• Frances Valintine

1200 days to 2020

What happened New Zealand? We could be a highly progressive nation leading the world with fresh thinking, innovation and discovery.

We could retain our place in the world with an education system that left no child behind and one that looked forward with a vision and commitment for the generations ahead.

We could continue our proud tradition of creating highly creative technical and creative leaders that formed companies such as Tait Electronics, Gallaghers, Weta and Xero.

We could nurture a new generation of entrepreneurs who stay in New Zealand with their digital and technical capability and their capacity to create new world-class organisations.

We could welcome international arrivals with open arms and recognition of their global skills and experience.

We could support the creation of high-worth industries that pay living salaries through bold strategies that allow all to reach their potential.

We could nurture the development of new industries such as nano-tech, bio-tech, automation and genetics to support and grow the sectors where we have established global expertise.

We could develop education products and services that encourage new disciplines and subject specialisations that understand the need for new skills for the new world.

We could scale our businesses through mergers and acquisitions to reach offshore markets with real presence and strength.

We could have smash the tall poppy syndrome and celebrated those who stride boldly through the glass ceiling.

We could learn from Maori and taken a custodial approach to our land and assets to be retained for future generations.

We could step up with other small nation countries such as Finland, Estonia, Israel and Singapore and developed education practices that reflect the 21st century.

We could be in the year 2016 excited by tomorrow and a place where our children and grandchildren could thrive and flourish…

Instead, we have a future where our GDP is dominated by industries that are low wage, non-technical, ripe for disruption and lacking the critical infrastructure for further scale.

Our education system is failing increasing numbers of our children through lack of context and relevance and an obsession with national standards that fails all but our very brightest.

Our home grown innovators and entrepreneurs are children of 1940s-1970s. With the majority of our younger brightest and most talented having long left our fair shores for better opportunities.

Our best students are now leaving our shores for the Ivy League universities of afar in record numbers with no intention of heading home.

Our high growth companies could have moved onshore enticed by environments that enable growth, employment and talent development.

Our businesses have stayed small, uncompetitive and domestically focused through our lack of awareness or understanding on how to scale.

Our land is increasingly in the hands of foreign ownership and priced out of the reach of local New Zealanders.

Our schools and institutes are based upon legacy based education practices teaching dis-engaged students who are increasingly self-educating as they struggle to find relevance in old world delivery.

However we are closing off the year 2016, and our future is being redefined by...

Decreasing access to home ownership

Failing education achievement

Low levels of professional development to reskill the workforce for the rapid advancement of disruptive technologies

Increased reliance on low-wage industries

An aging population and an unaffordable pension scheme

Losing our brightest talent to global roles and more progressive markets

Reducing indicators of innovations or innovators

Continued reliance on commodity industries with detrimental impact on the environment

Lack of robust debate on the future of our country or what we strive to be in 50, 100 and 200 years.

It is time for tricky conversations, shaped by bold Kiwis who want our children and our grand grandchildren to live, learn and succeed in our stunning South Pacific nation. Let's harness and mobilise change and encourage each other to define who we want to be and what we want to be defined by.


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Tech Futures Lab is an education facility of The Mind Lab, a NZQA registered Tertiary Education Organisation under the provisions of the Education Act 1989. Candidates who are studying on a programme delivered by Tech Futures Lab are enrolled with The Mind Lab.