NANCY’S BLOG:  Why (and How) Gigaom Change.

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Several years ago New York Times media futurist, Nick Bilton, described our need to take in ever growing amounts of information in three sizes: bytes, snacks and meals. While I’ve used that framework for many years, I’m wondering if there is a new addition: the blur. Those are the hundreds of headlines I scroll through quickly several times a day on Twitter, Facebook. Linkedin, Medium, Google Alerts, curated eblasts/newsletters, and now via personalized news curation services such as Pocket and Quibb. The streams are endless!


Most of what comes blurring past are stories (whether 2min reads or 11 min investments) related to advancing technologies and their potential impact on every aspect of enterprise success – from manufacturing and logistics with robots and additive/smart printing, to the augmented insight available via AI (of all kinds), to the pathways opening via nanotechnology, virtual + augmented reality … and the questions all these raise for the future of cybersecurity and how our interactions with the machines all around us will shift. A taste:  

• Autobahn A9: Audi Research Car “Jack” shows social competence

Dubai Ruler Unveils World’s First 3D Printed Office

• Rolls-Royce’s Vision Of The Future: A Fleet Of Drone Ships Controlled By Augmented Reality

Which is why any super curious strategic futurist would jump at the chance to build a unique new event for business leaders that addresses these — all of these — in one fell swoop. A really cool experience that lets us all dig in behind the headlines to really understand how this is and will change the work we do ahead. I’m excited to share the vision of Gigaom Change2016 – a future-forward summit for business leaders.


In seven weeks hundreds of business and enterprise leaders will be coming together in Austin to decode this rapidly advancing future by discussing seven of the most disruptive technologies poised to change what we do and how we do it; Bryon Reese, publisher of Gigaom, articulates well why these are the seven wonders of the business tech world:  

• Artificial (and Augmented) Intelligence

• Robotics

• Nanotechnology

• 3D+ Printing

• Virtual/Augmented/Mixed Reality

• Cybersecurity

• Human Machine Interface

Who needs to know.

For whom is this conversation most relevant? Our answer: anyone inside an organization who feels the responsibility of leading their enterprise into the future, successfully.  No surprise, this is a need felt across an organization; from the CXOs (chief exec officers) to those leading transformational strategy through all the lifeblood business units they depend on. And these are exactly the folks planning to attend, from a wide range of companies including Warner Bros and Disney, Dell, Intel, Best Buy, Amazon, Deloitte, Bain, Rackspace, Cognitive Scale and many, many more from emerging tech companies, in every one of these industries listed above. Excitedly, we’ve assembled an extraordinary collection of speakers at the forefront of these technologies who will provide meaningful insight for us all.

Who’s talking… and how.

We decided the best way to wrap our brains around such impactful topics was to find the three top experts in each of the seven technologies and invite them to share their ideas and experience on a Keynote Panel. Each has been carefully curated to represent an important perspective in these evolving conversations:

  1. An industry leader who will accessibly explain why this technology is emerging right now and what the current state of the art really is.
  2. An industry practitioner who can really speak to what it’s like to bring these technologies in-house and address so many of the questions the rest of us have about the impact it is having right now.
  3. An industry visionary who will take us into the next 5-20+ years and help us imagine what is possible moving ahead, as well as point out some of the really big questions we all will need to prepare for such as ethics and privacy, shifting intellectual property rights and regulations, the need for new business models and more.

After months of hunting for just the right people, we happily share the keynote panelists confirmed so far who will help us all better understand what this technology is, why it matters and where it’s headed:


3D Printing:

Shane Wall (CTO + Global Head, HP Labs)

Stan Deans (President, UPS Global Logistics and Distribution)


Artificial Intelligence:

Manoj Saxena (Executive Chairman, CognitiveScale)

Rob High (IBM Fellow, Vice President + CTO, IBM Watson)


Human-Machine Interfaces:

David Rose (CEO, Ditto Labs / Instructor at the MIT Media Lab / Author of Enchanted Objects)

Rohit Prasad (Head Scientist, Machine Learning for Alexa and Speech at Amazon)

Mark Rolston (Cofounder + Chief Creative Officer, argodesign)


Dr Heike Riel (IBM Fellow + Director Physical Sciences Department, IBM Research)

Dr Michael Edelman (CEO, Nanoco)



Melonee Wise (CEO, Fetch Robotics)

Rodolphe Gelin (EVP + Chief Scientific Officer, Aldebaran) 

Virtual Reality / Augmented Reality / Mixed Reality

Liam Quinn (CTO, VP, Sr Dell Fellow at Dell Inc)

Jacquelyn Ford Morie PhD  (Founder + CEO, All These Worlds LLC / Founder + CTO, The Augmented Traveler Corp) 


Cris Turner (Head of Government Affairs for the Americas at Dell) – Moderator

(with some extraordinary folks pending; though it does seem ironic these are still a secret, doesn’t it?)

Additional Keynote Speaker

Robert Metcalfe (Professor of Innovation, Murchison Fellow of Free Enterprise at The University of Texas) 

With more panelists being confirmed each day, imagine what each will be able to share in a short talk, and how provocative the conversations will be as they join a moderated panel together? I literally canNOT wait, as our mission is to add real value to the business leadership building our collective futures. Now.


I’d like to also note here that even with a very focused attempt to create a powerful, diverse line-up, multiple stats related to curating this event suggest that men far outpace women in their demonstrated curiosity and desire to step onto the edge as leaders + speakers in this work. Given how much productivity these emerging fields are expected to drive ahead — and how many crucial decisions these leaders will face — I sincerely hope these front lines continue to grow in diversity and inclusion as fast as they grow in influence. Let this be a part of that shift.

With 2.5 days of consecutive keynote panels, topic breakouts and additional keynote conversations around the expectations these all raise for business leaders, I’m in my applied futurist nirvana!! And want to share this as broad and wide as possible. If you or anyone you know should hear about this event, please forward.

Registration info (and a little discount).

If you too can become a part of this growing community of exponential leaders discussing what it takes to be better prepared for the future, please register here; keep in mind ticket prices will continue to rise as the event takes greater shape.

And I offer a special shout-out to the first 25 or so folks who jumped in to buy a ticket before you had any idea who would be speaking; I have a very nice surprise in the works for you all, cuz it’s this kind of courage we all need as we face  a big, fast, full of potential + peril, audacious future ahead. And for the all the rest of you who may just hearing about this now, please use this code for a bit of discount: Nancy100 (resourcefulness is also a trait the future will appreciate).

Wishing you a bold week of learning. The TED talk of the week reminds us all of the need to keep doing so. And we look forward to doing this together, in oh so many interesting ways.  


Nancy + the Gigaom Change team

Ps – if you can’t join this event, we’ve got  you covered; we intend to create this again, along with another three really unique experiences for business leaders in 2017. Woot!  And any input you have is always welcome! Thank you.


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