50th Anniversary Blog

The blog will include both news of the conference and guest posts from participants and those involved in creating the history of ICT over the last 50 years.

ICT Minister confirmed for Opening Address

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Joining the huge range of thought leaders from within the industry, academia, education sector and Government both presenting and attending the 50th Conference, Hon Steven Joyce, Minister of ICT, is now confirmed to open the conference on the morning of 16th September.

We’re looking forward to the Minister’s perspective on the past, present and future of ICT in New Zealand.

Discount Flights to Conference – today only!

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For those heading to the NZCS 50th Anniversary Conference in Rotorua in September, or thinking about it, Air New Zealand has just announced a 24 hour sale on flights to Rotorua from Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

  • Auckland to Rotorua, $59 each way
  • Wellington to Rotorua, $79 each way
  • Christchurch to Rotorua, $89 each way

If you’re thinking about coming and haven’t booked your flights yet you should get in early – the sale is only for 24 hours, and no doubt the cheap flights around the dates of the conference will go fast.

These can be booked in the normal way at www.airnewzealand.co.nz

Get in Quick: EarlyBird Pricing ends 30 June 2010

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EarlyBird Registrations are all but sold out, however we’ve decided to hold pricing until 30 June 2010.

So if you’re planning on coming but haven’t bought your ticket yet, you’ll need to get in quick to take advantage of the EarlyBird pricing – now until 30 June 2010.

You can register at www.innovation.org.nz/registration

Full Conference Programme Released

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The full Conference Programme has now been released, and it’s a doozy!

Conference Presentations

A total of 40 presentations across the two main days ensures there’s something for everyone.

The programme is separated into 4 main Streams:

1) Future of ICT: Future of ICT, what does the next 50 years hold?
2) Professional: ICT Professional Development and learning
3) Innovation: This includes “Concept to Reality” and bringing new ideas to market
4) History/Education: This is split between looking back at ICT innovation and exploring ICT education

You can view a list of all presentations here, or the Programme here.


The Workshop Schedule has also been released:

  • Search Engine Optimisation: The Inside Story
  • Role Profiling and Refining Skills Capability
  • Making Projects Effective
  • Concepts of Online Identity Verification
  • Becoming an Innovator

These Workshops are well worth a serious look. Whether it’s Google’s own Craig Nevill-Manning discussing Search Engine Optimisation or Software Education’s Martin Davie flown in from Australia to outline how to lift the innovation of you and your team, you simply won’t get this soft of opportunity often.

You can find out more about the Workshops here.

It’s never too late to innovate

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Here’s the first post of many leading up to the conference briefly exploring various aspects of Innovation.

What is Innovation?

The dictionary describes innovation as the “Introduction of new things or methods”. This definition looks at the final output; in an ICT or software sense, a completed product.

But what about the other factors that went into making that completed product, the people, the late night meetings and code that needed debugging at 4am?

Although some could say this is part of the development process, one could certainly view development as being encapsulated within this ‘Innovation’ term. Through continuous development we can achieve innovative solutions.

Thinking about Innovate Solutions…

So if innovation is about the ‘introduction of new things or methods’ this raises some questions;

(a) What am I introducing?
(b) Who am I introducing it to?
(c) Is my ‘new thing or method’ helping/solving/refining/addressing?
(d) Can I leverage technology to help me?
(e) Can I be innovative in being innovative?

All valid questions really. Here’s a simple diagram focusing on 3 areas which illustrate the concepts involved in innovation very well:


Now… Innovate!

So we have a definition of innovation and some things to think about during the process. It seems simple enough, and is a little bit of an oversimplification, however not as much as you’d think. But it involves a fundamental change in focus for many people.

If more of us continually ask ourselves or our organisations these 5 things each and every day we may well achieve more as individuals, as companies, as a sector and, in fact, see New Zealand climb the global innovation stats on the back of an innovative ICT sector.

So no matter where you are….. always remember…. Its never to late…..to Innovate!

A special thanks

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One of the things that has been truly excellent thus far while organising this conference is the widespread support from all corners of the sector.

From a sponsorship perspective, a number of companies have been prepared to dig deep and help make this momentous milestone celebration a  reality, and we are truly thankful for this.

In terms of Keynotes, this conference is supported by some of the true kiwi entrepreneurs in our sector. You’ll see early next week when the programme comes out that the huge range of presentations covers every nook and cranny of ICT in New Zealand – this will be a vastly inspirational occasion.

We truly appreciate the input, sponsorship and support from a huge number of companies and individuals across the board, however it has to be said that there’s one company that has really gone the extra distance to ensure this conference is a success, and that’s Microsoft.

As well as fronting as the first Platinum Sponsor of the conference, Microsoft have helped in every way possible, whether asked or not. Ranging from major sponsorship, to Microsoft’s global CEO, Steve Ballmer, being prepared to put together a short video for the conference, through to helping arrange major speakers, through to New Zealand senior staff advocating the conference and registering early themselves, we simply couldn’t ask for more.

And for those thinking this might have been with ulterior motive, you’ll see from the programme release next week that the speaker programme is widely representative, including the open source community for instance. Microsoft haven’t made any attempts to influence proceedings – their support has been unconditional.

Others have been fantastic too, and certainly aren’t forgotten. The conference sponsors have all dug deep to support this event. However a special thanks for the commitment made by Microsoft to date.

Ian McCrae in the news

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The Dom Post has an excellent profile article on Ian McCrae, founder of Orion Health (one of our countries largest and most innovative software companies).

View the article here.

Ian McCrae will be sharing some of the secrets to his success at the NZCS “50 Years of ICT Innovation” Conference in September, in an effort to help guide the innovators of the future.

More Conference info: www.innovation.org.nz

The New-Zealand Institute has given us a wake-up call on the country’s performance. Our score is D for dismal. Innovation and business sophistication are the most important drivers of income and NZ is “below par”. The Herald picked up on this last month, reporting that “NZ languishes near the relegation end of the OECD league table for Innovation”. So let’s turn the tide. Come and listen to the Keynote speakers at the 50th Anniversary Conference – they have solid experience in converting inventions from ideas to international business success – Sam Morgan, Craig Nevill-Manning, Ian Taylor, Rod Drury, Ian McCrae, Sam Knowles, Nat Torkington. Ask yourself “What can I do to help turn the tide?”

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EarlyBird Registrations Now Open!

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EarlyBird Registrations to the 2010 50th Anniversary Conference are now open!

A strictly limited number of EarlyBird Registrations for the NZCS 50th Anniversary Conference are now available. These will sell out fast, so register now to secure yours.

This is a conference for innovators, entrepreneurs, educators and practitioners offering 8 major Keynotes, 37 presentations, 5 panels/debates, an Innovation Barcamp and a number of workshops. One thing we can promise is it’ll absolutely blow your mind.

This is a celebration 50 years in the making: half a century of ICT Innovation in New Zealand. This is a massive milestone and we’ve got a line-up to match.


Two international presenters mix with a selection of the country’s top ICT innovators to cover all aspects of ICT in New Zealand.

Join kiwi Craig Nevill-Manning (the founder of Google’s first remote engineering centre in Manhattan, USA) and Canadian Greg Lane (the National Director of the Canadian Council of IT Professionals), along with New Zealand innovative entrepreneurs Ian Taylor (Founder, Animation Research Ltd), Sam Morgan (Founder, Trade Me), Rod Drury (Founder, Xero), Nat Torkington (creator of Kiwi Foo Camp and the Open Govt Project), Ian McCrae (Founder, Orion Health) and Sam Knowles (founding CEO of KiwiBank).

This is a wholly engaging event designed to ignite your entrepreneurial spirit and equip you with the tools to succeed. With inspirational speakers, numerous panels and a debate, plus a series of workshops designed to grow innovation (details coming soon) and a full Innovation BarCamp, this will be a truly enlightening experience.

And on top of all of this, a celebration of 50 years of ICT Innovation, and 50 years of NZCS, New Zealand’s ICT Professional Body.

Register Now

This event is going to be huge. Register now to secure your place.

You can view a full draft programme at www.innovation.org.nz/programme

Key sponsors confirmed

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A number of key sponsors have been confirmed over the last couple of weeks.

Details will be out soon, but thanks for the huge support this conference is gaining.