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Ashley Nichols, How to Use Technology to Create a Better World — InnovaBuzz #434

Ashley Nichols, Tech to Save the World

  • Her principles of Idealistic Innovation
  • The importance of enlisting support and collaboration for implementing ideas
  • That there is no such thing as a tech person, or why we can all combine our specialist skills with tech

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Show Notes from this episode with Ashley Nichols, author of Tech to Save the World

  • Tech to Save the World is a conversational guide to helping everyday people use technology to change the world.
  • You can use technology to make a difference.
  • Technology is complicated, but even if you don’t understand how it works, you can still use it in a way that benefits you and the world around you.
  • You write a book either because you are an expert in something and you want to share your expertise or you want to learn about something and share what you’ve learned with others.
  • Humans tend to be afraid of things that we are reliant upon when we don’t understand how it works.
  • You either have a fixed mindset or a growth mindset that influences the way you view yourself and the way you interact with the world.
  • When you have a fixed mindset, you believe that you can’t change anything because you are who you are. On the other hand, having a growth mindset is believing that there is always an opportunity to improve regardless of who you are, and if you fail at one thing today, it doesn’t mean that you will fail at it tomorrow.
  • Having a growth mindset is something that has to be practiced and cultivated. You have to get used to trying and failing, and viewing it not as a failure of self but as a failure of the attempt at that time, and iterating on that attempt.
  • Principles of Idealistic Innovation:
  • Collaboration with others from different fields with different experiences
  • Iteration
  • Having a growth mindset
  • Not being afraid to fail
  • Applying your purpose and passion
  • Successful people are people who have a deeper drive than wanting to sell their idea or startup. They are people who are trying to solve a problem that they really care about.
  • Focus on the problem that you are trying to solve. Avoid getting too caught up in the tech itself to the point that you lose sight of the broader challenge you are solving for.
  • Ai for Coral Reefs (Project CORail) is an Ai-powered system for monitoring marine life and analyzing coral reef resilience using smart cameras installed underwater.
  • Fabien Cousteau is an aquanaut, oceanographic explorer, and environmental advocate whose mission is to build a network of underwater space stations. His project PROTEUS is an animatronic dolphin robot that uses AI to mimic realistic behavior and connects people to wildlife without the need for captivity.
  • Nothing is impossible. You can turn your passion into action and advocacy when you have a clear vision and can clearly articulate its value and how it can change the world.
  • There is no such thing as a tech person. No one person can really create technology. It takes different people with very niched skills to make something.
  • No matter how good you are at tech, you can’t use tech to solve a problem without your perspectives, insights, and expertise about the problem.
  • You can tie your perspectives and ideas with technology that already exists to make things better and create an impact.
  • There is no such thing as a tech person because technology is so niched and has so many tiny skills in it. More importantly, technology doesn’t mean anything without the people behind it with great ideas of how to use it.
  • Try and fail. You will learn from that failure and maybe someone else will learn from that failure too and do something with it.

The Buzz — Our Innovation Round

  1. #1 thing to be more innovative — Fail. Make room for failure.
  2. Best thing for new ideas — Create a space for you and your team to fail. Research and share other people’s stories.
  3. Favourite tool for innovationMURAL digital workspace.
  4. Keep project/client on track — Keep in mind the reason why you’re doing it. Stay focused on the problem you are solving.
  5. Differentiate — Know your own strengths and your own story. Everybody has a different set of backgrounds and experiences but nobody has your unique mix.

To Be a Leader

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Suggested Guest


Cool Things About Ashley

  • She enjoys reading, traveling, playing Dungeons and Dragons, scuba diving, and being out and about.
  • She’s a night owl. She gets most of her writing done in the dark of night
  • She’s a Senior Manager at Accenture.

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Dr Jürgen Strauss

Founder of Innovabiz: TRANSFORMATION MARKETING — Building visibility, professional authority and connection with your dream clients