The future of law firms: new structures, virtualization, fluid talent, social media-driven reputation

A little while ago an article The future for law firms: virtual law firms, legal outsourcing and the battle for talent appeared in Thomson Legal reporting on some of my thoughts on where the legal industry is headed.

The article opens:
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In a world of peer learning the opportunities flow to talent and those who share

I recently gave the closing keynote at the Lectora User Conference 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee, which brought together users from around the world of the Lectora e-learning authoring platform.

My keynote on Embracing the Future looked at the broad trends shaping our world, and how they were shaping the world of education in particular. Peer learning is a fundamentally important trend today, describing how people learn increasingly from their peers rather than formal teachers. Indeed, the leading edge of any domain of study is driven by peers who share what they discover on the edges of their discipline.

One of the stories I told in my keynote was how a young Mexican man has been amply rewarded for his talent and his propensity to share, rather than formal education.

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Image: Jordi Muñoz, Chris Anderson and Jon Callaghan of 3D Robotics Credit: Christopher Michel
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Keynote slides: Creating the Future of News

Tomorrow I am giving the opening keynote at International News Media Association (INMA) World Congress in New York.

Over 400 senior news executives from 45 countries are gathering to gain insights into the leading edge and path forward for news organizations globally.

My keynote provides a highly positive perspective on the extraordinary opportunities for the news industry. I am currently refocusing on the future of news and media, and will be sharing a lot more on this topic during this year.

For now, here are the slides to my keynote. As always, note that my slides are designed to accompany my keynote and not to stand alone, and also contain many videos that do not show in the slides below. However they may still be of interest to people who are not attending my keynote.

Launch of keynote speaker influence ranking tracker

We have just launched a keynote speaker influence ranking page, giving an indication of the social and online reach of people who work primarily as keynote speakers. The widget is embedded below (and you can embed it in your own website if you want), though it is better viewed on the main rankings page.

There are and have been many influence ranking systems around. This one focuses on a particular group – keynote speakers – for whom online influence is particularly important, and brings together three measures: Klout, website traffic, and Twitter followers.

It is of course very easy to criticise any influence rankings mechanism, and we do not pretend this is by any means ‘accurate’, it is intended to be indicative and interesting. We have provided complete transparency by publishing the algorithm we use. The intention is to tweak and develop the algorithm over time. Let us know if you have suggestions on how to improve it!
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Concept video: The Future of Work

A while ago at Future Exploration Network we created the Future of Work Framework to provide a high-level overview of how the world of work is shifting.

Over the past year I have used the framework extensively as a starting point for executive briefings and strategy workshops on the strategic implications of the rapidly changing world of work.

However the static visual can be hard to interpret on its own, so we have now created a short video that delves into and narrates the framework.


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Will the Respect Network enable us to take back control of our data and our lives?

Yesterday I attended the Sydney launch event of the Respect Network, an initiative designed to allow individuals to own and take control of their data.

They played this video, narrated by John Hurt, who starred in the film 1984. Apparently American audiences have thought this clip to be highly controversial, however it seems to provide a reasonable view of how things are.

Take Back Control from Respect Network on Vimeo.

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Our reputation, personal opportunities, and identity will be shaped by social media

This morning was the launch of the Safeguarding the Future of Digital Australia 2025 that I wrote and compiled for McAfee, part of Intel Security.

There has been a very strong response to the report, with so far good articles in The Australian, Dynamic Business, WA Today, and many others, and the Federal Minister for Communications Malcolm Turnbull saying “Intel Security’s report makes a major contribution to our understanding of how to safeguard Australians online and into the future.”

Parliamentary Secretary for Communications Paul Fletcher spoke at the report’s launch at Parliament House, drawing particular attention to the tagline we created for the Future of Social section:
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Why predictions are dangerous and organizations must be well networked

AFR_Boss_Dec13_300wToday’s BOSS magazine in the Australian Financial Review includes a feature on my work.

The article focuses on my thoughts on the value of predictions. I’ve written before about why predictions usually have negative value, as an important way of framing how we think about the future.

I am quoted in the article:
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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.

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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 future of academic certification: universities, MOOCs, aggregators, and peer reputation

This morning I gave the opening keynote at the Virtual Universities: Impact on Accounting Education Thought Leadership forum in Adelaide, organized by the Centre of Accounting, Governance and Sustainability at University of South Australia and the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia. The audience was an invitation-only group of the most senior accounting academics and industry practitioners in the country.

My keynote was on the broad global context for the current changes in education. After looking at major technological, social and structural changes, the future of work, and shifts in learning, I turned to the role of certification and credentials.

The rise of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) has helped bring into focus that universities have to date always bundled together three things:
– Education;
– Certification; and
– Networking.

The rise of Open Courseware and more recently services such as Coursera, Udacity and edX has now broken out (part of) the education piece.
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