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Science fiction writer Neal Stephenson joins the line-up at Techweek'17

ITP Staff. 18 April 2017, 7:25 am

Acclaimed novelist Neal Stephenson has joined the line-up for this year's Techweek'17 and will be keynote speaker at Future Realities, a mixed reality and IoT conference, in Wellington on May 10.

One of the founders of the cyberpunk movement, known for his dazzling portrayal of future worlds, Stephenson is visiting New Zealand as part of the New Zealand Film Commission's GPS 2026 Project, which aims to spark discussion about the future of the screen industry. 

He joins an impressive Techweek'17 speaker line-up that includes Andreas Antonopolous, one of the leading lights in the revolutionary blockchain movement, which looks set to change the way our banking institutions operate. Andreas will be speaking at the event in Auckland.

Among an amazing line-up of female tech experts at Techweek this year is Emeline Paat-Dahlstrom, co-founder of International Space Consultants, and former Chief Impact Officer of Singularity University, who will be showcasing her satellite projects and her work building a space ecosystem in New Zealand.

New Zealand's AgTech sector is a NZ$3 billion industry, generating export sales in excess of $700 million annually, and so, naturally, the Techweek'17 programme has a strong focus on tech advancements in agriculture, and subsequently, in the future of food. 

What is the true potential value of the New Zealand food sector? Where are the opportunities around technology and R&D, and what impact can our food technology sector have globally? 

Speakers at Techweek'17 events will discuss why we need to challenge the current paradigm of the global food ecosystem, and how New Zealand can take advantage of these opportunities to make a global impact. They will also look at our philosophies around the origin of food - how we grow, cook, eat and share it, and shift our mindset toward the future of food.

Techweek offers a chance to engage with the likes of Ian Proudfoot, Head of Agri-business at KPMG Global, Rob Trice, Co-founder and Investor of the Mixing Bowl, San Francisco, and Angeline Achariya, CEO of the Food Innovation Centre, Monash University, Melbourne, who will all provide a glimpse into the future of the New Zealand food tech, and agtech, industries.

Techweek returns for a second year after a successful inaugural event series in Auckland in 2016, which saw more than 10,000 attendees learning and connecting at 50+ events. This year, Techweek is going nationwide with more than 100 events in all the major centres as well as regional towns like Rotorua, Tauranga, Hamilton, and Greymouth, among others.

Techweek exists to amplify New Zealand innovation that is good for the world, it is run by the tech ecosystem under the guardianship of not-for- profit NZTech and an establishment board of industry talent, all passionate about increasing New Zealand's prosperity. But Techweek isn't just about bringing international speakers to a New Zealand audience. It's also about providing a platform for New Zealand's brightest minds to talk about the issues close to their hearts.

Local speakers include Francis Valentine, founder of Tech Futures Lab and Chair of The Mind Lab by Unitec, Andrew Priest, Chief Executive of Ngai Tahu Farming, Dr Mark Billinghurst, augmented reality founder and engineer, Claudia Batten, NZTE regional director for North America, Alex Garkavenko, from New Zealand Cosmeceuticals and many more.

For a full list of the more than 100 speakers, please visit our website:

Techweek runs from May 6 to May 14.


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