Close

What Keeps Me Up At Night: Fintech NZ's James Brown

James Brown is the general manager for Fintech NZ, a member driven association with the aim of connecting, promoting and advancing the fintech ecosystem in New Zealand. FinTech in New Zealand is growing at 48 percent compared to the global average of 31 percent, which is now our third largest contributor towards GDP. Here's what keeps him up at night. 

What worries you the most about technology? 

If New Zealand does not see technology as a key strategic initiative, I fear that New Zealand could become a Kodak moment.
 
What’s your scariest prediction for the future? 

That the robot I get in to help me around the house is staring at me when I wake up.
 
What’s your most encouraging prediction for the future? 

That we will see data being used to prevent illness and allow people to life healthier fuller lives.
 
What do you think New Zealand will look like as a country in 2038? 

In 2038, instead of motorised skateboards we will have hover boards, more people working less, our world will be more connected so I don’t even need to go to the supermarket, my toilet will collect the data and based on that my fridge will cook my meal based on what my body needs.
 
What’s your social media usage like? 

I do the usual posting with FB and constantly use LinkedIn to continue to build the FinTech ecosystem, however I need to work on my social media presence.
 
Do you try limit how much personal information is available about you online?

Although I work in the tech sector, I believe things will be all right so don’t worry to much about my information. Every time I go to the US I get stopped, apparently James Brown is a common name.
 
What do you hope will be invented in the next five years? 

I hope that we create a time machine as there's so many things to see and do, people to meet etc.
 
Will the robots become sentient and kill us all? 

Not all of us – that would just be wrong.
 
How likely is it that we’re living in a simulation? 

This could be a deep question. If you look at Westworld we could be in a simulation and we would not know, however someone has plans for us.
 
How far should we take human enhancement? (Bionic limbs, computer chips in brains, designer babies) 

I don’t agree with the concept of designer babies, however, I think if we have the technology to give a limb back, then why not? And what about all our info being stored in our eyes so when we want to pay for something we just look at it?
 
If you are not counting sheep, what are you counting? 

I am not the best sleeper, so I tend to go to bed when I am actually tired or I am up to date with Suits, Westworld, Black Mirror etc.
 
What is it about the future that gets you up in the next morning? 

New Zealand is a small place, however we need to continue to build our ecosystem. No one person has the answers, however together we can overcome and achieve more.
 

Want to make a change in 2018?

Accelerate your career, launch a new product, service or business and grow your knowledge to prepare for this technology powered age.

Check out our Tech Futures Lab, one-year Master's designed to help you find your innovation future!

APPLY NOW: https://www.techfutureslab.com/master-degree

Idealog has been covering the most interesting people, businesses and issues from the fields of innovation, design, technology and urban development for over 12 years. And we're asking for your support so we can keep telling those stories, inspire more entrepreneurs to start their own businesses and keep pushing New Zealand forward. Give over $5 a month and you will not only be supporting New Zealand innovation, but you’ll also receive a print subscription and a copy of the new book by David Downs and Dr. Michelle Dickinson, No. 8 Recharged (while stocks last).