Symes Group thoroughly enjoyed The World of Business Forum 2019 in Sydney. The conference is a two-day event that brings together a selection of decision makers from all industries to be captivated by new and inspiring ideas from the world's leading professionals.
Don Tapscott, digital visionary, author of 16 books and one of the world’s leading authorities on Blockchain, spoke about the second era of this digital age. Technology has infused into every part of society – contracts, identity, art and intellectual property – replacing the internet of information with the internet of value. Blockchain technology is a peer-to-peer exchange supply chain in which transactions of value, such as money transfers can occur in real time, with infinitely more security than traditional banking. Blockchain technology gave rise to Bitcoin, the first application of the internet of value, and as Don describes, the biggest innovation of the century. But blockchain’s reach extends far further than the banking sector. Privacy is more important than ever. Data constitutes our identity and any data relating to an individual – including health records and spending habits – should belong to that individual. Don called our current state digital feudalism, where we as individuals create data but do not own it. In the future we could see a new citizen-owned dynamic identity system based on the protocol of trust and privacy – all thanks to blockchain. The internet of value offers new potential in enforcing intellectual property. Imogen Heap is leading the way for artists, releasing her song Mycelia through blockchain, meaning the song can act as its own agent, bank, lawyer and distributor. Organisations, industries and even governments are using blockchain. Fedex have moved their entire logistics to blockchain, Walmart are using blockchain to improve food safety, and the Kimberley Process uses blockchain to prevent conflict diamonds entering circulation. Blockchain would enable the establishment of decentralised autonmous organisations – with human managers (just smart contracts), and immune to hackers and coding errors. There is potential too, to create better, cheaper governments, with Dubai leading the way. It could mean a second era of democracy characterized by transparency, a culture of public deliberation built on active citizenship and representatives accountable to citizens.