I’m back from attending my first BILT/RTC event in Australia, its been two weeks now and I think I’m fully back on my native timezone! It was wonderful to get to meet a variety of new people and enjoy Australian hospitality. BILT ANZ was also a great way to get excited and motivated for the upcoming RTC Events Week North American, in particular of course the Design Technology Summit.
While the learning and networking were great, one of the biggest takeaways I had from traveling thirty hours (each way) is simply how far technology has come in the last decade. My departure night, I sat in Logan airport, fired up my computer that weighs 2lbs (if I’m lucky) connected it to my mobile phone for internet (free Wi-Fi isn’t that great in a busy airport) and proceeded to manipulate a database sitting in Edmonton Canada. Twelve (or maybe it was fourteen) hours later I was doing the same thing in Dubai (their free Wi-Fi actually works), at the same time I was texting with my wife back in the US. Hop on the plain, keep working (no internet this time). Landed in Australia, slept some and I was back on-line chatting with a coworkers on the West Coast of NA and following up with e-mail, meanwhile chatting with a colleague from the Sydney office who had arrived at Stantec’s Brisbane office.
Amazing right? I mean stop and think about it for a minute, how much do we take for granted what technology has become in the second decade of the 21st century, what we can slip into our pocket with a second thought. It really came home when passing through security back in Boston, they had to search my back-pack, something that is I’m not un-accustomed to. Usually though they like to pull out the multi-tool that has no blade, or the multi-function screw-driver, wrench, ruler combo. Not this time, this time the security agent who was near enough in age to me, pulled out my Ipod Classic, and his quote, “oh this old piece of technology, they’ve never seen an Ipod Classic”.
If technology has come as far as it has in the last ten years, what does the next ten years hold? I believe that we most definitely stand on a precipice, the edge remains cloaked in fog, so I don’t know which one we stand on, but we continue to edge closer. At the same time, once we can clear that fog, we’re going to be ready to take off and fly, like I took off and flew half-way around the world. Events like DTS are intended for us, Design Technology Leaders to engage in meaningful conversation about where are our firms, where are we going, what opportunities does technology offer how do we embrace it in a meaningful way, and how do we collectively improve not just our designs and our businesses, but the lives of our colleagues.
If you step back for a moment, and find that you too, too easily take for granted the transformation technology has wrought, then come to DTS, lets have a discussion about what the future holds and how are we going to be part of that, how will we help our firms through it and what is the future of the practice of design in an age when I can talk to a computer in my own home and have it modify my environment or remember my grocery list for me.