The opening keynote was Andy Cunningham whose entertaining experiences working alongside Steve Jobs and insights into Getting to AHA! Positioning your company for global growth were very well received.
Three streams of sessions allowed attendees to focus on their preferred speakers in areas such as overseas business development, cyber security, drone intelligence, blockchain, design thinking, geospatial developments, user experience design, software development, digital innovation and transformation, team culture and sailing. Yes, you did read correctly... there was a session on how four tech companies helped bring home the America's Cup this year.
The AI Session - Opportunities for NZ, a panel discussion with Ben Reid, Erich Prem and Kathryn Hempstalk, brought everyone back to the Jade Software Hall for an interesting discussion before the late afternoon talks.
Closing keynote speaker, Ben Kepes, delivered a light hearted "Not the next Silicon Valley" presentation, pointing out the realities of an expensive and hectic Silicon Valley lifestyle, and reinforced the value of Kiwi ingenuity and NZ's unique approach to innovation. He encourages us to "be the best version of ourselves".
SIGNAL's exhibition site was busy all day with many of the 700 attendees checking in to connect and find out more about our in-work professional development programmes such as Xtend.
In his welcome, Canterbury Tech's Chair David Carter encouraged the group to invest in staff, to grow them as professionals and to therefore further grow NZ's tech sector. Mel Rowsell's talk on 'Building a great culture' also tied in strongly with staff investment... food for thought in a traditionally understaffed sector.
If you missed out on this year's Summit, don't worry as the team have kindly posted the videos onto the Canterbury Tech Summit YouTube channel, so be sure to check out the videos and definitely plan to attend next year's event, it is well worth it.