Summer of chaos and focus
I desperately want to slow down this summer but I’m not sure the world will let me
I hope everyone in the United States had a lovely Memorial Day weekend. Outside of having to wait four hours for my car to get serviced Saturday I pretty much had a perfect one. On Friday the Nats game was rain-delayed so my friends and I played beer pong. A friend of a friend and I were randomly paired up and over the weekend we were undefeated across about 15 games. I’ve never played that well. I saw Top Gun which was FANTASTIC and then just chilled in the pool on the Eastern Shore Sunday and today. Even caught my very first crabs off the dock.
Why then was I anxious the whole damn weekend?
As much as I knew I needed to unplug I couldn’t help but think about how much is going to be happening this summer and how I also really need to carve out time to do some actual writing and thinking. I’m so worried I’m letting people down at the various orgs I work with because I simply don’t have enough hours in the day. Disappointing people is my biggest fear. When someone actually hints that they are actually disappointed - especially someone I care a lot about - it hits me even more.
So you can imagine how my anxiety goes out of control just looking at the month of June. During this time we have the week of all the conferences starting with the Summit of the Americas, Atlantic Council’s 360/OS event in Brussels June 6-7, RightsCon, and the Copenhagen Democracy Summit June 9-10.
The following week the European Union is poised to release its updated Code of Practice on Disinformation on June 16 (h/t Mark Scott).
Somewhere during all this will be a series of hearings about January 6th including one dedicated to the role of social media.
And these are just the things we can sort of plan. You still have whatever drama of the day Musk is serving up in trying to buy Twitter, more primary elections, Russia/Ukraine, Brazil’s election heating up ahead of their October polling dates, and whatever else the world throws our way because we know it will.
I also have a bunch of reports, op-eds, and other things I’ve been dying to research and write but have been struggling to find the time to do so amongst the many orgs I’m trying to help.
To that end, I’m going to try to take this summer a little bit easier to give myself that time to write and think. That will start with my family and me going on a fishing trip to Canada for a week here in June and me spending the rest of the time through the 4th at our Northwoods cabin. My goal is to still get this newsletter out weekly - but the day it comes out will vary depending on my schedule.
Fingers crossed I can try to find this balance between chaos and relaxation. I’m going to have to be really intentional about it and hopefully, the world will cooperate a little bit.
What I’m Reading
Politico: RIP Davos Man, long live globalization
Big Technology Podcast: Do We Need the Metaverse - With Nick Clegg
Big Technology Podcast: Why Elites Are Losing Trust - With Vivian Schiller
United States Institute of Peace: Beyond the Summit of the Americas: Resetting US Policy in Latin America
United Nations: The practical application of the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights to the activities of technology companies: Report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Topics to keep an eye on that have a general timeframe of the first half of the year:
EU Passage of DSA and DMA
Facebook 2020 election research
Oversight Board opinion on cross-check
Senate & House hearings, markups, and potential votes
June 6 (week of): Summit of the Americas, Los Angeles, CA
June 6-10: RightsCon, Online
June 6 - 7: Atlantic Council 360/Open Summit
June 9 - 10: Copenhagen Democracy Summit, Copenhagen, Denmark
June 25 - July 1: Aspen Ideas Festival, Aspen, Colorado
June 14 - Nevada Primary (Cortez Masto defending Senate seat)
August: Angola elections
August 2 - Arizona and Missouri Primaries (AZ Kelly defending Senate seat, MO open Senate race)
August 9 - Wisconsin Primary (Ron Johnson defending Senate seat)
August 9 - Kenya elections
September 11 - Sweden elections
September 13 - New Hampshire Primary (Hassan defending Senate seat)
September 13 - 27: UN General Assembly
Sept 20 - High level general debate begins
September 28 - 30: Athens Democracy Forum
October 2 and 30 - Brazil
November 8 - United States Midterms