SkillsOneTV: Ross Dawson on the future of work


SkillsOne is the TV channel of the Institute for Trade Skills Excellence, providing video programming both on cable TV and online to promote the development of trade skills. Last May it

won the Webby award for the best association website.

Shortly after SkillsOne was founded last year I was interviewed by the channel on the future of work. The full interview was run on the cable programming, while two 3 minute excerpts from the interview are provided online. Part 1 of the interview is below – I’ll post Part 2 a little later.

A quick summary of the key points I made in this segment:

Two questions when you are considering a trade or profession:

* Is it possible that computers or machines will be able to do this?

* Is it possible that someone working overseas will be able to do this for clients here?

In a global connected economy we must become more and more specialized, otherwise our work become commoditized. However specialists must collaborate closely with others in order to create value.

The Future of Financial Services – the Indian perspective


I’m writing at the Vision 2020 Financial Services Sector conference in Mumbai where I’m giving the keynote speech. I’ll post a review of my presentation later, and here will post notes from the interesting speakers and my conversations on the day, combined with my own reflections.

[UPDATE:] The complete write-up of my presentation Strategy for the Future of Global Financial Services is now up.

The conference is organized by NDTV Convergence and Wipro. NDTV runs all of the online operations of NDTV, a diversified media company centered on its business TV channel. Wipro is one of the top three IT services companies in India – for each of Wipro, TCS, and Infosys financial services is their largest client sector.

Public sector banks and transformation to a true market economy

India has 23 public sector banks, which means they are owned at least 51% by the government. In most cases these are listed companies with a wide variety of investors. While it is now well over a decade since India began its transition from a largely nationalized economy, there is still a long way to go. There is unlikely to be large scale privatization for the foreseeable future, and in many sectors other than banking there remains major shifts required to move to open market attitudes and competitiveness.

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24 hours in Mumbai – thought leadership seminar


It’s an extremely busy two weeks. On top of many client deadlines I have four speaking engagements in Australia and one in India this week and next. I’m about to hop on a plane to Mumbai and will be there for 24 hours – unfortunately this time I have to get back as soon as possible though I have a long term plan to do a longer trip around the tech centers in India to speak and find out the best of what’s happening.

The event I’m speaking at has already got quite a lot of attention – see one of a series of press releases that have got on the web below, also from Dishtracking, Indian Television, India Infoonline etc.

At the seminar I will be coming back to one of my key themes – the future of financial services. I have developed a scenario framework for the event that I’ll share later on this blog. If we’re looking out to 2020, then we do need to take a scenario approach, as there are massive uncertainties ranging across geopolitics, the economy, industry structure, volatility, and how technology is applied. I will be extremely interested to hear what financial services leaders in Mumbai are saying, as the sector underpins how India is participating in the global economy. More on this later.

NDTV Convergence and Wipro announce the launch of Vision 2020- Financial Services Sector

India Infoline News Service

‘Mr. Ross Dawson’, internationally renowned keynote speaker and authority on business strategy will be in India to speak at ’Vision 2020- Financial Services Sector’- a thought leadership seminar by NDTV Convergence and Wipro Infotech, the India and Middle East arm of Wipro Ltd. Ross is the CEO of international consulting firm, Advanced Human Technologies, and Chairman of Future Exploration Network, a global events and strategy company.

The seminar will feature eminent speakers from the industry who will be sharing their perspectives on topics like the future of private and retail banking, mergers and acquisitions, and competition and challenges in the financial sector in the Year 2020.

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Keynote speech in India: The Future of Global Financial Services


It has been several years now since I have been to India, where I last ran some executive workshops on high-value relationships for some of India’s largest companies. I will be back in Mumbai next week to deliver the keynote address on The Future of Global Financial Services at the Vision 2020 Financial Services conference, run by Wipro and NDTV Profit, the Indian business news channel. The speaker line-up includes the top executives of many of India’s major banks. I am the only international speaker.


The event is highly focused on the future, creating a vision of what the financial services sector will look like in 2020, and in particular the relationship between banks and their customers in a world transformed by economic growth, social change, and technology.

The overview of my keynote on the future of global financial services is:

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How smaller countries and regions can develop their film and screen industries – 5 key issues


One of the issues that I am increasingly shifting my attention to is how smaller developed economies compete in an intensely connected global economy. For example, in different sectors Ireland, Finland, Israel, and Singapore have had significant success in shifting their economic structure. While the large economies of US, Japan, and Western Europe as well as the emerging BRIC giants face their own issues, there are a particular set of challenges for smaller countries or regions. In addition to the general drivers of economic success in a hyper-connected world, there are a range of specific issues within industries, particularly in the media and technology sectors.

The Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development in the Australian state of Victoria recently commissioned an independent review of the screen industry in the state, which goes through to a proposed vision for the future of the industry in the state. Beyond this specific initiatives will be established. The review was performed by consulting firm Nous Group, and I was an ‘Expert Advisor’ on the review. The Screen Industy value chain (as below) on page 14 of the report was developed based on some of my thinking, including my Future of Media Strategic Framework.


The Victorian Screen Industry Review can be downloaded, and makes for some very interesting reading.

Below is a summary of the key trends identified in the report across sectors, followed by five key issues raised by the report.

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Global media strategies: review of Future of Media Summit panel


I’ve been trying to get the time to do reviews of the key panels at the Future of Media Summit, but it’s been tough to get. Here I will kick off with a quick review of the Global Media Strategies panel. The fantastic cast of speakers that I moderated was:

Loic Le Meur, CEO, Seesmic

Chris Tolles, CEO, Topix

Willie Pang, Head of Yahoo! Search Marketing Australia/ New Zealand

Craig Blair, Executive Director, netus

Global media strategies is the one topic that is covered every single year at the Future of Media Summit. One of the main reasons we run an event across two locations simultaneously – in the Bay Area and Sydney – is to gain insights into the differences between media markets. On each side of the event, by comparing experiences across variations in market size, media ownership structure, regulation, culture, broadband and mobile data access etc., we can think usefully about what it takes to build and implement global media strategies.

In the very popular Future of Media Report 2008 that accompanied our event, we included insights such as the expected growth in advertising revenue 2007 – 2010 in both dollar and percentage terms, illustrated below. While the largest absolute growth will be in the US, emerging nations are where the bulk of new value will come from.


Here are just a few of the insights from the panel discussion that remain from my notes and scattered brain cells.

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UK and Australia lead the world in online advertising per capita


Techcrunch has just published a very interesting analysis of valuations of social networks. Here is its methodology:

Our model takes Comscore data for available countries and regions. We’ve graphed each of 26 well known social networks with the data we have been able to collect. We’ve then calculated the average advertising spend (estimated by PriceWaterhouseCoopers in a recent report ) for each person online in each of those countries. For example, in the U.S., the total 2008 estimated Internet advertising spend is $25.2 billion. We’ve divided that by the number of people online in the U.S. according to Comscore (191 million), to get an average Internet spend per person of $132.

I have charted the figures of interactive advertising spend per Internet user from this data below.


Source: Techcrunch, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Comscore

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Writing about the global talent economy (and blogging less?)


I’m now back from holidays and launching myself into 2008. We went up the North Coast of NSW, and had a rather adventurous time of it, what with massive flooding in the region (see below one of the bridges we crossed which had been through a tough time, while other roads we attempted were completely cut off).


It was a very refreshing break, and it does feel to me that I’m moving into a new phase in my work. Part it is that I have committed to carve out time from my burgeoning speaking work, the growth of Future Exploration Network, and organizing our Enterprise 2.0 and Future of Media summits this year to write a book about the global talent economy.

Full details will come later, as I’m still writing the proposal and haven’t sold the book yet. The five key premises behind the book are:

Almost all economic growth will come from talent. As the economy shifts to the intangible, everything that has value – knowledge, ideas, innovation, content, expertise, effective strategic positioning – comes from talented people.

The global availability of talent is exploding. Professionals are leaving big firms to work as independents, retirees are selling their expertise part-time, and most importantly communications technologies are allowing people anywhere on the planet to provide high-value services based on expertise and creativity. Global talent is becoming a massive highly liquid economy which will dominate the global economy moving forward.

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Bill Amelio, CEO of Lenovo, and Ross Dawson interviewed on global sourcing


Mark Jones of The Scoop, a recently launched podcast series from the Australian Financial Review and MIS Magazine, recently interviewed Bill Amelio, CEO of PC manufacturer Lenovo (formerly the PC division of IBM), and myself in a discussion on global sourcing.

Click here to go to The Scoop podcast page.

Amelio has been a strong proponent of what he calls “worldsourcing,” laying out the ideas in a recent article in Forbes titled Worldsource or Perish. Some have seen this stance as a way of diverting attention from the significant Chinese ownership of the company. A more relevant perspective is that Lenovo is a harbinger of the truly global corporations of the future, which will be very different animals from the companies of today. Currently almost all large companies have very distinct single national identities (primarily American) that are spread across many countries, despite the common rhetoric of global organizational cultures.

In the podcast Amelio discusses Lenovo’s perspective on sourcing design and products from wherever they’re best found around the planet, and Lenovo’s current challenges.

Some of the issues I raise in the interview include:

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Keynote speech: Success in the global economy: The future of business in the age of networks


I am doing a speech at the American Club in Sydney on Success in the global economy: The future of business in the age of networks this coming 12 September. Details below – click through to get the invitation and registration details. I’ll provide some of the content on this blog around the time of the speech. Hope to see you there!


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