2021 Theme – "The Big Reset: Digital Enterprises Shift into High Gear"

The Symposium will run over eight weeks. Tentative, the weekly focus will be:

1.     Introduction & Orientation
2.     Future of Work
3.     Digitalization Trends
4.     Security, Privacy & Data
5.     New Technologies
6.     Economic Impact of Technology
7.     Enterprise Culture & Leadership
8.    Town Hall Meeting

We will have 12 episodes, each with a panel, fireside chat or presentation, during weeks 2 – 7. Here is a list of titles and descriptions for the purposes of audience voting. We always offer moderators the option of editing the titles & descriptions, so these are not set-in stone. Also, the order of panels may change due to audience feedback and moderator availability.  The week #7 panels are set – CIO Award on May 18 and George Westerman’s culture panel on May 19. We need to finalize the panels for the remaining 10 slots.

Please vote on all panels that you would like to see included. Use the stars to indicate your level of interest where one star is mildly interested and five stars is EXTREMELY INTERESTED.

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* 1. What is your name? (Optional)

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* 2. What is your email address? (Optional)

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* 3. Building Better Jobs in an Age of Intelligent Machines

The adoption of emerging technologies and policies accelerated during the pandemic as a way of coping. How do we continue this momentum to harvest the dividends of rapidly advancing automation to deliver opportunity and economic security to all workers?

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* 4. Shaping Technology and Institutions for Shared Prosperity

The technological revolution in artificial intelligence and robotics will usher in the economic transformation of our time. While we will surely boost economic output and wealth, our challenge will be to also raise living standards, working conditions and economic security for everyone. How can enterprises navigate the coming disruptions and contribute to shared prosperity?

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* 5. CIOs take on Digital Operations

The pandemic accelerated the digital transformation and proved how vital CIOs are to their organization. As digital business increases, CIOs are becoming accountable for operations, essentially becoming digital COOs. How can CIOs adapt to this trend? What does your enterprise do to “digitize” operations, be it factory floors, supply chains, or back-office workflows?

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* 6. Is the Hybrid Office here to Stay?

The pandemic forced so many to adapt to remote work. CIOs scrambled to scale up network infrastructure (throughput, resilience and security) as well as manage access for a surge in remote workers. Looking forward, what will be the right balance between working in an office or working from home? Which positions will require more time in an office, and which will require less?

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* 7. Rapid Shift in Talent and Knowledge Acquisition

The pandemic forced people to work and learn in new ways and these changes may be here to stay. Will the ability for people to work from anywhere help in attracting talent that would otherwise not want to or be able to move?  How will advances in online learning help in the continuous reskilling of talent? What new ways of obtaining talent will emerge, such as crowdsourcing communities for more sophisticated tasks such as devising ML algorithms and crafting digital twin models for IoT?

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* 8. Restructuring Supply Chains for the Next Normal

Global supply chains of the past few decades were made possible by modern digital technologies. How can enterprises make supply chains more resilient to major shocks like Covid-19 given their central role in operations?  Will supply chains become less global and more local?  Will technology and automation encourage bringing tasks closer to end markets that were previously outsourced and/or offshored based on labor costs?

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* 9. Reimagining Leadership in the Next Normal…Are CIOs prepared?

Before the pandemic, only 12% of executives strongly agree their organization’s leaders have the right mindset to embrace the changes needed to thrive in the digital economy, and a sobering 9% strongly agree that their organization has leaders with the skills to thrive in the digital economy. Ready or not, the pandemic forced enterprises to quickly adapt. This panel will discuss practical and specific recommendations to help CIOs settle into the next normal by increasing transparency, demonstrating authenticity.

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* 10. Building an Enterprise for the World Ahead

It is not a question whether digital transformation will come, but when and how. For many companies, the pandemic was a wake up call. In the new digital economy, many enterprises won’t succeed by merely tweaking the management practices that led to past success. To thrive in a digitized universe, businesses of all sizes need to reinvent themselves. Yet leaders often lack a common language to assess the degree of threat digital disruption poses to their business, and—more importantly—the language to create a compelling vision for their enterprise’s success.

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* 11. Accelerated CIO Decision Making

Every CIO today recognizes that achieving breakthrough performance means quick and decisive action, be it launching a new digital product or transforming a company’s operations. The pandemic forced quick action to adapt operations. Moving forward, when an initiative affects all layers of the company, who owns the "decision rights" to make the final call? This panel will discuss what it takes for companies to benefit from (start-up style) empowered teams within the conservative framework of a large organization.

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* 12. Data Monetization Strategies for Uncertain Times

Many companies are struggling to adapt to these uncertain times. How can companies use data monetization capabilities to create lucrative returns? Multiple strategies exist and each has distinct requirements and payoffs. The key is to choose the strategy that best suits your organization’s needs and nurture it accordingly.

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* 13. Accelerated Digital Transformation – Where will we land?

In April Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said: “We’ve seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months,” as companies adapt to stay open for business “in a world of remote everything.”  What did your company do to adapt to the pandemic and how well has it worked? Will these accelerated changes remain in place in 2021 and beyond?

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* 14. Innovations that will Transform the User Experience

The “new normal” of user experience is the virtual one, be it working, shopping, learning, exercising, meeting with people, getting entertained or receiving healthcare. What technology innovations do you consider the most promising for enhancing the customer experience?

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* 15. The Future of Retail

What will be the impact of the pandemic between online and physical shopping?  What will be the right balance?   How can the customer experience of online shopping be improved?  How will it transform retail stores?

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* 16. Successfully Embracing a Cybersecurity Culture

The more we live and work online, the more pressure there is to have effective security and privacy. This is not just a technical problem – CIOs need to shape employee attitudes, beliefs and values to increase positive cybersecurity behaviors. What new measures are needed to better safeguard data and transactions?  How will emerging technologies like blockchain reduce resistance to good security and privacy practices?

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* 17. Protecting Your Digital Innovations from Cyber-attack

Digital innovations offer great promises for enhanced productivity and profitability, but they rely on new technologies vulnerable to cyber-attack. Panelists from leading companies will share their expertise and insights on creating and executing a cybersecurity strategy to protect these digital innovations. 

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* 18. Will Artificial Intelligence get us through Uncertain Times?

Will the aftereffects of the pandemic force companies to accelerate their embrace of AI, robotics and automation technologies to better compete in a moless predictable environment?  What innovative AI applications can we expect to see?  What will be the impact across different industries?

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* 19. Is Blockchain Ready for Mainstream Adoption?

Blockchain, which is the technology behind Bitcoin that has soared in value to over $35K in 2020, has been anticipated as a solution to many other data management problems. But limitations, such as latency and data privacy, have tempered expectations. Is blockchain ready to emerge as a truly disruptive technology in this new decade?

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* 20. Breaking down Barriers to AI Adoption and Use

Artificial Intelligence can potentially generate big value by helping companies with decision making and targeted marketing, but if not appropriately designed, built and deployed it will fall short. How can CIOs mitigate deployment risks and improve chances of trust and acceptance by all stakeholders?

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* 21. Creating a Culture of Innovation

In their rush to be more innovative, many executives are focusing only on increasing inputs, such as the number of teams launching innovation efforts and the number of start-ups, they support each year, and are losing sight of the resulting outcomes. They end up accumulating “fondue sets” – innovations that may be nice to have but add little if any business value. We’ll describe how firms have successfully transformed their approach to innovation to one focused on insights and outcomes, organized around empowered, cross-functional teams. These firms generate innovations that are of significantly more value quicker.

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* 22. Do you have a specific episode title and description to suggest? Thank you for helping us plan this year's Symposium.

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