By Aisha Hillary, Director of Strategy
Everyone loves to be inspired. In life, in our everyday careers and by others who are passionate about what they do.
On the 2nd and 3rd of December the team at Bourne was very excited to go to the emergent tech festival’s second Future Assembly event. We all have a bit of futurists in us and as the website rightly said, we got to ‘experience the future of science and technology’.
Being the curious people we are, we wanted to find out where Future Assembly came from, so we spent five minutes with one of the amazing co-founders Ben Richardson and asked him a few questions.
Our team also collated some of their highlights to share. There were so many interesting stories and highlights, this is a really edited down version. If you fancy knowing any more details then reach out as the team love to share.
Enjoy our musings and we look forward to hopefully seeing you there next year.
A bit about Ben, co-founder Future Assembly…. by Ben.
I have a piece of paper that says I’m an Aerospace Engineer and a portfolio of startup companies and tech projects that I built by teaching myself how to design and code.
During the day I’m the Group Product Manager of a small team (PwC Ventures) inside a big company (PwC) that builds web and mobile products including Airtax, Nifty, and Vault.
Outside of work, I co-founded and run a technology festival called Future Assembly that aims to make high-technology more accessible to non-technical people and industries.
I also have another pet project called All Startups that enables leaders in startup communities to create a custom-branded directory of their startup ecosystem to track it's growth and impact. If you're looking for a tech co-founder,check out this list.
Each week Ben sets aside time dedicated to providing advice to early stage startups, entrepreneurs, and developers. In the startup world this commonly referred to as "Office Hours". Amazing. Click here is you want to grab some time with this inspirational guy.
How did Future Assembly come about?
When we founded Future Assembly, we felt like something was missing but didn’t know what it was. It was frustrating us, so we spent time analysing other technology events and their demographics. We discovered the biggest commonality was that all of these events were focused solely on people that were already involved in the tech scene. Our focus for Future Assembly became to fundamentally change that idea and open our doors to people who may have never attended a tech event before.
Our why is we believe that the rate of adoption and cross-pollination of high-technology into industries and sectors is too low so our why is to make high-technology accessible and understandable to everyone.
What were you excited about most at the event?
I’m personally pretty excited for the life on mars workshop, Solange’s talk on how to launch a satellite, and Opaque’s earthlight VR experience (but, as you can probably tell, I’m very passionate about space).
We have an awesomely curated selection of Workshops, Exhibitors and Speakers. Some late additions include: Soon-Ee (Machine learning speaker), Two Bulls (HoloLens exhibitor), Unreal Engine (VR gaming workshop). So much to see and do.
What are you most excited about in tech innovation?
The shifts in political trade as industries are completely re-written due to new technology. For example Additive manufacturing will allow Australia to profitably transform raw materials into goods meaning our reliance on China to purchase raw materials, so we can buy back goods, will begin to dilute.
Who is doing tech well?
Actually, I think every industry is not harnessing tech enough and positively disrupting enough.
What is the future of Future Assembly?
We see Future Assembly becoming something akin to the world's fair for emerging technology. A globally renowned event that will attract the latest and greatest tech and people from all over the world.
Well Ben, we would like to thank you for Future Assembly as our team learned a lot and you could see there were many inspired, passionate and engaged people at the event. Love it.
Now, we have a wonderful assembly of our team’s highlights below:
Amirul Nasir, UX Designer takeaway on addictive products.
"Anticipation for a reward results in higher dopamine than receiving the reward!"
"Less is not more. More is more."
"The more you receive messages, the more you will want those messages... (on whatsapp)
Via David, UX designer loved Tim Evan's session on “Using design to change the world for the better.”
There is a linear approach to design: Define the problem, think of possible solutions, and pick the best one and then implement. But problems are complex, wicked problems can't really be solved by this linear approach.
Design Thinking is finding the right problem to solve, where the 'design thinkers' put themselves in the following mindsets: be empathetic, think of the possibilities (how can one enact change if they didn't have any constraints?), and iterative (learn, and improve solutions).
The solutions being delivered aren't bad-aids. They should be on-going solutions - what you deliver today isn't the best thing.
The people who need to approve these projects don't always prioritise this. This human-led approach should be baked business cases, get approval for what they want, and make this approach be a part of the process to get there.
Jon Deragon, Director of User Experience, takes on the overall experience.
Future Assembly was a blast, really gave the team and myself a chance to think outside of our immediate projects and see first hand latest technologies being used in various applications.
Loved the breath of technology on display. In particular, there was a strong presence of virtual reality throughout the conference. For example I had the opportunity to zip up into a space suit and perform a spacewalk around the international space station. The realism of being able to grasp the rails on the outside of the station whilst looking around me with full depth perception and looking down at the earth below was breathtaking. After doing the spacewalk and removing the VR headset you're suddenly back to earth in a flash.
Many of the talks were fascinating to listen to; my particular favourite was with the founder of Startup Weekend, Andrew Hyde going over how it came about and some of his thoughts around the current state of startups. His event serves as an inspiration and solid learning experience for thousands of people around the world.
Luke Phelan, Web Developer, takeaways from joining in on a VR workshop.
I attended a workshop on developing VR games using a games engine called Unreal. Lots of good takeaways here:
Dani Natividad, UX Designer's gold nuggets.
How will neuroscience change the 22nd century?
Invent new ways of navigating in VR
A future conversation
What is the future of computing in the 21st century?
How to make your product addictive?
How engineering, design and business can learn from each other
Finally, some highlights from me, Aisha Hillary, Director of Strategy
The evolution of Neuroscience
The future of work
Building a culture - Envato
Andrew Hyde, founder of Startup Weekend
Will Egan “create and think in this world and not consume..."
Future of smartphones
Hope that sparked some dopamine. The future looks bright for tech and UX. We are definitely excited for 2017.
If you want to know more or just shoot the breeze email us firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out to any of the team on our website in the team section.
You can also come and say hi at our next Lunch n’ Learn, all about UX Superheroes on Friday the 13th of February, in our new office 838 Collins Street, Docklands, Melbourne. Register here.
Get excited... it is going to be a fantastic 2017.