Gathering of Minds – Finding Solutions through Technology for a Better Future

It was awesome last night to attend the “Focus On Technology” Panel Discussion and Networking Event at  “finding solutions through technology” at the Fishburners Brisbane. It was organised jointly by the new alliance between the Griffith University Chapters and the QUT (Queensland University of Technology) Chapters of the Golden Key International Honour Society, an international, multi-disciplinary honour society whose membership comes through invitation to students who achieve within the top 15% in their academic grades at University. I’ll explain a bit more about that in a little, but you can imagine with an audience made up of Golden Key members (such as myself, alumni, academics and industry professionals) it made for quite a stimulating occasion in terms of the different fields that our panelists are involved with, all with one thing in common – they are working at finding solutions through technology for a better future.

Focus on Technology – A Panel Discussion and Networking Event (Brisbane, July 31st 2018)

Golden KeySo, as I was saying, this event was hosted by the Golden Key. I became a member back in April, though my official New Member Reception held at the Queensland Conservatorium (Griffith University) was just a few weeks back in July. I must admit that,although I do give a lot of energy towards achieving academic excellence and learning all that I’m being presented with week by week, I really was surprised when I received a letter addressed to me from the University, and inside two letters actually – one from the University itself, and the other from the Golden Key. Their core values center around excellence in academics, leadership, and service. So I’m really looking forward to seeing what opportunities for personal development and contribution will be afforded to me through this.

Last night was my first Golden Key event that I’ve attended since my New Member Reception, and I was definitely interested from the first time I heard of the event through their Facebook page. I’m currently studying a course in Digital & Social Media Marketing, and part of that is looking at the disruption (a serious buzzword at the moment) being caused by technology and new innovative ways of doing things better being developed primarily by cutting-edge “digital natives”. But of course, technology is way more than just social media and social networking. A few of the things that came up through the discussion was AI (Artificial Intelligence), VR/AR (Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality), Blockchain Technology, Cybersecurity and Robotics.

A Bit About Our Panelists

Our Panel consisted of five guests. They were:

  • Milan Ghandi (Law) – Founder of the Legal Forecast (a non-for-profit organisation which aims to advance legal practice and access to justice through technology, innovation and entrepreneurship) & Graduate Lawyer from UQ (University of Queensland) at McCullough Robertson
  • Matt McNaughton (Business) – Digital Innovation Designer & Opportunity Creator at Chair in Digital Economy – He works to help leading organisations innovate by using his expertise in design, sociology, ethics and facilitation. He creates ideas and solutions that improves current systems to gain maximum benefit and minimise harm.
  • Sue Keay (Engineering) – Chief Operating Officer at Australian Centre for Robotic Vision, tackling the complex challenge of applying computer vision to robotics.
  • Dr Natalie Rens (Health/Science) – Artificial Intelligence Specialist at the Office of Queensland, Chief Entrepreneur & Neuroscientist. She is passionate about the incredible ways technology can be used to advance humanity. She is the founder of Brisbane AI, a community for AI enthusiasts that facilitates networking, idea development and knowledge exchange.
  • Noelene Herbert (Health/Science) – Clinical Delivery Director for the Digital Implementation at Metro South Health. This program works on an integrated electronic medical record (ieMR) implementation in Metro South Hospitals including Princess Alexandra, Logan, Beaudesert, Redland-Wynnum and QEII Hospitals.

So as you could imagine with such a broad range of different areas being represented, it was a very interesting discussion that ensued.

Things That I Took Away

Here are some of the things that stood out to me:

  • Trust Itself as a Service – In a world where issues of privacy and cybersecurity are on the increase, trust itself can become a valuable commodity to promote. Facebook has recently been a example of how important trust is in maintaining the value of a business.
  • Most of the Problem isn’t a Technology Problem, but a Human Problem – When we run into problems with technology, it is often the reality that we are still dealing with people that adds the element of complexity.
  • Supporting Small Businesses to Develop Strategies for Storing Data Securely – So much of business is conducted by small businesses, and so much of business involved storing customer data. So can we expect small businesses who have very little support or infrastructure in place to be equipped to protect their customer’s data? It seems like an area of development that needs to be given some attention.
  • Proactive Health Management – Medical data (like so much data these day) because of its continuous nature is able to be used to predict conditions often a long time before they actually come about. Australia is actually a bit behind in terms of really embracing this proactive approach to medical data management.
  • Robotic surgery – Can you imagine a robot performing surgery on you? Our panelist involved in robotic vision actually said that she would not want her knee surgery performed until they are able to get a robot to do it for her. That was an interesting concept to imagine actually.
  • What Patients at Hospitals Actually Value (and Delivering on that) – The things that people most remember of their experience of hospital is the food, the parking, and the bedside manner of the staff. There is great potential to be able to implement technology in such as a way as to alleviate pressure on the doctors and nurses from performing other things that aren’t so patient orientated, and thus freeing them up to focus more on delivering those elements of the hospital experience that will actually make it better.
  • User Experience in Design – Following on from the previous point, it is definitely a major feature of the Digital Economy we are entering into to give a lot of focus on not just what and how of services and goods, but the actual user’s experience.

What’s Up Ahead?

Well, after our Panel Discussion, we spent the rest of the evening networking and connecting with our Panelists and each other. It was especially nice for me to get to connect with quite a few QUT students, both studying similar things to me, and different, such as a few double engineering/science degrees. Also got to have a nice conservation with the Vice President of the Golden Key Griffith University Chapter (Gold Coast) who I had briefly met at our New Member Reception. One thing in particular that came out of that in terms of personal development was considering taking up a leadership role within the Chapter Committee. When the details of the different available roles become available in the next few weeks, I reckon that I will definitely look into it.

I also had a nice conversation with a QUT student who is studying a double-degree Business and Law. I appreciated this mostly, because I am still considering the direction of my future at the moment. I have been studying just the Bachelor of Business in HRM and my Diploma of Languages in Japanese. But one of my tutors at University, who has become an unofficial mentor of mine, was suggesting to me a little while back that I should consider changing to a double degree, Business/Law. I’m still looking at what that would mean for me in terms of loading and the years of study that it could add. For those who have been, and will continue to, follow me, stay tuned!

What’s Up for You?

So I hope you enjoyed my little report/review of the Focus on Technology event that I attended last night. I’d definitely be glad to hear from you (in the comments below, or contact me by email at steven@pidgethink.net, if you’d like) – what do you think is the future of technology in society? How do you think problems that we’re currently facing could be solved through technology? I’d love to hear from you.

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4 Comments

  1. Steven, What an enjoyable time you had and good on you for furthering your studies.
    I found this article really interesting as I have a daughter who even now at 40 years young is still studying and working and I love to hear of other people like you who are living life doing what you enjoy
    Great work – Keep it up
    Vicki

  2. Sounds like a fabulous night.
    I have to admit I miss all of my Monash University friends in Melbourne. We had event dinners that were overstimulating to the point where sleep was impossible yet the revelations were worth it.

    There are so many fields in which technology is advancing and you are right in that it is the human component that is problematic.

    Humanity will always be fifty shades of grey (not in the naughty book sense) but in the way that some will embrace technology with joy, others will abuse it for self-gain or promotion and then there are those who are the nay-sayers who want nothing to do with technology.

    I guess with the latter category they are 95% of the older generations and will soon not be a problem.

    Technology will always polarise opinion and I think about authors like Issac Asimov and wonder if technology will change us sociologically as he predicted in many of his science fiction novels dating back from 1930 to 1950’s.
    He had an uncanny ability to extrapolate technological changes and how that also changes to the fabric of society and the way we relate to each other.
    The days of Asimov are here now, with AI robotics and technology shaping the way we think and socialise. I wonder where it will take us into the future and if one of Issac’s scenarios comes about.
    However, you look at it the future is going to be interesting.

    Great article 🙂

    • Wow! Thank you for sharing so much! I’ve read a little of Asimov’s books a while back, but could do with a revisit. In terms of the social impact of change too, I have been reading R. Buckminster Fuller’s Critical Path, the creator of the World Game. Also I’m really into Daniel Goleman’s books, such as Emotional Intelligence, Social Intelligence, Ecological Intelligence. They are all amazing books about how neuroscience impacts so much on how we all interact, and the whole concept of “radical transparency” in ecological intelligence is powerful – especially if you could tie his ideas in with the ability to trace supply chain and the like through blockchain technology, just as one example of the social impact that technology could have.

      Anyway, once again, so grateful for your feedback.

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