Imagine the future, share the passion, interact with the likeminded and act to bring it about….. It is not a lighthouse it is a sunrise
About a year ago I wrote a profile for the member area on the Association of Professional Futurists web-site. I have altered that text slightly to update any references to dates.
Thinking and acting for learning, improvements and change is in my nature. It has permeated my school years, study years and my career.
I have a long term background in creating; products, markets, strategies, consumer foresight and business foresight.
I have created in various contexts; high growth innovation environments in corporations, a couple of start-ups I founded and co-founded, and in tough ‘in between’ trapezes environments where change is mandatory and yet the more necessary it is the harder it is to execute.
Areas of interest/expertise
I get excited by people who are passionate and interested in making a difference. I applaude people who take on the ‘why not’ attitude and do something about bringing about the better future; whether in corporate circumstances, writing about the crazy injusticies and policies in this world, or the many ways in which the members of the APF for example try to help bring about sustainable decision making.
I am particularly passionate about consumer foresight in the context of technology and business foresight.
In the 90s I had a hand in Nokia’s consumer orientation by building means to understand where things were going next and the impact that could have on the industry, so the team I worked with built underpinnings for the Nokia brand – connecting people.
It was during this time that I found the foresight field and met with many of the members of the APF in various events around the world and invited some of the members to work with Nokia in building a view to the future of mobile/personal information society to 2010. Many of the findings are now being made real by various industries. Currently I am working – again as a context – on mobility, but now on the enterprise side of that picture.
I lead CSC’s offering – a global team across the IT services fields – to bring about a comprehensive view to how to make a difference to a business through mobile enabling key processes. My work is all really part and parcel of the same theme; change is persistent, to ignore it is no good, but to dive into it without some idea of what for and what is the best way is not really a good idea, so how to bring the right parties together to make it happen and entice the rest to be part of the same vision, inside or outside the confines of an organization……..
Publications, presentations, projects
I co-authored a book called Strategic Foresight: The Power of Standing in the Future. I also contributed to Future Histories a book with science fiction and industry contributions. Lately the APF has put together a manual for foresighters on what to consider when working on the craft. This is called “Thinking about the Future“.
At CSC I co-authored a report on Connected World. We took a ‘short term’ look at the shifting high tech landscape and its impact on business. I give presentations, is forever changing shapes and sizes, on this topic around the world.
A group of foresighters organized an event in Australia – AusForesight2006 – at the end of 2006 and there is a team working on AusForesight2007 too.
My non-work life
There are many loves in my life. My family, husband and child, 14. The rest of my family is in Finland, France and Australia.
My family unit lives in Sydney, which is a beautiful city.
I love skiing, hey what’s a paradox or two among us foresighters. And you thought there was no snow in Australia….the season may not be long and some years the season may be iffy…but the snow fields are very doable.
I read alot…
I used to do ballet and jazz ballet when I was younger and I have started that again at the Sydney Dance Company, love it – 1hr45min twice a week of jazzy choreographies to good music.
In the summer the beaches of Sydney get a glimpse of us too.
The thing that I got infected with when I spent a few years in France is a great dinner with a small group of close friends talking about all kinds of things while eating well and drinking good wine. These dinners are my friend’s house are the life line when I travel and work strange hours and forget at times that there is the real life out there. In France the topics tended to be rather philosophical, which I enjoyed. I did the last year of French high school [79-80] in a stream called “Terminale A”, which meant 8hrs of philophy a week, plus languages etc. Philosophy in a language not your own was tough but I loved it anyway.
And there is the tennis, occasional crazy thing like a 100km walk in the bush for 30+ hrs, piano lessons (kiddy entertainer style – you get the picture, but relaxing), theatre, movies etc
I read across the board. In fact I took a longish break from non-fiction. I felt inundated, and somewhat bored by it at some point and needed a break. Now it is time to dive in again. I read many books in parallel, unless something really captures me and makes me focus on it.
One book I read in such focused manner was Niffenegger’s “The Time Traveler’s Wife”, ah so sad, I am such a romantic……In 2006 we had holidays in France, including Paris in July and I picked a book on True Pleasures – a Memoir of Women in Paris. Another is Peter Ackroyd’s Albion, the Origins of the English Imagination; a bit of historical understanding never hurts. Working in the IT industry one also has to get into this one: Alan Cooper’s The Inmates are Running the Asylum, good for the soul looking for the company that does stuff for the people not for the industry…..If this does not keep me busy then there is always the IM chats with my mum across the oceans. I think I communicate with her more than many of friends who are near their parents physically.
My heroes are close by. My husband makes the tough patches so much easier to bear. My son – he is a creative, fun, mature, balanced and such a lovely little [past my height now (-:] boy – and he is sensitive and yet firm on matters that matter to him. My mum – just a wonderful human observer, my dad – who is no longer with us – but who always challenged the status quo, I think that thing is in the blood. My friend Jane who is so broad in her thinking and human in her approach to life and the possibilities. Other heros are: many people I interact with have a hero in them. They have passions and they make a difference. Their footprint is at times global and other times more local and yet they touch people is ways which carries on. Anyone who dares to speak up and have an impact on the world, broaden our horizons, and not just follow the dogma is my hero. So the anti hero for me is someone who stops thinking for him/herself and just follows ‘orders’ blindly.
There are many thinkers, soul soothers, authors, journos, decision makers who inspire me and so qualify as a hero in my book……hey you might just be one of those (-: