facebook
Close

Jenene Crossan, Sam Stubbs and Robbie Paul on how tech has helped make them a better human

Technology often gets a bad rap for the effect it is having on our wellbeing – just look at the Netflix series Black Mirror. If you paid attention to the reports, you might think devices are only transforming us in the worst kind of ways. We’re addicted to our screens and the dopamine hit that comes from each like or comment, the details of our lives being displayed online is making us increasingly anxious, invisible algorithms are swaying our opinions to become more polarised, and on top of all that, tech is making us more isolated and less social than ever. But for all the problems that have arisen, technology is also a medium that can spark magic. For some, it’s helped lessen their effect on the environment. For others, it’s helped them broadcast their ideas to the world. We reached out to a range of people in business and asked them to share how technology has rewired their lives, for the better. Here's Simplicity's Sam Stubbs, Flossie's Jenene Crossan and Icehouse Venture's Robbie Paul.

Jenene Crossan, founder of Flossie

What technology platform/app/programme/invention do you love that has helped make you a better human?

My e-bike has made me a better human. Not only has it taken me off the road (I no longer own a car), so I like to think I’m part of the solution, not the problem (remember you’re not “in traffic” you “are traffic”!), but it also has given me a huge boost in energy, creativity and perspective. After an hour on my bike, I’ve usually solved a number of the problems of the world for myself and my team!

When has technology helped you accomplish something truly transformational?

You could easily argue that technology transformed my life. It enabled me a space and place to express who I am and connect with others and appreciate the place and purpose I can or do have in the world.  The connectivity that freedom of true expression can have, by opening up to people online, has meant by telling my story I’ve not only been able to help myself, but others too, who have needed to hear that story in that moment.  And vice versa.  Whilst some argue that technology may have ruined our ability to communicate in real life, I actually feel that without it I would never have had the ability or opportunity to reach areas and people who otherwise would not be in my immediate world. It has exposed me to new ideas, frames of references and inspiration.

Sam Stubbs, founder of Simplicity

What technology platform/app/programme/invention do you love that has helped make you a better human?

Freakonomics, Planet Money and TED apps. So much inspiration and wisdom as I drive, fly and walk anywhere. I'm addicted to them.

When has technology helped you accomplish something truly transformational?

If Simplicity turns out to be transformational (and we've made a good start), it was technology that made it happen. Amazon Web Services, app development tools and the internet has made it relatively easy to reach customers directly, and not have to jump over distribution moats of old, like branches and commission based sales teams. And technology will reduce costs in our industry even more dramatically over time. We're aiming for a 90 percent reduction over the next decade.

Robbie Paul, CEO of Icehouse Ventures

What technology platform/app/programme/invention do you love that has helped make you a better human?

I’m pretty stoked with solar at the moment. The tech has come so far and the cost is plummeting. Our house now operates 100 percent on power from the sun.

When has technology helped you accomplish something truly transformational?

I want to give a big shout-out to the New Zealand entrepreneurs in our community doing transformational things with technology. Notably: re-growing human skin for burn victims (Upside Biotechnologies), using bugs to extract gold from micro-organisms (Mint Innovation) and creating valuable products from waste plastic. It’s hard not to be optimistic about our future when you see first-hand how they are applying technology to solve real-world problems.

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).