PPL Student (University of Warwick), Published Author and Digital Storyteller/ London, GB
Ich träume von einer Welt, in der wir fragen: „Wie fühlst du dich?“ statt „Wie geht es dir?“, oder „Was tust du wirklich gern?“ statt „Was machst du?“. In dieser Welt hätten Menschen Zeit für Hobbys, ohne sich zu sorgen, ob sie so ihre Rechnungen bezahlen können. Das mag wie ein simpler Wunsch klingen – aber es wird zu einer radikalen Idee, wenn man bedenkt, wie unerreichbar eine solche Realität wäre, besonders für die, die am härtesten arbeiten und am wenigsten verdienen. Die besten Dinge im Leben sind kostenlos – freie Zeit, freie Gedanken, freie Ausdrucksmöglichkeiten. Je früher wir das erkennen, desto schneller können wir eine Welt schaffen, die uns alle nährt.
Ich glaube, wir befinden uns an einem Punkt, wo die KI ihre schlimmste Seite offenbart, weil sie die zutiefst fehlerhafte Welt widerspiegelt, in der wir leben.
Wenn Algorithmen der Menschheit bestmöglich dienen sollen, müssen sie eine kontinuierliche Rechenschaftspflicht beinhalten. Unsere Gesellschaft basiert auf 400 Jahren Kolonialismus, Sklaverei und Unterdrückung. Ein System kann niemals denen helfen, für deren Schutz es nicht entworfen wurde. Um zu verhindern, dass historische Ungerechtigkeiten fortgeschrieben werden, muss auf allen Ebenen der Entwicklung und Implementierung von Systemen Maschinellen Lernens Rechenschaft abgelegt werden.
Meine Vision ist eine Welt, für die holistisches Wohlbefinden Priorität hat – eine Welt, wo nicht nur körperliche, sondern auch sensorische, mentale, emotionale, spirituelle, soziale und kreative Erholung zur Basis unseres Lebens werden.
My name is Wanjiku Mucai. I was born in Jersey, Channel Islands, and lived there until I was three before moving to mainland England. I spent nine years in Kenya and then returned to the UK for university. Due to personal struggles with my mental health, I had to leave school. I’ve worked in various sectors including pharmaceuticals, radio, and hospitality. I’ve faced significant mental health challenges, even being sectioned in the UK, which means being detained in a mental health institution. This experience forced me to consider mental health, especially as a black woman in the UK where we face systemic disparities.
I’ve always been passionate about writing; it’s the lens through which I understand the world. I’ve written for Dirisa and Akoru Magazine, focusing on topics like uncelebrated Kenyan heroines and holistic wellness. In my personal blog, I have commented on subtleties displayed in hip-hop music videos as well as personal reflections on topics such as grief.
Apart from my work and personal challenges, I’ve been part of a program at the Barbican Centre in London, aimed at making the arts more accessible to young and marginalized people. This Fall, I’m returning to university to study politics, philosophy, and law.
I see myself as an afro-centric cultural commentator. My work, whether professional or academic, focuses on acute observations about black culture with the specific lens of African womanhood. I’m excited about my future and hope to make contributions which drive social change, especially at the intersection of mental health and cultural identity.
My life’s aspiration is to be an academic, to conduct research, write, and shift the way education operates. Especially for young children, but also for adults, I want to help in restructuring curriculums with a deep understanding of what’s required to exist in a fair, equitable world where justice is served. I’m passionate about consulting as well, working with organisations to restructure around an ethos reflective of a world we’d want to live in.
I don’t think wanting a world where democratic values are upheld should be a utopia. Of course, bad things will happen, but it’s about how we handle those issues. It’s important to look at each other with compassion and love, rather than disdain and contempt. We need a system that rehabilitates rather than punishes, that allows for human flaws without condemning individuals for life based on past actions.
In the realm of artificial intelligence, I see the same concerns magnified. I think we’re at a point where AI is revealing its worst because it is reflective of the deeply flawed world we inhabit. Biases are being entrenched further because the elite who can afford to create these systems are the ones spearheading them. However, I have hope it will get better with forward-thinking companies that make these systems more humane, compassionate, equitable, and fair.
To work for the greatest good of humanity, algorithms must involve an accountability process. We need to recognize that our current society is built on 400 years of colonialism, slavery, and oppression. A system can never help those it wasn’t designed to protect. So, how on Earth is AI going to work for the majority when this stands as the current reality? To expect different outcomes from systems rooted in historical inequality is unrealistic. Thus, my hopes are pegged on a radical overhaul of our current way of living, one that genuinely addresses personal biases and systemic inequalities.
In a society hardwired for hyper-productivity, my vision for the future stands counter to the relentless drive for „more.“ I envision a world prioritizing holistic wellbeing—a world where all types of rest, not just physical but sensory, mental, emotional, spiritual, social and creative rest, become the cornerstone of our lives.
In a society hardwired for hyper-productivity, my vision for the future stands counter to the relentless drive for „more.“ I envision a world prioritizing holistic wellbeing—sensory, mental, emotional, spiritual, social and creative rest, become the cornerstone of our lives. You see, the relentless pursuit of productivity isn’t just exhausting; it’s counterproductive. Our society, which traps us in an overdrive state, ironically churns out an array of products intended to mitigate the very issues it creates. Insomnia? There’s a tablet for that. Feeling inadequate? A slew of products will „fix“ you. This cyclical madness is neither sustainable nor fulfilling.
Let’s talk about time, the one asset you can’t regenerate. The current system encourages us to devote the lion’s share of our waking hours to work, often with people we’d rather not share a minute with. This leads to a decreased amount of time spent with loved ones, a reality that is not just sad but downright ludicrous. Amid this time crunch, we are overworked, underpaid, and persistently driven by a deep sense of fatigue—emotionally, mentally, and physically.
So what’s the way out? The answer lies in a radical but simple idea: more genuine rest. I’m not merely talking about eight hours of sleep a night—that’s too reductive. The fabric of rest is woven from various threads that go beyond sleep, aligning more closely with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. To reach the pinnacle of self-actualization, our basic needs must be addressed. And part of this journey involves looking within, an endeavor that does not have to be a solitary one. After all, the African philosophy of Ubuntu reminds us that „I am because of who we all are.“ When we separate from one another, it’s a win for a system that wants us engrossed in work, to the point of insanity. We must continue to rely on one another for support in all aspects of unlearning our toxic relationship with work.
My dream is for a world where we reframe our questions to each other, asking „How are you feeling?“ instead of „How are you doing?“ or „What do you love to do?“ rather than „What do you do?“ In this world, people would have time for hobbies without contemplating whether these activities pay the bills. It may sound like a simple wish, but it becomes a radical idea when you consider how out of reach this reality is, particularly for those who work the hardest yet earn the least. So yes, my hopes are not extravagant, but they are transformational. The best things in life are free—free time, free thought, free expression. The sooner we recognize this, the sooner we can reconstruct a world that truly nurtures us all.