Photo by Prasesh Shiwakoti (Lomash) from Nepal

2020 saw the world battling the most destructive pandemic seen in a hundred years. The SARS CoV-2 coronavirus had jumped from bats to humans. Now, at least three new variants of the virus (from UK, South Africa and Brazil) have emerged with concern. Just when we had vaccine victory in our sights it seems our hopes have been dashed. Can we beat it or will this virus keep outsmarting us forever?

Viruses are protein tubes filled with genetic code. They need to inject themselves into cells of living plants or animals to survive and thrive. …


Widespread pandemics have hit civilisation about once every 80 years or so since ancient times. The first recorded pandemic, the Plague of Athens, occurred around 426 BCE. In December 2019, as if to mark the centenary of the devastating 1918 Flu, a ‘pneumonia of unknown origin’ emerged in Central China.

Despite warnings from prominent figures and scientists over the last decade, most countries had made little progress with pandemic preparedness and there were almost no vaccine platforms (building block vaccines) in place that would have allowed rapid vaccine development from previously advanced work. Adding to these failures, the outbreak was…


Two Johns Hopkins Public Health Professors of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Arturo Casadevall and Liise-anne Pirofski, have proposed a relatively low cost way to contain COVID-19. The method has a history of effectiveness in other viral diseases and uses the antibodies from recovered patients. It offers promise as a Stop-Gap measure but requires significant numbers of recovered patients.

Passive antibody therapy has been used since the 1890’s to both treat and prevent infection in various diseases, including the 1918 Spanish Flu, a 1930’s Measles outbreak and more recently, the 2009 H1N1 Flu pandemic. …


Kris Vette was Border Controller for New Zealand’s H1N1 (Swine Flu) Pandemic response in 2009. Previously he managed General Medicine and Infectious Diseases at St Georges Hospital in London during the 2003 SARS outbreak. He is a Clinical Best Practice development expert and now runs an Emerging Technology and Genomic Medicine Consultancy.

The new coronavirus, 19nCoV (now named SARS CoV-2), which causes the disease COVID-19, was notified to the World Health Organisation (WHO) by China on 31 December 2019 as a “pneumonia of unknown cause”. It appears that it will be a significant global event with serious effects. …


The mechanism for life on earth is so simple and so spontaneous that it is both hard to believe that it could have happened (how could it be that simple?) and at the same time, hard to believe that it could not have happened many times before in the universe. Yet that code that controls the expression of life can sometimes go wrong. It then drives the expression of disease. This article begins a series that explores recent discoveries in genomic science that now have the potential to cure patients of disease with a single injection.

Shortly after the day on earth when life first arose, a need emerged for that life to copy itself. Life that cannot repeat cannot exist. Those very first life forms on earth were microbes. Today, some 3.5 billion years after they first formed and designed a way to replicate, there exist an unknown number of different species on Earth. Every one has evolved from that first microbe.


How can we apply ourselves to a world of unpredictability?

Part I gave an understanding of the complexity of the world, technology and social constructs that surround us. Part II explored how we must avoid indepth planning if we are in dynamic settings. Part III is about practical application. It discusses how we can apply ourselves into the real world where outcomes are not predictable.

We live in a world of complexity yet we also encounter many simple and predictable tasks every day. So, in reality we are moving in and out of complexity all the time. In a world like this, success can be random. …


Photo by Marvin Ronsdorf on Unsplash

Part I discussed the world that we now live in. It is complex, ever changing and uncertain. To succeed in such an environment, one needs to understand it. Part II explores how we must avoid indepth planning if we are in dynamic settings. We need to develop a working model through action to see the true picture of that that we are ‘in’. Yet how can we do that if reality is always changing and how true is true?

Part II — How to Orientate with Action in a Complex World.

As they say, “Good decisions come from experience and experience comes from bad decisions”. That’s the kind of insight that comes…


Previously I have discussed ‘Lessons for Winning in the Networked Age’, using learning from the military strategist John Boyd to help organisations think about their orientation, decisions and actions in an age of rapidly evolving connection. Now I describe how individuals can apply those lessons to win in this complex world.

Our normal mode of thinking is linear. Linear thinking works in simple situations. However, it can work against us if we use it in complex environments. Increasingly we live in a complex environment, a networked age requiring different thinking to succeed.

I’ve broken this article into three parts. Part…


Trusted Agreement

Remember a blockchain is a network made up of ‘nodes’ (a computer or device with a microprocessor). Across that network of nodes, a common, synchronised, identical set of data is guaranteed. The process used to validate and ‘lock down’ that data into a block is called ‘consensus’.

There are different mechanisms used to achieve this agreed ‘state’ across the parties in the network. In a public, open blockchain (eg Bitcoin, Ethereum) a reward is paid to the node that proves that agreed state first and broadcasts it across the network. That reward is some kind of ‘value’ generated by the…


By Kris Vette

In my last article, Where are all the Blockchains? I gave a prediction on the timeline for blockchain technology to be adopted as mainstream. In this article, I consider how ‘thought leading’ organisations and individuals can develop mindsets to dominate in the age of networks. Lessons from aerial combat uncover some ancient battlefield principles of success that can be applied today.

In the midst of the aerial combat that took place during the Korean War in the 1950’s, a strange fact emerged. The North Koreans used a Russian Fighter aircraft, the Mig 15. It was a great…

Kris Vette

Explaining how emerging technologies will integrate into society.

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