Story image

Unitec’s Tech Futures Lab and The Mind Lab make key appointments to continue rapid growth

16 Aug 17

Tech Futures Lab and The Mind Lab by Unitec have expanded the depth and breadth of their team with three key additions.

Louise Webster, Craig Hilton and Lorraine Guerin will help to deliver new initiatives including ‘Driving Innovation’ (as an Approved Supplier of Callaghan Innovation) and an agritech focus added to the Tech Futures Lab Master of Applied Practice (Technological Futures).

Louise Webster will join Tech Futures Lab as general manager next month, providing maternity cover for Sarah Hindle.

Craig Hilton works across both organisations as national academic director, and Lorraine Guerin has joined as national operations and projects manager across both organisations.

Collectively Webster, Hilton and Guerin have decades of experience in education, digital transformation and innovation.

Webster brings more than 14 years’ experience in strategic planning, market and channel development, as well as people management.

As founder and CEO of the NZ Innovation Council, Webster is embedded in New Zealand’s innovation ecosystem and grew that organisation to more than 4,000 members, as well as an interactive network that now reaches over 3.4 million people in New Zealand and beyond every year.

Webster says, “I am excited about helping to build the Tech Futures Lab community and work with the team to help business leaders apply innovation and technology to grow and develop their business models, processes and business culture.”

Joining from Unitec Institute of Technology, Hilton brings a variety of skills to the table as an educator, scientist and artist.

He holds a PhD in genetics and biochemistry and an MFA at the Elam School of Fine Arts.

He has worked in arts, biochemistry, higher education and technology and has held roles in academic institutions in New Zealand and the United States.

On his new role, Hilton says, “It is an immense privilege to work alongside an incredible team. We need to have robust discussions about technology in the context of our changing world. Tech Futures Lab is a great environment for these kinds of debates.”

Guerin is responsible for managing key projects across both The Mind Lab and Tech Futures Lab, including building and updating digital assets and setting up new programmes.

Guerin will also assist both general managers with overall operations and anything else the team needs.

Guerin began her career in digital publishing and has held various project management roles.

She joins from Saatchi & Saatchi, where she managed a team of digital experts.

Guerin holds a Bachelor of Computing & Mathematical Sciences from the University of Waikato.

“When I saw what The Mind Lab was doing to educate teachers and kids, and Tech Futures Lab with businesses and individuals, I knew I had to get involved,” Guerin says.

In addition to these appointments, last month Sarah Hindle, Tech Futures lab general manager, was appointed to the NZTech board representing SME Businesses.

Hindle will provide insight into how small to medium businesses in New Zealand are responding to the challenge and opportunity of digital disruption.

She aspires to bring a focus to agritech and the future of food in New Zealand.

Tech Futures Lab and The Mind Lab by Unitec have grown steadily over the past year, developing forward-thinking programmes and impacting the lives of people around the country – both educators, students and business people striving to be innovative in our fast-paced world.

How blockchain will impact NZ’s economy
Distributed ledgers and blockchain are anticipated to provide a positive uplift to New Zealand’s economy.
25% of malicious emails still make it through to recipients
Popular email security programmes may fail to detect as much as 25% of all emails with malicious or dangerous attachments, a study from Mimecast says.
Human value must be put back in marketing - report
“Digital is now so widely adopted that its novelty has worn off. In their attempt to declutter, people are being more selective about which products and services they incorporate into their daily lives."
Wine firm uses AR to tell its story right on the bottle
A Central Otago wine company is using augmented reality (AR) and a ‘digital first’ strategy to change the way it builds its brand and engages with customers.
DigiCert conquers Google's distrust of Symantec certs
“This could have been an extremely disruptive event to online commerce," comments DigiCert CEO John Merrill. 
Protecting organisations against internal fraud
Most companies tend to take a basic approach that focuses on numbers and compliance, without much room for grey areas or negotiation.
Telesmart to deliver Cloud Calling for Microsoft Teams
The integration will allow Telesmart’s Cloud Calling for Microsoft Teams to natively enable external voice connectivity from within Teams collaborative workflow environment.
Jade Software & Ambit take chatbots to next level of AI
“Conversation Agents present a huge opportunity to increase customer and employee engagement in a cost-effective manner."