Who is the conscience of the global brain?


The Business21C radio program on Monday morning broadcast an interview with myself and and a representative of Anonymous on the topic of cybercrime.

You can listen to the 25 minute cybercrime program as a podcast from the Business21C site. Here is the description of the program:

Last month the hacking of Sony’s PlayStation3 system that compromised 77 million credit card users’ details gained worldwide attention as Sony shutdown its PlayStation network and music streaming service.

The network breach raised questions about how the companies that fall victim to cyber crime can track down hackers, and whether they can overcome the challenges posed by online security breaches.

If the key to security is raising collective consciousness through education, how can this be done effectively? Is the government’s proposed Internet filter an adequate protection measure?

This week in part 2 of Business21C Weekly’s series on cybercrime, we speak to Ross Dawson, keynote speaker and expert on the future of business and technology; and we are joined by a member from the activist hacker group Anonymous, to discuss what is needed to ensure cyber security for individuals and business.

It was a fascinating conversation, particularly given the participation of Anonymous, though as he noted, no one person can truly speak for a distributed network.
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List of the top 100 Twitter cities in the world


While Twitter started in the US, it is now a global activity. Below, courtesy of Twitter Grader’s Top Cities, is the list of the current top 100 cities in the world on Twitter, based on the total number of users who put that city in their location setting.

We have color-coded it to make it easier to see the distribution:
North America: 52 (of which 5 in Canada)
Europe: 20 (of which 9 in UK)
Asia: 16
Latin America: 7
Oceania: 5

See below for the full list. How does your city rank? Is it higher or lower than you would expect?
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Presentation: Build Your Business with Crowdsourcing


Today I spoke at Australian Chambers Business Congress on Build Your Business with Crowdsourcing.

Below are the slides from my presentation. Usual disclaimer: these slides are meant to accompany my presentation, not to stand alone. But in fact this time there is a little more detailed content than usual in my slides, as this was intended as a highly practical session on how to approach crowdsourcing.

I’ll be fleshing out this content in other posts over the coming months.

List of the top 100 Twitter influencers in Australia


One of the key facets of the rise of the reputation economy is that reputation and influence can increasingly be measured. The rise of tools that measure people’s influence in social media channels, such as PeerIndex, Klout, and Twitter Grader, is just the beginning of a far broader shift to metrics of influence and reputation.

We have compiled a list of the most influential people in Australia on Twitter as measured by PeerIndex, which is based on a combination of authority, activity, and audience. Follow the link for the original list, or you can see the top 100 as of today below. Problogger Darren Rowse is at the top, and our Prime Minister Julia Gillard in 100th place. I come in second place on the list, driven in particular by the measurement of my authority. Of course the list could be quite different as judged by other influence engines.

Note that the list does NOT include entertainment related profiles (such as Justin Bieber fan JDBaustralia and Melbourne-based Filipino TV star Jasmine Curtis-Smith), corporate accounts, or media accounts such as ABCNews.
[NOTE:] If you are in Australia, have a PeerIndex score of 50 or more, and are not on the Australia list on PeerIndex, email us at oztwitter [AT] ahtgroup [DOT] com and we’ll add you to the list (or even easier, click on ‘Suggest someone’ on the top right of the PeerIndex page).

The full list is below.
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SkyNews interview on future of tech: Cloud, Privacy, Big data, Reputation, Death of newspapers


Last week just before I flew to China I did an interview on SkyNews Tech Report about the future of today’s technology.

Topics we discussed in the interview include:
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6 critical issues: Why the super injunction story represents a major social turning point


Much ink and many pixels had already been shed on Britain’s super injunction laws before the last week, but the Ryan Giggs case has pushed this into the stratosphere.

In case you’ve been hiding in a closet, Manchester United star Ryan Giggs was awarded a “super injunction” from British courts, forbidding the press to report that he was alleged to have had an affair with Big Brother contestant Imogen Thomas, or even that they had been forbidden to report on it. Some 75,000 tweets and 1 use of parliamentary privilege later, everyone knows anyway.

This is one of those seemingly small incidents on which major social turning points hinge. So many fundamental issues of society, media, and our future are tied into this that it is difficult to disentangle. Here are a few compact thoughts and critical issues on what is at the heart of this extraordinary situation.

– The current super injunction law was created to respond to excesses of the press
The British tabloids have a tradition as world-leaders in muck-racking and invasion of privacy. Their excesses led to what were probably at the time reasonable laws to limit negative social impact from their activities. However the media landscape of today is barely recognizable from when these laws were enacted in 1990.
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The role of a futurist is to help people gain perspective and transcend boundaries


Yesterday I was interviewed by fellow futurist Eric Garland for a podcast series which was also featured on the World Future Society website. You can listen to the podcast on those sites or below (note that I have had some problems with the plug-in).

Our discussion ranged across global demographics, shifts in manufacturing, robotics, and far more. What I thought was worth pulling out of the conversation were my comments on the role of futurists and futures thinking.

The first point is that I am completely comfortable with the term futurist, even if some perceive it as lacking credibility. I’ve long been meaning to write about my views on the word ‘futurist’. I’ll be back soon on that point.
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Notes from the Australian Institute of Company Directors in Beijing


I am at the annual conference of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, held this year in Beijing. It is fantastic that Australian company directors are choosing to meet here rather than at home, broadening vistas and opportunities. The Grand Ballroom at China World Hotel is full, with around 500 people here.

While I don’t have access to Twitter from my iPad (I haven’t had time to try to set up a VPN on my laptop yet) I can at least blog, so I might be doing more of that while I am in Beijing this week.

For now, here are my presentation slides for my keynote on How Technology is Transforming Business this morning. These are just a slightly different version of the presentation I shared last week. You can also find a pdf version of the Transformation of Business framework on which the presentation is based.

A story about Connected: The Film and why you must see it


I saw Connected: The Film by Tiffany Shlain last night at its Australian premiere, organized by Annalie Killian.

The first thing I have to say is that the film is absolutely fantastic. It nails how we as humans live an intensely interdependent world, and how our recognition of and response to that will determine our future. I think the more people that see it the better, so I dearly hope it will get a healthy – or even massive – audience.

I have to say I am not an independent reviewer, and that in itself is a highly relevant story.
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Crowdsourcing among an awesome speaker line-up at Australian Business Congress


The Australian Chambers Business Congress on 1-2 June is shaping up to be one of the top business conferences of the year in Australia, with an awesome speaker line-up. The Congress is organized by the Australian Chamber Alliance, a consortium of all the major business chambers across Australia.

Speakers include Malcolm Gladwell, Michael Porter, Steve Wozniak, Tony Abbott, Anna Bligh plus an array of some of most interesting people in business in Australia and worldwide.

I will be speaking at the Congress on Friday 3rd about Crowdsourcing.

I will do my best to pack in as many practical insights as I can on how to grow your business using crowdsourcing tools. This topic will be a major focus for me for the rest of the year, so stand by for plenty of content on how to get results from crowdsourcing – the scoop will be at the Congress!