I don’t think I’m wrong in thinking that many of us are very much looking forward to saying farewell, au revoir and auf wiedersehen to 2020. It has been quite the turbulent year, to say the least, and I’m sure almost people are exhausted and ready for the Christmas break. With vaccines preparing to be rolled out, 2021 is already starting to look more hopeful and ‘normality’ may actually start to return.
Whilst we’ll be quite glad to see the back of this year, we shouldn’t totally forget it. We’ve seen a lot of great things come out of 2020 that had a real impact on lives and society – from the generosity of people and companies offering their money and support to those in need, to finding a better work life balance through remote working –, so it’s not all been doom and gloom.
Here at Firefly, we have had many moments of inspiration throughout the year. If anything, the whirlwind of 2020 got us talking, debating and sharing so much more, with lots of great new ideas and reflections in the comms space. Launching Reputation Shapers was most definitely a highlight for us – more on that below! With every crisis comes creativity, new thinking and differing outlooks on life, and so I wanted to share some of our best pieces of content.
We look forward to writing more inspiring and thought-provoking content in 2021 and continuing to shape the reputation of tech-driven companies. Bring it on!
It’s fair to say that there’s a lot going on at the moment and it may be hard to keep up with the news – especially if you’re also trying to scour online for last-minute Christmas presents. So, in case you’re busy concentrating on getting that perfect gift or what size turkey you’ll need for your Christmas bubble, we’ve rounded up the biggest news in tech to be keeping an eye on.
With Covid vaccinations now underway, there could be some more good news on the horizon for the UK tech scene. British mobile networks are hoping to take up a leading role in emerging radio technology, OpenRan, which could be worth up to $21bn. The Daily Telegraph has the full story.
The end of the year is also set to mark a bumper month for tech IPOs. As a household name now, everyone has been watching Airbnb closely as it continued to raise the price of its shares ahead of its IPO on 10th December, making it one of the largest US IPOs of the year. Head to the Guardian to read more. The Guardian also covered food delivery company DoorDash’s huge IPO.
We’re also one step closer to landing on Mars, with SpaceX undertaking its first suborbital flight test, continuing plans to take that giant leap onto Mars in four years. Want to find out more and where to watch the live stream? Head to the Independent.
However, it’s not all good news for everyone. The future may not be looking so rosy for the big players of Silicon Valley, as the UK Competition and Markets Authority is asking for more powers to crack down on tech giants. You can find out more about what the CMA is proposing and what new regulations could look like on the Daily Telegraph.
Tech giants are also facing additional challenges. Google is currently coming under fire and receiving employee backlash after sacking leading AI ethics researcher Timnit Gebru. To read the whole story of what happened and the response from other Google employees, head to BBC News. Uber has also announced that it’s putting the brakes on plans to create its own self-driving car, putting a stop to the ambitious initiative by transferring its autonomous vehicle tech to rival Aurora, according to the Financial Times.
UK fintech and challenger banks, such as Monzo and Revolut, may also be in for a rough ride in 2021, as a new Accenture report has found that UK consumers are uncertain about their ability to survive long-term. CityAM covers the full report and analysis.
Following huge disparity revealed across different parts of the UK, leading industry body, TechUK, is also calling for the UK government to address the “Local Digital Capital gap” in the coming year. CityAM has more on this and the call to digitally level up.
Hopefully you’re a little more clued up now on what to watch out for in the world of tech as we move into a new year. But if you’re still struggling to find that perfect gift – or aren’t sure what to gift yourself from Santa – as a little Christmas gift from us, here are some of the best tech gifts and gadget round ups from GQ, Metro, The Sun, Glamour and the Guardian. Some of these are certainly on our Christmas wish lists.
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