Hi, Quartz readers!
Whether you’ve been with us for six months or six years, thank you for your loyal readership. We’re starting this new weekly email to keep you in the loop on all of the best Quartz has to offer: big ideas changing the world and humanity; opportunities for you all to get to know one another better; and the music, food, and places around the world we’re currently obsessed with.
Quartz Weekly opens the door to the journalists, designers, and editors behind the Quartz we all know and obsess over (and hope that you do, too). We’ll also share from you, our readers and users, who make this community so vital.
THE BIG IDEA
By Alexandra Ossola, deputy special projects editor
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It seems like everyone’s talking about The Inventor, the HBO documentary on the embattled and now disgraced Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes that came out last week. If you’re wondering how a company built around dysfunctional (and potentially harmful) technology achieved a $9 billion valuation, you’re not alone. There is a fine and blurry line, the documentary shows, between a leader that sets a company’s big and ambitious goals and one that commits fraud.
In our new podcast Should This Exist?, Yes VC partner and Flickr founder Caterina Fake interviews the inventors of new technologies and invites experts to debate whether their creation will help or harm society. It’s a new way to think about invention and growth, one that puts the public good before investor returns. So far this season, we’ve explored headphones that help wearers quickly learn new skills, AI-powered therapy chatbots, and facial recognition technology that can read human emotion in real time. Each episode considers the human side of tech that’s often forgotten in our digital age.
Catch up on the series here, and look out for a new episode tomorrow morning. Happy listening!
COME HANG OUT WITH US
Quartz Members gathered in New York this morning for brioche french toast, poached eggs, and a deep dive into the future of corporate boards.
Recent shifts in corporate governance highlight more than just a push toward diversity—they represent a rewriting of the very rules that could define your path to executive leadership. Beth Comstock, former vice chair of GE and Nike board member, led the conversation with Quartz at Work editor Heather Landy.
Keep an eye out for future event invitations in this email, and sign up to meet up with us in the future.
“Not a crowd to shy away from ornamentation, Victorians made it trendy to display celery in a special vase; and having one on a dinner table was a status symbol. After all, if you managed to obtain such an exotic fresh vegetable, you’d want to display it prominently. But celery vases weren’t purely decorative. In between courses, guests could grab a stalk to nibble as a palate cleanser.” – Jessanne Collins, “Celery was once as sexy as kale”
SOMETHING WE LEARNED FROM OUR READERS
“After years of being in the flow of AI-harm-versus-good discussions, I’m getting to the point of thinking there should be some kind of pre-qualification to get into AI. Like a history degree or anthropology or some social sciences or humanities qualification. This is so complex and multifaceted it seems the only control we have over the quality of the output [sic] is to start to control the quality of the inputs.” Helen E., “We’re not prepared for the promise of artificial intelligence, experts warn”
OUR PICKS FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Ana Livia Coelho from the Quartz London office recommends Screen on the Green in Islington: “Going to the movies is one of my favorite activities, and this theater is so homey—it’s small, with couches and blankets, and a nice selection of wines, homemade pizzas and a great ice cream sundae. The setting is a bit old school, which I love, and the staff is lovely. The movie selection is a bit random, with the occasional classic flick. It also reminds me of Nitehawk Cinema in my old neighborhood in Brooklyn, so it’s a bit nostalgic.”
ONE MORE THING
Fancy a trip to Taipei, LA, or Bolivia? Power up your Quartz Brief app and explore the AR models we created for The 2050 Project, our exploration into how cities around the world are preparing for the world’s population to tilt majority-urban by 2050.
See you next week!
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