Still Doing Digital – Insights from Cardiff, March 2017

Over two days and two events last week I was given insight into future-thinking, digital integration in the arts and how new technologies will impact our lives.

On the first day I was commissioned to photograph a conference about Digital Innovation in the Arts. As a photographer you are concentrated on getting the best possible images of speakers and the environment, but you can collect nuggets of information here and there.  BBC-led afternoon sessions on VR were genuinely fascinating, and enjoyable to photograph.  While this tech might still be a considerable time away from mass market penetration, on a visceral level it remains really cool.

digital-cardiff-communications

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An Introduction To Edtech

Edtech – what’s this emerging technology space all about? An event in Cardiff city centre piqued my interest when it popped up in the Cardiff Start Facebook group, so I registered and went along.

What is Edtech?

Clearly the word Edtech appears to be a marriage of ed-ucation and tech-nology, but what really defines it?

Mark Hawkins / Composed Images.

© Composed Images.

Without doing any googling, it seems widely inclusive and rather vague, somewhat elastic. Couldn’t you argue that ALL technology is educational?

Is it about the organisational nuts and bolts of schools, colleges and universities? Is it about how the education itself is delivered?  Say you have an organisational solution which isn’t being applied in an educational environment currently, but could be. Hey presto, a little wiggling and that can suddenly become Edtech?

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Cardiff Business Club – MacMillan Cancer Support boss Lynda Thomas

- macmillan.org.uk

– macmillan.org.uk

On the eve of International Women’s Day 2016, a talk was given by MacMillan Cancer Support chief executive Lynda Thomas at the Principality Stadium for Cardiff Business Club.

A few days before I’d seen the talk advertised online. My wife is the PR Manager for a charity, so I thought she’d be interested and it would make a cheap evening out.

Lynda Thomas is originally from these parts of South Wales, and she proudly wears her Welshness. It was astute to express this at Cardiff Business Club right from the start, especially during the week of an England-Wales rugby match. Inside the iconic, recently renamed stadium, the crowd was with her immediately.

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Shared risk / shared reward: key to clinical innovation between private and public sectors?

Innov“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.

2013 – Innovation in healthcare
2014 – Dying to talk – an event on Healthcare In Wales

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.
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Wise words from a communications Olympian

BrockDoyleAfter attending the season’s launch earlier in the month, last week I took another trip to the salubrious surroundings of St David’s Hotel in Cardiff Bay for a Cardiff Business Club event.

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.
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Comfortably dumb? The next revolution will be psychological not technological

RoryThis blog seems to have turned into a place where I irregularly write about public lectures at Cardiff University.  Apologies for being deeply unimaginative, but here is another one.

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.

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The IET/BCS Turing Lecture – beyond cognition?

bernard-meyersonThis 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.
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Smooth operator – Stephen Fear, phone box millionaire

Cardiff University’s latest Innovation Network event presented Stephen Fear, a lifelong entrepreneur who set up his first company in 1969, aged 16.  He bought a cleaning formula from an American company advertising in the Exchange & Mart, after claiming a council estate phone box as his personal office for transatlantic calls.

Stephen Fear calmly took to the lectern on an unsettled autumn evening which blustered and spat outside.  His was a sturdy and unflashy presence: smart business suit, no tie, a gentle West Country lilt to his voice suggestive of the Bristol roots.

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Ode to record store day

Celebrating old media

Celebrating old media

My love of music was, like many of my generation, largely down to Steve Lamacq’s Evening Session show on BBC Radio 1. Therefore I feel a debt to make a nod to this year’s Record Store Day.

While I hadn’t been aware of it before this year, 2013 is the sixth celebration of the UK’s unique independent sector. On Saturday 20th April “all independently owned record stores come together with artists to celebrate the art of music. Special vinyl and CD releases are made exclusively for the day and hundreds of artists across the globe make special appearances and performances.” – recordstoreday.co.uk

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Early marriage for smartphone and desktop apps

Ubuntu - barking up the wrong tree?

Ubuntu – barking up the wrong tree?

New technologies constantly collide and drift apart again, some sticking together for longer than others. We crave golden solutions which cram everything into one swiss army knife of goodness and often come close to finding it, before realising it can’t quite do everything.

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