Liveblogging the 2018 Nordic Innovation Conference, Seattle (2)–2nd Morning Keynote: “Business in the Nordics”

Second keynote: “Business in the Nordics Viewed from the US Perspective” by Vahe Torossian, Corporate Vice President, and President MSFT Western Europe

Work in 197 countries in the world. (He has traveled in 127 countries.) Working to infusing trust in the countries they are working in.

It’s not about what technology can do; it’s what technology should do.

Has quote from Satya Naddella, (“Hit Refresh” as source), focus on human gifts “to help move society forward.”

60% of children in schools today will have jobs in their future that don’t exist today.

Creativity has become one of the most important job skills (from 10th on list  in 2015 to 3rd on list today).

Microsoft has 120,000 employees now. They now have 2100 employees in 13 locations in Nordic areas. Have ten thousand partners in region, who employee themselves 180,000 in region. One Microsoft employee leads to creation of 19 partner employees, in the ecosystem. For every one dollar Microsoft earns, six dollars are earned by the ecosystem.

He shows pictures of his four General Manager colleagues in Iceland, Finland, Norway, Sweden. Says how you can talk about people without showing their faces?

Torossian focuses on education; says bilingualism helps people be more innovative and open to differences.

Mix of marketing/operation vs. R&D employees; now about 60-40%.

Network Readiness Index, correlation between societies and social well-being. Stockholm creating most unicorn companies, after Silicon Valley.

Equality, balance of resources, exemplary model for the rest of the world from Nordics. “Equality without inclusion” doesn’t matter.

Joint initiative between Microsoft and Baltic Development Forum, the Nordic think tank “Top of Digital Europe.” Published report: “2017 State of the Digital Region: Exloring Automation, Education and Learning in the Baltic Sea Region” (Wernberg and Andersson, authors)

Policy Priorities in Nordic area:

  • Promote cross-border
  • Educate and develop region’s best talents and expertise
  • Develop balanced business environment between regulation and innovation
  • Promote EU’s digital single market and advance transatlantic cooperation
  • Develop ICT-led cross-border public services
  • Attract global talent to the region

Innovation example, Maersk: leader in area, using cloud computing for operations and customer experience.

Example: power company, query: who is your competitor? Unusual answer: the consumer, who will be generating their own power.







Liveblogging the 2018 Nordic Innovation Conference, Seattle (1)

The renewed Nordic Museum in Seattle, “the only Nordic Museum in the world,” (in its complete regional rather than national focus) is sponsoring the Nordic Innovation Conference, with underwriting by Ericsson, the Swedish telecommunications corporation.

Keynote speaker is Kristen Skogen Lund, CEO Confederation of Norwegian Employers. Speech title: “The Future of Work–Prosperity and Well-Being for All in the 21st Century.”

Era for labor has high-skill, low-skill bipolar distribution. In Norway, high wages in general cost job opportunities because everything that can be automated is. Resulting low-skill jobs have high wages relatively, which attracts many immigrants, which increases labor competition.

In 1987 Commission led by first female Prime Minister of Sweden, coined term “sustainable development.” Pushed concept of making environmental progress and sustainability actually profitable.

Is a main issue that we don’t have right way to measure current phenomena? Example: workers are measured as business cost, yet environmental pollution has no measured cost at all.

Inequality is a cost too; how is this measured? Consumption goes down when wealth is concentrated at the top, since upper income people spend less of their wealth in proportion to poorer people.

OECD: increase of inequality by 1 percent will decrease GDP by 0.8 percent.

Yet good news: global poverty has decreased from 40% to 10%, even while increasing inequality within countries.

Businesses must take the lead in facing society’s challenges. Outstanding leaders not only understand change, they meet it. In fact, they create it.

Two key words: openness, and courage. Openness to the need to change; courage to create it.

First lesson: take initiative in change, can’t wait till it’s obvious.

Second lesson: leaders must learn to differentiate between metaphorical “passing storms versus climate change.” Example: dot-com bust was storm; digitalization was climate change.

People tend to think in linear ways; but sometimes the future is not more of the same; sometimes it’s very different. If you are linear yourself, surround yourself with some people who are not.

Estonia: concept of e-citizenship; more people can be Estonians whether they live there or not. Another disruptive thought.

“Lifelong learning” is the key phrase. “Discretionary learning” as it’s called is the concept; Norway, Sweden, Denmark are the leaders in this, for adult learners. You learn the most by doing new things; so mobility in the labor force is crucial.

Empowerment is also key; worker quality and empowerment of Norwegian employees are a reason there is still much industry in Norway, rather than being outsourced to cheaper areas. Nordic work-ethic and committed employees are incentives for businesses to locate there.

Oversight and insight, key terms. Leaders may have oversight, but not insight. And employees often have insight, yet little oversight. So bringing these together is a key need.

“We don’t see things as they are; we see things as we are.”

You learn more from people who are opposed to you, than people who agree with you. It’s not about winning or losing; it’s about striking a balance.

Young people are not looking for career planning; they are looking for purpose.



Liveblogging the 15th ITERA Conference Nashville (5)- Case Study Competition, Ohio University team

Day 2 in Nashville, Tennessee, for the 15th Conference of ITERA–the Information & Telecommunications Education & Research Association.

This afternoon session is the annual Case Study Competition.

The case problem this year is medical records technology, policy, and business. Presenters have 20 minutes, then 5 minutes Q&A.

The second team is Ohio University. Athens, Ohio–not to be confused with Athens, Greece, they say.

They open with a problem statement, after giving a light-hearted introduction to their university (Hint: they are NOT Ohio State).

Health information technology they say was fronted by $35 Billion transition costs. This led to a standards and interoperability framework. The team suggests an encrypted email solution for records transfer.

The team proposes a National Health Information Service Provider (NHISP). They call for a state HISP in every state, interacting in a national schema.

For individuals, the team suggests a smart card health card solution. Security in PIN-based.

The team shows a project lifecycle slide. Costs are $142.4 Million per state.

They want a cloud-based solution for resilience and to mitigate maintenance costs.

Judges ask about training program; what about continuing education? Answer, a public-private consortium of providers will handle this at state level.

Judge asks about national organizational infrastructure? Team has not covered this, they say.

Judge asks technical question–how does the team’s system allow clients to connect? Answer, apparently existing Internet.

Judge: National standards connecting with international? Team says international server gate on each coast; nodes in USA embassies would manage overseas.





Liveblogging the 15th ITERA Conference Nashville (4)- Case Study Competition, Ball State University goes first

Day 2 in Nashville, Tennessee, for the 15th Conference of ITERA–the Information & Telecommunications Education & Research Association.

This afternoon session is the annual Case Study Competition.

The case problem this year is medical records technology, policy, and business. Presenters have 20 minutes, then 5 minutes Q&A.

The four teams are from Ball State University, James Madison University, Murray State University, Ohio University.

The team representatives draw for presentation order. Ball State University goes first. (Disclaimer: Ball State is also my home university.)

Their team does an overview, then presents a user’s perspective. Now they are into the systems perspective. They have a major focus on information security; they have a double-wall security architecture.

The team has an Implementation section to their presentation. Feasibility is first part. They have training involved, nationwide. Then they forecast an international phase. The will then do a live roll-out.

The team then presents its Cost section. Budget has networking, hardware, consulting fees, year support (optional).

The judges are pressing the presenters on details technically and economically.


Liveblogging the 15th ITERA Conference Nashville (3)-Tod Fetherling, CEO, Perception Health

Liveblogging the 15th ITERA Conference Nashville (3)-Tod Fetherling, CEO, Perception Health

This is the afternoon keynote, Day 1.

“The Future of Analytics” — will speak on these topics, among others:

  • Today is the anniversary of the founding of the Internet, today in 1969 (07 April 1969), ARPANET
  • The future of anlaytics begins in the network and begins today!
  • Tesla just announced “Omnimics” Fetherling’s term–the state of knowing before you think it

In Nashville, has HIT (Health Information Technology) Workforce Accelerator, has online option

Started his company in August 2014; manage 4B records; 170M more each month

“Be ready for that first job; you will probably get a lot of curve balls you haven’t seen yet.”

Nashville has 1500 open IT jobs now; needs “everyone here in the room” to come to work in Nashville

Sometimes when you look at data, it’s the simple things that matter (obvious anomaly, for example)

Do the right things; do them right (Right Things/Things Right);

Predictive health analytics in 10 years may save more lives than physician interventions

The promise of Big Data; “you have to present information on Big Data about three times to top executives before they really get it”

  • don’t believe it
  • like the other vendor better
  • maybe yours is better

“Six Honest Serving Men” by Rudyard Kipling

  1. What,
  2. Where,
  3. When,
  4. How,
  5. Why,
  6. Who

CCD, health record on iPhone (more secure than most office health systems); also on android

Too many hospitals in USA; most health care can be outpatient and more and more telehealth.

Advice: put $1000 in HSA and $100 month the rest of their life; you would not have to worry about health care costs the rest of your life

Health insurance, average $14,000 annually for health insurance; in general employer $1000/month; employer $12,000 employee $4,000 a year.

New health care paradigm: informed, money-driven, transparent; not like now, bundle payment around medical episode

Where innovation comes from: small groups


  • Descriptive (statistics, “the old science”)
  • Predictive
  • Prescriptive (this is the future)

“Asking the Right Questions = Gain Understanding and Wisdom”

Health Data types:

  • CCDA – Comprehensive Clinical Document Architecture
  • CCD – Continuity of Care Document
  • ADT Admission, Discharge, Transfer
  • 837/835 claims
  • Clinical Notes
  • Biometrics (API’s)

Three opportunities for companies:

  1. PHR (Personal Health Records) (individual)
  2. EHR (Electronic Health Records) (community)
  3. EMR (Electronic Medical Records) (proprietary) [today’s bad guys, since they don’t want records to move]

Need to curate the data:

  • Compiling the Data is Step 1
  • Quality of the Data
  • Magnitude of the Data
  • Usefulness of the Data
  • TImeliness of the Data

Do I have the right data?

  • check the sum
  • validate against known answers
  • do quality check early on in the process
  • create a “golden” dataset

Data Governance:

  • 9 steps of data governance model–has slide on this (3 layers: People & organization/Rules of engagement/Processes)
  • audit of usage (should you be seeing the data?)

Good book called “Doodle”

Data Visualizations:

Shows ecosystem map of hospital market; then quadrant analysis of this; the technology has shrunk how fast someone can do strategy now; we are thinking of how to explain markets to people

Tools (Prepare Data: (use Notepad; Excel; Monarch; SPSS [IBM bought them; now expensive] use R–open source); Databases:

Characteristics of Big Data (describes data sets so large & complex they are impractical to manage with traditional software tools)


“Big Data relates to data creation, storage, retrieval and analysis that is remarkable in terms of volume, velocity, and variety”

CRISP-DM model

“If you can write it, you can code it”

Predictive Modeling; found good results with Random Forrest model

More opportunities for you, in this era, than I had when I was in your position.





Liveblogging the 15th ITERA Conference Nashville (2)-Tim Obermier

Liveblogging the 15th ITERA Conference Nashville (2) -Tim Obermier of the University of Nebraska, Kearney, Information Networking and Telecommunications program

“Economic Impact of Unwanted Telecom Services in Rural Areas”

Lincoln NE, 268,738 people, 100 Mbps, $65 month

Aurora, NE population 4465, 7 Mbps, $50 month

thus the rural town pays more per megabit

research project:

Internet Access Cost, by Mbps, by city classification, delivery method, for broadband, rural compared to urban

Cities classifications: Metro class  300K (only Omaha); Primary class 100-300K; First class; Second class; Village class [defines First, Second, Village as rural]

Congressional act: 47 USC 254 (b)(3) Access in rural and high cost areas; Rural Internet cost cost/speed = Urban

Lit review: Katz R (2012) broadband essential to economic growth

FCC broadband data speeds have increased from 2010

CTIA (2015) 355M wireless devices in USA; 47% households have no landlands

Professor data: Average cost for broadband 25Mbps down/3 up;

rural pays 8.5% more than urban for all delivery methods; DSL 170% more than urban in Nebraska

Unwanted telecom services: landline (yet required by tariff); conclusion $30 Million unwanted cost for whole state, annually





Liveblogging the 15th ITERA Conference Nashville (1)-Opening Session Andy Snow, Research Award Winner

I’m in Nashville, Tennessee for the 15th conference of ITERA, the Information & Telecommunications Education & Research Association.

Michael Ramage, Professor at Murray State University, ITERA President is opening the conference.

Professor Phil Campbell (Ohio University) is Chairman of ITERA. He introduces the conference as a community of scholars, no matter whether you are a veteran or a new scholar.

Professor Andy Snow, also of Ohio University, has won ITERA’s Lifetime Research Award Winner, will give the morning keynote. He has served in telecommunications in the military, then at University of Pittsburgh, then Georgia State University, now in the McClure School of Information & Telecommunication Systems.

Dr. Snow says while we are called to be specialists and experts, “life is general,” and we also need to be generalists.

Background: Job titles: “Signal Officer, Electronic Engineer, Member of Technical Staff, Manager, Director, Vice President, General Manager, President, Chairman, Professor.”

BSEE (1970) and Master of Engineering in US Army Signal Corps. OK with the experience, but found out “I hated operations,” he says.

“Figure out where you will fit” in your career. See if you want to be on the front end, or back end.

Went from Member of Technical Staff to Vice President for Engineering with 500 people and budget of $100 million.

Then did startups. Then 20 years almost to the day, in 1992 at age 44 with two kids in college and one in high school, went for Ph.D. at University of Pittsburgh. First Ph.D. from their Telecommunications program. Done in five years.

Dissertation on network resiliency, on the public switched telecommunications network. Also has researched “IT and Telecom/Networking” Project Management.

Liked teaching; decided to do full-time. Needed “union card” called “Ph.D.” Teaching was good yet liked to work on problems, so research was good for him.

Research Methods, graduate course for the last 10 years (Quantitative, Qualitative, Mixed methods).

Key things:

  • research methods are good for industry and academic
  • pick good/interesting research questions
  • importance of random sampling and random assignment
  • know how to develop a good survey (avoid double-barrelled questions; avoid leading questions)
  • statistics can help (correlation is not necessarily causation; watch for hidden variables; and the more plausible the correlation, the more it tempts people to “throwaway science” conclusions)
  • you don’t have to defend the null hypothesis
  • ethics matter (“I’ve seen people fired for plagiarism” in industry; recounts story that his 2006 IEEE proceedings paper was reprinted in another journal in 2016, without any change of any word except the name of the authors. Dr. Snow has notified the IEEE.)

Come up with questions; then figure where you are going to get the data; then get some findings.

Types of Quantitative Research:

Experimental; Quasi-Experimental (same except convenience sample of elements); Non-Experimental. Degree of establishing causality goes up at each category listed above, from most to less.

Dr. Snow reports on research about project management; conclusions show positive bias in assessing project status; “if a PM applies bias, it is twice as likely to be optimistic as pessimistic.”










Liveblogging Women Working in Technology (WWiT) Conference (3)–Becky Perez “Self-Aware and Successful”

Liveblogging Women Working in Technology (WWiT) Conference (3)–Becky Perez “Self-Aware and Successful”

Emotional Intelligence is 85% of financial success (Carnegie study). Becky Perez think it’s really of all success.

Social Distance Model shows that perceived differences among people lead to barriers to inclusion and negatively affect quality of work relationship.

Another model: Intent vs. Impact. One’s intent may not reflect the impact one has on others.

Perez finishes her workshop with an exercise in self-awareness and the impact of social distance on our lives and careers.

Point several delegates made: diverse organizations do better, despite the frictions the workforce encounters from working with different kinds of people.

One delegate made the point this is particularly true in ICT (Information & Communication Technologies) organizations.

Liveblogging Women Working in Technology (WWiT) Conference (2)–Megan McManes on Design Thinking

Megan McManes (MM), next speaker:

Design Thinking: Thinking Inside & Outside the Box – Megan McNames, Product Owner, Emplify

  1. Likes design thinking as a concept and approach to work. Her blog post on company site on this topic is their most popular.
  2. Design thinking is the INNOVATION at the center of three circles of product requirements: Desirable|Feasible|Viable
  3. MM suggests three critical stages in design thinking: Inspiration>Ideation>Implementation
  4. “It’s a process of going wide and then narrowing.”
  5. Inspiration depends on Divergent Thinking in problem exploration
  6. Convergence finds the patterns of the data we are bringing in, then reassembling with basic themes that emerge; called “Affinity Mapping.”
  7. MM likes to print many things out. This is helpful to keep track of the many data points that come when you are doing research.
  8. In design, you have to be able to relish the answers users give when you ask: “Tell me what you HATE about our product.”
  9. How to generate divergent solutions: defer judgment; reward quantity over quality; share ideas and ask people build on them
  10. “Design thinking is for everybody.” It’s nonlinear. “Less about stages, and more about spaces.” “It’s really a series of overlapping spaces.”

Liveblogging Women Working in Technology (WWiT) Conference (1)–Opening & Lauren Koenig Keynote

Today, 24 March 2017 is the annual Women Working in Technology conference, sponsored by the Center for Information and Communication Sciences (CICS) at Ball State University (BSU).

CICS Associate Director Kirsten Smith opens the conference after a clever introductory video, developed by CICS Graduate Assistant Matthias Tankersley. (Theme music reminiscent of David Letterman Show. Letterman is a Ball State University alumnus.)

Opening Keynote by Lauren Koenig (BSU ’04, in Journalism), CEO and Cofounder of TWIP (“Traveling With Interesting People”). Based in New York City.

She says “Let curiosity drive you.”

Her approach for the delegates is EDIPT, an acronym to remember by her own mnemonic “Every Day I Plan Trips.”

EDIPT stands for Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype, Test.

These are the steps she uses to develop her projects.

Her company has designed a “Travanality” personality profile of traveler types. (Maverick, Altruist, Epicurien, Culturist, Soulager, Wayfarer, Imaginavo, Purist, Urbanite) See the company website.

TWIP Travanality figure

“You can’t be too focused. Noise is necessary to find the signal.”

“Don’t be too tunnel visioned. You may miss the biggest opportunities.”