GeoNext conference in Australia provided an interesting and very refreshing set of diverse presentations, covering the emerging technologies and businesses which are making use of geospatial.
I answered interview questions around how to successfully build a business around Open Source, with a focus on Geospatial.
James Moody, a futurist from CSIRO, boldly predicted that the next wave of innovation will address moving from a world of abundance to a world of scarcity, and the next big business opportunities will be based around improving efficiencies and recycling waste.
It was disappointing to discover that the Australian http://data.gov.au initiative, which was looking very promising a year ago, doesn't have anyone driving it anymore.
There were talks on augmented reality, cartography, geocaching, mobile gaming, building and marketing mobile applications, and some great lessons on building a startup company as 3 startups made a pitch to judges.
Further on the business front, I was very impressed with a presentation from Mark Carniello. It is challenging for Australian companies to break into the US market, largely because a personal sales call to the US costs $10K worth of travel costs - and yet Mark explained how his Australian manned company is successfully selling a mission-critical system to electrical utilities in North America by setting up a virtual office, and leveraging phones and internet technology.
This is certainly an event to look out for again next year.