Design thinking, AI, robotics: taking business success to the next level

Now at the end of week four, our June cohort is picking up pace, exploring and developing ideas for the project phase of the course while also learning the ins and outs of forward-thinking business strategies and technology trends.

Emerging ideas and thinking design

Monday morning this week kicked off with the candidates sharing the bare bones of their ideas in our collaborative project session. Once again there the group shared a wide variety of ideas spanning a range of industries - ideas that will no doubt transform and morph, becoming more defined and informed, throughout the duration of the programme.

Continuing on from our project sessions every Monday we host an innovation session to aid in this process. This week we welcomed in Dorenda Britten from the Britten Institute, who has many years' experience in design thinking, working with the government to implement design thinking principles over a decade ago.

“I want to challenge your thinking on what design is,” Dorenda said to the group. The session broke down how we solve problems and come up with solutions, how design principles can be applied to different areas, and understanding the broader context.

This week we introduced another component to the course with Zivana Anderson of Soul River. Zivana has a very interesting history that led her to leaving her career in marketing and communications to take up life coaching, and helping people work healthily and purposefully.

Business success in the tech-enabled age

Also this week we had more sessions with Mohsen Pashna, our in-house robotics expert who has a knack for taking complex topics and making them simple. The group were able to learn the key elements of robotics, from programming to the literal nuts and bots, and build their own simple bot.

Continuing with the theme of hands-on learning, Damon Khai and Rich Rowley from The Mind Lab by Unitec took the group for a session on building hovercrafts. True to The Mind Lab's style, Damon and Rich presented a built hovercraft to the candidates, gave them the tools and parts they needed, and let them by exploring and doing.

Finally, Mahsa Mohaghegh returned to take the group through the key components of machine learning, artificial intelligence and cognitive computing, and Joey Faust of AirNZ shared his expertise and knowledge of chatbots using Oscar, one of AirNZ's latest innovations, as an example.

Neil Movold wrapped up our week on robotics, AI and machine learning with a session on cognitive computing for business, revealing how contextual intelligence can be used within businesses of a wide variety to make better, more educated decisions.

Proving to highlight the greater context for many of these topics, while also providing insight into how technology is disrupting the banking world, was Matt Wright from ASB. Matt has a great knowledge and expertise on the opportunities and impact of exponential technologies. He was able to marry what he is constantly learning on the ground at ASB with his own wide reading on a range of topics

Click here if you want to find out more about our programme or get in touch with the team - we’ll catch you next week, and don’t forget to sign up to our email newsletter and follow us on Twitter.


Get the latest on programs, workshops, news and events

  • Twitter - Black Circle
  • Facebook - Black Circle
  • LinkedIn - Black Circle
  • YouTube - Black Circle

Ground Floor
99 Khyber Pass Road

Grafton, Auckland 1023

New Zealand


Stay updated on what we’re thinking about and working on at the Lab

  • Twitter - White Circle
  • Facebook - White Circle
  • LinkedIn - White Circle
  • YouTube - White Circle
  • Instagram - White Circle

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.

NZQA Category 1 Organisation