CDE News – May 2020 issue

Quite a bit has happened in the past few weeks. My highlight? A new initiative of Queensland Government, the AI Hub, has been announced. We are proud to be the founding members of it, together with UQ and KPMG.

Remember my analysis from the last month, where I wrote about Disney+, a chart-topping app, that was downloaded 1.3 million times in its best month? Well, COVIDSafe is now at 6 million downloads in about a month, still short of the expected 10 million downloads, but absolutely unprecedented. The numbers show how much we care. Well done, us! Too bad the app doesn’t work as it should. According to NSW Health, who “cannot use the data from the app to trace the contacts of an infected person, which is the primary purpose” of COVIDSafe. Contrary to every other app on our phones, we cannot verify ourselves whether COVIDSafe works.

When was the last time you visited the State Library of Queensland? Why don’t you drop by now? SLQ just launched a virtual version of their current exhibition, Spoken, celebrating Queensland Languages. Not only is the exhibition wonderful and eye-opening, but now, with the virtual tour, it is accessible to everyone around the world. And the execution is top quality. See for yourself!

The second wave
Studies are showing that the current wave of people working from home might have a long term effect on how we work. As businesses are considering bringing their workforce back to the offices, the employees tend to have a different vision of the future. We should expect many of the employees to look for options to spend more time working from home, compared to how they worked before the lockdowns.

But there’s a genuinely significant challenge emerging—a challenge of a divide being created by the second wave. Not everyone can have the flexibility of choosing where their office is. And it seems that our education level is among the strongest predictors of the ability of this choice. The higher the education level, the higher the ability to work from home if needed. And vice versa.

The current pandemic has exposed many challenges in our society. The ability to work from remotely is yet another one. It’s not about working from home. It’s about the ability to work away from the principal place of work when it might be safer for the employee. We have all joined forces in flattening the curve. Can we all join forces in bringing the two leftmost bars up in the graph? Currently, they clearly show how much work is ahead of us.

Have a look at the rest of the newsletter, in which we share our academic work on business models in Industry 4.0, introduce Dr Erwin Fielt, a Chief Investigator in the Centre for the Digital Economy, share AI Hub news, and invite you to join a digital transformation lecture in just a couple of weeks.

Speaking of events, the QUT Business Leaders’ Forum is now virtual. If you’d like to hear from Tim Reed, President, Business Council Australia, find out more on the event website.

Stay safe and curious,

Prof. Marek Kowalkiewicz
Centre for the Digital Economy


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