We’re All in this Together at SXSW 2018

The balance of SXSW 2018 included a wide variety of sessions at on gender, diversity, inclusion, tech and venture capital with an overarching theme of globally connected: we’re all in this together.

A venture capital outlook on Industry 4.0 explored smart automation, talent and workforce upskilling, AI, jobs and leadership via the McKinsey workplace automation study.

Elon Musk answered your questions at SXSW, saying self-driving will be much safer than a person, by the end of next year and he envisions Mars government as a “direct democracy”.

A session on a robot won’t take your job but a human will – discussed gender diversity, cognitive diversity, the role of team mates, communication and accountability with Dom Price from Atlassian.  There are fewer women in top roles that there are men named John, Peter or David.  80% of people are worried that AI will increase unemployment but technology has done nothing but create jobs.

This was the first year that Australia had a house at SXSW and there were huge line ups to see Hugh Jackman.

Live from SXSW with Hugh Jackman, chatting about Laughing Man Coffee, a sustainable social enterprise and social entrepreneurship, watching on the big screen outside Australia House was as close as I got.

MintHer, a money matching platform, is empowering a billion women with $1b in capital by 2020.

A Featured Session at SXSW included Rian Johnson + Mark Hamill who dropped in and having just released Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi, Rian is already writing his next independent feature.

Conversation on Democratizing AI for Individuals and Organizations was fascinating with a theme of access for all.

Experimentation with Virtual Reality, recreating real life situations, saw Nonny de la Pena, CEO of Emblematic Group, share her pioneering work.  This included being in two bodies at once – in Los Angeles in a suit and Barcelona inside the body of a robot.  Don’t just tell your story but live it says VR godmother with immersive journalism, being on scene for real stories.

The next big target market for the sharing economy is seniors says @juliettekayyem where trust is created in physical space and with managing digital information.

Questions came from the audience about blockchain applied to the sharing economy where your trust history can be freely available.  The bigger impact is applying blockchain to work, future jobs, skills being verified via your resume and digital profile.

Speaking of the Future of Work, I met some great people at the Deloitte event, talking about collaboration and global connections.  Check out the 2018 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends: The rise of the social enterprise, identifying the top 10 trends HR and business leaders need to be aware of to navigate the seismic shifts transforming human capital.

There was a great Age of Ageless panel how we can disrupt traditional ideas of age and careers – DJ Sumirock is a very cool example.  It’s never to late — or too early — to transform yourself. Age? If you don’t mind. It doesn’t matter.  “In Silicon Valley, 30 is the new 50, in terms of power. Power is escalating to the young….” says Chip Conley.

When you are in between a caterpillar and a butterfly that is liminal.  Chip Conley suggested let’s liberate elder from the -ly. To be a sage as much as student, to be a mentor as well as intern.  “We have to celebrate our age, not hide it. It’s important to just be authentic at any time in our lives.  Birth year is an antiquated way of looking at the world. Boomers, millennials… who cares?

@KarenRightNow knows more and more people taking gap years in their 40s as “refueling stops” or “reboots”.  Whether you’re 5 or 55, people place expectations on you tied to your age, instead disrupt ageing by reinventing yourself.

Bell’s future air taxi concept was on display where you could experience flying taxis that will be trailed from 2019.

And the final #SXSW2018 session for me was on chatbots with Mashable, Amazon and Intuit – so cool to know where to next with new discovery technologies.

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