Themes of the day: Consumerization of IT, Crowdsourcing for small business, Crowdsourcing in PR

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These are frantically busy days, which is squeezing my ability to blog and capture some of the fascinating stuff flying by. In coming months I think I’ll try to do more ‘mini-blogging’, just capturing quick thoughts and impressions rather than writing up every interesting speaking engagement or media appearance I do.

Yesterday I gave three presentations, and I’d love to write (at least) a full blog post about what we covered for each one. However that’s not possible, so I’ll just share quick thoughts about each topic and what I will try to write more about later.

The day started by giving the keynote at a Consumerization of IT event run by CIO Magazine, supported by HP and Microsoft.
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5 things to tweet and 5 things NOT to tweet

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Earlier this week I spoke at a financial advisor retreat in the stunning Margaret River region of Western Australia, a region of wide-open beauty that is the source of many extraordinary wines.

I gave two keynotes at the event on subsequent days, on How to Lock-in Your Clients, and Success in a Connected World, which drew on my connected world visual framework.

I will write more later on the quite specific topic of Success in a Connected World for Financial Advisors. For now I thought I’d share a brief extract of the content I covered in my keynote on how to approach Twitter.

Around 15-20% of the audience had Twitter accounts, so my suggestions were intended as a high-level introduction on how to get started on Twitter, though the advice is relevant to anyone. The recommendations are based on my own thoughts as well as a range of research, notably the excellent Who Gives A Tweet? Evaluating Microblog Content Value from Carnegie Mellon University. This is what I suggested:

WHAT TO TWEET
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Availability in Europe for keynotes/ workshops/ consulting late April to late May

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I will spending a month in Europe from late April to late May, with a busy but not yet full schedule, so I’m open to offers on possible work in that period.

My trip kicks off with a keynote on The Future of Crowds at TheNextWeb Conference April 25-27 – more on that soon. I was originally planning to do some events in London and Paris shortly before then, but some potential engagements in Shanghai and Singapore mean I will probably arrive in Europe not long before TheNextWeb.

Building on my visit, the consulting firm Across Technology told me they were “impressed by my engaging style as a keynote speaker and talent as a workshop facilitator”, and invited me do a European tour. That has already resulted in them confirming a series of keynote engagements in early to mid-May in locations including Luxembourg, Italy, and Moscow.
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Launch of new keynote speaker website

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The site rossdawson.com has long been where I point potential clients for my keynote speaking and other personal work. As usual it has taken longer than planned, but we now have just launched an entirely redesigned website.


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New keynote speaker video

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For a keynote speaker having a good showcase video is critical. Potential clients want to get an idea of your style and presence before booking you, and usually a video is the only way to provide that.

I have just finished producing a new keynote speaker video. This was long overdue as the last one wasn’t nearly as good as it should be. The new one is a big improvement, though I think there is more scope for improvement yet. This video is also on the front page of my new rossdawson.com website and on the video page.

I will soon write more about the process of creating a keynote speaker video. In the meantime, I would love your feedback on the video, including any suggestions for improvement.

Many sensors + Imagination = The Internet of Things

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Last week I gave a keynote at the National Broadband Network – what’s in it for me? conference in Bunbury, Western Australia, a town 2 hours south of Perth, the most geographically isolated city in the world. Not surprisingly the hunger for broadband in the region is enormous – you could feel it in the room.

My keynote on The Killer Apps of Connectivity roamed through through some of the killer apps of massive broadband, including work, health, education, media, and new business models. I also spoke about ‘Everything’, in which connectivity is applied to virtually everything around us.


Image source: Application of Cloud Computing to Agriculture and Prospects in Other Fields

One of the domains that is very relevant to the South West region where the conference was held is agriculture. The image above shows the dynamics of a study sponsored by Fujitsu that used rich sensor data to improve practices and yields in rice farming in Japan, while rich sensor data has also been used in wine making, where grapes are highly sensitive to temperature and humidity differences and changes.
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Creating the future of local government

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I recently gave the opening keynote at Local Government Association of Tasmania‘s annual conference. On the occasion of their 100th anniversary, they wanted to look forward to the future as well as to their past.

Incidentally, the event was just two days after I gave the opening keynote at the Institute of Public Administration NSW’s annual conference on the Transformation of Government. My presentations at the two events were reasonably similar, but many issues differ across state and local government. One of the key issues is that in a world driven by community, local government is (or at least should be) closer to the community than any other level of government.

For the local government conference my topic was Creating the Future of Local Government. The current issue of the association’s magazine, LGAT News, contains a write-up of my keynote:

In a defining era for government globally, councils are in the front-line of changes and challenges and are best placed to take the lead in turning these challenges into opportunities. This was the message to Tasmanian councils from leading business futurist, Ross Dawson, in his keynote address to conference delegates.

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Keynote slides: The Power of Social Media and Future Organizations

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This morning I am giving the external keynote at a closed conference for senior client executives run by a major professional services firm. They know the technical content they are presenting is rather dry so my role is to provide a highly engaging kick-off to the day (spouses are invited too) which is also practical and useful for attendees.

As is quite often the case these days, my client asked me to combine two of the topics from my general list of speaking topics, bringing together the ideas from The Power of Social Media and The Future of Work and Organizations. In fact every presentation I do is customized for the specific context and audience, including many topics not on the list, but it can be useful for clients to use the general speaking topic list to work out what they are looking for.

Here are the slides to my keynote. The usual disclaimer: the slides are designed to accompany my presentation and not to be viewed by themselves, but you still might find them interesting.

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Creating Darwin’s Future: insights into a unique city

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I recently gave the after-dinner speech at the annual dinner of the Urban Development Institute of Australia in Darwin.

I had never been to Darwin before, and I found my brief visit as well as my research preparing for my talk fascinating in getting a feel for the city.

In my speech I brought together some entertaining perspectives with more serious views of the global macro environment and the opportunities I see for Darwin. Among other topics I compared Northern Territory’s demographic profile with that of Australia and adjacent economies such as Indonesia and China. Many of Darwin’s challenges and opportunities are expressed in this data. The charts are created from the Australian Bureau of Statistic B Series (middle path) forecasts for Australian population.

Here are just a few insights and perspectives on Darwin I gained in preparing for my speech and during my visit:
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Keynote: Creating the future of retail shopping precincts: The Power of Community and Uniqueness

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Tomorrow morning I will give the keynote at Mainstreet Australia conference on the topic of Creating the Future of Business.

My slides are below. The usual caveat applies – the slides are designed to accompany my presentation and not to stand alone.

While the title of the presentation is Creating the Future of Business, it has been tailored to the conference audience, so after a more general introduction on the driving forces of business, the presentation is really about the future of retail shopping precincts. Here are some of the points I will be making in my keynote.
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