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22nd July 2011 Sara Lock

Question Time (BNW9)

Mel Larsen reflects on questions at the conference and poses some questions (and answers) of her own …

It’s difficult to analyse and manage a new, challenging situation when you are smack bang in the middle of it. If I had a penny for every time I’d heard someone say, ‘We live in interesting times’ in the last few years, I’d be in receipt of some serious funding by now.

Picture1What to do in these times? Apparently Einstein said that given only an hour to save his life he would spend the first 55 minutes looking for the right question.

Keynote presentations by Jerry Yoshitomi and Mark Robinson [see ppt excerpt right] on day one of the conference certainly gave us some great questions to kick off with, ‘What are our assets?’, ‘What can we offer that saves our audiences time?’, ‘What strategic acts of kindness can we take?’, ‘What decisions can we give away to others?

They suggested some good answers too.


Einstein seemed happy enough to wait until the very end of his (hypothetical) crisis to get his big answer, but how long have we got? Just how long is this journey across a vast expanse of uncertainty going to last? Writer Clay Shirky has pointed out that the invention of the Gutenburg Press caused 200 years of chaos. By contrast he predicts the social media revolution will create a mere 50 years of chaos. Ah. Not too bad then.

But let’s not get maudlin. I particularly liked keynote speaker Will McInnes’ infectious enthusiasm for the benefits that such unsettling times can bring. “It’s at these times of tectonic shift that innovation breaks through”. Yes it is interesting to be living in these times – maybe it’s not a curse after all.


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