How TO combine the best of all WE KNOW
“The answer lies in Industry 5.0:
Purpose and how we want the world to be.”
Dr Cath's Story
One of my earliest memories is from the famine in Ethiopia in the 1980s. My mum remembers me asking endless questions about how we could let something like that happen. Mum didn’t have all the answers. I can revisit that memory by watching the news article that was on the BBC over 30 years ago today on YouTube. I can nowadays teach myself all about the socio-enviro-political reasons as to why people were left to starve to death (the government were trying to kill off their political opponents and the areas that supported those opponents).
Humans can do terrible things.
I also remember the Live Aid concerts, and the performances on the telly, chatter on the radio, and endless music sessions delivered by cassette tape. People donating, rock stars getting angry, children asking unending questions about ‘why’ these things happen. We still see these things today, we still find people fighting against the dark.
Humans can do extraordinarily good things.
Looking to the future now, with my two very young children, I wonder what their ‘Ethopian Famine’ moment will be. Bushfires? Floods? The Bee Crisis? Climate Change? Killer Robots? And I also wonder what can be done right now to stop those terrible moments from happening. Where and how and when can we make the choice to do extraordinarily good things? Why not start now, with you, wherever you work, live, and play?
Industry 5.0 (the next industrial revolution) will hopefully tip the invisible hands of economics towards a purpose-driven economy, and let it be a natural transition via investors, subsidies, government policy, and media campaigns. But Industry 5.0 won’t be able to reach its full potential unless we all care enough to act accordingly. The future of work is already here, it is just not distributed the same way across different socio-economic, gender, nor geographical locations. As a ‘lucky’ country, Australia has the capability to lead and become a lighthouse for #techforgood and other purpose for-profit business models.
I started getting into entrepreneurship and the start-up world because I had identified a number of gaps between technical capability and tangible action. We have technologies that can be applied to do some amazingly good work, but there are management, insurance, business-culture, and other human reasons why these changes are not making it to business as usual in a traditional economic model. Start-up culture has its issues, and many technology ecosystems are hindered by ‘hungry start-up syndrome’, everyone seems to forget that collaboration is supposed to be the new competition. But, the start-up ecosystem is fundamental to creating and curating innovation at low risk to traditional, large business. I heard once that 95% of start-ups fail because they have no market need; no sustainable business model. Not good odds for success.
A good friend of mine survived a terrible terrorist act. When asked what advice people should be given when watching such horror unfold she said to me “look for the people helping”. And the same can be said for the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) community: There are always people investigating new ways of doing things, trying to help, working on a better way. From cancer drugs to ethical artificial intelligence, from methods to clean up ocean plastics to using sub-military level drones to monitor endangered species. If we can focus on the good that people are doing and share it across our networks then we can amplify the voices of the excellent people doing extraordinarily good things.
As an individual with a strong sense of self, I continue to wait for artificial intelligence to get used to its full potential around social and environmental projects. I am now happy to note that there is a way ahead to promote individualisation of our digital experiences. Products are now personal, we are now more understood as the complex individuals we are rather than just the boxes we tick. Interesting opportunities arise from the digital technology space that will help people feel like they’re actually making a difference, and encouraging others to build purpose into their business models, and making profit at the same time.
My works are a long love letter to my sons. After all, the future is theirs.
I just hope we leave them a good one.
AWARDS AND HONOURS
2018 – Drone World UAV Congress 2018: Global UAV Award
2017 – AFR’s BOSS Magazine True Leaders Game Changers
2017 – Women in Leadership Awards – Finalist Innovation Category
2016 – Financial Review & Westpac 100 Woman of Influence
2016 – Top 25 Women in Robotics List
2016 – Courier Mail QBM Magazine: 25 Influential Movers and Shakers of Queensland
2015 – AFR’s BOSS Magazine Young Executives of the Year Winner
2015 – National Telstra Business Woman of the Year, Corporate and Private Award
2015 – Queensland Telstra Business Women’s Awards Winner
2015 – Queensland Telstra Business Woman of the Year, Queensland Corporate and Private Awards Winner.
2015 – Innovator of Influence at Innovation Week
2015 – Courier Mail Q Magazine: Queensland 50 Best and Brightest