By Theodora Lau,
I recently watched a movie called “Nostalgia”, with multiple storylines centered around human relationships and the memories they leave behind after their passing. The question of legacy is something that we have grappled with for many years – but has taken on a different spin in the modern era. Everything we encounter has a story, and memories shape our lives. What do we hold physically – and what do we hold emotionally? With so many aspects of our existence becoming more digital – what happens when we are gone from the physical world? Absent of printed photographs, paper books, and physical albums, what artifacts would we leave behind now that everything about ourselves are in 1’s and 0’s? What will our loved ones remember us by?
This struck me deeply as I visited Hong Kong this past month. I did not have a childhood home to visit since our family moved abroad many years ago. I went to a few places that I was familiar with and reconnected with some childhood friends. As much as I enjoyed reminiscing the past, I was in awe with the city that I once called home. And I realized, right there and then, that a part of me has never left. The memories, the friendship, and the energy, are part of what made me who I am as a person. Its values and its strengths have served as a constant inspiration for me. Our culture teaches us to be humble, to respect our elders, and to work hard for a prosperous future, so that our parents and our children can be taken care of. The yearn for gender equality and fairness is something ingrained in me. And I am indebted to this city that has given me so much, that has not only shaped me but will continue to influence me and be a part of me, even after I have taken roots across the ocean.
Looking back stateside. The United States was a country founded on hope, by immigrants that moved here in search for a better life than where they hail from. Hope that if we are willing to work hard, we would have a financially secure future. Hope that if we plan ahead, our wealth would outlast our longevity, and we could leave our legacy to the next generation.
Hope is such a simple but yet powerful word.
Unfortunately, having an equitable future may have become an unattainable dream for many. The World Economic Forum (WEF) reported that it would take us 217 years before we reach gender equity. Meanwhile, Andrea Levere, president of Prosperity Now, cited that it would take African-American families 228 years and Hispanic families 74 years to accumulate the same amount of wealth that white families currently have.
Yet, despite the increasing economic divide, many of us continue to face the daily grinds, clinging onto the hope that things will turn out differently. We keep chasing the dream for ourselves and our loved ones – even when it seems to elude us.
It is with this aspiration for equality that Unconventional Ventures was founded. We strongly believe that everyone should have a chance to succeed, regardless of their demographics, where they hail from, and what social circles they belong to. Much like the seeds from the humble dandelions, we want to be the catalyst for ideas to take hold. We believe that corporations can do well while doing good – and that there are ample opportunities for startups and incumbents to work together for the social good. After all, technology is merely a means to an end, and can be leveraged to improve equality and drive inclusion in our increasingly divided society.
With that, we are excited to announce that we will be launching a podcast series with London-based Greenshore Capital, to bring awareness to the challenges and opportunities of longevity, and the roles emerging technology play in improving the well-being of older adults. In conjunction, we are also working with VC Innovations on the inaugural FinTECH4Life, a brand-new event in London focused on the business opportunities for the older demographics.
We are also partnering with GoImpact on a new project centered around United Nation’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), for the purpose of spurring not just conversations, but actions around the globe, towards a sustainable and equitable future for all.
2019 will in no doubt be a busy year – and be on the lookout for new announcements. Join us on our journey and let us work together to create a new chapter of hope. Let’s dare to dream.
“After the final no there comes a yes / And on that yes the future world depends ” ~Wallace Stevens