Disruptive Change: The New Normal

Posted on: Monday, 23 November 2015 at 9:07:14 PM

AICC(WA) FutureNow Series

11 November 2015

The knowledge economy of Australia requires new approaches to the way in which technology is developed, funded and adopted, starting from the structures supporting STEM education, through to the economic and regulated environment under which services are delivered.  These themes strongly resonated through the presentation by Mr Paul Bassat, on the topic of “Disruptive Change: The New Normal.”

In welcoming Paul Bassat to PwC in Brookfield Place, Partner Mr Justin Scanlan, who leads PwC's Technology and Digital practice, shared his excitement about the change in economic direction for Australia, noting there was no better example than Paul Bassat to show how technology innovation can change industries and the medium of consumer engagement.  Mr Scanlan referred to an Israel briefing from Mr Bassat, noting he was marvelled by the economic accomplishments of Israel, not losing sight of the most important ingredient being the inventiveness of the Israeli people. 

 

 Mr Justin Scanlan, Partner, PwC

 

 

Mr Larry Lopez, Vice-president, AICC(WA) and Partner, Australian Venture Consultants

AICC(WA) Vice President, Mr Larry Lopez facilitated the presentation, also noting that for the first time in more than a decade there was traction within the Australian economy for innovation, led from the Prime Minister down.  Mr Lopez introduced Paul Bassat, Co-founder of Square Peg Capital and Seek, and Non-executive Director, Wesfarmers, as a great entrepreneur and outstanding business leader.

 

 

From L to R - Mr John Cluer, Chief Executive, Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce (WA), Mr Matt Taylor MLA, Member for Bateman, WA Parliament, Mr Justin Scanlan, Partner, PwC, Mr Paul Bassat, Co-founder, Square Peg Capital & SEEK and, Non-executive Director, Wesfarmers, Mr Larry Lopez, Vice-president, AICC(WA) and Partner, Australian Venture Consultants and Professor John Finlay-Jones, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Edith Cowan University

 

Drawing on his recent trip to Israel and longstanding relationship with the AICC, Paul Bassat noted there was a huge amount for Australia to learn from Israel’s business culture.  “Israel, often necessarily, comes up with different ways to solve complex problems, exemplifying what innovation is all about”.

Mr Bassat spoke about the history of adoption rates for technology, noting that the mobile phone has changed consumer behaviour within a five year period, contrasted to the internet that took a lot longer.   Forms of automation and efficiency in turn free up people’s time to transform lifestyles, pursue leisure and further evolve a services oriented economy.

  

 Mr Paul Bassat, Co-founder, Square Peg Capital & SEEK and, Non-executive Director, Wesfarmers

Recounting his journey with seek.com, Mr Bassat described how a start-up with no legacy assets or well established markets took on well funded organisations.  This experience now allows him as a venture capitalist to back small entities with the potential to pitch disruptive technologies against incumbents.  He spoke of industries such as transportation, citing electric vehicles, ride sharing, and autonomous vehicles as trends which are already impacting traditional car ownership.  There are broader impacts on the designs of cities, leisure and lifestyle trends, methods of movement, and societal ethics.

 The future of work is also impacted.  Many people are now seeking freelance work and blending skills and labour in unforseen ways.  “The way with think of career progression is no longer linear”.  In turn, the future of education, adaptive and online learning, and skill development is also being revolutionised.

 

 

Professor John Finlay-Jones, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Edith Cowan University

Mr Bassat concluded we are operating in an environment of incredible change.  Some embrace it, while some choose to ignore it.  Australia needs to broaden and deepen its economic evolvement and technological advancement to deliver the knowledge economy.  “For me, the most important thing by far is the education system. We need to be investing heavily in IT education. From primary school it needs to be a core and compulsory part of the curriculum for all kids, in the same way that maths and English are,” Mr Bassat said.

 

 

Mr Matt Taylor MLA, Member for Bateman, WA Parliament

 

 

From L to R - Mr Matt Taylor MLA, Member for Bateman, WA Parliament, Mr Paul Bassat, Co-founder, Square Peg Capital & SEEK and, Non-executive Director, Wesfarmers and Professor John Finlay-Jones, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Edith Cowan University

 

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