Four lessons learned from 12 years of blogging

It is 12 years since I started this Trends in the Living Networks blog to accompany the launch of my book Living Networks. It is interesting to look at my posts from October 2002, in which I reflected on some of the earlier signs of the networks coming to life.

The original blog was on the book website, but a couple of years later I moved it to this domain, rossdawsonblog.com. At the time I put quite a lot of consideration into whether that was a good name, given that ‘blog’ was a neologism that might fade or be replaced.

The concept of a blog is now firmly mainstream, with not just tens of millions of people and many companies blogging, but a significant chunk of mainstream media having shifted to blog-like formats.

I still spot many articles about how to get attention to your new blog, and many people still seem to be setting up blogs (though of course many are also abandoning them after having tried for a while).

So what are some of the things I have learned from 12 years of blogging?
Continue reading Four lessons learned from 12 years of blogging

The rise of robots in retail will be swift

Yesterday US retail chain Lowe’s announced that it will be launching a robot assistant named OSHbot in one of its Orchard Supply Hardware outlets.

The Wall Street Journal notes:
Continue reading The rise of robots in retail will be swift

What is the future of robots in human society?

Last week I was delighted to speak alongside Prof. Hiroshi Ishiguro at the SAP APJ Leadership Summit in Singapore, and spend time with him as we did video interviews to support the event.

I have followed Prof. Ishiguro’s work for many years, first writing about him on this blog in 2006 in a post Being in two places at the same time when he launched his first Geminoid robot. Below is a video of more recent versions of his Geminoid robots that duplicate real humans.


Continue reading What is the future of robots in human society?

Will real-time big data feedback transform sports?

This evening I was at SAP’s Asia-Pacific Japan 25th Anniversary Leadership Summit in Singapore, which brought together a small group of leaders of SAP’s major customers in the region for an exclusive dinner at the Shangri-La hotel.

The guest speakers were myself, speaking on How Hyperconnectivity Will Fuel Asia’s Growth, and Stacey Allaster, President of the Women’s Tennis Association.

Stacey, together with WTA founder Billie-Jean King and last year’s Wimbledon winner Marion Bortoli, fielded questions about this week’s announcement that the WTA is allowing in-game coaching using real-time data from the match.

WTA_SAP
Billie-Jean King, Women’s Tennis Association President Stacey Allaster, and Marion Bartoli at the SAP APJ Leadership summit in Singapore
Continue reading Will real-time big data feedback transform sports?

I recently delivered a keynote on the Future of Work and Jobs at the Youth in Technology conference organized by the Australian Computer Society.

An article in CIO magazine titled Humans versus machines: Who will be employed in future? reviewed some of the highlights of Dawson’s speech. After the article’s opening it quotes:
Continue reading A positive view on the future of human work as intelligent machines rise

For decades management theorists have argued over whether and when organizations should be centralized or decentralized.

However the situation is now dramatically different than it was before, as we become richly connected and the world we live in becomes increasingly complex and interdependent.

A new paper reviewed by Stanford Graduate School of Business examines the relative success of firms through the recent global “Great Recession”, depending on their degree of centralization.

The authors, Nicholas Bloom of Stanford University, Philippe Aghion of Harvard University, Raffaella Sadun from Harvard Business School, and John Van Reenen from London School of Economics, reportedly found that:
Continue reading Study: Decentralized organizations will win, especially in challenging times

4 important implications of us reaching Crunch Time

A little while ago we released our “Crunch Time” framework, looking at the 14 domains where we are hitting dramatic disruption, including work, money, privacy, government, education, media, climate and more. You can see the full Crunch Time framework on the Future Exploration Network website.

We have created a short video to introduce the concept of Crunch Time, and the four major implications that apply across the board.


Continue reading 4 important implications of us reaching Crunch Time

5 uncertainties that will shape the future of wearable technology

The rise of wearables is one of the biggest emerging trends in consumer technology. Over the last decade our primary interfaces with connected technology have shifted from fixed computers to devices that we can carry in our pockets or bags. The next phase is for our interfaces to be worn on our body.

While it is always hard to predict consumer response to new technologies, it is safe to say that any early adopters will take to the next generation of devices with alacrity. While traditionalists will remain, certainly over time many who now choose to wear a wristwatch will replace it with a device that does far more than tell the time.

As the wearables landscape emerges there are 5 major uncertainties to consider:

How fast and far will we shift how we access information?

The rise of smartphones as an interface to information has been dramatic. It has been largely foreseeable in terms of the power of the technology available at an accessible cost, however what was less certain was people’s willingness to use a small screen to access information.
Continue reading 5 uncertainties that will shape the future of wearable technology

Today I am giving a keynote at the The Youth Festival of ICT (YITcon14) in Melbourne, with participation from over 1,000 students and young professionals.

The Australian newspaper yesterday featured an article titled Mobile exposes need for design skills, programming languages: Ross Dawson based on an interview with myself and Alan Patterson, CEO of the Australian Computer Society, which is organizing the conference.

The article begins: Continue reading Mobile and design are shifting to the center of technology and work

It’s an attitude: Embracing the future

On my RossDawson.com site I list some of the more popular topics for my keynote speeches.

Particularly for internal corporate events, one of the most popular themes is ‘Embracing the Future‘, in which I not only point to the dramatic shifts underway and the potential of the future, but show that the attitude of embracing those changes will bring the greatest personal opportunities.

I recently created a short video to help describe the main themes of the keynote, shown below.


Continue reading It’s an attitude: Embracing the future

The focus of big data should be creating value FOR customers

Big Data is one of the hottest trends at the moment, as shown in this Google Trends chart below.

However much of the big data discussion is about how to market better to customers, gathering data ABOUT them so companies can sell more to them.

This seems to me to be the wrong way to think about it. Big data should be used to CREATE VALUE FOR CUSTOMERS. From that good things will flow to everyone, including of course attracting the most customers.
Continue reading The focus of big data should be creating value FOR customers

Last week I gave the keynote on Future-Proofing Your Organization at a function organized by American Express to launch their very interesting American Express CFO Future-proofing Survey.

There were many interesting insights in the report, with many media outlets picking up that 45% of CFOs of Australian mid-tier firms believe their company is at risk of failure in the next 3-5 years if innovation is not prioritized.

Some of the main themes coming from the qualitative research are shown in this graphic from the report:

Amex-CFO

Source: American Express CFO Future-proofing Survey
Continue reading Innovation and future-proofing in mid-tier firms: The central role of CFOs

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About the Blog author

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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 Amazon.com 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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