Launch of Futurist Influence Rankings app

We have just launched a Futurist Influence Rankings tracker, you can see the original here and an embed of the app below.

It is certainly not intended to be rigorous, but simply to give an indication of how influential futurists are on social media and the web by combining a few key indicators such as Klout, web traffic and Twitter followers, using a simple algorithm.

No doubt we are missing quite a few futurists who should be included on the list. Just let us know if there’s anyone we should add to the list.

Feel free to embed it on your site if you wish.

Enjoy, and be sure not to take it too seriously! :-)

Last week I visited Melbourne Spring Fashion Week as a guest of IBM and the City of Melbourne.

City of Melbourne’s over-arching vision for the annual Melbourne Spring Fashion Week is to position Melbourne as Australia’s premier fashion destination, and have a real economic impact by driving increased sales for retailers in the city.


In partnering with IBM for the second year the intention was to extend the impact of the event beyond the week and to drive ticket sales and in turn sales by tapping the social currency of influencers.

Melbourne Spring Fashion Week is unusual in fashion shows in that everything on the runways can be bought at stores in the city. This contrasts to the traditional role of fashion shows as breaking new fashion, which may not be available for many months after it is launched.

Melbourne Spring Fashion Week used IBM Social Media Analytics on Twitter and Instagram to uncover the top 50 relevant fashion influencers, used Watson Personality Insights to work out how best to approach them, and invited them to be MSFW “insiders”, asking them what content would be most useful to them.

Ticket sales have been considerably higher than last year, with 4 of the events sold out.

The initiative is particularly interesting in showing how social analytics and engagement can help drive shoppers into shopping centers and physical stores.

While individual stores can do a great deal to merge their digital, social and physical engagement, the real power comes in bringing people to a shopping center or area, or even an entire city center.

All shopping is becoming social. Retail strategies for merging physical and digital are best envisaged and implemented on a large scale, tapping collaboration and activating buyers.

Image credit: Eva Rinaldi

I first met Mark Zawacki when I did the opening keynote at the ANZA Technology Conference in Silicon Valley in 2004, and Mark was also a speaker at the event. Mark has since founded the highly-regarded corporate accelerator 650Labs, which helps leading global corporates to drive innovation.

More recently I have met Catherine Stace, CEO of Cure Brain Cancer Foundation, who has brought inspiring and truly disruptive approaches to medical research philanthropy, by focusing on making research far more collaborative and effective rather than simply funding antiquated research models.

It is no surprise that collaboration between Mark and Catherine has created something exceptional: SWITCH Festival, to be held in Sydney 27-29 August.
Continue reading SWITCH festival shows the power and potential of cross-industry collaboration

I recently gave a series of opening keynotes on The Future of Customer Experience as part of a roadshow for omnichannel customer experience platform provider Genesys, which is running a global series of events for their lead customers, which includes organizations such as News Limited, Vodafone, Western Union, and the Australian Taxation Office.

The central theme of my keynotes was the boundaries and relationship between humans and machines in customer experience.

Today, extraordinary insights from data and analytics enable us to address individual’s unique preferences to an unprecedented degree.

Yet the emotion, empathy and engagement of humans cannot be replaced – we all seek personal connection and a real sense of caring.
Continue reading The virtual agent of the future: Real-time photo-realistic human faces that bridge the human/ machine divide

Advanced Human Technologies Group has just launched Creating the Future of PR, a publication that looks at how the Public Relations industry can create an exceptional future for itself and its clients in a fast-changing world.
In my article Join Us in Creating the Future of PR I frame the context for the launch of the publication:

The fundamental capabilities of PR professionals are more relevant than ever in our intensely networked world. Arguably, PR should be at the center of the marketing universe, since it is better able than any other discipline to deal with a world driven by relationships, fueled by connectivity, social, mobile, and power shifting to the individual.

The big question is: will the PR industry seize the immense opportunity before it?

Continue reading Launch of Creating the Future of PR – shaping an exceptional future for the industry

Harnessing the power of innovation: networks are at the heart

Every organization understands they need to innovate, not just in bringing new offerings to market, but in continually becoming a new and better organization.

Networks are always at the heart of innovation. The new comes from combining the old in original ways.

Chemist Kary Mullis aptly described how he arrived at his innovations that won him the Nobel Prize in 1993:

“I put together elements that were already there, but that’s what inventors always do. You can’t make up new elements, usually. The new element, if any, it was the combination, the way they were used.”

Whether it is bringing together existing ideas to create new ideas, or connecting people in ways that generate new insights, organizations must design how they work to facilitate value-generating connections.
Continue reading Harnessing the power of innovation: networks are at the heart

What happens when the home of the future crashes?

This morning I was interviewed on the Mornings TV program about the future of homes, based on an interesting interactive infographic of how our homes may change over the next 15 years.

Click on the image below to watch a video of the segment.
Continue reading What happens when the home of the future crashes?

The latest results from IBM’s annual Smarter Consumer Study provide interesting insights.

If consumers are smarter, they are expressing it with not just increased expectations, but an increasingly active expression of their displeasure if expectations are not met.

The following chart, provided to me by IBM in response to a request for more detailed information, shows that in all major countries advocates – those who actively advocate for their primary retailer – have decreased, while antagonists – those who would actively discredit their retailer – have increased.

Source: IBM
Continue reading Consumer expectations continue to rise: advocacy reduces, antagonism rises, but trust enables value creation

The City Initiatives for Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CITIE), a joint venture of NESTA, Catapult, and Accenture, has just release a very interesting report on the drivers of innovation in major cities globally.

The CITIE Framework examines 9 different areas in which cities can support entrepreneurship and innovation, shown here:
Continue reading Insights into the levers of innovation in 40 major cities globally

Org charts have long been used to show people the formal reporting lines in organizations, usually as a hierarchy with different levels.

However organizations are regularly re-organized, requiring a new org chart to be created. In fact, organizations are completely dynamic, changing in ways small and large every single day.

A fantastic video (below) depicts the continuous and frequently dramatic changes in the org chart of Autodesk over a 4 year period, in what the creators describe as an OrgOrgChart (Organic Organizational Chart). It’s well worth watching.

Continue reading Understanding organizational change: Exceptional visualizations of evolving org charts

A little while ago an article The future for law firms: virtual law firms, legal outsourcing and the battle for talent appeared in Thomson Legal reporting on some of my thoughts on where the legal industry is headed.

The article opens:
Continue reading The future of law firms: new structures, virtualization, fluid talent, social media-driven reputation

I recently did the opening keynote on Creating the Future of News at the International News & Media Association World Congress in New York, which brought together over 400 senior news executives from 45 countries.

Below is a video excerpt of the opening minutes of my keynote.

You can see a video of the complete keynote here, and the static presentation slides here (though much of my visual presentation was video).
Continue reading How to create an extraordinarily successful future for the news industry


About the Blog author

Ross Dawson Photo

Ross Dawson is globally recognized as a leading futurist, entrepreneur, keynote speaker, strategy advisor, and bestselling author. He is Founding Chairman of AHT Group, which consists of 3 companies: consulting, publishing, and ventures firm Advanced Human Technologies, future and strategy firm Future Exploration Network, and events company The Insight Exchange.

Ross is author most recently of Getting Results From Crowds, the prescient Living Networks, which anticipated the social network revolution, the bestseller Developing Knowledge-Based Client Relationships, and Implementing Enterprise 2.0. (click on the links for free chapter downloads). He is based in Sydney and San Francisco with his wife jewellery designer Victoria Buckley and two beautiful young daughters.

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