Zig Zag into the FutureNOW

Posted on: Thursday, 18 October 2018 at 7:47:47 PM

Article from the AICC(WA)’s ECU futureNOW Series event “Zig Zag into the futureNOW” & Confidently Unsure; Taking Bold Steps through a Fog” featuring Ms Karen Lay-Brew, President and Chair, Australian Business Software Industry Association and Mr Gregory R Copley AM, President ISSA – International Strategic Studies Association, Washington DC, USA.  This event was held on 17 October 2018 at Frasers, Kings Park, Perth.

 

From L to R - Mr John Cluer, Chief Executive, Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce (WA), Mr Nev Power, Chairman, Perth Airport, Professor Margaret Jones, Director, Office of Research and Development, Edith Cowan University, Mr Gregory R. Copley AM, President, ISSA - The International Strategic Studies Association, Washington DC, USA and Ms Karen Lay-Brew, President and Chair, Australian Business Software Industry Association (ABSIA)

 

The AICC(WA), through young business leadership engagement, was proud to showcase this event to a large number of sponsored students.  In addition to quality business networking, the dialogue associated with the pace of identification and adoption of new technology resonated across a broader spectrum demographic.

Introducing the topic, Mr John Cluer, Chief Executive, provided an insight into the scale of Israel’s hi-tech industry.  He also spoke of Israel’s cultural and ethical discourse in relation to technological development and control.  Mr Nev Power, Chairman of Perth Airport and co-leader of the forthcoming AICC(WA) Trade Delegation to Israel also spoke in anticipation of how exposure to Israel’s technology can potentially deliver new bilateral trade opportunities for Western Australia.

Focussing her address on “FUD” – Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt, driven by technological change, Ms Karen Lay-Brew provided a broad perspective on business preparedness.  Included in her address she noted;

  • Employee expectations in relation to mobility, flexibility, and privacy
  • Future business success is contingent on having the data-based capability to make decisions. The optimisation of both systems and analytics is essential to accomplish this.
  • The impact of robotics and automation on employment markets is the most common issue raised with ABSIA.
  • Digital technology and interoperability has changed our business culture. Decision makers no longer conform to enterprise based technology platforms, and multiple platforms deliver a new way of thinking.

Ms Lay Brew concluded by cautioning not to consider technology in isolation to broader business drivers.  She reiterated that technological convergence has impacted consumer confidence in the use of software.  She further said that “Privacy is distinct from Security.  It is arguably as nuanced as there are as many people in the world.  It is all about how you as an individual want to preserve and protect information.” 

Ms Karen Lay-Brew, President and Chair, Australian Business Software Industry Association (ABSIA) and Mr Gregory R. Copley AM, President, ISSA - The International Strategic Studies Association, Washington DC, USA

 

 

A geopolitical insight offered by Mr Greg Copley AM followed, raising strong philosophical and ethical considerations.  Drawing on population research, Mr Copley tied global economies of scale, investment patterns, and political stability into a well-rounded outlook on technological risk mitigation. 

“We have seen growth in knowledge, but not necessarily growth in wisdom,” Mr Copley cautioned as he predicted a shift back from an environment of discovery to an environment of beliefs.  “However, belief too, without knowledge, can be unproductive.”

Mr Copley provided an uninhibited commentary on Australia’s GDP, benchmarked against other economies and regions over-time.  The relative performance has declined, suggesting that Australia’s period of innovation has possibly peaked.  The Turnbull Government innovation agenda had started well, but the sudden change of Government can easily stall the impetus of this activity.  Coupled with declining investment and population growth, Australia needs to become “strategically secure and economically viable” through the evolvement of a knowledge economy. 

 

Mr Gregory R. Copley AM, President, ISSA - The International Strategic Studies Association, Washington DC, USA

 

Contrasting Australia to Israel, Mr Copley described the existential need for innovation and security that has been thrust upon Israel since its establishment.  Without these threats, and with an abundance of natural resource, Australia’s innovation has not been driven by necessity.  However Mr Copley also suggested the growing awareness or “wake up call” for Australia to enhance its global competitiveness.  He also commented on the higher proportionate economic contribution and traditional self-sufficiency of Western Australia that does deliver economic leadership to Federation.  Awareness, if not appreciation, of Western Australian innovation remains critical to Australia’s future aspirations. 

Mr Copley summarised by describing a global return to nationalism, and the impact of cyclic economic activity.  “There is nothing linear about history” he remarked as he described the historic pivot of Australia’s strategic diplomacy from the UK to the US, and towards Asian alliances.  As a modern economy with a contemporary politic, Israel has been able to balance and preserve amicable diplomatic relations with the USA, Russia, and China.  Mr Copley observed that Australia too can preserve multiple allegiances through robust diplomatic and economic performance.

Mr John Cluer, Chief Executive, Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce (WA), Mr Gregory R. Copley AM, President, ISSA - The International Strategic Studies Association, Washington DC, USA and Ms Karen Lay-Brew, President and Chair, Australian Business Software Industry Association (ABSIA)

 

Engaging Q&A followed the presentations, drawing on technology and political disruption, privacy concerns and the role of regulation, currency protection, and ethical policy development.  It was remarked that there is an expectation for Government to deal with technology based threats, but suggested that it is the collective responsibility of individuals, organisations and regulators to confront all elements of data and cyber security.

The discussion ended on an optimistic note, contextualising the productive benefits of software development and looking towards the future economic, medical, business and lifestyle benefits that further technology enhancement will bring.  Ms Lay Brew concluded “I can see change.   It’s starting to happen.”

 

Ms Karen Lay-Brew, President and Chair, Australian Business Software Industry Association (ABSIA)

Karen is a Board Member, executive coach and mentor to senior leaders and women in leadership. She is active in promoting Diversity and serves on a number of Boards. Karen is the President and Chair of the Australian Business Software Industry Association (ABSIA), sits on a number of high-level Government Boards and is instrumental in establishing governance and stakeholder engagement frameworks.  

 With over 30 years of experience at the international executive and operational levels in multi-national corporations, Karen’s executive responsibilities have encompassed all aspects of a business from strategy and planning, organisation culture and alignment, Diversity leadership, leadership development, financial and performance management, all tightly linked to providing product and services to the customer.    

Karen previously worked at Microsoft Head Quarters in the USA as Vice President for delivering global software releases coordinating Marketing, Sales, Partners and Customer Service.   She also served as the Vice President of Six Sigma and Chief Information Officer for BHP Billiton Base Metals division where she implemented a world-wide Six Sigma Operational Excellence programme.  As the Chief Information Officer for Honeywell Asia-Pacific, she worked across different cultures and geographies to successfully integrate the disparate IT organisations serving 14 different countries.  Karen has also consulted to various Government Departments and SME’s

Gregory R. Copley AM, President, ISSA – The International Strategic Studies Association, Washington DC, USA

Western Australian Gregory Copley, an advisor to governments around the world for the past 45 years, and the author or co-author of 35 books, including:

  • “Sovereignty in the 21st Century and the Crisis for Identity, Cultures, Nation-States, and Civilizations”;
  • “Australia 2050; Such a Full Sea (Australia's Options in a Changing Indian Ocean Region)”;
  • “UnCivilization: Urban Geopolitics in a time of Chaos”; and
  • “The Art of Victory”

In 2016, he also launched the ISSA Zahedi Center for the Study of Monarchy, Traditional Governance, and Sovereignty, while continuing to oversee several other regional intelligence forums.

Greg returns home from his Washington, DC, base each year to present the AICC(WA)’s annual geopolitical event.  His talk to the AICC(WA) a decade ago “Can Australia Survive the Next 50 Years?”  is still being talked about. So, too, is his 2017 talk, which accurately forecast how US Pres. Trump would bring North Korea into negotiations and precipitate major new opportunities for security in the Indo-Pacific.

With thanks to our futureNOW series sponsors below:

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