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.


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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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Exploring the Future Ep 4: Six facets of strategy for emerging technologies

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In a short segment I recorded in Bangkok at the Oracle Impact Summit recently, I discuss the six facets of strategy for emerging technologies with some simple visual illustrations.

You can read more about the six facets of strategy for emerging technologies here.

The transcript is below. To subscribe to my future vlog episodes click here! 🙂


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Envisioning the future so that it compels action

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The current issue of Brunswick Review features an interview with me titled Visions of Tomorrow.

While it is a wide-ranging interview, as often, I was asked about the role of the futurist. Below are some of my ideas on thinking about the future and taking action from the article. See below the quotes for some further thoughts.

Read the full article to also see my commentary on specific issues such as emerging economies, crowdsourcing, professional services, and the future of work.
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Exploring the future Ep 3: Being touched by exceptional people through podcasts

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Here is episode 3 of my vlog, on my experience recoding the OFX Where the World’s Moving podcast series. Let me know any comments or thoughts, if you’d like to keep across my vlog please subscribe on YouTube!

Full transcription below:
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Company as a platform: a key concept for technology-enabled strategy

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Last week I gave the keynote on Technology Leadership in an Accelerating World and chaired the C-Level Executive Luncheon at the Oracle Impact conference in Bangkok, Thailand.

After the lunch roundtable more than one CIO told me that the ‘Company as a platform’ concept I’d put forward during my keynote had resonated strongly with them.

Platform strategy is at the core of much of my work. While platforms are becoming much discussed by boards and executives, the key issue they need to understand is that in a network economy, platform concepts are not just about business strategy, but highly relevant to many different inter-linked domains: business models, technology development, talent structures, marketing, organizational communication, and more.
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Exploring the future Ep 2: Why optimism is essential to create a better future

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Here is – finally – the second episode of my vlog, on the critical topic of optimism. More episodes coming soon!

Here is the transcript:
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Robots are already making decisions for us – how far do we want that to go?

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Last week I spoke at a very interesting event ‘Should We Turn Over Decision-Making To Robots?‘. It was the first of a series of discussion organised by WWF‘s Panda Labs, delving into the ethics and positive potential of emerging technologies.

ABC News published an article Relinquishing more power to robots up for debate at futurist talks based on pre-event interviews with fellow panelist Theresa Anderson, Director of the Master of Data Science and Innovation at UTS and myself.
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