Profiles in Regeneration: A.J., 27, US

In a digital world where it seems like social media apps are stealing our thoughts (and definitely our online actions and photos) and selling them back to us through our screens, having an app that protects our privacy feels as important as Google itself. At 27, A.J. Lloyd is working on giving us internet gold, a mobile app that allows individuals to share and access information and express their opinion without fear of tracking.

Regenerative Futures: How are you feeling right now?

A.J. Lloyd: Honestly, hopeful. There’s a lot happening in our personal and societal spheres that point toward a very interesting end of 2020. A wild ride indeed.

RF: What’s a secret your search history can tell us about you?

AJL: That I’m terrible with spelling (which isn’t completely true, I just text super fast). Otherwise, that I’m constantly connected to new advances in my industry — and that I’m an avid listener of Kanye West’s interviews.(He’s just such an intriguing figure to listen to.)

RF: What are you reading/learning about at the moment?

AJL: Life 3.0 is an amazing book on giving vision to AI in the future. David Goggin’s Can’t Hurt Me is the journey of man becoming a Navy Seal and every page reveals how far I can really go. I’m also rereading James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time and finishing up Another Country. He’s my favorite author and I’m glad to see a rejuvenation of people flocking to read his work.

RF: Who is your favorite human and why?

AJL: My mother is the first person that comes to mind, obviously. She’s the smartest individual I know, and she’s made countless sacrifices in her field as a medical professional and for her country as a female military officer. She raised me and my sisters as a single mother all while going through med school, and her navigation of societal systems literally brought us out of poverty into a life that provides so many opportunities for my sisters and me. I’m forever grateful.

RF: Which key moment inspired you to start your project?

AJL: I was sitting last November as a delegate for the UN’s General Conference last year and we were working on passing a resolution for the framework of ICT and AI and data privacy that would span from now until 2030. It occurred to me that while we were pushing for good solutions in AI, digital infrastructure, and quantum tech, we weren’t really delving into the security measures necessary to safeguard the data that flows from these open networks. Chinks in the armor.

RF: In two years’ time, what would your project’s success look like?

AJL: Success for us would be market validation of our product — essentially sponsored training opportunities for government officials, partnerships with leading labs for access to computing power, and a few contracts signed to begin building the network globally.

RF: If you could focus a large percentage of government funding on one industry or project for the next five to ten years, which would you choose and why?

AJL: Digital infrastructure needs to be taken so much more seriously as we start the second quintile of this century.

RF: What are the best and the worst things about the education system in your country?

AJL: The best part of the American education system is the ability to get ahead at a young age through dual enrollment, college courses, and IB/AP credits that translate into undergraduate studies. Also, the depth of the four-year undergrad degree is sometimes more prefable than the broader European undergraduate studies.

The most deplorable thing about American education is the abysmal salaries they pay our secondary-school teachers. I’d also highlight the cost of post-secondary tuition versus the salaries given to teachers and extremely costly college facilities — always in the millions. Top universities and their endowments are basically hedge funds that teach classes, it seems.

RF: Do you have a message for anyone your age living in the year 2060?

AJL: Everything that they say you can’t do is clearly something they think impossible. Do what you think is best for the world and at my age, if possible, I will do my best to help you get there. Hopefully, we are helping to enable your vision as our leaders are enabling us.

RF: What inspires or frightens you most about the future?

AJL: I’m inspired by the things that frighten me; uncertainty allows my colleagues and I to build our future, and that’s always been the silver lining. I want to be a voice for the future. We can only move forward and be supported by our peers, and that’s more heartening than anything.

RF: Regeneration is…

AJL: Rebirth for our generation.

To learn more about Regenerative List finalist A.J. Lloyd, click here.

Regenerative Futures

A Gen Z-designed model for a world built upon the principles of Regeneration from Irregular Labs.

Regenerative Futures

Regenerative Futures is a Gen Z-designed model for a world built upon the principles of regeneration: equity, inclusivity, fluidity, and the pursuit of circularity and abundance. An Irregular Labs Initiative.

Regenerative Futures

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Regenerative Futures is a Gen Z-designed model for a world built upon the principles of equity, fluidity, and sustainability. An Irregular Labs initiative.

Regenerative Futures

Regenerative Futures is a Gen Z-designed model for a world built upon the principles of regeneration: equity, inclusivity, fluidity, and the pursuit of circularity and abundance. An Irregular Labs Initiative.