EDITORIAL : Network the knowledge – and think big

Those living in small communities know that small degree of separation can be both blessing and curse. But perhaps that depends on whether you’re thinking big or small.
When world renowned neuroscientist Richard Faull talks about the size advantages of New Zealand’s community, he’s thinking big. It’s good place to pull together wide range of expertise, join up the knowledge dots and make some serious progress toward expanding global frontiers on brain research (see p30).
Faull, who is this year’s supreme winner of the Kea World Class NZ Leaders Awards, believes Kiwis have the ability to approach problems in novel and imaginative ways. Blending innovation with collaboration also gets the thumbs up from “new thinking” winner Kerry Spackman.
The Winners’ Bible author echoes Faull in his belief that one of the things that distinguishes New Zealand from other countries he’s worked in is “unbelievably good networks”. Here, he notes, you are just phone call away from the best brains in number of different fields. So why not tap into those networks to push forward on all sorts of knowledge fronts.
In some areas, this is already happening. Technology winner Ian Witten brings global perspective to his comment that what’s going on here in open source software is “already up there with the best in the world”. The impressive talent pool emerging from our universities and the benefits of close networking around development needs give us the potential to lead the world in software innovation, agrees ICT winner and Orion Health founder Ian McCrae.
But – while the Kiwi ability to innovate and “do more with fewer resources” is seen as factor in our global success, there’s sense that either our collective DNA or perhaps our comfortable lifestyles leave us bit short on serious ambition. This year’s impressive line-up of world-beating talent helps highlight why more Kiwis should just step up and “give it go”.
On that note – I’m delighted to announce that stepping up into the role of NZ Management editor is former editor of Next and of Your Home and Garden, Brenda Ward. Bringing with her an impressive background in, and passion for, magazine publishing, Brenda will formally take the helm from our June issue.

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