Canterbury teachers named for inaugural disruptive technology fellowship


Ten motivated secondary school educators from across Canterbury have been named as the inaugural cohort of Boma NZ Education Fellows.

Through intensive workshops, educational experiences centered on exponential change and technology, and an international field trip, the Boma NZ Education Fellows will work on projects that leverage exponential technology to transform learning outcomes for their students and wider school communities.

The programme will run for three years as a partnership between Boma New Zealand and Christchurch Airport.

Boma New Zealand founder and CEO Kaila Colbin says, “We feel both privileged and excited to offer the Education Fellows programme. As educators, the Fellows are already on a mission to transform learning for young people. Our ambition is to turbo-charge that mission and support them to have the biggest possible impact on the next generation.”

By ensuring their projects are scalable, repeatable, measurable, and adaptable, the Boma NZ Education Fellows will create tangible outcomes that can be shared with others in the wider education community across New Zealand and beyond. All projects will be freely available under a Creative Commons license for any other educators to replicate, remix and repurpose.

The programme is supported by Christchurch Airport as part of its social contribution to the community. Chief Executive Malcolm Johns says, “We believe New Zealand is approaching a generational interchange moment. Our children are truly the first generation of the digital era and they need us to understand that the world they are growing into is not the same as the world we grew into.”

“We make it our mission to partner with a number of innovative companies to disrupt our own world at Christchurch Airport. We believe the 3 D’s—digitisation, data, and disruption—will reshape how our business operates and the types of people we will need to make it work in the future. That’s why it’s so important to make an investment in the next generation of Christchurch and Canterbury.”

Colbin says, “Christchurch Airport understands a simple yet powerful formula: an investment in educators equals an investment in young people equals an investment in the future of Ōtautahi Christchurch and Aotearoa New Zealand.”

The inaugural cohort of Boma NZ Education Fellows—selected via a rigorous application process—is:

Jackie Brown, Mount Hutt College

Josh Campbell, Burnside High School

Lisa Heald, Riccarton High School

Bronwyn Hoy, Rolleston College

Josh Hough, Ara Institute of Canterbury

Tim Kelly, Hurunui College

Brad Milne, St Thomas of Canterbury College

Alicia Poroa, Haeata Community Campus

Jacqueline Yoder, Linwood College

Tamara Yuill Proctor, Hagley College

International Boma NZ summit to help Aotearoa’s food and fibre sector thrive amidst exponential change

A future-thinking agriculture summit will bring together global and local experts on future farming trends, exponential change, and new business models and product pathways. The summit, called Grow 2019, is designed to help Aotearoa’s food and fibre sector be more innovative, collaborative, sustainable and profitable now and into the future.

Organiser Kaila Colbin says the two-day summit is an opportunity to learn about the future trends that are impacting the agriculture sector, and what to do about them, in a practical way, from people on the ground. Grow 2019 will also connect groups of like-minded individuals and organisations so that together we can understand, adapt and grow in a future that looks nothing like today.

“Our aim is to bring together people from all across New Zealand’s food and fibre sector—including farmers, producers, innovators, researchers, educators, students, those working in government and finance—and empower them to take action. Throughout the two days, attendees will be exposed to case studies from credible people: who’s tried it, what worked, what didn’t, what’s just a flash in the pan and what’s going to be sustainable into the future.”  

Boma New Zealand is the local partner of the global Boma network, helping individuals, businesses, and organisations navigate our rapidly changing world so that we can be more intentional and intelligent about the future we’re creating.

“What are the technologies that can transform our farming practices? What are the technologies that are going to radically disrupt us? What are the business models we should be exploring? How should we think about new product development? These are the kinds of questions we need to be asking, and these are the kinds of topics we’ll be covering at Grow 2019,” says Colbin.

Some of the speakers already confirmed include: Abi Ramanan, CEO & Cofounder of Impact Vision, a food tech company using hyperspectral images to optimise food chain processes and prevent food waste across the globe; Zenia Tata, Chief Impact Officer of XPRIZE Foundation, an organisation that catalyses radical breakthroughs that benefit humanity globally through incentivised competitions; Raymond McCauley, scientist, engineer, and biohacker who works at the forefront of biotechnology; Cherrie Atilano, founder and CEO of AGREA Agricultural Systems International, Inc., an agri-social enterprise working to digitalise agriculture and create sustainable and diversified sources of income for farmers and their families; Tim Cannon, founder and CEO of Livestock Labs, the startup behind EmbediVet, an implantable health tracker for for livestock, working to reduce farmers' costs for herd care and management; and Grant Ryan, local serial inventor and founder of The Cacophony Project, a project to make New Zealand predator-free by 2035.

More speakers will be announced in the coming months.

Colbin says that while Grow 2019 will attract many of today’s sector leaders, the Summit is also focused on attracting the next generation—those who have the most capacity to change the world.

“The great thing about the summit is that we’ve been able to collaborate with innovative partners like Te Hono and Blinc Innovation, to identify supportive pathways and networks for action after our event. It’s not enough to know what the exponential changes affecting the sector are—we have to learn what to do with them and how the sector can collaborate and thrive together in the future as well,” she says.

Grow 2019 will be held at Horncastle Arena in Christchurch from 10-11 April 2019.  More event detail at:

Boma NZ Education Fellows Launches in Canterbury


We’re so excited and proud to announce the launch of this incredible programme!

Over the course of 2019, 2020, and 2021, Boma New Zealand will enable three groups of 10 motivated, Canterbury-based secondary school educators to become Boma NZ Education Fellows, powered by Christchurch Airport.

What is it?  A free, year-long programme providing an incredible opportunity for motivated educators to bring exponential thinking, technology, and innovative leadership into their schools.

How will it work? Boma NZ Education Fellows will participate in some pretty awesome experiences—including intensive workshops, monthly dinners & check-ins, and even an overseas trip to Chicago, San Francisco, and San Diego to experience technology, environmental sustainability, health, design and project-based learning in action—all designed to run outside of school hours (on public and school holidays throughout the year).

Ultimately, the Fellows will create hands-on projects to create real impact in their secondary schools, communities, and beyond.

Who should apply? Canterbury-based secondary school educators! These could be teachers, heads of departments, deputy principals, principals, etc.
If you're a Canterbury-based secondary school educator, we're awaiting your application! :)

Check out the full nitty gritty and apply here. Applications close 19 October 2018.

Sold Out Impact Dinners in Wellington, Christchurch, and Auckland!

Earlier this month, Boma New Zealand Faculty Members Melissa Clark-Reynolds and Chris Clay, along with Boma New Zealand founder Kaila Colbin hosted the first ever Boma NZ Impact Dinners in Wellington, Auckland, and Christchurch respectively.

Impact Dinners - Sold Out.png

Dinner attendees were treated to deliciously-crafted meals from the chefs at Hippopotamus in Wellington, Orphans Kitchen in Auckland, and Gatherings in Christchurch.

At each dinner—modeled on the Jeffersonian dinner—the conversation was facilitated by our Boma host to focus on a single topic. For these inaugural Impact Dinners, the topic was the future of food. Attendees each shared opinions, comments, and ideas on what this might be and where ideas around this—trends, business models, consumer habits, personal practices, etc.—are headed.

While not everyone agreed on everything that was covered (it would have been boring and counter productive if they had), the feedback from participants was overwhelmingly positive. Check out some of the comments we received below:

“Real and important - forums like this allow topics to be explored as just who you are...not what your job is. Refreshing. Thank you.”

“I felt like I came away more aware of the many perspectives and challenges surrounding the future of food. It is clear that food is intrinsically linked to so many other aspects of the world which makes the future of food such an important and interesting discussion topic.”

“The future of food was a perfect topic, especially as we were enjoying the marvels of the chef at Gatherings. It's a topic that every food eating human should be concerned about and it was refreshing to hear views from every angle. Naturally you start talking about food and the conversation meanders around sustainability and carbon and enterprise. It was organic and always brought back to food in unexpected ways. I didn't expect to have my own views challenged but I did, they changed and I walked away thinking genetic modification might just be one of the tools we need to build a sustainable future.“

Stay in the loop for your next chance to nab an Impact Dinner ticket by subscribing to our event updates and news in the footer of our website, and check out our upcoming events to see what else is on!

Our first Boma Fishbowl was awesome!

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The thing we were most struck by is what people wanted to talk about: not technology, but humanity—and the impact that technological trends are having on our lives and relationships. 

Check out some of the feedback we received about the event:

“I really wasn't sure what to expect, but thought it was an incredibly interesting evening, and can see this growing into something incredibly powerful. The topic this time was deliberately broad, but in future I can see the topic being tightened right down which will lead to actions. It was a great night—I loved it .”

“One of my favourite events ever! The level of dialogue, respectful kawa, pace and momentum all delivered a 100% engaging event.”

“Great way to have free-flowing, focused discussion whilst engaging all in listening and/or contributing.”

Stay tuned for more Fishbowl events—now called Boma NZ Campfire events—coming up in the near future!

Global learning initiative Boma launches in New Zealand

Originally published in The Press 27 July 2018.

Kaila Colbin, co-founder of Boma, said the new learning initiative was about being "more intentional and intelligent about the future we are creating".

Kaila Colbin, co-founder of Boma, said the new learning initiative was about being "more intentional and intelligent about the future we are creating".

A new global learning initiative with links to New Zealand sets out to walk the walk while talking the talk to help solve future problems on a huge scale.

Boma launched in Christchurch on Thursday. Christchurch-based Kaila Colbin is one of four partners who started the organisation.

Colbin said Boma will deliver a range of learning events discussing technological, geopolitical, economic and social change, as well as climate change.

Boma co-founders from left, Michel Levy-Provencal, Lara Stein, Stephan Balzer, and Kaila Colbin. Colbin said Boma's events were "designed explicitly to generate tangible impact and outcomes, creating a better, more sustainable, and more human-centred future".

Boma co-founders from left, Michel Levy-Provencal, Lara Stein, Stephan Balzer, and Kaila Colbin. Colbin said Boma's events were "designed explicitly to generate tangible impact and outcomes, creating a better, more sustainable, and more human-centred future".

When these "vectors of change" combine, humanity is faced with "a future that is highly uncertain and ambiguous", she said.

Boma's events will range from free community events, to corporate training, to Jeffersonian-style "impact dinners" where groups gather to debate particularly "thorny" topics.

"We need to have more robust ways of dealing with this uncertain and ambiguous future, so we can be more intentional and intelligent about the future we are creating," Colbin said.

"Boma is specifically focused on these vectors of change affecting our future, and all the work we do on our events is designed towards outcomes rather than ideas."

Colbin is co-founder of the Ministry of Awesome, director of ChristchurchNZ, curator of SingularityU New Zealand and has held the Christchurch licence for TEDx events since before the earthquakes.

Last year, she ran a TEDx event at Scott Base, Antarctica.

Joining her as Boma co-founders are TEDx founder Lara Stein, TEDxBerlin founder Stephan Balzer, and TEDxParis founder Michel Lévy-Provençal.

"It's pretty cool that this global organisation has started from Germany, France, the United States and Ōtautahi Christchurch," she said.

"The organisation is self-funded right now by the founders, and the offerings we will have range from free events for the community to paid events that people attend."

Christchurch's first Boma event would be a "fishbowl" discussion on August 23. It would be free and open to the public to attend and participate.

Colbin said there would be an impact dinner at about the same time, but the date had yet to be confirmed.

"Our industry summits and conferences, executive education, and customised programmes are designed explicitly to generate tangible impact and outcomes, creating a better, more sustainable, and more human-centred future," Colbin said.

Boma was launched globally in Paris on July 4. It launched in Auckland and Wellington earlier this week. 

More details of Boma events are available on its website.

Kaila Colbin: Forget preparing for the future, we need to create it

Originally published in The Press, 26 July 2018

Understanding exponential change will help us make more intelligent decisions about New Zealand's future. Kaila Colbin explains.

In Shanghai, China, there lives a factory belonging to It's an e-commerce outfit, competitor to the likes of Amazon and Alibaba, and this factory is one of their fulfilment centres. It encompasses 10,000 square metres and processes 200,000 orders per day with 99.99 per cent accuracy.

It has four staff.

In May in North America, a company called eXp Realty joined the Nasdaq stock exchange. They have more than 12,000 property brokers operating in more than 300 markets in the US and Canada, selling real property in the real world.

They don't have a single office, operating instead exclusively on a virtual campus along the lines of a Second Life.

Their market cap is in excess of NZ$1 billion.

These are just two examples of the way exponentially accelerating technologies are transforming our world.

Exponential technologies are technologies where the price-performance – how much performance you get for your dollar – doubles on a consistent basis. In computing, for example, "price-performance" refers to the number of instructions per second you can buy for $1000.

In genetic engineering, "price-performance" refers to the cost to sequence a genome. We're seeing doubling in artificial intelligence, energy, biotechnology and more.

The difference between linear progress and exponential progress is hard to wrap your head around. Take 30 linear steps, and you've gone 30 metres; take 30 doubling steps, and you're 26 times around the planet. 

Exponential technological progress is why the artificial intelligence AlphaGo was able to beat world champion Lee Sedol at the immensely complex game of Go, fully a decade before researchers expected it to happen.

It's why self-driving cars have gone from being a flight of Google's fancy to an inevitable future of transport in just a few years. It's why plant-based protein has suddenly become price-competitive.

These technologies affect every aspect of our lives, from the economy to government to education to health care and beyond. But the disruptions coming our way go well beyond technology. We're also experiencing geopolitical change, economic change, social change, climate change. And all of these vectors of change are converging to create a future that is highly uncertain and ambiguous.

We'd be foolish to try to respond to these dramatic changes using yesterday's thinking. And yet often our first response to disruption is to ask, "How can we adapt so that we can keep doing what we've been doing?"

Kaila Colbin is well known in Christchurch as a co-founder of the Ministry of Awesome and the curator of TedxChristchurch. She's now co-founder of Boma Global and the CEO of Boma New Zealand.

If we have a big company, how can we adapt so we can keep having a big company? If we run a school, how can we adapt so that students keep coming to learn from us?

But we need to be smarter about this. We need to ask questions from first principles: What is the purpose of the corporation? What is the purpose of education? Is this the best way to structure society? How should we define success?

These are difficult questions with no correct answer, but they are among the most critical questions of our time. 

When Air New Zealand offers Impossible Foods burgers, instead of saying, "How dare you? This is an insult to our beef and lamb industry", we should be saying, "Wow! The Impossible burger is now so well accepted that Air New Zealand is offering it to its premium customers".

"What does this mean for our beef and lamb industry? Is this the best industry for us to be in? If so, how can we maintain a premium position in a world where vegan alternatives to meat are starting to gain mainstream traction? If not, how can we transition so that our farmers have viable and profitable pathways to continue to thrive? And how do our ethical and environmental responsibilities and aspirations factor into this?"

These are not technological questions. These are questions that require us to think hard about who we are, who we want to be, and what we're willing to do to get there.

Along with a group of my international colleagues and counterparts, we've launched a new venture, Boma, to tackle these questions. But these questions are bigger than any one organisation or institution. This is about our shared future. We should all be involved in the conversation.

People often ask me whether I'm optimistic or pessimistic about the future. To me, the question fundamentally mischaracterises the future. The future isn't some static thing, out there waiting to happen to us. The future is created by us, by the sum of the choices we make every day. It's time for all of us to come together and make more intentional, intelligent decisions about the future we're creating.

What kind of future do you want?

❑ Kaila Colbin is the co-founder of Boma Global and the CEO of Boma New Zealand. She is based in Christchurch. 

 - Stuff

New Zealand Partner Launches New Global Learning Network

International entrepreneurs recently announced the launch of Boma, a new global learning and impact network for local decision and change makers.

Boma’s transformational learning experiences are linked directly to outcomes to drive change at a global scale. Headquartered in New York with founding partners in France, Germany and New Zealand, Boma plans to build a global network of partners in 50 countries within 5 years.

New Zealander Kaila Colbin, curator of TEDxChristchurch and the SingularityU New Zealand and Australia Summits, is a founding partner of the new venture. She is joined by TEDx founder Lara Stein, TEDxBerlin founder Stephan Balzer, and TEDxParis founder Michel Lévy-Provençal.

Boma New Zealand, the local country partner of the global network, launches next week with events in Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch, with the company’s main operations currently based in Christchurch.

“Boma’s offerings will help individuals, institutions and organizations navigate the many vectors of change affecting our future -- technological, geopolitical, social, environmental, structural and economic,” says Kaila Colbin. “Our industry summits and conferences, executive education, and customized programs are designed explicitly to generate tangible impact and outcomes, creating a better, more sustainable, and more human-centered future.”

The name “Boma” has its origin in Africa. The boma is the enclosure for the community and elders to gather, a sacred space for meaningful discussions, profound decisions and powerful action.

Boma Global is supported by a prestigious brain trust, including the director of the MIT Media Lab Joi Ito, co-founder of ExO Works Salim Ismail, Singularity University faculty member Lisa Kay Solomon, former Google X Chief Business Officer Mo Gawdat and many more. Boma New Zealand faculty include chair of the Superdiversity Centre for Law and Business Mai Chen, founding education director of The Mind Lab by Unitec Chris Clay, serial inventor Grant Ryan, director of the Murchison Widefield Array Professor Melanie Johnston-Hollitt, Singularity University Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies faculty Mandy Simpson, independent director and future strategist Sue Suckling, and microbiologist and scientist Dr Souxsie Wiles.