2022 Year in Review: Critical Update

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Nextgov’s favorite episodes from the final year of the Critical Update podcast.

Nextgov produced four seasons of the Critical Update podcast this year, covering hot topics, the Valley of Death, the promise of space and the vastness of data. As we say goodbye to the year—and the podcast—here’s a look back at some of our favorites from 2022.

Starting the Year with a SBOM

Critical Update started the year with a review of 2021, with a look ahead at how major themes from the past year would affect 2022. Mariam Baksh, Nextgov senior correspondent for cybersecurity, put the focus on the software supply chain as a central issue for cybersecurity with a preview of what was to come.

Unidentified Aerial Podcast

Other podcast episodes this year were less grounded … including one from now-former Nextgov correspondent Brandi Vincent on the Defense Department’s ongoing search for unidentified aerial phenomena, or UAP—more colloquially known as UFOs. The truth is out there and some of it was in that episode.

"Credible Steps Toward the Incredible"

The UAP episode wasn’t our only journey above the clouds this year. Season 14 was all about space, including one of my favorite interviews of all time: a chat with NASA futurist Michael LaPointe about what it will take to get a human being beyond the reach of our Sun and the investments NASA is making today to get us there.

A Good Death

The Nextgov staff also spent a more morbid season exploring the Valley of Death—a term used across government to explain the difficulty transitioning an idea to reality. But not everyone in government fears the valley, as leaders at the General Services Administration’s 10x explained. For GSA’s innovation testbed, “The good death is our only goal.”

The End

As the Nextgov staff says goodbye to 2022, we also said a fond farewell to Critical Update. We signed off for the last time in December with a reporter roundtable breaking down the most important stories from the year and what we expect to see in federal technology in 2023.