Last night I had the pleasure to open the 2018 IGNITE! event in Austin, Texas.  It is our biggest customer event ever and provides us with an opportunity to share and shape our vision for the future with our customers.

I chose the subject of ‘imagined realities’ as my theme for the opening presentation.  I was inspired by Yuval Noah Harari’s brilliant book Sapiens. In it the author talks about the sudden and rapid development of mankind. Central to this was the ability of people to collaborate to achieve previously unthinkable tasks. These ‘imagined realities’ enables one species to colonise the entire earth in less than 70,000 years after half a million years of relative isolation.

Imagined realities – the ability to collectively visualise a better future and work together to achieve it – underpins human belief systems such as human rights and nation states.  They exist because we collectively accept them as true.

The global IP system is another imagined reality. Without collective support of the system, we could not create value from ideas and continually drive new innovation.

Our role in this imagined reality is to make complex things simpler. The global IP system is certainly complex: 200 jurisdictions; unclear and uncertain data; complex negotiations and contracts; slow execution. All of this limits and undermines the capability of imagination to become reality quickly.

Our objective is to reduce this complexity; to make it simpler, faster and easier to manifest ideas. To do this effectively we need to understand our customers, their needs and their pain points. This empowers us to reduce complexity in a way that customers value. 

This is why IGNITE! 2018 is so important: it enables us to more closely understand, in person, what our customers need and how we can help them to achieve it. I look forward to three insightful and engaging days helping to make imagined realities easier to achieve.

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