Continuing the conversation sparked by TVNZ's What Next?

RSVP now for our upcoming What's Next for You free seminars

This week at Tech Futures Lab we met with some of our industry circle to continue the conversation sparked by TVNZ's recent What Next series. Gathering bright and early on Monday at our headquarters in Newmarket, we talked about where we're at and where we're headed when it comes to business, technology and innovation.

Our founder and panelist on the What Next? TV show, Frances Valintine, shared her insights into the biggest trends shaping the business world, and why our primary industries are being disrupted. She also offered data and practical views on why it's imperative to be forward-thinking and always learning, the biggest roadblocks to innovation, and the steps we can take today.

Frances also drew on our recent survey we sent out to our network, which asked key questions prompted by the What Next? show and the conversations we have every day at Tech Futures Lab. Bearing in mind our network is largely made up of those already considering the impact and opportunity of disruption and innovation, the responses revealed recurring themes.

According to the survey, the majority of people are aware of changes and the speed with which they are taking place. Over half (56%) of people said disruptive technology changes are already impacting our personal and professional lives and 28% said we will see the impact in the next two years. When it comes to jobs and professions only 3% think their job would remain the same in the next five years, while the vast majority (80%) said it would require additional skills.

Considering how our country is responding to these changes, we also posed the question: What's holding New Zealand back? The responses were mixed, with 28% of people saying lack of boldness, 21% saying lack of education and 13% saying lack of Government strategy was holding us back. Other responses included lack of drive, lack of resources and lack of vision.

The survey also gave respondents the opportunity to share their thoughts, and some common themes emerged. Numerous people noted the need to educate ourselves and our children for the future, shifting our mindset so we more readily adopt new technologies and encourage continuous learning. There was also a general consensus that we need strong leadership and cross sector collaboration.

"New Zealand has a real opportunity for innovation in a number of industries and can be a leader if resourced properly and the education opportunities are provided," one person said.

Another respondent commented, "Over the past two years, more people are talking about change in technology and the need to adapt, however there are only pockets of individuals are acting. I'm not sure what Government is doing but it seems to me that there are more conversations than actions. We need collaboration between private and public entities to keep moving ahead."

"This is critical for NZ. It is vital for many decision makers and communities are engaged in this conversation," one respondent said.

To encourage this ongoing conversation and share what we're doing at Tech Futures Lab, we're hosting a series of free seminars led by Priti Ambani and Frances Valintine in the coming months. Our first event on July 31 is already at max capacity so we've added four more from now until the end of October. These are designed to be one per person, so RSVP for the one that best suits you and we'll see you here!

Click here to RSVP to one of our What's Next for You seminars.


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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.

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