One of the world’s leading futurists, Nancy Giordano, argues for a new kind of leadership, writes Arthur Goldstruck
It is somewhat reassuring to learn that Nancy Giordano has 43,000 unopened emails on her computer. As a global “brand futurist”, she is in demand to lead transformation strategies at major corporations, and present her framework for visionary leadership at conferences and events. She is also a mother of three and a part-time lecturer at Singularity University in Silicon Valley.
If someone operating at the cutting edge of technology has such a cluttered inbox, the rest of us can be forgiven for not keeping up. However, she reassures us, she is on top of the important correspondence. Speaking at VeeamOn, a conference hosted by data backup and management company Veeam in Miami, Florida, she makes the case for “audacious leadering” as the key to being on top of the rapid technological change that the coming years will bring. Continue reading
In 1995, the internet exploded with the promise of e-commerce and the digitalization of information. The first keynote speakers talking about the internet were overwhelmingly IT scientists and technology futurists, sharing their insights as to WHAT the technology advancements were.
But after a few years, the business experts emerged, showing WHY it was important and HOW to use it for profit.
The same is now happening with Artificial Intelligence, and related technologies such as autonomous systems, robotics, etc. The fascination is currently on the WHAT, but we are already starting to see a shift toward the WHY and the HOW. This means an eventual shift from computer scientists and futurists, to business strategy experts.
This is when the AI wave will become truly revolutionary for business.
The Key Shifts Include:
Business Strategy: Robert Safian has been exploring what leading companies like Netflix, Amazon, Spotify, Nike, Goldman Sachs and others are already doing with AI to disrupt their industries
Future of Jobs: Vivek Wadhwa is at Harvard University running the first ever global research study on how AI will change how we work and the future of professions.
Disruptive Innovation: Michelle Lee shares the patent trends from the USPTO to learn where companies are making multi-billion-dollar bets on the future of AI.
Financial Future: Nancy Giordano has been diving into the success of blockchain and crypto-currency technologies throughout the world.
Leadership Tools: Rebecca Costa’s latest book looks at how AI and predictive analytics is providing leaders an accurate look into the future, changing how we make decisions and allocate strategic resources.
Medicine and Health: Tarun Wadhwa has drilled down into the fascinating uses of AI that are changing every aspect of the medical and self-healthcare industries.
About the author: Michael Humphrey is a 30-year veteran of the speaking industry and is currently the CEO of Nextup Speaker Management.
One of the signature trends of technology in the Internet age has been the reversal of technology adoption flows. In the past, the copy machine, the fax, the mobile phone (before smartphones), and the personal computer all started as work tools and then moved into the consumer realm. With the Internet, and with smartphones, that trend reversed. Unexpectedly, consumer tools such as chat, e-mail, and social networks were brought into the workplace — not by IT managers, but by employees looking to increase their productivity. This path had been greased by the demands of workers that they be able to use their own smartphones (and, to a lesser degree, laptops and tablets) to conduct work business such as making phone calls and sending e-mails. Continue reading
In the near future, a young couple in a hospital clinic is going to be presented with a harrowing choice: they can choose to have their baby the normal way, as it always has been done – or they can pay extra to guarantee that their child will have extra intelligence, good looks, and live a life free of disease. Continue reading
Globally renown sociobiologist and futurist, Rebecca Costa, announced today that she has joined the Advisory Committee of the Lifeboat Foundation.
The Lifeboat Foundation is a consortium of leading scientists, experts and business leaders dedicated to helping humanity survive global catastrophic risks due to the potential misuse of technology. Other members serving on the Board and Advisory Committees include futurist and Google Director of Engineering, Ray Kurzweil, and Nobel Laureates Daniel Kahneman, Eric S. Maskin, Richard J. Roberts and Wole Soyinka. In addition to traditional funding, The Lifeboat Foundation is the world’s first bitcoin endowment fund. Continue reading
Lee was also the Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property.Part of her responsibilities while serving with the Department of Commerce was to advise the president on domestic and international intellectual property matters.
Lee greatly influenced the Silicon Valley USPTO.In 2012, Lee served as thefirst director of the Silicon Valley USPTO. Before that, she served on the USPTO’s Patent Public Advisory Committee, advising the USPTO on patent policies.
Lee was an IP power house in the Silicon Valley.Lee was named the Best Bay Area IP Lawyer and one of the Top 100 most influential women in the Silicon Valley by theSan Francisco Business Timesand theSan Jose Business Journal.
Lee has also served as deputy general counsel for Google.Lee served as the company’s first Head of Patents and Patent Strategy. During her time at Google, Lee built Google’s patent portfolio from only a few patents to over 10,000!
She has plenty of experience being a leader.Before Google, Lee was a partner at Fenwick & West, where she represented leading high-tech firms such as Cisco Systems, Logitech, Apple, and Sun Microsystems.
Lee is well versed in electrical engineering and computer science with degrees from MIT.Prior to becoming a lawyer, Lee worked as a computer scientist at Hewlett-Packard Research Laboratories and the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.
Lee grew up in the heart of the Silicon Valley.Lee grew up in Saratoga, California, and after going away for college, she returned to the Bay Area to earn her law degree from Stanford University.
She has a surprising skill.Fun fact: Lee trained for 16 years as a classical ballet dancer.
When Western companies moved manufacturing to China, it was all about minimizing costs. China was a developing country with labor costs among the lowest in the world. It also offered massive subsidies and readily turned a blind eye to labor abuse and environmental degradation. Continue reading
Leadership has entered into a new era. Science, technology, workforce changes and new business models have advanced leadership tools and skills, and our understanding of how to use them. If we don’t keep up, someone else will, and nobody wants to be left in someone else’s wake. Meet a few of these pioneers in leadership:
ROBERT SAFIAN – During his twelve years of running Fast Company, Safian started researching the exciting emergence of Flux Leadership. This is as much about new mindsets as it is about skills, and it is driving the wave of disruptive innovations and new strategies. Safian has interviewed and researched the great disruptors of our time, and helps us understand how to create flux leadership cultures in your organization.
LANCE SECRETAN – This legend in executive leadership coaching has introduced his best work yet, showcased in his new book The Bellwether Effect. He explores the corrosive effects of chasing cookie-cutter business trends, and provides truly inspiring leadership alternatives that are proven to significantly boost growth, increase retention, and create cultures that adapt to change rapidly.
DEBORAH PERRY PISCIONE – Her ground-breaking work on bridging the gap between great ideas and implementing those ideas has made her one of the top leadership and innovation experts in the world. She has developed the largest pool of research on building innovative leadership cultures, which she highlighted in her three acclaimed leadership books.
Product design doesn’t have to make dependency the priority
It’s the summer of 2018, the summer of Fortnite, and we all know we are addicted. Addicted to email, Snapchat, Instagram, Fortnite, Facebook. We swap outdoor time on the trail for indoor time around the console. Our kids log into Snapchat every day on vacation to keep their streaks alive and then get lost in the stream. Continue reading
Your refrigerator will talk to your toothbrush, your gym shoes, your car, and your bathroom scale. They will all have a direct line to your smartphone and tell your digital doctor whether you have been eating right, exercising, brushing your teeth, or driving too fast. I have no idea what they will think of us or gossip about; but I know that many more of our electronic devices will soon be sharing information about us— with each other and with the companies that make or support them.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a fancy name for the increasing array of sensors embedded in our commonly used appliances and electronic devices, our vehicles, our homes, our offices, and our public places. Those sensors will be connected to each other via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or mobile-phone technology. Continue reading
Not long ago, schoolchildren chose what they wanted to be when they grew up, and later selected the best college they could gain admission to, spent years gaining proficiency in their fields, and joined a company that had a need for their skills. Careers lasted lifetimes.
Now, by my estimates, the half-life of a career is about 10 years. I expect that it will decrease, within a decade, to five years. Advancing technologies will cause so much disruptionto almost every industry that entire professions will disappear. Continue reading
In the 1930s, psychologist B.F. Skinner put rats in boxes and taught them to push levers to receive a food pellet. They pushed the levers only when hungry, though. To get the rats to press the lever repeatedly, even when they did not need food, he gave them a pellet only some of the time, a concept now known as intermittent variable rewards. Casinos have used this same technique for decades to keep us pouring money into slot machines. And now the technology industry is using it to keep us checking our smartphones for emails, for new followers on Twitter, or for more “likes” on photographs we posted on Facebook.
Millennials are the largest, most diverse, most educated and most connected generation of our time. At 80 million in the United States alone, they are a critical demographic to attract to your meetings and conventions. While older professionals seek the traditional meeting model, millennials are looking for something more interactive. Instead of a speaker giving a presentation for an hour, they would rather have the majority of that hour be Q&A. This is a generation that wants to be heard and have conversations instead of listening to a presentation straight through. The PCMA Education Foundation found that “old-school” meeting formats are the number one repellant for millennial attendees. It’s time to change the traditional speaker and panel formats to incorporate technology and audience participation.
There is nothing like a near-death experience to make you acutely aware of how much we rely on medicine and the healthcare system. I suffered a massive heart attack in March 2012 and nearly died. The doctors saved me. Since that terrifying event, I have tracked developments in technology, medicine, and wellness carefully. All along, I wondered why so much health care aimed at saving us after we fell ill rather than at keeping us healthy and spotting the problems well in advance. People in the healthcare sector call such an approach wellness care, or preventive medicine.
First he was a well-known optimist in Silicon Valley, now Vivek Wadhwa warns against the downsides of technology.“Social media is used as a weapon against ourselves and we are unhappy about it.”
Vivek Wadhwa has made a huge turn in recent years. The legendary entrepreneur, writer and keynote speaker originally made his name as one of the most prominent ‘cheerleaders’ of Silicon Valley. He was closely involved with Singularity University, an almost evangelistic club that has been hammering on the huge promises of the technological revolution in recent years. He taught at Stanford University, the Silicon Valley nursery school, and wrote optimistic books and columns about the future.
Vivek Wadhwa is rejoining his former colleagues at Harvard Law School to run a critically important research project on the impact of technology on jobs and developing policies to mitigate the dangers.
This is with Richard Freeman, the world renowned labor economist, Sharon Block, who helped key labor policies for the Obama administration, and historian/scholar John Trumpbour. The 3-year project at Harvard’s Labor and Worklife program will bring together a who’s who to analyze new data on automation and jobs and to brainstorm on policy.
I got my first glimpse of Apple’s newest product as the sun was coming up. It was just after 7 a.m. on a Wednesday in January, two days after Apple executives, including CEO Tim Cook, began moving into Apple Park, the company’s new spaceship-like headquarters in Cupertino. As I was escorted around the gleaming structure, it occurred to me that it embodied everything Apple’s products represent: a glimpse of the future, and yet also something familiar—not science fiction, but a tangible vision made real.
At a recent ACG Silicon Valley event, Carnegie Mellon University instructor Tarun Wadhwa discussed the future of bitcoin and the potential power of Blockchain. Blockchain technology has a large potential to transform business, being both a disruptive innovation as well as one of the newest foundational technologies. That potential is already is already bearing fruit in many important industries, along with the growing pains. Tarun touches upon the future possibilities as well as the hurdles.
The biggest story in the ecosystem of blockchain is tokenization – the ability to turn physical and digital objects into a cryptographically secured digital representation of a set of rights. In other words, a string of code that can be tracked, traded, and split up into micro-fractions. We saw the first wave of excitement with ICOs, which are tokenized company equity, but that’s just the beginning.
Tokens will play a critical role going forward in virtually any digital exchange of value. And the implication of this is the creation of massive, entirely new markets. Assets that couldn’t be sold can now become liquid…it will soon be possible to buy shares in a house or an art painting just as you would stock in a company.
Yet to explore the real opportunities, we must also examine the hurdles that might hamper the growth of blockchain use. It is complex by nature, which make it hard for many users to understand. It lacks oversight thru regulation, which makes it risky. It can be an arduously slow system, which makes it less attractive for simple uses. It uses massive computing power for its checks and balances algorithms, which makes it dependent on large amounts of electrical power. And it promises to remove all the middle men, which also discards the value of expertise and dispute resolution that middle men delivered throughout history.
It is important to understand both the possibilities and the hype. While the vast majority of use cases we hear about today are going nowhere, there is something larger going on. Blockchain or some other form of partially distributed ledger, will ultimately be transformative in defining the future of how we own and exchange things.
Congratulations to Vivek Wadhwa for being recognized by the Silicon Valley Forum 2018 VISIONARY AWARD-WINNER. Past honorees include Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Linda Rottenberg, Scott McNealy, Ray Kurzweil, Reed Hastings, Tim O’Reilly, Padmasree Warrior, Anne Wojcicki, Reid Hoffman and many other icons.
One of the keys to great leadership is making great decisions. In a world with increasing complexity, we need to understand how the mind works, why people stray towards bad decisions, and what skills and systems you can use to make great leadership choices in the future.
In fact, advanced tools, from big data, predictive analytics, genomics, artificial intelligence, quantum computing and other technologies have made it possible to pinpoint future results with mind-blowing accuracy—cracking the door to what Rebecca Costa calls predaptation: the ability to adapt before the fact.