THE EDITOR’S LETTER
Istill remember the first time I really noticed Brad Pitt on screen. It was in 1999, the year Fight Club came out, and his presence was immediately captivating. Pitt had plenty of credits under his belt by then, but this one seemed different. His on-screen swagger was electric and it felt that if you looked up the definition of a ‘man’ in the dictionary, you might find a picture of him, possibly shirtless, in all his chiselled glory. Since then, he’s racked up dozens of blockbuster titles, become one of Hollywood’s biggest stars and started a family with fellow big-screen icon Angelina Jolie. It seemed like he had the perfect life. Like he was the perfect man. Last year, that changed. The power couple broke up and Pitt, now in his early fifties, found himself alone and starting over. This issue, he sits down for a revealing interview about what it means to fall apart and – more importantly – put yourself back together. There’ll be those who say Pitt just needs to suck it up and that ‘real men’ don’t show emotion. But if someone who was perhaps the embodiment of all things masculine can admit his own weaknesses, then we all can. Because if Pitt’s interview is proof of anything, it’s that the definition of what it means to be a man is changing. And change is good. Which brings us to this, our inaugural Innovation issue. The world, as anyone with a TV or a Twitter feed will already know, is moving fast. I can’t recall the last time we had a slow news day. And while it might feel impossible to keep up, sometimes we need to pause and reflect on the innovators who are taking Australia – and the world – into the future. Last month, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce was speaking at a business breakfast in Perth, when a man marched on stage and planted a pie in his face. Joyce is easily one of Australia’s most successful business figures, having weathered plenty of turbulence to lead our national carrier from strength to strength during his nine-year tenure. He was quick to laugh it off, of course, but there was something more troubling at play here. The protester, it turned out, objected to the company’s open support of marriage equality – the idea that loving samesex relationships, like the one Joyce has been in with his partner since 1999, should not be recognised with marriage in this country. If the pie-thrower thought he’d somehow hold back progress, he would be sorely mistaken – Joyce said the incident has only strengthened his support for marriage equality. And in the aftermath of the attack, even as the CEO stood there with a face covered in fresh lemon meringue, it was easy to see who looked more foolish. Read our exclusive GQ&A with Joyce on p46. Joyce is just one of the innovators we celebrate in this issue. We speak to Google about the new world of fitness-related virtual reality (p147) and discuss the potential perils of our over-reliance on technology, with Tesla CEO Elon Musk. We also look to an Australian economy with retail giant Amazon entering the market (p87), and our features editor, Jake Millar, poses a number of hypotheticals if some changing innovation was applied to the big constructs of human civilisation, like the need for food, war, borders and jobs (p140). There’ll always be those who want to slow progress and who think that there’s something to gain by holding back. But while the piethrowers of the world may think that they’re being brave in standing up to innovation, history has a way of proving them wrong. And with that, I won’t hold you back from getting stuck into this issue any longer. Enjoy.