Smaller companies will drive innovation and economic growth with nimble learning and work structures

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I recently did a media briefing for Telstra Business on why small and mid-sized businesses need to adopt relevant technologies to keep pace with a rapidly changing business environment. One of the interviews I did after the briefing was with Kochie’s Business Builders.

The two short videos below were excerpted from the interview, with summary notes below.


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How CIOs and technology leaders can map the future shape of their industries

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I was recently interviewed for a podcast on The Future of IT for Cisco’s Connected Futures program, along with leading CTOs, CDOs and technology strategists.

You can listen to the podcast below.

Points I make in the podcast on the role of CIO and technology leadership include:
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Value creation in a connected world: 4 key insights for organizations to lead and succeed in a networked economy

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Let’s turn wants into wows. Let’s make the desire of individuals and companies to stand out and change the world a reality. Let’s prepare now for an extraordinary future.

These themes were explored by leading futurist Ross Dawson in his keynote at the 2016 Ericsson Services Forum in Mumbai. Dawson’s talk related to the event theme of “Turning Wants into Wows” by discussing how organizations can create value in a connected world through harnessing the power of networks, consumer expectations, integrated systems, and unique branding. The full keynote is shown in the video below.

Here are four key insights drawn from Dawson’s keynote at the forum.
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The future of healthcare: big data, tele-health, community care and more

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During Australian Healthcare Week on March 15-17, I will be delivering two keynotes on the future of healthcare, at the Health Facilities Design & Development conference and the Healthcare Efficiency Through Technology conference.

In the lead-up to the conference, an article Healthcare 2020: what will the future of healthcare look like in Australia? draws on an interview with me to explore this space. Below are just a few excerpted quotes from the extensive interview with me:

On big data and data sharing

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Reinvent Australia: how can we shape a positive future for nations?

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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.

Kenny quoted Henry Mintzberg in a recent Harvard Business Review article, Rescuing Capitalism from Itself.
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How Science Fiction shapes our future

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As other futurists, I’ve had done quite a few media interviews recently on Back to the Future 2, which was set on October 21, 2015.

One of the most interesting broader issues around the film is very simply the degree of interest people have in the film, which captured people’s imaginations about the future, even though it was primarily a comedy.

ABC’s 7:30 Report on Wednesday ran a segment on Back to the Future 2 and tweeted this quote from me:
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In a syndicated piece by AFP on Back to the Future and in an earlier article in Newsweek I made the same point:

The reason people have been trying to create a hoverboard is that it was in the film and it captured people’s imaginations. They weren’t trying to predict the future, they were trying to create an interesting film, but I think it’s interesting that everyone is saying “Where is my hoverboard” and now people are trying to create that. We discover what we want. Science fiction creates the desire for the technology that we see, which means that entrepreneurs can see if there is a desire and they then work hard to be able to create the technologies that we’ve discovered that we want.

Countless technology innovators have said how they were inspired by William Gibson’s Neuromancer and Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash to create essential elements of the connected world we know today.

Science fiction in movies and books has shaped what we desire, as well as what we fear. It is a critical driving force in helping us shape our future, as it uncovers what we want to happen and don’t want to happen. Let us celebrate all science fiction, from the most serious to light-hearted comedy.

SWITCH festival shows the power and potential of cross-industry collaboration

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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.

It is no surprise that collaboration between Mark and Catherine has created something exceptional: SWITCH Festival, to be held in Sydney 27-29 August.
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Harnessing the power of innovation: networks are at the heart

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Every organization understands they need to innovate, not just in bringing new offerings to market, but in continually becoming a new and better organization.

Networks are always at the heart of innovation. The new comes from combining the old in original ways.

Chemist Kary Mullis aptly described how he arrived at his innovations that won him the Nobel Prize in 1993:

“I put together elements that were already there, but that’s what inventors always do. You can’t make up new elements, usually. The new element, if any, it was the combination, the way they were used.”

Whether it is bringing together existing ideas to create new ideas, or connecting people in ways that generate new insights, organizations must design how they work to facilitate value-generating connections.
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Insights into the levers of innovation in 40 major cities globally

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The City Initiatives for Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CITIE), a joint venture of NESTA, Catapult, and Accenture, has just release a very interesting report on the drivers of innovation in major cities globally.

The CITIE Framework examines 9 different areas in which cities can support entrepreneurship and innovation, shown here:
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Lessons from the transformation of Washington Post since its acquisition by Jeff Bezos

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imageI’m at the INMA conference in New York, where I gave the opening keynote yesterday morning on Creating the Future of News.

The opening keynote on the second day was from Steve Hills, President of Washington Post, who spoke about the state of Washington Post since its acquisition in October 2013 by Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos. He shared some fascinating insights that are highly relevant for any news publisher looking to create the future.

The big idea of what they are aiming to create is “A national edition optimized for mobile and for interestingness with a simple UX designed for stunning storytelling that is less work for the user to consume.” Bezos thinks it is critical to reduce ‘cognitive overhead’ for their readers.
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