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 Roger Dennis’s full interview which you can read here.

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

1. Two years on I am
I am still in Christchurch and increasingly frustrated with the pace at which central Government operates. The next decade will see substantial change on a global scale, and small countries that are proactively thinking about what this means for them will be positioned well.  Singapore provides an excellent example of forward thinking in this manner.

2. Recent thoughts on how to build a talent-based economy
That increasingly this role will fall to the private sector.  In line with my comments above, smart talent will move to follow opportunity.  New Zealand’s only saving grace is that we are small, and as such, government moves faster here than in larger countries.  However, this is all relative, and other small countries have shown themselves to be much more agile and forward thinking.

3. Books, research and talks that have shaped my thinking include
My experience in trying to integrate the principles of Sensing City into the rebuild of Christchurch, has given me firsthand knowledge of the challenges and frustrations in dealing with a slow-moving bureaucracy, and the advantage of working with a much faster-moving private sector organisation.

4. Any additional thoughts for young people?
In order to understand the world that young people will be entering, they need to expose themselves to the accelerating pace of technology change.  Fortunately much of the material that informs this thinking is viewable online, and sources such as The Institute for the Future and Singularity University are useful touchstones.

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