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Making it Happen in the Knowledge Economy

Tuesday October 24, Christchurch

SmartNet workshops 2000: Making it Happen in the Knowledge Economy 29-30 November, Christchurch Convention Centre

Networking is considered one of the keys to success in the modern business environment and once again businesses from throughout New Zealand will be given the opportunity to network and share knowledge at the 4th annual SmartNet workshops.

To be held at the Christchurch Convention Centre on 29 and 30 November, SmartNet workshops 2000 is a two day highly interactive event where people from a wide range of public and private sector organisations come together to share ideas and information on achieving success in the "knowledge economy."

This year more than 400 people are expected to participate in the workshops, up on the 350 from 160 organisations who registered in 1999. Registrants include business, education and policy leaders, innovators, manufacturers, strategists, entrepreneurs, researchers, marketers, engineers, IT and HR professionals and others keen to succeed in a global economy driven by electronic e-commerce.

Lyall Lukey from Lukey Training Resources, SmartNet originators and co-ordinators says this year's SmartNet theme "Making it Happen in the Knowledge Economy" will build on the first three annual themes Teamwork&Technology (1997) Knowledge, Innovation, Partnerships (1998) and Living E-nterprises (1999). "SmartNet has been designed from its inception in 1997 to play a key role in encouraging New Zealand companies to reposition themselves for the knowledge economy by collaborating across old boundaries."

To further reinforce this role, running in conjunction with SmartNet 2000 is the Orion Working Smarter Expo. This will involve more than 40 leading organisations showcasing cutting edge innovative products and services, new trends and business solutions to potential clients. Last year more than 1000 people visited the Expo.

The stature SmartNet has achieved among business people, educationists and policy makers in just three years is evidenced by the calibre of the sponsors supporting the event. These include Platinum sponsor Cisco Systems, Gold sponsors Jade Corporation, IBM, University of Canterbury and Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology, and associate sponsors the Ministry of Economic Development, the Ministry of Research, Science & Technology, Telstra Saturn, Ernst & Young, Claude Advertising, The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand, Canterbury Development Corporation, Lincoln University, Christchurch College of Education, Orly, Rangiora Print and NCC (New Zealand).

Mr Lukey says the positive feedback from previous SmartNet workshops highlights how successful and important SmartNet has become in the push towards a knowledge economy. There should be no shortage of testimonials for SmartNet 2000 either if the calibre of the keynote speakers is anything to go by.

New Zealand business, education and policy leaders will join SmartNet's international keynote speakers to highlight key business and technology trends, issues and opportunities in both global and New Zealand contexts through a programme of presentations, round table discussions, interactive workshops and technology showcases.

The keynote speaker on 29 November is Canadian Dr Leo-Paul Dana, author of "Entrepreneurship in Pacific Asia". Dr Dana, a globe-trotting academic who lectures to the University of Canterbury's MBA programme, has an extensive research background studying entrepreneurship in different cultures and is the author of a number of books and articles on the subject.

Dr Dana was keynote speaker at the First Conference on the Internationalisation of Entrepreneurship, McGill , Canada. He asserts that "the globalisation of markets does not mean a concentration into one global market but rather a multiplicity of small markets." The title of his presentation is "Global Opportunities for New Zealand Entrepreneurs".

The international keynote speaker on 30 Novemeber is ex-patriate New Zealander Neil Scott, regarded as one of the United States' leading innovators. Mr Scott is Leader and Chief Engineer of the International Archimedes Project based at Stanford University. He has been described as one of the 15 futurists who will shape the way people live, think, work and play in the new millennium. Mr Scott's presentation is entitled "Breaking Through the Future Now with People Friendly Technology."

Business and thought leaders contributing to plenary and workshop sessions at SmartNet include: Dr James Buwalda, Chief Executive of the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology, who will overview seven emerging areas of business which will ignite New Zealand's future as a knowledge economy; Dr John Edwards, Edwards Explorations, Australia, a consulting firm concerned with exploring and developing human potential; Bill Day, Seaworks Ltd, the 2000 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year; Robert Stewart, Skope Industries, the 2000 Ernst & Young Master Entrepreneur of the Year; Kate Frykberg, The Web, the 2000 ASB Bank Supreme Women Business Leader and a member of the Science & Innovation Advisory Council; Michael Thomas, Commercial Markets Director, 3M New Zealand; and Vincent Heeringa, founding Editor of the award winning business magazine Unlimited.

The concurrent workshops at SmartNet 2000 are entitled Starting Up, Taking Off and Breaking Through. They explore in sequence the flight path to a high value, high skills economy fuelled by the right mix of knowledge and technology and sparked by innovation and entrepreneurship.

Registrations for SmartNet workshops 2000 close on 19 November. For more information on registration or exhibiting options contact SmartNet info@smartnet.co.nz or phone (03) 3667874 or visit the SmartNet web site: http://www.smartnet.co.nz/

Ends


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