Best Solar Eclipse Photos And YouTube Videos Of The Solstice Ring Of Fire From Around The World - Forbes - June 21st, 2020
- The amazon bond offering - Nairametrics - June 21st, 2020
- Satellites, outer space travel to be open for private companies in India: Govt - Livemint - June 13th, 2020
- Former astronaut becomes first person to visit both space and the deepest place in the ocean - CNN - June 13th, 2020
- Guest View: Despite space flight, there is no Planet B - The Register-Guard - June 13th, 2020
- Ask Ethan: How Does The Fabric Of Spacetime Expand Faster Than The Speed Of Light? - Forbes - June 13th, 2020
- Poem of the week: Sermon (for the Burial of Cassini) by Ella Frears - Telegraph.co.uk - June 13th, 2020
- Impact of COVID-19 on Space Tourism Market to Garner Astounding CAGR of 16.6% by 2025 Including Top Key Players- Space Adventures, EADS Astrium,... - June 13th, 2020
- Letters to the Editor: June 12, 2020 - West Hawaii Today - June 13th, 2020
- Have Scientists Found a Hybernation 'Button' for Humans? - The National Interest - June 13th, 2020
- Is It Risky To Ride In A Convertible? Go To A Casino? Travel With Kids? : Goats and Soda - NPR - June 13th, 2020
- Astronomer on why he is a 'frustrated martian', his love of the night sky and what the future holds for space travel - Times & Star - June 13th, 2020
- From Breakfast at Tiffanys to To Kill A Mockingbird, the best and worst examples of diversity in film - Evening Standard - June 13th, 2020
- What Space Travel Will Look Like in the Future - Earthly ... - June 9th, 2020
- WRITE TEAM: Space travel is back to once again give us faraway dreams - MyWebTimes.com - June 9th, 2020
- Former NASA astronaut Kathy Sullivan becomes first person to travel to space and ocean's deepest point - ABC News - June 9th, 2020
- Netflixs Space Force Just Exposed Animal Cruelty In Space Travel - LIVEKINDLY - June 9th, 2020
- You Can Now Tour the International Space Station From the Comfort of Your Home - Robb Report - June 9th, 2020
- This is the 'most ridiculously overvalued' trade in the travel space, strategist warns - CNBC - June 9th, 2020
- Evolution of 3rd, 4th and 5th Dimensions of Travel - Use Cases, Infrastructure Required, Application Areas, and Growth Opportunities -... - June 9th, 2020
- The Dangers of Space, Military Rivals and Other New Books to Read - Smithsonian.com - June 9th, 2020
- Here's how astronauts exercise in space without gravity - Yahoo Lifestyle - June 9th, 2020
- A group of enthusiasts has annotated the assembly code for the Apollo 11 mission to the Moon - Neowin - June 9th, 2020
- Faster-than-light travel: Is warp drive really possible? - BBC Focus Magazine - June 9th, 2020
- America Once Planned To Send An Apollo Spacecraft To A Soviet Space Station - Jalopnik - June 9th, 2020
- Trend report: nothing 'normal' about travel in the age of Covid-19 - Globetrender - June 9th, 2020
- Astronomer on why he is a 'frustrated martian', his love of the night sky and what the future holds for space travel - The Westmorland Gazette - June 9th, 2020
- Future Meeting Space explores customer needs and expectations on new event formats - Travel Daily News International - June 9th, 2020
- News: New Rotherham active travel projects - Rotherham Business News - June 9th, 2020
- Spain to extend restrictions on international travelers until June 15 - EL PAS in English - May 15th, 2020
- The 100 Series Finale Trailer Teases Screams, Space Travel, And Drastic Haircuts - Gizmodo Australia - May 15th, 2020
- On the Road Review: Ram 2500 Limited Crew Cab Diesel - Press Herald - May 15th, 2020
- Spains reeling tourism industry objects to travel restrictions - EL PAS in English - May 15th, 2020
- Virgin Galactic Is Grounded with No Profit and Little Revenue - InvestorPlace - May 15th, 2020
- Astronaut on how to survive isolation, and the future of space travel - Business Insider - Business Insider - May 14th, 2020
- Virgin Galactic Is a Solid Long-Term Bet on Space Travel Demand - InvestorPlace - May 14th, 2020
- Meet The Women Of The San Diego Art Prize - KPBS - May 14th, 2020
- Visual Artist Melissa Walter Makes Sense Of The Stars - KPBS - May 14th, 2020
- Astronauts experimented with Nickelodeon's slime in space - CNN - May 14th, 2020
- Virgin Group to sell shares of space venture to aid travel business - UPI News - May 14th, 2020
- What to binge next: 10 sci-fi shows to escape into the future - UPI.com - May 14th, 2020