The rise of the meta city

Location independence is taking on a whole new meaning

Welcome to Borderless. Every week, we handpick the best links on digital nomads, remote work and global mobility to help you navigate the quirks of living and working on the internet.

I had my first meeting in the metaverse this week. Sure, the avatars were cheesy and I felt seasick, but my mind was fully blown by how much I felt like I was really there with the other people in the virtual room.

The experience left me thinking about how “location independence” means so much more than just working from anywhere. When we untether from physical spaces, the world opens up before us in ways we never imagined. What would our cities, societies and economies look like if the majority of the workforce were distributed and flexible?

This shift towards more location independence is not just about lifestyle preference; it's about autonomy. The ability to design a life that reflects our values and aspirations is a powerful form of self-determination. It’s what defines borderless living.

This week's links include the theory of the Meta City, a profile on the unassuming lawyer fighting the AI giants and brain hacks to get through the final working days of the year.

Wherever you are in the world right now, have a joyful and productive week.

– Anna at SafetyWing

Do you need to be constantly on the move to be considered a digital nomad? What if your life revolves around two distinct places you equally call home, alternating between them regularly? Maybe you’re a ‘shuttler’, then.

Kai Xiang Teo for Business Insider

Nomads often get caught in webs of government bureaucracy, from jumping through the hoop of visa runs to dealing with institutions skeptical of their lifestyle. But which country causes nomads the most frustration? The answer may surprise you.

Regula Forensics

The rise of remote work has made it harder to form close friendships with coworkers, according to a recent survey. While the loss of professional relationships sounds like a worrying trend on the surface, it turns out it may not be such a bad thing after all.

Emily Goligoski for Time

Let’s be real, as the year draws to a close, it’s getting harder to focus. It turns out a lot of what we thought makes us more focused and productive, actually doesn’t. Some of these hacks might seem counterintuitive, but they’ll help you get stuff done – and don’t worry, none of them involve just powering through.

Leah Borski for Entrepreneur

Unsurprisingly, the argument that remote work is causing the decline of major cities may have been too simplistic. Enter, the “Meta City”: A network of cities that combine both physically and virtually to work together as a unit. As living and working locations diverge, is the future one of super-specialized cities?

Richard Florida for Harvard Business Review

When Gen AI went mainstream, freelance programmer Matthew Butterick traded in his keyboard for a courtroom battle against AI firms like Meta and OpenAI. His crusade to protect the rights of writers, artists, and creators is already shaping the future of AI. But can he win?

Kate Knibbs for Wired

🗳️Poll: Are you a shuttler or a nomad?

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