18 September 2018
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.
“There’s a lot of us in the tech community who are trying to find ways to use, design and build technology in ways that help the world,” says Abbie Reid, Studio Manager at Christchurch-based design 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 a cause that’s close to their hearts with an innovative fundraiser for local children’s charities.
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.
One of these charities was The Champion Centre, a Christchurch-based group dedicated to providing early intervention services to infants and young children with 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.
“Some children may never speak and may need to use a computer as primary means of communication,” Reid says. “For other children, the computer is an exciting and highly successful means to enable them to develop the skills needed to access learning opportunities.”
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 ordinary 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 speakers from homegrown tech firms including Rocket Lab, Trineo, Cryptopia, RedShield Security, Skilitics, FaceMe, and more.