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What’s trending at Techweek22

The annual week celebrating technology and innovation of New Zealand is back for 2022, Techweek22.

Following the success of last year’s event which saw over 27,000 attendees’ online and in-person, the nationwide festival is celebrating New Zealand’s innovation once again.

Ahead of the event, I sat down with Graeme Muller, CEO of NZTech and organiser behind this year’s festival to ask him what’s new in the tech space, and what we can expect from this year’s festival.

What is Techweek, and what can New Zealanders expect from this year’s event?

Techweek is our nationwide festival celebrating the tech innovations happening right here in our backyard.

Running from May 16 to 22, Techweek22 has a theme of “Connect for a better tomorrow”, Kiwis can expect to get stuck into a range of events – from agri-tech innovation days, metaverse meetups, and code clubs for kids. There is something for everyone in our programme boasting over 380 events.

Read more: Techweek: Innovation that’s good for the world.

How is this year’s Techweek different from previous years?

Techweek22 is all about connecting for a better tomorrow. We are really good, here in New Zealand, at making tech that is good for the world. We want to make the future better for our rangatahi (young people) and that means helping them to be inspired by all the amazing career pathways available in the tech sector.

Graeme Muller
Graeme Muller.

This year will show just how much variety there is in tech – so many different types of tech, different types of companies to work for, different types of jobs you can do and different types of people involved in tech. There is a huge amount of variety and opportunity in tech available for all Kiwis.

What’s trending in the NZ tech space?

The tech sector is growing rapidly – it is our fastest growing export adding over $8 billion to our economy from exports and producing thousands of jobs each year. Whilst this growth is exciting, it also provides a challenge – we need skilled people to fill these roles and keep up with the growth. We aren’t doing this well enough currently. So, one of the aims of Techweek is to help spark those conversations and inspire people to consider tech as an exciting career option.

Big things are to be expected around growing awareness of how tech will help us solve big problems. Deep tech, genomics, data and artificial intelligence will be needed to reduce our emissions and create a sustainable environment for Aotearoa. Precision health, data and smart tech will help create a healthier New Zealand. Tech is creating new jobs, can help improve financial wellbeing and will improve our productivity.

Why is it important to celebrate and have a space to celebrate Techweek?

We need to get better as a country at celebrating our successes – we have plenty of awesome Kiwi businesses that are making an impact on the world stage. New Zealand has real potential to be seen as a tech hub. The likes of Xero, Rocket Lab, Ohmio, and so many others are making waves, and we want to celebrate that and inspire more Kiwis to dream big.

Bored Ape NFT
People can expect a wide range of events, including one explaining why people spend money on NFTs.

We also want to encourage diversity in the industry. One of our key themes is Māori tech participation. We have events across the country and online that aim to encourage Māori to consider pathways in tech. For example, there is this Creative Tech Speaker series happening in Ōtara that features Māori and Pasifika speakers sharing their career stories and insights.

Anything in particular that excites you in this year’s programme?

There is so much to choose from, but those with a creative bent should check out the event on Weaving Designs with Python, this one on storytelling through Augmented Reality, or another why people are paying tens/hundreds of thousands of dollars on a jpeg – NFTs 101.

Bernadette is a content writer across SCG Business titles, The Register and Idealog. To get in touch with her, email bernadette.basagre@scg.net.nz

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