Highlights from 2010: Keynote speech videos, slides, and reviews


Continuing a series of review posts of 2010, here are notes from some of my keynotes this year. Given how intense my speaking schedule has been this year I have only been able to blog about a fraction of them. Here are a selection of blog content from my keynotes in 2010 in chronological order.

Opening Keynote at Hillross conference: How reputation measurement will transform professional services

“One of the central themes of my talk was the increasing importance of reputation for professionals…. Easier assessment of the reputation of suppliers will have a significant impact on the global economy…. over the coming decade we can expect to see substantial changes in how professionals are found.”

Designing and running executive offsites and retreats in Asia

“I am just back from Phuket in Thailand where I facilitated the offsite session of the top 120 executives of a major professional services firm in Asia…. While executive offsite sessions are common to business around the world, there are a few specific dynamics to take into account for organizers of retreats in Asia.”

Read more

The Future of TV is community: linking social media with big screens


A few weeks ago I gave the opening keynote at the annual conference of the Regional TV Marketing association, held in Byron Bay, Australia, on the topic of Creating the Future of Media.

As I started preparing my keynote I realized that many of my usual messages about media fragmentation and re-aggregation weren’t the most relevant to this audience, and certainly not what they wanted to hear. As I spent time looking into and considering regional televsion, the more I realized that this is an extraordinarily promising media sector.

The first thing to consider is the power of big budget video production and big screens.

“Television” is close to a legacy concept, in a similar way to how “newspapers” are becoming news-on-paper and then simply news over multiple channels. However even while broadcast and cable TV erode and we shift to a world of multi-channel video, big productions and big screens will remain compelling.

This chart from Ofcom’s communication survey shows how big screens are becoming increasingly important, most of all to young people.


Read more

Review of Telstra Business Insights event on cloud computing


In August I went on a five-city roadshow run by Telstra Business on cloud computing. In the breakfast events for Telstra clients, I gave the opening keynote providing a big picture view of the forces driving change in the business world, followed by a presentation by Telstra’s Chief Technology Office Hugh Bradlow on the technology and Telstra’s offerings.

Telstra have created a video review of one of the events, including snippets from Hugh’s and my presentations, and comments from attendees. This provides some useful highlights from the series.

I’m glad they included Hugh’s opening words: “You will succumb”, suggesting that despite business reluctance, they will all before long embrace the cloud.

I will soon post a video of my complete keynote at the event for those who are interested.

Infographic: The NewsScape – 8 sources of value creation in a post-channel media world


Tomorrow I’m doing the closing keynote at the Newspaper Publishers Association Future Forum conference in Sydney, with already considerable attention on what I will discuss.

I have just prepared a framework to crystallize some of my thoughts on the news landscape today, which I’ve called The NewsScape. Individual channels – such as print, TV, internet, and more – are becoming meaningless. In the post-channel media world we are entering, the entire landscape is laid open. The NewsScape shows how value is created in this world. (Media revenue models are addressed elsewhere with an update on this coming.)

The NewsScape

Click on the image to see large version

Interfaces are the furnace at the heart of how we access news. Adding to the established interfaces of newspapers and television, newer interfaces including phones and tablets have emerged. Before long digital paper that has most of the great qualities of print as well as the advantages of the digital will be available at reasonable prices.

Read more

Breathe in the cloud! Keynote for Telstra Business


This morning in Adelaide I delivered the first of five keynotes I’m doing as part of a Telstra Business national roadshow on cloud computing. I am giving the opening keynote at the breakfast series, followed by Telstra Chief Technology Officer Hugh Bradlow or his key staff.

In the preparation phase I wrote up a brief description of my keynote on Tapping the Forces of Change for use in Telstra’s promotion of the event to their clients and prospects. In doing so I came up with the concept of ‘Breathe in the Cloud‘ as a useful metaphor. Companies need to breathe in the resources of cloud computing in order to give them the vitality to grow and prosper.

Here is a video of the opening for my keynote, talking about why it is so important for companies to Breathe in the Cloud.

Tapping the forces of change: Why cloud computing is the future


Through the month of August I will be doing the keynote address at a five-city Australian roadshow run by Telstra Business. I will open the breakfast events by providing a big picture view of how driving forces in technology, business and society are moving the world towards cloud computing, cloud working, cloud thinking, and cloud strategy.

I will be followed by Hugh Bradlow, Telstra’s Chief Technology Officer, who will provide a more detailed vendor view of cloud computing.

There is no public website for the event; I was told to suggest you contact your Telstra account executive if you’re interested in attending the event.

Below is a brief article I provided Telstra to help promote the event to their customers. I’ll be fleshing out the thinking in this article in some further writing and quite possibly a cloud framework.

Tapping the forces of change

Take a deep breath. As you breathe in, think about the invisible substance that is all around us and sustains us, but we cannot see. Air is vital to us and fuels our energy. In the same way, businesses today are finding that access to a universe of computing resources on tap in the ether around them is helping to keep them healthy and drive their growth. A company’s vitality increasingly depends on how readily it can breathe in this vital resource.

Read more

Keynote at Gartner: Driving Business Results Through Personal Networks


A little while ago I gave a keynote at the Gartner Symposium. Gartner looks to its analysts to share their deep research at their events. It also invites a handful of external speakers to bring a lighter and more entertaining – though still pragmatic – approach and style.

I suggested the topic of Driving Business Results Through Personal Network, which can readily be made fun and interesting, but is also extremely practical for senior technology executives. It was a broad-ranging keynote, ranging across topics including why we need to understand the Bacon number, why boundary spanners are so critical for organizations, the long tail of sexual activity, how to enhance serendipity, and steps to being an energizing leader.

Inset into the presentation were two sets of recommendations, on building personal online networks and on enhancing organizational networks. At the risk of taking them out of the supporting context, here they are:


Read more

Five keys to helping executive teams think about the future


My single biggest client-facing activity this year has been speaking to executive teams about the future of business. These presentations are usually scheduled during strategy offsites or retreats, though sometimes are embedded into leadership development programs or a scheduled presentation within an ongoing transformation program. Sometimes I run a full-day workshop, more often I have 45-90 minutes to work with.

The intent of inviting me is largely to stimulate executives to think beyond the everyday, get new ideas, and develop an optimistic mindset about the challenges and opportunities afforded by the extraordinary pace of change today. Many have latched onto the title of one of my presentation topics, Embracing the Future, as the attitude they wish to engender.

There is only so much you can achieve in a brief presentation. However I have to work with what I am given, do the best with that, and do what I can for the session to result in lasting energy and initiatives. Here are some of the approaches I find effective.

Read more

New flyer on keynote speaking work


We recently updated our flyer on my keynote speaking work, highlighting that I am speaking primarily as a futurist these days, adding in a few extra cities I’ve spoken in since the last edition, and a few other tweaks.

The flyer is embedded below, you can download it here, or let us know if you’d like print copies. Head over to my speaker website for more detailed speaking topics. :-)

Ross Dawson: Keynote Speaker | Futurist | Strategy Advisor

Keynote at Critical Horizons regional futures conference: the potential of a connected world


Today I spoke at the Critical Horizons Regional Futures conference held in Bunbury, Western Australia,which “examines emerging global trends and how they might affect regional communities in the South West Region of Western Australia”. It is fantastic that a non-urban region runs a regular event to examine its future. It is clear that the attendees from across business and government had a keen appetite to explore the future and what they need to do to create a prosperous region in years to come.

The regional economy is still largely driven by mining and to a lesser extent agriculture (including the delightful Margaret River wines). It is experiencing many issues common to regional areas, including the loss of younger people to cities. However it has a particular context in its location. Australia is one of the most urbanized countries in the world, and Perth is the most isolated city in the world. Bunbury is over 2 hours drive away from Perth. It took me 10 hours door-to-door to get here from Sydney – by far the longest it has taken me to get to a speaking gig in Australia.

The region’s geographic isolation means the topic of my keynote here, Power to the People: Thriving in a Hyperconnected Society, is immensely relevant. I discussed the overwhelming trend of how a connected world is shifting power from institutions to individuals. However I also covered the implications for regions of the emerging global talent economy. Crowdsourcing tools on one level provide access to extraordinary talent that can be harnessed in ways limited only by imagination. Yet a connected world also provides opportunities to provide services, both in existing domains, and especially in managing projects.

To the extent that they are useful (usual disclaimer: my slides are created to accompany my speeches, not to be viewed on their own) here are my slides for my keynote (minus the Flash animations).