New Zealand

Christchurch gets behind a new generation of leaders

by Zach Farghaly

February 21, 2018

Christchurch is the latest forward-thinking city to host Smart Seeds, a global innovation program for young talent to tackle the region’s most pressing challenges.

The city and region is known for it’s resilience and adaptability – something reflected in a new breed of professionals and innovators taking centre stage.

Smart Seeds launched in Christchurch on 21 February 2018 at the EPIC Innovation Precinct. Leading the movement are 31 young minds from across the region who have each committed to forming a team around one of five regional challenges.

Maurice Hoban facilitated the launch experience and said “we have participants from 15 local organisations, each bringing a unique skill set from different backgrounds. It is a really unique collaborative environment and we’re excited to see the outcomes.”

Stimulating collaboration are five challenges, each thrown down by industry leaders working towards the region’s future prosperity..

What challenges are being tackled?

  • How to make Christchurch a magnet for business and tourism tomorrow?
  • How to make urban residents the stewards of healthy waterways?
  • How to enable alternative modes of transport to reduce congestion?
  • How to develop a regional workforce that can compete on a global scale?
  • How to embrace emerging technology to enable new possibilities for automated transport?

Participants will now work together to pull apart the complex technical, social and commercial issues they face in coming up with potential solutions.

To support their journey from the outset, participants were armed with new skills, tools and connections including industry leaders to provide mentoring as teams grapple with new ways of working.

Signs are promising with teams sticking around after the launch to make sure they were connected. Industry leaders also took the opportunity to strike up some healthy competition between the mentors and challenge development teams.

So what’s next? Participants will be building on the launch experience with workshops focusing on ideation, pitching and influencing change before the Showcase Event in Christchurch on 9 May 2018. For more information visit Smart Seeds Christchurch.

Who is participating?

Belinda Lewis – Downer | Rachel Young – Environment Canterbury Regional Council | Shaun Denholm – Intergen | Nick Lovett – Christchurch City Council | Luke Parker – GHD | Steve Firth – Environment Canterbury Regional Council | Olivia Smith – Environment Canterbury Regional Council | Paul Ferguson – Christchurch City Council | Hayden Sturzaker – Fulton Hogan | Andrew Smith – GHD Advisory | Virginia Loughnan – Environment Canterbury Regional Council | Dayle McLauchlan – Apollo Projects | Fraser Gemmell – Christchurch City Council | Sam Bellamy – Environment Canterbury Regional Council | Jamie Robinson – Duncan Cotterill | Charlotte French – GHD | Samantha Funnell – Synlait | Susan Zhu – Intergen | Nickie West – Fulton Hogan | Rob Capon – Synlait | Cameron McKie – GHD | Emily Murphy – Christchurch City Council | Nick Webby – Fulton Hogan | Andrew Springford – EY | Sam Smith – Apollo Projects | April Hickson – Intergen | Simon Pollock – GHD | Scott Davison – Fulton Hogan | Brodie Akacich – CIAL

With inspiring mentors:

Kate Phillips – Intergen | Andre Bresler – GHD | Charlie Derrick – Environment Canterbury Regional Council | Carolyn Gallagher – Christchurch City Council | Ken Renz – Environment Canterbury Regional Council | Joel Gabites – EY

Register your interest