clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile
A graphic showing a large hourglass hovering over a landscape of homes with solar panels, an electric car, and a slab of meat. Nick Little for Vox

Filed under:

Back to the future

Rethinking old ideas about what we eat, where we live and work, and how we power our communities.

This edition of The Highlight is a thought experiment: What if some of the solutions to our most urgent challenges, from climate change to public health crises, could be found by reimagining old concepts and outmoded technology? The future is closer than we think — we just need to rethink what we already know, whether that’s the meat we consume, the office spaces we haven’t returned to, or the batteries powering the electric vehicle revolution.

Ben Denzer for Vox

Our buildings are making us sick

Here’s how to fix them — and what’s getting in the way.

By Keren Landman

Phil Robibero for Vox

Inside the fantastical, pragmatic quest to make “hybrid” meat

Hybrid cars gave way to electric vehicles. Could “hybrid meat” do the same for beef and pork?

By Kenny Torrella

Ben Denzer for Vox

Under the hood of the electric vehicle revolution

In the EV era, old automakers are learning new tricks.

By Rebecca Heilweil

Nick Little for Vox

The end of a battery’s life matters as much as its beginning

Americans are terrible at recycling. Electric cars are a chance to change that.

By Rebecca Leber

Phil Robibero for Vox

The wasted potential of garbage dumps

Toxic landfills are emblems of environmental injustice across the US. Clean energy can remake them.

By Neel Dhanesha

Ben Denzer for Vox

The future of the office is a lab

What’s going to happen to the office space we no longer need?

By Rani Molla

Editors: Samantha Oltman, Adam Clark Estes, Libby Nelson, Izzie Ramirez, Brian Resnick, Bryan Walsh
Copy editors: Kim Eggleston, Elizabeth Crane, Caitlin PenzeyMoog, Tanya Pai
Art direction: Dion Lee, Bita Honarvar
Audience: Gabriela Fernandez, Shira Tarlo, Agnes Mazur, Mary Perkins
Production/project editors: Susannah Locke, Nathan Hall

Future Perfect

How the US is preparing to fight — and win — a war in space

Even Better

How to make your anger work for you

Future Perfect

We have treatments for opioid addiction that work. So why is the problem getting worse?

View all stories in The Highlight

Sign up for the newsletter Today, Explained

Understand the world with a daily explainer plus the most compelling stories of the day.