Near far wherever you are
Titanic Belfast has been crowned best tourist attraction in the world. The museum, which opened in 2012, staved off competition from Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi, the Las Vegas Strip and Peru's Machu Picchu to clinch the accolade at a ceremony for the World Travel Awards in the Maldives 5 days ago.
We were delighted to be hosted this week at the Titanic museum conference centre for the CCA leadership summit, held in partnership with Invest Northern Ireland.
Ironically, delegates from near and far were discussing changing leadership in a digital age, and considering the growing importance of Artificial Intelligence and robotics, in the very location where shipbuilding was once the dominant employment activity.
Delegates glimpsed a view from the 'bow' of the museum of the film location for the blockbuster 'Game of Thrones' which has generated huge sums of money for the local economy.
This blend of old and new, preserving and learning from what is valuable, whilst embracing new opportunities takes creativity and dedication and is ultimately what makes us successful.
In the news this week I was surprised to read that vinyl record sales value outstripped downloads for the first time; a statistic I read a few times convinced it was an error. A betting person would have predicted that vinyl would be consigned to the museums.
Remember cinemas were doomed to die a death as DVD's stole a march; yet the homemade experience simply couldn't match the big screen as cinemas continued to spring up in every town and city.
In the same way I doubt whether the linear predictions that human effort will be redundant, as machines take over our functions will actually materialise; rather there will be a creative evolution with new functions that we haven't thought of allowing us to retain purpose, albeit a variation of what exists today.
The tour of the Titanic museum was fascinating, with a lot of lessons learned from the bottom of the ocean.
The segregation of survival according to class provides an uncomfortable reminder of the dangers of our divided society today.
Perhaps providing the most poignant lesson of the need to constantly question and challenge even the strongest of beliefs were the words of Thomas Hardy:
'As the smart ship grew in stature grace and hue
In shadowy silent distance the iceberg grew too'