Digital summit to build vision for more prosperous New Zealand

The biggest and most important international tech conference to be staged in New Zealand will be held in Auckland early next year which may pave the way for faster advances for the Kiwi economy.

NZTech chief executive Graeme Muller says changes and tech developments are happening globally at a phenomenal and unprecedented rate.

“This year alone we have seen the launch of a self-driving vehicle firm in New Zealand, face-detecting systems to authorise payments, the creation of new solar devices that could create cheap and continuous power and the relentless push to add connectivity to home gadgets.

“As self-driving cars become common in this country, we need to gauge if New Zealand’s is living up to its reputation as a standout digital nation. The Digital Nations 2030 Global Future summit, organised by NZTech and Conferenz bringing together the tech sector and the government, will put the spotlight on Kiwi tech advances.”

The Digital Nations conference on 19 and 20 February 2018 will be a forerunner to the D5 summit to be held later that week in Wellington.

The D5 is a network of the world’s most advanced digital nations, with a shared goal of strengthening the digital economy. It was founded in London in 2014 by the United Kingdom, Estonia, Israel, New Zealand and South Korea.

Among the 10+ international speakers and panellists at the Digital Nation 2030 summit are South African futurist Graeme Codrington, chief executive of TomorrowToday; Singapore’s Sandra Ng, group vice president Asia Pacific, for IDC; Siim Sikkut, Government chief information officer, Estonia; Martin Lundqvist, partner at McKinsey & Co, Sweden; and Shai-lee Spigelman, chief executive of Digital Israel.

Technology, business, social and government leaders from across New Zealand are also on the agenda including Simon Moutter, chief executive, Spark; Carolyn Tremain, chief executive, Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment; IanTaylor, chief executive of Animation Research; Te Aroha Moreehu, general manager for digital transformation, Ngati Whatua Orakei Whai Maia.

Muller says the conference will cover every aspect of how a digital economy is shaping.

His comments come hard on the heels of the 2017 Digital Planet report by the Fletcher School at Tufts University that shows New Zealand is one of the world’s leading digital nations.

“The Digital Nations conference offers a great moment to bring together New Zealand’s digital leaders, with international experts, business leaders, societal change agents and policy makers to envision what New Zealand could look like as a digital nation by 2030, and then agree on investments and policy to help us get there.

“By listening to the plans of other leading nations and then working on what it could mean for New Zealand’s education, health and financial systems, our productive sectors and the society, this should help us move together as a country towards a more prosperous future during a period of profound change.

“NZTech is pleased with the close and proactive partnership with in the Department of Internal Affairs and the Government Chief Digital Office as industry and government work together to prepare New Zealand for a tech focused future.

“New Zealand’s innovation ecosystem and institutional environment are both noted as strengths for New Zealand in the 2017 Digital Planet report and this Digital Nations conference partnership between industry and government is a great example of why we are seen as a leading country,” Muller says.

The Digital Nations conference is expected to attract more than 450 people including D5 Ministers and their delegations, invited international experts and New Zealand digital leaders and influencers representing all sectors.

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