Idealog Year in Review: The Pallet Kingdom's Adriana Christie

In the latest edition of our series asking some of Aotearoa's best-known businesspeople and visionaries to take a step back and offer their insights on how the past year has gone and how the future might unfold, we chat with The Pallet Kingdom's Adriana Christie.

Favourite innovation that isn't yours?

I am obsessed with the SolarRoad in the Netherlands, its such a ground breaking concept that has exceeded all expectations in its first year of operation. I hope we can adapt this technology to our future cycle ways in Auckland. 

Favourite innovation that is yours?

I am still building prototypes so I haven't launched the concept yet but its basically a pouch that is the size of a wallet so it fits in your bag or pocket. Once you unzip the pouch a tote bag comes out. Its very similar to what I've seen in rain coats when tramping but instead its a great way to have a reusable bag with you at all times I tend to  the other reusable bags that are sold at the supermarket. Hopefully with the help of some friends we can get this going this year. 

Check out this podcast with Adriana Christie and Idealog publisher and editorial director Ben Fahy:

Most interesting launch/innovation/trend/thing of the year?

Its hard to pick one to be honest as I am marvelled by so many but I guess the winner  trend of the year is compressing plastic particles into moulds. This has become a global trend but there's two individuals that I have particularly admired in leading this innovative concept.  Dave Hackensack from the Netherlands with his latest project Precious Plastic giving away the patents of the machines he invented that help compressed discarded plastic to build homeware and Fernando Llanos from Colombia with Conceptos Plásticos compressed Lego-style bricks that allow prefabricated houses be built within 8 hours. 

Lamest launch/innovation/trend/thing of the year?

This really didn't start this year but I do think its the lamest of all modern times, Coca-Cola's "innovative" twist after use plastic bottles. Like seriously? How on earth a plastic bottle can have a name like Eco Twist. By making it 25 percent less plastic they never came to think more will be disposed and at a faster rate as they cant be reused? That's greenwashing in my opinion, here's a free idea for Coca Cola an eco water bottle should be COMPOSTABLE. 

Most promising New Zealand company/companies?

I do have to clarify I am very obsessed with eco innovation as I think its these ideas provide a positive impact to all of us. For me, the most promising companies are all in the packaging industry.

FriendlyPak, from Kevin Graham he's been in the industry for years and has created multiple compostable and biodegradable packaging products. I meet the Grahams quite a few years back and when they told me about their potato starch creations I was so inspired, the amount of things they do are incredible!

Innocent Packaging, from Anthony Small I've witnessed the growth of this company for the past few years and they are supplying to the best cafes all over town I absolutely love them their cups are great and they have now made the owners of the cafes are now concerned about the lack of compostable infrastructure council provides to the general public as after they leave the premises with the cup and are tossed into a general rubbish bin they cant be decomposed. 

I am not very familiar with Ecoware but my friends from the Auckland Coffee Festival have raved so much about how awesome they are that I am definitely adding them to my list. 

Plastic single use packaging is a threat to our environment and I celebrate these three companies as they are the solution to this threat.

Heroes?

Firstly my Grandparents left everything behind in New Zealand and dedicated their lives to help the needy in South America, the work they have started in Colombia is admirable. Secondly, Bernie Sanders he is definitely my political hero after reading his book Outsider in the House - his perseverance and integrity definitely makes him one of my favourite humans of all time. 

Villains?

 Donald Trump for sure is a villain. He's so bad that not even Cruella de Vill chasing cartoon dalmatians falls into his league.  

Best stoush?

Well Im not sure if its considered an actual stoush but, I really enjoyed the Mayoral Debates of the recent Local Body Elections. Both Phil Goff and Chlöe Swarbrick really impressed me with their eloquence and 'boy' they did sort out a few others that lacked common sense in a very elegant but firm way. 

Your own biggest success?

I really don't consider this a personal success but one of all of the people that voted for me in the past elections. I am so blessed with the chance of being a Local Board Member and I am very passionate about creating positive long lasting impact  in the community. I

What’s the biggest mistake innovators/businesses will make in 2017?

Its natural in business for us to assume what's the need our target market. Our biggest mistake is that we tend to not validate our ideas enough or we don't want to innovate our ways of solving problems. Design thinking methodologies are so useful to help mitigate these mistakes. 

What do you expect to see in the next five years? 

For Tamaki Makaurau, I expect to see an inclusive city where children, elderly, and people with disabilities may enjoy the city as much as the rest of us. A city where single use plastic is not around and homeless now have homes. I would expect to see more renewable energy sources and aspiring young entrepreneurs astonishing us with the latest innovative technology . Ambitious you might think ? Yeah why not ? Its al doable 

What will be dead in five years?

That's such a tough question, I wish I could saying a certain technology will cease to exist but for me what's really concerning is if we keep on consuming and extracting oil at the rate we do. In addition  Trump, Putin, and Exxon's new planned oil explorations in the Arctic the ocean will affect our oceans greatly, what we once cherished and loved will never be the same.  I really do hope I am wrong with this one but lots of sea life and coral reefs will be dead, then affecting our nature and the health of many humans. 

What should be invented and/or un-invented?

Infinite life batteries for all our electronic devices would be something im sure all of us would be eternally grateful for. Un-inventing GMOs would be a dream come true. 

Favourite book/TV show/podcast/album/website/magazine/story/performance enhancing drug of the year?

Performance enhancing drug: Coffee , I admit that I am a caffeine addict. 

Website well its more like a social media platform but Pinterest.

Magazine: well of course the one and only Idealog

And the rest I don't have a particular fave, I tend to go through phases with books podcasts and music. 

One piece of tech you’d have on a desert island?

 It doesn't exists yet but a self contained just add water resort would be ideal having it all run with solar energy. 

Will the robots become sentient and kill us all? (asking for a friend)

I think animals will rebel against us before robots will. 

As you’re enjoying the great outdoors this summer, The Kiwibank Conservation Dogs will be out there too, hard at work, giving our nature a future.