Leading up to the Client and Firms of the Future: How to Compete conference in Sydney on March 11 (which I discussed in a previous blog post), my co-organiser George Beaton and I have recorded a brief video to set the scene.

In the video we begin by addressing the question: Why do professional services leaders need to think about the future? and go on to discuss what to expect at the conference.

Points we make in the video include:
Continue reading Video: Why professional services leaders need to think about the future

APIs are enabling an unprecedented flow of innovation

On Tuesday I had the great pleasure and honor of doing the opening keynote at the APIDays Sydney conference, the first API (Application Programming Interface) conference in Australia, excellently organized by Saul Caganoff of SixTree.

APIDays was founded by Mehdi Medjaoui in Paris in 2013, has since been run in Barcelona, Berlin, San Francisco and now Sydney, with the event in Paris last year attracting 800 delegates.

Below are the slides for my keynote on The Flow of Innovation. As always, note that my slides are designed to support my presentation and not to stand alone, but still may be of interest to people who did not attend my keynote.

Continue reading APIs are enabling an unprecedented flow of innovation

Creating the future of professional services – Sydney 11 March

The subtitle of my first book, 15 years ago now, was ‘The future of professional services’. I still believe it’s an incredibly important topic, not just in the future of business, but also in the future of work and society.

As such I am delighted to be collaborating with one of the world’s leaders in professional services strategy, George Beaton, in organising the Clients and Firms of the Future: How to Compete conference in Sydney on 11 March.
Continue reading Creating the future of professional services – Sydney 11 March

This morning I gave the opening keynote on The Future of Work at the Chartered Accountants Thought Leadership Forum on Future Proofing the Profession: Preparing Business Leaders and Finance Professionals for 2025, the third year in a row I’ve given keynotes on different topics at the Thought Leadership Forum.

In my keynote I went into depth on the forces shaping the future of work and the action that we can take today to help create a better future. One of the topics I raised was about the future of decision-making in a world of increasing automation.

Andrew McAfee of MIT has created a simple illustration of the path to better decisions.

Hippo_mcafee_decision_510w
Source: Andrew McAfee
Continue reading The future of work: better decisions supported by computers and professionals

Launch of keynote speaker influence ranking tracker

We have just launched a keynote speaker influence ranking page, giving an indication of the social and online reach of people who work primarily as keynote speakers. The widget is embedded below (and you can embed it in your own website if you want), though it is better viewed on the main rankings page.

There are and have been many influence ranking systems around. This one focuses on a particular group – keynote speakers – for whom online influence is particularly important, and brings together three measures: Klout, website traffic, and Twitter followers.

It is of course very easy to criticise any influence rankings mechanism, and we do not pretend this is by any means ‘accurate’, it is intended to be indicative and interesting. We have provided complete transparency by publishing the algorithm we use. The intention is to tweak and develop the algorithm over time. Let us know if you have suggestions on how to improve it!
Continue reading Launch of keynote speaker influence ranking tracker

Can Facebook-informed algorithms know you better than your mother?

This morning I was interviewed on the national breakfast program Sunrise about whether algorithms can assess our personality better than those who are closest to us.

Click on the image below to view the segment.

Sunrise130115_2

The segment described some just-released research titled Computer-based personality judgments are more accurate than those made by humans in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, which says:

This study compares the accuracy of personality judgment—a ubiquitous and important social-cognitive activity—between computer models and humans. Using several criteria, we show that computers’ judgments of people’s personalities based on their digital footprints are more accurate and valid than judgments made by their close others or acquaintances (friends, family, spouse, colleagues, etc.). Our findings highlight that people’s personalities can be predicted automatically and without involving human social-cognitive skills.

The personality-assessment algorithm was solely based on Facebook likes made by participants, with results compared to the assessments of people who know them well. As little as 150 likes was sufficient to provide a more accurate personality assessment than a family member such as a parent, while 300 likes enabled a better assessment than a spouse.

What was perhaps more interesting was the claim that “computer personality judgments have higher external validity when predicting life outcomes such as substance use, political attitudes, and physical health; for some outcomes, they even outperform the self-rated personality scores.”

The potential implications are profound. Article co-author Wu Youyou said “In this context, the human-computer interactions depicted in science fiction films such as ‘Her’ seem to be within our reach.”

Being able to interact with people in a way tailored to their personalities and designed to generate particular responses is certainly a fair way beyond being able to assess personalities accurately, but we are rapidly heading in that direction.

These findings are unlikely to give pause to people sharing their lives – and personalities – on social media, but we absolutely need to be aware quite how deep the insights about ourselves we are sharing in our everyday online behaviors.

This morning I was interviewed on both of Australia’s national breakfast TV programs, Today and Sunrise, to greet 2015. Many of the media outlets interviewing me at this turn-of-the-year have wanted to know how well the film Back to the Future II, which in 1989 depicted the world in 2015, anticipated today’s world.

Click on the image below to watch the interview on the Today show.
Today010115

Some of the ideas we covered in the segment:
Continue reading Today show on Back to the Future: celebrating the exceptional ‘future’ that is 2015

7 defining themes for 2015 (with videos)

At the end of every year since 2006 I have created structured thoughts about the year to come. The last months of 2014 have been so crazy that I have, unfortunately, not had the time to create highly designed content on the year ahead.

However in preparing for some TV interviews at the turn of the year I have pulled together 7 themes that will help define 2015. Here they are, together with illustrative videos.

1. Robots are here


Robots have so long being part of science fiction that many have come to believe they will never arrive. With recent technological advances, the age of robots is finally beginning, with humanoid robots finally entering the mainstream in work, retail, aged care, the home and even warfare.
Continue reading 7 defining themes for 2015 (with videos)

Envisioning the future of government as solution enabler

When you look at the future, there are few more important topics than the future of government.

Government was designed to be institutional, providing stability to nations. Yet that design and structure means that governmental institutions are generally very poorly prepared to change as required in the face of extraordinary shifts in society and business.

I have been drawn more into the future of government over the last few years, among other activities creating and sharing my Transformation of Government framework with a variety of groups of senior policymakers.

William Eggers and his team at Deloitte have distilled some excellent analysis and insights into the future of government at their Government 2020 site, which includes an overview of drivers and trends shaping government, and views on the implications across domains of government.

The following slides and video provide nice high-level overviews of the work.

The other resources on the website are well worth a look, including the Drivers and Trends sections.


Continue reading Envisioning the future of government as solution enabler

Timeline of Emerging Science and Technology: A visual framework

My colleague and friend Richard Watson and I have created a number of visual frameworks together, including Trend Blend 2007+ based on the London tube map, which has spawned many imitators over the years.

Since Richard has moved back to London we’ve collaborated less on frameworks, however Richard has continued to do some marvellous work.

Here is the Timeline of Emerging Science and Technology, created by Richard’s What’s Next in collaboration with Imperial College Tech Foresight.

Timeline_Emerging_Science
Click on the image to view the full-size pdf.
Continue reading Timeline of Emerging Science and Technology: A visual framework

Flying cars are here! Will they become mainstream?

I’m at the Marketing Summit 2014 in Istanbul, where I’m giving the closing keynote later today. It is proving a delightful event, drawing on a framework on GameChangers from conference chairman Peter Fisk to invite inspiring speakers from around the world.

Yesterday Stefan Klein of Aeromobil described his journey to create a flying car. The beautiful video below shows the maiden flight of Aeromobil, just one month ago.


Continue reading Flying cars are here! Will they become mainstream?

Latest insights into the state of global telecommunications

A delightful report out from International Telecommunication Union (ITU) today, Measuring the Information Society 2014, examines in depth the state of global telecommunications.

Below are a handful of the particularly interesting insights from the report.
Continue reading Latest insights into the state of global telecommunications

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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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