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Idealog looks back on 2016

Leaving reality for something better

Virtual reality and augmented reality came into its own around the world in 2016, and Aotearoa was no exception. We saw the launch of the AR/VR Association, the AR/VR Garage, and numerous companies released their own VR and AR products. Idealog even released New Zealand’s first VR cover with its Tech Issue, and paid a visit to Auckland’s Virtual Reality Studio – the first VR entertainment centre in New Zealand.

Light in the darkness

Brexit, Trump – it was not a good year for democracy in the West. But amid the geopolitical and human rights darkness, some people found creative ways to provide some much-needed light. Among those were Aucklanders Tom Bellamy and Ben Markby, co-founders of Oddboy, whose mobile game Jrump – starring the US president-elect on a quest to Make the Galaxy Great Again – achieved viral success. As the heroine of this year’s addition to the Star Wars franchise says, rebellions are based on hope.

Ways to make yourself better

Idealog’s been writing about ways to make yourself a better homo sapien – or at least a close approximation of one – all year. Whether it’s not giving a fuck or going raving before work, much emphasis was placed on healthy living and non-self-destructive lifestyles. Seeing as we’re not dead, clearly it worked.

Innovation nation

Innovation, disruption, innovation again – these were the real buzzwords of 2016. Idealog spent more than a little bit of time covering them, whether it was our extensive New Zealand Innovation Awards coverage or Vodafone xone Innovators Series. We have a feeling 2017 will see more of the same.

Social enterprises start up (and take off)

Idealog helped organise the first Idealog/Cointreau Creative Kickstart Competition, held this past August in Auckland. The well-attended event allowed three women-led social enterprises pitch their ideas in 3 minutes and 33 seconds to a live audience of more than 100 people. Audience members were then able to vote on their favourite ideas using the Pitch Circus app. The winner was Claire Conza’s Make Give Live, a social enterprise making hand-crafted knitwear to give warmth and support to those in need. And social enterprise was a major trend in the innovation world, with many young entrepreneurs attempting to bake some goodness into their business. 

Aiming for equality

Women may be more than half the population, but the sad reality is they’ve been long denied the same opportunities – and even basic rights – as men. Thankfully, there’s progress being made, but we still have a long way to go. The latest MYOB Women in Business Survey shows that women now make up 44 percent of small to medium business owners, up from 30 percent in 2012. But equality still eludes us, what with low numbers of women in management and executive roles compared to men, and more than 97 percent of venture capital funding going to companies led by men, despite the fact women start businesses at about twice the rate of men. There are also too few women in tech and other STEM careers, but positive role models and initiatives aimed at getting more young women not only to go into, but stay in, STEM careers could help.

Here’s hoping 2017 will see more progress.

Summer listening

We all love podcasts, right? Of course we do. Call it a bit of shameless self-promotion, but Idealog has quite a few to help you get through the long (and not too dark) days of summer. Just head over to Soundcloud to check them out, or have a listen to some of them here.

Enjoy the break. See you in 2017.

Review overview