Let's Be A Better Community in 21

Another year gone by, another year when I'm still pretty much the only person posting a blog on any kind of regular basis.  And I was hopeless at it during the pandemic months in 2020!

Here is my New Year's message of hope and goodwill to you all!

Happy New Year everyone! Of course, we begin every new year with such high hopes as we turn the page on the calendar, perhaps momentarily inspired that maybe we can be better, happier, healthier or that our world will be a better, happier or healthy place in the coming 365 days.

2021 certainly has its work cut out. Not least, COVID-19 is perhaps worse now in our country than it has ever been. The resulting economic hardship, massive workplace upheavals, social restrictions and mental health challenges are going to remain a fact of our lives for much - if not all - of this new year ahead.

Yet we must be optimistic that things will change.

I would like to believe that if 2020 taught us anything, it is that we have lost the sense - the value - of community. We have become the Disunited States of America. We have allowed tribalism, extremism, populism and selfishness to work against our collective good as a society and we have lost so many lives - directly and indirectly - as a result. We must do better in 2021, and its starts with each of us. Individually, we can do something; each of us has the ability to help improve our collective lot, not least by being resilient and following the health guidelines and restrictions. This isn't a political point - it is for sure the fastest way to get our social and work lives back to what we used to call normal way back in 2019! Most of us will have access to a vaccine by the summer, which we should accept.

What has this got to do with Utah's digital entertainment community? Everything! We were struggling to care about our small community before COVID-19! Our livelihoods have been impacted and so has that of our audiences, the ones who provide us with a living. If you have been lucky enough to be able to work from home, that is great! But that isn't true for many in our community, so what can you do to help those in need now?

In 2021 we have the opportunity to come together in a better way than we had managed before last year. We would love to hear your ideas on how we re-invigorate the UDEN community, for ourselves and for the wider community we exist within.

Let's be better this New Year. Whatever reasons you had for not being part of this community before, let's put those behind us and make building a healthy professional community one of your goals for 2021. Tell us your ideas or what you think; email us at [email protected].

COVID-19 Resources

Since March, we have turned the UDEN homepage over to updates and resources for our community during the pandemic.  In our end-of-year update, we have included a summary about the financial help provided in the latest relief bill that Congress passed at the end of December.  We are so pleased to have heard from many of you that these updates have been useful and we will keep them going as long as they are needed.  Please do visit and let us know of any additional sites or resources you think would be helpful for our community. http://www.utahden.org.  

Sending you positive thoughts and peace this New Year.

- Jon Dean

PS - I usually like to end the year and begin the next by looking back on the past year of UDEN events - but we only had one, our collaboration with Silicon Slopes at the Tech Summit in January.  We didn't have any other meet-ups in 2020 for obvious reasons.  I hope we'll get back to some in the New Year!  In the meanwhile, here is one of my favorite reviews of Utah in 2020 thanks to the Salt Lake Tribune.  I had forgotten the earthquake, winds and fires, not to mention a marvelous new airport opening and a monolith!


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