Let’s Get Digital: Connected Nation Takes Part in New Zealand Digital Skills Conference

Wellington, New Zealand (March 27, 2019) – When it comes to digital skills Connected Nation (CN) knows well the opportunities developing digital training programs in communities can provide. The nonprofit launched the Digital Works program nearly six years ago after recognizing the need for training and job placement that met the needs of an evolving workplace.

Today, Chris Pedersen, Vice President of Development and Planning for CN, is sharing that knowledge with national leaders and tech professionals  in Wellington, New Zealand. Pedersen is taking part in the discussions at the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment’s National Conference, specifically the Digital Skills portion of the conference.

The Minister of Government Digital Services, Hon. Dr. Megan Woods, took part. She shared details on the government’s role in preparing New Zealand for the future of work, and workshops were held to focus on three themes.

  1. How do we collectively develop a more inclusive and diverse digital technology industry?
  2. In preparing for the future of work, where and how can we leverage the demand for digital skills to help transition and absorb workers displaced by automation?
  3. What is need to bridge the gap between education and employment in digital technology?

Pedersen and Valley Vision’s project leader for Food and Ag Economy, Robyn Krock, attended the conference as part of a week-long exchange program dubbed “Getting Connected New Zealand Outbound.”  The program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State Office of Citizen Exchanges, was organized by World Learning.

The Deputy Chief of Mission for the U.S. Embassy in Wellington, Susan Niblock, is pictured far right in red. Photo also includes alumni from U.S. Government exchange programs and technology/policy experts as well as current team members for the Getting Connected New Zealand Outbound Program.

The pair spent the first part of the week in Dagarville and Whangarei, New Zealand. During that time they shared, among other information, best practices for closing the Digital Divide, improving farm connectivity, and how to leverage public-private partnerships to improve broadband access, adoption, and use.

The team flew into Wellington last night and they had an opportunity to meet with alumni from U.S. government exchange programs as well as technology policy experts in advance of today’s conference.  Susan Niblock who is the Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Wellington, New Zealand hosted the group.

Pedersen and Krock will leave for Northland, New Zealand tomorrow morning where they will meet indigenous groups including Māori Iwi leaders, tribes, and chiefs to the hear the tribes’ point-of-view on food and agricultural economy.  The pair will then share information on best practices and professional experiences that could be leveraged in the region.

Related Links:
March 26, 2019 – Having the Digital Revolution for Breakfast
March 25, 2019 – Greetings from New Zealand
March 12, 2019 – Connected Nation Taking its Mission of Digital Inclusion International 

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