TEDx here I come!!

ted_x_melbourne_pictrures_3_Dec_2013I received the most incredible Christmas gift the other month in the form of an invitation to strut my stuff on the TEDx stage in Melbourne on December 3rd and with only 5 sleeps to go I can’t wait to unwrap my present that I’ve titled – Unlearn the Future and don’t worry I haven’t forgotten you – after all it is better to give than receive – your invitation and discount promo code is at the end of this post.

This is a new piece that’s been kicking around in my head for the last three decades or so and speaks to why we so often have difficulty seeing the opportunities ahead; why we feel such trepidation at evolution and innovation and how we must take the best of what we already have and know and blend it with the best of what we need and want from the future if we are going to live up to the expectations we place on tomorrow.

It is also an extremely personal piece as I weave my story of going back to Poland after a family absence of 70 years, finding the old homestead, walking around familiar but never trodden before streets and share how this life altering event taught me to unlearn the future.

As a lead up to this event I did a podcast with Jen Storey of Anthill yesterday, discussing next week’s TEDx event as well as chatting about 3 very challenging questions:

1. What’s the one big thing that is happening now you believe is shaping the business world?
2. With all the amazing new technology around us, what are your thoughts on the trend towards retro – both genuine retro and new technology made to look like old stuff?
3. What are the three trends every entrepreneur should be aware of?

Have a listen now and then share your answers with the Eye on the Future tribe

Great interview, exciting times and if you’re in Melbourne next week I’d like to give you a $20 discount off the ticket price, simply use the word “speaker” in the promo code box when you click here to buy your ticket to TEDx Melbourne.

Hyperpersonalised Retail

meHere’s an article I wrote for Stockland Retail November Newsletter:

In the analogue 20th century we ventured out into the world to discover, to buy and to engage.

In the digital 21st century the world comes to us through a myriad of always-on mobile devices that constantly scour, interpret and filter what’s around us, searching for relevance and opportunity and bringing it back to us in the palm of our hand.

Retail has borne the brunt of this seismic shift and where once physical and tangible were paramount, connected and digital are now equal partners.

Forrester predicts that by 2016, 44% of all retail sales will be influenced by connected retail – a shopping environment that encourages and provides an enhanced link between consumers, their devices and data and seeks to minimise the differences between their bricks and mortar and digital offerings.

This new world of hyperpersonalisation, precision retailing or me-tailing recognises that the consumers mobile device is increasingly at the centre of any retail interaction as it fulfills its mission to learn about your store,  your offerings and interpret this generic raw data into custom-made consumer centric knowledge.

British luxury fashion retailer Burberry‘s Regent Street store has designed their new store to mimic the online experience and houses the world’s largest retail screen that can playfully show a rain storm or digitally transport the store to anywhere on the planet, has 550 hidden speakers to fully immerse the shopper with and a set of change room screens that can show the garment being tried on by the shopper walking on the catwalk before turning itself into a traditional mirror, all aimed at enhancing the customer experience, product discovery and cross selling.

John Lewis’s full line flexible format department store in Exeter brings digital and physical retailing together by physically merchandising more stock variety in a smaller space and digitally encouraging the customer  to use either their own or in-store technology to engage and purchase.

Marks and Spencer and Tesco have both recently experimented with customer engagement through interactive kiosks and targeted in store offerings activated online.

Neiman Marcus recognises digital as an opportunity, not a threat and has developed an in store location positioning app to ensure every customer can find and be digitally guided to exactly what they want in-store with a minimum of fuss and effort.

Brazilian retailer C&A uses Facebook likes on their coat hangers to bring the online social world directly to their garments.

Nike offers hyperpersonalisation both in store and digitally by allowing customers to customise and design their own shoes.

Tommy Hilfiger and Adidas use interactive store windows and window displays to spark store and brand discovery.

Bloomingdales provides flat screens that allow passersby to see themselves digitally wearing the latest sunglasses and then go in store to purchase, or print off a picture for later purchase.

These are trends not of technology, but of people using technology.

They are deliberate retail strategy enablers that focus on the customer and not the device and that stimulate the trinity of retail perfection – improved service delivery, personalised customer experience and enhanced brand engagement.

They are digital tools to be used alongside traditional retail tools and when placed in the hands of great sales people allow them to reach beyond their physical four walls to find stock at alternate branches, to share knowledge,  show digital product beyond those physically merchandised, to research with and on behalf of customers, to transact and complete sales and to turn opaque physical walls into transparent digital retail environments that extend the boundaries of retail possibilities and profitability.



TEC-logo-stacked 120It was a pleasure presenting to you this morning.

To watch my presentation again please click on the arrow in the middle of the box below, give it a minute to fully load (you’ll see the blue bar move across the bottom of the box) and then use the arrow keys at the bottom of the box to move around.

Whilst you’re here, please take a look around at my innovation and foresight keynotes and workshops, read through some of my blog posts and if you have any questions please drop me an email.

A digital holiday

digital holidayWith the Christmas season almost upon us and our thoughts moving towards a holiday, it seemed an opportune time for David Dowsett of Radio ABC Brisbane and I to chat about searching and booking your holidays online.

Our fist port of calls were around finding accommodation, there’s always the traditional and well used websites with brand name hotels and offerings, but there are also the opportunities to find local hosts and stay with them, sites such as AIRBnB, where the accommodation is in someone’s home or apartment.

On line sites likes Flightfox and Seat Guru complement the traditional online booking engines with the first offering competitive flight quotes sources through its competition style site, where travel professionals and enthusiasts vie to find you the best flights and prices and the latter seat guru helping you to find the best seat on the flight, once you’ve booked it.

Whilst you’re on the local kick why not use a site like Cookening or Eat With to taste the local cuisine in a locals home, or find a local on Viator  to take you on a special interest or general tour of their home town.

Lots of other great tips on how to stay in touch inexpensively and how to manage your thousands of photos on the road in this weeks segment so have a listen now and then share your best travel tips with me.


Tomorrow’s Cars

It’s always a great interview when Radio ABC Perth’s James Lush is asking the questions and in this weeks regular catch up, we chat about the future of cars and transportation from now through to 2055.

Right now we have connected cars on our roads that use our mobile phones Bluetooth to form a bridge between to the digital world and receipt of information on board.

On the horizon and in some showrooms already we can already buy semi-connected cars that may park themselves, check road conditions, alert us to issues and undertake other routine tasks, but the real fun starts in just a few years from now.

Some time in the next five (5) years we are likely to see autonomous cars that can drive themselves come on to our roads. A number of manufacturers are well on the road to building these and even Google has a prototype that’s clocked up some 400,000+ hours of on road tests.

These kinds of advances, herald in the next evolution in an incredible 120 years automotive history.

We are told that by 2025 semi autonomous cars (which will only account for about 15% of all cars sold worldwide)  will result in 1.8 million road deaths globally, a 15% increase in fuel efficiency, reduced wear and tear on our cars and roads and likely to change road usage and habits.

Fuels were also on the table for discussion this morning with the reality as stated in this CSIRO forecast being that petrol through to 2055 will still be our major fuel.




Have a listen to the full chat and let me know your thoughts on tomorrow’s transportation.



This week in the future

listening-to-jplantsThe last silent digital bastion has fallen with the United States announcing that it will soon allow electronic devices to be used on-board aircraft during takeoff and landing, in the same week we have seen 300,000 gamers helping scientists undertake genomic research by playing Philo.

The world is definitely changing and in our radio segment this week David Dowsett and I chatted about these stories as well as Chinese scientists who have created internet access through light globes; a scientists that has invented a way to hear plants speak and communicate and another group of scientists who are 3D cataloging all the world’s great structures and digitally storing them should we ever lose the real thing and have to rebuild them from scratch.

Listen now