Travelling for work: 7 principles for productivity and value


Over the last 9 weeks I’ve been on a plane every week, have been on 26 flights or inter-city trains, and delivered 28 keynotes or workshops across 8 countries. This week I will be at home all week :-).

I have long had the concept of “the right amount of travel”, that is enough but not too much. How much that is depends on personal temperament, your relationship and family situation, health, life stage, and many other things. I do love travelling but there is certainly such a thing as too much. Fortunately on the European segment of my recent travels Victoria and the girls spent four weeks based out of Paris to overlap with me, so we were able to spend time together there and in London, which made it a lot more palatable.

The nature of my work is that I do have to travel extensively, so it is critical that I get the most out of my time travelling. I need to work at getting better at it myself, but here are some principles that I try to work by, and you might find useful.

1. Travel is the ultimate learning experience.
I am fortunate in that I travel widely rather than to the same places all the time, so I always have things to learn wherever I go. Wherever I go I look around myself continuously to learn from what I see, whoever I meet I ask about what they are seeing change, whatever companies I engage with I observe their unique culture and experiences. While all of this is of course essential to a futurist, I believe we all need to take every opportunity available to learn what is happening across the glorious global diversity of business, society, and humanity.
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London Future and Design drinks on 23 April – hope to see you there!


I start a busy five week European speaking tour from this Saturday with a weekend in London with my wife the jewellery designer Victoria Buckley and two lovely little girls before heading on the Tuesday to Amsterdam for my first keynote at TheNextWeb Conference.

Since Victoria and I will both be in London I wanted to organize a catch-up drinks for people we know, and also anyone else who wants to come along. As such I thought we could frame it as a ‘Future and Design’ drinks, with all welcome. Details here:

Date: Monday 23 April
Time: 6:00-8:30pm
Venue: Alphabet Bar, 61-63 Beak Street, Soho, London W1F 9SL (Map)
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Explorer le futur en France et en français


Ceci est le premier billet de blog que j’écris en français. Je suis Australien, né à Canberra, mais mon père travaillais pour l’ONU et j’ai passé presque tout ma jeunesse à Genève. Je vivais ainsi à quelques kilomètres de la France et j’y allais tous les samedis pour skier. Cela fait bien longtemps que je n’ai pas vécu dans un pays francophone, mais heureusement je n’ai pas trop oublié mon français.

Je vais passer de la fin avril à la fin mai en Europe, commençant avec un keynote à The Next Web à Amstersdam sur The Future of Crowds et enchaînant par la suite avec diverses conférences et ateliers, entre autres, à Londres, Luxembourg, Cologne, Moscou et Milan.

Durant cette visite, mais aussi dans les années à venir, j’ai l’intention d’augmenter mon visibilité et de travailler beaucoup plus en France. La France et le français ont joué un rôle très important dans mon passé et je voudrais qu’il en soit de même pour mon avenir.
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Apologies! The contact form has been down since late October


Not a good start to the day. Through a potential client following up on the phone and email after having not received a response to a message on the contact form, I discovered that it has not been working since the end of October.

It is now working again. So if you have tried to contact me on the form over the last six weeks, could I ask you to get in touch again?

Very sorry! :-(

Looking for talented editors/ writers / project managers / social media on cool tech, media, and future topics


We have just posted an ad on Elance, looking for editors/ writers/ project managers for some of our existing and forthcoming online publications.

Please apply on Elance if this seems like a match, or pass it on to others if you think it might be of interest. If you have questions before applying you can use our contact form. We hope to find some awesome people!

Talented editors/ writers / project managers / social media for cool tech and future topics

We run a series of content websites on topics related to technology, media, and the future, among many other activities.

We are looking for highly talented editors/ project managers who can drive quality content and traffic on these sites.
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Five awesome music videos


Of a Saturday morning I feel like watching some nice videos and music as I work. So, as we go along, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite music videos:

Bjork – All is full of love

One of the best videos ever, exploring the future of sexuality amid humans merging with machines. If you like this kind of stuff, check out our new media site: Future of Sex.
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Random thoughts on changing web platforms and blogging


I’m back writing on my blog after 2 1/2 weeks break. For the first time ever for my personal blog, I’m using a WordPress interface.

I’ve used several platforms for my blog since I launched in 2002, with the last three years on an increasingly dated version of Movable Type.

So over the holirday period I bit the bullet on technology on several fronts:
* We moved my blog, including over 1,000 posts since 2002, onto WordPress. We currently have 4 Movable Type and 8 or so Worsdpress sites, and are starting to shift to to WordPress only.
* We migrated all the blog comments from Movable Type to Disqus which will be the commenting platform from now.
* We shifted my web host from Media Temple to Rackspace, moving 20 or so websites including blogs, companies, books, events, forums and more.
* We moved all our email over to Google Apps.
* We are about to start using Zoho Projects, having paid for and barely used Basecamp for two years.

I’ll hope to get back later to say a bit more about the reasons for all this. But for now I though I’d share just a few prominent thoughts about the experience.

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Holiday time!


That’s it – work done for the year.

We’re heading off to Melbourne for Christmas with Victoria’s family, then up to a cabin in the rainforests of the Dandenongs for a week.

I’m back to work on January 10, and looking forward to a fabulous 2011!

I’ll be occasionally checking email or you can always speak to Julie at the office if anything urgent.

12th Annual Self-Employed and Entrepreneurs Xmas Drinks – Sydney – Drinks sponsors welcome!


This is the now the 12th year that I and some of my friends are running the Self-Employed and Entrepreneurs Xmas Drinks in Sydney. It began when I and many of my friends didn’t have the glamorous and social (i.e. more than one person!) Christmas parties of the employed, so decided to celebrate together.

So, if you are self-employed, an entrepreneur, or work for a micro-business or start-up we’d be delighted if you joined us. Those who are employed but have friends who are self-employed are also very welcome – this is all about having a fun time!

Date: Tuesday, 21 December, 2010

Location: Front bar, Centennial Hotel, 88 Oxford Street, Woollahra, Sydney

Time: 6pm – 9pm

There is a Facebook page for the event if you’d like to check it out or say you’re coming.

Drinks and nice pizzas are available for purchase at the bar.

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Looking for Amazing Multi-Talented Content Project Manager/ Editor/ Web Dev – Part-time – Sydney


Things are crazy busy here, with lots of great stuff on the boil. While our businesses have always been primarily about content, we are starting to make some of these activities more scaleable. As such we’re looking for someone to help us on that journey.

Below is the ad on If you can think of anyone who would be perfect for the role and interested in this, please let them know!

Amazing Multi-Talented Content Project Manager/ Editor/ Web Dev – Part-time – Sydney

Apply your awesome talent and intelligence to cutting-edge highly visible content projects: reports, web, iPad, events and more: part-time/ flexible

• We are looking for someone extremely talented at content creation and projects

• Drive cutting-edge content projects with global visibility

• Working on reports, online media, iPad apps, and/ or software dev – whatever you’re best at

• Based in Sydney’s digital hub Surry Hills – part-time and highly flexible hours

We want talent!

We believe in talent. We want someone exceptional. Rather than a particular skill set, we are looking for a very special person who has outstanding capabilities at language, technology, and ideas, can run effective projects, and add a lot of value to what we do.

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