Guest Post by The University of Waikato

  • From the Community
The University of Waikato’s Management School, in partnership with Priority One, is hosting Tauranga’s first conference on driving regional economic growth through innovation as part of the annual Techweek'18 festival.

The half-day conference on 24 May will explore business innovation, disruption and eco-systems present within New Zealand regions. It will provide a platform for the diverse perspectives of industry experts, academic and economic thought leaders from sectors such as agriculture, Māori business, technology and tourism.

“We are excited to bring together a stellar line-up to challenge and inspire the audience in Tauranga,” says Professor Tim Coltman, Dean of Waikato Management School.

Well-known economist and columnist Rod Oram will provide economic commentary throughout the conference and moderate a panel discussion, ‘How do we unlock regional growth?’.

The keynote speaker is Gus Balbontin, former executive director and chief technology officer of Lonely Planet. Gus led the global restructure of Lonely Planet that strengthened the company’s ability to manage future disruption and he will provide an expert’s view on innovating locally for global markets.

The ‘Economist’s View’ on regional development will be provided by Professor John Gibson, an economics expert from Waikato Management School and the 2017 New Zealand Association of Economists Distinguished Fellow.

“The broad spectrum of conference speakers will make for an engaging, motivating and educational morning, dedicated to increasing the innovation capacity for enterprises in the Bay of Plenty,” says Professor Coltman.

Other conference speakers include:

  • Hēmi Rolleston, general manager - sectors for Callaghan Innovation

  • Lain Jager, chair of the newly formed Primary Sector Council

  • Carl Jones, CEO of WNT Ventures

  • Kevin Bowler, CEO of Frucor Suntory and former CEO of Tourism NZ

  • Te Ururoa Flavell, professional teaching fellow at the University of Waikato's Management School.

More than 200 delegates will attend the ‘Unlocking Regional Growth Through Innovation’ conference, being held at Mills Reefs Winery, Tauranga from 8:30am to 1:00pm.

Learn more about the speakers and view the conference schedule below.  Tickets are available now to purchase online.

For more information contact:

Aimee Burness, University of Waikato Management School


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