Top innovators at Techweek’17

Issue: Volume 96, Number 7

Posted: 1 May 2017
Reference #: 1H9d7d

The Ministry of Education is proud to sponsor and partner with Techweek’17 – which will bring together some of Aotearoa New Zealand’s top innovators, designers and thinkers across more than 100 events, up and down the country, between 6 and 14 May.

Techweek’17 is a nationwide initiative designed to develop New Zealanders as global thought leaders in technology and innovation. Techweek’17 brings together a breadth of participants – from leading innovators, to educators, investors, business leaders, and enthusiasts – to share their experiences, ideas, and passion.

Techweek started in Auckland in 2016, running 55 events across 10 days, with over 10,000 attendees. In 2017, Techweek’17 will expand across New Zealand, with more than 100 events running down the country from Auckland to Christchurch. Techweek’17 is organised by an independent board formed to build New Zealand’s reputation as an innovation hub – which intends to continue growing Techweek in future years.

Techweek’17 isn’t just for those in the technology industry; it’s an opportunity for everyone across industries and sectors to share ideas and consider how to continue building on New Zealand’s innovative thinking and increasingly digitalised economy.

Digital technology is happening now in New Zealand education, homes and in the workplace; influencing how we interact and live everyday life. Many unskilled and highly skilled jobs are becoming automated. The Ministry is supporting Techweek’17 because it shows what digital technology is already doing for New Zealand and to build understanding of why our education system is changing to keep pace.

NZTech, the industry group representing technology sector companies, has more than 400 organisations with growth throughout New Zealand making up 80 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and contributing over $6.3 billion in exports. The Ministry of Education is strengthening The New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa to keep New Zealand competitive in this digital world.

Techweek’17 events are being run by a range of people from entrepreneurs working on a global scale to local communities and schools experimenting with technology to inspire the next generation.

The themes for Techweek’17 are:

  • The Next Generation: Focusing on youth, education, and creating future leaders.
  • Equality: Tackling the global issues of diversity and equality.
  • The Future of Food: Rethinking food systems, production and philosophies.
  • Environmental Shift: Concerning climate change, and creating healthy physical environments and cities.
  • Scaling Impact: Technologies and business models for sustainable growth and global impact.

Why is techweek’17 so important?

The Ministry is supporting Techweek’17 to celebrate our successes in technology learning; to share those successes with our wider communities and the wider world; and to equip and inspire New Zealanders across the country to continue building towards a bright, digital future for our learners.

New Zealand has always been a nation of innovators, and that national passion for invention has never been so important.

New Zealand’s digital economy has spread beyond the traditional technology industry to permeate all industries including agriculture, transport, precision manufacturing and the creative and service economy.

All of us need to develop digital fluency to ensure we excel as lifelong learners and participants in a fast-changing and dynamic world. It also means exploring the opportunities that technology creates across our society and economy to change the way we express ourselves and our values.

We view digital education as a vital part of educating young New Zealanders, and we consider Techweek’17 an invaluable way to grow our young people as savvy digital citizens.

What events are running in my area?

Techweek’17 will be opened in Christchurch on 6 May by Prime Minister Bill English. Events at Techweek’17 range across the breadth of the technology and innovation sector and will occur across the country. The Ministry is involved in a number of these events, including:

  • Farming 2020 – Showcasing Agtech businesses’ Digital Future (Waikato): Exploring how digital innovation is shaping the future of agribusiness in New Zealand, from robots and drones to sensors and smart platforms.
  • TheBlockchain.NZ (Auckland): Explores the concept of ‘the blockchain,’ and how it will reshape our lives, whether in finance, voting, or healthcare.
  • Breakfast and Kōrero | Governance in the Māori Technoverse (Rotorua): A breakfast session examining governance in digital technology from a Māori perspective, including digital tikanga and kawa, governance structures, and evaluation.
  • MakerTrial (Nationwide): A range of ‘makerspaces’ will be open nationwide: community centres with technology, manufacturing equipment and educational opportunities for the public to share ideas and knowledge, and design and prototype using tech like 3D printers.

A full schedule by region is available on the techweek website(external link) 

We encourage you to get along to your local Techweek’17 events, and to join the Ministry and the Techweek Board in developing our digitally fluent nation.

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero,

Posted: 7:03 pm, 1 May 2017

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