Can technology create a new reality for northern Australia?
That's a question Dr Jane Thomason will seek to answer on Thursday, May 6, in the Ken Coombe Tech Yards Talks.
Dr Thomason is a visionary leader and social innovator, with a focus on remote areas and emerging economies, including Indonesia, Philippines, PNG, Mongolia, Fiji, Samoa, and global networks in Africa, MENA and Asia as well as the US and UK.
She is an advocate for digital transformation to reduce inequality and vulnerability and a move to a human-centred digital economy where we measure value based on people and the planet; we use data to measure and report on impact; and we collaborate to reduce social and economic disparity.
"My childhood was spent in Ayr, Mareeba and Mount Isa, and I have spent much of my adult life working in Asia and the Pacific, which share many similarities with northern Australia," she said
"Since 2016, I have been researching and writing about the latest world-changing technologies that are impacting locally and globally."
Dr Thomason said we are living through perhaps the most uncertain period of modern history.
"Nothing is predictable, and we have lived through a massive acceleration of technological change in the past decade since the iPhone and the pandemic has accelerated technological adoption."
She said the iPhone is only 10 years old, and yet we now depend on it for almost everything. "Everything is digitising and industries are being demonetised like newspapers and television.
"New exponential organisations and changing the way we think about ownership and the sharing economy has catapulted.
"If someone had asked you 10 years ago whether you would ride in a stranger's car or sleep in a stranger's bed, you would have been horrified and now Uber and AirBnB are commonplace."
Dr Thomason said by looking at the world around us, we can discover how the digital economy gives new hope and vision to northern Australia. "Drones, 3D printing, advanced manufacturing, Blockchain, AI, big data, VR, are all being used to overcome challenges in ways almost unimaginable."
We have lived through a massive acceleration of technological change in the past decade.