Be courageous with technology

Posted on 11 Jun 2014 by The Manufacturer

Delegates at Dassault Systemès’ UK 3D Experience Forum inspired to believe “we are the change makers”.

“We must have the courage to use technology,” Claudia Olsson, a young futurologist and engineer told delegates at software giant Dassault Systèmes’ UK 3D Experience Forum in London yesterday.

A young technology enthusiast, Ms Olsson has worked with NASA, the United Nations and managed the Nobel Foundation’s International Youth Science Seminar. She is now CEO of Exponential AB and works to explore way to leverage technology for solutions to global healthcare issues.

Her presentation was designed to inspire delegates to take hold of the tools they have to hand to address some of the world greatest societal challenges.

Facing up to these challenges will open up exciting new markets for products and technology Olsson pointed out. “If we have the courage, there is great market potential,” she said.

Older is wiser, and more creative

Olsson shook up the perception that the stereotypical technology innovator of today is a young college geek – think Zuckerberg. With a graph showing the average age at which innovators have filed patents for high impact technologies, she showed that twice as many successful entrepreneurs are 50 years old than 25 old when they make their big invention.

“Anyone can create the next Google,” emphasized Olsson. With the right will to exploit today’s technology “we are all change makers”.

Olsson explored the technology movements which are enabling individuals and companies to “fail fast and often” on the road to accessing lucrative and influential global markets. This is an important and positive process she clarified.

Mobile multiplicity means opportunity

With 6 billion mobile phones now active around the world, and an increasing number of them with smart capabilities, Olsson showed a number of ways in which mobile networks might be leveraged to address challenges in health, education, security and more.

She urged listeners not to underestimate the power of computing and its potential applications. “By 2023, computing power will surpass the power of the human brain,” she claimed. “By 2045, some people believe it will surpass the power of our collective brain – i.e. the power of all our brains around the world combined.”

Crowds and collaboration

Emphasizing the accessibility of innovation to the average Joe, Olsson brought up statistics on the rising success of crowd funding platforms.

There are many of these in the market now, but Kickstarter alone raised almost $320m in 2012 and got over 18,000 projects successfully off the ground.

Appreciating that companies need to be focussed and innovate in core competency areas, Olsson quoted personal productivity guru David Allen and acknowledged, “You can do anything, but not everything.”

Instead of spreading your resources too thinly in areas that are not your forte, try and collaborate with others in interdisciplinary teams, urged Olsson. She also highlighted how technology is enabling collaboration as a service with websites like 99 design allowing contributors from around the world to bid for the chance to supply branding and marketing support to new initiatives or re-vamps.

And on the point of re-vamps Olsson was also enthusiastic. “It’s not all about inventing new things,” she said. “It’s also about having the courage to repurpose innovations.”

In summary, Ms Olsson’s presentation was a fitting start to a day that urged Dassault technology users to optimise the tools in their hand to innovate and be ambitious.

Quoting Nelson Mandela, she finished by saying “There is no passion to be found in playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”

Dassault developments

Later presentations at this user forum brought delegates up to speed with Dassault’s global growth, recent acquisitions and the launch of new brands.

The company now supports 10 million on premise users and another 100 million cloud users worldwide.

In 2012 it achieved $2.8bn in revenues and “we’re investing like carzy in R&D” said Phillipe Forestier, EVP Global Affairs and Communities for Dassault Systemès and one of the company’s founders.

Dassault is rated as the 31st most innovative company in the world and the 3rd most innovative software company in the world Mr Forestiere told his audience.

Two recent empbodiments of this creative spirit are the addition of the 3DXcite and Enovia brands which build on an application portfolio serving 12 industry sections.