Directing Innovation: Course for company directors to keep ahead of disruption

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For many years I have been working with company directors on framing and driving innovation in their organizations.

From this March I will be applying this experience as Course Director for a new program run by the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD), titled Directing Innovation. The one-day course is intended for experienced directors and graduates of the AICD’s foundation Company Director Course. Full details on the program are here.
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Exploring the Future Ep7: My favorite airport lounge in the world

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As a frequent traveller I spend a lot of time not only in airplanes but also in airport lounges. These are of greatly varying quality, some of them extremely basic and some of them luxurious and beautiful.

Of all of them my very favorite is the Qantas First Class International lounge in Sydney. I’ve shared a little of the lounge in this episode of my vlog. 🙂


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Overview and analysis of futurist and foresight software and tools

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Despite being associated with technology, futurists have rarely used digital technology as a central tool of their work until recent years. Most methods developed or used for futures studies and strategic foresight (e.g. horizon scanning, system mapping) can be performed without digital technology. However, when futurists have integrated their methods into software, they have saved themselves countless hours of work and stress. Many organizations use their own proprietary software, but rarely is such software made available to the general public.

To assist futures professionals, we compiled a list of all the publicly available software that has been developed to perform futurist methods. We had two primary conditions for this list. First, it must be software that is specifically developed to perform the functions of futurists. As such we did not include any general purpose digital technology often used by futurists such as Google Alerts. Second, the software had to be publicly accessible, free or paid. This meant we did not include any software used to help administer RAND’s Delphi technique except for The Millennium Project’s Real Time Delphi which is freely available.
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Exploring the Future Ep6: Food will be at the center of our future

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When I was in Lisbon, Portugal recently to do the keynote at the Food of the Future conference, I recorded a vlog reflecting about how food is central to our future as humans, and what that means today….

TRANSCRIPT
I am here in Lisbon, Portugal where yesterday I gave the opening keynote at the Food of the Future Conference and Food and Nutrition Awards.
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Focus on creating ‘Sufficient Positive Momentum’ on your journey

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In the week before Christmas I was invited onto the Entrepreneurs TV show, in a wrap-up program looking back at the world of entrepreneurship in 2018 and forward to what to expect in 2019. The full program can be seen online (note the content has been geo-restricted and cannot be viewed in all countries).

Don’t set New Year’s resolutions

Among the topics for discussion we were asked to share our New Year’s resolutions.

I had to answer that philosophically I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions. If you want to do something or change your behavior, you should just do it! There is no need to wait until the end of the year to start.
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Exploring the future Ep5: Considering uncertainties in the future of infrastructure

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I recorded this episode of my vlog when I was at the Building Nations Symposium in Auckland, New Zealand to give a keynote on ‘Making the Future Real’.

Infrastructure is highly tangible, and those involved in infrastructure tend to be highly grounded. Yet infrastructure decisions have an impact over a longer timeframe than any other industry.

The multiplicity and depth of uncertainties around infrastructure planning make planning challenging. Yet there are well-established methodologies that experienced foresight practitioners can bring to the table. It is critical that structured thinking about the long-term future is consistently applied to our infrastructure decisions.


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New framework: The six elements of Platform Strategy

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Tomorrow I am giving the keynote on Platform Strategy: Creating Exponential Value in Connected Times at the Digital Single Market Cloud Stakeholder Conference in Vienna, Austria.

An increasing proportion of my work over the last years has been explicitly centered on platforms and platform strategy, but in many ways it is has been core to my work for almost two decades.

After working on financial market platform strategy for major banks around 2000, my 2002 book Living Networks delved into the emerging network economy built on standards and the early platforms it was enabling. My work over the last decade and more around social networks, future of media, crowdsourcing, future of work, enterprise technology, and strategy for emerging technologies such as AI, IoT and blockchain among other themes has all related to platforms.

Today platforms are intensely relevant in almost every domain, including not just obvious industries such as technology, media, and financial services, but also many others including health, education, government, infrastructure, democracy, and far more.


Click on the image for full-size pdf
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The next stage of human evolution is to transform our intrinsic desire for progress

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I was pleased to discover I am on the cover of the new issue of Venture magazine!

The cover feature, titled Transformation Without End, is based on an extended interview with me. It covers many facets of how we should be thinking about the future, but begins on a very important point:

“It is intrinsically human to want to create, to invent, to make things beyond what we’ve had before, and there will be no end to this.” So says futurist, author, and strategist Ross Dawson, who advises global companies on make-or-break issues that ultimately shape the course of human progress.

This human desire for progress, wanting more, of course can and does often go too far. At this point, having manifested extraordinary technological advances, we need to temper that desire. The article goes on to quote me:
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Updating the Futurist Influence Rankings and Keynote Speaker Influence Rankings algorithms

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Just over three years ago we launched our Futurist Influence Rankings and Keynote Speaker Influence Rankings.

These both use a simple algorithm to combine measures of online impact including web traffic and social media impact to rank the influence of prominent futurists and keynote speakers.

Any rankings of online influence certainly shouldn’t be taken too seriously, however our simple charts offer a reasonable picture of relative impact given the limited measures available.

The demise of Klout

We have had to update the algorithm since the social influence platform Klout shut down earlier this year.
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New Framework: Critical Uncertainties in the Future of Work

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This morning I gave a keynote at the Association of Asia-Pacific Business Schools Annual Conference, which brings together the Deans and leaders of the top business schools in the region.

The other sessions in the morning were presented by McKinsey & Co and PwC, so I wanted to present perspectives that would be complementary to their analysis.

For any structured analysis of the future, we need to understand on the one hand trends and driving forces, and on the other critical uncertainties. There has been extensive discussion of the forces shaping the future of work, but I don’t believe there has been sufficient critical analysis of the uncertainties.

My keynote covered the broad scope and context for the future of work, however I centered it around the uncertainties that we need to consider in understanding how the world of work may evolve from here. To do this I shared a framework I have recently developed of these uncertainties, shown below.


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