As founder and CEO of People-First Management Consulting firm Jobber Group, Joe Thurman is literally a people person.
He has more than 10 years’ experience in the human resources sector, with the past six years focused on talent strategy, scale up, HR tech and building inclusive cultures. Working with hundreds of technology firms, he has helped tech companies identify and hire effective leadership and align their workforces to drive business success. He also sits on the board of the Colorado Technology Association.
Thurman will bring that experience to bear as 4Front’s Work Ambassador. So we caught up with Joe to talk about this role, and how the human element drives technology innovation.
When I think about the future of work, it’s the space that I live in – it’s what I eat, sleep and breathe. The future of work is something I’m extremely passionate about and that crosses into building inclusive cultures, understanding how people can be aligned with work that really matters to them. When people are aligned from a mission and vision and a passion perspective, that’s when people will do their greatest work. For a lot of things that we’re talking at 4Front, that’s really important.
4Front is different because we are bringing together different industries, different verticals, different people from different stages in their careers. Once we put those all in the same room we can really begin to come up with new ideas and create what I like to call a collective impact to solve real world challenges. When we see competing organizations come together with diverse mindsets and thinking styles innovation can truly take shape, I think that’s what 4Front is bringing to the table.
The human element. When we talk about work, sometimes we get into the function or the tactical thought of human capital. I think when we talk about work in particular, it’s really important to understand that human element from every side, culture, impact, mindset. Innovation is needed, technology is everywhere and changing the world through the next latest and greatest truly is amazing. But it’s not amazing if we leave people behind in the workplace. And that is a big part of what I want to bring to the 4Front conference, is the human-centric people-first view of that.
I believe everyone should have the opportunity to go after something they care about. We spend a lot of time at work. It’s a majority of our time, and I think life’s too short to just have a job. Everyone has the ability to have an impact on something bigger. At Jobber Group we focus our work on using technology to augment and amplify human impact, not removing the human element. Amplifying our ability to make better decisions when it comes to people is my person passion. In that space we are dealing with unconscious bias training one day, leadership strategies another, and interview amplification technology all in the same conversation. I’m very passionate about people having purpose in life, and that’s not above anybody’s pay-grade. Everyone can have purpose. That’s what keeps me up; that’s what I’m passionate about, what makes me tick.
How do you prepare the next generation of leaders and innovators for dealing with problems that might not even exist yet? Mr. Portell may know the answer.
When Mathew Portell became the executive principal of Fall-Hamilton Elementary in downtown Nashville, he took a different approach. Everything in his school, from trauma-informed curriculum to ambient lighting choices, is designed to meet students’ social, emotional and educational needs. His transformative teaching and mentoring practices have been proven extremely successful, resulting in a better academic performance, stronger faculty support system and more confident, well-adjusted kids eager to take on the future. Fall-Hamilton’s success story is that of innovation in action—exactly what 4Front is all about.
Aside from teaching kids and mentoring his fellow educators, Mathew’s other passion is cycling. In 2008, he combined both interests to form an award-winning non-profit called Ride for Reading, an organization that has distributed over 500,000 books to underserved children via bicycle. In 2018, he started Paradigm Shift Education, an international consulting company that provides trauma-informed educator training. Recently, we asked Mathew to tell us a bit more about his goals as an educator, as well as what he hopes to accomplish at 4Front.
The idea of bringing together professionals from four different sectors to share ideas in order to collectively and collaboratively focus on innovation is something I could not pass up. Education is the bedrock for all innovation as children are being prepared for jobs that do not even exist. Educators are often excluded from global innovation conversations, even though we are on the front line of producing innovators and thinkers. To be in a space with like-minded professionals who want to visualize the future with endless possibilities is exactly where I want to be. As the education ambassador, I am honored to be a part of 4Front.
When collective focus, synergy and collaboration are at the forefront of any organization—a company, school or conference—there is sure to be a positive outcome. By tapping into diverse perspectives and experiences, 4Front is opening countless opportunities for what our future can be. We must reimagine how we live, learn, work and play through a different lens and 4Front can serve as the platform for planning and creating a positive future.
As a veteran educator, I have been a teacher, instructional coach and school administrator in elementary, middle and high schools. In the past five years I have led an internationally recognized trauma-informed elementary school that’s changing how we educate and support children. Because of this work, I have been given the opportunity to travel and speak, throughout the country and internationally, about the impacts of childhood trauma and how school innovation is imperative to the success of all children. The approaches that my school, Fall-Hamilton Elementary, has established have traveled the globe and impacted countless children. I believe now is the time to shift the paradigm and visualize what education should be for all kids.
I have a remarkable family! I am the birth father to an amazing 9 year old boy and a foster father to two remarkably resilient boys who are 6 and 9. I find my self-care and spiritual motivation in cycling. Although my riding is much more limited now, it is still a significant part of me. In 2008, I combined my passions for cycling and education and founded Ride for Reading, a national non-profit organization that has donated over 500,000 books to children, via bicycle, in low-income schools. In 2018, I used my Ride for Reading experience to start Paradigm Shift Education, an international consulting company that provides professional training for educators on the impact of childhood trauma in kids. Making a positive impact on the lives of others makes me tick! It’s what inspires me daily and serves as my motivation. Also, I’m slightly obsessed with building Lego. As an adult whose brain rarely slows down, sitting down with a large Lego set allows me to calm and create. I find it therapeutic!
Interested in meeting Mathew and other experts in media, health, connectivity, technology and more? Be sure to reserve your seat at 4Front, June 23-24, in Denver, CO.
Last year, we talked about the future of work and how we’re planning to use the 4Front platform to address questions surrounding the evolution of technology in the workplace. Today, let’s think about the impact of evolving and future technologies on our lives outside of work.
At 4Front, we’ll have a whole track dedicated to this topic, called “Live,” so if you’re interested in the future of healthcare, biotech, transportation, city planning, climate, shopping, IoT, security, smart homes and more, be sure to clear your calendars for June 23–24, 2020. This event will be held in Denver, Colorado, and it will be the premier destination for getting an unbiased, 360-degree look at the impact of future innovation on all aspects of our lives, regardless of industry.
The “Live” track encompasses a great variety of industries and technical solutions to all kinds of human problems inside and outside the home. Smart homes will make life a little less hectic. Self-driving cars will safely get us from point A to point B. Biohacking technologies will help eradicate chronic diseases. The list goes on. Our goal at 4Front will be to take a look at all these innovations through the lens of one single future and accelerate progress by sharing information and addressing common challenges such as digital security, safety, sustainability and networking requirements.
Here are just some of the topics we’ll discuss:
Speakers: Mirela Alistar, David Ishee, Aubrey de Grey
How can we be healthier, happier, stronger and live longer? Biohacking is the science (and art) of upgrading ourselves by controlling the environment inside and around us so that we have full control over our own biology. Some biohackers are doctors, some are PhD’s, some are complete amateurs, and their ways of trying to hack our bodies and biology are as diverse as they are. Join Aubrey de Grey, English author and gerentologist, Dr. Mirela Alistar, Professor at CU Boulder and dog breeder David Ishee to explore the future of biohacking.
Speakers: Alyssa Whitcraft
You’ve heard of genetically engineered foods, the impact of agriculture on climate change and the fact that food is scarce for our most vulnerable populations but abundant for the privileged. Those who feed us are already pondering the future of food, considering bold ideas–from trying new methods of growing food, adapting to new demands in consumer preferences and making food sources more sustainable–to better feed massive populations. Join this panel to hear how leaders in the industry are resolving some of the greatest challenges inherent in nourishing our communities.
Speakers: Shohini Ghose
If quantum isn’t part of your strategic plan in 2020, you’re already behind. Can quantum enable safe transfers of data, breakthroughs in cybersecurity, drug development and financial modeling? Moderated by Shohini Ghose, president of the Canadian Association of Physicists, co-editor in chief of the Canadian Journal of Physics, and the director of the Laurier Centre for Women in Science, this panel will discuss the latest benefits, threats and opportunities in quantum and how it will affect your business strategies.
If you’re reading this, we can safely assume you’re interested in one or more topics mentioned above. Or maybe you’re a futurist, entrepreneur, policy maker, influencer or expert in a particular field where technology plays a pivotal role. No matter what your actual job description is, if you make decisions, you’re instrumental to 4Front’s success. Unlike any other conference, 4Front is not industry specific. We rely on a variety of professionals from different industries coming together to share their experiences and visions for the future. 4Front is where you can build important connections and forge new cross-industry collaborations that will drive significant progress in the right direction.
One of the best ways to drive the strategy of the future is by sponsoring a track. It’s a one-of-a-kind opportunity to widen your sphere of influence, showcase your innovations, attract new business opportunities and lead discussions on the topics that matter the most to your business.
As a 4Front sponsor, you’ll be able to:
To discuss potential sponsorship opportunities and agenda ideas, please contact Jeff Metzger, CableLabs Director of Live Brand Experience.
You can learn more about our vision of the future in our recent Near Future video. You can read more about 4Front and register below. See you there!
Aditi U. Joshi MD, MSc is not your ordinary doctor. Over the course of her accomplished career as a medical and health policy professional, she also became fluent in technology—mainly in finding ways to blend traditional medical practices with the latest technological innovations to provide a better patient experience.
Aditi is widely recognized as a telehealth expert by the medical community and is regularly invited to speak about how digital technologies will impact the future of our healthcare system. Currently, she is the Medical Director of JeffConnect, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital’s innovative on-demand telemedicine program, and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine, where she works on implementing new programs and use cases for telehealth. Outside her work at Jefferson, she also serves as a co-director of Digital Health Scholarly Inquiry Track at Sidney Kimmel Medical College and runs a Telehealth fellowship for physicians, among other things. We’re very excited to have her on board as our 4Front ambassador!
Here’s a little more about Aditi, in her own words.
I’m intrigued by the idea of a comprehensive conference on various ways technology is going to shape our future.
Getting different groups into the same room is a great way to make sure we all understand the possibilities. For example, there may be a solution from art that would benefit healthcare. That’s why conferences like this are necessary.
I spend most of my time speaking about healthcare and its future with others who are working in that space, like physicians, health systems, payors or startups. I think it’s beneficial to engage with a more diverse group because healthcare affects us all.
I’m originally from Chicago and consider myself a “big city” person. Philly, where I live now, feels pretty small to me. My hobbies outside of healthcare are reading—I can get through three books a week if I have the time—and working out. I have been practicing martial arts seriously for nearly ten years. Aside from that, I find the interdigitation between health and technology fascinating. Although technology and connectivity has made the world feel smaller, it has not affected healthcare as quickly. Because healthcare and medicine are based on creating a real-life connection and a sense of trust between a patient and a doctor, using technology can create what feels like distance. But in reality, these two things have to be put together for real health. How can we better combine geographical distance with the necessity of human connection in medicine? That’s the question we need to answer.
Interested in meeting Aditi and other experts in health, education, connectivity, technology and more? Be sure to reserve your seat at 4Front, June 23-24, in Denver, CO.
Emmy-award winner, media entrepreneur and our next 4Front Ambassador, Elizabeth Giorgi, knows how to tell a good story. Her latest venture, soona, taps into the needs of our visually-driven society with high-quality images and videos that can tell an engaging story for less than the price of stock! Plus, the folks at soona can shoot and deliver professional content within just 24 hours—anywhere in the U.S. Elizabeth recognizes that talent and creativity aside, none of this would have been possible without the meteoric strides made in networking and connectivity. Media businesses like soona, as well as video gaming, fitness, music and sports companies, heavily rely on the latest technology to build highly-personalized and engaging entertainment experiences. By joining us at 4Front, Elizabeth can now bring her unique perspective and actively contribute to the evolution of this technology. We couldn’t be more excited to have her on board!
Prior to starting soona, Elizabeth founded Mighteor, a successful video production company, and is a passionate advocate for women in entrepreneurship. Recently, we were able to catch up with her to talk about her role at 4Front and her vision for the future of media and technology.
One of the key things about our business at soona is thinking about the network of the future. Everything we do with photo and video is reliant upon having a really dynamic network that can support the experience we’re providing to our customers.
I was delighted to be invited to become an ambassador because it meant I could contribute to the picture of that future and what a strong network infrastructure can potentially create.
At soona, we provide clients the ability to get same day photo and video at an affordable price. We are truly democratizing content. I already feel like I’m an ambassador for the network of the future every day. Being part of the 4Front community is a no brainer to me.
Bringing together the best minds in the industry to see what might be possible in the future is something that can only deliver positive results. When we think about the best inventions, the best startups, the best new products, it usually happens because of a collaboration between customers and companies that are eager and excited to serve customers. And I really think 4Front can be a catalyst for those kinds of relationships.
I am running a creative startup and I think a lot of people tend to undervalue what creative people do, but we are a technology-driven creative startup and I think bringing that creative play to the story of what the network of the future will be is something really special, which I can bring to the table.
As a founder and entrepreneur, I’m incredibly passionate about how we tell our stories online. One of the things modern brands, startups and leaders have to do to gain traction and attention is to be able to tell their story consistently, passionately and with a ton of conviction in order to connect with the world around them. I think 4Front is a great opportunity to talk about how we tell our stories online and explore the different tools and technologies emerging around this idea.
We will be bringing our soona popup to the 4Front event and we’re really hoping people will come check us out. Each attendee will be able to get a brand new, attention-grabbing headshot.
Check out Elizabeth’s LinkedIn for more info.
Interested in meeting Elizabeth and other experts in media, health, education, connectivity, technology and more? Be sure to reserve your seat at 4Front, June 23-24, in Denver, CO.
Work in tech? You now have a pick of over 200 technology conferences, summits, seminars and trade shows throughout the year. Some are narrow-focus events that gather peers from one or two industries, but miss the valuable external input from related ecosystems. And then there are massive CES-type events where you get the exposure to a variety of industries, but risk having your company “voice” get lost in the sea of participants. And since you cannot possibly attend all the events scheduled for 2020, how do you choose where to invest your precious time?
We hear you. That’s why we are launching 4Front—a high-impact, cross-industry event that checks off all the important boxes
4Front’s main goal is to address real-world problems that affect different aspects of the future—the way we will live, work, learn and play. And while some of the discussions we have planned follow the conventional free-form or facilitated formats, the major difference is in the type of the attendees. We are bringing in decision makers from various industries who wouldn’t normally bump into each other. By joining our 4Front community, you will be among true visionaries—CEOs, policymakers and founders— who have a deep understanding of their industry’s unique dependencies on the network and are prepared to make impactful, lasting changes through co-innovation, startup engagements and other business relationships.
“It always seems impossible, until it’s done.” This saying truly embodies the spirit and the attitude of 4Front. Just like the Wright brothers and Thomas Edison many years ago, we welcome entrepreneurship and radical ideas. If you haven’t found a solution to the problem you’re working on, it just means you haven’t tried all the possibilities yet. Let’s dig in and see if we can figure things out together!
4Front is not a management conference and although there will be c-suite executives in attendance, a title alone is not a requirement. We are looking for representatives from all kinds of companies—big and small, well-established and startups—who are working on creative technological solutions to future problems. If you have a vision and are looking for partnerships or co-innovation opportunities, then 4Front is for you.
You also have an opportunity to place your company at the forefront of your industry by sponsoring any of the four tracks. Not only will you get more exposure to your peers and the media, you will also be in the position to set the agenda and focus the conversation on the topics that matter to you. Learn more about sponsoring a track here.
4Front will be held June 23-24, 2020, at the Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center in Aurora, Colorado. Be sure to register today!
What will a typical workplace look like five, ten or even twenty years from now? Who will work there and what technologies will they use? These and other questions related to the future of work will form one of the major themes of our inaugural 4Front conference, scheduled for June 23-24, 2020, in Denver, Colorado.
Unlike some of the other conferences you may’ve attended, this event is not industry specific. It’s an inclusive idea launching pad where decision makers from all kinds of related ecosystems, including networking, government, infotech, education, healthcare and many others, can get together to address the technical needs of the future workforce and begin planning for the socioeconomic impacts of the upcoming changes.
To be clear, our goal is to do more than just talk about the change that we already see happening. We are more interested in the next steps. Where do we want that change to lead us and how can we position our own businesses on the right path to getting there? In other words, how can we build the right technology for the right people?
In order to do that, we need to take a look at a few things, mainly:
• What kinds of jobs will be available in the future?
If you have a child who’s entering preschool, there’s a good chance his or her future job role hasn’t even been invented yet (think along the lines of a Memory Curator or an AI Ethics Officer). In fact, according to Accenture, 79% of executives agree that the future of work will be based more on specific projects than roles. Employers are already looking for people who are willing and able to wear “different hats” and think creatively even if the task at hand doesn’t match their official training. This trend will continue in the future, where skills like critical and creative thinking will be valued the most. The technologies we create have to support this new, agile way of working, allowing people to be more adaptable, efficient and creative no matter where or when they do it. This will inevitably lead to greater job satisfaction and a well-balanced, stress-free environment for the next generation of workers.
• How will people work together?
The future of work is all about flexibility. And not just in terms of schedule, but also where and how you work. Telecommuting is already becoming the new norm, but future technology, like holograms and VR, can take it to the next level, allowing people to log into virtual “rooms” where they can interact with their teammates as if they are in the same location. Seamless and instant connectivity, to both people and information, will be instrumental to the success of individual workers and their companies. And we need to help them get there.
• How will technology augment human jobs?
The topic of automation has caused a lot of anxiety lately, especially among workers whose jobs are undergoing a transitional period. Are robots really taking over the workforce? Will there be enough work for us, humans, in the future? In short, yes. Fortunately, the human mind is far more skilled in any area that relies on creativity and emotional intelligence than machines and while some manual jobs might disappear, a great number of new, creative and highly satisfying careers will take their place. It is up to us—technologists, lawmakers, entrepreneurs, futurists and creative visionaries—to architect a seamless transition to a future we can all be proud of.
As already mentioned, we are planning to make 4Front an inclusive event that gathers representatives from a variety of technical and non-technical fields. And if your personal and company goals match any of the below, we would love for you to join us.
• Speakers: You’re a thought leader looking for a platform to communicate your vision of the future to an eager audience
• Founders/entrepreneurs: You are a decision maker looking to find inspiration in people outside your industry or ecosystem and discover new market opportunities.
• Technologists: Your innovative spirit is guided by the desire to build a better future and you’re looking to make your products fit the needs of your target audiences. Both CableLabs members and non-members are invited.
• Policy makers: You are an expert in designing policies that navigate the socioeconomic impacts of innovation and you want to better understand the needs of entrepreneurs and end users.
• Influencers: You want to expand your network and cement your reputation as an industry trailblazer.
One of the best ways to drive the strategy of the future is by sponsoring the entire “work” track. It is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to widen your sphere of influence, showcase your innovations, attract new business opportunities and lead discussions on the topics that matter the most to your business.
As a 4Front sponsor, you will be able to:
• Contribute content to the main stage and introduce keynote speakers.
• Design an immersive experience that showcases your thought leadership.
• Drive the conversation with other decision makers by hosting your own panel.
• Gain attention of the brightest minds in the industry, including CEOs, founders and other entrepreneurs like yourself.
• Get invaluable media exposure, put yourself at the forefront of your industry and much more!
To discuss potential sponsorship opportunities and agenda ideas, please contact Jeff Metzger, CableLabs Director of Live Brand Experience.
See you there!
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