Standards setter offers star-studded line-up for New Zealand conference

GS1 New Zealand’s chief executive Dr Peter Stevens

Standards setter GS1 New Zealand’s first global-themed conference, CONNECT 2014, will take place in Auckland’s Langham Hotel on August 21, with an impressive line up of speakers from New Zealand and overseas. (See programme below)

GS1 New Zealand’s chief executive Dr Peter Stevens says that while it has had members' conferences in the past, GS1 New Zealand’s board thought that there were some big issues that needed to be discussed with some international movers and shakers.

“That’s why it’s about global thinking and thinking global. It’s about New Zealand’s place in the world: how New Zealand as an economy creates and captures value, particularly the relationship with innovation.”

GS1 is a global, not-for-profit standards and services organisation with offices in 110 countries, while GS1 New Zealand has about 5000 members and almost 40 employees.

“Our standards are mainly for identification, data capture and data sharing. We’re the guys who bought the barcode to the world 40 years ago this year, which is part of the reasons we are having this special one-day conference,” Dr Stevens says. 

“Our board is made up of general managers and CEOs from the likes of Fonterra, Foodstuffs, Progressive Enterprises, Pepsi, The Warehouse or Placemakers, for example. We have a very broad church.”

Dr Stevens says the over-riding theme of CONNECT 2014 is that, typically, New Zealand has sold products.

“Let’s call them atoms: we have moved atoms around, while we all know about the tyrannies of distance for New Zealand. But, increasingly, atoms and bits need to move together. So that’s one of themes: atoms and bits in the New Zealand economy that need to work together. 

“Someone like Xero, for example. Xero doesn’t move atoms – they move bits but are very innovative in what they see they can offer the world,” Dr Stevens says. 

CONNECT 2014 will present nine global thinkers on the future of markets and business (see programme attached), with a focus on three critical issues for New Zealand decision makers: 

China – What’s Next?  

Fonterra  - Director Business Transformation Philip Turner 

Financial Times  - Bejing Bureau Chief Jamil Anderlini 

Hangzhou WIT Assessment Co Ltd - Vice President Mr Lu

How does New Zealand capture value?

APEC Business Advisory Council - NZ Representative Tony Nowell

United States Department of Agriculture - Chief Information Officer (Agricultural Marketing Service) Douglas Bailey

Amazon.com - Former Chief Scientist Dr Andreas Weigend

Innovation: The ‘Secret Sauce’?

Callaghan Innovation - Chief Executive Dr Mary Quin

Xero - Global Head of Strategy Chris Teeling

Sir Ken Robinson - World-Renowned Speaker on creativity and innovation (note, will be on livestream from overseas)

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