Loka wants to be the antidote to dystopia fatigue

Founder Bobby Mukherjee on the pursuit of actionable, hopeful near futures

By Bobby Mukherjee

readers. I just finished this article in the New Yorker on the famous science fiction author William Gibson. The article talks about how some of Gibson’s best sci-fi ideas actually come from the present time, as opposed to looking years into the future.

Instead of thinking about “beam me up, Scotty” and flying cars and other unrealized futures, he looks at the pragmatic. This is very much what you’ll find here.

There are a lot of forecasts for the future that (validly) bring us down. We too are futurists, but not the dystopian kind. Not Terminator, not Blade Runner, not Mad Max. I’m a big fan of those movies, by the way, but professionally, it’s not what Loka is about.

If I had to summarize Loka’s vision in a single tagline, it would be: the pursuit of actionable, optimistic innovation.

We’re not undermining the very serious issues that humans and our planet face, we just focus in practice on ways to fix tomorrow, today. We’re hopeful in practice, not just sentiment.

At Loka, we like to talk about things that are actionable. Innovation that’s possible now. Ways in which smart, ethical people are building on existing foundations to create something new, groundbreaking, and, hopefully, life-changing.

And that’s the spirit we aim to bring to our storytelling arm. Our stories might take the format of a reported piece, an interview, an essay, a breakthrough, or a mix of a few.

In our stories, you’ll find thoughts from machine learning experts, data scientists, founders & visionaries

You may be asking yourself, what makes us qualified to talk about these things? Well, we’ve spent years working on complex data engineering, data science, and machine learning problems for clients across healthcare, life sciences, the grocery industry, the social media industry, and software in general. To name a few.

Members of our team are responsible for helping Fortune 500s and series-A funded startups, such as Sentropy, whose tech is rooting out hate speech on Twitter, and Cloudsort, who is changing shipping as we know it.

We also work with the Blue Cross Blue Shield Institute as they bring free Lyft rides to members so that they can get to appointments, as well as Afresh as they use machine learning to reduce fresh food waste for grocery stores by the billions.

Loka works behind the scenes on these important missions. We help build the apps, deploy the tech, ideate the platforms.

We get hired to deliver bleeding-edge tech to solve problems today, not create demos for things that won’t work. It’s what we do for a living and that’s why we like to read about it. And now, write about it.

Who is going to get the most from these reads?

We want our stories to be accessible to anyone interested in learning about ways in which smart, good people are making the world better. We’re in the business of seeding optimistic but realistic hope that big changes are possible.

Loka’s Medium will also be a home for the people who are building and dreaming up these changes. You might be a curious founder, VP of cloud services, machine learning engineer, healthcare technician, or a climate technologist. And we want to hear from you, too.

Are you working on a system mitigating the dangers faced by medical workers? Are you using data or AI to address the climate crisis? Are you launching the next Space X? Reach out! We don’t just want our content to inspire real people working on real solutions, we want it to be informed by them.

If you have a story you’d like to contribute that aligns with Loka’s values and mission, send your pitch to medium@loka.com.

Bobby Mukherjee is the founder of Loka, Inc., a 16-year-strong tech consultancy that helps ship software innovations for fascinating companies. After two decades as a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, Bobby has been fortunate enough to launch products for global startups funded by Sequoia & Greylock, plus Fortune 500 Enterprise companies like Coca-Cola, Novartis, Marriott and Gatorade.

Loka is a team of elite data engineers & designers who help ship fascinating innovations. Our stories give you a peek into what’s now & next for ML & humanity.