The Cookie Project is connecting consumers with their bakers to break down social stigma around disabilities

Business with purpose

The Cookie Project is connecting consumers with their bakers to break down social stigma around disabilities

The Cookie Project empowers people with disabilities by employing them for baking their products and allowing them to learn new skillsets. Seeing as current Statistics New Zealand figures show that the current employment rate is for disabled people is 22 percent, versus 70 percent for people without disabilities, this is a particularly poignant mission. Now, it has created New Zealand’s first traceable packaging with Quentosity to connect consumers to their bakers. By scanning a QR code with their smartphone, users can see who made their cookies, leave a message of encouragement, or request the person also create their next batch of cookies. The packaging is made from 100 percent recyclable material and has also nabbed a 2019 Best Awards nomination as a finalist in the public good category.

Exit interview

Simon Moutter has just wrapped up a seven-year tenure at telecommunications company Spark. Under his rein, the changes the company has gone through are nothing short of radical, with from its name (Telecom to Spark), its operating model (traditional to agile), its culture (problematic to inclusive) and its structure (one monopoly brand to many). Here, Moutter has a candid chat about his journey as CEO, the company's push to be a more diverse and inclusive workplace and how one of his biggest lessons learned was he couldn’t solve a cultural issue with processes and strategy.

Changes afoot

Idealog is of the view that with diversity of experience and thought comes greater creativity – but don't just take our word for it. Design consultant, inaugural head of Better by Design and former head of design at NZTE Judith Thompson and design consultant, lecturer and strategist Jade Tang-Taylor take a look at why diversity in design is important, and highlight some great initiatives making Aotearoa New Zealand more diverse and inclusive.

Diversity pays

Following criticisms in earlier years, the New Zealand Hi-Tech Awards have been on a journey to make the awards night a more diverse affair. But the organisation recently – and fairly – copped criticism when the speaker line-up released for its launch events featured 15 men and just one woman. Here, Hi-Tech Awards vice chair and trustee Vaughan Rowsell shares what went wrong, and how the organisation is going to ensure it improves its practices going forward.

Diversity pays

Following on from a protest on gender equality at the 2018 Best Awards, the organisers have created a directory that aims to showcase a diverse range of women designers from Aotearoa living anywhere in the world, of all social, cultural and ethnic backgrounds. As well as this, a series of workshops on diversity in design being hosted by DINZ and Design Assembly are about to kick off around the country. We talk with the Designers Speak (Up) founders about the movement to make New Zealand’s design community more inclusive.


Bron Thomson is the founder and CEO of Springload, a Wellington-based digital agency. She discusses the gender equality protest that happened at the 2018 Best Awards on Saturday night, and what can be done to encourage more equality in the design industry.