Mark Averill, PwC New Zealand: “Technology has had a massive impact on the speed we’re all expected to operate at. From our perspective at PwC, our clients want us to be instantly available and have the ability to access both people and information globally. It is transforming the way we work.”
Brett O’Reilly, ATEED: "The world isn’t linear anymore, it’s changing in nonlinear exponential ways. So how do you plan for that and develop services that can maximise that? It’s a challenge for the public sector because everyone is conditioned to think in linear cycles and growth plans. It’s something we’ve seen in housing – so far we’ve taken a very linear approach to solving the housing crisis. It’s also something that is happening with transport. There are some very fundamental questions around driverless cars, and changing work hours and patterns, that aren’t linear, but we are still coming up with linear solutions.
"The numbers have been saying for a long time that the lack of innovation, and commercialisation in particular, has been a handbrake on the New Zealand economy but what we are seeing now is a recognition that corporate New Zealand has to step up. We’ve often confused innovation with ‘start-ups’ but if you want to change the economy to be more innovative, one of the best places to start is with those companies that already have capital and skills in place.”
Rod Drury, Xero: “There’s a big contradiction going on as the world becomes more tribal – you only have to look at the Brexit results to see the world becoming more nationalistic. At the same time though, technology is very global. So there’s a sweet spot if you can walk around with a light touch, as New Zealanders do, that will leave you incredibly well positioned for this. I think it’s hard to predict the future on a linear basis. It’s really interesting how a combination of parallel innovations can come together to make a change. You look at TVs and you might predict that innovation means having more and more pixels. But then you look at a parallel trend like increasing bandwidth. That, combined with the consolidation of entertainment companies and a whole bunch of other trends, suddenly means you’re watching TV on your iPad. When I look forward, I’m trying to pick those little things that absolutely come together.”