Idealog - - EDITORIAL - Ben Fahy Pub­lisher & ed­i­to­rial di­rec­tor

Of all the many in­ter­est­ing in­sights from David Downs and Dr. Michelle Dick­in­son’s new book No. 8 Recharged, there was one that stood out to me: a lot of New Zealand’s early im­mi­grants hap­pened to be sec­ond sons. First sons had the ben­e­fit of suc­ces­sion, whereas those who weren’t so for­tu­nate had to forge their own paths. The Māori ex­plor­ers who trav­elled to New Zealand across vast oceans and trans­ported their ideas to their new home also ex­hib­ited that pi­o­neer­ing, in­no­va­tive mind­set. These found­ing mytholo­gies seem to gel well with our ro­man­tic no­tion of na­tional iden­tity. We like to think of our­selves as risk-tak­ers, in­dus­tri­ous tin­ker­ers and good ol’ Kiwi bat­tlers. And, in many ways, that’s true. I of­ten talk about our strange com­bi­na­tion of pride and self-doubt. This strange brew means we’ve al­ways been a fairly wel­com­ing place, but we of­ten seem to re­quire for­eign en­dorse­ment (this is clearly ev­i­denced in the com­mon ques­tion to tourists: ‘are you en­joy­ing your stay? Do you like it here? I really hope you’re en­joy­ing your stay. Please tell me you like it here’). But as the world has changed, so has New Zealand. That in­fe­ri­or­ity com­plex feels like it’s dis­si­pat­ing and we now seem to have much more con­fi­dence in our coun­try, our cul­ture, our achieve­ments and our busi­nesses. And while we’re still rea­son­ably hum­ble and of­ten seem to strug­gle to sell the amaz­ing things we're mak­ing, the world ap­pears to be pay­ing more at­ten­tion to us.

We write about in­no­va­tion con­stantly at Idea­log, but we also want to do in­no­va­tive things. And we’re par­tic­u­larly proud of this is­sue, which in­cludes a few new sec­tions and an in­ter­est­ing ex­per­i­ment we've con­ducted with the sup­port of Cho­rus and the ex­per­tise of One Fat Sheep. To­gether, we’ve cre­ated an aug­mented re­al­ity ex­pe­ri­ence on the cover and, while en­joy­able on its own, it also serves as an in­ter­ac­tive con­tents page and a way to link the sto­ries in print with our dig­i­tal chan­nels. So down­load the Idea­log AR app, scan the cover, have a hoon and see what’s in­side the In­no­va­tion Is­sue.

An­other new ini­tia­tive, Idea­log and Ac­cen­ture’s Most Cre­ative Peo­ple, is an amaz­ing and in­spir­ing col­lec­tion of New Zealan­ders who are push­ing the bound­aries of busi­ness and show­ing the trans­for­ma­tive power of cre­ativ­ity. And we had a hell of a lot of fun putting it to­gether.

As per usual, the win­ners of the New Zealand In­no­va­tion Awards give me hope that ev­ery­thing will be just fine; our new Idea­log Ur­ban sec­tion fo­cuses on some of the best think­ing – and ex­e­cu­tion – in ur­ban de­sign and de­vel­op­ment and gives me hope that our cities will get much bet­ter; and Liam Malone, who is on a mis­sion to change the world of pros­thet­ics and is em­brac­ing tech­nol­ogy and mind­ful­ness to get there is a prime ex­am­ple of the kind of con­fi­dence New Zealan­ders now ex­ude and gives me hope that there are plenty more big thinkers and high-achiev­ers where he came from.

Our be­lief is that if com­pa­nies (and coun­tries) hope to keep grow­ing and/or solve their nu­mer­ous prob­lems, the big ideas are un­likely to come from bean coun­ters try­ing to cut costs. They’ll come from those who think dif­fer­ently, break rules and cre­ate change – much like the peo­ple on the fol­low­ing pages.

We feel we have an im­por­tant role to play when it comes to in­spi­ra­tion; to keep telling the pos­i­tive sto­ries of those who have started some­thing, in the hope they might in­spire oth­ers to start their own some­things. But we also see a role for ed­u­ca­tion. Run­ning a busi­ness is tough. Many will fail and those that suc­ceed will face an ar­ray of grow­ing pains. In­creas­ingly, we’ve been fo­cus­ing on these re­al­i­ties, from deal­ing with fail­ure to find­ing fi­nance to look­ing af­ter men­tal health. And we’ve made men­tal health some­thing of a sub­theme in this is­sue and aimed to pro­vide some help­fulp – and oc­ca­sion­al­lyy hu­mor­ous – ad­vice.

Ev­ery­one needs to find their own equi­lib­rium. Hope­fully we’ve found ours with this is­sue.

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