Using insects to convert food waste into livestock feed

Goterra takes food waste and feeds it to a specific breed of fly larvae before turning the larvae into protein-rich feed for livestock. This insect farm is run automatically. It’s in a modular unit, which can be placed onsite for effective, safe management without the expensive transport or trucking associated with other food waste management systems. https://www.goterra.com.au

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The world’s first 3D printed community

The world’s first 3D printed community

GUTE-URLS

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A fuller expression of Australia’s nationhood

At the Uluru First Nations Constitutional Convention in 2017, the Uluru Position Working Group was elected to move forward the reforms called for in the Uluru Statement. The convention was the culmination of gatherings that were organised by the Indigenous Steering Committee of the Referendum Council. The Working Group calls on all Australians to take the time to read the Statement, to understand its history, and then walk with them in a movement of the Australian people for a better future. https://www.referendumcouncil.org.au/sites/default/files/2017-05/Uluru_Statement_From_The_Heart_0.PDF

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Innovators as Integrators

We assume that innovators are never short on ideas, that their problem tends to be focus and follow-through. But I would like to challenge this common storyline. In my years of talking with innovators, I have met many who fit the garage-dwelling idea junkie. But I have met just as many who don’t come at innovation with their own ideas. They are a different type. They are the trend watchers, industry integrators, and incessant networkers. Instead of starting with their own ideas, they listen and pull the pieces together into an innovative solution that no one would have ever considered. Let’s call these innovators “Integrators.” (Or Collaborators if you use the language from Simon Hill’s Future Shaper’s article on Innovation Archetypes.) It is the Integrator that this article is focused on. For these innovators, one of the most important tools in their arsenal are the curations of content that help them to go through many ideas quickly to find the ones they want to bring into their laboratory. A curation is defined by Google as “the action or process of selecting, organizing, and looking after the items in a collection or exhibition.” Curations are finely tuned collections that allow the user to quickly synthesize what is being presented because the rules behind the “selection, organizing” are clear and understood. This means that the user has a high degree of trust in what they receive because they know the value provided by the person or persons in the curator role. For Integrators, the quality of the curations available to them will, in large part, dictate the effectiveness of their innovation efforts. So for all of you Integrators out there, I would like to highlight a unique innovation curation platform I recently discovered. It is called IdeaSpies! This unique platform is the brainchild of Lynn Wood of Sydney, Australia. Her vision is to share innovation that inspires action. What I found so fascinating about this platform is that its whole purpose is to pull ideas out of people and make them available for the global community to benefit from. Many of these ideas are already in some sort of product form. But others are simply ideas people have had and implemented at a local level (like the Chinese principle who created a dance routine to help his kids get exercise). Whatever type of idea you post or find, the role it plays is vital. Say you work in a company that is looking for innovative ways to plug into the energy sector. You might search “solar” on IdeaSpies and look through more than 10 ideas related to innovation with solar power. It could be that one of those ideas is what that Integrator needs in order to design their next break-out innovation or develop a partnership to work with those already doing it well. Curations like IdeaSpies are launching pads for many innovators who are intuitively looking for the right pieces to build their future solutions. So how do you know if you or someone you work with is an Integrator? Let me share with you a few key characteristics to be on the lookout for: 1 High Empathy: Integrators easily walk in the shoes of others. They can set aside their own perspective and look at the world through the lens of those they are spending time with or studying. 2 Media Consumption: These innovators consume huge amounts of information. They are always on the lookout for new ideas and insights from the world around them. 3 Natural Integration: As their title indicates, these innovators bring disparate things together in creative ways. They can look across multiple industries, target markets, cultures and perspectives to pull together just the right ideas for their new creation. 4 Constant Networkers: One of the ways that integrators gather their information is by incessantly networking with others. They are the ones who are actually excited to attend that conference or networking happy hour. They feed off the energy that others bring to the conversation. As you consider these characteristics, I want you to do an inventory of some of the innovators in your life. Do a few of them fit into this category or share some of these characteristics? Maybe you relate to this profile I have described. Now consider how the typical narrative of the lone innovator in their garage and how it fails to describe their approach, interests and skill sets. How can you equip this set of innovators to do their very best work? Maybe a first step would be to introduce them to IdeaSpies and encourage them to share what they find! By Jon Hirst This article was previously posted on www.thefutureshapers.com on 30 April 2019 https://thefutureshapers.com/celebrating-the-integrators/

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Using Instagram to make farming more profitable

It only took one photo on a farm that was posted on Instagram, for the sunflowers they grow to become a social media hit. The owners have since had tourists from Japan, China and Brazil make the trip out to the property, and particularly from Singapore. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-05-04/insta-farming-has-businesses-booming-at-sunflower-farm/11049998

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Identifying counterfeit drugs

RxAll, a Nigerian startup, has developed a portable drug authenticator that determines the authenticity of medications. It is a potentially powerful tool in the fight against the counterfeit drug market which is a multibillion-dollar industry that puts lives at risk. RxAll allows anyone to test the quality of a drug by using a portable nanoscanner and mobile app. The proprietary machine learning algorithm reads the scan from the scanner, identifies the drug, assesses its quality and lets the user know whether the drug is real or counterfeit, in about 20 seconds. www.rxall.net

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How AI and LMS are positively disrupting the workplace.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is dominating the workforce more than ever and at a rapid pace – the rise of AI and automation is greatly redefining our future and the future of working. A report commissioned by Google indicated only 9% of Australia’s listed companies are making sustained investments in automation, compared to 20% in the US.  While many fear AI, it should in fact be viewed as an opportunity to positively transform the workplace. Workplaces across any industry should take this opportunity to refocus on the advantages they bring such as quality learning and development, team building, human connections and skills to safeguard jobs. According to a report commissioned by Udemy, the biggest challenge for 78% of Learning and Development (L&D) Managers is keeping their employees’ skills up to speed with change. With the rise of AI and automation being implemented in the workforce, leaders need to be quick to jump on the L&D wagon to prepare their organisation and staff for the upcoming changes. Businesses will need to start building teams that are equipped to lead and push the boundaries  of automation to their advantage. To effectively implement the right tools to cater to your L&D needs, there are plenty of effective Learning Management Systems (LMS) in the market. However, the LMS is never one size fits all. To maximise the potential of the LMS, we need to move away from the one-dimensional programs and look at a  more human-centred approach, mapped against the business culture, team and leadership influences. Here are 5 reasons why AI and LMS should be implemented in the workplace: Boosts Productivity LMS with personalised learning programs delivers learning tools and outcomes that can be tracked and reported which will greatly improve the efficiency and productivity of teams.  A best-of-breed LMS allows this by using an AI style rules engine drawing on rich metadata on the staff member as a result of robust integration with the HR information systems. This approach not only helps an organisation align its objectives with its learning strategies but it also produces an effective and automated business process allowing its learning and development professionals to focus on improving the learning systems and content. Automation provided by the LMS means they can focus on developing the system and learning, not simply serving it.  Having quality LMS systems like the one’s Androgogic use from Totara will provide better training and essentially equip a team with the right skill sets and knowledge required to work effectively and efficiently, essentially boosting productivity. Rich metadata can be captured such as individual job roles, business unit, associated cost center data and leave status which are used by the LMS’s AI-style rules engine to automatically apply learning pathways appropriate and required for each staff member. 2. Measurable results and reporting When investing in LMS programs and implementing changes to internal learning and development, the question organisations often ask is about return on investment. The LMS is a cloud-based system which stores information accessible to all staff and allows you to easily collate data and measure the effectiveness of the program. This data includes completion rates, engagement, time, course results and grades which will all be congregated into reports conducted by the LMS. Not only providing quality and consistent training with a personalised approach, LMS systems are cost effective when it comes to maintaining in-house software systems. 3. Cost effective Traditional training programs like seminars and facilitations generally require high costs like travel, printed materials, cost of program instructors, venues and other on floor expenses. Implementing a high quality LMS program delivers a resourceful tool that is readily available for employees anytime, anywhere, saving time away from the desk! The Capterra LMS Industry User Research Report found the top reasons users selected LMS software systems was based on functionality (53%), followed by price (32%), support (5%), company reputation (3%), and software popularity (3%). 4. Deliver content instantly Implementing LMS programs allows you to centralise training programs under one consolidated platform. Housing all your learning materials and courses in one place makes the delivery of training more convenient, allowing employees to acquire new knowledge and skills at their own pace, instantly and in a personalised way. 5. Continuous learning In today’s era  of ongoing digital and technological advancements, employees need to be continuously upskilled, training programs need to be incessantly evolving and engaging. A Careers and Learning report commissioned by Deloitte indicated 83% of employees say job training is important to them and push for their organisations to shift to flexible, open career models that offer enriching assignments, projects, and experiences rather than a static career progression. Having the LMS system readily available allows for a more flexible workplace where employee development, learnings and growth are core. Importantly, training provided with LMS systems  increases employee satisfaction. By Alexander Roche Founder and Principal Educational Technologist for online learning infrastructure and services company Androgogic servicing Higher Education, VET, K12, corporate and government markets with over 1 million learners on Androgogic hosted systems.   

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A “moon shot” goal to make Australia the healthiest nation on earth

The ISA (Innovation & Science Australia) 2030 report proposed a “moon shot” goal to make Australia the healthiest nation on earth. Life expectancy was suggested as one clear target. Currently Australians come 6th in the world on an OECD list with a life expectancy of 82.5 years, and run health services efficiently, with health expenditure per person of US$4,493, the 14th highest in the world. The better use of health data should enable a new wave of innovation in health, with the direct benefit to Australians in better outcomes, with the potential for valuable and exportable health products and services. Australia’s centralised health system and longitudinal date are advantages that make this goal possible to achieve. https://www.innovationaus.com/2019/04/Election-Podcast-Daniel-Petre

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Collaboration is the new competitive advantage

In 1985, a relatively unknown professor at Harvard Business School named Michael Porter published a book called Competitive Advantage which explained that, by optimizing every facet of the value chain, a firm could consistently outperform its competitors. The book was an immediate success and made Porter a management superstar. Yet more recently Porter’s thinking has been called into question, most notably by Rita Gunther McGrath in her book The End of Competitive Advantage, which argued that sustainable competitive advantage is no longer possible and advised firms to seek out transient advantage. In truth, neither view fully represents today’s business environment. Certainly, companies like Apple and Southwest are still able to dominate their industries, but the source of advantage has changed. We no longer compete in a resource economy, but a semantic economy where firms that can build, manage and widen connections win out. Shifting From Assertiveness To Empathy The old economy was relatively simple.  Every business had various cost centers and revenue streams that were largely separate and distinct. So Porter’s strategy of breaking down the value chain to its component parts made a lot of sense. By optimizing each business driver, you could minimize costs, maximize profits and increase margins. What’s more, this optimization process had a cumulative effect. By creating the right incentives, such as pay for performance and letting each business unit “eat what they kill,” firms could invest back into the business, increasing resources that would lead to further competitive advantages. Even a small edge, compounded over time, could be decisive. Yet today, success is not driven by the resources you control, but those you can access. Increasingly, rather than owning resources and capabilities outright, we use platforms to access ecosystems of technology, talent and information. The path to success no longer lies in clawing your way to the top of the heap, but in nudging your way to the center of the network. That’s why Geoff Colvin argues in Humans Are Underrated that the most critical 21st century skill is empathy and calls for a shift in emphasis from “knowledge workers” to “relationship workers.” In a world of exponentially increasing complexity, no one person or firm can do it all, so those that can work well with others have a distinct advantage. A Radical Shift Toward Design Another major 21st century transformation has been the shift from atoms to bits. In the old industrial economy, value was mostly created through massive capital spending on plants and equipment. This was a huge barrier to entry that reinforced and propagated competitive advantage through economies of scale. Yet today we’re seeing a radical shift toward design as a driver of value. After all, Google’s algorithms don’t cost any more to run then anybody else’s and Apple’s products don’t have significant capabilities that rival products lack.  Rather,it is their products’ design—how they interface with both users and other products and services—that makes them valuable. What’s more, with advanced manufacturing techniques such as 3D printing and robotics, the same trends are beginning to drive the economics of even wholly physical products. When production becomes automated, every product is an informational object with design at its core. This development is so important that many are calling it a new industrial revolution. Finally, as Jon Kolko points out in Harvard Business Review, the emphasis on design is just as important in how we run our organizations as it is in how we develop products. Everywhere you look, design has become a central driver of value rather than an afterthought. Breaking Down Silos And Networking The Organization We’ve come to take it for granted that we live in a connected age, yet the truth is that much remains separate and disparate.  As Gillian Tett explains in The Silo Effect, all too often we work in highly specialized areas that are unable to integrate with each other. When dealing with highly complex environments, these silos create distinct disadvantages. For example, she cites Sony’s inability to integrate its far-flung divisions as the reason that, despite its various efforts to create a digital music player, it lost out to the more holistically designed Apple iPod.  She also points out that silos contributed to the recent financial crisis, because important risks were tucked away in little noticed parts of the economy. Yet Tett also argues that silos aren’t inevitable and points to Facebook’s policy of having every new employee go through a six week “boot camp” as a way to create connections across the organization.  (We had a similar policy at my former company and had similar results.) Every enterprise today needs to think seriously about how to network their organization. Notice again the stark contrast to Porter’s vision of value chain components. In his view, by optimizing disparate parts, you make the whole stronger. Yet today, agility trumps strategyand we need to think in terms of networks rather than nodes. The New Economy Is A Social Economy Clearly, the world has become more complex. Economic development, technology and globalization have all helped blur the lines of old boundaries to such an extent that we desperately need to reexamine old rules, processes and practices.  We can no longer take anything for granted. That means we need to break free of the reductionist approaches of the past. The basic premise of Porter’s competitive advantage—that you can increase the whole by optimizing each of the the parts in isolation—has become untenable.  Rather, we need to use platforms to access ecosystems of technology, talent and information. At the same time, machine intelligence is quickly replacing human cognitive power much like machines began to replace muscle power over a century ago.  More and more, what drives value is the ability to collaborate with both humans and machines.  That is where advantage lies today. That’s why today’s economy is a social economy with collaboration at its center. In the past, we could dominate by accumulating resources and driving efficiency, but now agility and interoperability that rule the day.  We need to shift our focus from assets and capabilities to empathy, design and networked organizations. by Greg Satell Innovation Advisor, Author and Speaker DigitalTonto

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