About us

We’re New Zealand’s most innovative, transformative learning environment where people come to find their edge in a rapidly changing world.

Our postgraduate programmes, short courses and innovation workshops are designed specifically for the new world of work. We don’t rely on outdated textbooks or traditional academia models. We teach context, not content and are focused on enhancing the skills and capabilities of all our learners to then take into the ‘real world’ and embed into their workplaces, organisations and communities.

Our vision
Our vision is to create impactful futures by aligning digital skills and capabilities with the demands of the contemporary world.
Our mission
Our mission is to lead New Zealand education, to share knowledge, to collaborate, and to build partnerships in order to achieve sustainable, impactful change.
Key objectives
Our key objectives are to increase access to education, build confidence, identify skills gaps, develop 21st century capability and challenge outdated legacy education practices.

About us

Tech Futures Lab was founded by Frances Valintine (CNZM) in 2016 to foster the capabilities and skills needed to develop a culture of innovation and agility critical to NZ businesses and individuals to thrive in this fast-paced technological advancement era. 

Our postgraduate programmes are NZQA accredited and funding is available for students via StudyLink. We have big ambitions but we still know every individual student – you’ll never be just a number here.

Our environment is based on trust, flexibility and support. A place where everyone comes to openly share ideas.

A division of The Mind Lab

Tech Futures Lab is part of The Mind Lab, a NZQA-registered Tertiary Education Organisation under the provisions of the Education Act 1989. Tech Futures Lab postgraduate candidates are enrolled with The Mind Lab which is approved by NZQA to award the Master of Technological Futures, the Postgraduate Certificate in Human Potential, the Postgraduate Certificate in Connected Environments and the Organisational Agility Micro-credential. Click here to access our 2021 Academic Calendar for all programmes across The Mind Lab and Tech Futures Lab.

Our space

Our Founder: Frances Valintine CNZM

Frances Valintine (CNZM) is dedicated to pushing Aotearoa ahead as a global leader in innovation to build a stronger, more resilient future for all New Zealanders.  A leader in her own right as an innovator, futurist and disruptor of traditional education Frances has 25 years’ experience across business, technology and education.

She is the CEO and Founder of The Mind Lab (2013) and Tech Futures Lab (2016) and in 2018 was awarded a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her lifetime contribution to education and technology.

Over the past 8 years across Tech Futures Lab and The Mind Lab, Frances has been instrumental in reskilling and educating 20,000 adult students in formal programmes, many thousands in short tech courses in software development and over 250,000 school aged students.

With an eye always on future horizons, Frances has worked with and advised over 250 organisations across every sector in New Zealand – from agriculture to finance, retail to law and has gained a reputation as an expert in leading digital transformation initiatives that bring positive impact.

Frances has received numerous awards recognising her passion and commitment to supporting the young and more mature to seek opportunities and reach their potential.  In 2020 Frances received the Outstanding Contribution to Technology and Business at the CIO Awards. Her past accolades also include:

2017:  the NZ Flying Kiwi Award, inducted into the New Zealand Hi-Tech Hall of Fame and named one of the top 3 NZ Innovators of the Year the NZer of the Year awards.

2016: named one of the top 50 EdTech Educators in the World by EdTech International; awarded a Sir Peter Blake Leader Award.

2015: awarded the Westpac New Zealand Woman of Influence (Innovation) and the Next New Zealand Woman of the Year (Education)

Driven by a strong sense of purpose to support positive growth for Aotearoa, Frances also sits on the boards of Watercare and Dilworth School Trust. She is also a selection adviser to EHF (Edmund Hillary Foundation), a judge on the Hi Tech Awards, a mentor to a number of female technology leaders (in NZ and India), and a Director to On Being Bold, a platform to support and encourage emerging female leaders and year 13 students to dream big.

 She holds a Master of Education Management from the University of Melbourne

Our team

The Tech Futures Lab team is genuinely passionate about learning, teaching and the future. We are a network of approachable, humble, supportive and open-minded people who look at the world from a different angle.

Tech Futures Lab Board

Frances Valintine
Founder & CEO
Frank Janssen
Director and Chair
Nic Kennedy
Rob Lee

Advisory Board

Priti Ambani
Advisory Group Member
Paul Cameron
Advisory Group Member
Maru Nihoniho
Advisory Group Member
Kendra Ross
Advisory Group Member
Marcus Williams
Advisory Group Member

For Business

Nagaja Sanatkumar
Innovation Advisor
Saskia Verraes
Innovation Advisor

Programme Team

Maheshi Wadasinghe
Postgraduate Programme Lead
Yuka Gray
Programme Manager
Tracy Han
Programme Co-ordinator
Anzel Singh
Innovation Coordinator
Judy Christie
Programme Manager – Connected Environments
Sophia Zhang
Lead Advisor

Master's Advisors

Paula Gair
Master's Advisor
Nikhil Ambani
Master's Advisor
Roy Davies
Mixed Reality and Calm Computing
Guillem Goodway
Master's Advisor
Sylvia Hach
Master's Supervisor/Advisor
Vivek Kumar
Master's Advisor
Felix Scholz
Product Management Learning Sprint Facilitator
Lisa Traill
Master's Advisor
Mahsa Mohaghegh
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
Megan Rorich
Master's Advisor

Short Courses

Amber Joseph
Salesforce Facilitator
Felix Scholz
Product Management Learning Sprint Facilitator

Student Success

Fuatino Peilua
Academic Registrar
Eugenia Lytvyn
Student Experience Manager
Shruti Patil
Student Experience Manager
Deborah Ross
Director of Studies

Marketing Team

Brad Smith
Marketing Manager
Anna Reid
Rhian Bedford-Palmer
Digital Marketing Specialist
Amanda O’Neill
Outreach Manager

Support Team

Craig Hilton
National Academic Director
Hayley Sparks
National Academic Manager
Sandy Taylor
Financial Controller
Te Mihinga Komene
Pou Ārahi
Frank Li
Data Analyst
Melissa Fincham
Office Manager and Assistant to Frances Valintine and Fee Webby
Charlie Baldwin
Front of House
David Pratt
Virtual CFO
Fiona (Fee) Webby
General Manager
Monique Pearson
Interim General Manager
Lorraine Guerin
Chief Technology Officer
Dane Tumahai
Cultural Advisor, Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei
Pāora Puru
Cultural Advisor

Industry Advisors

Christelle Blanchet-Aissaoui
Master's Industry Advisor
Justin Durocher
Innovation Advisor
Alisa Edwards
Salesforce Consultant
John Graves
Artificial Intelligence and Data Science
Chris Hails
Cyber Security Advisor
Dr. Tresna Hunt
Co-founder, Director of The Institute for Social Sustainability and Programme Designer
Melissa Jenner
Human Innovation Specialist
Brenda Leeuwenberg
Digital Strategist Advisor
Simon Martin
IP and Technology Law
John McDermott
Programme Lead – Connected Environments
Mahsa Mohaghegh
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
Michael Moka
Māori Values and Leadership Inclusion
Kriv Naicker
Innovation Advisor
Brett Oetgen
Co-founder, Director of The Institute for Social Sustainability and Course Facilitator
Russell Pickering
Felix Scholz
Product Management Learning Sprint Facilitator
Nathan Soich
Peter Swanson
People, Culture and Organisational Design Expert
Melissa Wragge
Business Redesign, Innovation and Marketing Expert
Roy Davies
Mixed Reality and Calm Computing
Rich Rowley
Innovation Advisor
David Pratt
Small Business Accounting Advisor
Priti Ambani
Advisory Group Member

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