W here will you be in 2020? 5 Lessons from Women 2.0

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Kelly Erickson Nov 15, 2013


Right now in Vegas, the most exciting thing isn’t the waving fountains, whirring slot machines or on-stage acrobatics. It’s a group of several hundred women (and a few cool guys) sitting in a room talking about how we’re engineering the future.

This year’s Women 2.0 conference, November 15 and 16 at the Bellagio, is the world’s largest tech conference by women, for women.

They know their audience – the attendees are a mix of entrepreneurs, engineers, designers, investors and students. And the swag bag at the door consisted of TOMS shoes, lipstick and lacy undies, along with a few other goodies.

The conference itself is examining tech trends that are already in motion, and how they are changing and disrupting day-to-day life.

Here are five take-aways from powerful talks given by the likes of Tony Hsieh, Founder & CEO of Zappos; Megan Smith, VP of Google[x]; Katrina Lake, Stitch Fix Founder & CEO; Lori Cheek, Founder & CEO of Cheek’d and Marleen Vogelaar, Co-Founder & CSO of Shapeways (amongst others):

1) The barriers between online and offline experience are disappearing

Because we’re moving so fluidly between devices and technology is now an integrated part of our experiences, people are no longer differentiating between what they do “on the internet” and what they do in person – these experiences are now becoming fully intertwined

2) The shift to an open source society is making new innovations possible

Together, we are shifting in a new era of transparency and openness. Open source software means that people around the world are able to build and add on to each other’s work. This speeds up the process of development and reduces waste, as you’re not having to constantly reinvent the wheel

3) Technology puts people adjacent, creating opportunity for growth of communal ideas

It wasn’t a coincidence that the first Women’s Rights convention (Seneca Falls in 1848) happened on the Erie Canal. Back then, transportation allowed people to join and be next to each other, and that connection allows for a transfer of ideas. Technology similarly is breaking barriers of distance, allowing us to connect people in new ways and fostering growth of communal ideas

4) It’s possible to engineer luck

You can maximize serendipity by increasing something that Tony Hsieh refers to as “collisions” – basically if you give people more opportunities to interact, you increase the likeliness of creating meaningful connections and shared learning that leads to innovation. You can learn a little more about this here.

5) On-demand production is reducing waste

We’re already seeing a shift toward communal resources, with the popularity of on-demand ride sharing from companies like Lyft and SideCar. Likewise, 3D printing is starting to change the manufacturing industry to focus on on-demand products. 3D printers can create a product at the time of purchase, eliminating the need to have unused products moldering away in huge storage facilities across the nation

How is the changing scope of tech affecting your business? Let us know on Facebook! We’d love to hear from you.

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