Educational Futurist Frances Valintine is the founder of Tech Futures Lab - which focuses on upskilling executives and businesses to embrace the technological advances and new disruptive business models that are rapidly redefining the global economy.

She says: “With Tech Futures Lab, I work with companies to understand their changing needs as they move increasingly from bricks and mortar businesses to become tech-enabled or platform based businesses, with greater focus on the advances and the risks that come with big data, automation and artificial intelligence.”

"It's going to be so critical to be fully engaged in our new technological world. To have capability and the ability to collaborate and talk the same new language of business."

Frances is passionate about ensuring that New Zealand’s educational structure and model is  developed to empower young minds with the skills they’ll need to succeed in the next 20 years, instead of rigidly sticking to legacy concept that have surpassed the use by date. Frances believes we need rapid, bold change to leap-frog the existing education system to best reflect the needs of today’s employment market, but more importantly the employment market our next generation of Kiwis will enter. This change  needs to be driven by parents, grandparents and their communities as these are today’s employers and workers who have already seen the changes faced in their sectors.

She says: We don’t have a decade to meander slowly using incremental change in education – as we have already spent decades debating and wasting time.

If we change things 10% or even 20%, the subtleties of change will have a negligible impact. Progress will only be achieved if we make a bold, transformational change that will provide better more rewarding options for our children.

We cannot sit back and do nothing just because claiming it is all too hard. The longer we debate the merits of legacy education systems, the greater skill divide we will create for our children.

Frances sits on the board of Callaghan Innovation, KEA (World Class Kiwis) and Talentnomics based in Washington DC.

She is a significant supporter of initiatives that support young women into business and technology.

On being involved in What Next?

"It is wonderful to see the conversation about what our nation wants or expects for the next 20 years. By 2037 we will be living in a very different world that will have over 9 billion residents, a rapidly growing middle class, longer life expectancy and improved health and education. How we gainfully live, learn and contribute in the world that is also expected to have adopted high levels of automation, machine learning and artificial intelligence needs to be robustly discussed while we all get the chance to reskill, embrace new ways of living and sharing and as we look for what it means to be a kiwi in a technological age."