The future is already here — it’s just not evenly distributed
— William Gibson
At the SXSW 2018 Interactive conference, it certainly felt like the future is already here. Exploring the hallways, speaking to other attendees, and digging into the vast lineup of session topics spurred a reflection of past key trends, societal impacts of current tech trends, and what we can do now to design the future we want.
On Friday February 23, 2018, I attended the Watermark Conference with Judy Kleinberg, CEO and President of Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce, and Shweta Bhatnagar, Associate Director of Government and Community Relations, Stanford University. This is my first year at this conference, and I was awestruck by the lineup of speakers — human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, actress, entrepreneur and activist Reese Withersoon, NPR’s Kelly McEvers, New York Times reporter Jodi Kantor, Teen Vouge’s former editor Elaine Weltroth and comedienne Maysoon Zayid, to name a few.
But the most striking thing was that, everyone who attended the previous years summed…
As Andrew Ng, adjunct professor at Stanford, describes it, “AI is the next electricity, and there is no going back.” Just as electricity has changed many industries since it was introduced, so will AI. Therefore, it is important for individuals and businesses to understand this powerful technology, to ask the right questions, and to make the right tradeoffs. A thoughtful, intentional approach will lead us beyond AI’s downsides, and toward a better future.
AI is not new, and it has had many “winters.” However, we are entering a stage of perpetual “spring,” primarily thanks to advances in the scale and…
On Nov 30th, I was invited to CXxAI — an interactive roundtable for Customer Experience leaders in enterprise organizations. During the panel, we focused on the most widely used form of artificial intelligence in customer experience — chatbots and virtual assistants, enhanced with natural language processing capabilities. We discussed how are leading organizations using this technology? What are the challenges and opportunities? And what are future trends?
The questions at the panel, as well as subsequent conversations, research, and reflection, inspired me to write this blog to share my thoughts on the business opportunities of these technologies, as well as…
Famed polar explorer, environmental leader, and public speaker Sir Robert Swan and his son, Barney Swan, spoke with the SAP Silicon Valley community last week about their upcoming South Pole Energy Challenge. This November, the duo will embark on a history-making Antarctic expedition, walking 600 miles to the South Pole. Their journey will be the first ever powered solely by clean energy technologies, demonstrating that fossil fuels are not necessary to power human life even in one of the harshest environments on Earth.
Successful design-driven companies go beyond using design as a service, and see it instead as a catalyst for culture change and as a tool to drive business strategy and innovation. However, they do not get there overnight. Creating a culture of design-led innovation is a journey that takes time and commitment.
From our experience at SAP’s Design and Co-Innovation Center, we believe customers fit into four stages of an innovation culture: Interested, Invested, Engaged, and Scaled.
Not everyone will agree on a precise definition of innovation, but most agree that it is more essential for organizational survival now than ever before. Companies like Blockbuster and Kodak, which went from multi-billion dollar enterprises to bankruptcy in less than a decade, provide cautionary tales to the rest of us on the importance of innovation. As new technologies disrupt existing industries at an ever-increasing rate, staying ahead of the curve is now a matter of survival.
But what, exactly, is innovation? To quote Sam Yen, SAP’s Chief Design Officer:
Innovation = Creativity x Execution.
Most organizations are structured for…
If you happened to wander into SAP’s AppHaus Palo Alto on Sept 29th, you may have wondered if you were in the right place. Scattered around our “treehouse of creativity” were guests from diverse backgrounds, mingling and admiring a collection of artistic renderings detailing human brain activity.
Design thinking is not just a big joke…or is it? I wondered about this recently when I attended a sketch comedy writing workshop led by our very own talented intern Bradley Naumann. At the Design & Co-Innovation Center (DCC), we encourage team members to share their talents with the rest of us, and I am so glad Brad did. Listening to his presentation, I was struck by the similarities between the sketch comedy writing process that Brad described and the one we follow with our customers when we co-innovate with them.
For context, sketch comedy is a form of entertainment…