Busi­ness backs new gen­er­a­tion

Sunday Star-Times - - BUSINESS - Jayne Ather­ton

It’s my be­lief that one of the sus­tain­able goals of busi­ness should be to sup­port, en­cour­age and in­spire our young tal­ent in schools and uni­ver­si­ties.

Com­mu­nity in­volve­ment is al­ready a sus­tain­abil­ity goal of course, but it’s easy to for­get that grad­u­ate un­em­ploy­ment lev­els mean that many of our po­ten­tial fu­ture lead­ers feel stressed about work prospects and un­der­val­ued by em­ploy­ers.

That’s why it was great to see Ports of Auck­land, Beca and Yealands step up to be cor­po­rate spon­sors of the ‘Solve It’ chal­lenge, run by the Cen­tre for In­no­va­tion and En­trepreneur­ship at Auck­land Uni­ver­sity’s Busi­ness School.

Nine­teen teams of stu­dents en­tered for a chance to win a share of a $24,000 prize pool.

Com­pa­nies of­ten ask how they can stay rel­e­vant and com­mu­ni­cate what they do more ef­fec­tively to a younger gen­er­a­tion. So it makes sense to sim­ply ask them di­rectly.

Ports of Auck­land (PoA), asked for ideas around po­ten­tially dis­rup­tive tech­nol­ogy, such as drones, 3D print­ing and ro­bot­ics.

‘‘We know we need to ex­plore the im­pact of dis­rup­tive tech­nolo­gies, so we can build a sus­tain­able port that en­hances so­cial, en­vi­ron­men­tal and com­mer­cial out­comes,’’ said PoA CEO Tony Gib­son.

‘‘By part­ner­ing with the Cen­tre, we can learn so much from the ta­lented young peo­ple who are the fu­ture lead­ers of New Zealand.’’

The win­ning team, called MAZEC picked up a $5,000 prize by fo­cus­ing on build­ing the pro­file of Ports of Auck­land with the peo­ple of the city, by pro­vid­ing cre­ative spa­ces to hang out in, open ac­cess to the Port’s data, and in­vest­ment in the younger gen­er­a­tion.

Gib­son said their ideas could have prac­ti­cal ap­pli­ca­tion. As Cen­tre di­rec­tor Wendy Kerr said: ‘‘Our spon­sors find the stu­dents’ so­lu­tions are un­bri­dled by the con­straints of their or­gan­i­sa­tions.’’ Con­grat­u­la­tions all round.


Team MAZEC won The ‘Solve It’ chal­lenge at Uni­ver­sity of Auck­land Busi­ness School.

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