It was a little chaotic, and a lot futuristic when a rock version of the Dr Who theme song blasted across the Tesla showroom to herald in the beginning of the “New World of Work”. This was an evening to consider the future, the future of energy and transport, the future of work and employment even the future of biomechanics and prosthetic limbs.
The Tesla representative was the first of the speakers to present. Opening with a video of a Tesla Model S P90D racing down the runway at Melbourne’s Avalon airport. With Ludicrous mode turned on, the electric car kept alongside a QANTAS Boeing 737-800 down the 3 kilometre runway. The Tesla won the race on the ground, with the plane only gaining the advantage when it took to the skies.
Then it was time for a sneak peek at what the future of transport looks like. Driverless cars and a perfected autopilot, to the point where your car could drop you off at work and come back and pick you up at the end of the day.
But as they stated, the purpose of Tesla is not just to innovate transport, it’s to innovate energy. Tesla is dedicated to the push away from fossil fuels and toward clean energy.
They were followed by Craig, who approached his presentation with a drop of humour and a sense of realism, these things weren’t just possible, rather they were already happening. He started by asking a simple question – Did you know?
The video prompted discussion in the room. Which point in the video was it that surprised them the most? Was it that the global population will be more than 8 billion, that wearable technology will be controllable by thought, or that the entire contents of the internet will be able to be stored on strands of DNA?
Craig’s presentation came complete with book recommendations, ‘Abundance’ by Peter H Diamond and ‘Exponential Organisations: Why new organisations are ten times better, faster and cheaper than yours (and what to do about it)’ by Salim Ismail and others.
His attention then turned to start-up companies – 149 start-up companies are valued at over one billion dollars, with Uber at the top of the list. Also represented was Airbnb, Snapchat and Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s other company SpaceX. But, the interesting thing, was that what a lot of these companies had in common was a lack of physical property. Uber has surpassed Ford, GM and Honda in valuation, and yet they don’t own any cars. Similarly Airbnb is the most valuable accommodation provider, and yet it owns no real estate. And finally Tesla is set to become the highest selling car in America, with 400 000+ pre orders of the new Model 3.
According to Craig, the future of work will be more like Hollywood and less like Detroit…
Then it was time for the main event, as Pendragon CEO John Glover stepped up to talk about the New World of Work. Blockchain and smart contracts started off the conversation. Imagine being able to take a car for a test drive and deciding yes I want to buy this car, a few clicks of a button later and the contract is formed and agreed upon, and you’ve gone from a test drive to driving away in your brand new car.
Pointing out that the banks had already been told to integrate instant pay into their transactions, John started to talk about the concept of the timesheets of your contractors trigging instant payment. From the time it took to click through a slide to explain the concept was all the time it would take for the contractors income to reach their account – the timesheet is created electronically and is accepted by the client, once accepted it instantly creates an invoice through an accounting program such as MYOB, which the client again accepts, triggering instant payment to the contractors bank account while working out tax and PAYG. Payment done, in less than a minute.
But more than that, what if a regular employee in your company could have the same freedom as a contractor. They would still be under normal PAYG and employed to your company, but with the payroll outsourced to a salary management company. The salary management company would take over all compliance, such as insurance, and pay your employees like a contractor and maximise their net income they take home. Also, with access to money brokers and financial advisors, you and your employees can start thinking playpackets not paypackets.
John also briefly touched on the changing work place dynamic, which is driven by the millennials who seek a more flexible workplace. The days of being conditioned and following a usual factory grind is being replaced by the innovators, free thinkers and inventors. There is a freelance and contracting boom, and treating your employees with that same freedom, allowing them to play with their pay, is just one means to promote loyalty.
We are boldly going where no man has gone before, John said of Pendragon’s approach to the New World of Work.
The evening’s presentations concluded with the inspirational Ellie Cole. The gold medal winning Paralympian, World Record Holder and World Champion handed over a gold, bronze and silver medal that she had won only a few months before at the Rio Paralympics. As they circulated the crowd, John and Ellie settled into a comfortable pub style chat.
With a focus on mindset and strength, Ellie charmed the crowd with her story, about how she was diagnosed with sarcoma cancer at the age of two, resulting in her leg being amputated. But when she started swimming as part of her rehab she took off and never looked back. Ellie recounted how, when she was younger, she was so much slower than the other kids, especially when it came to kicking, so she trained and persevered until she was as fast, if not faster, than others who were swimming with both legs.
With all her success, Ellie faced further hardships, forcing her to have a double shoulder reconstruction. Not one to give up, Ellie refocused and shifted her training regime, leading to her come back in the Glasgow World Championships and the Rio Paralympics. As a result, Ellie joked that she won gold, training a significant amount less than her competitors, and despite joking that she was the laziness, she admitted that she trained smarter rather than harder.
The conversation finished by turning to biomechanics and prosthetic limbs. Ellie remembered how when she got to leg she was currently using, she started to cry because she was finally able to walk down the hill, something she had never been able to do with her friends, stepping down the hill slowly sideways while they ran ahead. For something so seemly small meaning so much, the future of prosthetic limbs, which will allow Ellie to run, jump, bike and swim, seems too good to be true, and yet that future is already here with Ellie looking to invest in a X3 – although again she joked that she would have to choose between the leg and the Tesla as she couldn’t afford both.
As the night slowly drew to a close, guest mingled and talked, before slowly making their way out to walk down Martin Place and into the future…