The massive opportunity to convert data explosion into business value and rapid innovation

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I was recently interviewed for an article How we will learn to love big data for ICAS that explores the capabilities required to convert the extraordinary potential of data profusion into true business value.

The article was written for an accounting audience, however the issues are relevant to all professionals.

Indeed every company needs to find and develop professionals who can turn massive data into value, better decisions, and enhanced innovation, in particular by applying lean start-up thinking and methodologies to every aspect of the business.

Below are some excerpted quotes from the full article:
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The past and current state of futurist associations around the world

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Recently, I wrote about the work that Ross Dawson and I have done researching government agencies/ projects around the world that use futures and foresight methods. We have also researched the many futurist associations around the world and have developed a list of associations that:

  1. Are specifically focused on futures and foresight methods
  2. Have a reasonable number of members
  3. Are formally organized
  4. Are currently active

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The Value of Collaboration: Improving Innovation in University-Business Relationships

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This paper was originally published in Academic Leadership Series: Improving Innovation and Collaboration Between Industry and Business Schools, based on a keynote by Ross Dawson at CA ANZ Thought Leadership Forum.

Introduction

What is the value of academic–business collaboration? The current landscape suggests that there is much potential value that is not being realised, which begs the question, what is possible? What value can be created through utilising the wealth of resources we have in the academic–business sector, for the benefit of the business community and society more broadly?
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Re-envisaging the organization in a rapidly changing world

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I recently gave a keynote on Business in the Age of AI at Oracle CloudWorld.

After my keynote I was interviewed about some of the key messages in my keynote. Here is one of the short videos created.

Below is a transcript of my comments in the video.
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The only good reason to speak is to change people

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I have been a professional speaker for over 18 years, alongside the various entrepreneurial endeavors that have kept me busy over the last couple of decades.

It is a great privilege. Speaking is a truly wonderful way to make a living. I get to travel all around the world, having done paid speaking engagements in 30 countries so far. I learn in every engagement, in preparing to do the best job possible each time and by being exposed to a wonderful diversity of people, organizations, and industries. And I love the performance of professional speaking, stemming from my younger days as a musician.

However speaking must be done with purpose.
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An overview of futures and foresight in government agencies around the world

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In 2014 Sweden made headlines as the first nation to appoint a Minister for the Future, Kristina Persson. Unfortunately, her role only lasted for a year and a half. Sweden’s experience with long-term planning at such a high level is common. Many governments spend a few months to a year thinking about the long-term future before taking a break.

The context for foresight in government

For governments to plan for the long-term future, they must first sustain their efforts at long-term thinking. Long-term thinking actually has a history of at least 100 years in national governance. In fact, an entire field has built up in that time devoted to helping organizations, both public and private, to forecast, plan, and prepare for the future.
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How far will the shift in power to individuals go?

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A few weeks ago I gave the keynote at the Asian Forum on Enterprise for Society in Manila, Philippines. The conference began as Asian Forum on Corporate Social Responsibility in 2002, this year celebrating the anniversaries of the convenors, 50 years for Asian Institute of Management (AIM) and 60 years for Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation (RMAF).

I was honored to give the opening address on How Different Will the Future Be?, immediately preceding the keynote by the Vice-President of Philippines, Leni Robredo, who drew on her background as a social activist lawyer to present a powerful view of possibilities, in fact echoing many of my themes of platforms and cross-boundary collaboration.

One of the themes of my keynote was the massive trend of the shift in power to individuals.
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Using stress scenarios to manage risk and enhance strategy

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I recently ran a small project for the technology division of a major financial institution that is planning its workforce requirements over the next 3-5 years.

They recognized that there are substantial uncertainties to their planning, including how financial services will be delivered, the types of technologies that will be used, the specific skills that will be required, the availability of those skills in the market, and the organisational structures for internal technology services.

As such they wanted to apply scenario planning to make sure they were addressing those uncertainties in their planning.
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Keynote slides: Business in the Age of AI

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This morning I am giving a keynote at Oracle CloudWorld Sydney on Business in the Age of AI.

Below are the slides to my keynote. As always, my slides are designed to provide visual support for my presentation, not to be useful on their own, however may be of interest even to those who didn’t attend, especially in the 7 key elements to an AI strategy, also summarized below.

Conversations with scenario thinker and networker extraordinaire Napier Collyns

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Napier Collyns has long been an eminence grise of the world of foresight, not publicly visible but immensely influential in his ideas and connections, especially through his role as co-founder of Global Business Network and his seminal work as part of the original team at Shell in the 1970s that created modern scenario planning. In my book Living Networks I used him as my case study of the most extraordinary networker I know. He is the closest to a mentor that I have had in my long career as futurist and even before. A memoir of his life is currently being prepared by International Futures Forum.

In 2008 I recorded a video of a conversation with Napier on a diverse array of topics. Below is the video together with a full transcript. It provides deep insights into scenario thinking and how the history of scenario planning has shaped its role in business today, perspectives on the evolution of human networks and networking and assistance in the “gentle art of re-perceiving”.

Conversation: Napier Collyns and Ross Dawson from Ross Dawson on Vimeo.

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