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Sketching the Future

April 23, 2005

I was fortunate today to be invited to participate in a round table discussion on "Sketching the Future" by Fairfax. The discussions were focused on the topic, 

"What effect media and advertising will have on a typical day of citizen in 2015"

Attendees included:

ABC
Robert Hutchison

Alcatel
Geof Hayden – Director, Innovation & Market Development
Wagdy Samir – Director Business Development
Robert Haylock – Lab Manager innovation Central

Australian Film Television & Radio School
Andy Nehl – Head of Television
Mark Pesce – Lecturer, Interactive Media

Fairfax
Rob Antulov – Director of Strategy
Brett Jackson

Hutchison 3G Australia
Shane Williamson – Partner Manager

KPMG
Bernard Salt – Partner

MediaZoo
Tom Kennedy – Principal Partner

You can see from the calibre of the other people who attended that we had some great minds sharing their many years of experience from different industries & backgrounds.

Although the focus was primarily on Australian issues, a lot of the topics were global.

Until Fairfax releases something more formal about the session, I’ll share a few tid-bits that I found interesting:

Bernard Salt grounded us with some excellent facts on the Australian market & culture. I especially found some of the statistics he commented on fascinating:

  • The relationship of how values changing in society directly effect the market behaviour(1901 in Australia there were 100% believers, then in 2001 only 80%).
  • The decline of people’s beliefs in religions are replaced by non-religious beliefs. (e.g. of Environmentalism being a replacement religion)
  • Australian market is pear shaped, whereby a small "Cultural Elite" drive adoption ahead of the "Middle Australia" majority. (To me this was very much like the Ol’ "Crossing the Chasm")
  • Average age of the Australian bride in 1971 was 21 & in 2002 was 29
  • In 1976 there was a "surplus of men" in the 25-34 age group, but since 2001 this has been in deficit.
  • These stats therefore impacting on the view of the Australian market.

Mark Pesce was succinct in is comments with his hard hitting wit on :

  • "Audiences have control of distribution"
  • One of his favorite Star Wars quotes "The more you tighten your grip…., the more star systems will slip through your fingers" – in reference to old media companies suing customers for internet downloading instead of dealing with the issues as to why they do it.
  • Digital Social Networks will play very important roles in established online realms
  • Current media & advertising companies need to ask themselves "What business are you really in?"
  • The importance of capturing "user data shadows" and utilising this information to benefit your customers (e.g. Good of Amazon.com)

Of course I threw in my usual holy mantras on:

  • Cluetrain "Markets are Contestations" the importance that companies get back to basics in how they deal with their customers
  • Importance of Digital Identities being trusted ubiquitous systems & utilising digital social networks.
  • Companies need to constantly evaluate their core competencies and be willing to change direction if their market does so.
  • Blogging’s technologies changing Internet usage behaviours.

I find peer discussions such as this extremely enlightening and I have learnt & gained a lot from the day. Great to see a company such as Fairfax that is a traditional 150 year old media company, take the initiative to do an event like this to better understand how to move efficiently in to the digital HD Era.

I want to extend my thanks to Fairfax, especially Brett Jackson for organising and the invitation to participate in the event and to Alcatel, for hosting the session at their impressive Innovation Centre here in Sydney.

Stay tuned for further details of the day’s discussions, especially to hear about what Joe & Jane Citizen will be doing in 2015

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. cameronreilly permalink
    April 25, 2005 21:05

    maybe next time they should invite someone who actually is involved in CREATING the future!

  2. Shane permalink
    April 26, 2005 11:42

    You sook ;-p

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