Preparing our children for an unknown world / Sky News – Derryn Hinch Live

derryn_hinch_30_Aug_2105How does an education system so rooted in past needs and based on remembering and working with known, verifiable and repeatable outcomes cope with a tomorrow world where 60% of the tasks today’s school leavers will do in the workforce and the industries that they will do them in, have yet to be invented.

In this semi regular chat Derryn Hinch of Sky News and I chatted about this new world of work and school where today’s students will live to 120, earn income into their 90’s, have 6 careers and 14 jobs and live in a world where they are paid to undertake tasks rather than employed to do ongoing work.

In this new world travel agents will use augmented and visual reality to send travelers on digital holiday’s. Plumbers will 3D print their needs on site. Service industries will rise in preferred career choice industries as more of us choose to outsource to others what we choose not to do ourselves and health, well-being and longevity experts are lauded and well rewarded.

If we are to prepare our children for the jobs that they will need to create in the future, then we need to rise above the politics and the blaming, above point scoring and blaming of others, stop relying on the romantic and outdated notion of the 3R’s and start embracing the 3C’s – communication, collaboration and creative problem solving and start growing the education landscape of tomorrow.

In this new education landscape teachers are facilitators, students are life long learners and the classroom and its resources are there to foster exploration and provocative learning, allowing each student to engage with the learning in a manner best suited to their individual learning style and needs, engage with people inside and outside of the physical rooms, engage with the digital world, be monitored by technology to gauge engagement and learning and supported by humans where they are not and ultimately held accountable for having learned the lesson by their display of understanding it not merely by their ability to remember and regurgitate it.

There is no certainty in tomorrows’ education and work space and this frightens previous generation’s who, with the best of intentions, want to prepare students and give them every tool for every circumstance to ensure their future success, but shackling them with this impossible attempt at certainty, is only serving as an anchor around their necks.

Today’s students are not preoccupied with certainty, they relish the unknown and we as their guides must teach them the foundations, school them in the ways of the world, open them to a myriad of possibilities and then trust that what we have given them enough to launch them into tomorrow.

Let’s teach them to be audacious and enthuse them to be creative and solve today’s problems, if for no other reason than pure selfishness – our survival.

Watch this segment (9 minutes) and then join the debate on the future of education

Robots are all around us / ABC Nightlife

robots-out-to-get-meHow realistic is a world where #robots, #drones, #androids and #AI (Artificial Intelligence) will replace all human work and effort?

I caught up with ABC radio local’s –  Tony Delroy and our special guest Jonathan Roberts Professor in Robotics at Queensland University, in one of our regular on-air chats to explore what robots are currently doing for us in our homes, offices, factories, hospitals, farms, in schools, on the roads, in the air, on and in the ocean and almost everywhere else and what they may be capable of in the very near future.

Here’s just some of the robots around already…

Personal Assistant

Hamburger Chef



Google’s Top 5 Robots

A lively and interesting discussion, great listener calls and surprisingly very little negativity around robots being a part of our lives now and in the future, so have a listen now (44 minutes 50 seconds) and then let me know what you would you would like to have a robot do for you in the very near future.

The death of the 1/4 acre block / 4BC

FC-WashingtonExteriorViewH01-HR06-FINAL (2)Farewell to the great Australian dream of the quarter acre block, we will miss you – you served us well, sheltered us wonderfully, helped bring our family and loved one together and sent a message to the world that we had succeeded in life by attaining you, but this is where we must part company.

In my regular on air catch up with 4BC’s Clare Blake we explored Australia’s future housing landscape and how over the next few decades it will look very different from the recent past and that the default housing option for most Australian’s would no longer be the 1/4 acre block.

As we grow our population, increase our housing prices, change our demographics, see more young adults live at home longer, have numerous generations living together under one roof, and see many other co-habitating models rise we are slowly beginning to talk ourselves out of the necessity to live on a detached block complete with garden and garage.

Instead we will increasingly choose to live in semi detached, row style and apartments, predominantly 4 – 6 stories high, in mixed purpose buildings (shops, offices and residences) which is a return to the 1940’s and 50’s when many people lived above the shop, but then the great dream was to get out of there and into a stand alone dwelling and now it is to return to it.

That’s not to say we won’t have stand alone houses, but rather that the great cultural norm of having to have it will disappear and it will increasingly not be seen as necessary, or important.

These new dwellings of tomorrow will be smaller in size and have to pack a lot of purpose into smaller spaces and to achieve  this we will borrow heavily from our Asian neighbours who through necessity have lived in smaller spaces that perform multi-purpose uses.

This is not just a question of housing, but it speaks to a changing life and work style where we will not all work 9-5, where more people will be using the home throughout the day for a multitude of purposes, where technology will be able to digitally change the internal decor to suit the immediate needs before instantly changing to suit the next set of purposes.

In this new world of housing it is also likely that we will adopt the Asian habit of eating out more and using our neighborhood and its parks and infrastructure as our backyards, where local shops become important as meeting places and the people around us become our extended family.

As always a great chat, have a listen now (15 minutes 49 seconds) and then share your thoughts on the future of the 1/4 acre block (housing starts at 5 mins 40 secs).

The greater of two evils – The Ashley Madison saga / Hong Kong Radio 3

secure-passwords-online-burglar-1I rally hard against technology being made the scapegoat of evil deeds and the Ashley Madison saga and the release of 33 million members details is a perfect example. It isn’t technology that’s to blame, it’s the sanctimonious people who did it that are and if you’re not sure have a read of their self-serving reason for doing it:

“Avid Life Media has failed to take down Ashley Madison and Established Men. We have explained the fraud, deceit, and stupidity of ALM and their members. Now everyone gets to see their data.

Find someone you know in here? Keep in mind the site is a scam with thousands of fake female profiles. See ashley madison fake profile lawsuit; 90-95% of actual users are male. Chances are your man signed up on the world’s biggest affair site, but never had one. He just tried to. If that distinction matters.

Find yourself in here? It was ALM that failed you and lied to you. Prosecute them and claim damages. Then move on with your life. Learn your lesson and make amends. Embarrassing now, but you’ll get over it.”

The debate becomes even more muddied as we try to do the human thing and pick a goodie we can cheer for and a baddie we can jeer at, but in this case we’re torn between hating the hackers and hating the “marriage-cheating” sites members.

This interesting human and technological conundrum and the issue of online security in general were the starting point for this  week’s regular on-air catch up with Phil Whelan of Hong Kong Radio 3 and behind this all my advice on online security hasn’t changed in the past few decades –

  1. don’t put anything online that you wouldn’t go down to the local market and shout
  2. be sure you know what information and rights you’re giving up and to whom, before you tick the accept button on any website or app
  3. remember your digital self-will live for ever and be available to everybody everywhere
  4. and if you’re unsure and still want to get in then set up a fake profile of yourself complete with a  random Gmail address

Have a listen now..

The education system is strangling our kids / 6PR, ABC Wide Bay, ABC Far North

4738992473_38ff2f7971Today’s students will live to 120, have 6 careers and 14 jobs and work into their 90’s in industries that we haven’t even begun to imagine, doing tasks that we don’t yet know we need.

With an education system built on rote learning, the 3 R’s and a set of entrenched structures all developed for a past world of pre digital needs, jobs and outcomes – it’s so last century.

In this century, certainty is uncertain.

We have already seen traditional white and blue-collar jobs taken over by robots and artificial intelligence; as industries of old topple and fledgling new industries emerge.

If our children are to survive in this brave new world, then we must rise above partisan politics, legacy systems and tired curricula and re-imagine what an education system based on the 3C’s – creativity, collaboration and communication might look like and what life, work and jobs of the future may be.

Have a listen now and then share your thoughts on the education system and its ability to prepare our children for the great unknown.

Phil Staley ABC Far North Queensland (18 minutes 51 seconds – 24 August 2015)

David Dowsett – ABC Wide Bay (7 minutes 22 seconds – 24 August 2015)

6PR’s Chris Ilsley (13 minutes 56 seconds – 18th August 2015)

Trams have to be a part of Hong Kong’s future / Hong Kong Radio 3

26122e27254937306ffcca7c8e79fc53There’s a report going around suggesting that Hong Kong should get rid of its trams to ease up on the road congestion. My question to Phil Whelan of Hong Kong Radio 3 in our regular catch up is how will the 194,000 daily passengers travelling on the 161 double-deck trams get where they’re going?

The background behind this is an extremely congested island and surrounds, that sees 7.3 million people take 12.4 million public transport journeys each day. The 680,914 cars owned by Hong Kong residents only adds to this huge congestion, but attacking the problem using only an historical understanding of what, how and when Hong Kong residents travel isn’t going to solve the future problem, nor is getting rid of the trams.

Phil and I explored alternatives including experiments in which public transport timetable are dynamic and based on travelers needs rather than a fixed timetable. By looking at socially aware apps like Waze used by drivers to get real time information about the best way to get where they’re going and by looking at Uberesque on demand transport options for cars, minivans and buses.

A great discussion, so have a listen now (17 minutes 23 seconds).

Work is going to hell in a futurist’s hand basket / ABC Sydney Afternoons with James Valentine

r139849_2541728The decline in people working a traditional 9-5 work week, the rise of people working on weekends and non traditional hours and the 5.00 p.m. closing of ABC Sydney’s afternoon broadcaster James Valentine’s  local bakery was enough to spark an on-air conversation about where work is headed in the future.

The conversation quickly turned to the notion of living in an evolving world of employment and jobs, vastly different from the industrial revolution model of many hands make light work, gather together at 9 a.m. and leave at 5, come back tomorrow and do it all over again, do it till Friday, take the weekend off for family and religion and repeat again until 40 years have elapsed, to an evolving landscape of living to 120 working until we’re 80, having 6 careers and 14 jobs, working locally and digitally and living a life portfolio where we get paid for tasks rather than work.

In this world there are a continuum of employment and work opportunities, none better than the other ,with where,when and how work is to done mandated by the nature of the work.

This revelation didn’t go down well with a number of callers, who have to work at a fixed time and place and couldn’t see how their circumstances could change. I am always reticent to argue this point, because there is no right or wrong  the reality is that their work requires this, but that doesn’t mean it must be everyone’s norm from here on in and forever.

It’s never easy to live through a storm and that’s exactly what’s happening now in our workplaces.

At the other end we will come out of it with a more flexible work regime, one that is more closely aligned to the new order of work and one that hopefully allows us to maintain an income and sense of self-worth for those currently employed and also those yet to join the workforce, including the 2 billion yet unborn inhabitants of earth that we will see between now and 2050.

To make work relevant to all these new people, jobs, industries, demands and great unknowns we will have to evolve what work is, how and where it is done and why we do it.

A fascinating segment, great caller comments questions and a conversation we have to have ongoing, so listen now (17 minutes 27 seconds) and then share your thoughts on the workplace of tomorrow.

A 3D printed world / 4BC

3d_clothes_nervous_system6.jpg6From knitted quilts on display at this year’s Brisbane Royal Show where 4BC’s Clare Blake is broadcasting live from to 3D printers may seem like a large step, but in reality the artisan, bespoke, one-off nature of quilting and 3D printing are almost identical.

Both require you to start from a need, find or make a pattern, get your materials and your tools, make it and then use it, and in this week’s regular chat Clare and I look at the 3D printing revolution and some of the items that we will soon print at home, or in-store, including clothes, shoes, pizzas, houses, cars, planes, tables chairs and the list goes on.

Have a listen now (11 minutes 15 seconds) to the things we might 3D print tomorrow and then let me know what you want your 3D printer to print for you.

And now for my next trick, I’ll turn Google into the Alphabet / Hong Kong radio 3

google_alphabet_website_11_Aug_15Today’s announcement by Google that its changing its holding company’s name to Alphabet is an inspired decision and one that all innovators and companies should take a lesson from.

I know there are pragmatic reason for it, Larry Page and Sergey Brin seem to want to get out of full-time search engine mode and thinking and concentrate full-time on invention; some projects and new thinking conflict or cannibilise Google search, some projects lack of progress or expensive overheads impact on Google proper, the investment marketplace wants more clarity around Google search and Google’s myriad of other projects and the list goes on.

As radio Hong Kong 3’s Phil Whelan and I chatted about this week in our regular catch up, to me its more about sending a statement that we are damn good at search engines and have been for a long time, to the point where Google is a verb not just a noun, but the reality is that search will not be around for ever and we are positing ourselves today in a time of strength to explore the future and branch out.

This type of thinking often prevents a company from becoming like Nokia the biggest global mobile brand 9 years ago and today gone and forgotten.

When our kids think of Google 20 years from now they will ask if it’s true that were once a search engine and that’s why we need to make sure that our company, brand and products don’t rest on the laurels of past success, but rather use them to catapult from and evolve.

Take a listen to this segment now (14 minutes 54 seconds)

It’s not a ghost, it’s just a hologram / ABC Canberra

occulus riftYou’ve got to love a story that starts by assuming that physical meetings are going to end and business travel will soon become redundant., it’s just like the hype and hysteria around Skype, VoIP and other teleconferencing tools a few years ago when everybody was sure the events industry was dead and that airplanes would only be used for leisure travel.

In fact none of this has even remotely come true and instead we have seen an increase in both event attendance and business travel.

holograph imagesPhilip Clark of ABC Canberra and I chatted about the upsurge of use of Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), the first being the use of holograms and digital worlds like in Star Trek’s holodeck and the latter being a visor you wear within which you experience the digital world.

CAVE2 Immersive Virtual Reality System | Mechdyne at Monash University Clayton

CAVE2 Immersive Virtual Reality System | Mechdyne at Monash University Clayton

These technologies are both coming of age, with VR expected to be a $30 billion industry and AR a $120 billion by 2020.

VR headsets abound and are mostly under $300 and we can expect Microsoft and Oculus Rift amongst others to have headsets next year just in time for a growing catalogue of software and VR experiences.

Have a listen to the segment now (4 minutes 48 seconds).