Video excerpts of keynote speech for Sun Microsystems Partner Executive Forum: The Future of the Network Economy


I recently gave the keynote speech for a Sun Microsystems Partner Executive Forum, where Sun brought together the top executives from its extensive partner network for an update and relationship building session.

Below is an 8 min video containing brief excerpts from my keynote, titled The Future of the Network Economy.

Topics covered in the video include:

* In the Depression of the 1930s there was little structural change in the economy; in the current downturn there will be massive change.

* In a connected world you can – and must – reposition yourself across boundaries.

* Scale-free networks provide a common structure across society, web, infrastructure and more.

* Collaborative filtering is where the web is going: it enables us to find what is most relevant to us from infinite content.

* Open innovation requires identifying and stimulating the social networks where relevant ideas are proliferating.

* Our individual and organizational reputations will precede us, giving us and others insights into our expertise, reliability, and credibility.

* Strategy in an economy based on the flow of information and ideas requires us to rethink alliances and identify opportunities in new domains.

* The law of requisite variety means we must be at least as flexible as our environment.

* Studying ants’ collective behavior can help organizations understand how to tap emergence to create value.

Keynote: The Future of Technology in Aged Care


Last week I gave a keynote speech on The Future of Technology in Aged Care at the Aged Care Association Annual Congress. In this case I wanted to take the audience on a big-picture journey into where aged care is going, which went down very well between the many high-detail presentations at the conference.

I was invited as a general futurist, though I have in fact written and being interviewed on the topic of aged care frequently before, particularly on the role of robots in aged care, including in a feature article in Newsday.

Below is a brief snapshot of five key facets of how technology will transform aged care.

1. Telemedicine

Health care is being transformed by connectivity. This ranges from simple applications such as monitoring medical data through to remote surgery, bringing the skills of the best doctors anywhere in the world. Accenture’s Online Medicine Cabinet is an example of how patients and the elderly can have their health monitored from home, and their medications managed effectively. Now robots such as the one in the video above can visit patients or do rounds in the ward, linking them directly by video to doctors or nurses.

Read more

Scenario planning: strategy for the future of global financial services


For my keynote at the Vision 2020 Financial Services conference last month in Mumbai I prepared some ‘quick and dirty’ scenarios for the global financial services industry landscape in 2020 from a technology perspective. Below is an overview of the content I used in my presentation. The complete slide deck from my keynote is also available, though it needs the explanation as below.

WARNING: These are scenarios prepared for a presentation, so they are far from rigorous or comprehensive. True scenarios should have fully developed storylines that evoke the richness of how the scenario unfolds and could actually happen. To be truly valuable, scenarios need to be created for a specific organization or strategic decisions – generic scenarios are of limited value. Always work with someone highly experienced in the field – most consultants that claim to do scenario planning are making it up. The Driving Forces and Critical Uncertainties identified below are highly summarized, and would be presented and aggregated very differently in a real scenario project. OK warning over, on with the content…

Scenario planning

Scenario planning recognizes that beyond a certain degree of uncertainty forecasting is of limited value (or can even be detrimental to good decisions). The process of creating a set of relevant, plausible, and complementary scenarios (more than the scenarios themselves) can be invaluable in creating and implementing effective, responsive strategies.

The heart of the scenario planning process is distinguishing between Driving Forces (consistent long-term trends) and Critical Uncertainties (unpredictable elements). Once these are identified, they are brought together to create a set of scenarios that reflect both what you know and what you don’t know about how the environment will change.

The image below shows a sanitized version of the process for a scenario planning project I ran for a major financial institution. This was quite a streamlined process relative to a comprehensive scenario planning project, however was designed to bring the insights directly into the existing group and divisional strategy process.


Below are the scenarios in detail:

  • Driving Forces: Global Financial Services
  • Critical Uncertainties: Global Financial Services
  • Scenario Framework for Global Financial Services
  • Four Scenarios for Global Financial Services


1. Economic shift

Economic power is shifting to the major developing countries. The BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China) together host close to half the world’s population, and their pace of economic development means that before long there will be multiple economic superpowers. In addition, global economic growth is shifting to the virtual, and developing countries will gradually wean themselves from primary and secondary industries to be significantly based on knowledge-based services.

Read more

Keynote for Optus Business: Five Driving Forces of Connected Business


I have just completed delivering keynotes in six cities as part of a national roadshow for Optus Business. Optus’ annual client event, this year titled Beyond 08, was a morning event for its clients and prospects in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Canberra. The sessions began with my keynote on Surviving and Thriving in a Connected World, followed by Optus executives presenting insight and client case studies on mobility and IP convergence. Each event included an exhibition featuring Alphawest, the ITC services firm Optus acquired three years ago, and a broad array of Optus Business delivery partner organizations.

Rather than try to run through my entire keynote presentation here, I thought it would be useful to include the key content from just one of the five sections, on the Driving Forces that are transforming a connected world. The rest of the keynote describes in detail what connected business looks like, winning strategies for organizations in a connected economy, and finally the action that needs to be taken to succeed.

The five driving forces of Connected Business are:

1. Connectivity

Increasing connectivity is an overwhelming force, shaping society and business. We have come a long way since the first mobile phones that weighed less than a brick in the early 1990s and the birth of the graphic web browser in 1993. As we shift to pervasive connectivity, giving us access to all the people and information resources of humanity wherever we go, entirely new possibilities are emerging on who we are and how we live our lives. As messages flow rapidly between us, the people on the planet are becoming connected as tightly as the neurons in our brains, giving rise to an extraordinary global brain in which we are all participating.

Read more

Keynote presentation: Creating the Future of Financial Services


At the 2020 Vision Financial Services conference yesterday I promised I’d have the full content of my presentation here up within days. But my schedule means I probably won’t be able to get it up for a week or so, so for now I’ll just put up the slides. The usual warnings apply – my presentation slides are not meant to be meaningful by themselves, but to accompany my speech, so unless you were there, I suggest you wait until I do the full write up of the presentation.

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