It’s one of the most exciting weeks of the year not only for the technology industry, but arguably for all New Zealanders. After all, ‘hands up those who don’t use, depend on, engage with or benefit from digital technology.
The week-long festival of events starting today acknowledges technology ubiquity with something for everyone, from seasoned industry professionals to those looking to make their first forays into this exciting, challenging and extraordinarily rewarding realm.
NZTech CEO Graeme Muller says the theme for the almost 400 events is ‘Connecting for a Better Future’. “We’ve put in a year’s work to get to this point and with a stunning line-up which covers multiple aspects of the industry and how it is shaping our future, I’m excited to invite everyone to check out the schedule, see what’s on, come on down and get involved.”
Not in Auckland? That’s the case for three quarters of the population and Techweek perhaps uniquely addresses this reality. While nearly 125 of the total events are indeed in the City of Sails, there are collectively even more in the regions.
This, notes Muller, acknowledges the fact that while the big cities are seen as prime locations for industry, the seamless nature of technology products and services means people and companies are to be found everywhere and anywhere.
“Our ‘frontier firms’ are targeting new horizons from the regions. Tech workers aren’t tied to their desks. Innovation and inspiration aren’t confined to any one time or place. These characteristics mean technology provides opportunities like no other industry can,” he points out.
Muller’s view is borne out by this week’s news that a Dunedin-based software developer, Timely, was acquired by an American company reportedly for more than $100m.
It also drives home why multiple Techweek events are scheduled in the centres nearest to you; Dunedin has 25 events, the Hawke’s Bay, 17, Manawatu 14, Nelson 13, Christchurch 45, Rotorua 13, Southland 19, Gisborne 40, Taranaki 34, Taupo 209, Tauranga 33, Northland 35, Waikato 17, Wellington 54, the West Coast 24, and Whanganui 27 events.
“I don’t think any other industry or festival has quite the reach or the depth of fixtures that Techweek offers,” Muller adds.
From marquee events like TedXAuckland which kicks off today’s programme, through to Moonhack 2021 for hardcore coders, to sessions like ‘Don’t Ruin Your Website’ or ‘How To Make An Effective Infographic’, the events range in scope from inspirational to the downright practical.
There’s plenty for the up and coming generations, just as there are insights and opportunities for the older folks to improve their grasp, use and understanding of technology. For example, ‘Jam in the Makerspace’ puts awesome design and creation tools in youngster’s hands, while ‘How to Be Part of Wikipedia’ demonstrates the ways that technology connects and fosters collaboration and the exchange of information for everyone.
Most of the events in the programme are entirely free to attend, and a substantial proportion aren’t location-dependent; using the very technology on which Techweek focuses, delegates can ‘dial in’ over video links and be a part of the action no matter where it unfolds.
“When I say there is something for everyone, there really is something for everyone,” stresses Muller. “The best way to see just exactly what piques your interest is taking a look at the schedule. We’ve made it easy to filter the fixtures down to those nearest or online only or within specific categories. Take a look, sign up, get involved, and join us in creating a tech future together.”
Techweek2021 is on from 22 to 30 May 2021. View the programme and learn more at www.techweek.co.nz.
Techweek2021 is a national celebration of tech and innovation presented by NZTech. During 22 – 30 May 2021, physical, hybrid and digital events that showcase the use of technology in Aotearoa New Zealand will take place across the country. Techweek2021 is supported by the Auckland University of Technology; Callaghan Innovation; IBM; Auckland Unlimited; Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment; Ministry of Education; New Zealand Trade and Enterprise; ANZ; Chorus; Media Design School; NZ Growth Capital Partners; ASX; Beca; CENNZnet, Datacom; Tower; Access Advisors; The Icehouse.