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Idealog year in review: Isthmus' Ralph Johns

Isthmus CEO Ralph Johns shares his views on the year that was, and the years that could be.

What was the most interesting New Zealand company that caught your eye?

UBCO, electric farm bikes.
 
What about internationally?

Snøhetta, Norwegian trans-disciplinary design studio.
 
What was the most interesting launch/trend/idea/building/product of the year?

Te reo Māori going mainstream.
 
Most exciting project you worked on this year?

The Eastern Porirua Regeneration Masterplan that supported Treasury's successful business case. This will improve the wellbeing of whole communities.

What public event that impacted on or affected you the most?

Wellington City Council moving the fireworks from Nov 5 to Matariki, a time that actually means something to New Zealanders (and then postponing it so as not to disturb the whale in the harbour).

What was your favourite book/TV show/podcast/album/website/magazine/story/performance enhancing of 2018?

Book: Bike Nation, How Cycling Can Save the World
TV: The Detectorists, Series three
Album: Haja, The Adults
Movie: Isle of Dogs

Heroes?

Kiwi, kaka and kereru.

Villains?

Rats, mice and weasels.

Your own personal highlight?

Cycling the Tour Aotearoa route from Auckland to Wellington with a tent and some tins of tuna.

Biggest learning for you?

Not being afraid to throw something away and start again.

Going into 2019, what’s the change you want to see in the world?

More bikes, less cars.

What should be invented and/or un-invented in the next year?

Invented – a cure for kauri dieback disease.
Un-invented – social media.

Is it the robots we should be worried about, or the humans?

It's the humanoid robots that freak me out.

How long before we have:  

DNA modification?
The Chinese claim to have created genetically edited babies this year. 

Immortality?
Some scientists think the world’s first 200-year-old person has already been born

Cities that all look like Venice?
Most of our major cities will be seasonally flooded or slowly sinking in 50 years time.

No animals farmed or eaten?
1000 years, maybe. 

Non-human, AI lovers?
2049, according to Bladerunner.

Chips implanted in our brains?
Self-tuning brain implants are here already.

Colonies on Mars?
Never, I hope. Let's focus on looking after the planet that we have got. 

Secure bunkers to protect us from the zombie apocalypse?
Build them tomorrow.

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