Impact Recap: Heroes, hackers, history
Delaney Turner 270003RQ8K Delaney.Turner@ca.ibm.com |
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“Give me a place to stand and I shall move the earth with it.” ~ Archimedes
What will the future look like?
Like everything you know now, like you’ve never seen before.
Children will learn…from classrooms on their phone.
Travelers will still check into flights – with neither paper nor people.
You’ll hail a cab – from a company with no cabs.
In a concluding general session that stretched back to Antiquity before leaping into the future, attendees of Impact 2013 saw their skills acknowledged, their curiosity encouraged, their achievements applauded.
It was a lot to take in.
Getting things started was a dapper Jerry Cuomo, IBM Fellow and WebSphere CTO, who applauded the work and achievements of IBM Champions – those IBM clients and partners who make the most innovative uses of IBM software and solutions in the service of their organizations. Panning the thousands of assembled attendees with his iPhone, Cuomo joked, “I’m recording this for my daughters so they can see all the people paying their tuition.”
Following the acknowledgement was a charming – and sometimes amusing – video tribute. Not only did it showcase the scope of Champions’ accomplishments, it gave them a chance to reveal something of themselves as well. Melvin Greer of Lockheed Martin – who later took the stage as the first Champion to helm the Impact main stage – is a scuba diver. John Capriotti of TBC Corporation is an urban chicken farmer.
From chickens and scuba diving Cuomo adroitly guided the conversation back to Systems of Interaction and the opportunities they present to organizations to reinvent their processes. “Interactions are transforming all industries and mobile is the driving force,” he observed. “Mobile is reinventing every day life. It’s allowing us to reinvent mundane business processes to make them amazing.”
How so? To those mundane processes, Cuomo said, mobility adds dimensions such as time, velocity, location, direction, acceleration and others. The accumulation of data from these details, the myriad ways they interact and their availability in the cloud yields developers, business analysts and IT additional context.
Take hailing a cab, for example. Cuomo showed how a four-stage System of Interaction - Detect, Enrich, Perceive, Act – can improve the experience the passenger and the business outcome for the driver. In this example, Gerry Cuomo owns the GC Cab Company, yet he owns no cabs. What he has instead is a network of cabs enabled with a mobile app.
Here’s how it works:
An everyday activity, like you've never experienced it before.
With a nod to the day’s theme of “Technology In Motion,” Schmidt illustrated the increasingly rapid adoption of new technologies around the world: whereas it took 30 years for Americans to embrace radio, it took a mere 18 to embrace TV and only seven to adopt the Web. He also pointed out the concurrent trends in global demographics: another billion people on the planet in the next 20 years, a middle class rising from one to three billion, yet millions still living on less than $2 a day; millions of children not in school.
“Pearson’s history goes back more than 300 years. We understand the pace of change. Global education is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
Schmidt then explained how by putting technology in motion – including SOA and WebSphere - Pearson is working to improve people’s lives through learning by making education more accessible, affordable, effective and open:
Catalysts of a different sort took the stage in the session’s final segment - a conversation between tech publisher (and Classics scholar) Tim O’Reilly and IBM Fellow, publisher and innovator Grady Booch. In a lively and relaxed chat, the two titans of technology traded anecdotes and observations about the people and ideas that inspired them and the role of hackers throughout history. Both found common ground in prototypical hacker Archimedes, whose discoveries continue to influence and guide our world.
“Studying Greek and Latin taught me to recognize patterns,” said O’Reilly. “As a technologist, I discovered I had incredible power,” replied Booch. “I had a long lever I could use to change the world."
The remark had the ring of the familiar.