What happens when a company whose expertise in advanced technology, event coordination and display, decides to run its own event?
You get a first hand journey into the future.
The ever-popular BlueWater TechExpo Signature Event was held at The Fillmore Theatre in Detroit on May 21, 2014. The themed TechExpo 2014, ‘Journey to Innovation’ took attendees aboard the aptly named ‘Starship Velocity’ with live demonstrations and hands on experiences that captivated attendees by its imaginative vendors.
BlueWater is a company that is hard to categorize into one type of product or service. Like the imaginative and state of the art events this woman-owned company creates, Taking every detail of it’s customers needs into consideration. they leave nothing out when it comes to fulfilling the requirements of the job.
Keeping with the theme of their 6th Annual TechExpo, Bluewater Technologies’, (http://bluewatertech.com), expansive development in the past five years has kept them on Inc. Magazine’s 500/5000 List of Fastest Growing Private Companies in the U.S. From 2011 to 2013, with assured success in maintaining their lead place in custom business services.
BlueWater chose Futurist-In-Residence for the New York Times, Michael Rogers, (http://practicalfuturist.com), as this years keynote speaker. Michael Rogers spoke of the incredible impact on society as we continue the increasing pace of technology and what businesses will have to consider to stay ahead in their field. Panel discussion, Tech Talks, and the Exploration Stations kept attendees informed, educated, and inspired by the ideas of the future.
Never before in the history of Detroit has the future in business and technology ever been so pertinent or needed. We have the ability right now to move in amazing ways and directions to become a true Green City Of The Future. I wanted to get the input of Michael Rogers, who’s home base is New York, and his experience of the BlueWater Tech Expo and the Detroit Region.
Looking at the various speaking engagements you have done, what, if anything makes the BlueWater Tech Expo different from other venues that you’ve spoken at?
What was great about the BlueWater TechExpo was that there was advanced technology on display. People could hear my predictions and then go look at the stuff that’s already here, paving the way. PowerPoints are nice, but having real examples on-site makes for an excellent audience experience..
In your Keynote address, “Business Technology by 2020: Science Fiction Becomes Reality.” What do you believe was the most significant point you touched on?
I think it’s the notion that we’re undergoing a major societal and business shift, moving more and more of what we do into the virtual world. The key point is that the companies that thrive for the rest of this decade and the next will be the ones who do the best job of deciding what should go into the virtual world and what should remain in the real world—for example, what can be done more efficiently online with smart software, and what should always be done with human contact.
What was the most inspiring part of the expo for you? What part of that was in alignment with your views as a Futurist?
The attendees I talked to after my speech were very open to new ideas about how to run their businesses. I’ve often said that as a people we are adopting new technology much more quickly than we did, say, a generation ago. Even ten years ago, I would encounter much more resistance and doubt in my audiences. Now there’s still caution—no one wants to waste money—but there’s also a new sense of both inevitability and opportunity.
Have you looked at the Detroit situation as a Futurist? How do you see the city emerging from the vast changes it’s going through and what role do you see technology and sustainability playing in it’s future?
The Millennial generation, the largest in American history, wants both a rich urban experience and the extra space of the near-suburbs for family formation. Yet the cost of living on the coasts continues to rise, and young people are stretched financially, sacrificing quality of life for their jobs. But—at the same time—much work is becoming less sensitive to geography. Midwestern cities are well-situated to take advantage of those two trends by attracting and growing creative occupations, high-tech manufacturing, back-office operations and similar opportunities. Detroit, which already has a rich industrial and corporate history, can reinvent itself as one of those cities that provides skilled workers a higher quality of life at a lower price.
What are the main ways technological advances in 2020 will change the way we do business in the future?
Probably the biggest business impact will be increased efficiency. With digital standards within industries (such as healthcare, insurance, banking, even law), more transactions can be done machine-to-machine, using intelligent software. Look at what Amazon has done to retailing, and imagine that spreading to other industries and services. Increased efficiency will also mean less environmental impact, from lower energy expenditure to less need for daily commutes and business travel—so there’s a key element of additional sustainability ahead as well.
One of the most innovative and engaging conferences on audio visual technology and how to show it off for their current and prospective customers, as well as the public, Bluewater Technologies proves it’s obviously keeping at top speed as a leader in it’s industry. What does the future Expo 2015? We can hardly wait to see…
Cathleen Francois is the Assistant Executive Director for GreeningDetroit.com