The Fetch Blog

Curated reads and events for professionals

Event preview: Wisdom 2.0 Live Stream — February 23, 2013

Event preview: Wisdom 2.0 Live Stream

Wisdom_2.0Wisdom 2.0 Conference in 2012

My fascination with human beings led me to pursue a career in psychiatry. At medical school I remember holding the brain of a cadaver in my hands and wondering how the multitude of human emotion and thought could be contained within a kilogram of white and grey matter. Recently, I was reminded of this while watching a short film Brain Power by Tiffany Shlain, who states that there are more synaptic connections in a babies brain than connections throughout the entire internet.

Connecting with ourselves, each other and the world, in a meaningful, compassionate way is key to our thriving. So when I discovered the Wisdom 2.0 Conference, a tech-meets mindfulness conference that explores conscious connecting, I knew I had to be there.

At a time where invisible umbilical cords attach us to our smartphones, the question of where the boundaries of self-identity are in a super-connected world becomes fascinating. At a recent Creative Innovation Conference in Melbourne, Ray Kurzweil, controversial American futurist and inventor stated, “The biological you is no more you, than the technological you.” This idea was voiced decades ago in a more Buddhist light by philosopher Alan Watts who suggested “The ‘you’ who you think you are, does not exist”. It’s a paradigm shift, but as technology progresses and becomes embedded in our clothes, our retinas, our blood cells, and our brains, we will inevitably need to make sense of what it means to be human in a world where technology is part of us.

We are still locked into thinking that we are separate from our technology.

My partner tells me I never put my phone down.

In the not too distant future, that might become as ludicrous as telling me off for “always carrying those dam hands around with me”. Has the mobile phone become an appendage that is so inextricably linked to us, it actually is us? Ray Kurzweil recounted a conversation with a Parkinson’s patient who had a computer chip implanted in his brain to help alleviate his movement difficulties. He asked the man whether he considered the chip to be a part of himself. The man was stumped.

Technology and information are developing exponentially, and we need to shift our thinking from linear to exponential to imagine our future possibilities.

With an infinite amount of information at the click of a button, our capacity to focus, discern and pay attention is becoming a survival necessity. As Ray Kurzweil describes we’re living in a time where “a child in Africa with a smartphone, has more access to information than the president of the United States did fifteen years ago”.

If we cultivate wisdom in the area of technology, there’ll be better odds that future technology will be infused with wisdom and support our thriving on the planet. As Kevin Kelly, founding editor of Wired Magazine states “Humans are the reproductive organs of technology”. Therefore, the wiser the human, the wiser the technology. We may be creating technology, but according to Ray Kurzweil, there will be a point in time when technology becomes smarter than its creator – he calls it the singularity. He predicts we will arrive at a point where technology becomes so sophisticated, it enables the creation of smarter-than-human intelligence.

I hope to expand my thinking this week at wisdom 2.0 and hear from some of the world’s leading thinkers about how as a species, we can ensure that we flourish rather than fade away in this age of technology.

Wisdom 2.0 conference will be livestreaming between Feb 21-24 at

About our ambassador // Dr Elise Bialylew is the founder of Mindful in May, a one month mindfulness meditation challenge to support people to learn about the benefits of mindfulness and help raise money to bring clean water to the developing world. Follow @mindfulinmay. Clear mind for you, clean water for others.

Event Review: 2013 Marketing Trends — December 4, 2012

Event Review: 2013 Marketing Trends

What: Networx Marketers Meeting
Topic: 2013 Marketing Trends
Where: Fringe Bar, Sydney
When: 27 November 2012

With the year almost over, now is a good time to review what’s happened in 2012 and make plans for the next year. What trends will be leading the charge in 2013? What platforms should we be using? What can we really expect? Solange Francois went along to Networx to find out.

The panel at Networx: 2013 Marketing Trends

The panel at the final Networx event for the year was a energetic one: Carl Moggridge, Communications Director at Naked Communications; John Batistich, Director of Marketing at Westfield Group; Shani Langi, MD at Play Communications and Alex Hayes, Editor of B&T.

They discussed insights around marketing, experiential, digital and advertising in front of an audience who were scrambling to take notes during the session, and ask questions at the end.

How can we source information on new marketing trends?

  • Look to what’s happening in Tokyo, Europe, Silicon Valley and other parts of the US for insights and trends that can be developed in Australia.
  • Keep an eye on what’s going on but also remember to not just chase trends. Ensure that you really look at who your customer and how they can be reached.
  • Look at industries and markets outside of your own to gain new perspectives and the ability to innovate.

Where is digital and social media heading?

  • Mobile is crucial. Ensure that every customer experience is optimised for mobile.
  • Social will become more embedded in businesses rather than just in campaigns. It’s growing up!
  • The biggest populations of the world are: 1) China 2) India 3) Facebook 4) USA. Social isn’t going anywhere – it’s enormous.
  • MySpace has been doing a lot behind the scenes. It has the potential to become a big player in 2013.
  • Nike is a good example of a company that has created a digitally enabled community. It has essentially become a technology company that sells products.
  • Retail is going social, vibrant and engaging. A good example is

How is traditional marketing changing?

  • Influencers are now advertisers, too. Bloggers, mums, dads and regular people have influence on how your product and service is seen. Consumers trust their peers.
  • Marketing is not just about inspiring or conveying a message, but also about providing tools and ways to do things to make lives easier.
  • Consumer-generated content like Instagram is becoming more relevant.
  • We can look to successful campaigns of 2012, such as Virgin Mobile’s ‘Fair Go Bro’, Coke’s ‘Share a Coke’ and Metro Trains ‘Dumb Ways to Die’ to see that brands that entertain are memorable.
  • We need to personalise messages and add value – too many emails are sent to customers and they’re opening them less.

How do we build a long-term strategy and adapt?

  • Look beyond your target market and see who is actually making purchasing decisions. For example, women influence two-thirds of shopping for men’s’ apparel.
  • Understand that digital natives use technology differently, for example, while older users search with keyword terms, natives often search in whole sentences.
  • We need to create profiles about our customers and use big data to gain insights.
  • Know how to measure effectively. Views and likes don’t mean that the message reached the consumer.
  • Spend time with your customers outside of a focus group. Experience living like them in order to truly understand them.

Alex Hayes summed it up for me with one of his comments: “We can talk about knowing what will happen in 2013, but who really knows?” It’s true. With the environment changing as fast as it is, we can be sure of one trend: it’ll continue to evolve. We must be adaptable in order to achieve our marketing goals and stay ahead.

About our Ambassador // This article was contributed by Community Ambassador Solange Francois. She is a marketer and lover of travel with a passion for psychology and lifelong learning. You can connect with Solange through her blog or on Twitter @solangefrancois

Take a peek at a Girl Geek Dinners — August 8, 2012

Take a peek at a Girl Geek Dinners

Girl Geek Dinners‘ tagline is ‘Definitely does compute’. Attending one of these events certainly does. Held at coworking space Inspire9, females working in IT congregate monthly to share their passion for the industry, ideas, knowledge and food – ok, mainly pizza.

And the recent meet up was no different. Over 15 women working as web developers, mobile UX designers, social community managers, online managers, bloggers and coders gathered for a 3-hour HTML workshop. Diana Macdonald, Technical Editor from SitePoint, gave an interesting and insightful overview of the main concepts of HTML, explained how to code simple pages and shared the open source resource material of veritable Queen of the Girl Geeks San Francisco-based Pamela Fox.

Learning about the anatomy of a website through to understanding HTML validators was made all the more palatable with the arrival of boxes of pizzas quickly washed down with a glass of wine. The wine was originally intended as prizes for the winners of the W3schools HTML quiz. Oh well… instead, threeof the tech savvy Girl Geeks had a choice of technical books, compliments of SitePoint.

The takeaway message from the night shared by Diana was to ‘keep reading and keep researching. Things change rapidly. What was best practice one year ago in the IT space won’t be best practice today.

Girl Geek Dinners, which started six years ago in Melbourne, is still going strong. The regular Richmond meetup provide a learning environment where professional women are able to come together and skill up on the ever-changing and ever evolving IT sector. The vibe is friendly, enjoyable and relaxed and it caters for women with varying degrees of IT knowledge.

Geek Girl Dinner organisers Tammy Butow and Jessica Lowry not only hold regular IT focused workshops but a hugely popular mentoring series. The Secrets of Success series involves a speaker or three covering a topical technical or business subject over a bite to eat. The format enables senior women with years of industry experience to share their knowledge and offer career guidance and support to those starting out. There are also opportunities to socialise at over Friday night drinks and movie nights, the last one being of course, The Social Network. There is also an invite only Yammer network available allowing for collaboration in-between meetups, as well as Girl Geel blog and Twitter.

So girls, no matter how tech savy you may or may not be, get involved. Get yourself along to a Girl Geek Dinner meetup – coming workshops topics include CSS and WordPress. Have some fun, have some pizza, maybe hold back on cracking opening the wine, but don’t hold back on hollering “HTML, CSS or WordPress” instead of “Cheese” when the group photo is being taken! And guys, good news. Men aren’t excluded. If you have an invitation from a girl attending the event, you are welcome. And this ‘Definitely does compute’ where the focus of the events is about uniting, supporting, learning and having fun in the technology industry.

Contact details:
Twitter: @GGDmelb
Upcoming events:
Yammer: Contact Tammy Butow via

Other networking options for Melbourne women in IT:

Girl Geek Coffees (GGC)
There are a number of GGC’s across Melbourne for females studying in the IT space. Students in Computer Science, Software Engineering, Information Technology, Multimedia, Computer Games and related disciplines (e.g. Science, Engineering, and Mathematics) can meet up over coffee. Supportive males accompanied by a female are also welcome to attend.

The ADACamp Melbourne Initiative
The Ada Initiative is a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing the participation and status of women in open technology and culture. It includes open source software, Wikipedia and other open data, and open social media.The group is named after Countess Ada Lovelace, widely acknowledged as the world’s first computer programmer and the world’s first woman open source programmer.

Melbourne Robogals
Robogals is a student-run organisation that aims to increase female participation in engineering, science and technology through fun and educational initiatives aimed at girls in primary and secondary school. There is a chapter at Melbourne university.

Women are I.T.
“Women are I.T.” is an organisation providing a framework upon which women in Information Technology can extend their network and expand their knowledge in an environment that encourages open conversation and debate. We want to encourage women to choose I.T. as a career and raise the status of women in Australian business, in the I.T. industry in particular.

Females in IT and Telecommunications
Females in Information Technology and Telecommunications [FITT] is a not-for-profit network established in 1989 that encourages and supports women in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry. FITT holds events and activities throughout the year to support, encourage and inspire women in the Australian ICT industry.

Vic Women in ICT
The Victorian ICT for Women Network is an industry-driven initiative which aims to facilitate entry, retention and progression for women working in ICT.

Go Girl, Go for IT
Go Girl, Go for IT is a free IT career showcase run by the Victorian ICT for Women network for for Secondary School Girls in Years 8-11 to experience the incredible range of vocational avenues that are available in IT.

About our Ambassador // This article was contributed by Jacqueline Shields. Luckily Jacqueline is not a cat. She’d be on her ninth life. Her inquisitive nature sees her say yes to pretty much anything – a  Tough Mudder, an African Safari, sailing down the Nile in a felucca and even a HTML workshop. And each and everything she tries, she takes great joy in writing about. You can connect with Jacqueline on Twitter @hillrepeats.

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