<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=474710470599804&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

CMI Blog

the latest from cmi speaker managment


Vinh Giang - Communications Workshop

By cmiadmin | Feb 07, 2017 | Comments Off



Check out Vinh's Keynote Topics!

Tamer Nakisci on undesign, emotion and the wonderfully strange, non-specified future of objects - Mike Walsh

By cmiadmin | Feb 07, 2017 | Comments Off

Tamer Nakisci is an award-winning Turkish designer with a strong vision and fascination for the future. He started his career at Fiat Advanced Design Concept Lab – Milan in 2004. His design for a flexible, wearable "Nokia 888" concept phone over a decade ago inspired device designs that are only now becoming a reality. Most recently his work was featured in the 2017 Wallpaper Magazine design awards. We caught up in Istanbul to talk about the future of design, the challenges of creating technology that is formless and adaptable, and how creativity comes alive when you provide tools without instructions.

My Super Power - Vinh Giang

By cmiadmin | Jan 05, 2017 | Comments Off


More from Vinh!

Why leaders should stop doing work, and start designing it | Mike Walsh

By cmiadmin | Jan 04, 2017 | Comments Off

More from Mike Walsh!

Perry Oosting on Hasselblad, post-luxury and the rise of Chinese consumer electronics - Mike Walsh

By cmiadmin | Nov 22, 2016 | Comments Off

Perry Oosting, who started his life as a gold and silversmith, is now the CEO of famed Swedish camera manufacturer, Hasselblad. It is hard to overstate the significance of Hasselblad in the world of imaging. Most famously, the iconic camera was used during the Apollo program missions when humans first landed on the Moon. I myself learned studio photography and black and white printing, while using a Hasselblad 500CM. The first time I looked down through the viewfinder with this cult camera held at hip level, was like catching a glimpse of a strange, beautifully inverted version of reality. I met Perry a number of years ago, when he was the CEO of luxury phone manufacturer, Vertu - and given his twenty year background with brands like Prada, Bulgari and Gucci, I was interested why he has decided to ban the word luxury at Hasselblad and what the future of the company might hold, given their recent strategic investment by Chinese drone manufacturer, DJI.

See more from Mike Walsh!

Ken Rutkowski on the future of media, hyperloops and life extension technology - Mike Walsh

By cmiadmin | Nov 07, 2016 | Comments Off

Ken Rutkowski is, hands down, one of the most connected people I’ve ever met. And not in that very East Coast, I know everyone, sort of way, But rather, in a friendly West Coast, I know just the person who can help you, manner. Many years ago I spoke at his weekly METal (Media, Entertainment and Technology Alpha Leaders) event which has become a key node in what Ken calls the ‘Creative Coast’, an emerging epicentre of innovation and disruption in Los Angeles. Ken Rutkowski founded ‘Business Rockstars’, which was the number one business radio talk show in America, heard on over 185 radio stations nationwide, reaching 3.5 Million daily listeners. Catching up in Las Vegas, we had a far ranging discussion about the power of podcasting, the future of radio, why Apple needs to become a content company, why LA is better than NYC, the merits of uploading your personality into the Cloud, why Ken has been using electroshock therapy to boost his IQ and whether or not the Chinese have figured out quantum encryption.

More from Mike!

Xiaomi & Shanzhai - Mike Walsh

By cmiadmin | Nov 04, 2016 | Comments Off

philippe-starck-mi-mix-xiaomi-design-technology_dezeen_2364_col_3-852x426When photos of the Mi Mix smartphone hit the web, more than a few jaws also hit the floor. Black, sexy and ceramic with a bezel-less display, this sophisticated Philippe Starck designed phone was exactly the kind of device that a young Steve Jobs might have imagined and then built. Except this wasn’t Apple. It wasn’t even American. It was Xiaomi, a Chinese manufacturer once known for copying, rather than creating products.

To understand the rise of Xiaomi and the growing number of emerging Chinese technology and appliance brands, you need to know something about the way that the Chinese think about innovation.

Valerio Cometti, a good friend of mine from Milan, is an Italian industrial designer. He once told me the story of how he was invited to China to help some local brands with their design process.

One by one, a group of tapware manufacturers brought in their products and placed them on the table in front of him for his feedback. To his astonishment, none of the brands had invested in a single, uniform product range, their product catalogs were filled with literally thousands of designs, from Baroque swans to spaceships.

Valerio realized that the Chinese approached design and innovation very differently to the West. Rather than enforcing a strict product vision, mainland brands tended to leave it to the consumer to decide what features, functions and forms they want.

Like taps, Chinese consumer electronics exhibit a similar kind of product fecundity, especially the infamous devices from Shenzhen known as ‘Shanzhai’.

Shanzhai literally translates as ‘mountain stronghold’. Once a term used to suggest something cheap or inferior, Shanzhai has come to represent a certain Chinese cleverness and ingenuity.

Shanzhai devices are generally modeled on a famous original concept. Three months before the iPhone 5 was announced, a local manufacturer managed to not only steal the design, but also release its own version, the gooPhone i5. To add insult to injury, they immediately copyrighted and threated to sue Apple. Not all Shanzhai designs were direct copies. Many sought to ‘improve’ on the original with the addition of TV tuners, dual-SIM card support, higher resolution cameras, solar chargers or telephoto lenses.

Xiaomi is a case in point. Long before its Mi Mix smartphone, it already established itself as the first mainland brand that local teenagers actually wanted to own. They sold online using flash sales strategies, and priced near cost. Their plan was to make money from software, accessories, and expanding margins as the cost of components fell over time. In other words, a very different, rather than purely derivative, device company.

Xiaomi is not alone in their unique approach to innovation. When I speak, I often tell the story of Haier, the world’s largest white goods manufacturer that decided to learn from their customers’ strange use rituals, to re-engineer their washing machines to be able to wash not only clothes, but potatoes. Joyoung is another example. A Hangzhou-based appliance company, their first invention was an unlikely machine that makes soy milk. It went on to become a diversified maker of small household appliances that include steamed bun cookers, noodle makers and robotic chef tools.

Whether it be industrial robots, consumer appliances, smart devices or messaging ecosystems, China is not only catching up to the West, it is in many respects already surpassing it. Shenzhen, where most of the world’s smartphones are assembled, has become ground zero for a highly flexible and rapid manufacturing ecosystem.

Shanzhai brands may have started out as copiers, but they have now become something else entirely: creative, customer-focused idea factories.

 More from Mike!

Ali Parsa on affordable healthcare, machine learning and the future of data-driven wellness - Mike Walsh

By cmiadmin | Oct 31, 2016 | Comments Off

Ali Parsa, founder of Babylon Health, has created an extraordinary platform — an app-based service that cost-effectively connects top GPs with patients via their smartphones, and is the UK’s leading digital healthcare service. Babylon allows its users to book a video consultation with a GP in minutes, or message with a photo to receive an answer for simpler questions. The true aim of the service is to leverage realtime data, adaptive health monitoring and clinically curated machine learning to detect diseases more quickly and ultimately prevent them before they happen. Visiting him at his head office in London, we spoke about the future impact of AI on the provision of healthcare services, how data changes the way we think about wellness and why the digital delivery of medical advice will transform the lives of millions in the developing world. Ali is a former investment banker at Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch. He previously created Circle, a multi-million pound business running private hospitals across Britain. He was named by the Times among the 100 global people to watch in 2012, and by HSJ among the 50 most influential people in UK healthcare.

See More from Mike!

The Mobile Skinner Box - Mike Walsh

By cmiadmin | Oct 27, 2016 | Comments Off

unnamedThe first time I visited South Korea in the early 2000s was like stepping off a subway into the future. Long before the iPhone arrived, I saw kids with sleek mobile devices equipped with live TV feeds, darkly lit Internet cafes packed with state of the art online gaming rigs, and a country obsessed with Cyworld, an online social network that had a 90% penetration rate among people in their 20s. Most of that innovation was the result of a government policy to invest heavily in broadband infrastructure. So it was no surprise that South Korea was also the first country in the world to experience the darker sides of hyper-connectivity .

In 2010, a South Korean couple was arrested over the death of their 2-month-old daughter, who starved after her parents left her at home on several occasions for six or more hours at a time. They apparently were busy feeding their virtual baby in an online game. In another incident, a 22-year-old South Korean died of heart failure after playing StarCraft for 50 hours nonstop.

Recognizing the serious risk to mental health, psychologists in South Korea created the ‘K-Scale’ for Internet addiction. The diagnostic survey includes questions on a range of topics, including length of daily use and interference with school work or work, whether the individual has fantasies about being online when not logged in or has tried to restrict their usage and failed, and whether being unable to access the Internet causes depression, anger, or unusual changes in mood. The risk is a real one. It is estimated that over 680,000 children aged between 10 and 19 now addicted to online gaming in South Korea.

Digital addiction may have started with gaming, but it has moved firmly into the domain of smartphones. As the BBC points out, Asia and its 2.5bn smartphone users provides a reliable stream of smartphone disaster stories, such as the Taiwanese tourist who walked off a pier while checking Facebook or a Sichuan woman who needed to rescued by fire fighters after falling into a drain while looking at her phone.

Not that smartphone users in the West are any better. A new study from Deloitte found that one in three people checks their smartphones in the middle of the night. And for youth aged 18–24, that number rose to 50%.

A few weeks ago, I interviewed Natasha Schull, a cultural anthropologist and associate professor in the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University, who believes that the addictive nature of devices is no accident. Smartphones are, in her view, a kind of ‘Skinner Box’, that provides users with intermittent cognitive rewards that keep us hooked.

South Korea, in the end, sought to deal with its online gaming problem by regulating games as if they a form of alcohol or cigarettes. But in an age of exponentially increasing interactions, it is almost impossible to go ‘cold turkey’ on the digital world, without removing oneself from the actual world.

The problem may be just generational. It is too late for the millennials, no doubt. But maybe the 8-year-olds, for whom the digital world is about as mysterious as electricity and running water, will figure out their own delicate balance.

More from Mike!


By cmiadmin | Oct 21, 2016 | Comments Off

nanoMoore’s Law, a prediction from 1965 that the number of transistors crammed into circuit would double every two years, has an expiry date. The problem is scale. The latest chips from Intel have silicon transistors with features as small as 14 nanometers. Theoretically you can have a feature as small as a single atom, but before you reach that point – at about 7 nanometers, things get weird. You leave the conventional world of classical physics and open a portal into the trippy reality of quantum physics. That’s bad news because by 2020, in order to keep up with Moore’s Law, the industry will need to be down to five nanometers.

An alternate idea is whether we can ditch silicon, and build computers using transistors made of carbon nanotubes. A carbon nanotube computer is a system built using carbon nanotubes rather than silicon transistors. In 2013, a team of researchers at Stanford University built the world’s first computer prototype based entirely on carbon nanotubes. They named it Cedric.

Prof. Subhasish Mitra, one of the project’s co-leaders, compared the capabilities of their carbon nanotube processor to the original Intel 4004 released in 1971. Slow, with just a single bit of information, Cedric could only count to 32. But what made the project interesting was how the team overcame many of the challenges of growing carbon nanotubes straight enough to fit on a wafer.

Sidestepping Moore’s Law is not the only advantage of carbon nanotubes. It is believed that these next generation computers may be far more energy efficient than traditional silicon-based systems. With a greater ability to dissipate heat, they may avoid the problem of today’s computers that are effectively speed-limited by their design.

Things get even more interesting when you consider the broader application of carbon nanotubes in device design. On a hunch, scientists at Tsinghua University in China recently fed silkworms with a solution that contained both carbon nanotubes and graphene. To everyone’s surprise, the worms produced a super-silk that was not only incredibly strong, but was also capable of conducting electricity. According to the researchers, the discovery could lead to very durable protective fabrics, biodegradable medical implants, and ecofriendly wearable electronics.

Your iPhone 7 today has vastly more computing power than all NASA had when it put a man on the moon in 1969. Makes you wonder - what might a regular consumer device built with carbon nanotubes be capable of by 2020?

More from Mike Walsh!