Loading Events

Online symposium on Value Creation via Digital Innovations

Businesses around the globe have been pursuing digital transformation initiatives for some time now. In this symposium we seek to unpack the notion of value creation when digital resources are deployed to address organisational and societal challenges and explore how emerging technologies such as blockchain and AI will deliver value to stakeholders.


Session 1: Value Creation via Digital Transformation

Digital Transformation is the adoption of digital technologies to transform services and businesses. This session brings about 2 excellent examples of digital transformation in New Zealand.

Session 2Value Creation Via Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence

Both blockchain and AI have been in the news as emerging technologies that will transform business and society. This session offers a unique insight into the role of blockchain and AI in our life.


  • Steve James, Head of Technology, Woolworths New Zealand

Humanising Digital Technology: Not Mutually Exclusive

Steve has been working in the Technology industry for close to 30 years! Yes that’s right, he’s old. He’s worked across a variety of roles and industries including, Technology Consulting, Venture Capital, Fitness, Internet Services and now FMCG. He is currently the Head of Technology for WWNZ. He’s a passionate technologist who is always on the lookout for the next gadget to improve his life and is also personally interested in how to democratize access to Technology and opportunities in the Tech industry.

  • David Downs, CEO of New Zealand Story, and Founder of Spend on Small Businesses (SOS Business)

How the current covid pandemic, coupled with the increased demand for tech talent, has led us to the best opportunity yet to tackle two significant issues – a skills shortage, and a lack of diverse talent in the tech sector. Time for IRQ13.

David Downs BSc, CMInstD is a consultant and board director across some key theme areas of technology for public good, healthcare and education. At the beginning of the Covid-19 lockdown, David co-founded sosbusiness.nz a not-for-profit initiative to help bars, cafes and other small businesses sell vouchers. It quickly became a huge hit and to date has sold over $2 million in vouchers for over 2500 small businesses. All the money goes to the businesses. Based on that experience, he co-authored a book about various innovation that happened during covid-19 in New Zealand, Silver Linings published by Penguin RandomHouse. David is currently CEO of the New Zealand Story, an ambitious organisation marketing New Zealand to the world. David previously spent 10 years at New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE), working with the Technology sector to help fast growing tech companies grow internationally, and led a cross-government project for the MBIE to help grow the Agritech sector. Prior to NZTE, David spent 13 years at Microsoft, in New Zealand and as regional director for South East Asia. David is a published author on New Zealand Innovation, with two highly successful books – No.8 Re-wired, and No.8 Recharged. He also documented his battle with cancer in the book A Mild Touch of the Cancer – now a documentary film. David is an ex-comedian, TV and Radio actor, semi-finalist for New Zealander of the Year, a popular MC and speaker, and regularly presents and gives talks on his cancer journey and on the power of positive thinking and optimism.

  • Nicole Upchurch, General Manager, Centrality

How Blockchain can transform the digital landscape in NZ and beyond

Nicole brings her fierce passion for smart and effective marketing communication to the role of CENNZnet General Manager. Combining a history of working across a broad range of technology disciplines, Nicole is on a crusade to ensure that Centrality is recognised globally as an edgy, market-leading and highly successful blockchain business.

  • Dr Nicolas Hohn, Senior Analytics Expert at McKinsey & Company in Melbourne and Chief Data Scientist, QuantumBlack Australia

Developing AI for America’s Cup Sailing – Emirates Team NZ

Dr Nicolas Hohn is a Senior Analytics Expert at McKinsey & Company in Melbourne and the Chief Data Scientist for QuantumBlack Australia. He leads data science teams to extract actionable insights from data in a pragmatic and responsible way across a range of fields, including telecommunications, IoT and financial services. In a recent project Nicolas has led development of AI that helped Emirates Team New Zealand to win America’s Cup. Nicolas has more than 15 years of post-PhD experience in research, development and commercialisation of product innovation in big data analytics and predictive modelling. His areas of expertise include: data science, machine learning, analytics transformation programs, MLOps and ethics in AI. Prior to joining McKinsey, he has led data science at Dun & Bradstreet and analytics at a Big Data start-up in the US.



Nov 19
2:00 pm - 4:15 pm
Event Type
Is this event run by the Tech Alliance?
Event Category: