Future Focus

November 18, 2010

There are times when editing the SCL web site is rewarding and easy. Though I admit there are times when I would have felt better rewarded and had an easier life if I had followed a career in refuse collection or opera (with my voice, I‘d have been picking up rotting vegetable matter in both cases). But the last few days have been very much in the former category, with positive reactions and really good material submitted from around the globe.

My focus in that period has been on the future, both because I have been reading the new edition of {i}The End of Lawyers?{/i} from Richard Susskind, published earlier this month, and because I have been sending out my annual plea to potential contributors to our predictions slot.

The latter task is always slightly dreaded as the list used in the previous year is always out of date – some people change jobs as frequently as others change underwear – and there are always more names to add. (If you are not among those who have received an invitation to predict trends and events for 2011, feel free to send me your contributions anyway, unless the ‘prediction’ is a disguised advert for your product or services, or add them by way of comments once the Predictions Blog 2011 is published.) But the immediate and positive reaction from many was genuinely uplifting and does mean that I am already armed to publish a few predictions once I deem it respectable to do so (I don’t want to be categorised with those selling Easter eggs in January).

The new edition of Susskind is a rewarding read and has been promoted from bedside reading (when the brain is in the course of its transition from zombie-mode to stop) to proper armchair reading (when the brain is still functioning). I confess that while there is clearly a lot of new material I am not sure quite how much is new because the original was bedside reading and was never quite read with the attention it deserved. The fluency of the arguments is no doubt helped by the fact that I am very familiar with Richard’s presentations, so I read with his voice in my head. That is not as scary as it sounds (the voice is {i}rarely{/i} there when I am not reading the book) and has the advantage that I have had to read it very quickly indeed to keep up. I guarantee that there will be something new there for you – even if it is an insight that you had always known but forgotten (often the most valuable insight of all).

These two activities, Predictions and reading {i}The End of Lawyers?{/i}, fit well with the two most recently published articles on the SCL site: John Yates on Public Procurement: A Storm is Threatening and Dervish Tayyip on Navigating the Cloud. Both look forward and focus on areas which really matter to IT lawyers and which SCL members can genuinely influence and affect. They are about solutions to problems – putting the world to rights – and represent the very best of what SCL and its publications stand for. And they make the Editor’s life very easy indeed! I thoroughly recommend them both and encourage SCL members to comment on the suggestions and views the authors put forward.