Kiwi Catherine Brands is the Microsoft global industry marketing director of retail and consumer goods, and was also one of the founding team members to launch Amazon Go – the world’s first grocery store without a checkout. This week, she spoke at the CX Conference 2019 about ‘P2P’ marketing and how companies, big and small, can ensure they’re placing people first.
Author Elly Strang
Simon Moutter has just wrapped up a seven-year tenure at Spark, where the changes the company has gone through under his reign are nothing short of radical. From its name change (Telecom to Spark) and its operating model (traditional to agile), to its culture (publically called out to inclusive) and its structure (monopoly brand to many). Elly Strang sat down with Moutter had a candid chat about his journey to CEO and how one of his biggest lessons was he couldn’t solve a culture issue with process and strategy.
When the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction report was released in December last year, it painted a grim picture. “New Zealand is experiencing a rising tide of mental distress and addiction,” it said. “The cost of poor mental wellbeing and addiction is high. It is a high cost to individuals, families and whānau, businesses and organisations, communities, government and the country as a whole.” While the spotlight has been shone on specific demographics, one sector that is also toiling under pressure is our creative industries. We all know the squeeze of creative work well: late nights, long hours, client demands, unrealistic deadlines, impostor syndrome, self-criticism. This, coupled with the sensitive disposition creative people tend to have, often creates an environment where mental health issues can flourish. However, these people also have a talent for communicating ideas at a time when New Zealand has a base-level awareness of the problem, but not a deeper understanding or the tools to fix it. In part two, Elly Strang talks to the new wave of creators who are coming up with inspiring solutions to confront our mental health problem head on.
When the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction report was released in December last year, it painted a grim picture. “New Zealand is experiencing a rising tide of mental distress and addiction,” it said. “The cost of poor mental wellbeing and addiction is high. It is a high cost to individuals, families and whānau, businesses and organisations, communities, government and the country as a whole.” While the spotlight has been shone on specific demographics, one sector that is also toiling under pressure is our creative industries. We all know the squeeze of creative work well: late nights, long hours, client demands, unrealistic deadlines, impostor syndrome, self-criticism. This, coupled with the sensitive disposition creative people tend to have, often creates an environment where mental health issues can flourish. In part one of a series, Elly Strang looks at the scale of the mental health problem in New Zealand’s creative industries.
Creative agency Augusto and 23-year-old film maker and Voices of Hope co-founder Jazz Thornton have joined forces to kickstart a conversation around youth suicide. The duo have recently released Jessica’s Tree, a web documentary series hosted on the NZ Herald and Youtube that examines the last 24 hours of the life of Jessica, one of Thornton’s friends who took her own life. The series carefully balances tragedy and hope, and has been produced by Augusto and directed by Thornton. Here, Thornton and Augusto executive producer Cass Avery talk telling this sensitive story, social advocacy and using a creative medium to create change.
Traditional agencies and brand strategists may be a luxury only big companies can afford, but that might be set to change if James Hurman has anything to do with it. After two years in the making, the Previously Unavailable founder has just launched Storytech, an online platform that takes small to medium businesses through an online, do-it-your-self brand strategy process and helps them come out the other end with an exciting story to tell. Idealog talked with Hurman about why New Zealand entrepreneurs and start-ups often struggle to tell – and sell – their story.
Design Work is a new podcast hosted by New Zealand designer Kate Darby that interviews trailblazing creatives from all over the globe about how they design and how they embrace new modes of working, which will be hosted on Idealog over the coming weeks. The Idealog team sat down with Darby to chat about what inspired her to start the podcast, the gig economy and what it means for designers, and the key lessons she’s learnt along the way while conducting the interviews.
It’s not often you stumble across a nine-year-old hosting a business podcast, but then again, most nine-year-olds aren’t like self-proclaimed budding entrepreneur Eliah (Eli) Smit.
Following on from a protest on gender equality at the 2018 Best Awards, the organisers have created a directory that aims to showcase a diverse range of women designers from Aotearoa living anywhere in the world, of all social, cultural and ethnic backgrounds. As well as this, a series of workshops on diversity in design being hosted by DINZ and Design Assembly are about to kick off around the country. We talk with the Designers Speak (Up) founders about the movement to make New Zealand’s design community more inclusive.
From a calming, machine-learning led interactive experience at Starship Children’s Hospital, to the story of a goat that acts as anti-bullying initiative and teaches children the effect their actions can have, the best in New Zealand design was crowned at the 2018 Best Awards on the weekend – and a discussion about gender equality in design has been brought to the industry’s attention. Here are the supreme winners, and a statement from the Designers Institute of New Zealand (DINZ) CEO Cathy Veninga on the protests that took place.
For Conservation Week this week, social enterprise Squawk Squad and virtual reality studio M Theory have joined forces to go into the classroom and get children excited about saving New Zealand’s native birds through VR technology. The experience takes the viewer through a forest journey alongside a robin bird, who encountering friends and predators along the way.
Airbnb has launched a new feature – Experiences – in New Zealand for the first time, allowing entrepreneurial local hosts to put forward niche experiences people can’t find anywhere else. Idealog talks with New Zealand company manager Sam McDonagh about what this new feature means, how hosts can use the platform to become micro-entrepreneurs, and more.
Realityvirtual’s Simon Che de Boer recently had a hand in documenting one of the world’s most ancient civilisations in VR. And now, he’s keen to get to work on his passion project: local cultural preservation work of the Christchurch Cathedral. He wants to resurrect the old Cathedral in VR using publicly sourced photography, so is putting out a call to the public to submit any photos or videos they have of the building pre-earthquake, and using deep learning, a company can fill in the missing data and build a VR experience around this.
As part of Idealog’s coverage of Vivid Sydney, editor Elly Strang headed along to Semi-Permanent Sydney to soak in some creative inspiration from heavyweights in the creative fields. One of those was none other than Nike’s vice president of creative concepts, Tinker Hatfield. Here’s some key takeaways on design from the man himself.
To showcase the talents of its design community, Idealog magazine teamed up with Blunt and Generator to launch the Blunt + Idealog + Generator Umbrella Experiment. I asked Kiwis to submit an umbrella design and winner Bonnie Brown of Studio Bon will now see her design turned into a limited edition Blunt umbrella. Watch this space for details on how to buy one in the near future, or get your pre-order in now. In the meantime, we chat with Brown and have a closer look at her winning design.
Former managing director of 99 now medical cannabis entrepreneur Paul Manning has a chat with Idealog about his new company, Helius Therapeutics, and the opportunities for entrepreneurs who are keen to get involved in this new sector.
When Ecoware begun selling its compostable food packaging in 2011, it was a bit of an uphill slog. Words like ‘sustainability’ and ‘the circular economy’ were concepts that hadn’t quite made it into the mainstream vernacular yet, while companies were under no real pressure to change their practices to become more environmentally friendly – but times have changed in 2018. Co-founder James Calver talks the change in attitudes, as well as the changes that still need to happen.
The circular economy is a hot concept these days, so what better way to embrace this concept than to make food packaging edible, too? Better Burger is serving up burgers this Sunday (aka Earth Day) in one-off packaging made from wafer paper and edible ink.
There’s no question design is having a moment. Fortune 500 companies are hiring chief design officers and investing in design and innovation centres, and even traditional corporates are getting in on the action. At the forefront of this is Silicon Valley-based Airbnb, the online marketplace for people to lease short-term accommodation. Founded by designers Joe Gebbia and Brian Chesky and co-founder Nathan Blecharczyk in 2008, the company is now a behemoth, valued at US$31 billion and located in 190 countries. On a recent trip to Auckland for the Better By Design CEO Summit, Airbnb’s Jenny Arden (an IDEO, Google and YouTube alumni) chats with us all things design.
Two of the owners of Auckland creative agency Motion Sickness have been dabbling outside of their usual day-to-day activities to photograph and write the book Hideaways, a guide to a variety of beautiful and remote huts, baches and caravans to escape to around the country.
Spotify has revolutionised the access consumers have to music through its technology, but behind the machine, there’s humans like Spotify Australia and New Zealand senior music editor Alicia Sbrugnera helping craft playlists to people’s different wants and needs. We went behind the interface and spoke to her about how this algorithm and playlist curation business really works.
After battling requests for a line of shoes made for kids, Allbirds has given the punters what they desire and launched a limited edition children’s footwear range called Smallbirds. And in the spirit of creative overachieving, co-founder Joey Zwillinger has written a children’s picture book about a sheep called Sadie Shaves the Day that will be given out for free with each purchase of a pair of shoes.
Invercargill is well known for its wide ‘Parisian’ boulevards, infamous mayor, the world’s Southern-most McDonalds (we think), an abundance of oysters and cheese rolls, as well as the highest incidence of R-rolling in the country. However, the city hasn’t ever established a lasting brand identity, and locals decided the time had come to figure out what the town stood for. Designer Tim Christie talks us through the Invercargill brand’s new “stoic” look and feel.
A New Zealand-created app that auctions items by dropping the prices during a 60-second countdown is about to take on the lucrative US sporting market. We chat with Dropit co-founder Peter Howell about how the app works, as well as why it’s setting its sights on international markets.
With the digital revolution upon us changing the way we work, live and play, the employment outlook for digital professionals is bright. The 2017 Digital Remuneration Report breaks down the incomes of different roles within the industry in Aotearoa, as well as how we fare against our Australian counterparts.
There’s nothing like a global scandal to shake a company to its very foundations. Volkswagen New Zealand’s general manager Tom Ruddenklau shares what the New Zealand arm of the car dealer has learnt from operating in a crisis, and how it got to be in a position where it is now stronger and better performing than ever.
Globelet’s mission from five years ago remains unchanged: To rid the world of disposable cups and drink bottles. But the ambitions of founder, Ryan Everton, span beyond being just that ‘cup company’ that supplies festivals with reusables: he wants to create a system in New Zealand cities that will change the way consumers consume; a revolution of sorts.
Product and company rebrands are an almost-daily occurrence across the industry, but redesigning a political party is a rarer task, usually restricted to an election year. And as Double Denim and designer Jarred Bishop recently learnt, tinkering with a political brand carries great weight.
Last week, international shoe brand Nike celebrated 30-years of its Air Max shoes by teaming up with a group of young New Zealand creatives who it picked to push the envelope of design and showcase what they do best. One of those selected was illustrator Andrew J Steel, who picked up his pen and created some magic for the brand. Elly Strang talks to him about what it’s like to work with a global brand like Nike, and what’s next on the horizon.
It’s been nine years since mens’ clothing label I Love Ugly shook up the fashion scene in New Zealand and since then, there’s been highs and lows along the way. After keeping a low profile for the past year, the brand is back with a vengeance – and a collaboration with global sneaker giant Onitsuka Tiger.