To kick off this year’s WIRED25, a group of entrepreneurs, filmmakers, cooks, and actors gathered (virtually) to discuss how they’re improving the world through art and culture.
During a conversation with WIRED editor in chief Nick Thompson, Netflix co-CEO and cofounder Reed Hastings described how he has maintained a culture of innovation at Netflix and how the company has risen to the challenge of entertaining a global audience. Also in discussion: the mechanics behind Netflix’s recommendation algorithm, the future of his company, and the quiet beauty of Paul Dano’s directorial debut, Wildlife.
Sonia Chopra, the executive editor of Bon Appétit, then led a talk on sustainability and equitable work practices in the food industry. Joining her was Gabriela Cámara, a chef and owner of the beloved Cala restaurant in San Francisco and Contramar in Mexico City. Accompanying them were Jon Gray, Pierre Serrao, and Lester Walker, the cofounders of the culinary collective Ghetto Gastro. During the talk, Serrao noted that “food is a system that’s been designed for people to be oppressed, for people to not operate at their optimum self by feeding them foods that are full of sugars and pesticides, processed foods.” Together, these socially conscious cooks and business owners have pushed their industry and consumers toward healthier, greener, and more egalitarian eating habits. As Serrao put it, we need to be “conscious about the sourcing and what we’re consuming.”
Next up, Nia DaCosta, the director of Little Woods and the hotly anticipated Candyman (coming in 2021), chatted with Jason Parham, a senior culture writer at WIRED. DaCosta shared her experience working with the modern-day-Hitchcock Jordan Peele, how she thinks the pandemic will affect the movie industry, and her love of horror films as a child. Horror, she says, can foster empathy. “Understanding the horror of a ghost or a serial killer can be tangible for people who don’t understand Black trauma, Black horror, Black pain.”