How the next generation – and all of us – will save the world

I was recently interviewed for an article Why the world will be better in gen Y’s hands. Below are some excerpts from the article (by the way I’m not a Dr., but I won’t object :-) )

The impact of these powerful attitudinal shifts are playing out in the workforce and how organizations attract talent.

Millennials, on the whole, don’t question the concept of rights for women, gay and transgender people, that climate change is a reality or that every race is equal.
Their focus as leaders will be less on arguing a point than doing something about it.

“One shift is wanting to create a better world,” prominent futurist Ross Dawson told news.com.au. “It’s exceptionally difficult to hire talented young people if they don’t feel their work is making a positive difference. Social enterprise and innovation is very apparent in Silicon Valley but also in Australia.”


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It’s an attitude: Embracing the future

On my RossDawson.com site I list some of the more popular topics for my keynote speeches.

Particularly for internal corporate events, one of the most popular themes is ‘Embracing the Future‘, in which I not only point to the dramatic shifts underway and the potential of the future, but show that the attitude of embracing those changes will bring the greatest personal opportunities.

I recently created a short video to help describe the main themes of the keynote, shown below.


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Do you have the passion of the explorer? If you do, what kind of employer could attract you away from entrepreneurship?

Today the ever-inspiring John Hagel spoke in Sydney today about passion at work as part of AMP’s Amplify series, organized by Annalie Killian.

The story in summary, told at more length in the Unlock the passion of the Explorer report, is that:

* Technological change is creating ever-increasing pressures and challenges for institutions and individuals;

* In this world the rationale for large organizations to exist is no longer scalable efficiency, but scalable learning;

* The Center for the Edge looked to find examples of “sustained, extreme performance improvement” that reflects this scalable learning;

* What they found in common was deep passion, but a particular type of passion that they dubbed the passion of the “Explorer”
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On the importance of energizing holidays for entrepreneurs

I have just returned from holidays in Jervis Bay, a stunning region set in a marine national park a few hours drive south of Sydney. It is one of those places scattered around the world that feels magical in some inexpressible way.

Summer is Here | Jervis Bay
Image credit: Hadi Zaher

It was just a one week holiday, my first proper break in the last year, which has been perhaps the most intense year in my life. Victoria and I did take a little time off between this last Christmas and New Year but I ended having to do a some urgent client work and many interviews including Sunrise, Today, and Morning Show over New Year so it wasn’t a real holiday.

Switching off

During the holiday I was almost completely switched off from digital world, with limited connectivity where we were staying helping me avoid more than very briefly glancing at email or Twitter every day or so, though I did need to respond to a couple of enquiries.
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Passion and the future of work

Earlier today I spoke in the keynote session of the Richmond Financial Industry Forum in Interlaken, Switzerland.

Three of us – Jean Claude Biver, Chairman of watchmaker Hublot, Zeno Staub, CEO of Bank Vontobel, and myself – gave 10 minute presentations, followed by a panel discussion between us.

I spoke on Passion and the Future of Work. Below are some distilled thoughts from my keynote presentation.
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The 7 characteristics of powerful visions for effective leadership

‘Visionary leadership’ is one of the phrases most bandied about these days, yet it is almost always an aspiration rather than a description.

A vision of what is possible is a prerequisite to visionary leadership. That vision can come from an individual, but more often it is the product of many people.

The vision that underpins visionary leadership is definitely not the ‘Vision’ that is encapsulated in a neat phrase and sits alongside the ‘Mission Statement’ and its ilk.

A vision needs to be something that people can ‘see’ in a way that makes them want to move towards it. There are seven primary characteristics to powerful visions that I identify:

– Compelling. Powerful visions must draw people, attract them, make them want to take action and overcome obstacles to achieve it. It must feel worth achieving, worth putting real effort into getting there.

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Judging the best visualizations of the future: Enter the BBC What If? competition

This year BBC is focusing on the future under the theme What If? and has just launched its What If? Visions of the Future competition.

BBBCWhatIF_GlennHatton
Image source: BBC News/ Glenn Hatton
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The isomorphism of inside and outside – why exploring our minds and the world are the same

On my recent holiday I was in extraordinarily beautiful surroundings, in the Jervis Bay area of Australia’s Eastern coast.

Being in that environment helped me to recall my thoughts from when I was much younger, when it struck me that the world inside us and the world outside are isomorphic: they have exactly the same shape and structure.

We can learn about our minds and the richness of who we are by studying and exploring the world around us, particularly the natural world.

Equally, we can grow to understand the external world by delving into the unlimited richness of our minds. There is as much to discover within us as there is in the entire universe around us.
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