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You are here Baltimore: 32 Baltimore tech leaders on how 2020 will shape the future

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

To close out the year, we asked: What trend or change that accelerated in 2020 do you think will be with us going forward? Here's a look at the responses.

At the end of a hard year, it’s tempting to want to leave 2020 behind. But in truth, we’re likely going to take a lot from this year into the future, even after a vaccine.

A year of pandemic, economic crisis, reckoning over racial equity and elections left us remaking plans as we sought to meet each moment. Amid lots of change, new approaches and ideas that were previously seen as something that we’d address in the future suddenly came to the forefront.

Curtailing in-person activity for safety meant we needed to rely on digital tools to stay connected, and it exacerbated the disparities that already existed in society. For many, this meant moving things to the front of the line that could help respond to a crisis, or keep things pushing forward while apart.

Virtually every conversation I had with a technologist or entrepreneurial leader about these changes came with an acknowledgement that changes were made out of need. Plus, they happened quickly. But eventually, it would always circle back to an insight — how something a team tried might stay with them going forward. The need to adapt also showed another way.

So, as the year is ending, let’s look at what we might take with us. I reached out to a bunch of tech and innovation leaders in the Baltimore area with the following question:

What trend or change that accelerated in 2020 do you think will be with us going forward?

Some offered a few thoughts, while others helped to center what’s really important. Here’s a complete look at how they responded:

Claire Broido Johnson, managing director of the Maryland Momentum Fund, the venture fund of the University System of Maryland

  • “Remote work is here to stay. People will not be going into an office five days per week. People will not be traveling 16 hours for a two- to four-hour meeting anymore. We don’t need to waste so much time traveling and commuting; we can be productive on Zoom calls.

  • Wealthy investors, companies, and entrepreneurs are leaving Silicon Valley. Can we get them to move to Baltimore?

  • Digital healthcare is changing the way healthcare works, more than ever.

  • While it’s not new at all, it’s becoming more clear that investors invest in founders that “look like them,” and that we’re missing out on opportunities because of it. I hope putting a spotlight on that this year means that investors everywhere take a harder look and provide more safe spaces for people who don’t look like them to pitch.”

Read the full story from Baltimore.