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Innovating The NZ Future

Innovating The NZ Future

Science, research and development is only half of the equation in developing innovative economies, says a leading knowledge policy expert.

Dr Greg Hearn, director for creative industries and innovation in Queensland, says that although science is “absolutely important”, economies can only develop in an environment which also has new cultural ideas. “Cultures need to be constantly innovating.”

The purchase decisions we make in society are made by the identities we like to associate ourselves with, Dr Hearn says.

“In fashion, for example, whether we like to buy a trendy or daggy brand, is dictated by what we perceive as culturally significant to us.”

The new knowledge economy is heavily involved in the way cultures work, Hearn says. “The bulk of GDP comes out of consumption, and the way people buy things is fully mediated through culture.”

To get the most out of knowledge policy, three things need to come together, he says - the best creators with the best digital experts with the best entrepreneurs.

Dr Hearn is in Auckland this Friday to speak at “Transformations ’06: Working Knowledge”, the inaugural congress of the Council for the Humanities held this year at AUT University.

A professor at Queensland University of Technology, Dr Hearn is a pioneer in turning the creative industry projects into innovation policy, and has worked on a number of high level innovation projects.

This expertise has been sought after by organisations such as British Airways, Hewlett Packard and many Australian government agencies.

Dr Hearn says innovation policy has been too focused on science and technology and the social disciplines shouldn’t be forgotten. “Arts and humanities are the engines of innovation and the economy.”

Transformations ’06 is doubling as the Auckland launch for the Council for the Humanities and is designed to establish the way ahead for the humanities and the creative industries.
Dr Hearn will discuss “knowledge policy”, and consider the issues surrounding developing innovation policy.

“A decade ago we did not have the digital age, information communication technologies or genetic engineering,” Dr Hearn says, “Knowledge policy is about the creation of new knowledge. It’s more productive to economies”.

The creative industries is a way of describing the missing half of knowledge policy, says Dr Hearn. “It captures creativity in the economy. Design, software development, film and television are all examples.

“It is very important to pay attention to information communication technologies. Structures need to be in place to maximize and implement knowledge policy”, Dr Hearn says.

Transformations ’06 also features journalist John Campbell, film maker Welby Ings and Australian National University education pro-Vice Chancellor, professor Malcolm Gillies as panelists.

To register for the free annual Council for Humanities / Te Whainga Aronui congress please visit

“Transformations ’06: Working Knowledge”
Congress for Te Whainga Aronui / The Council for the Humanities.

Friday October 6th and Saturday October 7th.
WH Building, Wellesley Street Campus.
AUT University.


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