It has been two years since the launch of our 2013 TalentNZ Journal. To mark this anniversary, each day over the next month we will share an interview with one of the 30 kiwis and provide an update on where they are now.

Today we share Damien Van Brandenburg’s full interview which you can read here.

Damien Van Brandenburg

Two years on, we checked in with Damien Van Brandenburg and asked him four questions about what he has been doing since we published the journal. You can read Damien’s responses below.

1. Two years on I am
I find myself continuously evolving in design practices, processes and design ambitions. I find myself travelling more, exploring further and always increasing my curiosity around our natural and built environment. I always look to see how this can broaden our practice in influencing architecture to enrich our lives.

2. Recent thoughts on how to build a talent-based economy
Networking, connecting with talented people and generating talent hubs for innovation to flourish.

3. Books, research and talks that have shaped my thinking
Books – Creative Confidence by Tom Kelly. Research into environmental technology of Masdar City, Abu Dhabi.

4. Any additional thoughts for young people?
I like to encourage people to live spherically; by that I mean always broadening horizons in every which direction, and approach life with constant curiosity.   

Connect with TalentNZ
We want to build New Zealand’s talent-based economy. If you want to join us on this journey, please connect with TalentNZBy connecting you will receive our monthly TalentNZ newsletter, which outlines recent developments, research and resources related to creating a talent-based economy, and which keeps you informed about upcoming TalentNZ events. Please also share this link with anyone you think may be interested.

TalentNZ Journal: Grow talent edition
We are currently in the planning and research stages of our 2016 TalentNZ Journal: Grow talent edition. The journal will illustrate grassroots initiatives that New Zealanders are doing to grow talent. Our focus is on encouraging innovative ways to develop talent across New Zealand. The Grow talent edition will be the second edition in our TalentNZ Journal series.

About TalentNZ
The 2013 TalentNZ Journal is part of our TalentNZ project. TalentNZ is designed to facilitate a structured discussion on how to make New Zealand’s talent-based economy flourish. The Journal features interviews with 30 Kiwis, essays from contributing writers and data with a focus on cities and the economy. The 2013 Journal, and in particular the 30 interviews, showed us that by managing the four integrated work-streams – grow, attract, retain and connect – New Zealand is more likely to become a healthy, dynamic and interesting place to live in the long-term. TalentNZ builds on Sir Paul Callaghan’s vision of making New Zealand ‘a place where talent wants to live’. Sir Paul outlined the reasons why his vision is important in a 20-minute video at the Institute’s StrategyNZ workshop in 2011. To learn more about the TalentNZ project see

If you have any questions about the TalentNZ project, please contact us at