Chelsey Stewart (Hamilton City Council)

1. What role do you play in the local/NZ tech sector?

I lead Hamilton City Council’s Smart Hamilton programme

2. What is your favourite habit to keep up to date with the latest technology trends? 

Being a host at the Smart Space. All walks of life come through the Space with different experiences and areas of interest when it comes to tech – we can learn so much from talking with people outside our normal spheres who we might not normally cross paths with.

3.What are your priorities as a tech enthusiast/leader?

Ensuring we understand the ‘why’ behind our use of tech and the real needs of people and that these remain at the centre of everything we pursue. In my mind, technology is primarily an enabler for the achievement of better outcomes for real people. Challenging the digital divide at every chance and encouraging tech that is truly accessible - wrapping benefits around even those who can not or choose not to plug into it – is important to me.

4. What advise would you give to young people wanting to get into careers in tech? 

It’s simple really – focus on what you love doing, only compare yourself to you in terms of progress, and don’t think about it as technology on its own but as the opportunity to make a real difference, to real people, in real ways. 

5. What in your opinion are the greatest opportunities and challenges the technology sector faces in the Waikato/NZ?

Both the greatest challenge and opportunity is the great diversity of actors we have in the Waikato in the innovation and technology sector. Competition is good but collaboration, letting each do what they’re best at and then leveraging each others strengths, will make us collectively stronger.


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