Today’s Australian Financial Review featured a section Transformation Agenda, including an article based on an interview with me, Health and education sectors the next to feel online disruption.
After opening with a discussion of connected work and marketplaces such as Freelancer.com and Upwork, the article goes on:
According to business consultant and futurist, Ross Dawson it’s a trend gathering pace within professional services like business consultancy, marketing strategy, IT services, even engineering and law. “Knowledge work can now be done anywhere.” he says.
It appears that this is another emerging sector where Australia is leading the way.
Sydney-based firms Expert360 and Skillsapien support two of the leading digital marketplaces for professional services, both of which Dawson sees as signalling a transition to “virtual” organisations.
“What is the role of the organisation today?” he asks. “Do they need to have offices with people sitting together? Is that the best way to source the best ideas?”
With the emergence of massive online platforms connecting millions of people it would seem not.
The article goes on to draw on my comments to look at many of the examples of how connected work is disrupting health, including CrowdMed, Doctus.com.au, and Dr Sicknote, and then closes with my comments on the impact on education, from an Australian perspective.
In the case of education, the online learning genie is out of the bottle, Dawson notes, with Australian institutions well placed to capitalise on it.
MOOCs (massive open online courses) have been around for some time with a fair degree of competition. But new opportunities are appearing in areas like professional certification, for which Australian institutions are well regarded.
“Education is and will continue to be one of Australia’s greatest exports,” Dawson says, noting that Australia’s fondness for and skills in developing digital channels will breed further opportunities in this and other knowledge-driven sectors.
Work can be done anywhere. We have reached the point where professions of all kinds will be increasingly practised remotely. While we need to ensure that potential problems are minimized, we also need to acknowledge the massive social upsides. This shift is inevitable.
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.”
A few days ago I attended the launch event of Reinvent Australia, organized by Annalie Killian of Amplify Festival at PwC’s Sydney offices. It was a very interesting event, digging into the issues of how we can bring together many people’s ideas to create better futures for nations.
Graham Kenny, President of Reinvent Australia, described the organisation as a collaborative initiative to create a conversation on a shared vision for the nation. The bottom line of its endeavors is to increase the quality of life for all Australians, by influencing government and business in how they work.
Last week I visited Melbourne Spring Fashion Week as a guest of IBM and the City of Melbourne.
City of Melbourne’s over-arching vision for the annual Melbourne Spring Fashion Week is to position Melbourne as Australia’s premier fashion destination, and have a real economic impact by driving increased sales for retailers in the city.
In partnering with IBM for the second year the intention was to extend the impact of the event beyond the week and to drive ticket sales and in turn sales by tapping the social currency of influencers.
Melbourne Spring Fashion Week is unusual in fashion shows in that everything on the runways can be bought at stores in the city. This contrasts to the traditional role of fashion shows as breaking new fashion, which may not be available for many months after it is launched.
Melbourne Spring Fashion Week used IBM Social Media Analytics on Twitter and Instagram to uncover the top 50 relevant fashion influencers, used Watson Personality Insights to work out how best to approach them, and invited them to be MSFW “insiders”, asking them what content would be most useful to them.
Ticket sales have been considerably higher than last year, with 4 of the events sold out.
The initiative is particularly interesting in showing how social analytics and engagement can help drive shoppers into shopping centers and physical stores.
While individual stores can do a great deal to merge their digital, social and physical engagement, the real power comes in bringing people to a shopping center or area, or even an entire city center.
All shopping is becoming social. Retail strategies for merging physical and digital are best envisaged and implemented on a large scale, tapping collaboration and activating buyers.
Image credit: Eva Rinaldi
I first met Mark Zawacki when I did the opening keynote at the ANZA Technology Conference in Silicon Valley in 2004, and Mark was also a speaker at the event. Mark has since founded the highly-regarded corporate accelerator 650Labs, which helps leading global corporates to drive innovation.
More recently I have met Catherine Stace, CEO of Cure Brain Cancer Foundation, who has brought inspiring and truly disruptive approaches to medical research philanthropy, by focusing on making research far more collaborative and effective rather than simply funding antiquated research models.
The latest results from IBM’s annual Smarter Consumer Study provide interesting insights.
If consumers are smarter, they are expressing it with not just increased expectations, but an increasingly active expression of their displeasure if expectations are not met.
The following chart, provided to me by IBM in response to a request for more detailed information, shows that in all major countries advocates – those who actively advocate for their primary retailer – have decreased, while antagonists – those who would actively discredit their retailer – have increased.
This morning I was interviewed on the national breakfast program Sunrise on the future of jobs, discussing a report that suggested 40% of jobs could be replaced by automation in the next 10-15 years.
Click on the image to see a video of the segment:
In the segment I pointed to some of the broader trends shaping the future of work, as well as particular jobs that would be disappearing or growing.
It’s an excellent report, bringing together contributions from leading researchers from Australia and globally, looking at the exceptional challenges of the changing landscape of work, and some of the policy prescriptions that will help nations and their citizens to prosper.
One of the highlights of the report was an analysis of the likelihood of automation replacing jobs in Australia, adapting the methodology used by the Oxford Martin Institute in examining the risk of job losses in the US.
The Australian study looked at the likelihood of different job sectors being replaced by automation.
The OECD has created a wonderful interactive visual map of the world, showing the Better Life Index – what people value most in their lives – in different countries around the world.
It is fascinating to see what people value the most around the world. When we look at cultural differences between countries, the simple question of what people value show deep differences, and strong insights into national identity.