TEDx Auckland – Session Two: Wendy McGuinness

Second to the stage was a ‘Reluctant Futurist’ namely Wendy McGuinness from Sustainable Future, an “independent think tank specialising in research and policy analysis.”
Wendy spoke on “The Danger of Now” which, in summary, was about ensuring you take into account whereabouts you (or your project/strategy) fits in the grander scheme of things. Some takeouts from the talk were as follows:
TEDxAkl - The only passable photo I have There are three types of futures:

  • Probable
  • Possible
  • Preferred

When testing a scenario or future one should:

  • Define: Parameters, Trends, Drivers, Assumptions
  • Explore: Uncertainties (and rank them)
  • Build: Scenario Worlds / Write Stories / Test
  • Use: Consider Implications / Review / Communicate

I found the talk to be somewhat disjointed, yet filled with amazingly wordy slides with paragraphs of text which may have reinforced a point if they had have been on screen long enough to read. It was always going to be tough to follow the first (very engaging) speaker – however, with some practice, feedback and basic presentation learning under the belt, this could have been a lot better received – so I hope I am not seen as being too harsh in my summary.


For another summary of the talk, click here to see what Missing Link said.

TEDx Auckland – Session One: Michael Henderson

As I alluded in my initial TEDx Redux, the inaugural Auckland event was awesome. In the next three posts I will briefly cover my perspectives on the presentations delivered at this, the first TEDx event in Auckland, New Zealand.

TEDxAkl - The only passable photo I haveThe first speaker was a fascinating guy called Michael Henderson [UPDATE: Looks like something ‘weird’ is happening with his domain,try here for his cached page in the interim] , a Corporate Anthropologist. As well as being unemployable (who want’s an Anthropologist anyway?), he is never bored – because people are so interesting to study. Some observations:

  • Organisations are the modern tribes
  • CEO – Interesting title
    • Chief – Head of the tribe
    • Executive – Head of Structure
    • Officer – Very Militaristic – Head of Strategy
  • The difference between a cult and a culture is:
    • In a cult, the leader sees greatness in themselves
    • In a culture, the leader sees greatness in people
    • Silo mentality never occurs in a tribe
  • Engagement Studies
    • Organisations:
      • Engagement = email sort
      • Worldwide ~20% of employees are engaged and 80% sit on the fence
    • Tribes
      • Engagement = contact sport
      • No tribes run engagement surveys, all members are engaged 100% as you are either learning, doing or teaching

“Why is no one teaching GenY to respect those who came before them as sources of learning?”

Executives go on a ‘retreat’ (never an advance?) then return to proclaim new company values to their employees.

  • Employees don’t hear values, they hear violations;

“Integrity, really?? Aren’t you the CxO trying to set up XYZ to fail so you can get more headcount/budget?”

“Language is the bloodline of a tribe”

His parting observation was on the two dynamic forces of organisations: Relationship versus Results

“Measure yourself on Relationship versus Result – is the win [on this point] worth more than the long term relationship?”

The interesting observation I made about his talk was that, not only was I noting the same points as one of my colleagues, these same points were also being noted by a number of other ‘corporate types’ around where we were seated.


For another summary of the talk, click here to see what Missing Link said.


Update: A TED talk on this theme of Anthropology and Tribes was posted recently “David Logan on Tribal Leadership”

Update: Domain seems to be back – have adjusted links & text


Update: September 2011 – Added Michaels new business sites and the following TEDx video…

Ideas Worth Spreading – My Journey to TEDx

TED. Three letters, a veritable treasure trove of new ideas, challenging thinking and incredible people with finely honed presentation skills.

TEDx Auckland

I first stumbled across the TED initiative in 2006 when I was shown a presentation by Hans Rosling using Gapminder to do some incredible data visualisations. From that day onward, they have been a regular both in my RSS feed readers and in my browser as I immersed myself in the site from which I have gained so much.

It was with huge excitement then that I saw that TED was not only allowing independently organised events (under it’s banner of TEDx), but one of these events was going to be in Auckland, New Zealand – my home town.

I must admit I was initially reluctant to fill out the registration form, as chest puffery and self promotion doesn’t sit well with New Zealanders. Encouraged by some colleagues, and with the knowledge that the official event attendee spots are so coveted I did sit myself down and force my fingers to the keyboard to tap out an introspective view of what I have achieved to date, and why I should be amongst those fortunate enough to sit in attendance. The exercise in itself was worthwhile as it gave me an opportunity to cast back over many years in the technology industry, and to re-celebrate a number of the awesome innovations that I had been involved in over that time. The submit button was clicked, the “Thank you for registering” page loaded – and then all there was to do was wait.

In the fullness of time, I received an acceptance email and, excitedly, I checked in with my other colleagues to find they too had secured their place – timing-wise, the TEDx Auckland event was scheduled for the day before a weekend away at TelecomONE, a FOO style “Innovation Unconference”, so I knew that we would be in for one heck of a lot of brain stretching. We made our plans to meet up and attend together, and then again we waited for the beginning of the first ever TEDx Auckland, October 01, 2009.

TEDxAkl Redux

What. an. event.

There is simply too much to type to do justice to what I got out of last nights event, so I’ll post this entry as it is, unfinished, but linking to some of the cool stuff which was discussed…

Keep up with the tweets surrounding the event here – and I’ll be summarising my notes over the weekend.

For now, check out this vid which was shown as a segway between speakers…

Awesome

Education and the Future of Learning

As I gear up for this weekends unconference, I’ve been looking through my Delicious bookmarks, specifically on things around Education, which is one of the sessions I’d like to run, if nothing else – to get a different perspective from that discussed at this years BaaCamp where I was part of a similar session.

I came across this video, speaking to the one way approach many educators are taking to using the Internet as a resource. The presenter has written a supporting article (PDF) where he explains the different roles students can take to build engagement, and to collaborate with their global peers

Myths and Opportunities: Technology in the Classroom by Alan November from Brian Mull on Vimeo.

Food for thought – and a definite starter for our discussions at TelecomONE this weekend – how can we as an industry help support our educators and their students to become part of the global voice of learning?

Flu Hype, and reality

Swine Flu - Humorous Image via Flickr User djugglerBelow is an interesting video for those caught up in the swine flu (which it isn’t) hype.
As a bit of background, Hans Rosling is a doctor and researcher who I first ‘saw’ when he presented at TED 2006 – in this video he demonstrates some really interesting data from the World Health Organisation using Gapminder to illustrate the information in an incredibly captivating manner.

Now while Hans doesn’t discount the potential future risk of Influenza A (H1N1), he does point out the hype the media is attaching to the virus when compared to other preventable causes of death.

So, the point of the post (I guess) is that while it’s great that places such as my sons day care center are reinforcing basic preventative measures such as:

  • Regular hand washing and drying
  • Covering your cough or sneeze with your arm not your hand
  • Keeping children with any symptoms at home until they are well.

The reality is, these are life skills which don’t need a hyped up flu variant to be taught – especially in countries with ready access to medical care, and for patients who are neither very young, nor very old.

On average, the (generic) ‘flu is caught by between 3-5 million people each year, and between 0.8 to 1% (or 250,000 to 500,000 people) die from it annually. As the video points out, Influenza A (H1N1) can only claim a mortality rate of around 0.06 to 0.25%… so where were the news stories last year, and the year before that, and the year before that? As molecular virologist Dr Christopher Olsen says in the article linked above;

‘Let’s not lose track of the fact that the normal seasonal influenza is a huge public health problem that kills tens of thousands of people in the U.S. alone and hundreds of thousands around the world,’

Calm down, wash your hands and wait for the media to start reporting on something more worthwhile like, ooh – the global financial issues which actually ARE affecting a large number of people in very real ways.

World Wide Telescope – I want to be a kid again…

I read Scobles post when it appeared on TechMeme yesterday about Microsoft Research and their Worldwide Telescope project and the praise for the concept is again reflected on TED (love TED).

Anyway,  enthused by what I’ve seen thus far (the project still not being open), I told my son Max about it and, watching his eyes light up with the possibility of viewing other planets, stars and galaxies through the shared resources of spaces agencies around the world was simply magic. We were going to get the telescope he got for Christmas out last night to compare what the web will bring to his fingertips against what we could see IRL through his (admittedly low powered) telescope. Our children will have access to so much of the worlds information as they grow up, I envy the opportunities that this will bring them.

 


The Encyclopedia of Life

I love TED (the website) and, while I was discussing the sites wide range of content this morning over a coffee, I was trying to remember who gave this talk as I keep using it as an example of what community content could drive. So – thank you Dr E.O. Wilson for inspiring me, and here’s a link to his speech for my future reference.

Hopefully this will also serve to inspire some of you who may happen past this page. You can view the discussion above, or click here for the 480p resolution video.

Spending time with my digital memories

I spent the last 3 days at home looking after our youngest son William who had the chicken pox and during that time I did a little bit of a tidy up of our digital photos and, during that time I reminded myself, yet again that we have HEAPS of photos, but finding any particular one, on any particular subject is pretty hard.

This then lodged itself in the back of my head and, as a result – two technologies have jumped out at me since then.

The first concerns the accessibilty and display of this data, and the vapourware representation of Microsoft Surface certainly struck a chord in our house.
“I’ve found our next coffee table” I announced to Amanda, then played her ‘The Power’ section of the demo from the above link.
“Wow, that’s cool – when could we get that?” was the response (and from a non-geek, that was certainly high praise indeed!)

Leveraging the display device of surface (and I’d be interested in open source alternatives I could cobble together earlier than waiting for the official product release), is the technology discussed in the clip below from the recent TED talks (I love the TED inititive)

Check out the presentation below… and imagine what it could mean for your collection of digital memories.

[Edit: Here’s a link via my collegue Justin – nice find, interesting if you want to learn the workings]