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International symposium on culture-based innovation

Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi: indigenous-university

Monday, 29 July 2013, Whakatāne

Whakatāne hosts international symposium on culture-based innovation

Innovation driven by heritage and traditional knowledge is the focus of a six-day international symposium being hosted by Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi in Whakatāne from Sunday.

Twenty leading designers and craft persons, design anthropologists and researchers, innovation business consultants and indigenous educators from the Asia-Pacific region will be welcomed at Wairaka Marae on Sunday (August 4) to Te Taunga Waka: The Asia Pacific Symposium for Culture-Based Innovation.

The symposium is a joint initiative between Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi and the Swinburne University Faculty of Design in Australia. The Whakatāne symposium will set out to expand the national and international network of scholars and practitioners who work in the field of Culture-Based Innovation, an approach to innovation that uses heritage and traditional knowledge to drive transformative innovations for communities that experience social, cultural and economic distress.

The concept of Culture-Based Innovation grew out of a 2011 global meeting of indigenous activists, designers, scholars, and innovation consultants at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center in Italy. Professor Herman Pi’ikea Clark – the Mark Laws Endowed Chair for Innovation, Technology and Art, and director of Awanuiārangi’s Tokorau Institute of Indigenous Innovation – was a member of that forum and is one of the facilitators of the Whakatāne symposium.

The symposium aims to:

• Expand the network of practice in Culture-Based Innovation for the Asia-Pacific region and to identify common themes for future project collaborations;

• Demonstrate the global significance of Culture-Based Innovation as a sustainable alternative to market driven approaches in innovation through Design;

• Share ideas and expertise that enhance and link culturally responsive innovation research and practices within Māori and Pacific communities in New Zealand;

• Identify examples of Culture-Based Innovation that address social, economic and cultural needs in present day contexts across the Asia Pacific region; and

• Identify resources to support projects (grants, know-how, business models) amongst the network.

The symposium will set out to generate a plan for future symposia and projects in the Asia Pacific region. Symposium activities will be held at Wairaka Marae, Mātaatua Wharenui at Te Mānuka Tūtahi, and Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi campus, where a series of presentations, discussion forums and workshops will be held at the Mark Laws Media Centre.


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