Now 8 months in to my new job in New Zealand, and some milestones passed, like my first visit back to the UK over Christmas and my first visitor from the UK, a long-time friend from University days. So now into the New Year, and pleased to take part in the Grow North! initiative at the Albany campus yesterday, which looks at making the area the Silicon Valley of New Zealand. The VC, Steve Marahey, chaired a great panel of business and community speakers, including Auckland deputy mayor Penny Hulse, New Zealand, Institute of Economic Research principal economist Shamubeel Eaqub, KPMG executive chairman Ross Buckley, Ngati Whatua o Orakei Whai Rawa chief operating officer Kate Healy, Colliers International national director of research and consultancy Alan McMahon and Labour MP and housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. We then broke up into 4 concurrent sessions, where I joined the panel devoted to Innovation/Technology, chaired by Albany’s Professor Christoph Schumacher. For my part I noted:
- Digital innovation has a lot to offer some of the key areas referred to by earlier speakers, namely an ageing population, transport difficulties and the need to attract and make the most of talent
- We need to make the most of digital innovation, recognising that realising economic value is important, of course, but we also have to create social, cultural and community value too
- We need to create a vision for how we want to live our lives – and think about that long-term in the design of homes and businesses
- We have to have the right strategy to get there – the right digital infrastructure, the right education systems, the right support structures for the SMEs who will deliver much of that vision.
I look forward to being part of it