Techweek Highlight Event

Techweek TV : Our Culture and its importance in innovation

Discover how Aotearoa's culture of kaitiaki (guardianship) is setting Kiwi startups apart on the world stage.

What's it all about?

Kaitiaki (guardianship and care) is at the heart of culture in Aotearoa. Rebecca Smith, Director of NZStory and industry representatives will talk about how important this culture is, how we can weave that into our story telling, and why it’s so important to embrace and include it. 

Panel members will lead the discussion on how we can inspire more Maori and Pacific growth in tech and provide equal opportunities. This session looks at how culture can set New Zealand apart on the world stage, what is being done already, what more we need to be doing, and why it is vital to continue promoting Maori and Pacific culture in Tech to the world. 

You can drop into this event at any time.

Nationwide Webcast

Monday 20 May
11:00am - 11:55am

Free event
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This event does not require registration.

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Rebecca Smith

Director, New Zealand Story

Rebecca Smith is the driving force behind New Zealand Story; an initiative set up to help exporters get a competitive advantage by sharing a strong, consistent story about what New Zealand has to offer in international markets.

With more than 20 years’ experience in marketing and communications, Rebecca has worked in a variety of New Zealand businesses. As General Manager Brand & Communications for Fonterra’s NZ Milk Products division, Rebecca led the development of the dairy giant’s global B2B brand and spearheaded a new approach to global communications for the business. Prior to Fonterra she worked at BNZ and Telecom.

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Krystal Thompson

Game Developer - Studio Manager, Staples VR

Krystal is head of game development at Staples VR leading our game developers and interactive team through the daily challenges of working in the AR/VR industry and implementing the workflow learnings of a rapidly evolving tech sector. Krystal was part of the Staples VR Hackathon team that won the Melbourne based Hackathon and came 2nd in the global VRcore and HTC hackathon team in Shanghai in 2017. She is Project manager for VRemedies a medical VR tool creation company which has just been announced as 2nd place in demo the world. Also working to create tools for industries such as Forensics, Health and Safety, Training, visual design and entertainment.

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Jesse Armstrong

Founder & CEO, Vaka Interactiv

Jesse is currently the founder and CEO of Vaka Interactiv, a storytelling tech company that specialises in brining stories to life in order to maximise their impact and influence. Vaka Interactiv recently launched 'Culture Lens', the world's first cultural storytelling portrait that brings storytellers to life. He is a passionate entrepreneur who is excited to help people and organisations tell their stories in magically compelling ways. Jesse comes from an extensive background in design thinking, instructional design, market validation and the art of preselling. He has a particular love for working with early stage start-ups in helping them through the very first stages of their entrepreneurial journey and in particular has a passion to help Māori and Pasifka people become entrepreneurs.

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Maru Nihoniho

Founder / Managing Director, Metia Interactive

Maru recently completed her Master of Applied Practice - Technological Futures. She was awarded Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to gaming and mental health and the Māori Entrepreneurial Leader Award from the University of Auckland.

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  • Panel Discussion
  • Māori & Pasifika
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