26 June 2015

I was honoured to be asked to speak at the Institute of Directors’ Disruption Conference in Manchester yesterday. On reflection, it was actually perfect timing for such an event, given that it’s National Graphene Week this week.

Image credit: University of Manchester

Image credit: University of Manchester

As Cisco’s Ian Kennedy, who spoke after me, pointed out: nanotechnology, especially graphene, is set to be the next major game-changer. It even has the potential to affect the data centre industry, as it’s extremely electrically and thermally conductive.

Disruption, to me, is the advancement of the way we improve life and business through innovation and technology. In its simplest form, it exists to make things simpler, faster and cheaper. For me, disruption is an end result, not a way of life. If you look at the incredible disruptors, Google and Apple for example, they’re not disruptive by nature; they are collaborative and organised.

The University of Manchester is the home of graphene and of the National Graphene Institute. It’s one of the top graphene research institutes and if you look into their approach, they invite and actively encourage collaboration when it comes to exploring the potential of this incredible material and discovering how it can be applied to improve the world we live in.

What do you think the next big game-changer will be?

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