When 11 year-old Aaliyah approached me for ideas of “Droids, drones and robots” for her Science Talent Search project, my first call was to my colleagues at Queensland Health’s Clinical Skills Development Service. The simulated mannequins are great for showing kids the wide range of skills needed to drive jobs in the future, from designers to audio techs to scientists and programmers – it’s not all about code!
In October 2016, the Science Talent Search awarded Aaliyah a bursary for her video production “Industrial Robots Healthcare Industry”. Judges commended Aaliyah on the uniqueness of her entry (“new science”). Personally, I think she a better job than most of us in industry at explaining the benefits of our robotic friends!
Aaliyah’s journey has stoked my enthusiasm to develop a SimYouth community – stay tuned.
“With respect, Ray, I think your biography will be a more gripping read than a dry old history of simulation in Australia!” I’m working with Ray Page, one of the Grandfathers of simulation in Australasia, and certainly in flight simulation globally, to write his biography. It’s a great story about innovation and Australian bravado, and a quiet celebration of some of Qantas’ great achievements.
I’m currently moonlighting as a barista and cigar merchant. Paladar is my husband’s gig; it has so much of his personality, I actually feel a bit weird claiming it. For a little while, we’re redistributing jobs in our life while we juggle small children, a renovation and a handful of businesses. It so happens that I can pour a reasonable caffe and know a thing or two about cigars…and the espresso machine doesn’t try to climb on my lap as soon as I pull out the laptop… so it’s working for now.
Off and on for several years, I’ve had a voluntary role as Chair of the Organising Committee of Australasia’s simulation conference. I now have the title of Congress Executive and my focus continues to be broadening the scope of our conversation and welcoming a wider diversity of practitioners and organisations into our community.
“What disruptive tech do town planners need to factor into their planning cycle?” was the question posed by AECOM’s Planning Lead when he approached me to facilitate a sponsored session at the Planning Institute of Australia’s national congress in May 2016. My response was to forget about the tech and recognise that the planning cycle would be disrupted. This inspired a hypothetical style discussion based around “Journey Toward 50 Million” a report on planning implications for Australia’s growing population to be released by PIA at the Congress. Our panelists included former UN Chief Scientist and father of Google Earth Prof Tim Foresman, Regional Development Australia’s economic clusters expert and The Competitiveness Institute Board Member Tracy Scott-Rimington, IBM’s Asia Pacific Education Lead Simon Eassom, AECOM’s Mike Gillen and PIA CEO Kirsty Kelly. I plan to write up and publish a transcript of sorts – drop me a line on the contacts page if you’d like to stay informed.
Could the digital economy be the start of more diversity in leadership? Do you and your company recognise, as we do, that disruption is demanding new ways of thinking about business and business relationships?
Looking around, we see women, immigrants and indigenous Australians emerging as the heroes of new approaches to old problems. Collaboration and entrepreneurship are in-demand skills, reworking our understanding of customer engagement, knowledge management and creative innovation across sectors as broad as engineering, retail, infrastructure, health, science and policy.
Diverse Disruption explores the disruptive traits of diversity and its role in transitioning to a post-fact economy.
Digital built environments are rapidly becoming integral to how we live and design our communities. From BIM to autonomous vehicles and robotics in healthcare, it is clear that spatio tech, nano tech and bio tech are the techs of the next decade. I delivered a presentation exploring the disruptive aspect of these techs on behalf of SIBA CEO Richard Simpson to the Australian Smart Communities conference in March 2016.
Mentoring has been a great way to learn more about the startup community, rapid prototyping and lean startups. Early in 2016, Era Innovation and UQ ran a Lean Start-Up Challenge for students in the MBA program. I mentored a brother-sister team who are reinventing a family business – Roberts Traction Technologies. I was truly inspired by the commitment David and Sarah had to continue the success created by their parents. It was also fascinating to see the types of businesses in the competition and how the business models evolved using lean ideas.
My keynote address at Pivotal led to a guest lecture to students in QUT’s Masters in Engineering sustainability subject thanks to course coordinator Dr Cheryl Desha. We explored changing social values relevant to sustainable engineering, evident in disruptive technology and social media, and discussed stages of cultural change and strategies for managing dissonance.
Throw together a nobel laureate, an orthodox priest, a few mathematicians, an inventor, an SAS-trained academic, a socialist collaborator, half a dozen grads and a cigar merchant on the rooftop terrace of an espresso bar and you get a fascinating discussion about society, education, technology and culture. Inspired by Buckminster Fuller, and encouraged by Tim Foresman, we hosted one of what will hopefully be many casual get togethers where the discussion is intellectual, philosophical and the night ages like the fine wine being consumed.