It was an incredible and exhausting three days, but Telstra Vantage 2018 has come and gone. Thousands of people from all over roved the show floor interacting with humanoids, testing out 5G, and learning about how we can better utilise mixed reality tech in our lives.
The show opened with a Welcome to Country, simulcast from Perth and Melbourne, displayed on screen in real time. It was an incredible feat of technology and made possible by our network.
Speakers ranged from leaders inside Telstra, to New York Times best-selling authors and trailblazers in new tech. Amongst the many events, panels, and tech demos we caught a glimpse of what possibilities the networks of the future will bring.
Here’s just some of what we saw at Vantage that’ll forever change what we work on at Telstra and how we do it:
Connected Play, #GirlBosses, and Our Exciting Future
My favourite experience was definitely getting to mess around with Sphero robots thanks to the Telstra Foundation and Code Club Australia. The app-enabled, programmable balls help kids to unlock their coding skills through connected play. I really wish that was a thing when I was in school!
I love that the Telstra Foundation has long-standing partnerships with organisations like Code Club Australia, because it means together we can deliver more programs that increase digital literacy for young people.
We had the chance to hear from some incredible women that make me proud to work at Telstra including Robyn Denholm, Group Executive Strategy and Finance, Katherine Boiciuc, Enterprise Operations Executive, and Ayala Domani, Director of Innovation. They emphasised the critical role that gender diversity plays in supporting companies to innovate and flourish in a time of unprecedented disruption.
It was also a highlight to hear Neha Narula from the MIT Media Lab on the advance of cryptocurrency and how the internet of value has the potential democratise access to money.
Technology is the growth engine in an ecosystem that governs how we interact with each other and the world around us. Vantage gave me the opportunity to better understand the technology we enable through our network like cryptocurrencies, eSports, mixed reality and our market-leading work with 5G. It also served as a reminder that humans will always be at the centre of the technology we aspire to create or improve in the future.
Maroushka Saldanha, Sustainability Consultant
Being ‘that’ nerd, optimal creativity, and humanoids
Throughout the jam-packed 3 days, I learned about new and emerging tech, interacted with humanoids, and was scanned to see what type of dog I resembled using artificial intelligence (apparently, I’m a smart, friendly poodle who gets along with people easily, which isn’t too far off from the truth!).
The interactive booths were great to showcase the tech in action, but some of my favourite sessions included listening to influential speakers on the main stage. During New York Times Best Seller Daniel Pink’s keynote, I learned that my optimal time to be ‘creative,’ was later in the day, which surprised me as I usually spend my evenings relaxing or exercising (i.e. not reaching my creative potential). Since then, I’ve been slowly adding more creative activities to my life including writing this blog!
Another great session was called “Unstoppable Force Meets Irresistible Objective: Empowering Women in Technology,” hosted by Katherine Boiciuc, Enterprise Operations Executive. Featuring an amazing and diverse panel of female leaders, I loved hearing about their perspectives on what we can do to encourage young women to get more involved with STEM opportunities at an early age. Robyn Denholm, Group Executive Strategy and Finance, mentioned that we need to change our views on what technology leaders look like so girls can confidently say, “I want to be that nerd!”
Reflecting on my childhood, I was fortunate that my dad encouraged my sisters and me to build websites and learn HTML at a young age. This helped me discover my passion for designing digital applications as an UX Designer.
Leaving Vantage, my mind was full of endless possibilities. From helping kids code to providing opportunities to disadvantaged youth, I’m excited to see how we can use the technologies around us and work closely with our communities to create lasting change.
Kimberly Nguyen-Don, UX Designer
Software Defined Networking, Democratising Data, and the future of 5G entertainment
From 5G to the connected workplace, the demonstrations and keynote addresses were awe-inspiring from start to finish. I’ve always wanted to experience the power of a technology showcase first-hand, and being one of the biggest in the southern hemisphere, Vantage didn’t disappoint!
It would be too hard to single out a specific event that I enjoyed the most. The presentations from Robyn Denholm on our ‘Connected Workforce’ future was fascinating but so was hearing about her empowering perspective on the future of telecommunications through 5G and software-defined networking.
In a different vein was New York Times Best-selling author Daniel Pink who presented on “The Science of Timing”. He explained how we can unlock our most productive selves. Coming from a Sales and HR background, I loved hearing about all of these in equal measure!
I was transfixed by Director of Digital Currency at MIT Media Lab, Neha Narula, on her views about the future of digital currencies and ‘democratisation of data’. A standout was the closing keynote with our two Aussie cave rescue divers, Craig Challen & Dr Richard Harris! See? It’s hard to pick a single event!
I loved the demonstration of Telstra’s capabilities across both our international Ventures portfolio and experiencing the future of 5G. With the Telstra Ventures presentation, we had the opportunity to hear from four very different start-ups utilising AI to accelerate their product development. Of particular interest to me was real-time data analysis and IoT solutions in agriculture.
Alexander Austin, Enterprise Graduate
Missed Vantage but wanted to hear from some of the speakers for yourself? Be sure to check out Telstra Vantage™ TV to see some of the amazing events we talked about.