The Australian Centre for Innovation joined with its sister organisation at the University of Sydney – the Warren Centre for Advanced Engineering, to present a mid-year report to a wide-ranging audience of business and university leaders on 22 July 2014. The presentation highlighted the significant level of teaching that ACIIC provides to the Faculty of Engineering & IT, and a range of recent projects:
Mal Bryce (Chairman of ACIIC), Professor Ron Johnston (Executive Director), and Kelvin Willoughby ( Professor, of Innovation and Intellectual Property Management at the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology in Moscow, until recently Professor of Entrepreneurship & IP at Curtin University made a joint presentation on ‘The Next Era of Global Technological Development’ at Curtin Corner – a weekly seminar series managed by The John Curtin Institute of Public Policy (JCIPP) on 17 June 2014.
Government systems remain local, based on proximity, in a globalising world. So says Pascal Lamy, former Director General of the WTO, on launching the Oxford Martin Commission report, ‘Now for the Long Term’.
The classical response to this challenge (globalising local problems), acknowledging the power and drivers of national sovereignty, is to establish international organisations requiring all, or a great majority of national governments to commit to eg UN, etc. But in the past 10-15 years, this approach has produced almost no progress on key challenges eg climate change.
Key aspects of contemporary Australian society and its future rely on technology. Australians pride themselves on being pioneers and ‘early adopters’ of technology. Our manufacturing, service, and primary industries revolve around important technologies, some invented here and many others which are imported and adapted from elsewhere. To gain greater benefit from technologies we need to identify their social, cultural, political and security implications early on in the technology life cycle. It is important to understand the attitudes that play a role in framing, mediating and shaping technology in Australia.
On a sunny Sunday afternoon in late May, University of Sydney Engineering Leadership Scholars engaged in some very fancy time travel. Trip Coordinator was Professor Ron Johnston, from the Australian Centre for Innovation.
A key leadership skill is working out where you want to go, and why – the management consultants call it vision. There are only limited opportunities in our standard engineering curriculum for students to encounter the skills that will be needed to be effective leaders, so a special workshop was organised to introduce our Scholars to the tools of foresight.