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 Rachel Carrell’s full interview which you can read here.

Two years on, we checked in with Rachel Carrell and asked her questions about what she has been doing since we published the journal. You can read Rachel’s responses below.

1. Two years on I am
I am still living in London, and still focusing on improving access to healthcare through technology. I’ve changed role though – I’m now the Managing Director of ARGC, an IVF clinic in Marylebone, London.

2. Recent thoughts on how to build a talent-based economy
Since my interview two years ago I’ve gone home to New Zealand twice, and each time seen old friends now working in great roles in internet-enabled companies. I’ve seen some excellent progress on internet connectivity, including a lot of buzz around the Gigatown initiative. It seems as though New Zealand is catching up with the rest of the developed world in terms of internet infrastructure. This is a key foundation block to building a talent-based economy, since fast internet access enables startups to flourish and also allows talented people to live in New Zealand while working globally. I hope our connectivity continues to improve and I’ll continue to push it to the limit when I’m back on holiday, doing things like trying to find 4G on the West Coast, or Skype my colleagues while in the Coromandel.

One interesting idea I heard recently came from Guernsey. Guernsey is a small island off the coast of England. Its population is tiny. One of the things it’s trying to do at the moment is attract entrepreneurial people and organisations by presenting itself as a great testing ground for new things. Because it’s small, it’s very flexible. Guernsey can very quickly establish supportive regulation, for example, for people who want to test new technologies – fly drones, launch driverless cars, that sort of thing. New Zealand’s a lot bigger than Guernsey, but we could take inspiration from the approach. In fact New Zealand’s long been used as a testing ground for things. McDonalds tried out McCafe in New Zealand first, before exporting the format overseas. New Zealand could go after these things proactively, setting up a slick approvals process and establishing ourselves as the best place in the world to do R&D. Innovators and entrepreneurs would flock to our shores to get a good proof of concept before exporting the idea around the world.

3. Any additional thoughts for young people?
I like to think that if I were 16 today, I’d be starting an internet business. It’s never been cheaper or easier in history to start a new business than it is today. You barely need any resources at all: just a computer with access to the internet, and your own time, and a drive to learn and experiment. A small amount of capital would help, but these days you can do it with very, very little. It’s all about you and whether you are willing to put the effort in.

Connect with TalentNZ
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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