The Red Sofa is back for 2019! We're diving deep into the other side of business... The sins of success! In the world we live in today, everyone is a mentor which means that there is a whole lot of information sharing going on.... but to whose detriment?
At this next Red Sofa, we put our panel in the hot seat and get them to help us sift through the clutter of advice to find the gems, and to avoid the sins!
Dr. Robbie Francis - The Lucy Foundation
Dr Robbie Francis is a disability advocate, scholar and leader from Auckland, New Zealand. Born with a physical disability, Robbie has dedicated her personal, professional and academic life to advocating for the rights of marginalised populations. She is the co-founder and Director of The Lucy Foundation, an international social enterprise advocating for disability inclusion within the global coffee industry. Robbie recently completed her doctorate at the University of Otago, where her research investigated inclusive and accessible peace building and the experiences of disabled Colombian and Venezuelan refugees and asylum seekers in Ecuador. Robbie sits on two governance boards, has been an expert advisor to the New Zealand Government on various strategies and policies, and also works as a senior researcher at the Donald Beasley Institute where she is monitoring the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in New Zealand.
Glenn Marvin - Konnector
Glenn is someone who has been close to death on more than one occasion. Formerly a police constable, Glenn turned to the corporate world after two major life events; and knew that he had an unwavering desire to make a positive difference in others lives every single day. He moved up the ladder very quickly, becoming Managing Partner of SureFire Search. Glenn then turned to helping small business owners, and so Konnector was born.
Nikora Ngaropo (Te Rarawa, Tuhoe, Ngati Porou, Ngati Kahungungu) - Managing Director and Founder - Nikora Ngaropo Motion & Design [NNMD] Young Animators
Nikora began his career in 2001 when selected to be part of the Māori-Pacific Scholarship program created in partnership with the Ministry of Transport and creative agency Clemenger BBDO. This was the first initiative of its kind for Māori. The program worked to change behaviour through multi-media channels.
In 2002, Nikora began work on New Zealand’s first Māori 3D animated television show. As a result, he was selected by the Ministry of Education to be a role model and front-person for Te Mana, a three-year national role modelling initiative aimed at motivating and inspiring Māori to take part and excel in all forms of education.
Subsequently, Nikora moved to Wellington, where he worked at Sir Richard Taylor’s world renowned Weta Workshop – as 3D Modelling Lead and then Head of 3D Modelling Department on ‘Jane and the Dragon’. He then went onto Sir Peter Jackson’s Weta Digital – working on many major projects such as James Cameron’s Avatar, The Hobbit, Planet of the Apes trilogy as a Technical Director.
In 2015, Nikora was appointed National Manager of Creative services for Te Wānanga o Aotearoa – the second largest tertiary provider in New Zealand. During this time, he led the rebrand of the organisation. His work was awarded Silver in the New Zealand Best Design Awards, behind Air New Zealand.
In 2016, Nikora founded NNMD and Young Animators, a Māori-led Design & Animation technology business. The company aspire to enable capability and capacity to all peoples of Aotearoa New Zealand through education and technological enablement.
Under Nikora’s leadership, NNMD was awarded the Ka Hao Technology funding for 2016-2017. This was a joint initiative between Te Puni Kōkiri (Ministry of Maori Development) and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).
In 2018, Nikora adapted Young Animators [YA] to become a mobile animation education initiative targeted at rural communities all over Aotearoa New Zealand and beyond, to raise digital literacy. This initiative uses animation to capture the imagination of rangatahi [the youth] and expand their knowledge, skills, career opportunities and pathways. The initiative covers communities across the breadth of the country and was a finalist in the New Zealand Hi-Tech Awards 2018 for its impact.
In April 2018, Nikora also lead NNMD and Young Animators along with 11 other partners to launch Kia Takatu a Matihiko – The National Digital Readiness programme for 44,000 teachers around the country from the Ministry of Education. Nikora leads the core team to design and implement this programme nationwide.
Outside of the education sector, NNMD is designing software to enable large scale Augmented Reality (AR) & Virtual Reality (VR) implementations.
At the end of 2018, Nikora was selected to represent New Zealand in two international technology business delegations. The first was as part of Te Tira Whakangoi (T3W) which travelled to the United Kingdom then to Ireland, to research the tech ecosystem and evaluate pathways to align government, local government and entrepreneurship for New Zealand business. The second was to Vietnam as part of the Asia New Zealand Foundation’s Young Business Leaders Initiative (YBLI) delegation to explore the Asian market for potential business opportunities.
In 2019, NNMD and Young Animators were awarded TPK’s Ka Hao funding again. For the implementation of Young Animators 2019, all students will be working on commercial projects starting first with language and cultural revitalisation.
Today, Nikora continues to lead with his work in commercial and public sectors as the Managing Director of NNMD.
Together with others, he is creating a multi-tiered multi-faceted technology ecosystem, educating New Zealand’s future workforce and providing sustainable pathways into the technology industry. As part of this work, NNMD are in discussions with the Canadian and Australian governments about creating a pipeline to provide international pathways into Canada and Australia for students of Young Animators.