Crowdfunding creates a new layer of capital markets and new layers of value

Yesterday ABC News featured a story on crowdfunding, providing a quick overview of the space for a broad audience.

An edited version of the segment on the 7pm News also appeared on The Business program. Click on the image to see a video of the news segment.


Having spent quite a few years working in capital markets, I have long seen that shifts in the broader economy mean we need new layers of capital markets.
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The launch of Hub Sydney – crowdfunding memberships and distributed value creation

The Hub global movement was founded in London in 2005, and is a very rapidly growing network of so far 30 Hub communities co-working spaces established around the world and over 5000 members.

I first heard of the Hub soon after it was established, but was first directly exposed to the network when I ran a workshop on Crowdsourcing for Startups and Social Innovation at Hub Westminster in London last year.

I was fortunate to spend some time at the Hub and with its co-founder the inimitable and inspiring Indy Johar.

Subsequently I had the chance to hang out at Hub Melbourne, which draws together an eclectic community in a vibrant space in the city center.

As such I was delighted when the launch of Hub Sydney was announced. It will open on May 8 in a large office space on William Street Darlinghurst, leased from the City of Sydney. Check out the video – it tells the Hub Sydney story well.

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Crowdsourcing Week in Singapore promises to help catalyze the global potential of crowdsourcing

Epi Nekaj, the founder of crowdsourcing innovator Ludvik + Partners, first got in touch with me in early 2012 to discuss his plan to run a landmark global event focused on crowdsourcing.

On June 3-7 Crowdsourcing Week will be held in Singapore, bringing the Crowdsourcing Week team’s vision to fruition.

Ross Dawson_500
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Promoting alcohol on social media: where do we draw the line?

Last Friday I was interviewed for a segment on ABC 7pm News about alcohol advertising on social media. Click on the image below to see the video.


The piece begins:
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LinkedIn removes reply before accepting invitations, accelerating the devaluation of connections [UPDATED]

[UPDATE] LinkedIn has now restored this functionality. They have variously said that it is a test they were running and a technical issue. Whatever the reality, hopefully the weight of users’ voices is helping LinkedIn to focus on supporting valued connections.

In 2011 I wrote about The continuing devaluation of LinkedIn connections.

When I first wrote the article I incorrectly thought there wasn’t a way to message people who had invited you to connect without first accepting the invitation. Commenters on my post as well as LinkedIn’s local PR company let me know that you could in fact do that.

The broader point I was making about the devaluation of LinkedIn connections still held, but the feature allowed me and others to sort through requests.
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Critical issue: Will the fertility rate in the developed world continue to increase?

I recently appeared on the Morning Show being interviewed about the future of the family. Click on the image below to see a video of the segment.


One of the interesting topics we discussed was trends in the fertility rate.
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Social networks and engineering serendipity in the workplace

The New York Times has an interesting article titled Engineering Serendipity which looks at the some of the ways companies are trying to create felicitous and unexpected connections between their staff. After introducing what Yahoo! and Google are doing in the space, the article continues:

As Yahoo and Google see it, serendipity is largely a byproduct of social networks. Close-knit teams do well at tackling the challenges in front of them, but lack the connections to spot complementary ideas elsewhere in the company. The University of Chicago sociologist Ronald S. Burt calls these organizational gaps “structural holes.” In a 2004 study of 673 managers at the defense contractor Raytheon, Mr. Burt found that managers who serendipitously bridged such gaps were more likely to generate good ideas (and advance professionally as a result). “This is not creativity born of genius,” he wrote. “It is creativity as an import-export business.” In such cases, serendipity is the spontaneous plugging of these holes, over which good ideas flow.

The article describes some of the research being done in the space by measuring online and real-world interactions:
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Distributed Internet infrastructure results in weaknesses as well as strengths

Last week the BBC reported that the Global internet slows after ‘biggest attack in history’, with a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack on spam-fighting organization Spamhaus said to be impacting the broader Internet. This was big news across global media until later in the day it became clear that the impact was minimal. Despite naysayers, the attack was in fact substantially the largest in history, and did result in slower Internet performance in the UK, Netherlands, and Germany.

At the height of coverage of the story I was invited into the ABC studios to explain live on the midday news what was happening. You can click on the image below to see the video clip.

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