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Why tech is Good For The World: Techweek ‘18 to kick off by showcasing the best of the bunch

Techweek 2018’s official opening is kicking off with a two-day showcase called the Good For The World Open days.

Good For The World aims to highlight the New Zealanders who are working to make the world a better place.

The UpStarters welcome event takes place Monday morning and details how New Zealand’s innovation ecosystem works through its interconnectedness, its unique to doing business and its focus on solving global problems.  

It begins with none other than Rocket Lab’s Peter Beck telling the tale of how he is democratising space from the bottom of the world.

As Beck has previously told Idealog, “If the best place in the world to launch rockets was in the middle of a desert, that’s where I’d be – it’s that simple. But it turns out that launching satellites into space is best done from right here, in New Zealand.”

The  event also brings together movers and shakers from across different disciplines of tech, from promising companies who’ve collaborated to build tech that’s entirely new and game-changing, Revolution Fibres (which creates electrospinning nanofiber) and Dotterel (which specialises in drone noise reduction) – who will share their story of how they came together and bridged sectors, to Callaghan Innovation’s Vic Crone hosting a panel which includes Ubco’s Timothy Allan, Agrigate’s Emma Parson and Precision Seafood Harvesting’s David Woods.

Following this, the Good For The World event is customisable featuring optional panels, workshops and talks hosted around Auckland on various topics.

Highlights include IBM analytics and artificial intelligence leader Isuru Fernando discusses how AI is a force for good and can help us tackle some of humankind’s toughest challenges.

“At IBM, we see AI systems having four key pillars – understanding, reasoning, learning and most importantly, interacting. Interacting with an AI system should be as frictionless as you and I having a conversation,” Fernando says.

“We see artificial intelligence as less artificial and more augmented intelligence. We do some things really well, but computers are able to scale that expertise out and help us better ourselves. Being able to scale up kiwi ingenuity, I think, really has the potential.”

Another event happening that day is Beca hosting The Future of Urbanisation – Make Everyday Better. Topics that will be discssued include what innovation or tech will have the greatest influence on tech in the coming decades, as well as the future of transport.

And on the Tuesday, the TECHquality: Women at the forefront of Technology event takes place. The forum will have women in tech sharing professional and personal insights into their experiences throughout their careers.

Women who will be speaking include TechWomen chair and Deloitte manager Eva Sherwood, Les Mills on Demand technology delivery manager Annika Gardner and University of Auckland Business School blockchain researcher and enthusiast Alex Sims.

Check out the full run-down of events in Good For The World below, or get your tickets here.


9am – 12pm

Meet the UpStarters – a welcome event

­12pm – 3pm

Connecting the Tasman to the World hosted at AUT

A discussion on the business case for an effective trans-Tasman Innovation Ecosystem – including specific initiatives to enhance collaboration between our communities of innovators. With speakers: David Thodey, Chair, CSIRO and Vic Crone, CEO, Callaghan Innovation

YOUR SPACE, hosted by RUSH

The realities of evolving complexities require a new standard of innovation that is both collaborative and adaptive on a global scale. With strong collaboration, it’s the active translation of customer insights into meaningful design solutions that impact people’s lives. Hear from our panel of Design Thinking champions, on the importance of the integration of Design to build trust and stimulate inclusion.

The Future of Urbanisation hosted by Beca

Explore the future of urbanisation: How technology can engage people in all aspects of creating and interacting with the (smart) infrastructure of the future. Keynote speakers and panelists will discuss:What innovation will have the greatest influence on cities in the coming decade? The Future Of Transport – Mobility as a Service (MaaS), how AI can interface with the travelling public to generate planning insights, how IoT can address a range of infrastructure, climate change, transit, utilities, and mobility challenges.

3pm ­– 6pm

Blockchain hosted by KPMG

As new technology cracks open the barriers to business where do you stop with innovation? Blockchain is reimagining trade barriers, dealing with provenance issues, and most importantly it is encouraging greater collaboration. This engaging and interactive session will go beyond the technical observations of what blockchain is – we’ll share how blockchain is being applied to business here in New Zealand and globally. Attendees will be sent a Blockchain pack electronically prior to the session to familiarise themselves with the technology so we can maximise our time together.

AI | A force for good hosted by IBM

AI is helping people with disabilities, assisting doctors with cancer treatment plans, personalising student learning pathways, and tackling some of the world’s toughest challenges to improve outcomes and create positive change. We’ll start this IBM-hosted session by showcasing how Artificial Intelligence is a force for good, drawing on a range of Kiwi experts and entrepreneurs representing a variety of industries. They’ll present their own unique perspectives in a series of lightning talks and then join a panel discussion. Hosted by: IBM NZ Analytics & Artificial Intelligence Leader Isuru Fernando and External Relations Manager Shannon Thomas.

Digital disruption in film and televison hosted by MinterEllisonRuddWatts

A panel discussion about how viewership patterns are changing and the impact of new technology on the entertainment business and beyond.


9am – 12pm

Tech Fusion | How AUT is shaping the future hosted by AUT

Find out how easy it is to connect and collaborate with Auckland University of Technology. Discover the latest research, innovations and talent we are producing and see how our entrepreneurs are contributing to NZ society. This session offers the chance to experience a mix of diverse academic research presentations, as well as an interactive showcase and networking session – a great opportunity to meet our researchers and talented students. You will learn about AUT’s initiatives beyond research and teaching – where ideas transform into commercial ventures, and you’ll also see how AUT is developing talent and fostering the leaders of tomorrow.

Kiwitech hosted by O’Halloran at B:Hive

O’Halloran North Shore, chartered accountants and advisers to tech, are pleased to provide our local and International guests an opportunity to cross The Harbour Bridge and enjoy some breathtaking views before joining us us at the B:Hive, a state of the art conference facility and shared workspace where we have brought together some of the best Kiwi tech stories from across the nation to share their experiences and to help inspire the next wave of success stories.

12pm – 3pm

New approaches in dealing with security of critical infrastructure 

The definition of critical infrastructure is expanding as more areas in our daily lives and business depend on technology. A discussion on where we can fill protection gaps and new technologies, policy and approaches.

From pencils to pixels – New Zealand’s digital education challenge 

A discussion on raising capability and the development of new skills in our schools through digital education in order to create a New Zealand economy based upon the industries where there is the most opportunity, scale and potential for success.

TECHquality: Women at the forefront of Technology
A forum for notable woman at the forefront of innovation to share their professional stories and personal insights.

One of the talented Idealog Team Content Producers made this post happen.

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