UTS Connecting with Technology

Most of our assumptions have outlived their uselessness.
Marshall McLuhan

Interesting to see Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has joined UTS as an Adjunct Professor, the first appointment he has accepted at any university in the world.  I can’t imagine that anyone would have predicted he would choose an Australian university. Most of us still think within the constraints of geography.

So, if three months ago we were asked which university he was most likely to join, we would probably think like this:

1.      Silicon Valley University

2.      American University

3.      European University

4.      Japanese University

5.      Asian University

We would have assumed Australia was just too far away to be considered. Notice: we assumed, so we never actively considered Australia because our thinking assumed the constraints of geography.  Yet, Professor Williams of UTS says: “He beams in on our Telepresence device to chat with students.” So he leaps over the constraints of geography and the constraints of our thinking using technology.  

Last week at a client meeting, I saw one of the latest Telepresence setups like the picture below. Take a look at this video to see it in action – it’s very impressive.

What struck me was how close this new technology is to being in the same room as people on the other side of the globe. A more intimate experience than the typical low resolution, jerky skype call. To show how far most of us need to stretch our thinking, one of the Cisco managers said to me: “It’s such a novelty to meet someone face-to-face.” Obviously in Cisco, online is normal and face-to-face is the exception.

So, well done to UTS for getting Steve Wozniak so he can inspire a generation of students. And well done for using technology to connect with some of the best experience in the world.

For the rest of us, the two questions we need to ponder are:

1.      How can we use technology to connect with the best expertise in the world?

2.      How can ensure we try the latest technology to provoke us about the possibilities for our business?