Over in the US it is said that Twitter is struggling. It failed to add any new users for the second quarter in a row. At the end of September, Twitter had a core audience of 307 million active users, adding just 3 million worldwide during the three months since June. It seems mass market appeal is no longer there.
“Emperor’s New Clothes or the Way Forward? The Opportunities & Challenges of Clinical Innovation”. This was 2015’s teaser title for the Cardiff University Innovation Network event, held at the Heath Hospital in Cardiff.
While my professional links with clinical healthcare are limited, I continue to find the subject area compelling. In Wales it’s a perennial political football. Part of my problem in observing and digesting these events might be that I’m hankering for some BBC Question Time style debate, which is never likely to happen.
Having attended the previous two related events in 2013 and 2014, my trilogy would be completed with one more trip to north Cardiff, so I went see if this one would unearth anything new for the medical layman.
Major figures from the world of technology give lectures at UK universities around this time of year. For this we thank the annual Turing lecture series from the Institute of Engineering (IET) and the Chartered Institute of IT (BCS). This year’s was delivered by Dr. Robert Pepper, Cisco Vice President for Global Technology Policy.
In the previous two years I’ve scribbled less learned thoughts here after hearing the talks.
In 2013 we had Suranga Chandratillake, Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of blinkx plc, who spoke about the video search engine he started in 2004, took public in 2007 and led as CEO until 2012; and about his time as CTO at Autonomy.
In 2014 Dr. Bernard Meyerson, Vice President for Innovation at IBM, gave a dizzying talk entitled “Beyond silicon: cognition and much, much more,” parts of which were indeed way beyond my cognition.
This year the BCS/IET Turing Lecture gave us Dr Robert Pepper, Vice President of Global Technology Policy at Cisco. The title of his talk was “The Internet Paradox: How bottom-up beat(s) command and control.”
Most online social communities depend upon reciprocation, following the activity of others in order to be followed back; a sometimes blind and urgent focus on simply driving up those important numbers. This is a call to pause for thought.
Much of business today revolves around metrics, data, numbers. The mass of people online means a wealth of data, new job roles designed to exploit that data and professionals desperately scrambling to keep their skills up to date. It’s not hard to see why data has been dubbed the oil of this century.
This is largely for the good, for transparency and accountability, for conversions and web traffic, unambiguous black and white. Close measurement and analysis has become meaningful and arguably most meaningful where it’s most niche, where there is specifically developed software within a sector; where metrics are fluid and have serious value.
Kicking off the season was Jackie Brock-Doyle OBE, CEO of Good Relations Group. When you’re credited with bringing the Olympics to London and having a large say in overseeing communications for the whole thing, as well as for the Paralympics, Commonwealth and Invictus Games: that deserves respect.
In the next ten years some of the biggest advances in business and government will come from new insights into human psychology and behaviour.
This was the hook for a Cardiff Business School lecture by Rory Sutherland, Vice Chairman of Ogilvy Group UK, an enormous advertising group.
This year the annual Turing Lecture series from the Institute of Engineering and Technology and The Chartered Institute for IT was delivered by Dr. Bernard Meyerson, Vice President for Innovation at IBM.
Responsible for IBM’s corporate technical strategy, Global University Relations and the IBM Academy – a worldwide organisation of around 1,000 IBM technical leaders, it’s fair to say Dr. Meyerson is a highly respected figure in the world of computing, data and innovation.
Having attended this equivalent Cardiff University event last year and been encouraged by a level of tangible innovation, I was keen to take a return trip to see how the 2014 version compared.
The event back on January 22nd seemed especially pertinent. Leading the news headlines in Wales over the previous week had been two separate, tragic incidents in the north and south of Wales, both concerning excessive waiting times for ambulances, both leading to fatalities. Additional stories this week have concerned the postponement of planned surgery across north Wales due to increased pressure, and a plan to centralise care for babies born in west Wales.
Today’s virtual, digital world usually creates a comfortable distance for users. This is a comfortable distance that suddenly disappears when you’re actually in a conference room with other people. If you fall into a conversation and grow bored, you can’t click or swipe for them to go away.
Well, you could. But that would be quite rude.
While the title of the annual market analyst forum suggested a certain current harmony between the cloud, social media and analytics, a series of analyst viewpoints indicated that the developing multi-device landscape might be a little more complicated.