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Idealog Year in Review 2017: Priti Ambani

Tech Futures Lab's Priti Ambani​ shares her views on the year that was and the years that could be.

Favourite innovation that isn't yours?

I’m a huge fan of simple tech that delivers high impact. Neopenda is a simple, low-cost, low-power, wearable sensor device integrated in a baby hat that continuously monitors newborns’ key vital signs. It is designed for critically ill newborns being cared for in hospitals in low-resource countries.

Favourite innovation that is yours?

At Itsnoon we launched UsAll, a digital space where anyone can earn an income while responding to questions that promote self expression. UsAll, is built on a distributed economic model where users of the network have an opportunity to create shared value and assets online and are direct benefactors of the value created by the network.

Most interesting launch/trend/idea/building/product of the year?

I think Blockchain has had its moment in the spotlight this year.

Lamest launch/trend/idea/brand/building/product of the year?

Silicon Valley’s $400 Juicer, wait for it “Juicero”, that juices juice out of a bag of juice. Yup.

Most promising New Zealand company/companies?

I may be a bit biased but Tech Futures Lab, with its mission to re-energise NZ businesses and professionals to build people-focussed tech companies that solve wicked problems.

Your own biggest success?

2017 has been huge for me with amazing personal and professional growth, I’ve had opportunities to engage with thousands of Kiwis, and their businesses / work while helping them understand the role they play in the age of fast-paced technological changes. This year I also took a deep dive into understanding inclusive network design and platform business models that can provide universal access to income opportunities for anyone. Another success was opportunities to highlight the importance of women participating in tech and economy by raising visibility for women-led businesses.

What’s the biggest mistake innovators/businesses will make in 2017?

Ignore changing demographics, perceptions, ideals and societal contracts.

What do you expect to see in the next five years?

I expect (and wish) to see a growth of people-powered digital businesses that are truly inclusive not just in creating shared value but distributing that shared value back to the networks.

What will be dead in the next five years?

Jobs, structured as we know it today will be on its way out.

What should be invented and/or un-invented?

Capitalism. We need to re-think capitalism in the age of exponential technologies.

Favourite book/TV show/podcast/album/website/magazine/story/performance enhancing drug of the year?

‘Thank you for being late - Thomas Friedman’.

What’s the one piece of tech would you have on a desert island?

Solar-powered laptop with satellite internet.

Will the robots become sentient and kill us all? (asking for a friend)

Hope not! Wait! Doesn’t that depend on us?!

How long before we have: 

-           Driverless cars - We have them already?! But I see them operating commercially in 5 years or less.

-           Flying cars  -  We aren’t waiting on the technology but the infrastructure and regulations will hold this one back longer.

-           Immortality - Hmm. Maybe we have to ask the robots.

-           No planet to live on -  I estimate that in the next 20 years at this pace we will be in deep trouble.

-           No animals farmed or eaten - A major step we need to take to prolong the answer above...

-           Universal basic income - We will see larger pilots emerging in the next 2 years.

*****

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