The Mining Digital Transformation Podcast

Core Insights

Join Uptake's VP of Business Development, Ashutosh Agarwal and innovators across the mining industry as they dig deep on how technology is redefining the future of this centuries old business.

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Core Insights

Episode 09

Robert Wolcott: Digital Transformation and COVID-19

In this episode, Ash sits down with Rob Wolcott, Co-Founder & Chairman of The World Innovation Network and Managing Partner at Clareo. The two discuss how Digital leaders can ensure success in the post-COVID world, along with several important topics such as Proximity, Periphery, and Agency, and how they are enabled by Industrial AI.

As the Co-Founder & Chairman of The World Innovation Network, Rob leads a global community of over 2,000 innovation and growth leaders from over 30 countries and across sectors (business, government, the arts, academia, defense). Wolcott is also a managing partner with Clareo, a foresight and innovation strategy consultancy, an active angel investor, and a Contributor for Forbes regarding the impact of technology on business, society, and humanity.

He's an Adjunct Professor of Innovation at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, and the Booth School of Business, University of Chicago. Wolcott won Teacher of the Year from Kellogg’s EMBA program in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2017. He holds a BA in European and Chinese History and an MS and Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering and Management Science, all from Northwestern University.

Episode 08

Peter Bryant : Incumbent’s Nightmare

In this episode, Ash has a fantastic conversation with Peter Bryant. Peter is a serial entrepreneur, executive business strategist, and a leading authority on business, tech, and innovation. Peter is also a co-founder of Clareo, Development Partner Institute (DPI Mining), and The World Innovation Network.

This power-packed episode captures some wonderful nuggets on all things Digital Transformation such Second mover advantage and Fast Followers Fallacy, how to make "it" stick? How to discover the right problems to solve and why not to manage change?

Peter Bryant is an executive business strategist with more than 30 years of experience developing and driving high-growth strategies for companies in the US, Asia Pacific and Europe. He has advised executive teams at a range of enterprises, from emerging businesses to Global Fortune 500 companies and held senior leadership roles at global companies, including General Electric and Computer Associates.

Peter is a serial entrepreneur, having been CEO/President for two emerging technology companies and Co-Founder of an enterprise software services company. He actively advises startups and mentors with accelerators such as Clean Launch, Founders and Innovation Pavilions. He co-authored The Growth Champions –The Battle for Sustained Innovation Leadership published in 2012.

Peter is a leading authority on business, sustainability and technology innovation, in multiple sectors including resources and energy. He is an active speaker around the world and has advised many leading companies including JCI, BP, GE, Castrol, Rio Tinto, BHP, Baker Hughes, and Anglo American. Peter is Co-Founder and Board Chair of the Development Partner Institute, a not for profit that will continue the transformational multi stakeholder work catalyzed and incubated by The World Innovation Network.

Mr. Bryant holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Administration from Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand. He holds a CA from the NZ Institute of Chartered Accountants and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He was a founding board member of the Colorado Innovation Network (COIN) and sits on the Board of Advisors for Chrysalix, a leading clean tech venture fund, and the World Economic Forum’s Mining 2050 program.


Episode 07

Theuns Roux : Optimizing Preventative and Predictive Maintenance

In this episode, Ash talks with Theuns Roux, Transformation Director at Nutrien, about how his company is using AI to optimize preventive and predictive maintenance. In his role, Theuns leads projects that enable Nutrien to quickly adapt to change and deploy new technologies, giving Nutrien a competitive advantage in the market .

Theuns Roux is the Transformational Director for Nutrien Potash. He leads Nutrien's Potash Full Potential Transformation, focused on operational excellence and digital transformation. Since joining Nutrien in 2018, Theuns has also led the company's borer automation program across its network of potash mines in Saskatchewan. A global leader and transformation professional, Theuns has previously led strategy and transformation teams at BHP in Singapore and Australia, and at Veon in the Tech & Telecommuncations sector in the Netherlands. Theuns has an Executive MBA, Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Commerce. He is fluent in English, Afrikaans and German.


Episode 06

Michelle Ash : Mining’s Digital Tipping Point

In this episode, Ash talks with Michelle Ash, Chair of the Global Mining Guidelines Group, about setting a vision for digital transformation in the mining industry. Drawing on her vast industry experience, Michelle discusses mining’s digital tipping point and how businesses can accelerate their adoption of new technologies to achieve their digital vision. But it’s not all about technology — hear why managing and planning for behavioral changes and required talent is also a key component of implementing an effective digital strategy.

Michelle Ash is currently the Chair of the Global Mining Guidelines Group (GMG) where she facilitates open collaboration between mining industry leaders to create solutions for common industry problems. Michelle has previously held leadership roles at Barrick Gold and Acacia Mining. She is an experienced mining executive, specializing in strategy development and implementation with key skills in technology transformation, innovation, leadership and cultural change for turnarounds, acquisitions and mergers. Michelle holds an engineering degree from the University of Melbourne and an MBA from Melbourne Business School.

Episode 05

Laith Amin : Innovation and Creativity - Keys to Successful Digital Transformation

In this episode, Laith Amin shares insights from his broad and diverse experience on how to develop a digital strategy and implement that strategy successfully. Key to the success of a great digital strategy include developing a culture of innovation and creativity, fostered by a global mindset and teams that contribute diverse, multi-functional perspectives. Laith Amin is currently the Senior Vice President of Digital, North America and Europe at Advisian. Laith has a broad range of international development experience including P&L leadership, strategy and business development with a focus on renewable energy in addition to upstream oil & gas.

Episode 04

Jani Puroranta : Creating Value from Digitizing Mineral Processing

In this episode, Ash talks with Jani Puroranta, the Chief Digital Officer at Metso, about the significant opportunity for driving value by digitizing mineral processing within the mining industry. Processing remains a digital blindspot for mining companies as mineral processing technologies have not taken the innovative leaps forward like other parts of the value chain.

Jani Puroranta works as Chief Digital Officer at Metso, and is part of Metso’s Executive Management. At Metso, Jani leads the digital development and marketing efforts relating to the company’s mining, aggregates, valves, and waste recycling equipment businesses. Before joining Metso in 2016, Jani has been building digital solutions for over 15 years within organizations of various sizes. This includes both start-ups and international companies such as Nasdaq and McKinsey. In addition to manufacturing, he has worked in different industry sectors including wholesales, telecom analytics, and financial markets. Jani holds a Master’s degree in Economics from Aalto University in Helsinki and an MBA from INSEAD in France.

Episode 03

Paramita Das : Enabling Human Progress Through Innovation

In this episode, Ash speaks with Paramita Das, the General Manager, Global Marketing and Development, Metal & Head of Chicago Commercial Office for Rio Tinto. Paramita explains that a key to innovation in metals and mining is staying true to a sense of purpose, which for Rio Tinto is enabling human progress, wherever metal and mining products touch society. In an industry with such a long history, innovation is critical but it’s not only about building something new - it’s about having a mindset of redefining every part of your business including yourself and your people, who are your best brand ambassadors.

Episode 02

Jef Caers: Cross-Functionally Education, A Trend That Will Continue

In Episode 2 we’re speaking with Jef Caers, Professor of Geological Sciences and Director of the Stanford Center for Earth Resources Forecasting at Stanford University. Dr. Caers holds an MSc in Mining Engineering and Geophysics as well as a PhD in Engineering and has recently focused his research on quantifying uncertainty and risk in the exploration and exploitation of earth resources.

During this interview, Jef addresses the challenges with adopting new technologies in the exploration industry and how, despite these challenges, there is a tremendous willingness to drive innovative solutions.

Episode 01

Paul Lucey: Making Mining Cool Again

In our inaugural episode, we’re kicking off the series with Paul Lucey, a veteran in the mining industry with more than 25 years of experience leading tech and innovation initiatives. As the CEO of Project 412, Paul is bringing Autonomy to the mining industry. Paul is on the board of several technology companies that are enabling innovation in the mining industry.

Listen in as Paul and Ash discuss how mining can transform itself by breaking down the barriers and accelerating innovation.

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About the Host

Ashutosh Agarwal, “Ash” leads the mining business for Uptake. Prior to joining Uptake, Ash worked in the mining industry for 13 years where he led mining operations, designed and sold equipment and technology to the mining industry. He also developed predictive analytics solutions for Mining through his start-up Predicity that he founded while pursuing his masters from Stanford GSB.