My beautiful future career / ABC Far North, ABC WA Drive, Hong Kong 3









The world has conspired this week to make most of my on stage and on air conversations Education focused.

Tomorrow I have the honour of speaking to a group of year 9 -12 students at one of Melbourne’s State Schools about all things careers, the jobs they may be doing and the way they may be working – truly can’t wait and even better, this is a full day program put together by a  couple of Year 12 students who invited the other local schools to come along – well done!

On Thursday I take my quest to Higher Education, when I address a group of Sydney’s elite higher education providers and look at the future of higher education and explain why universities will be soon be selling their land holdings and why the emphasis of tertiary qualifications has to global, just in time, just for me and just enough and develop more of the human traits than the industry ones, more on both of these later in the week.

So having designated this Education week, I’ve spilled the topic into many of my regular on air chats as we explored Kindergarten to Death education, what it is, why we do, what we won’t do anymore and what we must do instead.

Such an important conversation, I’ love you to have a listen to any of the interviews below and then share your thoughts on the Future of Education and if you’re up to it join me on air on Wednesday night (2nd August 2017) at 10 p.m. on ABC Radio as Nightlife’s Phil Clark and I chat our way through the Future of Education and take callers thoughts on where they see it all heading.

Kier Shorey, ABC Far North Monday 31st July (14 mins 52 sec)

Barry Nichols, ABC WA Regional Drive (8 mins 49 sec)

Phil Whelan, Hong Kong Radio 3 (16 mins 53 sec)

My new Instagram porn site

Last Sunday, I had a huge response to a series of porn posts on my Instagram account, all put there by your not so friendly hacker (I promise), who I’m assuming is based somewhere in Russia by their email address: i******k@m***.ru).

Some really interesting lessons learnt, firstly that a robust digital tribe / ecosystem is a wonderful thing in fighting online crime, within minutes I had lots of my mates letting me know (thanks to all of you) and some even congratulating me on finally putting up some interesting posts.

The other lesson is that in business and life, there is too often an inconsistency between what we say and what we do.

Instagram like lots of others digital marketplaces represent themselves as ways to easily connect and share information with others, but increasingly they are becoming the ones that are hardest to connect with.

After lots of research, by me and fellow geeks and nerds, we found that there was no easy way to contact Instagram and make them aware of the hack and reclaim my site.

There used to be a link, hidden away in their FAQ’s, that did this, but it was removed in late March 2017. There are Facebook (which owns Instagram) and Twitter contacts for Instagram, but both infer don’t really bother, we won’t reply for at least 7 days, if at all.

So score 1 for the hackers and 0 for site owners.

The solution was inelegant and for those making a living out of Instagram infuriating, it was to get my wife to go into her Instagram account and mark my site as inappropriate and ask for it to be taken down (which was done immediately).

I find it fascinating and somewhat unnerving that somebody else could have so easily closed down my account, but that the true owner has no way of doing it, or of getting their site back.

FYI  – the old way to let them know you had been hacked was to click the I’ve been hacked link (once you’ve found it), fill in the form, wait for a response – generally 48 hours +, and then send them a photo of you holding a sign of your account name and details, which they would then manually use to verify who you, after which they would reset your account how old school and so last century.

So if you’re looking for me on Instagram (and you’re not a hacker) you’ll find me fully clothed and very decent at “MorrisFuturist” and yes I get it’s a First World Problem and yes we need to make sure we change our passwords more often, etc etc, but really, in this day and age we can do better, we must do better!

In 30 years of predictions did Bill Gates and I get anything right? / ABC WA Drive, Hong Kong 3

Recently the Sydney Morning Herald published an article on the 15 predictions Microsoft’s Bill Gates made in 1999, a list that predates the internet, the smart phone and even the mass adoption of the PC and this prompted this weeks on-air chats around Australia and Asia, looking at what’s come true and what hasn’t.

I couldn’t resist throwing in a couple of my own predictions, the earliest of which dates back to 1981 and the catalyst for my life long obsession with the Future, and that was my absolute belief that there would come a day when every person on the planet would have their own unique phone number, from birth to death, that would reach them anywhere on the planet and a phone that they would carry around with them everywhere to take the call on – I know it’s ridiculous, it’ll never happen!

Anyway back to Bill, he had a pretty good track record with his predictions, which included:

No. 1: Price-comparison sites

No. 2: Mobile devices

No. 3: Instant payments and financing online, and better healthcare through the web.

No. 4: Personal assistants and the internet of things

No. 5: Online home-monitoring

No. 6: Social media

No. 7: Automated promotional offers

No. 8: Live sports discussion sites

No. 9: Smart advertising

No. 10: Links to sites during live TV

No. 11: Online discussion boards

No. 12: Interest-based online sites

No. 13: Project-management software

No. 14: Online recruiting

No. 15: Business community software

Mine aren’t always as sexy (and often specific to a clients industry) and this blog has my foresight’s, writings and media interviews going back to February 2005, so pick a date and story at random and see how I’ve done, but some of the highlights include:

80’s – rise of the mobile, PC and the internet

90’s  – rise of online shopping, the demise of travel agents and the rise of online travel bookings, the rise of a digital world to rival the physical

00’s – rise of online community hubs, the move from bricks and mortar to omni-channel retail

10’s – rise of digital concierges (DC’s), machine thinking, objects coming to life, move from health to wellness, connected worlds, driverless cars, less cash economies

20’s – well, that’s a story for next week….

So take a listen now and then let me know your predictions for the next 10 years…

ABC WA Regional Drive – Barry Nicholls – 17th July 2017 (6 mins 32 secs)

Hong Kong Radio 3 – Phil Whelan – 18th July 2017 (12 mins 56 secs).

Happy Birthday Mr Tesla / Hong Kong Radio

Long before there was Elon Musk’s Tesla, there was Nikola Tesla and 10th July (1856) marks his birthday.

Nikola’s gift was the ability to see beyond the status quo, to imagine what might be, to land hands on tools, to overcome setbacks and to continue on to create a physical reality.

His curse was his inability to profitably commercialise his inventions and despite great partnerships, joint ventures and funding, he was left second best at every turn, having his patents, inventions and innovations brought to profitable reality by Thomas Edison, Westinghouse and many others.

His incredible inventions included AC current (electricity), the radio, fluorescent lights, hydro-electric plants and my personal favourite the remote control (long before TV’s existed).

In celebration of this great inventor’s birthday, Hong Kong 3’s, Phil Whelan and I chatted this week about all things Tesla and what his true legacy is. We also posed the question “If Tesla was alive today what future energy source might he be experimenting with?”

Would it be space based solar power, or kinetic / human power, or tidal power, or hydrogen power,  or magma power, or nuclear waste power, or embedded solar power, perhaps algae power, or even drone windmills or fusion.

As always a great chat, so take a listen now (16 mins 34 secs)

100 days to create tomorrow’s energy, or else / ABC Drive WA, ABC Far North

Elon Musk was in South Australia last week signing off on a deal to deliver and install the world’s largest grid-scale battery (100MW) and promising to uphold his “100 days or it’s free” pledge.

The technology is great and definitely part of what is the only sensible way forward on energy creation, decentralised energy collection feeding local areas (in this case 30,000 homes) and supplying any excess back to the larger grid.

It’s also speaks to a new era of energy players and a new world of how these projects come to fruition:

“A Twitter challenge laid down by Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes and met by Mr Musk on March 10 to “get a system installed and working 100 days from contract signature or it is free”, generated media attention, prompting a phone call between the Tesla founder and the Premier on March 11, and shortly thereafter with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Three days later Mr Weatherill launched the energy plan to combat forecast supply shortfalls this summer, following a statewide blackout last September, and called for expressions of interest to build a 100MW grid-scale battery on March 15.” (The Australian).

In this weeks regular on-air discussions with ABC Drives WA’s Barry Nicholls and ABC Far North’s Kier Shorey, I explore this deal and what’s its broader implications are to energy, infrastructure and the future of business.

ABC Drives WA’s Barry Nicholls, Monday 10th July (6 mins 36 secs)…

ABC Far North’s Kier Shorey, Monday 17th July (10 mins 57 secs)…

I want it all & I want it now / ABC Perth Weekends

On demand dog walking service WagWalking sent ABC presenter Andrea Gibbs into a spin, believing that part of good dog ownership is walking it yourself and wondering if this was a one-off or if there was a growing appetite of on demand services.

The growth of on-demand services,  bringing together people in a digital marketplace to want and offer task driven activities that we can’t or don’t want to do for ourselves, has risen steadily over the last few years to become a multi billion dollar economy offering an incredible array of “I want it now” and “I’ll do it now” possibilities including:

  • – hair / makeup , nails to your door
  • Deliveroo, Uber Eats, Menulog, Foodora
  • Zoom2U / Shippit / Sendle same-day or hourly delivery options for a range of customers
  • Instacart – find someone who will do your shopping
  • Uber / Lyft

as well as a places to find task oriented work including:

  • Airtasker
  • Sidekicker
  • Fiverr
  • TaskRabbit

Part of the success of this new “rent” economy is also the underlying social change away from ownership to experiences, where we see more people wanting to experience things – jobs, objects, clothes, homes, cars without having the desire to own it.

A fascinating new world of having that is set to grow to a multi trillion dollar industry in the next few years and a wonderful discussion, so listen now (6 mins 48 secs)

We’re all Homo Cyborgs / ABC WA Drive, Hong Kong 3

This week, Sydney based bio-hacker Meow-Ludo Disco Gamma Meow-Meow (real name) decided that carrying his plastic credit card sized transport card around was way too much effort, so he cut out the NFC chip and had it implanted under his skin.

Such an interesting discussion arises from this, not the least of which is the rail authorities response, which was to condemn it and deactivate his card, only thing was they deactivated the wrong card.

But, anyway I digress, this week on both ABC and Hong Kong radio I explored on air the notion that as organic beings we have increasingly become comfortable with having technology in and around us and that this organic meets machine blending would only deepen, to the point where we are uncertain where organic stops and machine starts..

We already, thankfully, have cochlear implants, pacemakers, replacement hips / bones, dialysis machines, artificial hearts and valves, 3D printed ears, pancreas, hands, legs, eyes, fingers, skin and bladder and for most of us we have a mobile phone and other devices constantly on and never more than 1 metre away from us.

What happens to human evolution when we start to irrevocably augment and alter ourselves? How much technology will we  / should we allow in our bodies? Will brain-machine interfaces, set to change the way we interact with technology by permanently linking our brain to technology, start a whole new era in which we’ll have to think before we tech?

For a couple of great on-air chats on the Future of Being Human, take a listen now…

ABC Regional Drive WA, Barry Nicholls, 3rd July 2017 (8 mins 47 secs)

Hong Kong Radio 3, Phil Whelan, 4th July 2017 (16 mins 16 secs)