exclusives | November 19, 2015

Lavin Weekly #16: Ford, Harfoush, Mažar, & Samuel

1. Rise of the Robots Rises Even Higher

Major congratulations to Martin Ford—his New York Times bestseller Rise of the Robots has also picked up the prestigious Financial Times/McKinley Business Book of the Year Award. The Financial Times judges had some high praise for Ford’s analysis of accelerated technology, AI, and the (disrupted) future of work. One judge called it a “hard-headed and all-encompassing” treatment of the issue, while another described it as “a tightly written and deeply researched addition to the public policy debate.” Ford’s engrossing keynotes take off from where his book leaves off, customized for each audience, industry, and sector: as both explorations of new technology, and a call to arms to address its implications.

2. The Digital Reaction to Disaster: Rahaf Harfoush in Medium

Digital anthropologist, strategist, and bestselling author Rahaf Harfoush released a fascinating account of how digital culture is likely to react in the wake of a crisis. Taking the Paris attacks as her model, Harfoush identifies five consistent stages: what she calls “First Awareness,” “Information Maelstrom,” “The Narrative Peak,” “Digital Solidarity & Shared Grief,” and “Ramp Down.” Mapping these stages is useful for anticipating how the world will react, and how digital communities shape our behaviour—undeniably valuable information for government and policy alike. “Technology has connected us to each other at an unprecedented scale,” she writes. “My research focuses on the emergence of the first Global Digital Culture and how we are experiencing events collectively within this new connected ecosystem.”

3. Nina Mažar’s for TEDxToronto: Holding Us to Our Good Intentions

We want to act ethically, but often our actions contradict our morals. As a behavioural scientist, Nina Mažar studies the ways our actions are affected by a multitude of small, subtle environmental cues. In her new talk for TEDxToronto, she shows how addressing small shifts, even in syntax and formatting, can have an incredible impact on how people behave. She asks the audience how this might affect everything from organ donation to “credit card delinquency, obesity, or energy conservation.” “If we become more sensitive to these situational circumstances,” she argues, “we may be able to tweak them, to adjust them, to nudge more authentic behaviour.” Small changes can add up to billions of dollars and massive ethical transformations—making Mažar’s work crucial for all leaders, policymakers, and marketers.

4. Network Better at Conferences: Alexandra Samuel in HBR

In the Harvard Business Review, digital tech expert Alexandra Samuel has published a “seven-step strategy for using social media to turn conference introductions into ongoing connections.” In other words, it’s a handy guide to getting the most social traction out that next conference—and for keeping great records of your connections. Her suggestions include using business-card-processing apps, and sorting through cards in other creative ways. She recommends making a quick connection to anyone you meet, using Twitter or LinkedIn and other hubs, so you don’t have to go searching later. She also has good advice for sorting and keeping track of where, and under what circumstances, you encounter professionals at events. The post is adapted from her ebook, Work Smarter with Social Media, which is a useful set of guidelines for taming backlog, building relationships, and staying productive.

To hire Martin Ford, Rahaf Harfoush, Nina Mažar, or Alexandra Samuel as the keynote speaker of your next event, contact The Lavin Agency speakers bureau.