Strength in Numbers

11th June 2019

Smash Delta

Smash Delta Community Launch

In May 2019, we officially launched our Smash Delta Community. We believe there is strength in numbers & our community mission is to bring together leaders from the worlds of science, design, strategy and industry to change the world.

Since Smash Delta’s inception a year ago we’ve met, worked with, had beers with and hired some truly amazing people. From senior government and corporate partners to PhD mathematicians, sports scientists and street artists. All of these people have one thing in common: the bravery and skill to change the status quo.

We wanted a way to bring these people together, to capture these ideas and create new conversations in a way that is rarely ever seen. Introducing: The Smash Delta Community.

To celebrate and kick-start this community we did what we love most — bringing people together, from different industries, with different backgrounds, in one space to create new conversations and cultivate new ideas.

What a special night it was. Our speakers were amazing, the food was fabulous and the jazz was smooth.

The theme for our first event was Leaders of Change. All of our speakers are at the forefront of their field, thought-leaders in their own right and on the cusp of the future.

Here’s a round up of some of our highlights and favourite things from the evening.

Your privacy matters - Facial Recognition Installation

Inspired by this NYTimes article, we built a (slightly creepy but incredibly important) facial recognition installation to raise awareness of the use of this technology, how accessible it is and what it means for our privacy rights.

We used a technology called ’edge ai’ to enable faces to be quickly detected by simple devices. It can be supported by publicly-available image data (from social networks etc.) to match names and faces. Technology like this is easy to assemble and is already being put to use  tracking large groups of individuals by foreign governments. While the future of this technology is unknown, it’s important that societies understand the potential risks, and are proactive in helping drive smart policy that protects everyone.

Community will shape our future

Smash Delta’s Managing Director & Co-founder, Ben Morley-John, got us all thinking about the future of AI and gave us a call to action to make it an inclusive & ethical one. “We have one shot to get this right”, “Not one single piece of software or technology company is going to solve everything”. It’s going to take a group of people, that’s the importance of this community.

Air taxis are coming sooner than you think

Monica Ryu, a leader in New Mobility, revealed that air taxis are closer than you think. The way we move is changing faster than ever before, and Monica Ryu is at the heart of that change; advising governments and the private sector on the commercial and market implications of transport innovation. She gave us insight into a world that few people in the room were aware of. She shocked us with the progress of development of air taxis and how much the technology has, um, propelled. Enabled by advances in electric propulsion, batteries, rotor size, communication and autonomous technology - we could all be flying over traffic in just a few years.

Security does not equal Privacy

Sheila FitzPatrick is one of the world’s leading experts in data privacy laws. She works closely with the US Government, Council of the European Union, Data Protection Regulators in ANZ, Asia Pacific, EMEA and the Americas, and a range of other data councils, law enforcement agencies and major enterprises around the world, to protect our privacy rights... She’s kind of a big deal. She mesmerised our audience with her passion for data privacy and hilarious stories that got us thinking about privacy in ways we hadn’t before. She talked about the difference between data security and data privacy, using the analogy of a vault of stolen money - just because you can prove that you are the only person with the key to that vault, and that no one else can access the money, it doesn’t mean it’s your money to keep. We, as consumers, need to be asking business why they need our information, and businesses need to be transparent in their collection.

Data can build better rugby teams

Andrew Gray has worked with some of the biggest names in sport - from Chelsea FC to Paris St.Germain; the Qantas Wallabies to England Rugby. Now, as Head of the High Performance Unit for the Cronulla Sharks, Andrew is driving new levels of endurance and readiness within the squad - leveraging data, technology and cutting edge performance programs. As an early adopter of player tracking devices, he told us of his frustration of the superficiality of the analysis and the results he was receiving. This led to the development of a software product, which gave him access to some of the biggest sports teams in the world. Andrew gave us an inside look into the High Performance Unit at the Cronulla Sharks and how data, analytics & Oura rings can increase the performance of a professional rugby league team.

Joining the speakers on the panel was our co-founder and Director (Analytics), Josh Inatey.

Josh spoke about data FOMO -  companies feeling like they need to collect as much data as possible before they miss out - when in fact, they could do a pretty good job with the data they already have. He reminded us that whilst it seems as though the whole world is innovating with AI, the news only reports 10% of what is happening, and the huge majority are still in the very early phases.

All of this means there is still space to address the ethical challenges we face as technology advances.

This is where you come in.

Our community mission is to bring people from the worlds of science, design, strategy and industry to create new conversations and cultivate new ideas - and at our launch night we did just that. But the conversation doesn’t stop there. To continue fostering these ideas, we want to educate, empower & connect our community through future events and learning opportunities.  

Join our community to stay in the loop and follow The Smash Daily on twitter for daily news from these worlds.

Our new Community Hub (where you are right now) is a place for us to share our community updates, learnings and education pieces, as we continue to build on our mantra of ‘Strength in Numbers’. From here you can also watch the highlights video and scroll through our photo gallery.