As the Syracuse Newhouse School and W2O Group celebrate a five-year milestone, it’s important to look back and trace the markers that propelled us forward

Last week, I, along with a group of W2O staff, and Syracuse University students, professors, and administrators spent time learning, sharing, and delving into the digital and social world in which we now live. Helping us in this discovery was Alberto Canal from IBM, who talked about how AI is reshaping careers.

The W2O Group/Newhouse Center for Social Commerce was formed by myself and my wife, Audra, to ensure students – the next generation of professionals – are equipped to operate successfully in a digital/social reality and serve as a vehicle for innovative educational techniques, new research, and recruitment.

Over the last five years, we have all experienced change at warp speed.  Just think a mere five years ago, Venmo, Workplace by Facebook, Uber, Lyft, Fitbit, Bitcoin and Blockchain were not really in our vocabulary.  Further, digital storytelling, social listening, social purpose, big data, and behavioral research were being just formed in or consciousness.

What does this tell us?

Simply put, the world of business is ever-changing.  Fueled by technology and inspired by ideation, changing the present to conform to a new future state is the speed of evolution.  It is both exhilarating and challenging at the same time.  Yet through it all is the realization that with every new app, platform, product, service, and innovation, we step closer to the future.  And with that we are better able to navigate the opportunities it presents.

The W2O Group/Newhouse Center for Social Commerce is about the intersection of technology, digital and social change, disruptive innovation, and relevance.  Since it was formed:

We’ve certainly charted an impressive path with our friends at Syracuse University and the Newhouse School.  To those of you who have been a part of the Center and will be going forward, Audra and I say thank you!

But the journey has just begun.  Now we turn our attention to the next five years and the forces creating new markets and new ways to connect and collaborate.

I can’t wait!