Imagine being born with a condition that prevented you from communicating your thoughts and feelings with the world.
That’s the experience of hundreds of young Cantabrians, but thanks to the positive potential of technology and the big hearts of some local supporters, they’re finding their voices and leading fuller lives.
“Whether it’s kids learning to write code, technology helping them access learning opportunities, or inspiring future innovators, we’re excited to support causes using tech to do great things for young people,” says Abbie Reid, Special Projects Coordinator at Christchurch-based software development company, Media Suite.
Reid’s sentiment was echoed by the 700+ attendees at the recent Canterbury Tech Summit, where the theme of technology that’s good for the world was amplified by various exhibitors, sponsors and speakers.
Summit sponsor Media Suite were among the exhibitors, championing worthy causes with an innovative fundraiser for Kiwi children’s charities Ministry of Inspiration, Code Club Aotearoa and The Champion Centre.
Delegates were given a bright orange LEGO block representing a $10 donation and invited to place them on building board to mark the charity of their choice. Check out their blog here to see what happened next!
One of these charities is the Champion Centre, a Christchurch-based group dedicated to providing early intervention services to infants and young children with learning disabilities. The money raised contributed to the centre’s Computer Supported Learning Programme, which enables young people to express themselves with the aid of innovative technologies.
“The Champion Centre is a great cause, and really demonstrates the power technology can have to change lives,” Reid says. “We heard so many stories from conference participants whose family members or friends had benefited from the centre and the amazing work it does.”
ChristchurchNZ General Manager of Business & Innovation Richard Sandford says Christchurch has a growing reputation as an innovative technology hub, with a strong focus on technologies that make our world a better place to live.
“We’re home to many extraordinary Kiwis who are passionate about tech and its ability to make a difference where it’s needed most,” Sandford says.
Simon Wakelin, South Island Regional Sales Manager of summit sponsor, Vocus Communications, says enabling the next generation of young people to access information technologies will go a long way in ensuring they can reach their full potential.
“These community-focused initiatives are powerful investments that are reflective of the genuine desire of our local tech community to make a positive difference in the world,” Wakelin says.
The 2018 Canterbury Tech Summit attracted over 700 attendees from homegrown tech firms including Rocket Lab, Trineo, Cryptopia, RedShield Security, Skilitics, FaceMe, and more.