AVA Cairns - what we learnt

Pet Pack
Suite 4, Level 1, 66 Albert Road
South Melbourne
Vic 3205

03 9690 6253

The theme of the conference was "Into the Future" and we were exposed to some wonderful ideas and trends during the week. There were terrific speakers across a range of topics, the most famous and dramatic was Temple Grandin - she was excellent. But for this piece, I'm going to focus on another - Craig Rispin, futurist, who gave the opening plenary on Sunday afternoon in Cairns.

Craig's tilt on the theme was, "Will the veterinary profession survive?" - a topic that provoked a range of responses - including fear and rejection as well as warm applause. However, his aim was not to frighten but to bring to our attention to what is going on and how it will impact our lives as vets in 5, 10 and 15 years.

Being a futurist, Craig looks to the future and makes assessments of how a particular topic will turn out - either for the best or for the worst. These are only predictions but it's interesting to look at what comes out.

Focussing on his 2 main themes, it's clear that we are sitting at the epicentre of the next growth industry. The first theme was mobile - and by this he means any mobile device - not just phones but devices that sit in and on people, objects, vehicles and even animals. Mobile is the fastest growing new technology and it is rapidly outpacing anything we have produced - in sheer numbers but also in the level of data that they can transmit. We are moving quickly into a world which will be dominated by mobile.

The question here is: how will you leverage your skills to take advantage of the growth in mobile? Will it be to provide remote diagnostics to farm herds? Will it be to track the movement of animals to prevent theft or ensure identity? Or will it be to revolutionise how vet services are delivered?

The second theme was that the industries that fit under "Life Sciences" are the fastest growing industries globally NOW and will be for 50 years. This includes everything from human health, through to food productions systems, pets, habitat regeneration and species protection. As vets we can decide to get on this wave or let it pass us by.

Vets will always be valued for the advice and service we can deliver. What is less clear is how that information will be transferred from vet to client. One thing is for sure - the demand for that information will continue to grow, it's just a matter of whether you're the one in demand or whether you've been sidelined by a more innovative provider.

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Pet Pack Pty Ltd
Suite 4, Level 1, 66 Albert Rd
South Melbourne VIC 3205