As I See It : Rebecca Caughey

Rebecca Caughey is 26 years old and winner of Sir Peter Blake Emerging Leader award. She is the founder of music management and marketing company called Funktion and manages local groups Shapeshifter and Ladi6 as well as doing publicity for New Zealand musicians such as Anika Moa and Elemeno P.

How would you describe the New Zealand identity?
I would describe it as 15-year-old girl – beginning to know who she is, starting to strongly hold on to her values, becoming more open to outside influences and standing strong to what she believes in. The increasing use of the internet has created rapid shrinking of the world which lessens New Zealand’s tyranny of distance and we should exploit this and use it to express our identity.

What will be our next major challenge?
I think our major challenge continues to be the brain drain. We need to nurture and encourage entrepreneurs, smart operators and thinkers to stay in Aotearoa to continue our innovative and revolutionary edge. We need this so we can continue to build knowledge based and cultural economy.

What do we need to do to prepare ourselves for this?
Encourage! We need to let our kids dream, teach them work ethic and allow people to think outside the square. Let them leave the country and get experience and build relationships, but create an incentive to bring their expertise back home to increase New Zealand’s competitive advantage.

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