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Your chance to hear from globally-acclaimed futurist

25 Feb 2019

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By Mike Toepfer, Director, Aspiring Law

One of the world’s leading futurists comes to town on March 13 – and all of us here at Aspiring Law are excited to be collaborating with Ignite Wanaka Chamber of Commerce to be bringing his unique insight and extraordinary knowledge to the Upper Clutha.

Chamber members and the wider public will have the chance to hear Tané Hunter speak at the Lake Wanaka Centre, on “The Future of Work”.

Tané explores what workplaces will look like in the not-too-distant future and beyond, and how we can, as organisations and individuals, best position ourselves today to make the most of what’s coming tomorrow.

It’s absolutely fascinating stuff – a must-see for those in a business leadership role, and anyone keen to get the inside running on automation, disruption and changing work patterns.

In my capacity as vice-chair of Ignite Wanaka, I had the chance to hear Tané speak at the New Zealand Chambers of Commerce conference last year. Extraordinary – both in terms of content and delivery.

We hear a lot nowadays about the astronomical rate of change our planet’s confronting, together with often mind-bending predictions on what the world is evolving to look like. If I was ever in any doubt about the nature and scope of advancement heading our way and the need to keep up, I certainly wasn’t after hearing Tané speak.

Some of the incredible changes we’re in for will roll out in the next few years … not decades. But one of Tané’s key messages is that, far from being pessimistic and apprehensive, if we’re proactive and schooled up, we have every reason to be approaching the future with not only confidence, but excitement.

Tané has a very interesting story to tell in his professional capacity; and, the path he took to becoming a futurist is not, perhaps, what you’d expect.

After winning a major title in the United States, he was actually on track for a career as a pro mountain biker, before he suffered a serious injury. That was 2006. Today, as well as being a science communicator, he is a cancer researcher working with “big data” and artificial intelligence to help identify cancers and cutting-edge cures. He is a co-founder of Future Crunch, a Melbourne-based think tank of thought leaders, whose specialties span technology, art, economics, design and entrepreneurialism. Future Crunch’s mission is to help us harness the positives of the rapidly-changing global economy in the 21st century, using evidence-based science.

My co-Director at Aspiring Law, Janice Hughes, and I were stoked to get behind this opportunity, firstly to secure Tané’s visit, and also to make it as accessible as possible for as many in our community as possible.

We work with businesspeople and community groups every day in our role as lawyers, in governance and through our pro bono work. We know, from the coalface, people really want to get their heads around what’s coming, and how best to prepare.

Tané answers that, and decodes the technology and terminology brilliantly. And, what Janice and I are particularly enthusiastic about is that he shares practical tools and insight that the audience can take away and apply in their organisation and lives. He’s also big on social responsibility and change for good, which really resonates with our team, too.

An engaging, compelling speaker, Tané’s incredibly smart and at the very forefront of futurism. His presentations are winning rave reviews the world over – having heard him myself, I can’t encourage you enough to get along. You’re bound to leave feeling inspired, invigorated and far better equipped to manage the challenges, changes – and, most importantly, seize the enormous opportunities – that are in the offing. We hope to see you there.

Futurist Tané Hunter will speak on The Future of Work at the Lake Wanaka Centre, Wednesday, March 13, between 5pm and 7.30pm, including a Q+A session. Tickets are available through the Wanaka Chamber’s new-look website: