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Highlights from the Top Tech Trends Debate 2018

Sold out with more than 180 registrations and a priceless buzz in the air… Not bad for our Australian premiere of Silicon Valley’s Top Tech Trends Debate, right?

With major thanks to PwC and the Victorian Digital Innovation Festival – as well as Avion Communications, Burninghouse, Norgate McLean Dolphin and Studio Worldwide – the Churchill Club is pleased to report the Top Tech Trends Debate was a huge success. (A special mention also needs to be given to our exceptional moderator, Nina Muhleisen, who steered insightful conversation throughout the evening!)

In case you missed it or you’d like to share what you learned with friends, here’s the lowdown on what was covered that night.

Tech Trend 1: Tech will save us from tech

By Ryan Ebert 

Named twice in Australia’s top 30 Entrepreneurs under 30, Ryan is the Director and co-founder of PHW Group – a national occupational physiotherapy, workplace training and office design company dedicated to creating healthier and more productive workplaces. So, it makes sense that Ryan has a keen eye for how tech impacts real-world human interaction and behaviour. Arguing “tech will save us from tech”, Ryan believes machine learning and wearables will help us build healthier and more sustainable relationships with our devices. This trend presents itself as a very comforting idea, in particular in this age where we feel our devices are, in fact, controlling us.

Tech Trend 2: Driverless cars as a service

By Paul Higgins

Paul is a Futurist with Emergent Futures and on the Board of the Future Business Council. He writes and presents regularly on future disruptions to business models and consults to a range of organisations on planning for the future. Paul believes that in the next three to five years, “driverless cars as a service” will take centre stage. This trend will bring about the end of personal motor vehicle ownership, and the death of car dealerships. Time will tell if his prediction is right. If you’d like to find out more, Paul is currently co-authoring a book on the future of driverless vehicles entitled Is Driverless Always More? – How driverless vehicles will transform our economies and our societies.

Tech Trend 3: Post-IOT – Pervasive computer environments

By Bec Martin

Bec is an emerging technology enthusiast, a tinkerer and lifelong learner working at the intersection of government, startups and technology. Most recently, she was an adviser for the Victorian Minister for Innovation and the Digital Economy. She says much has been made of the promise of the Internet of Things (IOT) over the last decade. A strategic thinker, Bec believes the next big thing will be pervasive computer environments that interact with (and respond appropriately to) human environments. This trend is a push away from humans controlling interaction with (and responding to) IOT devices. “Ambient intelligence” – intuitive, integrated products and services that predict and respond to our needs – will soon be ubiquitous.

Tech Trend 4: The rise of diasporic ecosystems

By Bienna Chow

Bienna is an international strategist specialising in innovation and investments, combining experience from multinational corporations, high-tech startups and venture capital across a broad range of industries. With a strong understanding of global markets, she believes the trend that will have the most impact in the next three to five years is “the rise of diasporic ecosystems”. She says global mobility, migration and technology are rapidly changing our social landscapes. For example, think of the Chinese equivalents to Uber Eats that operate a tight ship catering to Chinese residents here in Australia, right under our nose. International technology and information transfer along same ethnic connections have always existed, but companies such as these are now rapidly building local ecosystems outside their home countries and creating business expansion opportunities. 

Tech Trend 5: The future of education

By Kee Wong

Kee Wong is an entrepreneur with an impressive string of titles including Immediate Past Chairman of the Board of the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA), Deputy Chairman of Asialink and member of the Board of Directors for the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD). Knowledgeable in all things engineering, IT and business, Kee argued the biggest trend coming our way is “the future of education”. He believes that Australia's Higher Education Industry – which is the third largest export revenue for Australia and the highest export revenue for the State of Victoria – is under threat to being disrupted. What’s interesting is that it won’t be by other groups of universities, but by online platform players like Amazon et al. Watch this space…

And the winner is… Kee Wong!

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The interactive element of the evening – where audience members vote on the spot via www.pollEV.com – is part of what makes this event so unique.

Congratulations goes to Kee Wong for his prediction about the future of education. He takes home the award this year… Who (and what trend) will be next? Sign up to our mailing list to stay informed about the Top Tech Trends Debate in 2019. We can’t wait to host it again next year.