Reinventing how the world works

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Author: Amanda Johnston-Pell, Chief Marketing Officer A/NZ

As of today, there are 16 sleeps before Think Summit – and yes, I’m counting down the days. My excitement stems from all the amazing speakers, sessions and workshops we have lined up.  This year, we are bringing together some of the world’s leading visionaries, thinkers and change-makers. Each one is sharing how they’re driving innovation in their fields to build a smarter world for us all.

There are so many impressive keynote speakers and interactive sessions to be challenged and inspired by, that I wanted to share just some of the highlights before the big day in Sydney on 22 May. You can register here.

Preventing Human Trafficking with AI

In January of this year, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) reported that human trafficking had hit a 13-year record high. It is the third-largest and fastest-growing criminal activity in the world. Globally, the number of estimated victims range from 20 to 40 million.

Caroline Taylor, IBM Global Markets VP and CMO is also a board member of STOP THE TRAFFIK and will be one of our keynote speakers. STOP THE TRAFFIK is a non-profit that’s taking an intelligence-led approach to disrupting human trafficking networks at their source with the help of IBM® i2® intelligence analysis software.  “This is big data in action,” Caroline has said. “This is what data-driven really means. We can change the way the world works. People shouldn’t be bought and sold. It’s time to stop.”

Keeping Communities Connected in a Natural Disaster

Project OWL, the winners of Call For Code in 2018, are developing technology to help save lives during a natural disaster. OWL is a software/hardware solution aimed at keeping first responders connected to victims after a disaster. Their CEO and co-founder, Bryan Knouse will be sharing their progress as one of our keynote speakers.

Bryan will also be taking part in The Call for Code Design Thinking Session, which will bring together industry specialists, developers and the IBM Garage team to get ahead of natural disasters. The Australian Red Cross is also taking part to help us understand natural disasters, which regularly impacts Australian lives.

Addressing the Digital Skills Gap and Opening the Doors to Opportunity

Pathways in Technology Early College High Schools (P-TECH) is a new education model that was co-developed by IBM working together with educators, policymakers and elected officials in the US. The first school launched in 2011 and has since grown from one school to more than 100 schools in four countries, including Australia and New Zealand.

David La Rose, our Managing Director for IBM in Australia and New Zealand, will be talking to Australian P-Tech representatives in one of our keynotes. Together they’ll share the P-TECH experience in Australia, along with how this project is engaging young Aussie minds and opening doors to opportunity.

The future of computing

When it comes to building a smarter world, I can think of no better person than Dr Dario Gil to open our summit. As the Director of IBM Research, he oversees one of the world’s largest and most influential corporate research labs. He also co-chairs the MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab along with Professor Anantha Chandrakasan, Dean of the MIT School of Engineering.

Every day, around the world, our research labs, are pioneering the most promising and disruptive technologies that will transform industries and society. Dr Gil will be giving us a glimpse into the future of quantum and the implications for AI

I hope you’ll join us from 9.55 AEST on 22 May to watch inspiring keynote sessions from innovative problem solvers, using technology to transform industries and to change the way the world works here.


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