Creative Realities: the presentations

Missed our creative tech conference Creative Realities during Techweek? You can catch up on everything that happened on the webcast thanks to Callaghan Innovation here...

Keynote address: Denise Chapman Weston

Playologist, inventor and trained psychologist Denise Chapman Weston describes herself as a “seven-year-old in a lady suit”. Over the course of an impressive career, she has developed innovative entertainment attractions, gaming experiences, toys and waterplay concepts for children and families around the world. She’s also an avid inventor, holding over 120 patents, and has expertise in Actual Reality (AR) as director of imagination and founder of Apptivations. In 2018, she’s working directly with Weta Workshop to develop a partnership that has the potential to contribute millions to the New Zealand economy.

In this keynote session she explored some of the common misconceptions about being creative in an age where the word is used as both noun and adjective, and offered an insight into her newest creative projects.

The creative mind by Cathy Stinear

Cathy Stinear's work as a clinical neuroscientist includes being part of the Creative Thinking Project, which focuses on the neurobiology of creativity. Where in the brain does the a-ha moment happen? Are the brains of highly creative people different from other people’s? Can you learn to be more creative? Can artificial intelligence be creative? These are some of the big questions that were tackled in this talk.

Session Presentation

When creativity and tech combine forces, can we save the world?

Creative practitioners from five key sectors showcased their ground-breaking solutions to global problems. We heard from prominent New Zealand specialists in the areas of TV, film, VR and Games in a fast-paced series of engaging presentations. Representatives from each company then discussed how the technology they utilise - from big data to VR software - can be applied to solve human challenges.

Panelists included:

Dan Lemmon, Weta Digital
Dil Khosa, Parrot Analytics (NZ)
Mario Wynands, Pikpok (NZ) - Session presentation
Jessica Manins, Mixt (NZ) and Adele Gautier, The Breast Cancer Foundation NZ (NZ) - Session presentation

Unexpected creations

What does it look like when we creatively combine technology, and collaborate with the wider business world? Get inspired with these quick-fire talks, followed by a lively panel discussion, meeting the cross-sector creatives who are using technology such as wearable tech and AR in alternative spaces, including culture, government, healthcare, fashion and more.

Panelists included:

Benjamin Dunn, Swibo (NZ) - Session presentation

Jesse Armstrong, Vaka Interactive (NZ) - Session presentation

Liz McPherson, Stats Government (NZ)

Sarah Jennings, Stretchsense (NZ)

Start up showcase

Titan ideals Ltd - Abhishek Kala
Company website

Oddboy - Ben Markby
Company website

Excio - Ana Lyubich
Company website

Session presentation

Breakout sessions

Sparking creativity with AI

Artificial Intelligence can augment your intelligence and your creativity. In this session we learned how IBM Watson has infused the creative process of creators, designers, chefs, movie makers, DJs and artists. The IBM team demystified the science behind AI, showing how IBM Watson can complement creative endeavours, and how Design Thinking can be used to create AI infused experiences. The session was hosted by IBM NZ Analytics & Artificial Intelligence Leader Isuru Fernando and IBM NZ Cloud Innovation Expert Giovanni Vigorelli.

Learn more about creativity and IBM Watson™

If you are keen to get started, accelerate or continue your AI journey, here’s a couple of resources to check out:
Learn about IBM Watson
Build with IBM Watson
Learn about how IBM Watson and AI are changing business

To find out more please visit the IBM website and contact the team.

How to use the art of storytelling to connect with your global customers

In this session, attendees learned how being of New Zealand (as opposed to ‘from New Zealand’) can play a powerful role in building and creating meaningful relationships with customers and distributors. This hands-on workshop was presented by NZ Story to help businesses engage with  customers through storytelling, and by infusing the values and characteristics that make us the ingenious Kiwis we are.

Register today for free marketing resources

The NZ Story website gives you free access to images, infographics, how to guides and market insights. Simply register at NZ Story today.

Promote your country of origin with the FernMark

For any business exporting offshore, we recommend you review the FernMark Licence Programme which offers you the opportunity to carry the trademark silver fern, the FernMark, to authenticate your country of origin and build trust with consumers around the world.

For more information please contact the NZ Story Group Team.

Commercialising creative technology

How much truth is there to the commonly held belief that creative industries need external support to survive and thrive? Do we have what it takes to build and scale? In this session we heard from Angela Littlejohn from Pukeko Pictures talk about the company's commercial journey, including their entry into Chinese markets, followed by a robust panel discussion moderated by Creative NZ Chair Michael Moynahan on the opportunities and challenges for NZ companies commercialising IP.

Panellists included:

Angela Littlejohn, Pukeko Pictures (NZ)
Christine Losecaat MBE (UK – Strategic Advisor Creative Industries)
Hon David Parker (MBIE)
Stephen Knightly, InGame (NZ)
Samantha Witters, (SW & Partners) (NZ/USA)

Using blockchain to build better creative industries

Blockchain has rapidly become a hot buzzword, but what is it? Blockchain entertainment studio SingularDTV and Kiwi blockchain venture studio Centrality presented a look at blockchain technology beyond all the hype and cryptocurrency mania, examining instead how the technology is already being used to empower artists globally.

Session presentation

Soul Machines' Shona Grundy

Meet the unique company that's creating digital humans that not only react to what you say, but to how you feel when you say it.

In an era of AI, robots and machines, the team at Soul Machines are focused on making those machines more human-like because they believe emotions will drive digital disruption in the future. The potential of this technology, which spun out from research at the University of Auckland, is virtually limitless – imagine a world where everyone has a digital financial advisor, a personal trainer, a teacher, a coach, a companion

Unfortunately, no session presentation or video is available.

To find out more please visit Soul Machines.

Artstech opening and closing performance

What would it look like if the New Zealand classical performing arts sector was infused with science and technology in the same way that our agriculture sector, our film industry and our high performance sports sector already are? Experience a glimpse of this potential in our opening and performances, an ArtsTech collaboration between the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and Digl, coordinated by futurist and ArtsTech project founder, Stephanie Pride.

In the opening performance, listen as the sounds and movements of live classical performers are transformed, in real time, into a work of visual art unique to the moment you are experiencing. Credits: Duo Concertante (composer Daniel Schnyder), Matthew Allison, Tenor Trombone, Shannon Pittaway, Bass Trombone, Digl, Live Digital Painting, Digl/Joe Dixon.


In this second ArtsTech collaboration between the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and Digl, coordinated by futurist Stephanie Pride, we see how technology can augment live classical performance. Using the same technology that opened the conference, Digl interacts with a different piece of music and different musicians to generate a completely different artwork to close the day. Sit back and experience what it feels like when the creative and tech sectors come together to create live ArtsTech experiments, where the technology extends the bounds of a classical art form, whilst staying faithful to its essence. ‘Finale’ from Haydn’s "Sunrise" string quartet opus 76. No.  4.Alan Molina, First Violin, Malavika Gopal, Second Violin, Victoria Jaenecke, Viola, Robert Ibell, Cello & Digl, Live Digital Painting

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