Do you remember the last time you had a roll of photographic film developed? Thanks to the rise of digital photography, the answer is probably going to be some years ago. If the story of the photo printing industry teaches us anything, it is that technology can have a dramatic impact on existing business models. We have seen similar changes hit the media and retail sectors, but in truth no industry is immune to the impact of the digital revolution.
The first requirement for adapting to change is understanding what is possible. The second requirement is to put in place a plan to deal with it. Brad Howarth has expertise in both.
For the last two decades Brad has been examining and communicating the impact that technology is having on business and society. Through his work as a journalist, author, and speaker he has focused his attention on understanding technological change and the challenges and opportunities that arise from it. As a result he has become sought after as a catalyst for discussions around the evolution of industry and business models. In 2012 he was selected to participate in the Prime Minister's Digital Economy Forum alongside leaders from Australian industry and academia, and has subsequently contributed to government policy development.
The pace of technology change is accelerating, and Brad is a strong believer that we are only at the beginning of this digital revolution. The digitisation of products and services will have an increasing impact on how we conduct business and organise our societies, smashing traditional barriers of geography and creating new markets and new competition while redefining notions of community.
As a professional communicator, Brad has written and spoken extensively on these topics, and more. His presentations serve to highlight the changes that are possible while providing practical advice on how to negotiate the challenges while profiting from opportunities. Much of his thinking is contained in his 2011 book, A Faster Future, co-authored with Janelle Ledwidge (February 2011). His message is simple - technology is changing the world and, therefore, we must change with technology.
As a working journalist Brad spent the mid to late 1990s reporting on the rapid growth of Australia's IT industry as it rode the dotcom bubble. In 1999, at the age of just 26, he joined the editorial team at BRW, initially as Information Technology Editor, and subsequently took the role of Marketing Editor. While at BRW, Brad authored his first book, Innovation and Emerging Markets (2004), a study of the process of commercialisation for innovative Australian high-tech companies.
Brad Howarth left BRW in 2004 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist and has since travelled extensively, reporting on a range of topics across North America, Europe, Asia and Africa. He has penned articles for Australian and international publications including AFR Boss, BusinessWeek, CIO Australia, GQ Australia, The Guardian, Rolling Stone Australia and SmartCompany.com.au.
During his career Brad has interviewed many of the world's leading thinkers on technology, digital media, innovation and entrepreneurship, including Seth Godin, Vint Cerf, Larry Ellison and Michael Dell. Much of his career has focused on the intersection of technology and business, and he has written extensively on topics including innovation, marketing and advertising, global affairs, and Australia's start-up community.
Brad's presentations take complicated topics and future scenarios and present them in a straightforward and compelling manner. He brings a global perspective and demonstrates the interconnectedness of many developments. Each presentation is tailored to the specific needs of his audience, to deliver information that is relevant, entertaining and thought-provoking.
Client Comments for Brad Howarth
- Brad is an exceptional presenter who understands the intricacies of the ever-changing world of technology and also manages to actively involve the audience throughout his presentations. Brad presented on the 'Next Big Things' that will happen in the online/interactive industry at the end of year wrap up panel for Interactive Minds in November 2010. He also participated in our expert panel discussion. His insights and knowledge are exceptional and his easy rapport with the other panellists and audience made him a standout guest speaker.
- I have worked with Brad for over 10 years. All my interactions with Brad as writer, reporter and more recently as Panel Host or Master of Ceremonies have been positive. And whether it was the public face of Oracle, Intel or currently TIBCO that I manage, I can rely on Brad to assist and guide me.
TIBCO Software Inc.
- Brad did an excellent job as MC of our HR Technology Conference. He was very well received by the audience and guest speakers. Brad has an easy going communication style and is professional and easy to work with.
Australian Human Resources Institute
- I was looking for a new face in regard to the subject of the future and technology. Not just another futurist talk about stuff that people would never use, something more hands on for business owners as well as having the knowledge at a far greater level. Brad was perfect. His presentation was pitched right at the required level. He took the time to talk to the Members of our Industry to find out their thoughts and needs and he also took the time to not only talk with me on the phone but also in a face to face meeting about the theme of the conference and what I was trying to achieve. He was actually interested!
Some of the comments from his session included...
- Extremely worthwhile.
- Very insightful and relevant.
- I'm from the IT industry and have followed Brad. I thought he did a brilliant 'futurist' presentation to get us thinking.
- Made a usually bland subject very interesting.
- Relevant to lovers of global workforce and internet workers. I guess we need to know this stuff to keep current in a changing world. Not my cup of tea however I was engaged and found the session exceptionally informative.
- WOW, did Brad shift us into the future and what can be possible? His presentation was edgy, he obviously is passionate about his topic and this was evident throughout his presentation. He opened my mind to what can be created, if we use our imagination and embrace technology, and apply it in those areas that work best.
- Managing for Change
- The Changing Nature of Work
- The Digital Economy
- Adapting to a Technology-Driven World
- The Evolution of Online Applications and Services
- The Impact of Technology on Business and Society
- The Impact of the National Broadband Network and other High-Speed Broadband Technologies
- What the Next Ten Years Hold for the Development of Internet Applications and Services, and What That Means for You
Topic SynopsesManaging for Change
Change is the only constant in our live. Be they with regard to our personal lives, career or health, changes conspire to ensure that where we are and what are doing today is generally a long way from the life we lived ten years ago. Sometimes changes can be foreseen, but at other times they are far from predictable, but we can be sure that the sum of changes in our lives will ensure that the life we live ten years from now will also be very different from that which we are living today.
While not all changes in our lives can be foreseen, it is possible however to takes steps to ensure that when the unexpected does happen, detrimental effects are minimised and opportunities maximised. The way that we manage our lives and our relationships and the choices we make personally and professionally have a direct impact on our ability to manage change. If change is inevitable, then creating successful management strategies is essential.
In this presentation Brad will take the audience through various recommendations and strategies on how to manage for change. Quite apart from change management, which provides strategies on how to manage change once it has occurred, managing for changes helps a person or organisation develop a toolkit and plan to deal with changes that are both foreseen and unforeseen, as well as providing advice on how to become an active driver of change.
The content for this presentations and its strategic framework are drawn from the forthcoming book Managing for Change, currently being written by Brad and Peter Fritz, AO, and scheduled for release in late 2013.
The future is already happening - it is the decisions that we take today which will shape our response to it.
The Changing Nature of Work
Australia is witnessing a revolution in how workers choose to engage with their employers, or even whether they want to be regarded as employees at all. The Australian Government's goal of increasing participation rates for home and remote workers to 12 per cent of the workforce has catalysed a movement by employers to find better models for utilising the skills and time of employees. Increasingly Australia’s leading employers are turning to teleworking as a means of giving their workers the flexibility they desire.
At the same time, Australia is witnessing an explosion in the number of coworking centres across Australia, where freelancers are coming together to collaborate in dedicated working environments. The potential for relationship building, collaboration and the spontaneous creativity that comes from putting different skills and perspectives together is leading even large corporations to allow some employees to work from these facilities.
The rapid growth of online outsourcing services is creating new opportunities for Australians to earn additional income and even participate in the workforce in a completely freelancer manner. The rapid growth in numbers of self-employed Australians points to a significant shift in the way that we think about work and how we earn an income.
And many workers are also demanding that the tools that they are the most familiar with should be the ones that they have access to in their working life.
The opportunities that these new models are opening for workers are endless, but for managers it means adopting new ways of thinking about how employees are engaged and managed. While access to skills is broadening to include workers from anywhere in Australia - or around the world - it means finding new ways to manage and reward a workforce that may no longer be working from the same facility, or even on the same payroll.
Brad Howarth has been tracking the changing nature of work though his roles as a technology and business journalist and commentator. In 2012 he led a series of seminars around Australia on the topic of teleworking sponsored by the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, and in June this year was selected by the Department to facilitate Telework session at the inaugural Digital Productivity Conference held in Brisbane.
Work is no longer a place we go to, nor even a thing we do - it is becoming a new way of life, as customised and flexible as our personal lives.
The Digital Economy
Every time we look at a web page, we leave behind a trail of information. Every time we use Google, post on Facebook, or send a tweet, data is created. Every time we swipe a credit card, buy an airline ticket, and even check into hospital, that event is recorded and stored. Indeed, the digital footprint that we leave behind is increasingly becoming an accurate representation of so many aspects of our lives.
And it has value. With the volumes of data we generate growing exponentially, so too is the opportunity for organisations to harvest and profit from that data. These massive volumes of data have given rise to a new concept in the technology industry - Big Data - and created a massive interest in new tools and methods for analysing those vast volumes of data to find the nuggets of value.
The analysis of Big Data is what allows online publishers to maximise the revenue they can earn from their advertising, ensuring that visitors see ads that are most relevant to them. It enables retailers to predict what products will be the big sellers in their stores that week, and gives insurers a better chance of predicting and preventing fraudulent claims. It even enables hospitals to know almost exactly how many patients they might expect to see presenting at their emergency rooms on any given day of the year.
And it also has massive implications for our privacy.
Big Data analysis is leading to a new form of economics, and the creation of a Data Economy. Data is the new currency, but its value is determined by our ability to collect, analyse and make sense of the data that is available to us.
Brad Howarth has scoured Australia and the world to find the best examples of how organisations are using Big Data to create a new Data Economy. In this presentation he takes his audience through the many concepts associated with Big Data - how it is generated and used - and the outcomes that organisations are achieving.
Adapting to a Technology-Driven World
History has shown us that the speed at which business and society adapt to new technology can have significant and often unexpected consequences for many business owners. Even when those consequences are obvious, it is not always easy for traditional businesses to adapt in time. Can business owners truly remain in control of their own destiny with technology evolving at a rapid rate? And can they even hope to take advantage of many of the new opportunities that are opening up for them?
The Evolution of Online Applications and Services
Think about the online services that you were using 10 years ago. Now look at what you are using today. Internet services are evolving a breakneck speed, but it is easy to forget that many of the services that we take for granted today, such as online banking and YouTube were only in their infancy a decade ago, if they even existed at all. Where will the next online service innovations come from, and how can you position yourself to take advantage of them?
The Impact of Technology on Business and Society
History is littered with technological breakthroughs and new services whose consequences have been barely noticeable. But every so often a new idea is born that has ramifications for all of business and society. Electricity, refrigeration, the automobile, and the Internet are just some of the technological breakthroughs that have revolutionised the way that we operate in business and as a society, and unlocked a myriad of possibilities and related innovations. Where will the next breakthroughs occur, and what will they mean for business, society and individuals?
The Impact of the National Broadband Network and other High-Speed Broadband Technologies
The Internet has been a massive driver of change in both business and society, but we are only at the beginning of what is possible online. As society moves to faster and more ubiquitous network technologies new developments and trends will arise that can barely be glimpsed today. Concepts such as information abundance, instant gratification and mass collaboration and connectivity are only just beginning to be understood, but already they are evolving quickly. The building blocks of the future are being laid today, and the decisions that we each take today will go a long way to determining the role that we each will play in that future.
What the Next Ten Years Hold for the Development of Internet Applications and Services, and What That Means for You
It's easy to forget that the Internet is just over 30 years old, and the World Wide Web is barely 20. In that brief period we have witnessed an unprecedented flurry of innovation that has unleashed a vast range of applications and services that have truly changed the way we work and socialise. But we are only at the beginning of the transformation. Internet applications and services are growing both in their sophistication and simplicity, and working their way ever deeper into our society. New developments in Internet services and related technologies have created a platform for even more advanced innovation, which promises to deliver new capabilities and experiences to the way that we interact with the world around us. And it is possible to glimpse some of that future today.
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