What was the most interesting New Zealand company that caught your eye?
Kat: Humble Bee – amazing scientific research that's creating better alternatives to plastic.
Ben: Helius. Super interested in the medicinal marijuana space. Both out of opportunity and concern. The concern being that a company like Helius just becomes the new version of big tobacco. Lets hope they follow a more noble path.
What about internationally?
Kat: I haven't been looking internationally this year but Magic Leap just launched their mixed reality glasses developer kit this year, which is giong to transform the way consume all content in the future – it's been fun playing around with that.
Ben: EPIC Games. The creators of Fortnite do a lot more than that. They create Unreal, which is the gaming engine used to create there worlds. They also give it away free until you make over $100,000, and with Fortnite make 300 million a month, they have a lot of coin to invest in improving the software. We’ve benefited a lot from this.
What was the most interesting launch/trend/idea/building/product of the year?
Kat: I think the mainstream consciousness is starting to wake up to the fact that we need to take care of our mental health and our planet – yay!
Ben: Too be honest I haven’t seen much originality this year… I feel like globally we’re all taking it a little too safe. I blame data. Everyone is looking back, not forward.
Most exciting project you worked on this year?
Kat: I have two... we've been developing a VR/MR game where you dance with goddesses to empower your inner feminine! Second is launching next year and is a world first in VR. Very excited about it!
Ben: A project I’m not allowed to talk about yet. It’s a big gamified VR experience that’s set to be a world first.
What public event that impacted on or affected you the most?
Kat: How more people than ever are looking to rangatahi (youth) to feed their decision making. They are inheriting the world so let them be a part of making it!
Ben: New Frontiers. A conference of global thinkers, held in good ol Upper Hutt. It taught me that I value impact more than profit, which is a massive thing to know about myself. It’s definitely set me on a course forwards greater meaning in my work and life.
What was your favourite book/TV show/podcast/album/website/ magazine/story/performance enhancing of 2018?
Kat: We developed a news documentary series this year called Frame which is 5 to 10 minute documentaries about New Zealand stories that don't usually get told from a personal perspective. Hannah our producer worked so hard to create this series and did an amazing job. The Spinoff distributed it. It's awesome and well worth watching them all for a perspective from different New Zealanders' lives.
Ben: I’m a big fan of West World Season 2. I just love Sci-fi, and when you pair that with the religious themes and ideas like simulation theory, shit the bed I get hooked.
Kat: Jacinda Ardern! We had a baby pretty much at the same time and we both went back to work pretty much straight away, so it's been awesome seeing her journey too.
Ben: This is cheesy, but my wife Kat. We had our first child this year and she’s been mind bogglingly incredible through the whole thing.
Kat: Anyone who harms children. After having a baby, it's emotionally straining thinking about a child being disadvantaged or hurt. We need to work towards a world that puts children's health and wellbeing first.
Ben: Fonterra comes to mind.
Your own personal highlight?
Kat: Having a baby – she's so awesome. And having a husband and business partner who's mīharo.
Ben: I went through a pretty transformational year. I had a kid, which obviously changed things, but I also had my first year off the tools and focused on business development, which I found really hard. I had to go on a one year journey of discovery to work out that the best way to grow a business and have a happy and healthy life, is to do work that aligns with your values for people that align with your values. I’m super pumped about next year and applying this in my biz dev and looking for brands that we can create some real impact with. Impact for good obviously…
Biggest learning for you?
Kat: You can say no to stuff and people won't hate you. Also never assume anything.
Ben: You’re exactly where you should be.
Going into 2019, what’s the change you want to see in the world?
Kat: We all need to keep shifting the mainstream consciousness ot be aware of mental health and the earth's health.
Ben: Businesses that act out of a purpose that creates better results for our people and planet.
What should be invented and/or un-invented in the next year?
Kat: a sensor we put in homes and places that sense when someone is in danger and alerts the right people. Stopping all sorts of bad things.
Ben: I’d love to see more of that invention that was floating around online where they could suck CO2 out of the atmosphere and turn it into gasoline.
Is it the robots we should be worried about, or the humans?
Kat: Humans as the robots only do what humans tell them.
Ben: Humans 100 percent. I don’t mind if robots take over, as long as they’re solar powered.
How long before we have:
Both: It’s here.
Kat: It's here – lets make New Zealand the first country to fully convert.
Ben: They’re here.
Kat: I guess when trans-humanism comes into play? 50 years?
Ben: It’s probably here and we don’t know cause we’re too povo.
Cities that all look like Venice?
Kat: Na, we'll develop good pump systems.
Ben: None, unless man made. I think we’re gonna turn this ship around.
No animals farmed or eaten?
Kat: 20 years.
Ben: 45 years.
Medical cannabis sold at the chemist?
Both: 5 years.
Non-human, AI lovers?
Both: They're here already!
Chips implanted in our brains?
Both: It’s here.
Colonies on Mars?
Kat: 100 years. Why would you want to? I think it's a waste of money... am I getting old?
Ben: I don’t get why people want to do this?
Secure bunkers to protect us from the zombie apocalypse?
Kat: Here already. I'll probably just become a zombie... I can't be bothered with hiding in bunkers.
Ben: It’s here.
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