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Dr Toby

Geopolitics & Technology Expert

Never underestimate the power of ideas and where they can lead.

With a 25-year career at the leading edge of emerging technologies, cyber and geopolitics, Dr Toby Feakin is an outcomes-focused creative senior leader who combines innovative thinking, negotiation and practical delivery on the global stage.

From 2017 to 2023, he was Australia’s inaugural Ambassador for Cyber Affairs and Critical Technology, leading the nation’s international approach to technology issues. This role placed him at the epicentre of global decision-making around technology and geopolitics.

Dr Feakin is a leading technology strategist - he conceived and led the Australian Government’s foreign policy and international engagement on cyber and critical technology. He was responsible for creating two world-leading International Engagement Strategies for Cyber and Technology.

A trusted advisor to multiple Prime Ministers, Foreign Ministers and senior business leaders, Dr Feakin maintains a global network of senior leaders across government, the private sector and civil society.

In June 2023, Dr Feakin launched Protostar Strategy, which advises and equips leaders to navigate the geopolitical and technological landscape facing their organisations, positioning them for success.

From 2012 - 2016, he was the Director of National Security at ASPI, overseeing the Institute’s work on Counter-Terrorism, Critical Infrastructure Protection, Border Security and Policing. Before arriving in Australia, he served as the Director of National Security & Resilience at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) in London from 2007 to 2012.

Dr Feakin is a Senior Associate Fellow of RUSI, a founding member of the ASPEN Institute’s Global Cybersecurity Group, an Expert Advisor to the University of Oxford’s Global Cyber Security Capacity Centre, an Expert Advisor to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s FinCyber Strategy Project and a member of the Independent Advisory Board to the Tech Policy Design Centre at the Australian National University.

Talking Points

Navigating Tomorrow - The Future Impact of AI on Our World

With an impressive 25-year career at the forefront of emerging technologies, cyber, and geopolitics, Dr. Feakin - Australia’s inaugural Ambassador for Cyber Affairs and Critical Technology - is known for his creative and outcome-focused approach.

In this keynote, Dr. Feakin speaks to the reality of AI ‘take off’, the implications of an innovation explosion and the blueprint for success for leaders navigating this rapidly changing field.

Key Takeaways
- Understand the history, context and technological underpinning of AI innovation
- Discover future trends and impacts of AI on the future of work, education, healthcare and the military
- Explore key questions, risks and opportunities surrounding ethical AI and privacy
- Gain insights into best practice decision-making considerations for leaders in deliberating technological adoption and risk mitigation.

Geopolitics and Emerging Technology - The Great Game of the 21st Century

As a leading technology strategist, Dr. Feakin conceptualized and spearheaded the Australian Government's foreign policy and the whole-of-government international engagement on cyber and critical technology. His visionary leadership resulted in the development of two world-leading International Engagement Strategies for Cyber and Technology and he has been at the forefront of international technology diplomacy for the last decade.
In this keynote, Dr Feakin draws on his experience as a researcher, diplomat, practitioner and organisational leader to equip audiences with the clarity and considerations required to lead in the 21st century.

Key Takeaways:
- Gain insights into the latest developments in emerging technologies such as AI, quantum computing, advanced semiconductors, 5G/6G telecommunications, synthetic biology, cyberspace, and supercomputing.
- Explore the geopolitical impacts of these technologies and understand the implications for global relations and national security.
- Discover the essential steps that modern leaders need to take to enhance their digital literacy and navigate the evolving tech landscape of the 21st century.

Cyber Security in the Indo-Pacific

An expert in the dynamics of the Indo-Pacific region, Dr Feakin draws not only on his experience as Australia’s inaugural Ambassador for Cyber Affairs and Critical Technology but also his robust history working across the thinktank landscape, most recently as the Director of National Security at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. As a trusted advisor to multiple Prime Ministers, Foreign Ministers and senior business leaders, Dr Feakin maintains a considered approach and global mindset, enriched with invaluable regional context to equip leaders working across the Indo-Pacific region.

Key Takeaways
- Gain an understanding of the dynamic landscape of the Indo-Pacific region, encompassing its growing populations, economic confidence, and global significance.
- Explore the geopolitical tensions and potential flashpoints of conflict in the region, as well as the increasing prevalence of cyber threats.
- Examine the key actors involved in these cyber security threats and how they impact various sectors of the economy.
- Identify the emerging trends that pose the greatest concerns and risks, enabling businesses to proactively prepare and respond to the rapidly evolving threat environment.
- Discover strategic approaches for businesses to enhance their cyber security measures in the face of these fast-moving threats in the Indo-Pacific region.

Resilient Leadership and Innovation

With a wealth of experience in emerging technologies, cyber, and geopolitics, Dr. Feakin possesses a deep understanding of the challenges faced by leaders in today's rapidly evolving world. His thought-provoking insights, personal stories and practical strategies equip leaders to navigate the challenges of the digital age with resilience and foster innovation within their organizations.

Key Takeaways
- Gain insights from personal experiences on successfully building new projects in cutting-edge fields, including the process of transforming a new idea into a thriving venture.
- Explore the key strategies and actions required as a leader to create success in pursuing big ideas and innovative initiatives.
- Learn effective methods for building teams that are well-equipped to support and contribute to the journey of bringing a new idea to fruition while navigating change and uncertainty.
- Discover practical approaches for equipping yourself as a leader to navigate high-stress leadership situations inherent in the process of building and scaling new projects in fast-paced environments.
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